Why Comment?

Contributing Editor Tracey Gaughran-Perez also blogs at sweetney.com & Jinkies!

To comment or not to comment? That's the question at issue over at Motherhood Uncensored, where Kristin has started up a great discussion about why people comment on blogs (or don't), and what blog reader and author expectations are regarding comments and commenting behavior.

People read and they comment. Then they expect you to come back and do the same - with the hopes that you get hooked on them, add them to your blogroll, and run off together to the Cayman Islands. Heh. But then, they either don't come back, or they come back and comment once. And you realize. Maybe they're not that into me.

It sucks, but you get over it. Or do you?

So, do you stop reading them altogether? I mean, did you just read their blog just because you wanted them to come back to read yours? And because they don't read yours, you won't read theirs?

All thorny and controversial matters in the blog world, to be sure. Its interesting, because blogs have created a whole separate social sphere, one with its own rules and manners (though loosely constructed), enforced only through things like blogrolls, link-backs and comments. Thus a lot of inference and reading-between-the-lines is required on both ends of a relationship between bloggers, which as we all know can often lead to misunderstandings and misreading. It's a very complicated, nuanced, and wholly new form of interaction, and what becomes clear in reading both Kristen's post and its comments is that we're all still trying to figure out how to navigate this new terrain and the relationships therein.

Kristen's closing questions to her readers get right down to brass tax:

So, why do you comment? I mean. What's your motivation? Does every post you read speak to you enough that you need to say something, or are you motivated by something else?...

...Are comments really what blogging is about? Are they essential to your blogging existence?

And so I ask you: what do you make of all this, as a blog author and/or reader? What are your thoughts on comments and the ill-defined social etiquette governing them?

Tracey Gaughran-Perez | sweetney.com


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