Blog lurking: why is it so hard to comment?

The other day on Twitter, I had this short conversation with a friend.

We both realized we’d been lurking on the same blog and hadn’t left a comment despite being inspired by it! As a result, we both left comments on this blog and had a bit of a conversation about why people don’t tend to leave comments. We decided to have a #resolution to comment on more people’s blog posts to let them know that we have read what they wrote and we appreciate it :D.

So why don’t people leave comments on blog posts?

I’m just theorizing here; I think maybe the ‘like’ mentality of Facebook has caused us to become more lazy in our interactions with people. It is so easy just to click that ‘like’ button, to +1 it, to retweet it on Twitter, and never really to engage with the person who wrote it! It takes more effort to come up with a few short sentences to leave a comment on someone’s post and it does mean that we need to interact with what they have said; do we agree with their statements? Did something they said made us look at something an new way? Did they ask a question that we could give our point of view on?

Why should we leave a comment?

Lots of reasons!

  • Blog posts typically take a while to write and thus the writer has invested heavily in them
  • Comments really encourage the blogger to keep on writing and gives them feedback on what was good about the post
  • It keeps the feedback in one place; twitter conversations/compliments are fantastic but get lost quite easily
  • It forms a connection with that person
  • It carries on the conversation
  • Other people comment on our blogs (at least I hope they do :D)

So what’s the resolution?

I’m still trying to come up with a succinct resolution – maybe you could help me out by leaving a comment! πŸ˜› How about:

A. I resolve to comment on at least three blog posts that I have read this week

B. I resolve to leave a comment on EVERY blog post I read this week(!)

C. If I retweet it, like it, +1 it, I will leave a comment as well

What do you think? Which one is most manageable?


– Bloggers Creed by miss miah on Flickr via CC License.


28 thoughts on “Blog lurking: why is it so hard to comment?

  1. Great post Abby! I completely agree with everything you said esp. reasons why people may not comment on blogs. As a blogger it is so awesome when you do get a comment- I normally do a happy dance they are so rare! I’m definitely going to make the commitment to comment every time something on a blog truly inspires me ( ‘A’ on your resolution list).

    And since we are on the topic of comments, if anyone wants to comment on my blog the URL is ( a bit cheeky I know!)

    • Thanks for the comment Julia πŸ˜€ I do agree; I think if something inspires you or makes you think, it is nice if you can share that with the person who wrote it. It doesn’t have to be a long comment; even something like: “Thank you for being so honest/inspirational/whatever” is fine πŸ™‚

  2. I agree with your post but I’m not sure I agree with your solutions. There is little point in adding a comment if you don’t have anything useful to say. Maybe if you would feel compelled to respond on Twitter or Facebook then do so on a blog too!

  3. I opt for B. I am a firm believer in kindness and feel if we have time to read, we have time to comment.

    There’s a monthly art challenge where we complete a piece of art then post a link to our blog post about it. I visit each blog and comment on each one. Why? Because it makes me sad seeing newcomers, or people who aren’t so skilled, with no comments whereas the ‘rock stars’ have dozens of comments. What does that do for those newcomers – how welcome do they feel?

    It’s the same with librarians. We visit the blog, learn something and go away better for having been there. But what about the blogger? Maybe they’re having a crisis of confidence and really needed the boost of a kind comment. Or perhaps they’re having a hard time at work and want feedback about things they’re thinking or trying to achieve.

    In a minute or two you can make someone’s day; why not spread the love?

    • Even if you don’t have anything good to say? What if you thought a post was boring or unoriginal – do you lie and say something nice anyway or try and think up something good/constructive to say?
      (Just playing devils advocate here, it’s rare that I don’t connect with a library blog on some level)

      • Devil’s advocate? Excellent!
        Mel I do know what you mean. Back to the art for a moment – I can always say “hey, thanks for sharing your art with me”.
        I’m a ‘find something constructive’ person but might add that they could look at a particular article or whatever to move things along a bit.

      • Hi Mel and Cath – thanks for your comments πŸ™‚ I can understand where you are coming from Mel – if it’s just commenting for the sake of commenting then it can seem a bit pointless/spammy πŸ˜€ I was more thinking of it as Cath said to encourage people, respond to their points, just say thank you for making you think. As I said to Julia, it doesn’t have to be a very long comment – one sentence is fine πŸ˜€ Or do you think that one sentence might not come across very well? I guess it all depends on the way you read it! Thus I probably would never do option B – comment on every blog post I read. But then it depends; some blog posts I read in their entirety because I am really interested in what they are saying; others I skim quickly and move on. Guess it depends on how you use the term ‘read’…

  4. I tend not to comment because they seem to get out of hand for me – it’s like I’m posting a blog post reply on someone’s blog, which feels a bit like trespassing. In the past I’ve gotten long replies to my long reply, and I’ve felt like I monopolized the blogger’s time & space. I’ve tried blogging myself, but was amazed how quickly I found I had nothing to say!

    • Thanks for your comment Craig; I guess it does depend on the type of post. Some posts are more controversial/discussional whereas others can just be personal reflection or saying how you see something. I have seen some posts where the comments almost take over the post, but the discussion can be really interesting – often as interesting as the post that started that thinking in the first place. I think some people might be more comfortable with the blogging format than others, and that is fine too. This point of this post was to encourage you to post if something inspires you or makes you think; even just a quick line to show that you read it and appreciated it πŸ˜€

  5. I love your suggestions – would toss up between A. and C., I think – but I am guilty of not being able to keep track of blogs… Hopefully during the course of ANZ 23 Mobile Things this will improve.
    I have blogged in the past, and am about to resurrect it to keep track of my learning processes, and did find it quite discouraging at times thinking that I was writing entirely for myself…

  6. I agree with Mel. I read lots and lots of posts but hardly ever comment because I don’t think I’d add anything of value to the post. Also, I feel obliged to write more than one sentence which can be difficult πŸ™‚

  7. I am probably more of a A response kind of person, adding comments to at least a few blogs each month (sometimes I go weeks without catching up on blog posts, and then blitz through catching up with them all in a week or so).

    I agree with Mel, in that I generally only add a comment if I have something (usually positive) to say. I am more likely to ReTweet something than comment on a blog though.

    The thread of the post + comments has definitely given me food for thought though πŸ˜‰ Glad that you & JdeR both made the effort to comment. #challenge

    • On a related note – are one sentence comments frowned upon? Would you be upset if someone left a one-liner on your post saying something like: “I enjoyed this post; thank you.”? Would you feel that they should have written more or not bothered? Or would you enjoy the feedback and knowledge that one person was impacted by your post? Hmmm – lots of food for thought πŸ™‚ Just thought I’d chuck that out there as a few people have noted that they feel they would need to say more in a comment. Thanks everyone for all your comments, btw; it’s great hearing so many different points of view!

  8. I’m in the camp that says only comment if you feel moved to. If it’s a one-liner just for the sake of commenting, I wouldn’t do it. I feel exhausted just thinking about responding in writing to everything I read! But as a blogger I know it’s great to get comments. I don’t believe they always have to been kind either – bring on the devil’s advocates and the comments that make me question my beliefs.That’s how we grow in our thinking. By the way, love your blog! Mine’s here (shameless plug for new blog to follow…)

  9. Aaargh! Trying to be a ‘non-lurker’ but having issues commenting on Blogger! Why can’t I just log in through Twitter like with this blog?

  10. I tend to leave a reply or post, mostly keep it short unless it is something I’m really passionate about or feel strongly about then it could be more detailed.
    I think some people might be more comfortable with the blogging format than others, but I do think we need to encourage you to post if something inspires you or makes you think; even just a quick line to show that you read it and appreciated it As Abigail said it makes us bloggers feel good and what we are doing is worth the effort and time. Kim

  11. As a colleague just said to me it’s a time factor she like to read well but doesn’t have time to reply on all blogs etc that she reads. Also she has a problem of remembering her password LOL:)

  12. There are many technosocial design issues involved in commenting. I think we should study what motivates/inhibits people, and which systems work better and why. There is fierce and increasing competition for any user’s attention and expressions; what makes Twitter, Facebook, HuffPo, Disqus, etc. more successful?

  13. mostly it’s because I am over awed by the amazingness of the post or the other comments and think what me…and simply scoopit or share it with others. Your solution to always place a comment if you share it is I think the best solution for me, and guess what ? I am now commenting too! cheers

  14. Love this post and all the comments! We have a blog with multiple writers, some of whom get discouraged by the lack of comments. I try to reassure them that people are reading, even if they’re not always commenting. This totally reinforces that!

    I am guilty of lurking on most of the blogs I follow. I usually just tweet,, or bookmark the good stuff… mostly because while I appreciate the content, I don’t always have much to add. This is a good reminder to me that we all appreciate feedback and I should make a better effort to comment.

  15. Pingback: Catherine's Online Learning Journal » Blog Archive » #blogjune

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  19. I find it hard replying to the comments I do get, without saying the same thing over and over. Maybe if I got more practice…. πŸ˜€

  20. Pingback: Catherine's Online Learning Journal » Blog Archive » More on Comment July

  21. The number one reason I don’t comment is that it’s too hard to comment on my phone, and that’s almost exclusively the device I use for reading blogs. I read in Feedly and I have to go out to the blog to comment. I also have problem with Disqus within Feedly, and I have lost lengthy comments numerous times when prompted to log in with either WordPress or Twitter. Even if I go to the blog in my web browser on my phone, so many blogs aren’t optimised for mobile and the experience is crappy there too. If commenting was as easy as it is on Facebook or Instagram, I would comment a whole lot more. For me, this tech barrier is pretty much the only reason I don’t comment as much as I’d like to.

  22. I really enjoyed this post and all the ensuing conversation. Thank you to everyone above me in this thread : ) I am a B and C, Abigail, and actually find it hard not comment. Also, I do worry about taking up too much space with my reply. I liked your question about whether people mind a brief response only, and will actually go with that now perhaps more than I had. So that is one new thing I learnt from your post today !!
    I have gleaned from experience, at least from my own point of view and personality, to go with my instinct and comment if something has touched a chord or taught me something new etc. In all channels of discourse, and personal and professional. I tossed with following up with an email after an enjoyable and productive meeting with a new colleague at work, and was very glad I went with my instinct in the end when she replied with “that’s one of the nicest emails I’ve read all year”.

    There are also many times when the person, whose work I’ve gone out of my way to comment on, has replied to say how much my recognition or encouragement has meant to them.

    I also try to briefly summarise or quote from something that I RT, and appreciate it when I read a RT elsewhere that does the same as I find it quite useful — but I also do not mind on the other hand when fellow Tweeter simply RT as everything I see is a learning experience.

    Also, totally, the device I am on makes a difference and things I read on my phone I might often mentally tag to comment on later but find that really is not that practicable. Also, KatieDavis, I hear you — how many times have I lost a carefully typed out and thoughtful reply, only to lose it all on my phone : /

    So, in summary, I think that a major component of this ‘responding’ thing is an extension of ourselves and our natural manner (says I, as a Gemini and probably bit of an ‘octopus’ too : )) plus circumstances, but it is also useful to read a discussion like this and reflect on some things we may not have thought of doing, and indeed how others feel about doing or not doing them.

    Thank you so much to everyone who contributed, and Abigail for the prompt to thought. Have a nice day, everyone, from Brisbane : )

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