Book Blogger Confessions: Comments

(Hosted by Karen at For What It’s Worth and Tiger at All Consuming Media, the purpose of this twice-monthly meme is to discuss the nuances of being a book blogger. Join in anytime!)

May 7 question: Comments. The holy grail of blogging success! What type of posts do you leave comments on? How do you try to encourage more comments on your blog? Do you respond to people who leave comments on your posts? How do you handle negative/spam comments? Do you use captcha?

Like most bloggers, I love comments. They’re a great way to meet new people, find new blogs, and get feedback on what you’re doing.

My goal is to comment on every post I read, although this doesn’t always happen. I tend to save up posts in my RSS reader and read/comment on them en masse when I have free time; but sometimes I delay too long and end up with 40 or 50 posts that I “saved for later.” In those cases I give it up for lost, skim the post, and forgo a comment.

I’m much better at moderating and commenting on my own posts. I respond to every comment I receive, and encourage discussion by asking questions at the end of each post. Not everyone takes me up on the offer, but I have a few loyal commenters with whom I enjoy talking.

I use the Akismet plugin to moderate comments and zap spam. I hate filling out CAPTCHA fields, and don’t want to make my readers do so; fortunately Akismet is great at sorting what’s real and what’s not, so I’ve never had to take the next step of using a CAPTCHA on my comment form.

Leave your comments about comments in the comments section (how meta)!

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10 comments

  1. Jenny says:

    I live for comments! I love the conversations. I don’t use CAPTCHA because I hate filling those out too. Comments are such a funny thing to deal with, sometimes I base too much on whether I’m getting any or not and try to remind myself that’s not what blogging is all about but it’s hard!

    • amypeveto says:

      The main part of the fun of blogging—for me, anyway—is the conversations I get to have and the people I get to “meet.” Like you, sometimes I focus too hard on getting comments. I guess blogging is a “build it and they will come” kind of thing: you write what you want to write, and hopefully there are more out there like you. :)

  2. Tiger Holland says:

    I like the whole “Conversation in the comments” thing, too. I doesn’t happen much, but it can be really lovely to get an in-depth discussion topic going on a topic of interest to everyone. :-)

    • amypeveto says:

      Agreed, Tiger. I love seeing a conversation happening in the comments section of something I read — it makes me more likely to jump in with my two cents. :)

  3. Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic says:

    Like I said in my post, I comment on every post that I read. Though I organize my RSS in folders so that I am looking at certain categories depending on the time I have. I only read posts once so I open them from my RSS to their blog and comment which I’ve found to be quicker for me. But I will say that I am quite embarrassed at the amount of time that I spend commenting.

    I try to leave meaningful comments in that I give a response based on what I am thinking and any questions I have. But I don’t require meaningful comments on my own blog. It is meaningful enough to me that people let me know they’ve stopped by. I hate that feeling where i feel like I’m talking to myself.

    • amypeveto says:

      I’d love to know more about how you organize your RSS feed. Mine’s all jumbled together with work and personal stuff, and I’m never sure where to start the organizing.

      Why are you embarrassed? Commenting is part of the blogging community! I’m glad you dedicate yourself to it.

      I’m all about meaningful comments. So much so that if all I can think to comment on someone’s post is, “Great review!” I don’t comment at all. I use comments as a feedback mechanism, and treat others’ comments section the same way.

      I know how you feel when you say you don’t like feeling like you’re talking to yourself. That’s the hardest part about starting a blog. You post stuff and think, “Is anyone listening?” :)

  4. Karen says:

    I usually spend about a 1/2 hr a day commenting. I am finding more reviews from my twitter feed these days than my Google Reader. I’m already there and a link pops up & I just find it easier.

    It try to respond to every commenter on my blog either directly or by commenting on their blog.

    • amypeveto says:

      Wow, a half hour, I’m jealous! :) I follow bookish people on Twitter, but generally its the same people whose blogs I already follow, so I get the same stuff whether I’m on Twitter or RSS. Social media is a big part of my job and I love the power of it, but it’s just not something I have the personal time to dedicate to.

      I totally agree about responding to comments. It’s critical to respond when someone leaves a comment.

  5. Kristin T. says:

    I started ending each review with a question and am finding that it is leading to more comments being left. I also try to respond to all comments left on my blog and now that blogger has threaded comments it makes it so much easier.

    I try to leave at least 5 meaningful comments each day on different blogs. Sometimes I get way more done than that, and some days I quite meet that goal. I try to visit different blogs each day and am hoping that doing this will eventually lead people back to my blog.

    • amypeveto says:

      Questions are definitely one way to encourage feedback. I tested out Blogger back when I was just getting started blogging, and the lack of threaded comments was one of the reasons I went with WordPress. Glad to see Blogger’s catching up!

      I’m trying to do better about cleaning out my RSS feed every day, and commenting on whatever’s popped up that day. Maybe I should set a comment goal like you. Something to ponder…

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