You’re Not Even Trying To Leave Good Comments

I’ll own up to this one fact; I’m a different kind of person when it comes to comments I’ll accept on my blogs. Like almost everyone else, I love getting comments on the articles I write. I also hate spam, which is easy to pick out. Where I might differ is that I’ll also get rid of comments that don’t add anything to the conversation, even if I decide it’s not spam.

Last week I wrote an article discussing the topic of social media sites and suppression of different topics here and there. It actually got quite a few comments, but if you check out the article and look at the comments you’ll only see 3 of them there, along with my responses. Why?

A good comment actually responds in some way to the topic of the article. For instance, if you look at the 3 comments it received that I kept, one of them was only 2 sentences long. But it addressed the topic by first making a statement, then asking a question. My friend Ramana showed that he actually read the article and in his succinct way showed it by giving his observation from his perspective; great job! ๐Ÿ™‚

Other comments I received that weren’t spam… not so much. Something that irks me to no end is having someone respond to an article by quoting pretty much what I said in the article; one sentence long and that’s it. No opinion, no indication that the article was actually read, no real thought about the topic at all… basically fluff.

Anyone who visits this blog often knows I’m big on comments, comments that I leave on other blogs and comments left on this one. Over the course of 12 years of writing on this blog (it’ll be 13 in December), I’ve written a lot of articles on the topic of blogging. Here’s a few if you’re interested in checking them out:

9 Reasons Your Comment Looks Like Spam

I See What You Did With Your Comment & You Did It Badly

Why Donโ€™t More People Comment On Blogs?

Approve Blog Comments And Respond To Them

Are Your Comments Trustworthy?

Fake And Lousy Comments

5 Things You Should Do Before Commenting On A Blog

Responding To Commentsโ€ฆ Sighโ€ฆ

If you made it to the last link, you’ll see I wrote that one in 2011. I actually have older articles, but I think I’ve gotten my point across. I’ve been writing on this topic for the entirety of this blog. I don’t know if many people read, understand or care, but I keep at it. I’m always about the education part of topics I write about unless I’m telling a story… although many times my stories have a point, leading to a different kind of education.

I hate thinking this, but most people don’t actually care about the content someone’s writing about. Instead, they’re all about dropping that link back to their sites. Actually, that’s kind of a misnomer; overwhelmingly these days, the people dropping the comments aren’t the owners or writers of any of the content; they’re people paid to leave comments on other people’s blogs, knowing that most people can’t tell the difference between a comment that has meaning and one that’s just using them.

By the way, it’s not just blogs that get lousy comments from people who don’t consume the content. YouTube is pervasive in the number of lousy and stupid comments on videos. I see a lot of “first comment” posts with no context… just to get a link. Sometimes on my videos I’ll get a lot of “hello” automatic posts with emoji’s and links to pages that don’t have any videos. That makes no sense whatsoever, but all I do is delete and block those folks… who probably don’t care or even know you did it because they’ve moved on to the next person.

This is what the world is like now; it’s all about speed and not about actually reading something, where the possibility is learning something is possible. That’s why we have so many horrible voters, people who take sides on a topic without taking time to think or research or talk to anyone else to see if they’re on the right side of things. It’s why more newspapers across the country that are online are eliminating the right of people to comment on their stories.

It’s too bad because it eliminates the opportunity for interactive discourse and discussion of topics when the majority not only doesn’t care, but wants to be disruptive for whatever pleasure they get in trying to make others miserable instead of trying to help make the world better.

It is what it is… but not here. I hope if you’re a blogger, not where you are either. I’m going to continue hoping for better as it pertains to my blogs… but not expecting much. I hate the cynicism, but time proves reality, not expectation. I wonder how many people will miss that last line…

19 thoughts on “You’re Not Even Trying To Leave Good Comments”

  1. Hi Mitch, I like the new theme, especially the choice of colours!

    You’re so right about those spammy, annoying comments. I’d rather have much fewer, but genuine ones as well. Too many selfish bloggers out there!

    Must check out more Youtube content, as I haven’t perused the comment section that much.

    1. Thanks Debbie. Even on my YouTube channel, there are a few comments that I’ve thought about getting rid of, but they’ve been from long time subscribers who’ve had good comments here and there throughout the years. The junk… I always get rid of, just like on here.

  2. I love your new theme, Mitch. As to the comments, I’m sure a lot of them are left by bots. Like you, I delete more comments than I keep because I’m not about to keep fluff. Like you, I also reply to all my comments and many times I may even ask a question to see if they come back to reply. Most don’t and I’m tempted to remove the link back to their site on those comments.

    1. Hey Pete, only once in all the years I’ve been blogging has someone come back and actually answered a question I asked them. That’s pretty illuminating in my opinion. I’ve just decided that any comments coming from a gmail account are going to be moderated from this point on. My spam filters can’t seem to figure out spam comments on 50% of the junk I get, and I’d rather now have it sitting in the comments section pretending it’s legit. Holly’s not going to like it, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

  3. Hi Mitch, you are right, it is so sad that is where we are today. People are not taking the time to research or read much these days. They are getting little bits of info via memes more than anything else ๐Ÿ™
    I see comments as you explained above on my blog and youtube as well. I like you, delete them. Many go right into spam. I don’t understand how the bots work like that but know that they do and can.
    But on the good side, they are still folks that comment well after reading your entire post ๐Ÿ™‚ So don’t give up! All is not lost.

    1. True, there are still people who leave good comments, and that makes blogging still feel like an important thing to do. As for the noise we get, as I just told Peter I’m going back to moderating all comments that are using gmail accounts… so, if you don’t immediately see your comment on my blog at least you now know why. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. As far as bots are concerned, Akismet deletes those before they come to me. And I don’t approve the comments that are obviously just self-promotion. I have read enough articles (probably by you) about how to improve traffic by visiting other blogs that I recognize self- interest when I see it.

    1. Yeah, I’ve certainly written about this topic long and hard over the years… and I’ll probably keep writing about it until I stop writing. I removed Akismet when it stopped working and became a paid product.

  5. Mitch, sadly it is all about headlines and scanning. And I suspect many humans (leaving out the bots) don’t even go that far before commenting. If they comment at all.

    The current political scene is the poster child of not reading to fully understand an issue. Even statements that have been proven false are regurgitated over and over again.People have become the algorithm response they claim to hate.

    I love “time proves reality, not expectation,” even though this self-professed Pollyanna hopes reality is not always a bitter pill. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Great stuff Cathy. The last 5 years (before the orange guy was elected) have desecrated the norm in ways no one expected. People argue over talking points instead of facts, and it’s too bad. It’s part of what’s killed the art of legitimate comments; spammers have always been around but now we’re at a point where sometimes it’s harder to tell legitimate comments from spam.

      Luckily, I have a comment policy and a fairly short leash. I give the benefit of the doubt to a few comments that at least looks like they’ve mentioned something in the article besides my name (that used to be a major criteria years ago). Some online newspapers finally went that route, while others decided it was too messy and stopped accepting comments altogether… which I’m happy about because some of the worst comments came on some of the most horrific news stories.

      1. I so appreciate that you do monitor comments, Mitch. It is so disturbing to see big name sites that donโ€™t and the nastiness being spewed. Iโ€™d rather they did turn off comments.

  6. Hi Mitch,
    I just love the new look of your blog. It really pops!
    When it comes to commenting, I’m a stickler about who I approve. I throw most of the one liners in the spam box.
    And..the worst is when someone doesn’t even reads the post. Its so obvious that they are their hoping for a backlink.

    Comments are the backbone of our and other’s blogs. Its so great to get a good discussion going on our blogs. When it comes to commenting on other blogs, and you leave a great comment, others see that besides the blogger.
    It’s a great feeling when someone comes to your blog and tells you that they found you on a comment you have left.

    I could go on and on because I’m passionate about this subject but you get the point.


    1. I definitely get the point Donna. That’s how it was when I first started blogging… even before I created this blog. People commented on the articles and gave encouragement, advice, and even opinions… nicely most of the time. ๐Ÿ™‚ You’ve seen my comments on your blog and probably others. If I don’t have anything good to say, then I stay away. I don’t mind short comments when I know they’ve read the article, but most of what I see that’s short is pure garbage… probably bots. We have to protect our spaces, right?

  7. Hi Mitch,

    I couldn’t agree with you more about the quality of comments. It seems that people are reading less and less, too. And so many bots everywhere! Sorry for not having read (and commented) more of your blogs, but I’m getting back in the swing of things now. Cheers and keep writing! You always have a lot to say and it’s always interesting.


    1. No problem Carol. I’m still reading and commenting on blogs, but sometimes it seems like there’s so much stuff to try to consume. I’m telling myself that after next Monday I’m not reading anything close to political, for multiple reasons, and I hope I read more blogs during that time… and leaving comments that shows others how they should normally comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Hey Mitch,

    I resonate with everything you say about blog comments, and like you, I dump one-liners and out-of-context comments into the spam box. As long as I cannot tell for sure that the comment is directly responding to my content, I do not bother to approve them. One never knows if they are bots or just people paid to hop around blogs to drop links!

    Also, I recently started getting people who drop promo links into my contact box, and I have no idea what to do about it short of removing the contact form entirely.

    Fortunately, most of the comments that I receive (and are not marked as spam by akismet) are those that are constructive and opinionated. I love those! I’ve seen many blogs with a long list of “great post!” or its equivalent, and I am glad my blog hasn’t gone that way, yet.

    Thanks for being so frank and upfront about a topic that many bloggers probably have much to say about but are afraid to in fear of losing readers.

    1. Thanks Ming. Actually, I don’t have a contact box for the very reason you mention, along with a lot of bots scraping my email address and sending me all kinds of junk years ago. I don’t expect people to leave War and Peace comments (I’ve never read it but I’ve seen it lol), but wishing the comment actually touched upon the content topic shouldn’t be unreasonable.

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