Insurgent Takeover: Comment Lengths

I only came to know Kayla from The Thousand Lives when I started this WordPress blog, and goshdarn, does she know how to make people smile! It’s not only her comments on her thought-provoking posts, but her comment replies. They always brighten up my day. It’s good to know that my comments do the exact same thing! (At least we give back to each other, yeah? ;)) She has the coolest rating system and definitely deserves more attention than she is getting now. Without further ado, her guest post!

Commenting and the Length of Comments

All righty, here we go. Time to take over the blog! Thanks to our dear Meggy for allowing me to take her precious blog into my hands! From the moment she posted that she was going on vacation, I knew what I wanted to write about, because I think it’s high time Meggy (and everyone else) hears what’s been on my mind for a while: commenting on other blogs, and the length of your comments.

I don’t know about you all, but when Meggy stops by my blog, I always smile, because I know that whatever she says is going to be thought provoking, interesting, and enthusiastic. It makes all the effort I put into my posts worth it. But you know what else? She always apologizes at the end for leaving such a long comment. And every time, I tell her to hush herself because her comments are the most beautiful things ever. And she KEEPS APOLOGIZING!

See, this is what I don’t understand – why should apologies be made for long comments? If someone doesn’t want to read it, they can simply scroll down. But as a blogger, long comments just make my day. Like I said, it makes everything worth it. I feel important, and I actually want to make an effort to return the favor!

We’ve all done this: don’t lie. You’re scrolling down your dash, looking for a few interesting posts, trying to leave your quota of comments to get your name out there and hopefully stimulate your stats and comments on your posts. And it’s just not working. You don’t see anything with a spark, so you end up leaving two sentence, half-ass attempts at conversation. I’m guilty of it, you’re guilty of it, and it’s okay. But wouldn’t it be better if we all decided to – even if we commented on fewer blogs – write actual, thought provoking responses on posts that really matter to us?

Of course, there’s always the flip side – sometimes bloggers make it really hard to comment on anything! Maybe they’ve said all you would have to say on the subject, or it just isn’t a sparkling post and nothing they say makes you really think. But here’s what I’ve learned, recently (I wish I could remember who posted and inspired me to change): leave prompts at the end of your posts! I’ve started doing this for just one week now, and even on my book reviews (which get notoriously low views and comments), people have started commenting! Even if it takes a few extra minutes to create some thought-provoking questions, it’s so worth it in the end. It stimulates conversation, and everyone steers away from the stock, “Oh, this book looks good, I’ll add it to my TBR list!” or “I loved this book and agree with everything you said here!”

So I guess this post is really a call to arms, a wakeup alert for everyone in the blogosphere: bloggers, leave prompts for your followers, and followers, make an attempt to actually leave legit responses! Taking an extra five minutes in your day leaves everyone feeling satisfied, like we’ve actually accomplished something amongst all our flurries of book tours, memes, and actual reviews.

I’m going to take the challenge to change, will you?

And since I just preached about leaving prompts, here are some for this post:

  • Do you make an effort to leave longer comments? If you don’t, what do you find gets in the way of leaving a bulkier comment?
  • Do you find it hard to make prompts for the end of your posts? If you do leave prompts, have you noticed a change in the type and amount of comments you get on your posts?

*Disclaimer: I did not pay Kayla to write such things about me in the second paragraph!*


18 thoughts on “Insurgent Takeover: Comment Lengths

  1. I always try to leave comments that show the blogger that I truly read their post. I want them to feel appreciated for their time and effort. Sometimes it’s hard, especially when they are reviewing a book I haven’t read or I’m not interested in. Those comments are always challenging, but I’m trying to interact with them anyway!

    Leaving prompts at the end of my posts.. I try to do it most of the times. Especially with discussion posts, but writing a good end to a review is perhaps the hardest part!

  2. Interesting post! I totally agree about Meg and her awesome comments. Long comments always bring me joy because it doesn’t happen often. It’s like a rare gem. I understand why people don’t leave long ones because they may not have time to do so. (I give everybody the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes. 😉 ) I’m just happy to receive comments. I like seeing that people has actually read my post by mentioning things that I’ve written. That’s enough for me. However, I dislike it when people leave extremely vague and generic comments because they don’t seem genuine in their interest.

    I always try to write thought-provoking comments, but I find myself unable to write them usually because of time-constraint or because I can’t find anything I can really comment on. Sometimes, the blogger says what I want to say, so I don’t comment because I don’t want to be a parrot and reiterate everyday. That doesn’t leave room for a lot of discussion.

    For me, I find it hard to make prompts because I feel like I make generic ones that’s like – “what do you think? Do you go through this too?” which isn’t very good IMO.

  3. I don’t really put too much stock into the length of a comment. I think bloggers can leave meaningful comments whether they’re five sentences long, or five paragraphs long. I wouldn’t ever huff and puff about a short comment if it was obvious they’d read my post and were at least responding to what I’d had to say; the generic comments like “great post!” are the only sort of comments that I have a problem with.

    I try to post prompts at the end of my posts, but it’s really difficult to think of prompts that aren’t boringly generic. I don’t think I’ve found they make much of a difference to my comments. I think if the discussion is good, people will respond to it regardless of whether it has prompts at the end or not. With reviews, I find that people respond if it’s a book they’ve read and have an opinion on (and I do that, too, for various reasons: avoiding spoilers, ensuring my opinion remains unbiased before I write my review, etc.). Essentially, I think a good quality post will encourage interaction more than prompts.

  4. Awesome post, Kayla! I totally agree — Meg is super awesome for her long, thoughtful comments and I love them. ❤

    I definitely prefer to leave (and to GET) longer comments like that because as bloggers, don't we all kind of thrive on the conversation? It does suck when I can't think of much to say in a comment, but sometimes I do leave shorter ones.

    You are so right about the prompts. They work superbly well for encouraging viewers to leave comments. They show that you are asking for feedback, and so it makes people want to GIVE you feedback! I mean, seriously, I find it difficult NOT to answer a question, lol.

  5. HAHA ooh I actually thought it would’ve been funny if you preached about prompts and didn’t leave one yourself! XD But to answer the question, yeah, I tend to leave more thought provoking comments than simple fangirling ones, because if I have nothing lengthy to say, I usually just don’t comment at all. I love having conversations with people, and I find that comments are some of the best ways to get to know other bloggers (aside from Twitter of course, which I also fully embrace). I didn’t use to leave prompts, and I don’t exactly remember what divine intervention it was that told me to do so, but yeah, I did see a change in the number of comments I got after leaving them! 🙂 I mean, I don’t really get a lot of comments anywhere, but whenever I do, they’re usually ones answering my prompts 😀 So yeah, pretty nifty! Anyway, great post Meggy / Kayla ❤

  6. I love this post, Kayla. I always grin when Meg leaves a comment on my blog because they’re so awesome, well-said, and lengthy – all things I love. I was talking about comment etiquette with some friends today and I SO prefer a longer, (or even a short, heartfelt) comment to the standard “Great post, come visit my blog.”

    When I first started blogging, I did some bad things – follow for a follow and bad commenting and such – in the name of getting more followers. And yeah, it got me followers, but inactive ones. People who clicked that GFC button and never came back. I vowed to change all that once I realized what I’d done. If I come across a post where I just can’t add anything, or the blogger doesn’t have any recent posts I feel like I can add much, I make it a point to try to come back to their blog later. I don’t WANT to leave a generic comment.

    ALSO ALSO. Whyyyyy do we apologize for leaving long comments? DON’T DO IT. (Even I do.)

    And finally, prompts. I love doing these…when I remember. 😀

  7. I have a hard time with leaving prompts. It’s easy on discussion posts, but everything else?

    I don’t think it’s the length of the comment that matters, but the quality. Of course, it feels great to see a long comment because obviously, your post prompted a complex response, but even short comments are well loved.

  8. Haha, yeah, Meg’s comments are amazing. Whenever I get a notification saying that she commented, I immediately know that the comment is going to be thoughtful, and super fun to reply to 😛

    Long comments are my favorite comments, since they usually let me reply back with rambles. With long comments, I know that they read my post, and that they also found the post to be thought-provoking and/or interesting (I hope)… And I always try to give long comments, though I sometimes don’t because of time and brain-scrambledness.

    However, small comments are really nice, too! I just love getting them because lots of the bloggers that write those short comments are able to write their thoughts in a short and sweet little package!

  9. I agree, leaving a prompt definitely helps. I always try to do this (though I don’t always think of the best questions), specifically on my reviews, because it gives us something to talk about even if people didn’t read or aren’t interested in that particular book.

    However, it’s so much easier to leave longer comments on discussion posts. Sometimes I feel like my comment is so long I might as well just write my own blog post in response!

  10. Asking questions at the end of the post is a fantastic discussion generator – wish I could remember to do it all the time.

    I’m in the camp that doesn’t really care about comment length. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to comment.

  11. I like it when bloggers give readers the opportunity to respond to their posts. I normally don’t leave long comments. I read a lot of book reviews on books that I have not read, so I normally just write a sentence about how it seems to be an interesting book and something that I would be interested in reading. If I’m not interested in the book, I don’t comment. I also read fashion blogs and usually comment on what I liked about the outfit. Fashion posts are not really thought provoking. I also read some personal blogs and I’m very careful when I comment on them because I’m aware that the person is pouring their heart out.

  12. I try to leave thoughtful comments, but it’s unusual for me to leave comments even as long as this one. I do love getting really long comments though or thoughtful comments of any length.I certainly don’t think long comments are something to apologize for 🙂

    I wish I were better about including prompts in my posts, but I often feel like a question is going to seem strange at the end of a review. I don’t find it odd when other people end reviews with a prompting question though, since it really does make it easier for there to be a good discussion, so I might try to get over feeling weird about it and just include them.

  13. I need to start leaving prompts at the end of my posts! I’ve done it a few times and I think it’s helpful and good, especially if you’re asking a specific question or wanting others opinions. It gives them something to respond to which is what comments are for! I’ve said it before and I’ve read it in comments left for me, too: sorry for the long comment. If you actually think about it, it is the silliest thing EVER because what blogger doesn’t absolutely love and appreciate a long, thoughtful comment. I love them and I don’t think anyone ever in the history of blogging would disagree on this matter so from now on, I will never ever apologize for leaving a long comment because long comments are the BEST. But then so sweet, short comments… Basically, thoughtful comments of any shape or form are a win!

  14. That’s actually a really good idea! I might start doing that! As for comments, it’s like writing a review for me: Don’t overthink it, write what you’re feeling at the moment. Sometime they super short, sometime they are super long. but it mostly depends on what I want to say regarding the review or the book. Same with getting a comment, as along it’s meaning and not your life story, I love them. Great post, Kayla!

  15. Like you I absolutely love reading long comments and leaving them! The only time mine tend to be really short is when I’m on my iPad (and don’t have a proper keyboard)! 🙂 Awesome post. I’m glad you’ve found a way to stimulate more discourse on your blog.

  16. I’m a little late to this conversation, but I definitely agree. I try to reply to every comment on my blog, and long, thoughtful ones actually begin a discussion, which is the whole point of a discussion post. I want to know what other people think! They also mean that person actually read my post and didn’t just skim it. As a reader, I don’t comment unless I’ve got something to say – I don’t want to be a propagator of bland commentary! Thanks for shedding light on this issue that we’re all aware of but few want to talk about.

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