Why do people comment on blogs? And why do bloggers let them?
This question takes on larger proportions in light of Google’s Sidewiki equipping every web page with a comment feature. Now not only bloggers will have to deal with commenters, but every person, company and organization with a web site. Chris Garret has a post called “10 Reasons Commenting is Good for Bloggers,” but I’m interested more in the motivating factors.
I know why bloggers want comments. They want to connect with their readers. They want to know if their words resonated with anyone. They want to know: Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? I know for myself that comments are my measure of a successful blog post – much more so than traffic metrics. It’s great if a post generates traffic and brings in readers, but I get more satisfaction from a post that generates feedback.
So why do people decide to leave comments behind? What triggers the response for a reader to take the time to comment?
Here are my unscientific theories for why people comment:
The post was so offensive or outrageous that the reader feels an impulse to share his/her disapproval or disbelief that anyone could write such a blatantly ridiculous post.
The person is in violent agreement with the writer. They are so pleased to have discovered someone that has put their own feelings and beliefs in such a cogent manner that they want to share their acceptance and approval.
The reader agrees with everything said in the post, but wants to share additional thinking on the topic. He/she either has a new way of looking at it or wants to build on or focus on one aspect of the post.
The reader thinks the writer has used incorrect facts and wants to provide information or links to the correct data.
The reader has come up with a great quip based on the content of the post – and just can’t resist sharing.
The reader has just written a similar post or article on the topic and wants to tap into the built-in audience reading this particular post in order to share a link to his piece.
The reader wants you to buy off-market Viagra or software guaranteed to make you rich and feels the impulse to leave behind thousands – if not millions – of messages.
Are there additional reasons? How about you? Why do you comment on blogs? What triggers a response from you?