This is an update to Art of the Force, specifically about the entitled behaviour I called out.
I understand that some bloggers desire engagement in the comments section of their posts. I say again, it is best to ask for a comment. A cordial invitation at the end of a post will do. Coercive tactics and name-calling are not the way to build up a community of supporters.
And now I will explain why I don’t like to comment on other people’s blogs. I will tell you why I have abandoned comments after writing them. I sometimes write fiction, but when before accusing people of inappropriate behaviour, I will search for evidence first. In that spirit, I spent Friday night and Saturday afternoon testing two assumptions:
(a) Bloggers want me to comment on their posts.
(b) Bloggers acknowledge my comments.
I tested these assumptions with posts tagged art, beauty, life, love, poetry, romance and women. All posts had been published within thirty minutes of the start of the exercise. Excluded from my assumption were posts published by subscribers to this blog.
Here is what happened. All forty (40) of my comments went to moderation immediately. This is an issue with Akismet, and not the content of my comments. This means that only subscribers who were aware of this issue would be able to check their “Pending” folders for stray comments. I received only ten responses within 30 minutes. Responses included “x liked your comment”. After that, three more responses came in after two hours. Forty eight hours later, I am still waiting for 27 further responses.
One beauty blogger, in her post, specifically asked for questions so she could do a later blog answering those questions. I wrote three questions for a total of eight from other readers. She “liked” my comment but this alone satisfies my definition of a “response”. Of the 40 bloggers, two bloggers received compliments about their sense of humour; only one acknowledged and responded with a comment. Both had published their posts within minutes of each other.
This is how I felt. That was a horrible experience, and I understand why bloggers are so hesitant to post comments on other bloggers’ blogs. Some posts are scheduled; comments go to moderation and are cleared or approved. I felt that I had wasted my time. However, I felt somewhat vindicated because I had proven my point from the few responses I received.
Bloggers, add value to your brand by offering some quality interaction around your product. It’s not necessary to use the Queen’s English or talk much. We have control over what happens on our blogs. I have turned off like buttons to encourage comments; I have turned off comments whenever I felt that none was necessary.
There was a time when I wished someone would say something. Now, readers do. I warmly welcome longer comments and take them as a compliment, as affirmation that I’ve written something worthy of a response.
After I’ve used the Force and readers start joining the discussion, should I get super annoyed because they’re, like, writing comments on my bloaaaaag and I can’t deal with that? Attitude is everything. If you go to a book launch and the writer speaks to you in a “yeah, yeah, this is all about me… buy my book… I’m too busy, yeah” tone of voice, how would you feel about it.
Of course, you would. Because behaviour like that is ridiculous.