Commenting After Reading Blogs And Threads

Over the weekend, I happened to turn to my blog and found a comment there that perplexed me from a visitor.

The article I had written was a recent one about how people used to job search years ago and how things have changed. Now I’ve had three types of comments in the past; those who responded positively and thanked or added their thoughts, those who intentionally spammed the piece hoping to have me visit their site and get trapped into buying something, and one that had issues with the piece written.

But over the weekend I had a different kind of comment and it was from a young lady who invited me, (and had I favourably accepted it) and others to read her piece all about job searching tips. I was surprised at the complete and total lack of feedback for good or ill on the piece itself I had penned. (well keyboarded actually, but that’s so less sexy!)

And so I imagined this young lady at a gathering of people, walking up to people she didn’t know and after hearing one person talk about whatever was on their mind, start talking herself in an attempt to get the rest of the group to talk about her too. What about the person who had previously been chatting. If you are going to go up to someone who is speaking, shouldn’t you at least say SOMETHING in response to what THEY have said?

On LinkedIn, as well as individual’s blogs, company websites, Facebook and other social media, there is often a space at the end of an article for people to add their comments. The author’s of those pages, and those that design them, put them there and look to them as sources of feedback on what they wrote. Personally, I find the feedback rewarding. Rewarding not so much in a pat-on-the-back, gee you’re terrific kind of way, but in a way that confirms I’ve struck a chord with a reader, got them to pause and think, maybe go so far as to share that thought with me, or lend another opinion, or add something relevant.

And the last thought there; ‘add something relevant’ is what differentiated this young lady’s comment from others I’d previously received. It was relevant. The link I checked out was another website of job tips. Why I wondered however, would I want to visit the site and then leave a positive comment about what I’d read however?

So I wrote an email to her and suggested that when visiting someone’s blog, (and the same applies to when reading someone’s piece on LinkedIn or their Facebook post), it’s only good manners to actually write something about the actual piece you just read. To do otherwise and hurl somebody off to your own site for self-promotion is in bad form.

Imagine you walk into a meeting of the book club at the library, (a public space) where someone is just presenting their thoughts on a book, and as they finish their words, you pipe up and hand out copies of your own book without even acknowledging anything the person just said. Same thing here.

So why am I bothering to write about this today? I’ll tell you this, it is not because I’m hurt or upset. No not really, because I’m not giving her that much influence over me to start my day with annoyance. I’m writing on this piece in with the hope of possibly – just possibly mind – having her or others like her read this and think for a moment. If you take a few seconds to say something – as little as two words such as, “Nice piece”, at least there is an acknowledgement. Then if you reference your own work, it is viewed as collaboration, not self-promotion.

This is quite different from the many readers who read an article and then click away without leaving the slightest hint of their visit. Hard to know really what might trigger someone to start reading something, be interested enough to read the whole thing and then just click to something else. Could be a short attention span, not wanting to disagree and start a lengthy debate, avoid the trap of being on someone’s mailing list – who knows?

So my advice today is that if you are reading something, it’s good form and proper manners to take the briefest of moments to either ‘like’ their piece or write a reply. It’s even acceptable to do neither really because there’s so much on the internet and move on. But what should be a practice to be discontinued is to discount others at the expense of promoting oneself.

If you find yourself wanting to promote yourself at a gathering of people, one of the best things you can do is start by listening to other people, and then ask them questions, reply with positive feedback or even debate assertions they make with courtesy and respect. Taking an interest in others gets people interested in you. The same thing applies on the internet, perhaps more so.


17 thoughts on “Commenting After Reading Blogs And Threads

  1. As far as “hurling someone off to your own site,” I would have something to say about that. There are self-serving promoters and all of us digital marketers and journalists get a good look at them (Lose weight now; join this multi-level), BUT there are also people (like myself) who may like to share their pages and/or websites simply because I think that the people who are interested in the content of that site may also be in my sphere of interest, to share information with and ideas!

    The name of the gamein this digital world is SHARING. Please, don’t be so quick to judge those “self promoters;” we are not all self-serving, simply interested in stirring the pot in a positive, SOCIAL way.. It is all good. And note that I did not list my website, my blog or my Facebook page. 😉


    1. Thanks for your reply smokyhillsdiary and your comments. You stance is one I share entirely. You see if you want to drive traffic to your own website because the content would be of interest to others, then by all means I support you in doing so. My advice and hope however would be that in doing so, you also comment – however briefly on the original posters words, even just a short acknowledgement. I’m sure you’d hope for the same.



      1. Thank you for that response and your enthusiasm to share! Thumbs up. I have shared some quotes from this blog entry all day today. Very excellent advice. Please do like, comment and share…it is how the social media thing works after all!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Kelly,
    I have read many of your blog entries with great interest, and found them enlightening, educational, thought-provoking and have often related to them having worked in job services in Australia. I have never felt compelled or thought it necessary to comment, perhaps because I use the internet as a way to relax and unwind without pressure while still hopefully absorbing some useful information.

    I agree completely with the last paragraph of your article. The rest of the article, I am sorry to say, reads like sour grapes. It does not do you justice as an engaging and informative blog writer. I don’t think you should take this person’s comment so personally. I think it falls into one of your comment categories: spam. People or businesses often try to find similar content to theirs online and spam it with their own website hoping to get more people to visit. It’s not always about buying something.

    It would be nice if people on the internet behaved with the same courtesy and etiquette as one would expect in face-to-face interactions but the reality is they don’t. Some people are still working on getting polite behaviour right in person!


    1. Thanks for your point of view Claudia, really appreciate the time you took to respond and your support. Sorry if it came across as sour grapes as that wasn’t the intent.

      Really just wanted to write about and hopefully educate people to actually think about commenting in some way (good, bad or otherwise) on something a person writes instead of appearing to just drag traffic to their own site.

      And you are SO right in your last statement how some people are still working on polite behaviour in person.


    2. Hmmm…I have been struggling with this question for awhile…commenting: is it polite? Some writers, teachers, and speakers would give a hearty “no.” Sit politely and listen. People are actually offended in social settings if someone asks a question or offers some input, polite though it may be (non-interruptive and pleasant.) It is still viewed as someone else “trying to steal the thunder” and I have witnessed so many who get ruffled when others have something to say, that I have begun to wonder about our whole social mentality…are we sheeple? Gee, I hope not. Yes, it is rude to comment with something to buy or trying to grandstand on someone else’s comment thread. But I wish more people would comment, ask questions and share. I fear a future world where people will see it as survival to keep their mouths shut….and their minds.


      1. You demonstrate a reflective wisdom that I admire and wish I ran into more often. I think that commenting, engaging in debate, challenging, or simply inquiring is healthy and it really helps if done respectfully.

        In my workshops I love questions as they arise. Whenever I’m told to save my questions to the end of other presenters, I take that as a sign that interaction isn’t welcome, or at best it’s only welcome once the speaker has completed their own agenda. I personally feed off the energy of my audience, and respond with more myself when they do. This ebb and flow lets me know the audience is engaged.

        I hope you never stop adding your voice to threads and conversations when you may be voicing what others are only thinking. Advice should never be a one way street because we can learn so much from each other!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. But here’s another thought on this–or two…I read some blogs but nothing regularly. When a piece really resonates with me, I might comment. Often it doesn’t “do much” for me or is so closed minded that it’s not worth the effort. That is one reason I’d not comment. The other is that so many blogs seems to want you to “register”–like yours does–with my email or other information. While I understand why this may be required, I don’t want my email “out there” in places I may never visit again, ever. It only opens my email account up to spamming.


    1. Valid points Jane! In my case, when I set up the site, I honestly can’t recall making it mandatory to have visitors include their email to comment. If there was a choice, I missed it.
      Rest assured, I won’t be spamming you – and if it happens feel free to let me know. I don’t always comment on blogs I visit, but I do if the comment is of interest. To each there own I suppose Jane.


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