Blogging Insights #46 (14 September 2020)

Prompt image for the Blogging Insights prompt

This prompt is the brainchild of Dr Tanya over at Salted Caramel. I’ve recently started following Tanya and her questions are really good. This week, she asks:

Do you think that comments add value to a blog post? If so, how?

Before I delve into this question, can I share how I “read” a post?

I usually see a post in my Notifications panel. Most posts have a title. If so, I can open the post in it’s proper site. My browser then has a little button which loads the post into a “reader” (different to WordPress’s Reader). From there, I can usually listen to the post. Given the state of my eyes, it is far easier for me to listen to a post than to read it. Now, I can read the post if I have to, but it is easier to listen to it.

If a post doesn’t have a title, by the way, I can’t do any of this. I skip the post. I know that somebody probably just spent an hour writing it, but what can I do?

The point is that my browser will detect the post, but not any associated comments. So, if I want to digest these, I have no option but to use my eyes.

Now, I will do this, because like Tanya, I think interaction lies at the heart of this site. But certainly, the shorter the comments are, the easier on my eyes.

Okay, so having said that, let’s answer the question. Which was:

Do you think that comments add value to a blog post? If so, how?

Yes, they are immensely important. Because they provide that interaction. In fact, I would go so far as to say that they are the only thing of importance. To reduce the number of notifications, wp-admin allows us to turn off notifications when somebody follows us, or likes a post.

Don’t get me wrong. I want people to like my posts, but that is a one-way communication – there is nothing I can do in response. So, there is not much point in my knowing about them. Same with followers. I tend to follow the blogs I find interesting rather than engaging in a mutual admiration exercise, although as it happens, there is a lot of overlap. But the point is, likes and follows are one-way.

But if somebody wishes to leave a comment, that is starting a two-way interaction. I can, and will try to, respond.

So, that’s why commenting is important. In fact I often feel guilty if I read a post, then can’t think of a sharp, witty comment to tag onto it, but often I can’t.

I have just one more thing to say, about long comments. I mean, I will live with those, but certainly for those of us who write blogs, if a comment is going to turn into an essay, wouldn’t it be better just to write it as a post in its own right? It’s just that we can add graphics, fornmatting etc. if we do that. And people like me can listen to it instead of having to read it.

For that same reason – brevity – I will try to limit a comment to saying just one thing. If I have two things to say, I will pick the most important. Sometimes, here, I even succeed!

Author: Mister Bump UK

Designed/developed large IT systems, interrupted by a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Now mix development of health-related software with voluntary work and writing. Married, with an estranged daughter.

26 thoughts on “Blogging Insights #46 (14 September 2020)”

  1. You touched on one topic within the comments area that can be tricky. That is ‘lengthy’ versus pithy (short). I talked about that too on my post in response to the question today. I was intrigued to read about ‘how’ you ‘read’ … that sounds quite involved!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. a few clicks. My tip if a comment is long, copy and paste into Google Translate. That allows me to listen, but Google aren’t as good as Firefox, they often don’t get the inflection right. Now that is involved!
      It does have one effect, though, I suspect I listen to more of a post than I would read! I don’t trust myself reading, I can miss key words like “not” – so I come away thinking the opposite opf what the writer intended.


          1. Yhis is a women’s platform, for sure 🀣 Seriously? I love talking to people where we’re all vaguely anonymous, where you can chat to someone of the opposite gender without sex getting in the way. I think we get these voices because of the languages/keyboards we have installed. I have a very nifty French voice on here too, which comes along when I read posts in French.


              1. Yeah, in English I play the fastest (the speed you heard) and it is okay. French posts I play at less than half that speed, even then I miss loads. The other thing, it often doesn’t get the emphasis right, but it’s better than anything else I found.


        1. But I have seen posts where the author has disabled comments (and likes). There is one specific circumstance (for me) why I will do this – if I reblog somebody’s post and I want to channel commenmts to that post instead – so I wonder if anyone will say, “I disable comments because…”?


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