What keeps me from commenting

One of my goals at work is to comment more on blogs. It’s tough. I am not a commenter. I try, and often fail miserably. I get so far as to actually typing in the entire comment and then at the last minute I delete it all and move on. I will agonize over the three sentences in a comment more than I will over a post.

What kind of craziness is this?

I thought maybe I’d ease into the world of comment-maker by leaving them on sites I’ve been reading by people I know (or sort of know, or might know). I still can’t do it.

It’s weird and I think it gets to the crux of my shyness. Here’s my theory: I don’t care what you think of me when I’m on my turf. However, on your turf I’m scared as hell of looking like a doofus. I’m not sure why it is that I care, but that’s the only thing I can think of that causes such paralyzing fear.

What’s even more irrational is I know, I know, I know that bloggers are thrilled with getting comments — especially if they are anything other than “UR an dummyass” — and yet I am commentless.

Holy crap it’s lame. So I ask you, darling commenters, what is that allows you to make the leap from silent reader to super-awesome commenter? Should I eat more spinach or something?

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  1. Doug 21.Jan.09 at 10:52 pm

    I M an dummyass but its OK. So iz everyone.

    Just don’t overthink. U will b fine.

  2. Jodi 21.Jan.09 at 10:55 pm

    You forgot the kthxbai.

  3. Nan 22.Jan.09 at 5:44 am

    I’m also a reluctant commenter (as evidenced by the fact that I’ve been reading your blog for a while and have never commented). My advice: type your three sentences, check for errors and press submit. What’s the worst that can happen? But, as I said, I’m a reluctant commenter so you may not want to take my advice.

  4. Bill Roehl 22.Jan.09 at 8:29 am

    Depends on the blog. Some are engaging and seem to beg for comments, others are just random spouting of information that don’t necessarily warrant a response. Obviously, this one asked a question and I felt compelled to respond 😉

    On my own site, I attempt to engage the readership to add content to the site. Since I began asking for input in the posts themselves, my readership has expanded, interaction has gone up, and I think the site has improved overall.

    YMMV 🙂

  5. Rich 22.Jan.09 at 9:12 am

    You’re doing it backwards! Start by commenting on blogs you *don’t* often frequent – no pressure to match the tone or sensibilities of the core commenting gang. I comment at random on posts all over the place, and force myself *not* to go back every few hours waiting for reply/affirmation/a good fight. Call it Drive-By Commenting…

    …but don’t call it community-building. I guess that’s a problem for those trying to build community on the web.

    (look at how I’m not going to check that “Email followups” link!)

  6. david 22.Jan.09 at 10:34 am

    I am much more a reader than a commenter, too, and am more likely to interact with bloggers directly than comment on ther blog (unless the blog discussion warrants a direct response). Still, I am much more likely to comment on the blogs I read regularly, and often cringe after I hit the “submit comment” button when reading my off the cuff remarks and often sloppy spelling (I am a horrible typist).

  7. NBFB 22.Jan.09 at 12:12 pm

    Just be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.

  8. bakiwop 22.Jan.09 at 12:14 pm

    stop thinking so much about it. as is perfectly obvious from most of my comments, i think hardly at all when commenting.

    and, commenting is like writing – the only way to do it is to do it.

    and there is never any need to eat spinach.

    unless, of course, you need to save olive oyl.

  9. Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah 22.Jan.09 at 1:51 pm

    What helped me make the leap was being a loudmouthed buttinski in real life.

    What I think will help you is thinking of a blog post as a casual conversation. There is no pressure. If your comment isn’t brilliant nobody cares. They are just glad you are reading their post and took the time to acknowledge it.

  10. Jason 22.Jan.09 at 3:29 pm

    OH man I only started commenting on things this past year. There is a lot of anxiety for me about this – replying to people’s Twitters too, I was always deleting what I’d say. I still do this but not as habitually. I just try not to dwell on it. In my head still turn what I just wrote into something awful or trite but I try to just let it pass.

  11. tito 22.Jan.09 at 4:03 pm

    do what I do: use the name tito perez. I am, in fact, Brad Pitt but use this tactic to keep the government from tracking me.

  12. Ryan 22.Jan.09 at 10:43 pm

    So there’s this acquaintance I respect/admire and would love to be friends with. She maintains a blog which is basically an online diary of her activities & thoughts. About this time last year, she had a series of very negative posts, and finally posted something that could’ve been interpreted as a suicide note. I wrote a fairly long, supportive & positive comment, and then spent the next 20 minutes hovering over the “submit” button. “I barely know her, won’t she think it’s creepy I follow her blog this closely?” “What if I’m over-reacting to her words?” I worried. I finally submitted it, and immediately closed my laptop and went to bed, as if to hide from any negative repercussions.

    She had a new post the next day, but it contained no acknowledgment of my (or the many other) supportive comments. And we’ve conversed since then (however briefly) also with no hint or recognition of that comment. Yeah, it seems very anticlimactic, but I think what I learned from it was that blog comments (unlike tweets, IM, or email) are not considered conversation. You, the blogger, have published a creative work for us to consume, critique, admire; and our comments can only strengthen & validate your work by adding context. Comments are a reaction to our interpretation of your work.

    Want comments? Take a stand that we’ll react to, and leave some things unwritten so we’re forced to critically think about what you’ve said.

  13. Jodi 22.Jan.09 at 10:49 pm

    I totally disagree. I think the comments are a conversation. Otherwise, why even give readers the option?

    For a long time I felt as though the comment field here on I Will Dare was solely the space for readers and not for me. In my mind I had the rest of the blog to spew my nonsense.

    Then someone, I believe it was UH, called me out on my unresponsiveness and I’ve tried to be better ever since.

    That being said, I’m not whining (at least right now) about a lack of comments here, but more on my own inability to leave comments on other sites.

    I’m a wussy.

  14. becky 23.Jan.09 at 8:43 pm

    Sometimes I put pressure on myself to be extra witty in comments. I’m trying to overcome that, and just let the writer know that I enjoyed what they wrote, or it made me think, or I just wanted to contribute to the convo. And yes, I think comments are a conversation.

  15. AC 23.Jan.09 at 9:49 pm

    Are you an introvert??
    Maybe that is it.

    Or, maybe the blogs just aren’t that good or worth commenting on.

    When it’s something good and you have something to say, I am sure you will.

  16. Lori 23.Jan.09 at 10:19 pm

    I read your blog every day and rarely comment. I love knowing what’s going on with you, but I don’t have much to add. It’s kinda like watching a soap … just an observation. Ya know?

  17. Jodi 23.Jan.09 at 10:21 pm

    Oh, I totally know what you mean. I think that’s often how I am when it comes to how I read blogs, just a passive viewer.

  18. RJ 24.Jan.09 at 10:33 am

    I never leave comments on blogs. Ever.

  19. Kristy 24.Jan.09 at 9:58 pm

    I comment only when I have something pertinent to say or when a question is asked of me “the blog reader”. Then I feel I’ve been invited or I am contributing something worthwhile. I wanted to say that now that I’ve read this blog post I don’t feel so bad about having had only the rare comment left by you….at which I was gushing because you’re kinda sorta like my blog hero. No…not kinda…you are.

    I love your writing, your honesty about bad books and your love for P.W. is the icing on the cupcake. I also love that your blog is blocked at my workplace because your so naughty or something. When I get home I read your blog as though I am then committing a crime. It’s great!!

  20. Rich 30.Mar.09 at 8:56 pm

    I lied. I’m following up.

  21. Patty 02.Apr.09 at 2:37 am

    I’m leaving comments tonight so that you will know who I am if I ever send you a friend request on Facebook. I need a fellow Mats fan as a pal over there.

  22. Patty 02.Apr.09 at 2:38 am

    By the way, I am not as needy as I sound nor am I stalking you. Really.


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