Your Comments Have Left The Building

It’s true. Your comments have pulled an Elvis and left the building. I first noticed this when Google Buzz came out. Wendi said people were discussing the posts. I thought “Great!” and went to check our comment section and – nothing.

That was when Wendi told me all the action was on Buzz. Well, if that wasn’t a bubble buster.

Then I noticed more people were discussing posts on Facebook and Twitter. Even our good friend Friar heard the sound of crickets on his blog after having a very active commenting section.

Something To Talk About

Although people are still talking it’s very difficult for those of us who cut our blogging teeth on active comment sections to accept this expanded commenting wave. For many bloggers, the comment section is what told us our blogs were thriving, people were reading and finding value in what we write.

Unless you’re active on the social networks you may be missing a lot of the conversation. Personally, Facebook is the only social network I keep up with on a daily basis. Twitter I check maybe once a week, or whenever the mood takes me. There’s just too much noise on there to keep up with. And Buzz? Fuhgeddaboudit. I don’t like it and refuse to use it – contrary to Wendi’s urgings to do so.

Okay, so maybe Buzz is now a matter of pride. But even so, I really don’t need another place to check.

While it’s great that people are still talking, my feeling is that our blogging communities are getting to diluted. The comments used to be all about bringing people together and discussing the topics at hand. Now instead of an intimate conversation, it’s like trying to have a discussion yelling across the Grand Canyon.

Comments Come Home!

If you want to show your favorite blogger some real love, leave a comment on their site. Comments are instant gratification for us. Sure it’s nice to get a post Tweeted or shared on Facebook, by all means, don’t stop doing that; or discussing in those forums. But make a house call, too. Drop in and give a “personal” appearance and share your thoughts in more than 140 characters.

I know when I read a post I’ll share it on Twitter and Facebook AND leave a comment on the blog.  Let your bloggers really know you’re there and not just a faceless number in the Tweet count.

What do you think? Are comments dying and moving on to different places for good? Is it too much hassle to comment? Let’s hear about it. Right here. Right now.

Comments

  1. Betsy Wuebker says

    Hi Deb – I noticed this happening early last fall when (coincidentally? I think not) I ramped up the distribution/promotional tools on social media for PassingThru. Meaning I coordinated with Facebook better, primarily, using Networked Blogs and other reminders. I added Pete as an admin so it’s getting double the play from each of our accounts. We do this with Twitter as well. We need to do a better job on our pages for our stuff, though. It’s hard to stay on top of it all.

    So when I saw the comments go down and the comments split and migrate on FB, I emailed a couple of people to see if they were experiencing that, too. Reaction was mixed – again, one of the folks I emailed didn’t really use FB all that much at the time but has since started using it more, another’s posting frequency was decreasing to eventually go dormant, and the other added more distributive tools.

    Pete’s an analytical (thank God) and, in the continuing process of refining his strategy for his day job, has come up with a more organized, systematic approach to promote his stuff. I’ve piggy-backed those methods, but in a more inconsistent way. The challenge is to be disciplined enough to keep up because not all of the promotion can be automated – it needs to be interactive.

    I’m with you on Buzz – the jury is totally out with me. I look at it, but I must not be using it in the same way Wendi is because I just.don’t.feel.the.love.there. And I keep “forgetting” to use Twitter because I always get sucked down the time hole. It will be interesting to see what happens to Twitter in the next 6 – 12 months.

    So…..I think it’s okay to use whatever social media you decide to use to carry the conversation about your blog. I don’t think it’s too much of a hassle to comment on blogs (obviously LOL) but I do see the conversations occurring in the different venues. And I think whatever the decision, you’ve got to hit the sweet spot of consistency and regularity (no, not that kind!) in order to be most effective.

    Right now I am involved in the process of developing a social media template for franchisees in the gift business I work with. Most of them are just beginning with social media, or heavy in one platform (generally FB). We’re studying up to see what the best, non-threatening approach and recommendations might be and we have to get that done by mid-May meetings in order to present it to them. Things are changing with rapid-fire pace and we’ve undergone a couple of modifications already in the presentation. It’s tempting to just pull an all-nighter before the meeting in order to give them the best info.

    Sometimes I wonder, too, if we give social media all this importance because *we* are involved with it. I mean, there are so many people who do not even read blogs, much less write them, and aren’t using social media. Are they merely Luddites, or are they dinosaurs? Or are we wasting a lot of time and missing the boat?

  2. Scott Roche says

    Yeah I’ve noticed that too. It’s hard to keep track. I’ve rolled with that in Facebook since I pipe my blog posts there too and I’ve had livelier discussions there too. But tracking on twitter? Fuhgettaboudit. So yeah, I’m all for showing my favorites some love on their actual site.

  3. Lance says

    Hi Deb,
    In general, I have noticed a decline in the number of comments I get, too. I think part of that is related to people who were typically regular commenters either moving on or moving away from blogging. And the amount of tweets has remained constant. That does lead me to believe that the social media “comment” is still there. Perhaps because it is quicker?

    I definitely understand the value of comments, and appreciate them very much. Anyway, great subject to discuss – as we move forward and look at shifts that are taking place.

  4. Davina says

    Hi Deb.
    I was just writing a draft post about comments over the weekend that may or may not be published. I haven’t noticed a decline in comments so far. But I too refuse to use Buzz and I’m not on Facebook either. I joined Twitter a year and a half ago and that’s where I’m staying for the time being. There ARE too many places to check, otherwise; I can see it becoming a time suck away from reading and commenting, for sure. I tried Facebook but never warmed up to it.

    As for commenters dropping off, the longer a person is blogging the comments get spread over a larger circle. It’s difficult to get to the same blogs as you branch out to new ones. Some blogs I get around to less, but I’m still subscribed to. Some, you just get tired of reading the same stuff over and over again.

  5. Davina says

    One thing I forgot to mention is that the unfortunate, sad reality of blogoland is that generally comments are returned handshakes (with the exception of some readers who keep coming back for more). You give and then you get. Unless, of course you’re a problogger where you hit publish and the masses come. My ego begs to differ, but I’d rather be the little guy with a moderate number of comments though :-)

  6. Deb Dorchak says

    Hey all! I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed a drop. I thought it was due to being “new”, but when I noticed how much comments have spread across the web I knew I couldn’t be the only one to spot this.

    @Davina: I think you’re right about the “Pros” in that they get new readers every day so there’s a perpetual source of commenting enthusiasm. And you know what? After having been on a blog that ran with the big dogs in the pack, I’m glad I don’t have the avalanche of comments. Sure, I still enjoy the conversations, like right now, where it’s small and comfortable. And if it stays this way? I’m cool with that. People know where to find me, whether it’s here or Facebook. As long as they’re reading, that’s all that matters.

    @Lance: The only constant is change, eh? All we can do is watch the trends, adapt and evolve.

    @Scott: The comments on Facebook do seem livelier, don’t they? I haven’t quite figured out why yet. But it’s fun!

    @Betsy: You wrote a mini-guest post! Bravo! Keep us updated on what you find with your study, I’m curious to know what you discover. I think you have a good point about creating a strategy for using your social networking. For me it comes down to the places where there’s low levels of background noise. Twitter for me is about quick comments or passing on a shot of info. It’s fast and easy. And it’s also in a separate program I have to remember to open.

    I have Facebook and Twitter connected to my Trillian/Astra account and that’s open on my desk. I finally had to remove Twitter from that – far too many little pop up notifications happening with nothing really relevant to me.

    Facebook is different because I just have the chat connections in there. I have always been an IM person and prefer the little one on one convos. So if anyone ever wants to ping me and chat or just say hi, I’m usually around and will take the time out for it. For me it’s like getting a phone call from a friend. If I’m busy I’ll say so and catch up later, but for the most part of all the ways to connect, IM is still my favorite.

  7. Friar says

    Argh. I can never figure out comments. I can spend hours on a carefully-thought out post and nobody shows up. But then I post something like a photo of a dead fish, and I can’t keep people away.

    But I dont’ think it’s just because of FB and Buzz. Because some topics continue to be trendier than others.

    If you want to generate comments, here are a few sure-fire winners:

    (1) Say something blatantly obvious, but politically correct (like “Racism is bad.”). And everyone will jump on the bandwagon, patting themselves on the back and feel good about themselves, saying how they agree with you.

    (2) Cut and paste an inspirational quote from somewhere. Or quote a Cool Kid Blogger. Takes little or no effort on your part, and everyone will chime in and agree.

    (3) Be a Mommy and write something about your darling precious children. It’s a known fact that 95% of all bloggers happen to be Mommy-Bloggers. So you wont have a shortage of fans.

    (4) Offer “Tips” on how to something to improve your life. Even if you paraphrase what someone else just wrote. Nobody will notice or care. Self-help is always big.

    (5) Tell everyone you’re either sick with the flu, or depressed about some personal issue. Leave it open-ended. Everyone will write in to console you. If not praise you.

    (6) Be a Cool Kid. Then it won’t matter WHAT you say. Even if it’s totally lame, like reminding people that they need oxygen to breathe. The Yes-Men will come out in droves.

    And here are things that tend to discourage comments:

    - Post some original fiction that you wrote.

    - Or original poetry

    - Or original artwork.

    - Write something educational (Not touchy-feely, though…but technical-related)

    - Post something that goes against the BlogoLand Status Quo.

  8. Allison Day says

    Friar – I hear you on that one, tech posts scare people away like it’s the plague! Although you know me, I wouldn’t mind some more Perfessor Friar posts from you… :D

  9. Deb Dorchak says

    @Friar: Have I told you lately how much I adore you? Ok, How to improve your comment section according to Deep Friar…

    1. Blatantly Obvious: A deep fried cheeseburger, served with a side of poutine and a slice of cookie dough cheesecake is the tastiest meal ever.
    2. Inspirational Quote: I think just last week I quoted Gene Kelly.
    3. Kids/Pets: Lakota was an adorable kitten…wanna see? *pulls out 3 inch thick photo album that says “Baby Pictures: Volume I” on the cover*
    4. The Secrets of Life: Eat more bacon. Need I say more?
    5. Illness: Our Allison is currently sick and drinking Nyquil cocktails. Your condolences and sympathy requested!!! Bring her a Snow Monkey.
    6. Be a Cool Kid: I’m already a Cool Kid. In fact, I was cool before the cool kids became cool. You want to be like me? Buy my latest self-help book. We had it bound in bacon and the pages printed on Kraft Singles. Double win. If you don’t like the content then you can eat my words. ;)

  10. Karen Swim says

    Showing my love by leaving a comment on the blog. :-) Deb, I agree it has been a shift for me too but I have been saying for years that one of the problems bloggers have is we largely “talk to” other bloggers. In comparison to the rest of the world there is a small percentage actively involved in social media. We are the shiny new kids off to play with other toys to see if they break when we drop them out of windows. If we can reach the much bigger majority of non-bloggers, aka “real people” we can enlist them to bring community back to our front step. In the meantime, we will have to find better ways to manage those scattered conversations.

  11. Wendi Kelly says

    Yes!!!!!

    Karen, Marketing minds unite!! That was a big concern from my early days at LLI. Though my blogging friends have turned out to be some of my best friends, business associates and my partner, they are not always our target market for clients. To find them, we have to leave our comfort zone and go where the clients are.

    Hiding behind the comment doors of our blogs is the slow way to success for sure. To me it has to be a happy mixture. A multi-media approach that sadly means a lot of extra work right now. I look forward to the genius that can integrate these comment sections into one cohesive thread that we can comment on and follow no matter what platform we are on because I agree, I want to talk to my facebook, buzz and twitter friends and not miss the convos but right now, I can’t spend half my day chasing down good conversation threads and keeping up with them all.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Subscribe without commenting