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Monday, September 27, 2010

Why I Might Not Comment

For the past few weeks I've been scrambling to get some advance posts done for my upcoming blog tour, so you can imagine my stress level as I try to be clever and amusing in a very short period of time.

Believe me, clever doesn't happen on command.

One of the things I had to ease up on during my post writing frenzy was visiting other blogs as much as I normally do. I still made the effort at some blogs, especially if they were kind enough to comment here, but there were a few I couldn't reach in a timely fashion, and the bloggers had already gone on to other topics.

It's easy to figure out why we comment, but have you ever wondered why we don't? I gave it a little thought and these were my top five reasons.

1. Lack of time. This probably sums up the main reason for me. Commenting takes time. I almost always read the posts, but if time is of the essence, commenting takes a back seat.

2. Not my topic. This is also high on my list. My interests span widely, but every once in a while you might come up with a topic that holds no appeal for me.

3. It's offensive.
Not deliberately, I'm sure, but sometimes people forget there are two (or more) sides to every story. If a blogger wants to be inflammatory that's up to him--but I don't have to play along. That's how flame wars get started.

4. You got buried. This happens a lot. Since I read off Google Reader, if a post is truncated--that is--only the first paragraph shows up, it often gets left behind until I have time to visit the site. Well, you know how that goes. Wait too long and the post becomes buried and forgotten. At last check there were 649 subscriptions on my Reader. It is very easy to get buried.

There is one blog I adore, but all her posts are truncated. And she usually posts two at a time. Unless the title lures me in, I just delete.

5. You never-ever comment here (or respond on your blog), even if I've commented at your place regularly. If you're interesting, I might keep you on my Reader, but chances are good I probably dropped you a long time ago.

I don't expect people to comment every time I post. God knows, you have real lives more important than anything I have to say.

But if you come over, say howdy, share your opinions, and your time, by George, I am going to make an effort for you. That's the least I can do for the gift of your company.

So how about you guys? What sort of things keep you from commenting?

--and if no one comments, obviously I answered my own question. LOL!

Update: True Believers is now up on the Carina web site. I have five more promised posts to write before I can rest. We're getting close now. 


Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

There is some extra work involved when you're reading blogs with a reader; you have to click through to the actual post.

I'm trying to be more active in my own commenting, but following hundreds of blogs does take a lot of time.

Good luck with your new release!

Renee Miller said...

I try to comment when the post interests me and when I have something to add. Sometimes it may be an awesome post, but I simply have nothing to add other than "Wow." and if I have time, I will place that wow into the little box.

I do try to read all posts by most of the blogs I follow, but time gets in the way a lot. I will say, Maria, I think I've read every post you've written since I started following your blog, simply because I love your voice. Even when you're posting about things like planting, which I am terrible at and know very little about. Those posts I don't comment because I have nothing to add. Nothing intelligent anyway.

Bloggers that post daily, do not get regular comments from me. I can't keep up. I do try, but with my fiction still waiting patiently for publication, I have articles to write, books to read and review and toilets that are perpetually disgusting. So yeah, frequency of posts impacts whether I comment or not.

I think you've got the most common reasons that many don't comment listed here. I don't think it's much to ask that if you comment then it's returned at least once every three or four posts.

Maria Zannini said...

Sandra: Extra work?
You only have to click through to comment. Since I only comment on a fraction of blogs on my list it's much quicker to read them off the reader. Plus I have the advantage of saving the post if it's especially useful.

To be fair, I scan most of the posts on my reader. The only ones I read in their entirety are articles that interest me and people who follow me.

Dru said...

I agree with your five reasons for not commenting.

Then there are blogs that really don't invite comments.

Then there are blogs were the host doesn't interact with the reader.

Not having anything to say or add.

Post is way too long and I lost interest.

When I visit blogs, I try to comment, but sometime I have nothing to say.

You have 649 subscription on your google reader? Wow, I have 58 and I still think that's too much.

I count your blog as one of my daily reads because it's informative and entertaining.

Have a good Monday.

Maria Zannini said...


Ref: ...simply because I love your voice.

What a nice thing to say! You made me day. :)

Ref: daily posts
I forgot this one. And there are some people who have multiple posts a day. Even if I love of their work, I'd be afraid of looking like a stalker if I commented on every post. LOL.

I think you make a good point about being able to add something too. Many blogs TELL you stuff but they never ask your opinion. It's nice to interact on blogs. Every time I ask a question, I learn something, about the commenters or about the topic du jour.

Maria Zannini said...


I think it's important to involve the reader. He should feel welcome at your place.

Ref: long posts
Oh, good one! I totally forgot this one. I really hate long posts. My attention span fizzles out at about 600 words.

Sue Guiney said...

not having enough time - like now. But did want to say hi, and that I always wonder about the same thing....

Mike Keyton said...

I think you've covered all the bases here. With me it's partly lack of time, and a disorganised mind. Place more than five things in front of me and I freeze like - a super-market chicken. And sometimes of course, as has been said already, a person may just have nothing to say. I agree strongly about commenting back

Ellie said...

The main reasons for not commenting are time and not my topic/interest. I wish I had time to comments on everyone's blog every time they post but I don't. Aggh.

Joanne said...

I'd say time and other writing commitments are what keeps me away most. Really long posts will stop me in my tracks too.

Best wishes with your blog tour posts ... what a great way to get your work out there and really interact with lots of readers!

Maria Zannini said...

Hiya, Sue!

Time is definitely our prime moderator.

Maria Zannini said...


Ref: ...I freeze like - a super-market chicken.

ROTFL. I need to learn not to drink fizzy drinks when I read your comments.

Liz Fichera said...

No sweat, Maria! Good luck with your post writing. Am looking forward to your release!

Maria Zannini said...

Ellie: Time is so precious. That's why I am beyond grateful when people visit here. When people don't comment, I feel I've let someone down with a bad post.

Maria Zannini said...

Joanne: I took someone off my reader recently because her posts were so long and rambling.

If you're going to be long-winded, at least be interesting.

Ref: blog tour
Except for the people who specifically asked for posts about the book, I am trying to talk about everything but the book. :o)

Maria Zannini said...

Liz: Thanks, Liz. I'm looking forward to how well SF romance is received.

:puts a shaky toe in the water:

Ted Cross said...

A blogger has to be simply terrific for me to keep visiting their site if they are never visiting mine. There does need to be some give and take, except for the Nathan Bransford's of the world (although he did once leave a comment on my site, too!).

Meghan Schuessler said...

On personal blogs I like to leave a comment to say hey there, or yes I agree or no I don't, etc. But on huge publisher/agent/editor blogs with several hundred (or thousand) followers, I usually don't bother. If I feel I don't have anything constructive to add, what's the point, ya know? But I always leave comments for people who do the same for me :)

Maria Zannini said...

Ted: I've never been overly fond of agent blogs. So many tend to pander to their audience. I do like Jessica Faust from Bookends though. And Kristen Nelson. Their posts are short and usually packs useful information.

Maria Zannini said...

Meghan: This is probably a continuation from the comment I left to Ted. I don't leave many comments on agent blogs unless I can add something to the conversation.

And if it's a blog with a gazillion comments, I wonder who it benefits. Will the blogger read my comment? Will he care? Certainly few others will bother reading through all those comments either so who does that help?

For me, a blog is a conversation not just between me and the person commenting, but to everyone else who reads it.

When you lose that intimacy, you end up preaching instead of talking to one another.

jackie b central texas said...

Time oh give me time, this one is the biggest reason why only hit a select few blogs to comment on...
Commenting on every person I have on my Net News Wire reader is not going to happen ever again in my lifetime, I would go blind first off or the headaches would kill me one!
I am subscribed on the reader, on emails from some of the Wordpress Blogs I follow and email from sites I comment on so when get a reply can comment back again (or not depending) so that adds up to a lot of time spent scanning my emails and deleting or following up or whatever on those alone....

I can say that it is fun to check out different places every week, just cannot do it every day.. Out of the hundreds of posts I scan only really pick probably 3 or 4 a day to actually comment on anymore... One reason is captcha word verification, not your kind but the pop up kind that comes on after you comment and think you are done....

jackie ^_^

brokenbiro said...

I agree with most of what's been said (and I have more thant 800 unread posts in Reader as we speak so something's got to give.

I'd also add that I'm far less likely to comment on posts that already have loads of comments. Reasons: (a) I have nothing to add, (b) I won't know if I have anything to add until I've read all the other comments and (c) I imagine that the author is less in need of more comments than someone who has written a post which hardly anyone has commented on.

Maria Zannini said...


Ref: captcha word verification...on after you comment and think you are done...

Good point. I wonder why they're different. I don't fault anyone for using captcha because those spammers can be murder if they get in. But I can see how it would slow down comments.

The part I don't like is having to subscribe to the Wordpress comment feed every single time. I wish they would make it more user friendly.

Maria Zannini said...

Broken Biro: 800 unread posts! Holy moley! The last time that happened to me I was without internet service for two weeks.

There was no way to keep up once I got that high, so I decided to delete them all and start fresh.

I agree with you that I tend not to comment on posts with scads of comments. I'm probably not adding anything new so I probably won't be missed. But I do make exceptions for people I like or a topic I'm fond of discussing.

jackie b central texas said...

Captcha word verification is a pain sometimes for sure and they are different formats because there are so many different blog templates....

Wordpress have found the easiest thing for me to do is just comment by emailing the blogger or yes subscribe to each of the post comments sections by email to reply back and forth... Again it takes too much time so commenting less and less...

jackie ^_^

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: You might have noticed I know just enough to get into trouble. LOL.

There was a new-to-me blog I visited only yesterday and I could not leave a comment no matter what I tried. And it was a Blogger blog too. I felt bad I couldn't leave a comment, so I ended up emailing her.

Marianne Arkins said...

HATE truncated posts -- I read off Google Reader, too. And, there were two blogs I used to follow that started truncating their posts. Instead of luring me in to read, I deleted them off my reader.

And, yep, totally agree with the rest of what you said (didn't have time to read all your comments, tho). I don't always get a chance to read every day, but I try not to let it go more than two or it's unmanageable.

Maria Zannini said...

Marianne: I really feel bad when people truncate their posts. I don't think they realize how much that hurts their chances to be read.

Someone once told me that it gives you an added layer of security to truncate. If that's true, it's one I'm willing to risk. I think I'd lose too much of my audience.

Linda Leszczuk said...

For me it's mostly lack of time. Especially lately. But I'm also hesitant to comment if I don't feel I have anything to contribute.
With some topics, I feel I should be a listener only, not a speaker.

However, I always try to comment on the blogs of those who are kind enough to comment regularly on mine.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for asking this question, Maria. As a newbie blogger I find the responses really interesting and informative. I’m still at the experimenting and figuring things out stage, but I’m really hoping to build dialog and a community.

I think some posts and some blogs seem to invite discussion and others really don’t. I won’t comment if I simply don’t have anything to add or if it is a big blog that I read just to pick up tidbits and news. Usually, the bloggers there aren’t very interactive anyway. I do try to comment if I like a topic, but not commenting doesn’t mean I didn’t get anything out of the post.

Maria Zannini said...


Ref: listener, not a speaker

I feel this way when people talk about their kids. LOL.

Maria Zannini said...

Charlie: We can learn together.

I very much like the sense of community between blogs. And I have more control here than on Facebook. This is my home and I like having company over.

Sherri said...

Time is big for me, too. I've had other things pressing this last month so commenting took a back seat for sure. Not having anything interesting to add is another. I do try to respond on my blog to comments and/or visit those who've commented. It can be a full time job, LOL.

Can't wait to get my hands on your red-headed child *g*

Angela said...

Time is usually my reason if I don't comment. I don't visit very many blogs - 2 to 3 right now - because I am at the early stage in getting my novel in the hands of an interested publisher or literary agent, online crit group with 3 lovely darlings, first grade stage when it comes to helping my kiddo with homework and reading time, school for myself to get a degree I hope I don't really have to use if I can become a full-time writer and being a full time employee with a Fortune 500 company - course I'm at the peon level waaaaaayyyyy down below (lol!!!).
So yeah...time.

Shirley Wells said...

For me it's the dreaded time thing. I read so many blogs but commenting often has to take a back seat.

Lol, this is probably my age showing but sometimes I read a blog, find it fascinating and "believe" I've left a comment. I mean, mentally I have left a comment. I just haven't actually typed it out and posted it. Sheesh.

Not long till your release day now. Really looking forward to this one!

Maria Zannini said...

Sherri: Thank you! Now comes the moment where I say, "Oh well, I can't change anything now." LOL!

Thanks, hon.

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: You want a nap with that?


PS I can't believe she's in first grade already!

Maria Zannini said...


Ref: I just haven't actually typed it out and posted it.

LOL! Oh, that's happened to me too!

Or worse, I read the post on my reader intending to comment, and I forget to go back to it.

I really need a memory upgrade.

Robert Guthrie said...

It's all about the give and take that makes community.

Stacy said...

I agree - I love your voice too. I do read most of your posts, which is WAY more than I do of anyone else. Your posts about writing and other authors I usually don't have much to comment but still find them interesting. I agree with all of your reasons for not commenting on other blogs. Often I think to myself "I don't want to join the ain't-it-awful club" so I don't. Your blog never feels like that. Part of what keeps me coming back all the time to see what Maria has to say.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

Sometimes, it's just too hard to keep up with all the blogs, I agree. I regularly have to prune back mine for the reasons you stated. Are you having this glorious weather in your neck of Texas, too?

Maria Zannini said...

Robert: And sharing. I love how very selfless this community can be.

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: I try to keep the rants and negativity to a minimum. Nobody likes a sourpuss.

But I can still complain about my husband, right? That man worked me to the bone today and...

Oh, crap. He's right behind me, isn't he? LOL. We'll leave that post for tomorrow.

Thanks, Stacy. So often we think our words don't make a difference, until we hear from those who read them.

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: Oh, man. The weather has been perfect. It's been so good, I've had no choice but to work outside--all day.

Even my hair is tired. :)

I hope it continues for a couple more weeks. We might hit the State Fair this year.

Tia Nevitt said...

Maria, you do a great job inspiring comments, and I am always in awe of your community.

I'm so with you on truncated posts in the reader. I've ranted on this in the past, and I'm wanting to rant on it again. One of my favorite author blogs went to truncated feed posts and from my point-of-view, that was a mistake. I don't read her posts as often, and before I always did. It's like saying to your regular readers, "you aren't as important as traffic to my site."

Personally, I care more about my feed subscriber numbers than I do my website visits, which I only check every 2 weeks or so. My feed subscriber numbers are displayed on the top of my blog. My number of clicks are nowhere to be found.

Maria Zannini said...

Tia: I hear you on truncated. I don't care how people read my blog. I'm just grateful that they do.

I've got a subscriber link at the bottom of this blog, but I don't track it.

I wonder if I should move it up higher in case people prefer to read from their email. hmm...

LovLivLife Reviews said...

I like your list line up here. I am always impressed with authors who maintain an active blog. Life is already hectic so i appreciate that front.

I love to click on users link when they comment. I will follow them back and see what they are up to on their blog and say Aloha!=)

For me, I think TIME is the issue and the fact that when I read a book. I dont want to stop. My husband can testify to that after I've repeatedly asked him to read to me while I am in the shower.... oh and I've asked him if we could make a water proof book prototype. Yes, that may sound weird but I live in Hawaii. If I am not at the beach I am in a pool. My thoughts is if i have a water-proof camera there can be a water-proof ereader. *sigh*
He looks at me like he doesnt know who he has married LOL!!!

Maria Zannini said...

Chas: Aren't the Kindles a little waterproof? Or am I thinking of a different machine?

I think it would be romantic for husbands to read to their wives--or vice versa.