Hey! Why Is It So Quiet in Here?

I have my best listening ears on!

I have been gaining subscribers for a year now. I have this cool, little dashboard that tells me how many people have viewed my blog, which pages they have checked out, what words they searched to find me, and a whole lot of cool information. My lice post is still the number one most frequently viewed post and, if you Google search “drag needle splinter twit,” you will find this.

Here’s what I don’t understand. Every day, more people are visiting my site. Which is totally excellent. And I am grateful to everyone who comes to check me out. And I’d like to take this opportunity to say to the folks searching for “psicologia: esconderse bajo la cama”: I’m sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.

But here is what I’m pondering:

Why do so few people who read blogs actually leave comments? I mean I have my regulars, the folks upon whom I can rely on to say something. They are the people with whom I have come to know and have developed cyber-relationships. Through these online exchanges, I have met so many smart/interesting/funny people. Some cyber-friendships have progressed to emails; some to phone calls. Heck, I’m playing concurrent games of “Words with Friends” with Jessica Buttram and Ironic Mom.

So imagine my surprise when a friend that I actually know in real life — yeah, I’m calling you out, Aaron — admitted that he has been reading my blog since my blog was born, that he has been there since its infancy, and added that he has really been enjoying watching li’l boggie mature. Now this of course made me all shivery and happy inside, and I immediately gave him a hug Actually, I may have hugged him first and then squealed when he made the comment, but you get the idea.

Of course, I love the idea that people are reading my content.

But later (after the hugging and squealing), I wondered, Why doesn’t Aaron ever comment? What’s up with that? And if Aaron isn’t commenting, why aren’t other people commenting? I decided to create a poll to try to find out. Seriously, I’d love to hear from you lurkers who read but don’t necessarily comment. Please know I don’t have any way to identify about you except the answers you leave here because all the info is collected at Poll Daddy and reported back to me anonymously. You know, unless you put your name in the comment or something.

I love writing and I am working my butt off trying to bring you interesting stuff. Am I missing something? I can never predict which posts people are going to go bonkers over and which ones will be duds. (I mean head lice? Really? Over 200 hits every day?)

Author Kristen Lamb (a woman to whom I refer to as “The Queen”) often writes about how important it is for writers to try to connect with one another in her blog and in her books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . I know not all of my readers are bloggers, but whether you are or not, I would love it if you would leave me a comment. For me, blogging is — of course — about writing, but it is also about creating a dialogue. After I have written something the delicious part is hearing what people have to say about it. The comments are like a fabulous dessert you get to eat — after slaving away for hours making a difficult meal.

If you are writing a blog, you are hoping that someone is maybe (*hopefully*) reading your words. Admit it. It’s true.

And if you are checking out other people’s stuff, you don’t have to feel pressured to write a crazy long comment. Even a short little “Thanks for this!” or “Hilarious!” can really make someone’s day. So don’t be shy. Just say, “Hi!”

Truly, I am interested as to why people choose to be quiet when they could be part of the dialogue. So please, enlighten me. At the risk of sounding like the National Inquirer, inquiring minds really do want to know. Has anyone else given any thought to this phenomenon?

What drives people to comment?  And what makes lurkers stay in the shadows?


Tweet This Twit @RASJacobson

93 responses to “Hey! Why Is It So Quiet in Here?

  1. Many times I do not comment because if I comment too much I run out of ink and the replacement cartridge costs $40. That’s what Rick told me. He is a comp-tech. More comments make the electric bill higher by $40 (that’s what Florida Power & Light said when they did the home efficiency study which also costs $40)and more typing makes the letters on the keys of the key board become worn away and you have to buy a new one for $40. Many very close friends never visit my blog let alone comment. They should know how important this is to me and as a consequence they have now been deleted from contacts and have been blocked with that button named after that vomit tasting canned meat. I do wonder why, like you: I may get 150 hits and only 20 comments (according to our mutual friend Lynn Truss, it is acceptable according to some to use that colon I put there).

  2. While sometimes I leave a comment, sometimes I either have nothing to say or no time to say it. Either way, I LOVE your blog. You really do rock!

  3. I don’t get caught up in comments or traffic, to be honest. I’ve had people in “real” life tell me the read and love my blog, but I would never expect them to leave a comment. Not everyone is a writer/communicator and either they’re not comfortable commenting or they really have nothing to say other than “I liked it” or “Great post!”

    You have to remember that people are busy as well. For me, I try and comment as much as I can, but I won’t do it unless I have the time to leave (what I consider) a thoughtful reply. I love getting comments, don’t get me wrong, but I appreciate the quality much more than the quantity.

    • Abby! So I read your piece “I Fold” last night pretty late — because you posted it pretty late! But I was so friggin’ tired that I just had to go to sleep. But, seriously, I fretted over not commenting.

      I contemplated getting on here this morning and going back on and telling you how funny you are, and how glad I am to have found you — BLAH BLAH BLAH.

      But if you are cool (and I know you are, then I’ll try to decompress) and stop focusing on the numbers thing.

      Or just up my meds.😉

  4. Why do some students raise their hands while other students shudder in fear of being called on? An imperfect analogy perhaps, but the underlying principle is the same. The people who tend to leave comments are people who want other people to hear what they have to say. That is why they are so frequently other bloggers (who also know how nice it is to get comments). Instead of asking why do people not leave comments, ask why people do.

    On the other hand, people might be too busy.

    Interesting question for early morning. I shall ponder it further over coffee.

    • In class I ignore the people with their hands up. They always talk. I know what they have to say. Instead, I try to focus on the people who MIGHT want to say something but need a little invitation. In general, I’m pretty good at getting people to open up.

      In class.

      In here it’s different.

      I think some people really don’t feel comfortable with the whole sign-in to the Internet, the whole put in your email, etc. It freaks people out. And now without good reason. I mean if I Google myself, every blog I’ve ever commented on comes up. It’s a little creepy.

      But I hope people aren’t commenting because they worry about how they might sound.

      Because I can edit people to make them sound like Einstein. Seriously.

  5. Renee, definitely afraid of looking of looking stupid🙂 my grammar and punctuation are passable and I know some big words. However, I worry about the content of any comment I try to make.

    Also, I do not get the chance to read all your blogs (or I would have gotten a lie written about myself😦 ) and maybe the ones I miss are the blogs I might have commented on. Because when I go back to read them (skim them) a week later, I don’t want to come to the party a week late.

    • Gin:

      You are redinkadonk.

      I just said redinkadonk.

      That isn’t very smart is it?

      Watch this

      Ohhhh. I just left out a period.

      (Can you believe I did that?)

      I am really am interested in what you have to say! And as far as coming to the party late, I can tell when people post — even if it is late because I get a notification, so I’ll always see what you wrote, even if it was on something from waaaaay back when. Just so you know.

      And you know, you don’t have to comment. I am just CURIOUS as to why people don’t. So thank you for sharing. Super helpful. I think it is something plenty of bloggers wonder about.

      • Well…Now that I know you get notifications even on OLD posts…hehe

        And, I certainly get points for soul-baring honesty😀

  6. WWF!! Excellent shout out. I love that game. But between you and IM, I can’t win. I’m gonna say it’s an English teacher thing.

    There are a lot of posts I never get around to commenting on. But it usually coincides with when I let my Google reader reach 50 unread posts.

    • I think all those “unread posts” piling up is what inspired me to write this post, Jess.

      My little blue-dotted “unread” box of email is enormous. I simply cannot read every post (or can I) — but like the teacher that I am, I feel compelled to read each one and comment.

      It’s nice to know that there are normal people who can just read and enjoy content and move on. I am going to try to believe that people aren’t going to be furious at me if I don’t respond to each and every post.

      But privately I’m still going to feel guilty about it.

      (And by the way, Miss Smarty Pants! We are pretty dang close in WWF Game on!)

  7. Hi Renee,

    If I make it to the end of a post (yes, sometimes I bail halfway through) I almost always comment. For me, it would feel weird not to. Like an “I was here” scribbled on a wall, I leave my mark wherever I go — especially if it’s a first time visit. When I make it back, my comment reminds me of what I thought of the blog and why I added it to my reader.

    You get a fair amount of comments, so its probably been a while since one of your posts received zero comments. That still happens to me from time to time and it is not fun. Those posts get about the same amount of traffic, so the lack of comments is a mystery to me. One post has been Stumbled about 2,500 times, yet none of those visitors has left a comment. Crazy.

    Ray

    • Hi Ray:

      It is crazy-making? Right? I don’t even track which of my posts have landed on what social media — with the exception of Twitter. But like you said, I amazed that with a pretty strong daily readership, so few people choose to comment.

      I can’t imagine no commenting, and if I don’t do it, I do feel guilty! By the way, I see you have made your foray into podcasts. Supercool! I want to go to there. What a great way to be accessible to the blind. Or just to have people HEAR you read is very cool. I like it.😉

  8. Great question, and how all the answers have had a different reply, although many have one thing in common: unread posts piling up! For me, that is a huge part of my answer to your question. On the other hand, sometimes I read a post on the fly; I may ponder it all day or chuckle to myself six hours later, as I envision the meat truck/wagon speeding away from your house, but I just didn’t have the time at the moment of reading it to sit and compose a comment that was worthy of your writing.

    Your analogy of the “comment” being somewhat like the writer’s “dessert” is spot on!

    Thanks for bringing this up, as it will push me to be better about commenting; however, I get what you’re saying… I look at my stats and see two comments (1 of those being my reply) and say, “huh?”

    Keep up the great writing; I adore getting an e-mail that indicates that you have written a new post!!🙂

    • Hi PAS:

      I, too, have the delayed reaction to posts. Especially at Greatsby’s. I feel like everyone at The Good Greatsby is so smart and snarky, but I can usually come up with something. You know, about 6 hours later.

      I wasn’t trying to “push” anyone to be “better” about commenting. I just find it fascinating to have such a disproportionate number of views to the number of posts I receive. It rather fascinated me, and I wondered enough to write about it.

      That’s the way I roll.😉

      Thanks for your kind words. And I am enjoying to get to know you better!

      • Never got the feeling that you were pushing for more comments; however, your question caused me to reflect on my own actions after reading a post. Good questions do that – cause a reader to pause and reflect!!!!

        Like the way you roll!

        ps – you can call me Carol, if you like!

  9. I’m talkative in real life, so I tend to be chatty in the blogosphere!

    Your poll questions are really good ones. My great aunt was an English teacher. When I was little, she sent me a card with $20 in it for nearly every holiday. The minute after I waved my $20 in the air with excitement, I would be sent to my bedroom desk to write a thank you note. Do you have any idea how much time and how many pieces of stationery I wasted because I was terrified that Aunt Nan would find out that I overused commas and was a terrible speller? Fortunately, Aunt Nan never sent back one of my cards with red marks on it! She was interested in content far more than mechanics.

    While I have a great affinity for English teachers, I also have a slight, healthy fear of them! That might be the problem, or it might just be that some of your subscribers have too many blogs to read! Since you’ve never “red marked” me, I’ll keep commenting!🙂

    • Beloved Sprinkles!

      See. now you are a great commenter! My favorite kind because you always tell me a story which makes me think … Hmmm, thank you notes. Yeah, I remember when kids wrote those. Now kids just text: “Thank you, Aunt Renée.” And you give me ideas for new bloggies.

      I’m sorry your Aunt Nan rather traumatized you, but I’ll not red ink you. Lord knows, I make mistakes in my blog. There is a particular person who rather enjoys sticking it to me when I do. Well THAT doesn’t do anything to improve dialogue, does it? I think not!

      Thank you for your lovely response, dear Sprinkles.

  10. Renee,

    I receive and read your blog via email each day. I actually read it on my phone, which while convenient for reading, is not quite as convenient for commenting. I’ve thought about commenting on varies blog postings, but that’s usually where it ended.
    That’s the brutally honest truth!
    Craig

    • Hazzah! That is my experience, too! I was hoping someone would mention it! I read blogs my iPhone, but commenting is really tedious! Your fabulous comment makes so much sense! Thanks Craig! And thanks for reading!

      A+.😉

  11. Oh crap! I meant various, not varies! Damn swype keyboard! So embarrassed!!

  12. It’s a mystery to me, too. On the days I blog, I get about 3x more views than I do comments. A friend suggested it was people checking back to see if I had replied to their comment–which is something I try very hard to do.

    By the way, on your poll, I wanted to click “I only like to comment when I can correct one of your mistakes” so badly I almost developed a tic. This is not true, of course. I just liked the way it sounded. 😀

    Keep on rockin’ and if you figure out the comment mystery, send me a memo. 😉

  13. I’ve got diarrhea of the mouth, er… keyboard. I can’t not leave a comment. I wish I got comments on my blog, however… I get tons of feedback on Facebook (where my blog automatically posts), but almost none on the blog itself. I do hear from friends all the time that the love reading my blog. It is very frustrating that they say they read, but never comment. I feel your pain sister.

  14. I forgot to mention, I LOOOOOOOVE Words With Friends. My username is: case sensitive

  15. I have read mostly all of your bloggies since you started. I usually comment when it strikes me, and sometimes I don’t have time to comment. I really don’t worry about any errors because I can imagine your head popping off. That sorta amuses me in some sense😉 Until your next bloggie… I bid you adieu.

    • Melissa:

      Your words mean a lot because you really have been with me from the beginning. I like that you imagine my head popping off when I see an error. But it’s not like that. I am particular about writing when I am teaching and grading.

      I like to read something that is easy to read. I don’t like a lot of abbreviations. But comments are fabulous, even if they are imperfect. People are just dashing them off. I get that.😉

  16. I only leave comments for people that call me “cowboy”!🙂

    In all seriousness though, I wonder that myself. I have my loyalists also but there are lots more lurkers than commenters.

  17. Hmmm. I Think I just like being a Lurker. The blog cracks me up but i don’t really think i have a lot to add. Perhaps I’ve never really enjoyed hearing my voice in writing. Then there’s the whole comment for the sake if commenting thing. You know, like in a staff meeting were there are always a few folks who just need to talk everytime even though they have nothing new or relevant to add. I guess mostly though it’s just cyber insecurity for me.

    • Thanks Becky!

      Super helpful.

      It was surprising to me to see you comment the other day. I was all: “Wow, she’s still reading me?”

      I got all floopy and happy inside.

      Thanks for the honest answer.

      Now, back to the shadows! Make haste!😉

  18. I’m not a blogger… I read your blog (& Kasey’s blog) because you are my friends and I like to read about what your doing and how your feeling. It makes me feel like I’m keeping in touch with you. I don’t do Facebook, so reading your blogs makes me feel connected. I’m a reader, not a writer. I did the poll, and I promise to comment more often even it’s brief. I did not know how important it was. I LOVED the comparison to making a good meal and no one commenting. I get it now!

    • Jode:

      This makes perfect sense. And I don’t want you to feel pressure to comment. But if something strikes you, please know I do appreciate a comment. But you know how to find me. And you are ALWAYS good about that!😉

  19. Hi Renee. I’m here! I’m here! Thank you for doing this survey. I’ll be very interested in your findings. I know that, for myself, I sometimes will be reading blogs on the run and not have time to form a coherant comment. Sometimes, my only thought is, “Wow. That was an awesome blog.” But I don’t want to leave that because then people will think I’m commenting without having read the blog. On some blogs, I will write out comments, only to have them ditched when I don’t log in exactly correctly, or I find I haven’t logged in at all. So a certain amount are lost to technical difficulties. Very much looking forward to the results of your survey. I love your blog.

    • Piper: I actually referred to you in one of the comments! I have often tried to comment on your bloggie (from my dang phone) and had the comment disappear. There is nothing worse. I often mean to circle back when I get home, but then I forget.

      I think I have actually learned quite a bit: mostly to stop worrying about the stats because people are reading.

      • Oh, no! I’m glad to know that’s happening, but I hate it that it’s happening. Thanks so much for trying.🙂

      • Please know I just resubscribed after the great unexplained email purge of June 2011. I laughed out loud with your Irish Spring post (and again at the recap). So funny! Sometimes I just don’;t have the strength to try again. But you are faboo. You have to know that.

        You know that, right?😉

  20. And I will always have errors, like the your/you’re error I just made!! I HATE that and I can’t believe I just did it!!! I don’t have a lot of time, and I type fast, and hit the post button fast… and as you know, I talk fast. So, If you want me to comment, don’t correct on my errors…. I know what they are! I won’t always have time to “edit”.

    • As I said to someone else, I’m not afraid of errors. I never correct people on their errors. That is rude. I’m much more interested in content. I’m not grading anyone on my blog. (Note: Unless writing in my blog is an assignment for one of my classes, in which case, um… yes I am.)

      But if you are business and you pit something out that is a professional piece of freaky-deakyness well… I might have to comment on that.

      No worries

      Look! I skipped a period.😉 Har har.

  21. I have a blog and I understand exactly what you are saying. I want people to leave comments and they rarely do. Oddly, I see some of the people that read my blog daily, and they usually say, “Really liked your blog today.” But they don’t comment. I think a lot of them really don’t want other people to see their comments even though they’re pretty anonymous. Did I spell that right…..wow, that’s one of those troublesome words.

    My number one hit on my blog is a story I did about a minature pot bellied pig. Doesn’t get any 200 hits a day, but more than any other story I posted.

    I don’t think “lurkers” is fair though. Most people are reading your blog because they enjoy it, and just for the enjoyment not the social intercourse.

    • O. Leonard:

      Nice to meet you! I am starting to understand that 1/3 of people prefer to just read. Understanding that helps me makes sense of things. This exercise was actually helpful to me.

      And it is always weird to know what posts people love.

      Every day about 100 people read my post on my irrational fear of head lice.

      What’s up with that?

  22. Renee, I’m not sure what the others are saying but you rock!

    And maybe that’s why some read but don’t write. You’ve got it goin’ on with the writing ability and sometimes it’s hard to speak up when in the presence of a person of perceived greatness. What does get people to leave comments is that you are talking about real life, at a level that we can relate to.

    Another reason you might not get comments is because of our busy lifestyle. Most of us feel pressured to accomplish so much in the limited time that we have. Typing a comment takes time and sometimes that is time we don’t feel we have to spare. But we still like to take a few moments to drop in and read your latest post, learn a little about life and have a good chuckle to relax us and get our minds away from our personal situations.

    For me, I love to read. Newspapers, books, magazines, and yes, your posts…whatever I have time for. Not so much the writing/typing thing. (You’ll probably call me out on that one.) I’ve heard you comment about writing for hours and being tired. Writing, done right, is a gift, it’s an art, and it’s hard work. Some of us really just want to enjoy the art…without participating in it.

    I’m a good house painter and I like a good painting. But if you want ugly, give me a brush, some paint and a canvas and tell me to be an artist.

    • Brian, after last night’s orgasmic experience at “Let’s eat Grandma”… well, you know I’m all about the social experience of social media. That was a hoot. And if you really have that monster of a thread copied, you are a piece of work, my cyber-friend.

      I am so happy you have followed me here.

      Hopefully, the pace will be… um, less frantic.

      But yes, busy lives.

      And you are a great writer. I might have to hit you up to see if you might be interested in participating in something.

      You know, with me. I’ll get back to you on that.

      I swear it does not involve the number 3,000.😉

      • I like the number 3,000…with a dollar sign in front. ☺
        P.S. You have a “cameo” in a song at Grandma’s.

  23. I only read your blog through Facebook & lately I only “play” there via my phone. To click links & read a lot of content on my phone is, well, I’m lazy. I do heart your blog, and WAIT!! WWF me! jnolan189

  24. I can’t participate in the poll, because I do comment. I don’t comment on every post, because there are times I don’t really have anything to add; oftentimes, I’ll click “Like” in that case, just to show I was there.

    This question is one that’s been on my mind a lot lately, too. I’ll occasionally be meandering through blogs and find references to TMiYC or quotes from it (!), which leaves me scratching my head and going, “Why didn’t any of this land in a comment?” I don’t have 200 hits a day to my blog–let alone a single post!–but two or three times a month, but I do sometimes marvel at the discrepancy between visits and comments. Perhaps it’s a time-saving thing? “Got it, on to the next!” This has really been on my mind the last couple of days, so I’m excited to see it addressed so well here.

    Oh, also? I too am perplexed by which posts get tons of comments and which posts don’t, although I am starting to see a trend whereby the ones I have a really hard time posting are the ones that most resonate with people. That’s one little pattern I’m starting to see, but the only one at this point!

    • Hi Deb:

      I’m like you. There are days where I will simply click “like” on a blog because it is about all I can muster. I like to let people know “I was there,” but usually — because I’m a blabber, I have something to say.

      I have to admit, I have a hard time with some of your more recent posts because I didn’t know what that whole whatzzit-Con thing was — until I went back and back to figure it out. And even then I didn’t totally get it. I had to Google it to totally understand the whole experience of what you were doing. But now that I have the context, I understand.

      But I think you are right: not everything resonates with everyone — but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write about it.

      LOVED the poems by the way. And I’m working through YOUR book now! Squeeeee!

  25. Based on my 30 seconds of extensive research, I have discovered that the most comments seem to be on the blogs related to parenting and/or children. Maybe that means the majority of your readers are parents. Have readers suggested topics that they would like to read? I’m not a parent, but am a strong supporter of education and creativity. And I have been listening to Harry Chapin Radio all day. So…..my suggestion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeJJOjb7fj4 (Flowers are Red, Harry Chapin)

  26. What can I say? Some of us just have more voyeuristic tendencies than others!😉 Or I could say that some of us are just much better listeners. Yeah, that sounds more respectable!

    And by the way, I found LOTS of mistakes today! (Not in the post itself, but in your comments on other people’s comments.) And that’s why I’m commenting!

    • Mistakes don’t bother me. Honestly. People are writing from their phones or while they’re driving. Just kidding. No one should be responding to this blog while driving. But I am starting to get a better understanding of the idea that some people prefer to just read, and some people — who might respond when reading at home from their home computers find it difficult to do som while on their phones.

      I hate responding from my phone.

      I cannot tell you how hard I cross my fingers when I post from my phone.

      Piper Bayard… Oy. How I love thee! I have tried many times to comment, but my iPhone does not want to comply with your blog. Often I mean to come back and comment, but I forget — and then I feel like I’m late to the party. I need to remember my own advice. No one is ever late to the party.😉

  27. I think the lurkers in the world (of which I am one at certain sites) generally fall into one of three categories:

    1) A friend who doesn’t “get” blogging but is interested enough in you to check out what you’re writing. I have many of these… only one has commented at my site, and that person only once.

    2) Someone who is checking out blogs via a mobile device in a few spare moments, and unless really, really compelled to make a comment, finds the effort of interacting through that device is too much trouble.

    3) Someone who is a bit intimidated by the crowd, or lack thereof. It cuts both ways.

    I believe that comments are the love grease that keeps the blog bus rolling, so thanks for another great post and a reminder how important that part of it is!

  28. Hi Renee, this is my first time over here via Twitter. I wrote a post last week on how to be an ideal blog reader, in which I admitted to being a comments whore. I’m not sure I’ll ever understand why some posts make people comments-happy and others don’t or why my family likes to tell me they read that one post about that one thing 3 weeks after I wrote it instead of just commenting on the dang post itself. Most people seem to think they have nothing left to add or they’ve run out of time.

    • Hi Leigh:

      I think non-bloggers don’t know that we can see their comments — even if they are really late to the party! Unless you are like a really famous blogger who gets a zillion hits [*cough Kristen Lamb cough*], most of us notice and even obsess over the comments that are made. And it is nice to meet you. I’m coming over to check out your stuff.

      And I promise, I will leave a comment.😉

  29. I think non-bloggers don’t leave comments at all (I never did–I actually never paid attention to comments when I was a non-blogger). But now, sometimes I’m in a hurry, other times I’m holding my baby and can’t type. Sometimes it takes too long to write something or I don’t have anything to say. But I feel your frustration. I’ve been there too.

  30. Ok, I’m not going to read the other comments yet, because I just wanna know if I can copypaste this to my own blog? Seriously. I feel exactly the same way and I am delighted – DELIGHTED and I’m sorry for it – to know that I am not alone with such ponderings.

    I sincerely hope that this post will serve as a gentle reminder to all of us – because, hypocrite that I am, I too am guilty of not always commenting on the pieces I read. It’s usually because another commenter has said what I’d like to say, only better than I would have.

    Stupid? Yes. Honest? That too.

    As for the rest, I’m just gonna “ditto” Keenie Beanie because she said the rest of the stuff I wanted to say, only she said it better.

    Sigh.

    • Hi Liz!

      I know. Keenie Beanie said it best. But I have to admit, I have been bad about commenting because it has been summer, and I’ve just been overwhelmed with stuff to do. I have been reading your stuff and not pushing like or ever tweeting. I suck. But I promise to be better.

      I don’t think you are a hypocrite. I think you are human.😉

  31. Once again our writing lives cross over. I have a draft of an almost identical post as this one! I was calling them stalkers rather than lurkers, but the idea was the same. Cool.

  32. I think for some readers it’s a little like writing a letter to the editor – they only do it if they have a really passionate or relevant comment to make. Otherwise, they read – enjoy – move on. I think if a reader is not also a fellow blogger they are less likely to comment, but I could be wrong. That’s just my observation.🙂

    Great post. I have pondered this many times!

  33. I’m fairly shy in real life, and for a long time, I was very shy in cyberspace. I also firmly believe that if I’m comfortable, then I’m stagnating, so just as I dealt with my real-life shyness in order to grow, I made myself uncomfortable and started commenting on blogs. Some blogs are a bit intimidating and I hesitate to comment. Other times, I’m less motivated if I know the blogger doesn’t reply to comments. In general, I only like to comment if I feel I can contribute something useful – either about the content or to show my support. I don’t like to comment just for the sake of commenting because it feels too forced and insincere, and I don’t want to say anything unless I mean it.

    • Hi Limr:

      Super helpful info! I know we are reading each other. And I don’t like to comment just for the sake of commenting either — but I don’t typically follow people who don’t move me to want to comment! That’s why I take a while before putting someone on my “Blog I Love” list. I’m serious about it.

  34. I wonder the same thing. People I know will say, “Nice blog post!” or talk to me about it, but they won’t leave a comment. I can’t wait to see the results of your poll.

    • Thanks thoughtsappear:

      Almost 1/3 of people just plain out prefer to read… which makes sense. And I get that not every blog is attention worthy. So maybe I have to let myself off the hook and just really comment on the blogs I LOVE or be content to believe that people understand that I am reading (as fast as I can), but sometimes life gets in the way.

  35. I hate that I don’t comment more often. I’m generally a poor commenter because I get nervous about saying something idiotic.

    I love to read though and will never miss a post if I can help it; I often come away with ideas that I hope to make unique in my own way – there’s always something inspiring in your blog! (I’m still thinking about what my unique super-power would be – vomiting rainbows is a fantastic power!)
    🙂

  36. top reasons I might not comment
    1. just reading, sort of like chekcing facebook to see what is going on in the world
    2.Don’t have much to contribute
    3. I like a good controversial debate and although I always find the way the blog is written interesting and captivating, the topic might be something that needs no further comment.
    4. I get into my “who cares what I say” moments
    5. Sometimes I think I need to avoid opening my mouth for the better. I mean, I could say the wrong thing at the wrong time and need to keep myself in check.
    6. I often read a blog a few days after it is written and assume the interest has moved on
    7. What if my grammer is not correct? (just kidding on this one. I knom my grammer does not warrent an good grade.

    • Hi Lisa #2.

      Thank you for all those good reasons for not commenting. But I know you, so you usually give me real life feedback — which is equally excellent. And I can tell if you are lying because I’ll say, “Hey, did you see my blog on coupons?” And you’ll say, “Oh, yeah, I loved that blog on coupons, it was so funny.” Only I didn’t write a blog on coupons.😉

  37. My absolute favorite thing about blogging is the interactive nature of this type of writing. That being said, my life has been chaotic (crazy? overwhelming? out of control?). Prior to certain unplanned events (natural disasters, personal disasters, disasters of other nature), I started a job that is, quite frankly, insane. I’m out at all hours, take my work home, and am just sprinting around like a crazy woman putting out fires. Throw in those disasters and it’s become just a disaster away from unmanageable.
    I read every single post you write. As a matter of fact, your blog (and a couple others) are truly my link to sanity right now. Unfortunately, I read my favorite writers in the car waiting on an appointment, or at the desk when I just need a minute to clear my head. Then I rush to the next fire and my comment is never sent.
    However, thank you, thank you, thank you for writing. Thank you for making me laugh or think about something other than this job and current crazy life. I’m sad not to be taking part consistently in the best part of blogging but so glad I found my favorite blogs before this period in my life — you all give me that breathe of fresh air that my days need lately!

    • Hi Amy!

      I think everyone understands that life in Joplin takes top priority over anything else. You, my sweet, my have a whole other thing going on. But it does remind me that people do have real life things going on. Disasters, deaths, homes to rebuild, children to protect: these are the things that must come first. Always.

      I’m sorry things have been so hectic for you. I know they are. I hope they calm down a bit soon, but I imagine there is more crazy before calm. I am so glad that I knew you before all of this, but I want you to know that I am here for you — you know how to find me right, FB, Twitter, PM, email. If you are having a bad day, you just call out me name — in real life.

  38. Thank you for this. Now I feel not quite so alone in my own silence!

    • Hi Kasey.

      Hopefully things are starting to think around over there a bit. I was interested to read about your recent development with publisher. We will have to catch up on that. You know, soon.😉

      Jodi says hi.

      Did you see?😉

  39. blackwatertown

    I take both Carl and Abby’s points. It can be galling when a friend who is supposedly tech and social media savvy explains how it is impossible to comment, that the system doesn’t work, that I should really get it looked at, etc – while the rest of the non-techie world manages fine.
    I do also have to repress the urge to grab the lapels of the family member who lets slip that yes, they’ve been monitoring the blog closely, but have never given any previous sign. Why not!
    The flipside is how pathetically grateful I am when anyone does say anything. It’s lovely.

  40. I have wondered the same thing too. But I do comment on your posts (and others) but not always, so I guess I wanted to to offer my two cents.

    I usually comment on – or ‘like’ or reblog – a post (in general) if I feel I have something to say or if it has triggered an emotional response that I want to express.

    To be honest, all your posts always seem receive a large number of comments by the time I come to read them. I don’t think we should expect all of our readers to want to say something, after all not every reader of magazine article is going to write in and indeed a lot of articles don’t receive any letters in response.

    Furthermore, there is also the context of the reader to take into consideration. Sometimes, one just wants to read passively without thinking too much, sometimes one has limited amount of time at the time of reading, sometimes…the point is there are many reasons why a lot of people don’t comment which is more to do with them than with the writer.

    I believe that it’s important to be thankful for what one does receive and not worry too much about one doesn’t – at least not without reason. After all it could be worse – there could be no readers and no comments.

    SOrry if this sounds like a complaint – it’s not meant to be, I think you are a fantastic, funny writer and I always look forward to receiving your next post.

    • Dear Pravinjeya:

      I did not take your words as a “complaint” at all. It felt like a constructive comment. And actually, I have learned so much from the feedback that I have received that fits my worldview in that I am trying not to see things in terms of what I am not receiving, because quite honestly I am blessed with so much.

      So thank you for your words. I am blessed to have Monkey and Hubby, real life friends and cyber friends — and smart readers. And now I have a better understanding of the bigger picture when it comes to the statistics behind the blog. And that bigger picture is this: I love to write and it is lovely that people are writing. If they are moved to write, that is a bonus. But I’m not going to focus on it as much anymore. No need. I have found my answers.😉

  41. When/if I don’t comment on one of your posts, it’s generally due to one of the following issues:

    A. I have fallen desperately behind and am trying to catch up quickly; and if there are already a lot of comments, my point may have been made or I may not have time to READ all the points already made and don’t want to be redundant.

    B. Pretty much just that reason.

    If I don’t comment on someone else’s blog, it may be because I really didn’t have anything to add to the discussion and I refuse to leave something like LOL, Love your blog, Please visit mine, you know?

    I really take my time and try to leave relevant, thoughtful comments and if I simply don’t have enough minutes in the moment, sometimes I don’t.

    But usually I do. I don’t believe I qualify as a lurker.

    I read somewhere that only 3% of people (on average) who read a post comment on it. I have no way of knowing it this is true because I don’t check any of my stats (or know how to. this is not surprising to you, I’m sure).

    Hope you get some good info and I’d LOVE to read about the results of your poll…

    • Okay, Julie, so basically you are telling me that I haven’t commented on your tattoo blog. I know, right. I’m behind.

      So I’m going with A. and B.

      But I am going to write to you.

      Seriously.

      And you are not any kind of lurker.

      Unless, you know, you are trying to lurk in which case you are really good at it — except maybe you should comment a little less.

      PS: Does this mean I have to blog about the results of the poll?

  42. I had one post that got over a thousand hits, and no replies. That one was a record.

    I get the most replies when I upset people. Which for me isn’t hard. I’m so opinionated that I can upset people by saying hello.

    Wayne

    • Wayne,

      I have been meaning to reply to your last TWO blogs. I agree you are opinionated, but — wow — do you back up your words with facts?! Whoo! Meanwhile, I might need a Google+ intervention. I want out, but I’m afraid of deleting the wrong thing and screwing up my blog.

      Or maybe I don’t want out.

      Maybe I just want to figure out how to link my blog to Google+.

      Just tell me what to do.

      (See, I like your opinions!)😉

  43. I find that other bloggers are the best commenters…”regular people” just don’t realize what a boost we get from comments! Some of my “real life” friends will comment on my blog post on Facebook, but not on WordPress…

    Wendy

    • Agreed. Bloggers understand what other bloggers are looking for in terms of comments, but I’ve got some great commenters who are just regular folks. In fact, some of them are going to write some guest posts for me when school starts up! Can you imagine?😉

  44. Pingback: Hey! You! Leave a comment… please? « thefourthbrother: the average one

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