Wednesday, October 27, 2010

To Comment or Not To Comment?
The Blogging Goddess asked recently: why do some blog posts get a lot of comments where others get so few? Other than say... The Bloggess or Hyperbole and a Half, most of us are all screaming for attention as we all crave comments. Hey, it's the main reason why we blog.

I've been thinking quite a lot about this question.

The blogosphere is like a cyber society with it's own prom queens, jocks and bullies. A high level of popularity is not always a sign of a high quality persona behind the blog. If only it were that simple. I think blogs are a proof of the law of natural selection. Although we may not "smell" the writer, we can sense the writer. We can sense with who we'd want to be friends, share a few drinks,  laugh at or with and we can certainly sense who we'd rather avoid.

Many many years ago, when my ex-boyfriend's best friend suddenly passed away we all surrounded his widow anyway we could. The deceased was one of those whom many claimed as a best friend. (Yeah, his blog would have gotten a shitload of comments...) One of the jobs my then boyfriend and I took over was taking care of the chicken coop. Every morning we'd go out there, feed the chickens, gather the eggs, etc.

I became fascinated with the chickens. They really functioned like in a micro society. The chickens all festered in front of Romeo (the rooster) showing off their feathers and their song. Paulette was the queen. Psychose, with all her losing feathers was on the bottom of the chicken totem pole. They all attacked her. They'd cross the coop and just whack right into her. She was rarely left alone. Some other chickens occasionally got attacked, but Paulette the queen never ever got touched. Slowly Psychose began losing feathers. She was skinny since they never let her eat. And Romeo never got a chance to get close to her, the other chickens would rush out and attack poor old Psychose if he got anywhere near her. She ended up dying. And oddly enough, the chickens quickly replaced her with another poor sap.

The law of natural selection.

Catholic schools make students wear uniforms so the classes won't transpire via kids' clothing. But kids can smell it. We naturally size people up in a fraction of a second. Those above us, below us or our equals. We do this waiting in line at the grocery store, sitting in a restaurant and... through typed words on the internet. It's not necessarily a snobbery thing. It's just a natural thing. And don't tell me "oh I don't do that!" because you do, I do, we all do. Whether we look beyond the initial size up is another question...

And we express this via our comments. I was never the prom queen, actually sat home alone more often than I wanted to since I was far from the "it" girl in school. I was however appreciated by most and thankfully did not attract any hatred. Look at my blog. People like me (I think). But my popularity is not that high... I don't get that much comments. So far I got 1 rude comment, which really wasn't all that rude, just an anonymous person speaking up for the mentally challenged. I've even pretty much stopped using the word "retard" (unless I'm drinking with my racing friends, and well, so sue me).

Chances are wherever you stand in the popularity contest is where your blog is at.

I may be wrong. If so, let me know by inundating my comment field below!



  1. Well since you posted this I feel compelled. So. Comment.

  2. It has taken me two years to get the followers I have. I also know I don't make popular posts as witnessed by some of the comments I have received. I don't know what it really takes to get all the comments. The funny award I have on my blog for comments is really one paid attention to by the ones who consistently comment on my posts. I think we just keep writing what we want and we'll eventually find the audience that appreciates us. It does take some time though.

  3. This was really interesting. (I am having sad feelings for that poor little chicken) I am wondering how my blog reflects me in the whole pecking order of life. I was always more comfortable with the boys and didn't go out of my way to be one of the girls. Being that the "blog world" is so woman oriented, do you think the girls out there get the vibe that I am a little stand offish with the girls? Another good post Nikki.

  4. I just read my comment again and am giggling over my use of pecking order. That was totally by accident but very in line with the chicken portion of your post.

  5. @ Catherine: Yeah, per your 2nd comment, I was actually jealous you thought of using the term pecking order! Good going! I'll have to think about the boy-girl thing you mentioned and visit you more often keeping that in mind...

  6. I think I post things that people just do NOT know what to say to it.
    Or, maybe, it's because I haven't had the time to read long posts (yet, I expect them to read mine) or to comment on things if I DO read...
    OT up there - he gets loads of comments and only has like 20 followers.

    Oh, and no rude comments for me yet. Not even when I post about crazy stuff. Maybe that is a good thing?

  7. the secret to comments...its like walking into a room of strangers...if i walk up to you...i may try striking up a conversation but if i get nothing back from you i go find someone else to talk to...i have found you have to give to get...and then it takes off on its own from there...

  8. There are people who are good at fostering a want to comment and others who don't give a damn and often their comments section reflects this. I nearly never post a question or something to comment about so I never expect people to comment - Also I tend to be bad at replying to the comments as I wonder how many people go back to see if there was a reply there. If this whole blogging thing goes back to a high school mentality then I would say fuck it but I don't think it does.

  9. Wow, Miss Nikki...another nail hit smack on the head!

    I've noticed that the posts on my blog that I think will get tons of comments ususally get one or two, and the stuff I think people probably won't even notice gets like 14 (which, sadly, is a lot for me, lol!).

  10. You never really can tell what entries will get the most comments. I stopped thinking about it a long time ago because I just figured that would drive me even crazier.

  11. Oh Miss Nikki... it's a crap-shoot for me as well. I get more tickled when people link to me blog. I get the total, they like me, they really, really like me feeling.

  12. As an avid blogger, most of my posts don't have comments. I am okay with that, but I do like getting comments and I know you are right about the sizing up thing. I am a psychology student and we talk about that. It is normal and inevitable as well.

  13. You never know what issue is going to strike a chord with people. It's kind of a crap-shoot.

    Still, I love comments because I'm essentially a feedback whore. It's like doing comedy. It's no fun in an empty room. Or a quiet one.

    Now let me apologize for not leaving more comments here. My problem is that I often read you from work, and my work blocks comments on Blogger. So if I want to comment, I have to remember to come back after I get home. Which, quite frankly, is rare because then I'm trying to post on my own site.

    Except tonight, so here I am. And let me agree with Brian Miller...

    I always read and comment on blogs by people that read and comment on mine. Those are my first priorities, after that, it's hit and miss.

  14. hooo boy... ok, here we go:
    @ Oilfield: lol
    @ Christy: I hear ya, I'm actually overwhelmed and delighted over the amount of comments I get, and the amount of followers, I never thought I'd reach this point in just like 5 months.
    @ Catherine: oops I already replied to your comment and on facebook which was totally irrelevant, but I'm weird like that... hi!
    @ Miley: yeah, I guess you're right, sometimes posts don't really foster commenting...
    @ Brian: I'm sure you'd be interesting to watch in a room full of people, working your way around and always having something to say (and it would always be nice...)
    @ Jhon: hmm... I'll have to rethink my theory about the high school comparison, thanks for your comment!
    @ Vicki: I know right? And also on other blogs I'll notice the weirdest thing getting loads of comments and sometimes I'll click the comment thing just to see what people said because I'm like "duuuhhh, I wouldn't know what to say!"
    @ Laura: I hope to become more zen like you, but I'm not going crazy (yet) just a tad bit on the addicted side!
    @ Zoe: yayyyy! You commented! ツ And I hear ya, I'm totally like you on the yay they like me feeling, ooh such a rush of satisfaction
    @ Tawnya: thanks for stopping by! Psychology hunh?
    @ Bluz: feedback whore... gosh I know that feeling! I hear ya on the return commenting thing, and although there are a bunch of blogs which I read and comment regularly but they don't read mine, I still read them and comment. Although, to have a visitor come back often you're more apt to think about him or her and comment on their writing. I don't know how Brian does it though, he get's A LOT of comments every time! A LOT!

  15. I usually comment on every blog i read, unless I just cannot think of something to say to that particular post.. I don't get alot of comments on mine something, i get more views than comments...

  16. we are all just comment whores ya know....I know that over 200 people come over to my blog every day and I never have 200 comments makes me wonder ....hmmm!

  17. Well Miss Nikki.. you and I will stand together and watch the prom queen ride off into the sunset with the small peckered star quarter back.. and we will smile. Smile because we know we're going home with the hung tuba playing nerd from the band!
    WooT .. as always.. you're right on with this post

  18. It is partly popularity, I believe. The other part is how the blogger responds (or doesn't) to her/his commenters.

  19. I want to know why some people can get away with crap and STILL have people tell them they are so wonderful!

  20. I agree with Jhon. I think that some posts just lend themselves more to communal interaction. If I write a post about going to the wineries, getting drunk, and singing on a school bus the only response is likely to be "That sounds like fun!" Maybe my mom will mention a particular passage or quote that she likes (no seriously, my mom is a blogger and comments on every single thing that I write) but beyond that there's not much else to talk about.

    I guess I'm not one to comment just to say I like a particular post. If I didn't consistently like the posts, I wouldn't read the blog. I think that since a lot of bloggers feed off comments they want to hear compliments like that so they give them out in return. I'm not reading (or writing) blogs to stroke someone's ego (or have mine stroked). I'm doing it to engage in a wider conversation and if there's not a wider conversation to be had I'm not going to stand up and yell out "I love lamp!"

    I do think there's an element of prom queen involved though. Take I love the blog, but never ever comment because there's nothing to discuss. Yet every post has 100+ people jacking the writer off about how great she is. That's just not my style.


Unless you are a zombie or a fembot, your comments are totally appreciated! Loved. Desired. And wanted (I added that in case it was not clear)