7 rules of how to write great blog comments…

blog comment, blogging, art of commenting, great comment, blog conversing

Art of Commenting and Act of Conversing

 

Commenting is a creative extension of the art of good conversation…

 

To sustain the extension we need to abide by some basic rules that can make conversation truly engaging, experiential and immensely exciting. No one likes off repeated and mechanical stream of comments.

Leaving a comment like “great post”, loved your post”, very interesting post”, “wow”, “wonderful post”, has little value if it is not qualified with qualitative insights or quantified analysis.

Here are some ground rules if followed religiously can make a significant difference in establishing a connection and building a communication that is mutually enriching as a blogger both for the writer and the reader.

 

Rule (1): The Early Bird

Blogosphere is an ocean. Like the sea birds in the ocean who knows where to go and when to go for the fishing, the blogger should also know where to go and when to go for commenting.  It is humanly impossible to read all the blogs. We have to be selective. We have to spot and select the blogs that we should be reading regularly and those set of blog posts we should attempt to read on the list of early birds who can catch the insects.

We have the RSS feed.

We get informed the moment the post gets published. The number of insects are limited.

Insects are a metaphor.

The life of a post is limited. Commenting at the fag-end of the life of a post may not get the much-needed interest in the extension to the discussion on the topic.

 

Rule (2): The Value Addition

On reading a post, we should decide whether to comment on not to comment. Commenting is not compulsory. We shouldn’t go with a preformed mindset.  In this blog we should comment and in those blogs we shouldn’t comment. It is not mandatory to comment on every post we read.

If we feel the topic has touched our heart and it is critically questioning our assumption or it has intrigued us or we are truly inspired, then we should respond.

The response should come in terms of creating a new perspective, adding a new dimension to the topic or building a new part to the conversation. This not only gives a value addition to the topic in conversation it also provides a value addition to the person behind the comment.

Value added comments adds a deeper insight into the mind of the reader and if the reader is also wearing the bloggers cap, it adds a fine feather to blogger’s cap.

 

Rule (3): Share not Sale

This appears like a ready-made market.

It is tempting why not display some of my products as so many interesting customers keep visiting this market. This is not the place to sell ourselves or sale our services directly.

If we engage in selling do it becomes totally anachronistic.

This is a place where we have to follow a code of conduct, not always written but the unwritten ones that has to be properly understood and sincerely followed. There definitely should be any attempt made or effort put to showcase our ability to engage in a meaningful conversation. Many times we do so with leaving a link and with writing a few lines one what we have done.

This can potentially break the subtle relationship that we could have possible made with a fair commenting practice.

 

Rule (4): Agree to Disagree

This is one of the most important rules to “make a difference” in the conversation of good commenting practice.

Generally the practice is to agree and align with the perspective presented by the writer. It is no doubt a good practice. But if the practice is not periodically re-looked and revamped it becomes stereotype. Though it is equally important to strike a good balance between the agreement and disagreement of views, getting inclined towards consensus or getting skewed towards contrarian views can get us branded as a holder of extreme point of view.

The art lies in the balance, it is a balancing act and we should know how to agree to disagree.

 

Rule (5): Art of Questioning

Commenting is not only about answering to the questions raised in the topic but is also about the art of questioning what is presented in the post. Raising some valid questions can make the topic more interesting and the conversation in the comment more enriching.

It is not an easy art.

The art of questioning is knowing what to question, what not to question and how to question.

Yes, the question has to be meaningful and the question should have the potential to “make a difference” in the quality of conversation. The more we read the threads of conversation the better we become in the art of questioning and the art of conversation.

 

Rule (6): Knowing how to Start

There are different ways to start the lines of comment.

The opening statement sets the tone for continuing the commenting. We can start with our judgment stating that it is indeed a wonderful post, truly insightful to brilliantly written and there are many adjectives we can add and make the opening statement superlatives, but it may not stand the ground if we are not able to sustain it with substantive analysis.

The “qualitative interpretation” that matters.

Instead of starting with a value judgment we can start with the line that has really impressed us and make that quote as the opening statement which gives credence to our comment that we have read the post sincerely and have done so thoroughly.

The choice of words in the opening line has to be deeply contextual.

 

Rule (7): Knowing when to Stop

This is where we are most likely to falter.

The question what’s so big deal about ending a commenting conversation. One needs to be tactful and it is much easier said then done. What’s so great about stopping the comment, it sounds simple but it is indeed deceptive, there is a such a subtle connection that gets gradually built between the blogger and the reader during each such bouts of smaller sessions of comment conversation.

“It adds a human touch.”

The expression of emotional feelings.

The little touch of caring.

The ending has to match the mood and to the construction of that particular commenting session. We are always not in good mood or have the right frame of mind to go for a longer conversation. There are instances where we love to extend the conversation. But we have to equally judge the pulse on the other side to spot the right set of sessions for extended conversations.

We may be ready but the blogger isn’t for an extended conversation.

An abrupt end or conversations that keeps mechanically dragging, are not signs of building a good commenting practice. And the art of good commenting comes with practice, more practice and it comes with being cognizance of the emotions and feelings embedded in the conversation.

 

 

Nihar Pradhan

Idea Blogger

 


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GOOD CONVERSATIONS ARE WONDERFUL SOURCE OF INSPIRATION

  1. Absolutely! A comment like ‘Wonderful post’ deserves some qualification.
    Thanks for specifying the unwritten norms. Comments should lead to some value addition, a meaningful exchange of views or an engaging conversation.
    I would like to add here is that some bloggers copy paste the same comment such as ‘Great post’ on ten or perhaps 20 blogs with a link to there blog (which may be completely related with the topic of the post. That is a big put off.

    • At the outset Somali I must thank you for such lovely conversation we have and I keep learning lot of things from you, how to analyse and write a comment…you have such depth and diversity in your reportire of creative thoughts.
      I agree there are these two words like “great post” phrase which keep repeating in multiple blog posts by readers and one can see the pattern and then everything is lost there.

      Blogging is a hobby but posting commenting is serious engagement…
      I was keen to know your experience on the Affinity…Social Media.
      Just bit tied up, I have to do lot of catching with your post, will be there soon.
      Have a lovely day…
      😀

      • Thank you Nihar. Regarding Affimity – as we discussed earlier the concept is good. After I pointed out that Affimity does not appear as a source in the blog stats, which is a drawback they agreed to look into it and came back to inform me that it needs to be coded. Since then they have been proactively asking me for feedback. As of now I have suggested them 1) to have a Chanel for Nature Lovers – for posts pertaining to conservation, ecology, climate change etc. 2) to have blogger : serious reader ratio of 1:10 3) To encourage constructive comments and build serious engagement 4) to organize author events. What I appreciate is that they are open to feedback and want to improve upon user experience. Have you joined in yet? Let me post your Voice of Nature review there today.

        • Thanks so much Somali for such a detailed analysis on Affimity, and as always you bring a wonderful perspective. Yes, I have just joined in and checking up the features and you have already done such finer analysis on what they need to focus and how they need to proceed in building a meaningful engagement. Yes these categories matters and also the blogger-reader ratio is so critical, organizing authors events can add that visibility and create a voice.

          By the way who are these founders and what’s there plan and what is there positioning statement…I am also checking, will share my thoughts.
          Thanks so much Somali as always…
          take care!!!
          😀

  2. Hi Nihar,

    I agree with your insights about the art of commenting, which can be nurtured just like the art of good conversation. However the mood makes all the difference. Sometimes the inspiration is low, words get wedged in the alleys of perceptual blocks…even good content seems vague…discernment eludes and such moments are quite frustrating!

    Early birds always get rewarded as their reflections get noticed by many bloggers but if they happen to be meaningless and frivolous, they are overlooked. So the quality of comments needs to be taken care of. I feel it is essential to read the post thoroughly to give a significant comment. Nihar, I think you possess most of the qualities of ‘the art of commenting.’ Are you an engaging conversationalist too? 🙂

    Thank you for sharing another post with a difference. Stay blessed!

    • I liked this sentence “words get wedged in the alleys of perceptual blocks”…discernment eludes.
      This is so much true, when the mood is off and inspiration is down, it is indeed frustrating not able to organize the thoughts and give a meaningful expression.

      I agree, it is all about the quality of comment and if there is consistency, the conversations continues to build up…it is always good to have few selected post where we should read it thoroughly and get into a constructive conversations and others we may read but may not engage in the comment. We may do justice to the post, in such situation better not to comment and if the post is a true inspiration, we automatically get the energy to weave our thoughts…
      I love insightful, intriguing and interesting conversations and this a wonderful source of learning and sharing so many different perspective and getting validated.
      Thanks so much Balroop for a critically creative perspective.
      😀

  3. Before I go into another Long comment here Dear Nihar I will press post and see if it registers as I tried twice on your lost post and got a sad face on your comment box saying it had not been recognised . So here goes! 🙂

    • O! I am so sorry Sue for the unexpected technical snag and sometime these technology behave so erratically and it is indeed difficult to predict…
      Now it is working and thanks so much for sharing the problem with me…
      Take care!!!
      😀

      • This is no fault of your dear Nihar.. so please do not worry.. I just wanted you to know I had tried.. I still get a read notice upon the right hand of the notifications column every time I try to send a reply to you via the notifications on the right of our screens.. Instead of a green one saying your comment is replied too.. I get a red one saying its failed and try again.. 🙂 .. This is only since you transferred to this site .. Your other was fine..
        So I have to press the subject matter and visit your page to comment a reply.. And Like I said before this is not a problem..
        Maybe it is with my own WP site which is not connecting….
        When you think of the mechanics of how many comments are being transferred back and forth.. These glitches are to be expected..

        Many thanks again Dear Nihar for the attention you always give my comments.. They are very much appreciated
        Sue 🙂

        • Thanks so much Sue for such comforting words and I really appreciate your commitment to our beautiful conversation and it cannot happen unless so much of thinking and so much of efforts that comes from you, and I am indebted to such wonderful engagement from you.

          Yes, I agree this technology keep questioning our hold on technology and there are these small issues they appear in such repeat manner it makes it perceived bigger problem, it is indeed an irritant.
          Yes, after the switch you have been facing this problem and I will once again look into it and see how it can be amended…may be there is disconnect between the .com and the .org…
          I have lot of catching up to do with your posts and I will be soon doing it and yes being tied last couple of weeks in the real world…
          God Bless You…
          😀

  4. I am afraid I fail often in your last category of knowing when to stop!! 🙂 I do tend to carry on with the verbal longer than I should..
    And this is often why it takes me so long to do my rounds of over the 350+ sites I follow..
    Those whose posts I enjoy and are interesting I am often found leaving my trail of words behind.. and like you say Nihar there are those which I like a lot and press like to tell them..
    I then around once a month try to visit all of those I liked and tell them how much I enjoy their posts.. For there is just not enough hours in the day to keep constantly up to date with everyone’s posts.. Especially those who post Once a day and more..

    To finish Nihar.. if I leave a comment Brilliant Post LOL.. it is because it is haha..
    Ok now I will stop before I go on and On and ON! 🙂 hehe..

    Have a wonderful week my friend.. I do not know how you find the time to write such ‘Great Posts!’ 😉
    Have a good week and hope you do not mind my sense of humour 😀
    Blessings Sue

    • At the outset I must confess that I eagerly wait for the conversation with you and it is such wonderful discussion with you and I learn so much from you, I keenly wait for your thoughts and I never want the discussion to end and the bigger the comment you write, the more I have to read and I enjoy every bit of the words and thoughts that you share…
      Hats off to you for reading so many blog posts and you do so with such detail and with such consistency it puts my energy into test and I take that an inspiration to keep doing more and more to be able do a fraction of the effort you put up in such qualitative thoughts.

      When there is so much depth and diversity in thoughts and ideas, it only makes the topic and the discussion so much interesting and engaging…you do so in each post.
      I really appreciate the way you manage time and put such wonderful thoughts in perspective for each such different topic that get covered across the blog post.

      Always, always a pleasure to read your analysis and critical thoughts and yes, your sense of humour the cherry in the cake.
      Thanks so much Sue and take care!!!
      😀

      • Thank you Nihar.. And Like wise to your contributions to my posts..

        I have to time manage myself here in Blog land.. and often people will see a multi catch up with many of their posts all at once.. And were it possible I would love to comment upon them all.. But I have lots of other interesting things as do you my friend to contend with in our lives.. So.. we can only try our best..

        So I always try to visit those who take the time to visit and leave comments.. and work my way around WP like this..
        And I know I often fail and miss some wonderful enlightening posts..

        And from time to time I review my list of follows and sometimes I am amazed how many I had missed that never seemed to come into my reader.. And others who have long got neglected who have shut down their blogs..
        The process is every changing..

        I love adapting and learning, and enjoy especially our united friendship Nihar within our blogging domain .. So Thank YOU my friend

        • Yes Sue we all now live in two worlds and the primary world remains the physical world and we have so much more to in the real world, but the virtual world has swept us under the carpet and we have so many things that get us hooked in the digital space and we get caught in shifting between these two worlds and we have the same 24 hours what we had before the advent of the virtual world…and those we live in these two worlds can understand the real challenge…life is exciting but life is not any more easy, we are tempted and we are confused and we are overloaded, and again this is an art of living we all are learning the art and there is no such precedent or existing framework to adopt and manage it is easily, each one has our learning curve and each one of us take our own time to get into the groove…

          I do so miss so many good posts and there are so many times I get delayed to be there in reading the post and already the discussion has gone far and wide, I find myself lost being so late to be in the discussion.
          Yes, we can try our best and do the maximum possible at our end and the other side should able understand and appreciate the delay or skipping few posts…this real life things become so pressing and we have no option but give these the priority.
          Indeed this process is evolving and there are so many things to learn and we need quickly learn the art of adapting new things in life…this space of blogging has something new to offer every other day…and it is upto us to take it and know how to build on it…
          I am blessed to have discovered you and I cherish every bit of the discussion we have , thanks so much Sue…
          😀

          • I loved your comments Nihar when ever you get chance to catch up with my posts.. And I so thank you for your last comment upon the Universe Listens.. wait until you read the following one of what it delivered. 🙂 haha…

            I wrote a poem only last evening as I awoke in the middle of the night with the first two lines repeating in my head. So out came my journal and a poem was created which touched upon the Virtual World we are hooked into..

            I intend to write type it up later and hopefully it will be a future post..

            Never worry about missing posts or being late in arriving .. I love to read your in-depth thoughts which are so inspiring and meaningful..

            Have a wonderful Friday and I hope you find time to relax within the World of Nature for a time over the weekend and leave the Virtual World for a time..

            Blessings to you and yours my friend
            Sue

          • Yes Sue, as I was reading the first post, I already had a cursory glance and kept it for reading in detail…I strongly belief when we want something and we have put our best effort, it is only the matter of time that the universe provides with the results we want. Yes, there are moments where we want things desparately and we are restless but we don’t get it then but get it later, and when we look we realize that this is the right time and if we would got it earlier we wouldn’t have cherished that much, and this is precisely what the universe knows and knows what is good and when it will be better for you…
            All these little nuggets of wisdom comes out of deep and deeper experience and there is a pattern which is universally true, may be the color, the shades vary from location to location but the essence remains the same and remains for eternity…
            Looking forward to the poem, the best idea strikes in the serenity of darkness and where we talk to our soul and where mind-body-soul are in perfect sync.

            Yes, I will be in world of nature, walking in the National Park is what I really cherish in the weekend, and it is an energizer and stimulate the mind for better thinking…

            You too have a beautiful weekend…and take care.
            Thanks so much for such wonderful thoughts.
            😀

  5. Insightful post, Nihar. Especially loved Rules 3 and 7, which can be correlated. Often, people use comments as a covert way of saying “Hey, I visited your blog. Now return the favor.” Some go to the extent of plugging links in their comments as well.

    But a truly genuine comment is all about the post’s author, and what the reader thinks of it. This is why I’ve stopped leaving a link to my latest blog post in all CommentLuv plugins. It just doesn’t appear genuine.

    It’s time more bloggers learn from this post.

    • Hi Vishal, at the outset thanks so much for staying by and sharing such a lovely thought. I couldn’t have agreed more, it is not about saying that I visited your blog and now it’s your turn, so well said.
      Yes, as writers and bloggers we love to share our thoughts and get into a meaningful and enduring conversations, that takes the topic a notch higher and it is a learning curve both the blogger and reader climb faster…

      Really nice to have you Vishal and looking forward to more engaging discussion.
      Have a great weekend.
      😀

    • Thanks for your nice words. Yes, commenting is the differentiation as far as blogging is concerned, otherwise it is very much the traditional writing…
      It needs equal amount of time and thinking to get the conversation going and adding new dimension to the topic…
      😀

  6. Nihar this topic is of great interest to me. The interaction with others is one of the things I love best about blogging. I believe you and I share that feeling. I know there are some who leave one or two word comments however I often reply back, asking questions of them. I have found that in some cases the person is not confident in English rather than just looking to sell their own blog. I rarely let links that are unasked for stay in the comments. Also agreeing t disagree is an excellent point. What fun would the world be if we all thought the same. I often learn a great deal form those who are disagreeing with me. My line in the sand is if the comment becomes abusive or there is bad language I delete it.
    Do you have rules you stick to on comments received?

    • Yes, Sue I always felt the best form of learning happens through the series of comment we write and read. It is an art and it comes with sincerity and the efforts put in reading and analyzing the topic. As a principle I don’t leave a comment without reading. Yes I don’t allow any comments that are abusing but love comments that disagrees with my point of view and contest and brings new dimension to the discussion, and this comes with trust, once the understanding is developing there is so much fun in sharing and questioning each other’s perspective and it takes time. Do so initially without the trust factor may prove fatal. I like to promote others and help others by sharing their post, twitting their post and talking about their post in other’s comment…sharing, interacting and connecting are the essences of blogging…

      By the way you have a fabulous new look of your blog.
      Thanks so much Sue for a lovely perspective and happy commenting…
      😀

    • You have such lovely ideas on this aspect of comment and conversation, I have just managed to put in summary and able to put it across.
      This is one part of blogging I am deep attachment and have always loved the extension of ideas and discussion that cannot have in the other forms of engagement.
      Always a pleasure to discuss with you and get to know so many new perspectives from you.
      😀

  7. We have so many types of bloggers on blog-o-sphere.
    I sometimes wonder why some bloggers fail to reply to comments. Is the post merely an outflow of thoughts? While other bloggers have an obligation to reply which can be felt in what they write. Very few bloggers know the art of engaging. What we write is an extension of ourselves…in a way, it’s a brand in itself. Can we so careless in handling a brand?

    • Indeed you are so right, it does surprise us why some bloggers fail to comments. It is a wonderful platform for two way communication and sharing of multiple viewpoints and the topic gets the appreciation and addition of new dimensions to the topic through the commenting section. The commenting part of boggling is what makes the blogging as a platform stand out from other publishing medium.
      The progress and success of blogging lies in the art of engagement and consistency in exchange of thoughts and ideas. You have brought a critical aspect of the blogging which has given this tool its due place on the online space.

      Though we have option of being a hobby blogger or become a profession blogger but either way we cannot afford to be careless if we want to make our presence felt and other’s to count on us.