February 6, 2007

Comment and Run

Paul and I just had an argument about comment sections of blogs. He said that "everyone on the whole Internet" agrees with his point of view, which is that posting a comment and then never going back to the comment section to see if anyone else has commented on your comment is like going to a party wearing ear plugs. He says the comment section is where people discuss the post, and that it is weird to leave a comment and then "leave the room," as it were.

I say that the comment section CAN end up being a conversation between commenters, and that it's interesting and neat if it does, but the real point of a comment section is to comment to the blogger--more like listening to a speech and then going up to tell the speaker what you thought of it afterward; and I say that he's thinking of chat rooms when he makes his party analogy. I generally leave a comment and then don't return, unless it's the kind of post that leaves me wondering what other people will say about it, too. Paul says that my approach is antithetical to the whole concept of blogging/commenting.

What say you all? Do you return to the comment section of a post you commented on (1) always, (2) sometimes, (3) never? Do you think it's weird or rude not to? Do you think of the comments section as being for (1) comments, (2) conversations, (3) both but more of one than the other?

18 comments:

Leah said...

I think comments sections are what the commenters make of them. On some blogs, I like to comment to the writer and leave it at that; sometimes they get so many other comments that I wouldn't have time to read through them all even if I wanted to. Some blogs regularly get really good commenters, though, and those thoughts and repsonses often add valuable information (or humor) to the content of the original post. In no case, however, do I think it's rude to drop a comment and never return for follow-up. You're right: that's for chatrooms.

Mommy Daisy said...

I agree with you. I sometimes return to a comment that I posted to see what others said. On some blogs there are tons of commenters, so it seems ridiculous to keep checking back and wading through all the comments. But sometimes if my comment was different than the others, I might check back once or twice to see if anyone continued the subject that I started.

Black Sheeped said...

I rarely rarely rarely return to a comment section after leaving a comment. Sometimes I return here because I've learned that sometimes you respond, but generally comments are a one-time thing for me. If I want to respond to comments I get on my blog, I go to that person's blog or email them to respond.

desperate housewife said...

Yeah, I agree with you- Paul's thiking of chatrooms. I will sometimes go back to a blog to see if the author or someone else responded, but not necessarily. Comment sections of blogs CAN become a discussion, but this happens regularly only in big, well-known ones like for instance Ben and Birdy, and frankly I feel bad for Catherine, having to read seventy or eighty comments every time she writes a post!

desperate housewife said...

Um, whoops, thinking, not thiking. That's what I get for recently complaining about someone else's spelling!

Shannon said...

I hate to say I hardly ever return to read the comments. I'm easily sidetracked and am quite forgetful these days.

I never have commented on my own blog in response to comments. I try to e-mail folks though.

Gry said...

I very very rarely return to a comment section of a post. This is especially true if I am rushed that week/it's clear the post won't have a discussion/I don't have an interest in others' opinions (what can I say? I'm a little selfish sometimes). So I hate to leave the room, but... ;)

Swistle said...

Well, I think this sample is already showing that Paul does not have the weight of the entire Internet behind his argument.

Also, it shows me I need to do something about my blog so that I can get email addresses. Right now I can only get them if the person has a Blogger profile, and then I have to go FIND the address IN the Blogger profile. But I know other bloggers can even hit reply and automatically email back the commenter, so I'm going to look into that. Eventually. I'm kind of a procrastinator.

Tess said...

I agree with you as well. I only return to the comments section if I've asked a question in my comment that I hope will be answered. I guess I think of comments as between the author and commentor, sort of in lieu of an email.

alienbea said...

I don't usually go back to a comment section where I've left a comment unless the blog owner is the sort to reply to comments. But even then, I tend to be forgetful and not go back. :)

I like Haloscan (www.haloscan.com) for commenting. There's an area for email addresses if the commenter is so inclined.

Anonymous said...

I leave comments. Then I run away. If I DO go back to read what others have said, it's because I'm either 1)really really interested, or 2) really really bored. Perhaps your husband could take up knittong to occupy all that free time he's using up checking comments sections? Then all your children would have new, warm clothing?

Kelsey said...

When I leave comments I only go back if I used it to address a question to the blogger. And then I only go back if they don't know me or have my email address. Actually, I mostly go back because I am slightly obsessive (you know, in a charming way) and I procrastinate by checking my blogroll (which you've been added to, thanks to Purple is a Fruit) over and over several times a day, just in case anything new is out there. It's even worse than a bad tv habit, and now I have one more place to obsessively check for updates.

Swistle said...

Anon: Ha ha, me too! Either I'm all fired up about the topic (or it's about baby names or something, which I can't keep away from), or I'm so bored I'm clicking on posts I've already read. I don't know why I comment in my own comment sections, considering my philosophy of "people don't check back." I suppose I'm actually commenting for future commenters to read.

I like the knitting idea. But would THE ENTIRE INTERNET agree? He might not do it otherwise.


Kelsey: *groan*--me too. I can't believe I used to go days or weeks without even checking for new posts. Now it's like, first thing in the morning I have to go down to the marketplace and see what everyone's talking about. And then I have to go back every 10 minutes all day.

Kelsey said...

Don't know if you're still checking here, but I came back and saw the comment that related to my comment. :-) And I love the notion of going to the marketplace and seeing what everyone's talking about. That's what PBS is for, right, to give me time to check the blogs?

Kathryn said...

I check back on my comments, generally, but I don't feel like comments sections are designed to be mini-chat rooms/message boards. In fact, I've gotten annoyed with some blogs whose comment sections have gotten out of control, with several hundred comments to each entry, and the whole blog turns into a very cliquey glorified message board.

I leave comments to communicate with the blog owner. If others comment on what I've said, fine, but I usually won't reply beyond that. (Listen to me, all high and mighty-like!)

momofthree said...

I'm avoiding cleaning my house and enjoying myself heartily by reading through your archives instead. I don't always comment. However, I do check back periodically to see what other people have said about a posts I find really funny, etc.; whether or not I've commented.I never know if I'm using semi colons properly; but I'm trying to incorporate them more often. For example, I just read your post about Febreeze (sp) and what else gets out smells and I thought, "Well if no one suggested baking soda 5 years ago then I will." But someone already did and in a much more timely fashion to boot! Other times I just plow on in and say whatever and then I'm like "Oh wait someone else already said that" So I guess that's why I try and make a habit of reading other comments first.

At any rate, we're on Spring Break and over the last few days I've been visiting your archives when I need a break from all the "togetherness" of two kids, a baby a husband and a dog. I love, love, love seeing how your blog has evolved. How it began as a twin blog and then you can see where you started branching out toward the whole baby naming site you have. By the way, thank you again for taking my question last year this time :-) I normally don't like doing smiley faces but sometimes you need to. I also have to thank you for your See's candy reviews. This past Christmas I was able to sit on the couch with my husband's grandmother and make up a box of all the stuff she picked. If not for you I wouldn't have known this was possible. I also made one for my Grandmother with my mom's help. Most of all just thank you. I really enjoy your blog and I'm always happy to see a new post.

Swistle said...

momofthree- What a great comment! Thank you!

momofthree said...

Yay! I just had to let you know :-)