March 4, 2024

5 Reasons to Not Leave a Comment on a Blog

Last week, Mary looked at 5 ways to keep your blogging buddies happy. Some of the comments and discussion that surrounded this topic was fascinating. I’ll be looking forward to adding some more work around areas of this place to make it more interesting to be here.

The one thing that I think deserves highlighting is that blogs are as much a social medium as an informational one. On more than one occasion I’ve learned something new through the comments that I have read to a post that I’ve written. I’ve also benefited from the discussion surrounding more controversial topics that I’ve covered. I think that blogging and comments let you say what you’re thinking and feeling and get reaction in ways that forums and other media do not allow.

So, with all that being said, here are my 5 reasons not to leave a comment on a blog:

1. You don’t want to the blog writer to know you are there.

Bloggers write because it’s fun to write, right? I mean, we aren’t out here writing, for the most part, because it’s making us great sums of money (though I’m sure it is for some). We’re not out here because we have to do it as part of class work. We like to write. So, you shouldn’t assume that the blogger cares if you’re reading– the point is that he’s put something out there and someone might read it.

All kidding aside, if there is some reason that you do not want the blogger to know that you’re there, you’d better check your heart and ask yourself why you are there. Is there something wrong with the blog that you’re reading? Is there a security or sin issue hiding there? The internet is great because of its anonymity but it also allows us to go places that we shouldn’t and then pretend that we didn’t.

Bottom line, unless there’s a security issue you should comment at least once to let the blogger know that you’re there– even if it’s the dreaded “nice post!”

2. You can’t think of anything good to say.

We all don’t have something to say on every topic– and we shouldn’t have to go do research in order to be intelligent enough to put something in a blog post. That being said, it’s good to have comments that are to the point, speak well of yourself and that and phrased correctly. It also doesn’t hurt if you make sure to link to the thing that you read that you referenced, that you use block quotes if quoting something, and that you make sure you have a good idea where the discussion is going so that you’re on topic.

If you can’t think of anything to say– you can always say you agree, or come back when there’s something that you do feel passionately about.

3. You’re short on time.

Here’s something that was brought up in Mary’s post– some of us have other things to do– if you can believe that. Some of us have families, jobs, etc, and we don’t have time to get into the comment war, pick up a heavy conversation, etc. If you find yourself in this situation, comment on those things that you are passionate about and find some way to keep up– and just follow that line. The occasional “Good post” is appropriate if you’ve read the entire article– I mean, how much time do you think it took them to write that article only for you to read it and not even say anything! You wouldn’t do that for someone reading poetry or a story to you– you’d at least give some applause!

So, don’t feel like you have to comment every time– but if you have the time to make it through the article at least let the author know you were there.

4. Your keyboard is broken.

Well, then, time to get a new one?

5. Your parents told you not to write on blogs.

Well, there’s a very good reason– and I hope that you either don’t or that you get your parents to sit down and surf with you so that you can.

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32 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Not Leave a Comment on a Blog

  1. This one left me smiling…4&5, good ones!

    I agree that I’d rather have a “Nice post” comment than no comments at all. At least that person cared enough to let me know! But I do understand the time issue too. I’m much less likely to take the time to wade through various spam filters to finally get my comment to post. So on those blogs, I read and refrain from commenting very often.

    I’ll be interested to read other’s reasons for not commenting. I’m curious, from the Bogger/Blogspot people…why do some of the blogs hosted by them have so many steps through the commenting process? The comment window has to load up, then after you comment you have to type in at least one code verification, sometimes two or three (and I know I didn’t type in the code wrong the first time!). Plus, it’s really a pain for me, because since I don’t have a Blogger blog I have to choose the “other” box, and type in all my info over again. So, this is yet another reason why I like WordPress blogs the best…in regards to leaving comments.

  2. Loved your #1 reason. #2 is also good and I usually try to leave something on other blogs so that those bloggers will feel comfortable comments on mine too!

  3. Oh and I agree with Mary. I enjoy that I don’t have to retype my info everytime I post a comment here over in wordpress or type in some jumbled security password!

  4. I suppose people might just be shy or something! Years ago we used to reckon that for every contributor on Usenet there were 10 lurkers. The same may be true in the blogosphere.

    But I agree with Mary – making people jump through hoops to comment is a certain way to prevent them from doing so.

  5. Why not comment? because everyone else has said what you have thought already, But for me….mostly a time factor or a….I have to think on this some factor.

  6. Good one, ladysown. I guess there are times where I’ve read through the comments and found someone else using my point– but I usually try to get a word in somewhere to let people know I’ve been around.

  7. Well here it is- like promised- my first post. I wasn’t sure where to post it but here seemed to fit. The main reason I don’t post is because of reason # 3. My husband is always picking on me about reading peoples blog but never commenting. Someday I will get better at this when things calm down! :angel:

  8. Why not comment…
    Shortage of time, mostly. If I want to just say “nice post”, it is fine while ‘competing’ in a comment war ;), but not very deep, and the risk is that the blog owner might think I have nothing to say. BTW – this is not how I view my commenters!
    Another reason: I completely agree with the post, so, again, just saying “I agree” seems too little. On the other hand – it is nice to get feedback…
    So it depends, really.
    And I do not agree with James White, who banned commenting on his blog altogether, that people who comment are just fishing for blog traffic to their own blogs. That is – this might be true when you are new to this – how in the world can anybody find out that you are there if you do not knock on some doors – but later on, the traffic is not that important. It is nice watching your statistics grow, by all means, but this is not why we blog.

  9. I agree that banning comments is wrong. Blogs are a two way medium – a discussion that is not entirely equal, because the blog owner sets the agenda – but nevertheless allows readers to get involved.

    Banning comments is like the old fashioned newspaper media- you read but you are not entitled to your own views.

    If I want a newspaper, that is what I’ll read. Blogs are different.

    The chief inspector of North Wales police started a blog amid much fanfare. The blog itself was turgid, and no comments were allowed – so no one could tell him it was turgid. I am not sure if it is still going, but I doubt many people are following it. It is just a waste of time.

  10. If you ban comments, in my opinion, you might as well just be a regular web site!

    Shortage of time and being shy are definitely good reasons, but since this medium is all about (like Stephen so eloquently put it) the conversation, if you don’t get involved you and everyone else are missing out!

  11. Well, as I told Mary back in November, when she helped me start my blog…who cares what I have to say?! But now that I’ve been doing this a few months, I can see the point. I have learned a lot, it’s kept me up on news and hot topics and I really enjoy reading other people’s comments on the various issues. I don’t have a lot of traffic on my blog…but I have it more to just talk and haven’t (so far) been writing about too many controversial issues. If I don’t comment on blogs, it’s mainly because my thoughts have already been expressed. I do write when I have something to say. The time factor is a big issue with me, so I completely understand, VirtuousBlonde!

  12. Loved the article. I’m a dreadful lurker; forums, newsgroups, blogs – you name it. I read avidly but rarely post. But at least blogs aren’t like those awful forums which tell you how many posts you’ve made. You see people making hundreds of posts and your own marker of “1 post” is enough to stop you ever getting started.

  13. I fault it with the fact that most people just come to read, and that they really need prompting to actually comment– something to get them activated. It really does make an author feel better to know that you were there, though.

  14. Very interesting. Have never really thought about the “to comment or not to comment …… that is the question” issue. If I read a blog and it inspires me to comment then I will leave a comment. If it leaves me with nothing then I will leave it with nothing. LOL Hmmm you must have inspired me.

  15. What if you firewall filters outbound packets in such a way that it can pull the page down from the internet but not post new information to it?

    Another possibility is the paradox of a time portal that can see into the future. You can see that in the future you did not leave a post so therefore you do not leave a post when otherwise you would have posted. However, your not posting is in anticipation of not having such an occasion occur and is in fact the very reason such an occurance did not occur. Hence the paradox.

  16. Pull information but not post it? That is pretty unlikely. Both downloading and uploading information involve a TCP connection to port 80 of the web server from an ephemeral port on your client. In terms of IP and TCP the streams are completely indistinguishable from one another. The only way to write such a filter would be to look at the packet payload and somehow filter on this – but I don’t know why anyone would think this was worth doing!

    Also, suely you only have a temporal paradox if, having seen in the future that you DO post, you therefore decide NOT to post (or vice versa)

  17. I used general terms to spare the technically challenged people on this blog. Such a filter is quite easy to do. Under XP security policies you can filter TCP for one address, connection, port, anything you can dream up. So, yes, the streams as you put it can be separated and filtered. Another more thorough method would be to add a packet filter on a gateway. For example setup a SCO Unix PPP gateway and define the passout variable with a custom rule set. This would allow the website to be visited, but whenever you tried to post those packets would be filtered out. Configuring something like this this is more practical then you might think since many college campuses filter their public labs like crazy.

    As far as the paradox goes. If you saw something happen in the future and did not do it then it never was the future to begin with and vice versa.

  18. You can certainly filter address, connection and port – but all these are identical in the HTTP POST and GET methods. If you pull information from a site you send a GET request. If you want to send information *to* the site you can use either the GET method or the POST method.

    If you use the GET method, then the only way to filter the stream is to search the packet payload with its GET method request for a question mark. If you use the POST method, the only way to filter the stream is to search the packet payload for the POST method request.

    What you cannot do is filter on *anything* in the IP header or TCP header (nor, for that matter, the frame header). These will be indistinguishable between these requests. I am not aware that XP will allow you to fliter on packet payload.

    It turns out that squid WILL allow you to filter the packet payload (but of course, squid is a web proxy server, not a firewall solution), but this is problematic. It is pretty much useless to do unless you also filter CONNECT. It is time consuming, because you must analyse the contents of the PDU, and it gains you very little in terms of actual security, although it will break lots of things on your site and make your web server unresponsive.

    What do you mean by “define the passout variable with a custom rule set”?

    I don’t know why *anyone* would choose to use SCO for a gateway, but let us suppose you are proposing that we have a UNIX like box placed in a DMZ as a firewall gateway.

    Again, I don’t see why we care about whether PPP is used. Do you mean WAN side or LAN side? WAN side, I guess many links will be PPP – but that is the decision of the upstream network service provider. On the LAN side, it would be more sensible to use Ethernet or some other point to multipoint network bus. However, maybe you are suggesting an internal router with a PPP interface to the UNIX box. That makes sense in terms of division of the firewall and routing responsibilities (although, of course, your UNIX box remains a router, adding in an extra hop and associated latencies, as packets are being filtered).

    But even if this *is* the scenario you propose, I have no idea what “define a passout variable” means. This is a packet filter, not a method call.

  19. I think a hear a train off its tracks somewhere…;-)

    The configuration I was referring to was connecting the internet to a gateway running Unix. This gate then passed all valid traffic to our internal router which routes it to the appropriate client. PPP is used to redirect the packet stream through a TCP wrapper. Passin, passout, bringup, and keepup are four variables in the SCO Unix box gateway I was referring to. The passout variable defines which outgoing packets can pass through the interface.(source) I apologize for not being more clear.

    Squid is one way of content filtering.

    Even if we were packet filtering for a specific string that string could get further fragmented if our MTU was small (or small in a router we came through). In this case the packet filter would have to assemble all the fragment and then filter based on content.

    The extra hop an internal router to a network adds is fairly negligible.

    Ad Muncher is another way you could filter URL with a GET or POST “?” in them.

  20. MInTheGap~

    I clicked over here from the link from your comment on my blog to see if I could find out who you were. I’ve enjoyed skimming through several of your posts and was going to close out my browser until I saw this post…and figured I better leave a comment! đŸ™‚


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