Do Blog Readers Read Comments?
by Antone Roundy | 7 Comments | Blogging, Social Media/Networking
I have a question for you (I'd appreciate it if you'd take a few seconds to drop by an leave your answer in the comments): do you read the comments on blogs? Do you only read them when you're considering posting a comment yourself? If you've left a comment, do you go back to engage in the conversation, or just have your say and leave it at that?
Okay, that was three questions. Nobody's perfect.
My questions were inspired by something Demian Farnworth wrote over at Copyblogger:
If you want to influence people, leave thought-provoking comments. Share additional information [other people's articles, videos] that builds on their existing work.
And ALWAYS ask questions.
Online influencers lead the conversation with questions.
Good advice. If you ask questions in your comments, I'd imagine the odds of getting a response from the author of the post (even if few readers read comments) go up dramatically vs. just leaving a comment. Not all bloggers habitually respond to comments, but a comment that includes a "call to action" (a.k.a. question) may get treated differently.
July 14th, 2011 at 11:20 am
I read comments when:
1. I want more info than what's in the article.
2. I want to read people's reactions to the article.
3. I want to linkbuild after confirming the absense of "nofollow".
July 14th, 2011 at 11:40 am
Ross, but you never ask questions? Try to engage the writer and his/her readers?
July 14th, 2011 at 1:52 pm
I will often read comments from the post author, especially if the topic is technical or a little controversial. I almost never read comments that are Loooooong winded and are based on someones opinion on what they think might work, especially regarding IM.
July 14th, 2011 at 2:13 pm
I often find the comments teach me more than the original post, assuming the post has content of value to me in the first place - So - yes I read the comments - yes I return to see if there is any development from them if I comment - and I usually try to develop the point by asking a question - Is that two answers or three?
July 15th, 2011 at 3:15 am
depending on how many comments there are and on the quality of the blog, I do read all comments. But sometimes it looks like people just want to leave a link, follow or nofollow - it doesn't mattrer and they do not really contribute to the topoic of the post.
What Ilike is when the blog owner motivates to start a real discussion (like today) and also gets inivolved by answering. I kn ow it is a lot of work, but it keeps the blog active.
July 15th, 2011 at 8:47 am
First of all, thanks to everyone who commented.
Second, here are my answers: I usually don't read the comments (except on my own blogs, where I read all of them). Perhaps the thing that makes me most likely to read comments is when I strongly disagree with the original article. Then I want to see whether somebody else has expressed my position, or whether I need to do it myself. Also, if somebody has expressed my position, but hasn't expressed it very clearly, or if they're getting torn to shreds by people who agree with the original post, I may jump in and lend my support. Depending on how much I care about the issue, I may come back a few times and stay involved.
The other situation where I may read comments is if the original post asks a thought provoking question that's of interest to me, and I want to see what others are saying about it.
Finally, I'm going to let you in on something -- my original post was, in part, an experiment to see whether anyone would ask a question in their comment. Only Demian and Tony did. Demian's was directed to another commenter. And Tony's wasn't the type that really needed an answer. Interesting.
...okay, now here's something that's just weird. Guess what the letters are in the captcha that I got just now?
July 18th, 2011 at 5:45 am
From my experience, I will read comments for posts or pages that are technical in nature. I am a .net web developer by day, and often look for help or new ways to accomplish programming tasks. The comments are a great place to find additional details, addendums, etc. But as far as IM type stuff, I find I don't read the comments as much.