Commenting on Comments

Lorelle on WordPress, one of our favorite Best Blog alums, has a great post up about how to write a good comment. 

Lorelle says a comment is like a resume. if you write good comments, people will want to check your blog out.  So, if you want to make people sit up and pay attention then you have to learn to be a good commenter.   

Kudos to Lorelle for showing people the way to Best Blogging. 

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29 Responses to “Commenting on Comments”


  1. 1 Lorelle VanFossen 8 August, 2006 at 2:33 am

    Ah, shucks, by golly, blush.

    Since comments are the best part of blogging, it’s critical that comments get our undivided attention. After all, your blog might not survive, but the odds are that your comments will come back to haunt you, dozens of years from now. ;-)

  2. 2 bloglily 8 August, 2006 at 5:08 am

    Yikes. Think of all those typos and mispellings! I’d better start proofing and thinking before I type. Thanks Lorelle for this great reminder.

  3. 3 bandgeek1013 8 August, 2006 at 8:48 pm

    Well i was wondering since i’m new to this thing and you have the best blog on wordpress ( alright the sucking up stops here ). I was wondering could you check out my blog and tell me what’s wrong with minds and what i could do to fix it please. Well got to go i have somebody else’s but to kiss now .

  4. 4 bloglily 8 August, 2006 at 9:53 pm

    Hello Bandgeek —

    First, welcome to WordPress. Second, and in answer to your question, you might want to read the FAQ page for some information about Best Blogging good practices.

    Wanting to write a good blog and asking for help doing it isn’t in the least sucking up. The only gain you get from writing a good blog, as far as I can see, is the pleasure of a job well done. Nothing wrong with wanting that.

    My advice? I’d take a look at blogs you read regularly and admire. Try to figure out what they’re doing that you like. And then, every day or so as you write your posts, try to incorporate some of that into your own work. But one thing you’ve got going already is a desire to do well and an enthusiasm for your subject. That’ll take you far!

    Good luck and have fun blogging!

  5. 6 bloglily 9 August, 2006 at 12:12 pm

    Gracias. (She lifts her champagne glass in admiration and thanks.)

  6. 7 secretgeek 9 August, 2006 at 10:18 pm

    What happened to that russian blog?

    If you reconsider, ok, but at least post an explanation.

  7. 8 Michael 10 August, 2006 at 2:51 am

    It’s a been a rough week secretgeek. And to be perfectly honest the whole issue is something I’d just rather forget. Things got somewhat nasty and I feel downright awful right now.

    Do you really want to hear about it?

  8. 9 bloglily 10 August, 2006 at 3:54 am

    Hello Scretgeek,

    Thanks for stopping by. Although I cannot speak for Michael, this is my take on it, as an observer: This site is a community project. An important norm here is that, although it is fine to disagree with the points of view of other WordPressers, it’s not okay to do that with incivility. And it’s certainly not okay to do that in a nasty way by attacking fellow bloggers. We discuss ideas here, not people. (Well, except when you have something nice to say about a person!)

    I suspect that norm was violated by the blog that was removed. The editor who discovered this exercised the choice every one of us has — he deleted the post. That blog can certainly still be accessed by anyone who wishes to do so, of course. Make no mistake, though: the issue here is not the content of his speech, but the manner in which he has chosen to express himself which, I think in Michael’s opinion, stepped over a line. I applaud his choice.

    In the end, there’s a really important lesson here about civility in our discourse with each other, particularly around issues where we don’t agree. But even more, there’s one about the courage it takes to admit you’ve made an error, and to do something about it, as Michael has. He deserves praise and admiration for that, because it’s a most difficult thing to do and one few of us would have found easy. You may not agree with his decision, but you cannot disagree with his intentions, which are to keep this small corner of WordPress a civil, welcoming place for all of us.

    Thanks again for stopping by and asking. And now, we’re on to other blogs and other issues!

  9. 10 soulpatch 10 August, 2006 at 8:49 am

    I’m sure I’ve violated a commenting rule by only skimming Lorelle’s article, but I think the gist was be intelligent in what you say. What if you, like many bloggers, are not native English speakers/writers? Should someone who is still learning English refrain from commenting on an English-language blog because they don’t use proper grammar? Maybe we could come up with a smiley or a country flag avatar that gets attached to our comments if we comment on a blog that isn’t in our native tongue so the blog author doesn’t blast us for the faux pas? Thoughts? I’m being serious here, not sarcastic (if it came across that way).

  10. 11 bloglily 10 August, 2006 at 9:12 am

    Great question soulpatch. (And no, you don’t sound sarcastic at all.) Good manners are a good guide in responding to comments. It’s usually quite clear when a speaker is using a second language. An effort to communicate across the language divide should always be welcomed and applauded, don’t you think? When people visit us from far away, we’d never give them a hard time about the way they use our language.

    And have you noticed that WordPress has a new translation feature? (See Lorelle’s post today for more information.

  11. 12 Michael 10 August, 2006 at 11:21 am

    I think it’s fine as long as your intentions are good. Take Ken for instance. He runs this site and I don’t think English is his first language.

    Also I spent some time talking to a wordpress theme developer and he was very courteous towards me. It depends on what you want to do

  12. 13 K 10 August, 2006 at 8:18 pm

    A very straightforward post. It might be practical to set a commenting rule but nowadays not so many blogs do that. The advantage of comments is that they serve a dual purpose, be it a conversation or plain ‘blah’ or a feedback, it won’t hurt your blogging or the person leaving the comments. It’s really up to smeone to think if the commenter has a corresponding quality or not. In the most extent, writing a post to your blog, you are also part of the conversation. So why not make comments a fun thing to do?

    I really wouldn’t mind getting a not so worthy comments or the lack of english grammar comments for as long as the comment is legit. My favourite comments are those who points out my mistales but I don’t mind getting a “nice post” or “nice layout”, it’s the beauty of blogging which is what really makes a blogosphere alive.

    If a certain comments is kind of misleading or confusing, why not ask the person what he/she really wants? It’s a sign of respect to the person who reads the post, whoelse reads? Of course the readers (first-timer or not).

    It’s not always easy to contribute on a post, but it’s always fun to leave comments whether you like it or not.

  13. 14 bloglily 10 August, 2006 at 10:20 pm

    K — This is so very sensible and tolerant. As you say, one of the beauties of blogging is the conversation that happens among people in the comments section. And that’s such a good tip — if someone says something you didn’t quite get, ask them nicely to clarify their point. Sounds like you’re having fun with your blog, which is just as it should be!

  14. 15 Kaz 10 August, 2006 at 10:47 pm

    I kind of took this post as recommendations if you wanted to (a) get the blogger to listen to your suggestion or recommendation, (b) direct or further the conversation, or (c) get people to take an interest in you and possibly visit your blog.

    I think there are many cases where it is appropriate to comment without wanting to do any of the above. To me, as a blogger, that is okay. But in these case, there are still some of the rules which apply, such as not revealing person information and not attacking the other commenters (or the blogger!) for expressing their view or opinion.

    Personally, I don’t mind an occasional “Great post! Thanks for passing the info on!” type of thing. Of course, I don’t get thousands, or even hundreds of readers a day. I can see where 100+ of these comments might flood the comments, discouraging other discourse.

    Just my $.02

  15. 16 Polaris 11 August, 2006 at 4:37 am

    That was a nice post by Lorelle. Someone once left an email address in a comment to one of my posts, and I didn’t bother to edit it. Now, after reading Lorelle’s post, I think I shall go ahead and do it.

    The part about a comment begin a resume for your own blog is spot on. At times, I am so paranoid about this that, after my comment appears, I will go and click on my link to see if it opens OK and shows the right stuff ;).

  16. 17 bloglily 11 August, 2006 at 4:52 am

    I too like those comments where people just check in and say they liked something. Like you, I don’t have a zillion people saying that. (And if they ever did, well, I’d still let them!)

    Polaris — Well, it worked! I clicked on your link, and your incredibly literate blog showed up beautifully.

  17. 18 plover 11 August, 2006 at 12:20 pm

    I agree with bloglily: kudos to Michael for his careful reconsideration of his post on the Russian Women blog. And also, to those who took the time to respectfully contribute their perspective.

  18. 19 Polaris 12 August, 2006 at 2:14 am

    Wow, thanks Lily: “Incredibly literate” make me feel many inches taller than I really am ;).

    About people who comment sincerely but are not able to express themselves in English, I think one should just leave the comment as it is. If the post is legible and has no spelling mistakes, the “quirky” grammar could indicate the person’s uniquenes, just like an accent. It is hard to be too lenient about this though.

  19. 20 avuee 13 August, 2006 at 12:18 am

    And some people just comment to pimp their own blog. Now that’s not cool. At least if you are going to comment, make it relative to the website or the post. There’s a time and place for everything, really.

  20. 21 Thotstimi 23 August, 2006 at 7:17 pm

    Commenting on comments,
    Well, personally, when someone sent me her blog page, I read through and felt it was cool. Thereafter, opened one.
    Since there are always two sides to a coin (though some believe three), I’d say ’tis not impossible for people to paste nasty comments (one may not like it, but, it’s there own way of expressing their personalities and or fustrations, inferiority..)

    But, why bother? I would rather read through, and learn what’s positive from every comment.
    I see blogging as a way to express yourself, share your thoughts and also interact with multitudes (and still have the option of keeping your privacy).

    Eventually, we’d realise that everyone that drops a comment on our blog, actually took out time to read and respond. think that’s good, ‘cos they must have felt ’twas worth reading.

    Keep blogging.

  21. 22 secretgeek 23 August, 2006 at 8:29 pm

    I still think it’s fine to do with your blog whatever you want, but if you consider some blog to be good enough to be listed, and then change your mind, that does deserve an explanation; otherwise you come across as whimsical and erratic and damage your own, how to say it, credibility.

    Anyway. Whatever.

  22. 23 Apres Ski 7 September, 2006 at 2:14 am

    Good readers, make good writers!

    Those are the facts!

  23. 24 timethief 24 September, 2006 at 8:25 am

    I find it very interesting that Lorelle’s excellent article on comments didn’t lead to these comments above being posted on her blog. But I’m sure that those who have commented here onthe blog that puprports to be “The Best Blog on WordPress”, have enjoyed a unique opportunity to be durected to her blog. Thus they will have no difficulty finding their way to http://lorelle.wordpress.com again and again. And who knows they many even become subscribers to the blog that I consider to be “the best blog on wordpress”. :) *lol*

  24. 25 bloglily 24 September, 2006 at 8:39 am

    Yes, Lorelle is a hero around here too! That’s why we linked to her timely and well written article about commenting. We like how sensible and courteous she is and how she is never too busy to drop in and comment on things herself. She’s a wonder. Thanks for the reminder, timethief. Best, BL

  25. 26 CoCo 12 November, 2006 at 4:26 am

    Comments always put smiles on people’s faces. =) And, it’s always nice to get one in return also. Sadly, some people don’t do the common curtisy of writing a comment back.
    Another thing about comment:
    A good commentor can sell themselves. It’s like an add. People can tell general characteristics about people from their comments. And, if they see what they like then they check out your blog. Well, now I’m new at bloging, but not new at comment giving. Yet, I still don’t know how exactly to do it so people become intrested, but hey! thats the fun right? Learning how to sell youself? … O-O did not sound right! O-O
    AND I’m not talking about prostitution! I swear!! tehe. lol

  26. 27 Pet Lover 1 January, 2007 at 11:38 am

    Hey there was surfing through the internet and found your page on google . Enjoyed the good read wanted to say Happy New Year and keep up the good work.

  27. 28 davidbdale 1 January, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    Lorelle is exactly right about comments. I will often follow a well-written comment back to its source, to give a little traffic to the comment-writer. But I’ll often follow a nasty one, to, out of perverse curiosity. And I’m decidedly more likely to track a comment back to its source if I attracted to the avatar. Is it so wrong to want to strike up a conversation with someone who may not be lovely, but who knows enough to select a good picture of someone who is?


  1. 1 A Bird’s Nest » Administrative Note. Trackback on 10 August, 2006 at 3:41 am

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