All bloggers want it, but some don’t want to return the favour. The favour of commenting, that is.
Think have mentioned before that self dislike bloggers who don’t reply comments to commenters. Likened it to not talking to guests in your home who are speaking to you. Some bloggers defend this attitude, because they apply it to commenters who give one-word, rather pointless comments, like first! (mostly in a blog of a famous blogger) or cool!, that there is really nothing much to say to such comments in return. Some just don’t reply to all commenters for reasons unknown. Ironically, they encourage comments by saying in their about page or about sidebar that readers are welcomed to add to the discussion by leaving a comment.
Then there’s the worse kind – bloggers who select who to reply. This means that the blogger’s not discriminating comments because of their inconsequential content, but rather by which comment that compels him to reply. So even if you’ve written a nice-sized piece of comment, that while is not something incredibly profound but yet is something more than the one-word kind, it does not warrant a gracious reply from the blogger because it does not stimulate him mentally. Perhaps that is a weak way of phrasing whatever feeling that these sort of bloggers have, but you should know what self mean. They really send out a negative message to interactive readers; it’s like inferring that the commenter has not contribute enough to the discussion to receive a reply, which infers again that the commenter is basically not good enough to be replied.
On the other face of this issue, we have bloggers who politely replies to most of the comments in a way that should encourage blurkers to comment, but they don’t. Bloggers don’t only love receiving comments, they love their stats to bits because it tells them something blurkers won’t, like where they came from (search engines or links), where they’re situated on the globe, how long they stayed at our blogs and so on. But honestly, nothing beats receiving a comment from someone familiar, or new, because you get more than just stats information. You get their e-mails, their blog urls, and most importantly their interaction. Because blogging is largely about interacting aside from airing your own thoughts or others.
However, there are many reasons people don’t comment.
1. they’re only looking for information.
2. the blog post hasn’t provide the adequate information they’re looking for.
3. they only like to receive, but not give.
4. they’re “intimidated” by the fact that many people have commented already, and so they don’t feel like their comment would be appreciated or could not add any more to the discussion.
5. they think it’s too late to comment because the post was dated so long ago.
6. they truly don’t have anything substantial to comment about despite enjoying the post.
This issue has been discussed in WordPress forums, and interestingly a theory has been developed about it:
If the entries are almost “post-perfect”, people just like to read without leaving any comments. – knoizki
That’s very, very true. My highest comment posts were always ones where I made mistakes, or people strongly disagreed with me. If I corrected the original posts then things slowed down. – engtech
That’s a rather sad discovery, because it doesn’t reward the conscientious blogger at all. You don’t have to do research or think thoughtfully and thoroughly, because if your post is really good in every sense, then people don’t want to say anything. Then again, it could be more of a case that they can’t say anything because everything has been covered by the blogger in the post. It’s those posts that write enough substantially – because if it’s too short it shows a casual passing thought with no intention of seriously discussing the issue – that encourages readers to debate or interact.
Hope the last sentence is exemplified by this post so that lots of readers comment and offer their perspectives. 🙂 Comments are so important to self, even when am spring cleaning some old posts, wouldn’t delete any with comments in it. Self’s personal take on comments in this blog: all comments are welcomed any time and place, new or old. Even the innocently bothersome first! and cool! ones.