Monday, December 5, 2016

Why don't we leave comments on blogs?



I thought I'd jump headlong into a subject which tends to be the elephant in the room. Bloggers often choose not to mention the number of comments our posts elicit, and I can think of a few reasons why. (When I use pronouns such as 'we' and 'you' in this blog post, I'm speaking generally, and not singling out individuals.)

1) We don't want to come across as needy or whiny by mentioning how few comments we receive. We don't want to be that annoying blogger who does guilt trips on all our friends.
2) We genuinely wish to convince ourselves that it makes no difference. We repeat the mantra that we love our hobby so much that lack of feedback is irrelevant. 
3) We don't want to bring our gripe to the attention of others and be known as the loser with no followers (in case they haven't already deduced this by our lack of comments). 

I wonder if I'm speaking for many of us when I explain what I've come to believe is the truth. Indeed numbers shouldn't be as important as we tend to make them, yet telling ourselves lack of feedback means nothing is just self-delusion. We should definitely strive to reach a point where our need for pats on the back isn't overwhelming, but at the same time, it's pointless to deny we are social creatures. A pastor who preaches week after week to an empty auditorium might eventually reconsider his calling and decide to stay in bed one Sunday. Just because we're talking about cyber-space here, the same thing applies to passionate bloggers. Encouragement, even from a small circle of friends, may one day make the difference between persevering or giving up.

That begs the question, well, why don't we comment more often? Whenever I look at my blog stats, the number of views is always far higher than the number of comments, sometimes like triple figures to zero. So what is it about human nature that holds us back from dropping a quick line or two, which might take a couple of seconds? I believe I've come up with three main reasons. See if any of these resonate with you.

1) We've passed saturation point.
Throughout history, information overload has never been as acute as it is for our generation. I've seen studies which cite that even our most scholarly ancestors never contended with as much information as every one of us do, often before our feet even hit the floor in the morning. Posts and articles zap around the globe and onto our screens non-stop. Annoying pop-ups vie for attention with clever, slick click-bait titles, all screaming, 'Look at me!'

Our attention is a limited resource, like precious oil, and it's easy to reach a point where there's no longer enough to spread around. I once read about a jam factory, which offered consumers so many delicious flavours to sample at a market stall, that most people couldn't make up their minds and walked away instead. In a similar manner, bloggers are lucky if we even skim their posts, let alone take time to comment!

2) We're Commitment-Phobes.
We aren't born this way, but modern western society has this effect on the best of us. There are enough things we have to do without bothering to stick out our necks and do something that's merely optional. Juggling every day bureaucratic red tape and form filling is compulsory for every one of us. How easy then, to ignore something that isn't absolutely necessary. Even if you enjoy your friend's blog enough to keep returning for more, being a lurker is far more convenient than commenting and probably frees up a couple of minutes of our day.

3) We feel shy and inadequate.
This one is possibly my biggest issue, and harks back to my Primary School days, when I used to try to make friendly gestures, which were sneered at or rejected. When you retreat back into your shell and vow never to emerge again, that instinct may still be driving you decades down the track.

We fear that our comments may appear dumb or obvious. Typing something like, 'I love your thoughts,' may come across so lame to us, we choose to say nothing at all. It's easier to wonder forever whether this witty or entertaining blogger has the potential to be a friend than risk putting out feelers and being ignored or cut down.

So here's an idea.
I'm going out on a limb a bit here. Who would be willing to be part of a small accountability group who looks after each other's blogs? I'm not talking about a blog alliance, which is something different and more formal. I consider what I'm thinking of to be more like blog caretakers. We keep a number of blogs on our radars, and without committing to comment on every single post, if we notice them looking a bit neglected over time, we leave an encouraging word or two in the comments. It may sound contrived, but since there's friendship and honesty behind it, it isn't really. If you think it sounds like a good idea, let me know in the comments, email or PM. (By the way, I'm grateful to those who do take the time to engage in my blog comments already. I know and appreciate you all.)

On a personal note, one of my main resolutions for 2017 will be to leave more comments than I already do, whether anyone joins me or not. The thought of commenting on new blogs always makes me nervous, but I can't help thinking it may be a risk worth taking. It may sound like a funny kind of New Year's Resolution, but here's why I think it's a good one.

1) It's a small action that can really make someone's day. Fellow bloggers, have you ever opened your inbox and had your heart leap with anticipation when you've seen a comment or two waiting? Since I've never had a talent for making big gestures, I'll go for this small one, which may well have the same effect.
2) I've convinced myself by this blog post that leaving comments is a sign of uncommon generosity. It seems from what I've said that not leaving comments is the common human reaction. If you want to be an uncommon person, this simple habit sounds like a way to raise ourselves higher than average. What's not to like?

As usual, I'd love to read your comments. That sounds like a bit of an awkward invitation considering the nature of this post, but I'll wait to see what happens, haha.  

70 comments:

  1. After reading this blog, Paula, because the topic captured my attention, I just HAVE to comment!! And as a weekly blogger myself, I understand and empathise with all you have said. I would add though that I think it is just the time factor too that stops people from commenting more, although that is linked with the first point you make, I guess, re our passing saturation point. For that reason, I would be hesitant to join the little accountability group you mention--although I think it's a great idea! I try to comment regularly on the two writers' group blogs I am part of. And occasionally I comment on others' blogs, but I often don't have time to. I don't get many comments on my own blog either, but I understand that, these days, people seem to find it quicker just to leave a comment on the Facebook link to my blog, which is fine by me.

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    1. Hi Jo-Anne,
      This is completely understandable. The 1440 minutes we have each day seem to speed past incredibly fast. And when we're regular bloggers, a chunk of that time must be spent preparing our own posts too. Like you, I do appreciate it when people comment on the FB links, which is just the same. From what people have told me, going to the trouble of setting up a Google account to enable them to comment, even when they don't have a blog of their own, may be another issue stopping them, which is easy to understand.

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  2. Hi Paula - interesting post :) It is true that we usually have more veiws than comments - true on Facebook too. For me, it's being overwhelmed. There are only so many blogs I can read & while I do often comment, I don't always - if an immediate thought doesn't come to mind or I'm pressed for time. I do enjoy your posts and would say it's one of my favourite blogs because your posts are fresh and intriguing :)

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    1. Hi Jenny,
      Yeah, that saturation factor is a biggie for all of us, I think. It's actually nice to even see a high number of views, even when there are no or few comments. Thanks for your kind words about this blog 😊 I have to turn it back on you and say I appreciate the extra thought your comments often evoke.

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  3. Paula, I have to admit I get nervous about commenting on blogs. One of the first I ever commented on, I was misunderstood and challenged. A few people then got on the bandwagon before I could explain myself. It's much easier to speak to people in person when you can see their body language and know they have understood you. And where they can see the type of person you are, too. I find myself reading and re-reading everything I write before I comment and this takes time I don't really have. You have challenged me to put this aside, though, and at least let people know I have appreciated their posts.

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    1. Hi Jenny,
      Wow, do I get where you're coming from. I think we're like minds here. And what you've said makes the fear factor tie in with the time factor, since we spend such a lot of it reading our comments over to make sure they're crystal clear. I think I'll try to shake a bit of that off for 2017 and just go for it.

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    2. Oh, I forgot to mention, I was sorry to hear that you had a bad experience, being challenged with your very first comment. Being forced to justify our positions can be daunting. It'd be enough to make me scurry back into my shell.

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  4. I've been completely neglectful of my blog for this very reason, Paula. I just felt like nobody was reading it, and I already spend so much time posting on other blogs as well as my monthly article in Book Fun Magazine. It's just too much to be posting on a regular basis.

    I think the saturation point is spot on. There are just TOO many blogs and readers are likely ... well .. Reading books.

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    1. Hi Rose,
      It's very true, bloggers can easily reach a stage where giving up seems like common sense, which is sad to see when lurkers have actually been enjoying their thoughts. For your part, I'm glad you're still contributing in the other two blogs and Book Fun mag, so we all know where to find you. And yes, as readers we've got to carve out that piece of time to actually read books!

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    2. Well I simply must reply after reading this. I am not a blogger myself but simply love reading other blogs- and I don't think there are too many out there at all.
      What I look for are Australian blogs (and I don't seem to find many of them). Then sometimes I see what I consider an 'advert' on the blog which tends to turn me away.
      I particularly like to read your blog Paula, as I am always looking for the next book to read and am steadily working my way through your various lists.
      Also like to look at blogs from older folk (like myself) who are past the children at home stage.
      Every stage of a family's life has its difficulties and hardships. As your children grow up there are the juggling of their in- law families as well as elderly parents etc.
      Well, I've said enough for now Paula but please, please keep on posting.

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    3. Hi Rosie,
      I so appreciate your input, and that you return to this blog. It's great to think you'd put together reading lists based on the lists I share here, since I love putting them together. I agree with you that Aussie blogs tend to have a flavour all our own, although they are few and far between.
      I think I'm on the verge of that stage you mention, and dread it a bit as I love having my kids around. The 12 year old will be with us for a bit longer, but the 18 and 21 year olds already consider leaving every so often. I'll probably join the ranks of those empty nest bloggers sooner than I'd want :) I like stumbling across them too. There seems to be many younger book bloggers a similar age to my kids, and enjoy seeing older people have their say.

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  5. Oh my goodness, Paula, you hit the nail squarely on the head! I identified with every point, but particularly the one about feeling inadequate. I have not written my blog for nearly a year - because no one comments! And I did't blame them - I knew they were just as overwhelmed as I was by the amount of really good stuff being posted. I love your idea & when my current book is finished (I should live so long!!) I will pursue it. I wont do so now because my inner sloth would just see it as another reason to procrastinate! All power to your pen/typing fingers!

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    1. Hi Rhonda,
      Firstly, I'm glad to hear you have another book in the pipelines :) That's really good news.
      And I so get the inner sloth picture. Yes, any excuse to keep us from our keyboards to work on our actual writing projects. And leaving comments on blogs could have the potential to be a real procrastination tool, since there are thousands on which we could comment. I guess it could be a matter of not letting it draw us away from either book work or housework.

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  6. Hi Paula. Yes, in my case it''s just do what I can when I can. While I'm not a blogger I do appreciate the time spent by those of you who are and really enjoy reading them.

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    1. Hi Lesley,
      That's exactly my attitude too when it comes to comments. Some blog posts just seem to beg comments, while it's easy to just go enjoying and nodding at others for a long period of time. Thanks for the time you spend coming back too :)

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  7. I think you've touched the heart of the matter at point 1; in fact, I think we're beyond saturation point. Imagine if each social media comment, report, blog, email etc we read each day arrived as a hard copy letter in our letterbox? Australia Post would be thrilled, especially if each letter required and received a written reply from the recipient. Or let's say we engaged more immediately and directly with each communicator via telephone and had a discussion. How many of those would we fit into our day? Because our communications are now instant and independent of the mail system, it certainly simplifies the physical requirements of a response process and we should, in theory, be able to complete many more of them, however the mental and emotional space required to engage hasn't changed, regardless of our best intentions. Perhaps that is why the like and/or reaction buttons on Facebook get such a workout. We can manage the brief response because we want to connect, but we are dividing our mental/emotional response space not among 1-5 friends and a similar number of colleagues each day, but between dozens of communicators every day. Maybe we need reaction buttons on blogs too!

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    1. Hi Mazzy,
      Your scenario speaks volumes! Australia Post would probably have to quadruple their staff too :) And we'd have to build letter boxes about ten times as big. I think what you say is spot on, and probably a reason for added stress in the 21st century, when we do feel the need to personally respond at every possible opportunity to things which catch our fancy. Throughout history, people haven't had to look beyond their own small villages when it comes to relating with others. Electronic and social media have increased the size of those 'villages' to global monsters we're still trying to keep up with!
      I think reaction buttons on blogs would be a great idea. FB just told me I made over 7000 'likes' this year, which surprised me greatly.

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  8. I identify with Rose on this issue. Also re being saturated. I've all but dropped my own blog - I was unconvinced anyone was interested in what I had to say. I must say Thank you to those of you who did make the effort! I LOVE getting comments and going into discussions. I usually read blogs latish at night and am too tired to tangle with the logistics of commenting. Will often comment on fb re it. And re your idea of an accountability group, I think it's a great idea, but as yet I don't know what shape 2017 is going to take and am keen to leave it as free as I can for now. Two years ago I'd have leapt at this though and may yet, if the offer is still there. I do enjoy your blogs, thanks Paula. And enjoyed this post.

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    1. Hi Jeanette,
      That's what I find sad, when good bloggers such as yourself give up because of lack of feedback. I've done it too, on former blogs. And that midnight hour is a tricky one for engagement, when you've been busy all day. At least this is an idea which can be picked up anytime :) Thanks for your visits to this blog.

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  9. Great point! Sometimes I don't comment because the blog requires me to log on or sign up in order to do so...blogs such as yours with a clear comments section at the end really helps encourage me to engage. I do think the time poor thing is definitely a big part of the problem - sometimes I compose comments in my head but it takes too much time to type them! I think your suggestion applies to all types of feedback - comments and shares on Facebook and twitter, reviews on goodreads and Amazon...as writers we want to know someone is reading and appreciating! Publishing had made me much more aware of this and now I try to give feedback more but it's still time consuming.

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    1. Hi Sally,
      I know the type of blog you're talking about. Sometimes you have to scroll right back up to the top and search for a place to leave a comment, which just adds to the time it takes. It sounds like you're the same as me, and we have to just block out a section of time, such as half an hour, devoted especially to leaving comments. You're so right, when we engage in these things ourselves, it helps us to appreciate the work others put in.

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  10. A comment worthy post, Paula. ;-) I find the saturation and time issues not only eat into my blog reading/commenting (even though there are blogs I frequently 'lurk', as you aptly say :) ), but for the same reason I struggle to make regular blog posts on my own site. I've generally aimed for three posts every two months, which doesn't seem much, but is often all I can manage. Greater frequency is a bonus, but then I run short of time for other things - like lurking your blog posts, and others. (I do find Goodreads useful for keeping up with the latest blog news.)
    Thanks for your persistence on the blogging front, Paula. :)

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    1. Hi Adele,
      The time factor really is a huge consideration. I've been doing my fair share of lurking too, and it's fun :) I'm glad we have Goodreads to keep up with the blogs of those we follow, which would be so easy to miss otherwise. Thanks for your GR support and likes, which I really appreciate.

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  11. Yes, Paula- a sure fire topic sure to get a few comments! I try to leave comments when I can, but have been daunted at times by technological issues, resulting in numerous (nearly) identical comments. I do understand there is a degree of commitment in commenting, from time to construct it properly (so it's not misunderstood!) to having access to internet for posting purposes (I've read posts then bc of internet issues been unable to post my comments). What I don't understand is the number of people who read Facebook posts then can't be bothered to even press like - hardly any commitment needed there, but it can make a big difference in whether people bother posting anymore :/

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    1. Hi Carolyn,
      Yes, when there is a variety of different blog forums, plus all the people who have blogs attached to their personal websites, sometime we have to educate ourselves on how to comment on each one. And that does take time. Even just today, a couple of ladies on FB told me they couldn't leave comments because of technical issues, even though they would've like to. You're so right though, if we can't commit to leaving as many comments as we'd wish, at least a FB like or other reaction just takes a second, and makes the poster feel appreciated :)

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  12. I often don't comment because I'm trying to think of the 'perfect' comment. And even when I give up on perfection, I still proof read my comments a heap of times because I'm always making obvious spelling/grammar mistakes which I think looks particular bad since I'm suppose to be a writer! So in the end I don't comment at all because it takes way more time that it should.

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    1. Lol Susan, I get where you're coming from. As soon as we finish reading a blog post, all this passes through our heads, making us wonder whether it'll be worth the time :) I just picked up a few typos in this comment. Happens all the time.

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  13. #3 in your reasons resonates with me, Paula. Sometimes I just don't know how to say what I want to say. Like Jenny, I've been burnt a few times when I've made comments. Lousy internet access on a regular basis doesn't help either. I wouldn't mind betting our internet will be out in about 10 days because we're going to have a lot of rain between now and then :(

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    1. Hi Lynne,
      Those are valid considerations for sure. If I was in your position, I'd find myself getting out of the habit of commenting, if I knew the internet would cut in and out. Must be something you've just had to get used to, but still find a pain.
      I do love your name, the encouraging scribe, and love it when you stop by.

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  14. Mental saturation seems to be my big problem. I sometimes feel as if my brain has a flashing sign on it that says 'no more room on this drive'. But this blog needs a comment. :) I love the way you think and the way you write. I guess I make excuses because there is so much I could read and comment on, but sometimes I just have to say - not this time. TMI I appreciate the like button, that has now been expanded to different emotional reaction buttons. It really helps leave a thought without getting in too deep. It's a shame these aren't available on blog posts as well.

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    1. Hi Meredith,
      I really do like the idea of reaction buttons on blogs. I'm sure there'd be a lot more simple interaction if there was. I think that fried brain, TMI feeling might even be something many of our ancestors never had to contend with, or at least not in the same way we do. And the input is so continuous, we know there'll surely be many more opportunities whenever we let one slip past.

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  15. I suffer from the same problem, Paula, which has led me to blogging less. Why bother when I get so little reaction? I'm not even sure if it's being read at all and since I find it hard to find things to blog about, why put myself through the stress when I'm already so busy, especially if nothing seems to make any difference.
    I too would be reluctant to enter into a 'corp' of sorts to comment on others' blogs. Isn't the idea to increase our readership? What's the point if it's just the same people commenting week after week? And I'd find it difficult to support a lot of blogs. It's already hard to find time to read all the ones that appear on my newsfeed.

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    1. Hi Lynne,
      That's a good point for sure. The rolling stone principle wouldn't necessarily work for something like this. From the feedback that's been given and further thought, I think the number of comments we make, and on what blogs, has to be an individual decision. It's interesting, what everybody has said, which makes me come to the same conclusion for different reasons. And blog burn-out does happen, and sounds like a good time to have a rest.

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    2. Good point Lynne. Though I think having a comment or two already on a blog can also encourage others who might be reluctant to make the first comment. Kind of like putting $5 in the busking hat before you start :)

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    3. I was thinking along those lines too. If visitors see a comment on two on a post, it may be an ice-breaker, so to speak, and might make them feel more inclined to leave a thought of their own. Reticence at being first may be another quirk of human nature. I'd been mulling over that after reading Lynne's comment, and I like the way you've put it too, Nola.

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    4. Yes, I think it can help with that.

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    5. I don't mind making the first comment on a familiar blog (e.g. CWD or the blog of someone I know from those circles). But if it was a blog of someone I didn't know, I'd probably hesitate to be first.

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    6. Another thing that makes nervous about commenting on new blogs is when the others who've commented are obviously a group of buddies, and I'm the only random. But still, that's just shyness to push past.

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  16. Besides time, i often dont comment because the tech or site doesn't let me. And that put me off. So I'll see if this comment reaches you.
    Great post by the way.

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    1. Hi Rosanne,
      This one made it 😊
      I do know what you mean, and it can be especially disappointing when you take the time to write a long, thought out comment before making this discovery.

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  17. Hi Paula - Wow, look at all the comments on this post :) As you and others have said, I find the number of blogs and posts on FB a bit overwhelming and can't get around all of the ones that I'd like to. But thanks for the reminder that even a quick comment can really make someone's day.

    I started a weekly Writing Tips blog last year, but after about 40 posts, I found it was eating too much into my own writing time. However, I've vowed to be more active on the blogosphere next year and to also comment on more blogs. Another way to encourage people is to share their blogs. Thanks for putting out the challenge :)

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    1. Hi Nola,
      I know, right! This will make 40 comments. I know that's all in a day's work for some, but unprecedented for my little blog. I so appreciate the input from all who have commented. I should add that sometimes I decide not to comment on posts from those super-bloggers who get 100+ comments for every post, just because every angle has surely been covered by others and my addition won't make that much difference. But that's certainly not been my experience. It's been lovely, finding so much feedback.
      Will you be renewing the Writing Tips blog or venturing into something new? Looking forward to more catching up together online.

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    2. Hi Paula - I'll be doing more writing tips blogs in the New Year, but maybe not every week. Need to make sure that I actually apply what I put in the blog and work on my own writing - LOL

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  18. I just typed up such a long response (using my very unsmart phone). When I went to publish, the darned thing disappeared, so I'm not going to try to replicate it. However, it did contain affirmations of previous responses. So I guess I could just say 'ditto, ditto, Ditto's :-)
    During 2017 I'll endeavour to comment more. I do enjoy your blog Paula, as I I'll always be bound to discover another book that must be added to my TBR pile. Your posts are informative and interesting, as are many others. I might need to get up an hour earlier in the morning. Often I read someone's post and think 'fabulous ... I'll comment on that as soon as I finish this other thing'. Hmmm, then the intention gets lost in the brain traffic. I like it when there's a comment (a nice one) on my blog, so it's only fair that I should lurk less, and get out there more. As you say, even a couple of lines could mean the world to someone. Oh yes, and sharing blog posts is definitely a wonderful way to show our appreciation.
    God bless.

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    1. Hi Jo'Anne,
      Oh yes, I've done the same thing too, the deferred comment which never actually makes it. I've decided the only way of making comments is to strike while the iron's hot. What you've suggested is probably not a bad thought. I'm thinking I'll put a specific time aside for reading and comments. That way at least some will get out there. I always appreciate your visits to this blog.

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  19. I often leave comments, my difficulty is finding time to read them. This last year was hectic, and I am about to seriously work on the fifth book in the series.
    Still, earlier this year I was part of a women's blogging group - and that's why I started the blog on my website. (The other one will not let me in any more LOL)
    However, since the experience in Miami of being with other authors/writers, I realize how much I miss in being alone in Western Australia.
    I would love to be part of such a group if you ever set it up.
    Because I rarely receive comments on my blog, I figure either no one reads them, or they don't like them. But, I enjoy writing them, so I keep doing it.
    Your blog encourages me to 1 - keep writing and 2 keep posting comments and 3 read more author blogs :) thank you, Susan

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    1. Hi Susan, that's great. I will certainly look up your blog. It can be a lonesome experience when we put in the time and effort, and get no idea in return. I'm glad this particular blog post has encouraged you.

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    2. Thank you. I am writing a new one now as a matter of fact. One of those 'Aha' moments. This time about Cain and Abel's sacrifices.

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    3. Susan, what is your blog address? I couldn't find it when I tried to follow your links. Sounds interesting :)

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  20. Hi Paula, You've had me thinking all week. I'm relatively new to blogging, but I've been reading your blog and a few others for a long time. I note that people are happy to comment on Facebook yet reluctant to post on blogs - and it's been interesting to read everyone else's thoughts on here.
    I wonder if it's due to our perception, as readers, of what a blog is versus Facebook. It seems like Facebook has replaced writing letters and making phone-calls - certainly writing Christmas letters.
    But perhaps reading a blog is perceived by the reader like reading a book - where the interaction comes between the reader and the book. Once the blogger has pressed 'POST' they become a third party - an invader, if you will, into the interplay between the words and the reader. It's like reading 'Tom Sawyer' and having Mark Twain stick his nose in to say - 'Hey, did you like that bit?'
    Perhaps we as bloggers need to trust our writing to our readers, and the readers to our writing?
    Thanks for posting this Paula. And thanks for the conversation, everyone.

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    1. Hi Julie,
      You know, that theory rings true and I quite like it. It makes sense that this would be taking place on a subconscious level in readers' minds, being the deeper reason for those who say they'd prefer to comment on the Facebook link than the blog itself. It would also tie in with the lack of commitment reason, but in a more subtle way. Thanks heaps for suggesting this. It makes me think.

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    2. Durn you, Paula! Sucked me in to read all the comments! But I agree - very illuminating dialogue.

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    3. Lol, Rhonda, maybe I should have added that this may take a little time, and you get a cup of tea :)

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  21. Paula, you go girl! Love this. I appreciate you being grave enough to write such a post. I've become increasingly discouraged by the lack of comments on 2 particular writers blogs that I believe we're both on. Certainly, I don't comment on every post because I don't read every post. But I have my own policy that for every post I read I will leave a comment, even if it's as simple as a 'thank you'. I think comments are important mostly to gauge whether the writer is hitting the mark otherwise why bother going to the effort of posting. Yes, there are blogs and posts that probably shouldn't be created/written but my sense in our little writing communities is that we do in fact want to encourage each other. Yes, I see the stats that show 200 viewed a post but I do wonder if most of those "views" are cursory. That's why leaving a comment shows the reader has read it. It takes moments to write a comment.

    Perhaps I'm off the mark but I think it's a really positive way for us to encourage one another.

    Thanks again, Paula for writing this post and wonderful seeing the discussion it's created.

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    1. Hi Ian,
      Yes, I know exactly what you're talking about :)
      With those blogs you mentioned, it can be discouraging to think that even with so many writers, there can be stretches with few comments. I believe you are right about comments helping an author to know whether their post was on the mark. The number of views just don't give the same picture. I like your policy of commenting on all the posts you read, which is similar to what I intend to try in 2017.

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  22. It just goes to show if we can write about subjects that resonate with readers, they just have to comment. And you've sure done that here, Paula. It hit a sore spot for many. Especially as writers, it really encourages us to get a small amount of feed back.But saturation, time, etc, is why most prefer a quick reaction on Facebook.I reckon it's a matter of faith, you may never know what your thoughts mean to viewers, but go ahead regardless.The fact you have viewers is still very important.They have taken time to have a look and that's what you're really wanting after all. Keep on blogging dear girl. You have a worthwhile and penetrating message on all sorts of subjects to my mind. :)

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    1. Hi Rita,
      Yes, maybe the number of comments shows that this really is an elephant in the room, hehe. Thanks for your encouragement. I do love to see the number of views, even when there's been no engagement in comments, but this particular post shows that this subject has crossed most of our minds at some stage.

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  23. You have certainly opened up facinating dialogue here, Paula. ��

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    1. Hi Megan,
      I've really enjoyed reading it, and it's been good to see the additional thoughts which didn't occur to me at the outset. An interesting topic indeed :)

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  24. I have to comment too. There are two reasons I have almost completely stopped blogging. I have convinced myself that I have nothing new or interesting to share and secondly, that no one reads it anyway (your point about comments, there is no proof anyone is reading it without the comments). I've had my blog for about 10 years and used to be prolific. Then I got all shy about sharing personal stuff and backed off. I'd love to have something to add again and see the proof that people are reading it too.

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  25. Hi Amanda, the point you've just made is exactly why I wrote this post. I find it so sad when prolific bloggers who used to get a lot of joy out of it begin to get discouraged because of the lack of interaction. As you say, when the personal stuff which is brave of us to share gets no reactions, it can be hard to muster the courage to keep going. Tracing the number of views in your stats can bring some measure of comfort, but it's not the same. I hope you do start blogging again someday, if you ever feel a flicker of interest ignite again. In a way, we go through dry seasons at times too.

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  26. I don't know if anyone brought this up already but I think you almost got it with your first suggestion. I think we have reached a saturation point, but it has less to do with information overload as it does with social media overload. I didn't do social media until I noticed almost all my blogger friends had dropped away to facebook. To keep up with that and post on a blog AND comment on other blogs just became too much. I also realized very few bloggers I left comments for actually reciprocated, which I feel is vital in the blogosphere. I take more effort to comment when someone is commenting on my blog. That being said, if you are a person who is trying to keep track of a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, a Tumblr account, etc. you simply don't have enough hours in the day to respond to commenters.

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    1. Hi Cristina, social media overload sounds like a valid phenomenon. The blogosphere does run on give and take (or used to). I came across someone who said that even though it's easy enough to comment back on a remark someone left on your own blog post, it's really going the extra mile to follow the links back and comment on theirs. When I see how fewer people do that than in the past, I have to agree. Also, yes, like you I know people who are trying (and succeeding to all appearances) to keep something like a dozen social media platforms going. Spreading yourself so thin would surely have to mean something must go, one would think. And it stands to reason this might be leaving comments for others.

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    2. Btw, I must add that you would surely remember when we first became blog friends in around 2006, when older kids were still small. How different it's all become since then.

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  27. It is a very different world we live in!

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  28. This is a great post! I try to comment on other blogs a lot because I know it means a lot to bloggers to realize that people read their posts and thought them interesting enough to reply to! I admit I don't always comment as much as I want for some of the reasons you mention. Commenting definitely takes time! And sometimes I just feel I don't have a lot to say.

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    1. Thanks Briana,
      I think recognising the main reasons has helped me decide to push through and just go for it. You're right, one thing I forgot to mention is that sometimes, other people have said everything I could have thought of.

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  29. Hi Paula, I'm chiming in very late as I've just discovered your post via Carolyn Miller's blog post yesterday on the ACW group blog. Great post and discussion. I usually read blog posts on my phone via links in Facebook and Twitter. Blogger used to be impossible to comment on using my phone. As a result, I'd read blog posts on the Blogger platform that I wanted to comment on but couldn't leave a comment due to technology limitations. A few months ago I discovered that the latest Blogger platform upgrade had ironed out these glitches and I could easily comment using my iPhone. Yay! I do wonder if blog readers who read blog posts on their phones and devices aren't aware that commenting has become a whole lot easier if you're using a Google+ profile?

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    1. Hi Narelle,
      Thanks for chiming in 😊 It's great that those glitches have been ironed out, and hope it's just a case of users becoming aware. That can take some time, since we tend to be like the elephants tethered to the little stakes. You know, although they could rip themselves free in a shake, they assume that since they couldn't as babies, nothing has changed. I like the Wordpress blogs for ease of leaving comments, but since I'm used to Blogger platforms, it'd take a lot to make the change.

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