Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, March 12, 2010

Comments on Blogs

I'm wondering about something...how do you interpret the variation in the number of comments left on a blog post? If a particular entry gets more comments than usual, can you assume it means more people connected to it? And the flip side of that - if you get fewer comments than usual - does that mean you missed the mark?

I'm asking because the numbers fluctuate widely on this blog and I can't figure out why. Maybe it's not related to blog content at all, but just to how many visitors came that particular day and chose to leave a comment, as opposed to "lurking."

Other bloggers have written about commenting, so all I'll say here is that I try to visit the sites on my blogroll Monday through Friday, the days I post entries myself. I take the weekend off. I don't always leave a comment because I don't always feel I have something to contribute, but I might just say a word or two to let the blogger know I've been there. That I'm still paying attention. That I still care what's going on in their world.

For that is what we really want, as bloggers, isn't it? To know someone out there is listening. Aren't you?
Hello? Are you still there?

Talk to me,


Mason Canyon said...

I think you're right we just want to know someone is there. I know that I tried to visit a lot of blogs each day, but I find a number of them I really can't contribute anything to what's been posted. Sometimes I do say "great post" or "enjoyed the post" just to let them know someone was there. Other times I don't. I'm not sure what is "correct."

Cyndi said...

I think it depends. I, like you, visit my favorite blogs religiously. I almost always comment even if it's just something short to let the writer I know I stopped by. As these are my favorite blogs for a reason, I usually leave a longer comment, especially when something they write really resonates with me.

I use google reader to keep track of all the blogs/sites I'm following. There are many that I still read every single post but rarely comment or only comment when something really jumps out at me. There's one in particular that is a humor blog. I hardly comment there at all unless I immediately think of something witty to say but still read every post.

Some of the blogs in my google reader I skip entirely some days if I'm particularly busy or it the title & first paragraph don't immediately grab me.

So....I think it depends on how many readers read every single post and also for how many each post hits home. IMHO.

Cyndi said...

One more thing... :)

Blogspot blogs are not very user friendly when it comes to commenting. You have to pick a profile, some have a CAPTCHA, and you can't receive follow-up comments via e-mail. If I comment here, I have to remember to check back to find out if you or anyone else responded to me or even to see what anyone after me had to say about the post. With Wordpress, you can subscribe to comments which leads to more discussion between blogger & commenters and between commenters themselves.

Karen Walker said...

Thanks, Mason. I don't know what's correct either. I just try to be polite and visit those who visit me. If I notice someone new, I go to their blog and thank them.

Hmm, I didn't realize that, Cyndi. Oy, does that mean I should check into switching to Wordpress. I'm so technophobic and oh so proud of myself that I got this blog set up and it's working...

Joanne said...

I'm listening, Karen. I'm listening. On the blogs I visit, I usually try to leave a comment contributing to the dialogue, to keep that connection. I notice too when there's a variation in the comments, but I don't know if there's any rhyme or reason to it. Length of post? Too involved a concept? Monday vs Friday? Not an appealing photo? Oh the list goes on. Instead I just put myself out there on the blog and hope it all works, most of the time, somehow.

Tamika: said...

There is so much variation. I can never tell why some posts receive more comments than others. I can only do my best to engage the reader and ask them a question to pull them in for a discussion.

I try and keep up with reading and commenting through my Google Reader, and if I take the time to read I will comment.

Helen Ginger said...

I try to leave some kind of comment when I visit. But I also try not to pay much attention to the number of comments my own blog receives. I love hearing from those who drop by, but at the end of the day, I can't control who stops by.

Straight From Hel

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm listening!

I visit blogs almost every day, usually very light on Saturdays, my one day off from posting a blog. I have my favorites (like yours) and ones that I comment on once in a while.

I think if we knew the secret to that, we'd all have thousands of comments a day!
Not sure I could handle that many... LOL

The Old Silly said...

LOL, yes I'm still here. Can you hear me now? How about now. Oh yeah, there you are. (wink)

I don't know the real answer to your question. My blog averages 20-25 comments a day but then there will be a day or sometimes a couple days in a row where it falls down into the low teens, then suddenly it'll spike to upwards of 30. Weird. I do the same thing every day with pinging, facebooking and tweeting post updates, and my posts are (I feel) all pretty much of equal interest, but ...

(deleted) happens, I guess.

Marvin D Wilson

arlee bird said...

I've often wondered about the hows and whys of commenting and have also posted about this topic in the past. Sometimes I'll post something that I think is really good and that a lot of people might like and get relatively few comments. I understand why my Sunday posts on the Bible get the fewest comments of all. But the other days I can't figure out. I think when I post something complex or controversial a lot of readers don't know what to say and just move on. When it's a lighter topic that requires less thought it often gets more people weighing in with their thoughts.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

I have the same questions. It's hard not to watch the tide of comments and try to figure out what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong. I do have blogs I visit every weekday and I try to leave a comment - I think of it as keeping the lines open.

Anonymous said...

I'm a regular reader of many blogs, including yours, but I don't write one myself. I almost never comment. Never really thought about what that might mean to the writer, I always assumed you could see the number of readers and know that your words are going somewhere. I don't comment for several reasons, including simply not having anything to add. But I have also found commenting on blogs unsatisfying and kind of lonely when I have tried it. It just isn't a real conversation to me, and it's much nicer if I don't pretend that it is. I enjoy reading what you share of your life and process, but to me it's like reading an essay you've published, and not at all like reading an email from a friend.

Ann said...

Hi Karen, I do make the effort to leave comments whenever I stop and read a blog. Just because I know how chuffed I am when comments have been left on mine. New blogger syndrome. So thank you for leaving comments on my blog. And I enjoy reading your renderings immensely.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

I use google reader, and on days when I am busy, I only read, but don't follow the link to go to the blog and comment. Plus, as someone said, pretty often, your comment gets swallowed up, and you don't really feel like doing it again.

Personally, I like it when a post generated a lot of comments, but I don't mind too much when it doesn't - because I know that the number of posts I like, is much higher than the number of posts I comment on.

You for instance, I read every day, and like a lot because you always make me think. But when it comes to leaving a comment, I am a bit intimidated, because you don't leave much for me to say.

Simona44 said...

I Lurked!

Anonymous said...

I'm still here. And yes, as bloggers sometimes we feel like a voice crying out in the cold, still night. Is anyone listening? Anyone? Sometimes we're not sure. We simply hope our words will find a place to land and find a home to dwell in.

Stephen Tremp

Anonymous said...

Funny, I've been wondering the same thing. Some of my posts get many comments others get like two. Still some get nothing. Some people have been good about stopping by my blog occasionally to see if there's something new.

But to join the debate, I think it's a bit of everything. It may be that in a particular week, your blog gets visited by more people, but if the latest post isn't interesting, visitors may not leave comments.

Visiting other blogs help. I usually try to visit the blog of anyone who's made a comment on my blog. I think if you are active on writers' forums too (like WOW), you might get more visitors. (this is an area I have to work at)

Now, before you jump ship, I run blogs on both WordPress and Blogger. Each one has its merits. E.g. yes, on WordPress one can subscribe and get notifications but on Blogger, you have the Google friends connect thing. Blogger also has more widget compatibility than WordPress.


Alexis Grant said...

I think the number of comments you get is a good measure of how engaging your post was. You want your posts to be engaging, obviously. But sometimes posts simply aren't meant to get a lot of comments.

For example, I interview writers on my blog every once in a while. I LOVE these interviews, they're some of my favorite posts, and I think they help readers. But if the writer isn't going to answer questions in the comments, usually readers don't leave many comments. There's just not that opportunity for give-and-take, ya know?

Controversial posts also get lots of comments :)