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Do You Comment On Blog Links You Share?

Posted by on Apr 23, 2011
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The act of sharing what other people create is one of the most selfless things a person can do online. Just knowing that someone has read a post of mine and thought enough of it to retweet it or like it for Facebook or even every once in awhile send the link to someone else is an email is a joy.

However, I’ve noticed something else that makes me wonder a little bit about the practice. I notice that for the most part links that are shared on Twitter and Facebook by people don’t end up showing any comments by the people doing the sharing. Now, I can understand that to a degree because I don’t write a comment on every single blog post that I retweet. But I do one of two things; I either comment on the blog post itself or I make a comment on the link when I retweet if there’s room, which is another story entirely.

Anyway, when I see these things on a recurring basis, it makes me wonder if those people actually went to look at the post they’re retweeting. I think that also is what my mom would call a “sometimey” proposition. I know I’ve clicked on a link, looked at a post that’s abysmal, then asked the person who shared the link why they shared it. Only a couple of times has one of those people responded, and they were then ashamed they hadn’t gone to see what they were sharing. That’s dangerous because suddenly your credibility can come into question.

I was reading Tristan’s blog Thursday night where he talked about the number of retweets one of his blog posts got. He also did some metrics in looking at the numbers. The general conclusion was (my paraphrasing it all) that it’s great to have people retweet your content, but it doesn’t always translate to visitors, and it doesn’t always translate to new subscribers.

And thus, it seems that having people comment is a nice way to go, or maybe write about the post on your blog and find other ways to share what you think about a blog post that might have a little extra bit of meaning. I’m not saying to not retweet posts; I’m saying that sometimes it’s nice to see an extra comment somewhere, especially a comment on a blog post. It might do more good long term.

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34 Comments »

Mitch, I hardly ever just Tweet a post without commenting first. The way I look at it is if I leave a great comment and then I tweet the post, not only am I doing the blogger a favour, I’m also giving my comment some exposure which means that I may get a little extra for my effort.

Those rare times when I tweet without commenting could be because they’re using Disqus or some other fool plugin that makes commenting a chore.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Oh yeah Sire, there’s always that, the Disqus thing and other things like that. I’m growing a little irritated with Typepad lately as well, so I don’t like commenting on those sites either. Otherwise, I think a comment is a good thing when I can.

April 23rd, 2011 | 10:10 AM

Hi Mitch,

You share some good points and I agree with you. I was guilty of setting up a Twitter feed for a few blogs that I network with, but I decided to stop doing that, because when someone would share the article/comment to me in a tweet about the post, I had no idea what the post was about.

My new game plan is to only RT articles that I have read and most of the times, I do comment on the posts that I share. If I don’t comment on the post, I will try to add a comment in the tweet and the FB link.

I feel more comfortable doing things that way. It does reflect on one’s credibility.

Take care,

Evelyn

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks Evelyn. Of course, I have my caveats, one Sire alluded to with Disqus, but I always look at every link first. I’m always willing to take one for the community. lol

April 23rd, 2011 | 10:20 AM

Well said Mitch and this is something that happens a lot, specially with free services that entice such to things from happening. Dlvr.it, tweetfeed, triberr are just but examples why this occurs often. What the ulterior motive is really a case by case scenario and this is one of the reasons that the twitter stream is sometimes full of noise and difficult to actually read something worthwhile. I have to admit that I am guilty of using such services although I do make an effort to comment on posts that I have RTd. Not all the time but often. I think that it gives a certain credibility to the RT or like and not just because “you know the guy” and bam.. I got the message :)

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks DiTesco. I think you do well with your Paper.li and link sharing. I know there are times when I see a blog post that’s really good that I want to share that I don’t comment on, but that’s kind of rare for me. But I always look, and if I RT a second time, it means I really liked it.

April 23rd, 2011 | 11:12 AM

The only time I comment on posts I tweet are when I really have something to say. If I don’t have I just move on. Sometimes I even retweet without checking out the link itself because I’ve either read the post in question before or I already know what the link/post is all about.

Just as you guys have already said RTs don’t always amount to traffic BUT chances of actual readers retweeting your articles are higher if they see rewteet buttons with large retweet counts ;-)

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

As long as you look at them Chuks I guess it’s okay. But how can you know what a blog post is about if you haven’t seen what it’s about? I’m only talking about blogs now; most news stories are easier to tell what they’re about.

Udegbunam Chukwudi Reply:

I just know man and when I even decide to take a chance on it by clicking through, I end up realizing that it’s as I’ve thought it to be ;-)

I just retweet those links ’cause I know someone out there would benefit from it and by adding the #fb tag to the end of the tweet, I automatically share it as well with my Facebook friends and fans ;-)

April 23rd, 2011 | 1:14 PM

I honestly do not comment on the sites that I share. I honestly dont even read the article, lol, I just see if the title sounds good then share it with my followers

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

But Edwin, what if it turned out to be something you wouldn’t want to be associated with? Remember, the internet never forgets and our credibility is always on the line. I’d have to really trust someone with my reputation to do that, and so far I don’t trust anyone that implicitly.

April 23rd, 2011 | 2:43 PM

Hear hear! It drives me nuts when I see links people share (via Twitter, Facebook, even inside another comment) but those links, if comment-enabled, don’t have comments by those people.

Nine times out of ten, I’m commenting before sharing. Asking why is a good question for, on my own blog, I prefer someone reads an article than comments or shares it.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Great stuff Ari, and I’m pretty much with you. Today I commented on a lot of blogs I’d never visited before and then shared those links, and it was fun.

April 23rd, 2011 | 10:08 PM

This is a very interesting discussion, Mitch. I have an evil agenda when I retweet: I want people to see what I had to say on the subject. :)

Obviously, that means I leave a comment. I also have developed a weird habit: I will hit the retweet button in TweetDeck, and defer pressing Enter until after I’ve read the post. The reason for this bizarre behavior is that I have clicked on links in the past, really enjoyed the post and left a comment. Whe I went back to TweetDeck, I could never find the blasted Tweet! I’d hunt all over, wasting time and end up just tweeting the link from the blog.

Since I want the blogger to know that someone else had tweeted, I started “saving” the RT in my TweetDeck input box.

Cheers,

Mitch

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Mitch, I don’t think that’s so nefarious. The thing is that it works for both parties, and I’ve never seen any of your comments on my blog or on any other blog not be a good comment. And I sometimes do what you do with TweetDeck, but it depends on which list I’m using for it. If it’s the big global list I’m paying attention to, then I have to do it. But if it’s one of the lists I’ve specifically created, then I don’t because those messages aren’t moving by as fast.

April 24th, 2011 | 5:28 AM

I’m not a real big twitter user, so I don’t really have an opinion on the retweet. But when I share something on facebook, it really depends. The majority of the time I do offer up a few of my own thoughts … especially if I’m sharing a political article. But if I’m just trying to help one of my friends get some exposure for their site/one of their posts, I may or may not opine myself … seeing as how, that type of share isn’t really about “me”.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Well Todd, your purposes are different than those folks who are on Twitter. I have to say that I haven’t shared much stuff with people via Facebook; not sure why. I also don’t always comment on news stories I retweet; never on the news site, and only every once in awhile on a new story I’m retweeting, mainly because there’s often not enough room. But I figure blogs are a different story if only because I want people to know I actually read the post, since I’m recommending it via the retweet, and if I have a comment on that post then they’ll know for sure I read it.

April 24th, 2011 | 10:16 PM

“I notice that for the most part links that are shared on Twitter and Facebook by people don’t end up showing any comments by the people doing the sharing.”

Man, you’re reading my mind, Mitch! I’m actually addressing this in tomorrow’s post. I’ve noticed that the more I retweet, the less I comment.

The main thing that I took away after analyzing all of those retweets was that retweets are really only good as long as the people retweeting it are in your niche or care about what you care about. So a retweet from someone who blogs/tweets about social media, internet marketing, blogging, etc. is more valuable to me than a retweet from someone who blogs about comic books. The problem with all those RTs I got was that they weren’t targeted. The catalyst Twitter user who RTd my post (which then got RTd 50+ times) tweets about Twitter, which is something I rarely write about. All of those people who came to my blog and then left (I had a bounce rate of 93% that day!) just aren’t my target audience.

Is it bad that people retweet something but won’t comment on it? I don’t know… That’s a really good question. I think the [unsatisfactory] answer is that it depends. There are definitely some retweets I’d like more than others, and there are definitely some comments that I appreciate more than others.

Great stuff here, though, and thanks for the shout out! I’m glad that post got you thinking. I really enjoyed writing that one. I’m kind of a stat nerd.

So now I’ve commented on this post, and I’m about to retweet it :)

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

You know Tristan, you bring up an interesting point, that being bounce rate. My bounce rate across the board is pretty high, and it never occurred to me that it could be people coming from Twitter who look, aren’t the target audience of this blog (if I have a target audience lol) and jet away as fast as possible. I figure the people RT’ing are somewhat interested, but what about all those other people? You’ve got me thinking again; stop hurting my head! lol

As to something else you said, I think I’m about 25/75 in retweeting what I comment on. I’m not set up with TweetMeme so I rarely retweet those posts, and I have to find a post really intriguing for me to do the paste and copy into TweetDeck. If someone has other ways for me to share a post I do, but I might have to think about my entire strategy on this one.

Udegbunam Chukwudi Reply:

@Tristan: Just read your post on auto tweeting. Nice one.

April 25th, 2011 | 12:12 AM

Oh, and while I often retweet without commenting (bad, but I guess it’s better than not retweeting it in the first place, right?) I rarely comment without retweeting.

April 25th, 2011 | 12:15 AM

Hi Mitch,

You know I wrote a post some time back titles Why i prefer comments to RTs. Many said I missed the point and that RTs are important to bring traffic to the post in the first place.
I emphasized that people get to my post by many different ways, RT is one, but for example I got to this post through my Reader, since I subscribe.

So perhaps the argument is subscribers, AND comments are more important than RTs.
You are so right, RTs are ‘weak’ praises, comments and subscribers are much more important.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks John; as you mentioned it I did remember your post. I don’t want to negate RT’s at all because it’s nice when someone shares something you’ve posted. But I think it becomes more important and powerful if the person doing the retweet says something about it or on it; kind of like the conversation about Follow Fridays.

April 25th, 2011 | 4:30 AM

I share a lot of stuff on facebook, i read all of it surely but on some articles that are just excellent and has nothing much to add in comments other than a “nice post” i usually leave it. I only tweet things that are strictly on the niche.

So, basically i try to comment on any post that i come across unless there is nothing much to add.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks for your comment Uttoran. I fully understand not wanting to leave a comment that has absolutely no value, and that’s something which stops me as well. Sometimes a good post just takes it all away from you. Still, if I share the link I’ll mention something like that before I do.

April 25th, 2011 | 6:12 AM

Sometimes people are really interested about the topic on the blog and they comment, sometimes retweeting happen if topics are similar with other blog and websites, at least this is how it goes for me.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Maybe Carl, but it does beg the question about intent, which you kind of answered.

April 26th, 2011 | 5:05 AM

I am getting into the habit of commenting on posts before I tweet it. I used to just do the Twitterfeed thing, but have since changed my approach on that. I’ll be writing an article about this topic soon! :)

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Great Kristi. I find myself commenting often on things you’ve been sharing before I RT them, unless there’s just nothing to say. And one hopes that those folks appreciate both.

April 26th, 2011 | 1:22 PM

I had read the same blog post of Tristan and then went to look at my numbers after. I have seen an increase in traffic to my site, which I certainly appreciate, but still only a few comments. I wish I could write something that would touch people enough to post their thoughts and comments as well.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

I think we all yearn for that Janet, and some people do just that sort of thing. And it’s actually okay if a person can’t find something to say on some posts; I certainly get that. But if retweeting, maybe say a word or two on the link to show you at least saw it or have a minor opinion before you’re sharing it. I’d like people who see those RT’s to come to the blog and then come back later on of their own free will. I like the bounce, but I’d love the community if you know what I mean.

May 4th, 2011 | 5:16 AM

Hi Mitch,

Blogging is all about sharing and that’s a good thing about blogging. It is very nice that someone leaves a comment to your post, I do comments on blog links that I share but not that too excessive.
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September 28th, 2011 | 7:56 PM
Mercedes Penington:

I actually leave a comment to the blog I share, I obviously leave. What’s the essence actually of sharing links of that blog that you personally don’t leave a comment anyway. You made a great points here Mitch, I truly appreciate it!
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks Mercedes. Every once in awhile I don’t obviously, but most of the time I just have to share my thoughts.

November 20th, 2011 | 8:43 PM