Proper Commenting Etiquette

A few fellow bloggers have various comment etiquettes – such as Nancy, who prefers long comments.

Like I did on a recent post, I’m most likely going to make a lot of people really angry. But this is my opinion of this “proper commenting etiquette” crap, and this post is long overdue. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy reading Nancy’s blog, or anyone else’s I may mention in this post. However, the commenting etiquette “rule of thumb” has gotten way out of hand between last year and today, and even in the future.

I have found that Georgina’s article has better diction – can’t you see it in the title? Rather than using “proper”, she uses effective. That is a more effective way of telling me what she wants, and what I can comment with in order to expect a reply.

But that’s not what I’m talking about. It’s not even close.

Sure, having a mere two sentences relating to the blog post said blogger posted and then pressing enter/talking about something else/replying to said blogger’s comment isn’t very polite, but that does not make the comment a “wrong” comment.

Reading said blogger’s first and/or last paragraph and then commenting their post with information based on either one – or both – of those paragraphs, and then pressing enter/replying to their comment/etc. is not wrong, either. Is it nice? Maybe not, but to some it may be.

Asking “How are you?”/”How was your day?”/”How have you been?” before reading said blogger’s current post (or maybe even a recent/previous one) in a comment isn’t a fun comment to receive, either.

A lot of bloggers I used to enjoy commenting seem to care more about the quantity of their comments – length and number – and I don’t. Because of this, I am having  rough time with commenting them back.

When people have these stupid, idiotic commenting “rules”, it makes me worry about whether my comment is adequate. I hate that feeling. I used to really enjoy returning blog comments, but it’s no longer as fun.

I understand that not all bloggers understand/know how to comment correctly, but because I’m seeing these “rules” on practically every blogger’s blog I go to and want to comment, I’m just closing the tab. Or, if I don’t see their “rules” beforehand, then I am reading the entry and then closing the tab. I just hate that I feel this way about commenting now.

It’s no longer an activity I enjoy doing. When rules are involved in a fun activity like this one, the activity starts to feel more like a chore. And I don’t like having chores online.

Sorry, but comments are closed on this post.

Comments on this post

Erin Nicole’s gravatar

I totally agree with having rules on the blog post. It’s retarded. I mean, returning comments is enough of a chore to me without the unneeded rules on the blog.
The only rule I have is to comment on the blog. That’s all. I don’t care about how many comments I have or the length. I used to care about the number but I’ve learned not to…and I barely update IBE as it is anyway, so that alone makes it seem like I have more comments than I normally would. If I would update IBE regularly like I used to then I would probably only have 3-5 comments per blog, maybe even none for some blogs. It really depends on how long I let my blog sit there.

I hate how people are getting lazy when returning comments. I mean, really? If you don’t feel like returning comments then you don’t have to. No one is forcing you. The only person forcing you to return comments is yourself.

Really? There really is a state that allows incest? WOAH! We just make Alabama jokes and that was one of them, I had no idea that there was a state that actually allowed incest. That is gross..

It did, thanks!

You are right. It is an amazing feeling. I love and hate the feeling. It’s so bittersweet. :’)

Hahahaha. Probably. My layout is kind of plain but ehh. it’s good for not feeling like wanting to make a layout in the first place. hahahaha. I just through it together.

Hahahahaha. Really? You get frustrated about favorite things because you think you can change them? hahahaa. My favorites change daily. XD

Lol. It’s from Spongebob Squarepants. XD

Moni’s gravatar

Totally agree with you on this one Liz, I feel the same way many times. I feel as if I have to write in such a way to make the owner of the blog I am commenting on…happy…SHouldnt it be just a fun way of leaving your two cents on someone’s blog. Why is it so important to summarize every single word of someone’s blog post and turn it into an question? Is there an actual point in that whole system? I mean, sometimes you just don’t have much to say or you refrain from saying too much. I don’t think that should make you an bad person for commenting 2 sentences. At least you did get back to your friends and fellow bloggers you might follow. I think this whole thing of “You should write essays as comments” is ridiculous. I don’t get people writing a lot on my blog…I don’t automatically assume that they didn’t read my blog post… (frankly I honestly could careless if someone writes two words or two paragraphs..its their choice and preference) I sometimes write a lot, I sometimes write very little. My words count shouldnt determine if Im worthy enough to write back to your blog post. =/

Georgina’s gravatar

You made me really want to refine my article so I’m doing that now. There are definitely no rules to commenting and I think we’re just adjusted to what we’re used to. It does feel like a chore, probably because I’m used to people expecting comments back. And they shouldn’t. I don’t expect comments back from people but I really feel like I should respond to everyone because they were nice enough to leave me a comment.

I don’t like receiving comments that aren’t related to my blog post, period. If there is any rule, that should be the only one. I don’t care how long the comments are. Admittedly I used to, but now I know people don’t always have a lot to say and I totally respect that. I know people don’t always have things to say in response to what I say on their post, and that is fine too. I know other people are the same.

I like interacting with people through comments. But not to the point where it feels like a chore, of course. I think that’s why I just kind of lagged and stopped. People were expecting comments back and all that jazz, so I figured if they want to be their way, I can be my way. I can take as long as I want to respond, or not respond at all. 🙂

Clarisse’s gravatar

I feel this way when I’m commenting on someones blog and they have those little reminders on top of the comment area that say things like “I will reply to all comments, unless those comments or short”. I honestly don’t see anything wrong with ‘short’ comments. I don’t like the idea of forcing myself to say more things than I have to say just because I’m afraid my comment would seem too short for them to approve of.

I just appreciate getting comments at all, to be honest. I just don’t like it when people are obviously just commenting for the hits or for the comment back. Even then, I’m still somewhat flattered that my blog is popular enough for them to find and decide to use for popularity.

I think what most people are talking about when they make these ‘rules’ though are these types of comments, the ones for the hits. Sometimes I guess they don’t realize how unreasonable they can sound sometimes.

Erin’s gravatar

I have to agree that it’s kind of… off-putting to see “rules” about commenting. The whole concept that there exists a “proper” way to comment seems to create a binary between correct and incorrect, as if there is not much room for variation in the style of one’s comment if it’s to be appreciated by the blogger. If I read someone’s rules and find that I would have to alter my comment to conform to those rules, then I don’t really want to comment at all. Personally, I read blogs to get to know other people from around the world, and when I comment, I intend to write in a way that represents how I tend to communicate. Just because what I have to say in response to a blog and how I want to say it might not “fit” into the rules (not long enough, not related to enough points, whatever), I don’t feel like my contribution should be deemed inadequate or unacceptable… However, if that is the case, then it feels like an annoying chore, like you said.

I also want to remark specifically on the “How are you?”-type comments: I honestly feel like they are perhaps the most annoying to receive. To me, it just makes it obvious that the commenter didn’t read my blog (or if he/she did, it wasn’t with any intention to take in what I wrote) because the answer should be pretty clear. Unless it’s something like a “How are you since [a specific instance mentioned previously, whether in a blog entry, comment, Tweet, etc.]” that demonstrates that the reader genuinely cares and is following up on something from before, then those types of comments tend to come off as uncaring, even if that isn’t the commenter’s intention!

Dalia’s gravatar

I never thought of there being a right or wrong way to comment… to me, it’s just a way to say hello, let someone know they’re blog is being read, wish them the best on whatever they’re currently venturing, comment on the whatever they’re blogging about… I’ve never really thought of whether or not my comment is good…. is this a bad comment?

Haha oh well.

Liz’s gravatar

@Dalia, I can’t view your website for some odd reason, IDK. D:

I don’t think there’s a right/wrong way to comment, either. Sure, for some people if you make it a really long comment they will either be more or less likely to comment back. But it’s often hard to comment on every little detail, you know?

I guess that … I tend to feel as if I am being graded on the comments I leave.

I don’t think your comment is a bad comment. 🙂

Aashni’s gravatar

Hey, how you doing?
So i didn’t spend any time reading your blog, but YOU HAD BETTER REPLY TO ME!

ok, I kid. I kid. I think some of the rules are extremely annoying and stupid. The worst are when people expect you to sign up or create an account in order to comment. It’s like, NO. I have better things to do that bother with any of the crap.

While I don’t (at least I don’t think so..) have any rules about commenting on my site, I hope that my visitors at least attempt to either reply to a comment I posted on their site, or to something I said in my blog post. I’ve gotten a comment or two in the past from someone who asks how my day is, when I just spent an entire blog post talking about how my day was. To that idiot, I don’t bother replying to their comments. Otherwise, I try to be polite, and reply back on their blogs, both replying to the comment they sent to me, and to whatever it is they’ve written in their blog posts. I also try to write in proper english (another thing I hate about some commenters – USE PROPER (or eloquent/effective) ENGLISH!)

Ya, my comments can run on a bit long every now and then… as I’m sure you’ve noticed 😛

Hopefully you fall back in love with commenting. Just find a group of blogs that you enjoy commenting on, who’se owners don’t have insane commenting rules, and actually bother to reply back. 🙂

Liz’s gravatar

I made an icon contest, but I’m most likely going to just delete the page – I don’t really want to deal with all of that, you know?

Good luck with all of your exams! 🙂

Don’t forget about the domain contest – whenever you’re ready, that is. 😉 Ahahh.

Ahah. Another thing that often bothers me is fake comments – like when people comment about every single time and include a dozen emoticons, or just … try their best to comment of every single thing. Even if it is only more than once and their natural commenting behavior or whatever, it still annoys me. I just have a problem with fake things like that. Or people who never use paragraphs. Or people who want more traffic/care about their traffic. So they write really long, good-looking comments. But I love these blogger’s blogs and whatnot – it’s just their comments.

I get a lot of angered commenters (usually first-time commenters) who comment my post(s) because I don’t reply to their blog at all the first few times – I reply directly on my website. Unless, of course, I’m to lazy to hit “Nested Reply” before I approve the comment – even if it is easier to do. But I still read their entry. I just don’t comment about it on their blog. The ones that do keep coming back do get blog comments from me eventually. It just doesn’t happen right away.

Or, again, if they’re all about the hits.

I don’t publicly list the people I advertise at my footer on an “advertisement” page for that exact reason – people get mad over silly things.

However, when I’m not so lazy I will add your button to my footer. ^^ I’m just … too lazy right now, even though I use PHPads. 😛

Ashley’s gravatar

I completely agree. Commenting has gotten out of hand recently with all the rules. Preferably, I enjoy medium sized comments. Not ones that blab one forever and not ones that take two seconds for them to type it. A medium sized comment shows they care about your blog, but don’t over do it, I suppose you could say.

Most people’s rules aren’t really ridiculous, but I do find the fact why there are rules, ridiculous. Who needs to be told to write a good comment that is related to the post. I suppose in our selfish world, people have brought that into web designing.

Good post. 🙂

Abbie’s gravatar

Liz! Gosh, I’ve missed you.It’s nice to finally be back online and I was super glad to hear from you on twitter the other day.

Well, as far as your blog goes, I agree.

When I write comments, I like them to be long because I personally feel like I payed more attention to the blogger. That’s just me. I’m a very long winded person and I don’t want to give people half of my effort. I think commenting is different for everybody. While I like to write long comments, you may not.

That doesn’t mean you’re comment doesn’t live up to the “standards” and I’ll shun you if you leave a short comment. It just shows differences between people, I suppose. The only thing that I won’t really reply to is if a commenter obviously didn’t read the blog. No body likes that.

I talked to my parents about North Carolina and even though we are very close to my family there, I can’t go. They had very good reasons for it and I can’t really argue with them about it. There were complications with their jobs and my sister would be home alone a lot if I left. She’s still really young and we live in a creepy place and we just couldn’t leave her. I still have my camera, but it bothers me because it can’t capture color very well. I’d like to try photography again though. Good idea 🙂

Esme’s gravatar

I know! I don’t really care about the length and stuff of the comments I receive, because I appreciate them already for taking the time to click on ‘comment’ and actually read my blog then write a comment. I’ve seen sites that have said ‘I won’t reply to those one-line comments’ and it’s like why? I’m not a fan of those sites with rules either :

Hannah J. Holmes’s gravatar

I totally get where you are coming from. Even after I read a post I like, and I really want to let the blogger know, if there is a long list of rules about what comments he/she does not appreciate, then I usually just move on to another web page. I am too worried about getting it wrong and offending somebody. Like if I just wrote “great post,” then they may assume I didn’t really read it. You know?

Stephanie’s gravatar

I completely agree with you. I don’t like all comments, and I enjoy comments with quality in them. I’m currently tossing around the idea of not allowing comments on my blog at all, so that it is just something that other people can read, but they can’t leave comments on it because I’m overall not too happy with the way comments are going these days on a lot of site. But I wonder. If I don’t allow comments, will I get visitors at all?

The most you can probably do for yourself is to just stop commenting on blogs of people who don’ t leave quality comments. As you said, blogging shouldn’t be a chore. You have no real obligation to “return comments”.

Liz’s gravatar

@Hannah J. Holmes, I cannot comment your blog post because you do not accept Name/URL comments. D: And I really hate using my Google profile thing. :/

I could actually [oddly] see myself purchasing a toothbrush holder from Wal-Mart for $8, but I think it is much cheaper at one of the two Wal-Marts closest to where I live. All Wal-Marts have different items and different prices. Of course … some are the same.

I guess the “great post” comments sort of fall into the “didn’t read” category, but only because that’s the stereotype – so many people just want another hit. I do prefer to receive at least a comment or something. Like … I enjoy comments I can reply to… Does that make sense? Kind of more of a conversational vibe. But I don’t care for the count of comments. :3

Gretch’s gravatar

I think I’m one of the bloggers who give “mere two sentences ” comments. The thing with me, I’m not the type to add “how are you?” in comments. I just say what I think about their blog post and that’s it.
And sometimes, I have a problem connecting to people. Leaving a short comment doesn’t mean that I just read some parts selectively and just comment on those parts. Sometimes, I just don’t know what to say about those other parts of their blog posts.
I think ,bloggers who are asking readers to follow commenting rules are being a bit overbearing, and like you, it would make me want to close the tab too. X(