Paul Taubmann is giving useful Tips for Leaving Comments over on his blog, and if you’re new to blogging or you’ve been told your comments are often mistaken for those left by a badly coded Ukrainian spambot, you should pay particularly close attention.
Me, I’m 6 or 7 days into my plan to lose 78 pounds by the end of the year. I have a mean case of the munchies and aches in muscles I didn’t know existed. Second day back to work, and now I’m tired and cranky. I read that post and all I could think to say, upon being invited to put Paul’s good tips into practice by leaving a comment was to say, “I would, but I feel as though I’ll be graded.”
Freakin’ A. A+.
But no, seriously – where’s my comment mojo gone? I think it died over here. You’ve heard about kids who didn’t talk till they were nine or ten, because they had nothing to say? I think of past blogging contests and wonder if I’ll just run out of things to say by the time I’m sixty.
Don’t look so hopeful.
It’s a struggle, though, sometimes – and in talking with other bloggers, I know that I’m not alone.
Paul gives a bonus tip in comments: “…when you have NO idea what to say, but you need to comment because you are involved with the Ultimate Blog Challenge, for instance), leave a comment such as, ‘Wow! This is not really my area of expertise, however I find it interesting that ___________ (fill in the blank with some fact from the post showing you read it!)’ Of course, add another sentence or two and explain why you find it interesting!” But what if you don’t find it all that interesting, or the post itself is just an image and a few words – not even enough to latch onto with a compliment or a contrary opinion?
So here are some tips for leaving human, meaningful comments when you aren’t feeling it.
Admit that the post isn’t your cup of tea. We don’t all like the same things, and that’s okay. You stopped by, you took time to read, you have nothing to say – and if you weren’t secretly hoping and praying for a kajillion comments in return, you’d just click on to the next blog. But maybe you can make a new friend. Say hi. Ask a question. Read a different post on the same blog, and see if there’s anything there that you can relate to. Read the blogger’s bio, if one is given. Maybe there’s something there that interests you, and you can consider it a challenge to work that into a comment relevant to the post at hand.
Suggest a topic you might enjoy more, especially if you can name one that fits – however tangentially – with the overall theme of the blog. For example, you could say, “I normally read stories about grown-ups who dress like oversized, anthropomorphized woodland creatures. But your post on angels in bowling shoes has got me thinking. Did they ever figure out exactly how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? And is that a pin with a large plastic, colored ball on the end, or just one of those little blunt flattened things? Do you believe badgers go to Heaven?” Or maybe, “What could an MLM marketer learn from a Jehovah’s Witness?”
Imagine yourself cornered at a party with the blogger: what would you be drinking? Go get one of those. Now, imagine you cannot go home until you’ve had a conversation. Grab the bottle. It may be a long night.
Pull out the Mad-Libs Magical Comment Generator. “I really liked the point you made about [plural noun – bonus points if it occurs in the body of the post]. If only more [type of mammal – bonus points for mentioning sea creatures] knew this! I think they would be [adverb]. What can you tell me about [plural noun]? I’m subscribing to your blog because I think you are [adjective] and I don’t want to miss a [noun]. Thank you!”
In all seriousness, though…
Remember that there is a human being on the other side of the screen, and remember how good it feels to get real comments and conversations on your blog. I still like knowing when there’s been a meeting of the minds – when something I’ve pulled from my brain and written here touches your brain in some way.
If you have to comment on a post, here, that really isn’t your cup of tea – I hope this post helps.