Monday, January 24, 2011

Blog Commenting Commentary

For the past several weeks, I’ve been participating in the MotherReader kidlitosphere blog-comment challenge.  And by “participating” I mean “dismally failing to reach any of my blog-commenting goals.”

That's right.  Despite a worthy 5-a-day comment challenge and my best of intentions, and despite having spent much fun time these past several weeks visiting and getting to know better 100+ wonderful blogs, with the challenge nearly over my performance as a blog-commenter has remained as spotty as it’s ever been.

After much reflection and contemplation, I’ve determined that perhaps my commenting method may be part of the problem.  Herewith is my usual procedure:

1. Read an interesting blog post.

2. Think to self, “That was an interesting blog post!”

3. Think to self, “I should comment on that interesting blog post.”

4. Click on ‘Comment’ button. Wait a microsecond for the comment box to open.

5. Stare at blank comment box for 5 seconds.

6. Think to self, “So. Well. What to say.”

7. Stare at blank comment box for 10 seconds.

8. Think to self, “Good blog commenters say insightful things. Say something insightful!”

9. Stare at blank comment box for 30 seconds.

10. Start typing something that aims for “insightful.” Type two or three sentences. Add a fourth for good measure.

11. Reread insightful blog comment. Momentarily think, “What an insightful comment!”

12. Reread insightful blog comment. Realize it’s not insightful. Realize it’s inane.

13. Backspace to delete two of the four sentences.

14. Delete one of the two remaining sentences.

15. Delete the last sentence.

16. Stare at blank comment box for 45 seconds.

17. Wish for a moment that blogs were like FaceBook, with “Like” buttons. “That would be so much easier!”

18. Reflect that this wish, if granted, would mean never getting to read other people’s blog comments, which are frequently insightful.

19. Retract wish.

20. Feel the urge to check FaceBook page.

21. Resist urge.

22. Check Twitter feed instead.

23. Feel guilty about avoiding comment box by checking Twitter.

24. Feel the urge to check FaceBook page.

25. Resist urge.

26. Resist urge.

27. Resist urge.

28. Check FaceBook page.

29. Return to blank comment box. Stare at blank comment box for 60 seconds.

30. Say to self, “Forget insightful. Go for witty! Say something witty!”

31. Start to type a comment that aims to be witty.

32. Pause midsentence. Backspace and try again.

33. Backspace and try again.

34. Feel inspired. Type a witty comment!

35. Reread witty comment. Laugh out loud.

36. Think to self, “I’m witty. And insightful! Witty AND insightful!”

37. Reread witty comment again.

38. Realize I’m not even remotely witty.

39. Backspace and delete my comment.

40. Stare at blank comment box for two minutes.

41. Check email.

42. Check FaceBook. Compensate for feelings of blog-commenting inadequacy by clicking “Like” on every status update in the News Feed for the last 18 hours.

43. Return to blank comment box.

44. Stare at blank comment box for 5 seconds.

45. Suddenly feel totally exasperated. Reflect on how ridiculous the situation has become.

46. Say to self, “This situation has become ridiculous!”

47. Say to self, “So you can’t be insightful or witty. So what? At least just be kind! It was an interesting blog post. You should say so.”

48. Type, “I really enjoyed this blog post” in comment box.

49. Stare at typed comment.

50. Think to self, “Oh, that’s so lame.”

51. Think to self, “But it’s better than nothing.”

52. Think to self, “No it’s not. It’s lame.”

53. Think to self, “Ah, but isn’t it better to have blog-commented and been lame than to never have blog-commented at all?”

54. Think to self, “What??? That made no sense.”

55. Think to self, “I’m supposed to make sense all the time?”

56. Think to self, “I think this is internal conversation has gone on long enough.”

57. Think to self, “Yeah, I’ll say!”

58. Think to self, “Stop thinking!”

59. Squelch internal dialogue. Play a round of Minesweeper.

60. Return to comment box. Stare at un-insightful, un-witty, “I really enjoyed this blog post” comment.

61. Say to self, “Just comment already. It’s not really that hard.”

62. Stare at ‘Publish Comment’ button.

63. Backspace and delete comment.

64. Stare at blank comment box.

65. Close tab.

66. Open a new tab.  Return to list of interesting blogs.  Visit another blog and read an interesting blog post.

67. Think to self, “That was an interesting blog post!”

68. Repeat steps 1 through 67.

69. Fifteen times.

70. Return to very first interesting blog post.

71. Say to self, “This blog post is just as interesting as when I first read it seven hours ago!”

72. Click on ‘Comment’ button. Wait a microsecond for the comment box to open.

73. Type, “Great blog post!”

74. Click ‘Publish comment’ button.

75. Sigh deeply.

76. Log off, exhausted.

After reflecting on all this, I’m thinking maybe, just maybe, I should streamline this procedure a bit.  Seventy-six steps is, afterall, quite a few steps.

The only problem is, I really can’t think of any steps to trim!

Any suggestions?

Feel free to leave them in the Comments.  :)


Ann Finkelstein said...

I never get past step #9.

Tim Gort, a writer said...

That was an interesting blog post that made me laugh out loud. :)

Z-Kids said...

Like :)

Lori said...

[insert witty, insightful comment of choice here]

Anonymous said...

1... 2... 3...
Great Blog Post!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I think you should just let your fingers move quickly and post a comment. It doesn't have to be profound. It makes the blogger feel like people are reading their blog.

Lori W. said...

Great blog post! Ha, ha, but it actually was.Thanks for the laugh. I used to be terrified to comment, but now I know from experience that bloggers appreciate the short and sweet comments too.

Amy LV said...

Whoa! This reminds me of many things I do in life. Laura Purdie Salas has a great post up right now about "warming our hands in front of a fire that's not even a fire," all about these crazy habits we develop. Thank you for the chuckle. Don't worry about your comment-quality. I think it's true that writers simply love to be read and heard. A.

MotherReader said...

Step 1: Leave a link to this post at the Comment Challenge Finish line at

Step 2: Your step 2 sentence should read "That was an interesting blog post because..."
Step 3: is the same because you're are ready to comment
Step 4: write what was in your mind after the "because" For instance for me, "This was an interesting blog post because I knew that people found leaving comments difficult, but I didn't realize HOW difficult. If anything, it makes me want to do the Comment Challenge more because I want to make people feel better about saying what's on their minds without worrying about it so much." Okay, now I would take away everything before the "because" and I'd read over it quickly to see if I accidently typed an obscenity and then I'd go back to retype the word accidentally because I typed in incorrectly the first time, but otherwise I'd let my thoughts stand even if they are (like now) long-winded or confusing because it took less time then (than? I can never remember, but I'm going to plow on) worrying about it. Word verification. And Publish Your Comment

Debbie Diesen said...

Thanks, all of you, for the great comments! You make it look so easy. ;)

Charlotte said...

That was funny! thanks!

(although I prefer Number Mix at the Harper Collins Arcade to Minesweeper)

Ms. Yingling said...

Decided long ago that just about any comment, no matter how light weight, makes MY day, that I will comment whenever I can. When people comment on my blog, I go visit their blogs, and find a lot of great stuff that way!