December 12, 2005
Liz published this at 11:39 am
I always remind myself that not everyone knows what I know, and how to post on a blog may be something the reader truly does not know. –Shirley George Frazier, Successful and Outstanding Blogger
Reading blogs is only one part of being part of a community. If you stop at that point, you are missing out of half the experience and half of the fun. Blogs are really intended to be part information sharing, part conversation between the writer and readers. As HART, a reader at Successful Blog said, “” . . .half the show is in the comments!”
Visiting a blog is much like stopping by a neighbor’s house. It’s cordial way to let the owner know that you stopped by. If you’ve stayed long enough to read something, leaving a comment is a nice gesture and a relationship-building act. It’s like leaving your calling card on a business call or leaving a note at the house of a friend.
How to Comment
- Does the writer want comments? Rare is the writer who doesn’t. There are a few. They are easy to spot. They have removed the comment box from their blogs.
A writer may have chosen a design that makes the comment box hard to find. If you don’t see it, look up near the title of the post. Some template designers think that’s a good place to put it. The designer was thinking of the design not the reader. Take the time to find the box and comment despite that, for the sake of the writer.
- What do I write?
- Can I leave a link? The biggest mistake I see is that occasionally visitors don’t understand that they are on another person’s blog, a space that someone has spent time and effort putting together, a place where a community has formed. This leads them to act in ways that don’t work in their favor. Whether it’s leaving a link or words that don’t sound right. Look around and see what others are doing. It’s a when in Rome kind of thing.
- Are Trackbacks okay? Trackbacks are often good, particularly on business-type blogs where they are used to connect articles of relevant content. Be careful not to use them as your only form of communication, though, especially with blogs you’ve never visited. It can make you appear as if you are “too busy to be bothered” with actually visiting to comment in person.
If the post inspired you, or made you think of something–a memory, a question, an argument, or a reason you agree–say so. If it didn’t, try “thank you.” That always works. You’d be surprised how nice just leaving a can be.
A Comment Policy
Each blog owner can control whether a comment is posted to the blog’s comment page. That decision is made based on the blog’s comment policy. Have and state the comment policy for your blog.
The policy at Successful-Blog is simple–no spam, no profanity, and no disrespect for people who use this blog. Links that serve readers are welcome–though more than three, might be excessive. Harmless fun is always welcome.
–ME “Liz” Strauss