Commenting is part of “the social” in Social Media


Ever wanted to know why, although, you wrote a fabulous blog post which we all know you sweated blood for, you don’t get any comments?  You are thankfully not alone.

Mark S. Luckie, national web editor for The Washington Post and founder and editor of Media Bistro’s 10,000 Words: Where Journalism and Technology Meet talks about what he’s learned about journalism after four years of blogging in his video titled “Five things I’ve learned in 4 years of blogging about journalism”  Pay attention to #3, you will never feel alone again.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w76O7Bmw-6o&w=425&h=349]

Commenting is Social

I follow Mark Luckie and love his blog 10,000 Words. One minute 18 seconds into the video he shared, made me sit up and not only pay attention but to think about this question, “Why are there so few blog comments?”    Look at the blogs you read and ask given the numbers of subscribers why there are so few, if no comments at all; after all isn’t commenting part of “the social” in Social Media? 

Questions You May Be Asking

As Mark Luckie pointed out, we write a really good blog post and nothing.  

  •  Is it because we don’t usually read the zillions of blog posts coming at us through our emails, RSS feeds and suggested links through Twitter and Facebook?
  •  Is it because we don’t have time or 
  •  Is it because we think yes I want to comment and I’ll do it when I have moment which in my case never comes.

Commenting is Social

Part of Social Media and Web 2.0 is the interaction between people.  Taking the time to comment is part of initiating the conversation that is what makes commenting part of “the social” in Social Media and yet for the most part we don’t take the time.  Perhaps we need to learn how.

Commenting When We Agree

One way to comment is to share one thing that resonates with you, or one thing you are going to do because of that blog post contributes more to the   social engagement than writing “good job” or “I agree”   

Commenting When You Don’t Agree

Commenting is like giving feedback, very few people do it well especially when it’s negative.   Reading a book called the “The One Minute Manager” by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson may give you some ideas on how to give a comment that although is based on disagreement still allows the conversation to be heard and to move forward.  In the parable, the One Minute Manager learns how to give “one minute praise” along with the “one minute reprimand.  Understanding someone’s position doesn’t mean you have to agree, it does mean that there is another position, so share something you like along with something you see differently.  

Example:  One idea I liked is ….   Here is where I see it differently ….  End with something positive … 

Look into the Mirror

Too often we complain we don’t get comments but do we ever ask ourselves how often we take a few minutes to write a comment on someone’s blog.   Sending a tweet with a link or including a link in your Facebook or LinkedIn account is not a comment.  

I’m looking to improve

When I joined the Social Media Clubs editorial team I intended to write a comment on articles that resonated with me and triggered ideas for my articles; so far I’m batting zero.   Here are two people from the Social Media Club I should have commented and didn’t.  

  1. Jackie Lampugnano article “How are journalists using social media?” 
    Hi Jackie  … There are number of ideas you mentioned in your article I liked, specifically under the section “They’re doing research.  The example of Matt Lindner using his Twitter influencers he follows to capture a nugget of an idea.  I’m new to Twitter but I’m going to use the example you mentioned as I follow the people I’m interested in Twitter.  
  2. Ellen Nikonova article “How Social Media is Changing the Art World.”
    Hi Ellen.  The word “Art” in your title has gotten me thinking of two future articles, one tentatively called Writing Social Media Articles is like a Norman Rockwell Painting.  Mentioning Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir
    , triggered another idea I’m beginning to flesh out.  Creativity mentioned in your article is certainly something that is in the forefront of the way we see “Art” in this social media age.  You offered some interesting examples that really expanded my own curiosity.

It took me two minutes to write it, so why didn’t I?  I have a list of excuses if you’re interested.

The Two “Fields”

We all want to be acknowledged as a way of proving Sally Field’s often misquoted Oscar acceptance speech for Best Actress in 1984’s Places in the Heart “You like me, you really like me.”

We write blogs for the most part, because we have something to say and want to share it.  If that’s not why you do it then as W.C. Fields a 1930’s American actor once said “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.” 

How often have you taken the time in the last year to offer a comment?