Monday, November 16, 2009

On Comments…

I have found after reading other people's comments— as well as commenting myself that there are several different types of comments that you find:

Authoritative Comments
Sometimes I find that I leave comments that tend to sound like I know what I'm talking about. I know that I am no expert on everything, but I do have a way of sounding so. If I leave a comment and appear to sound like I'm a know-it-all… please forgive me. I tend to blame it on having to write in a professional, concise manner at work.
Banter Comments
I see a lot of these kinds of comments in Facebook and Twitter. These are the ones that you tend to leave that are supposed to bring out a chuckle. It's friendly banter that is passed back to the reader, often after they post something witty and/or funny.
Compassionate Comments
Sometimes people confess to things, or tell of a tragic tale in their posts. So often we want to be able to offer some form of assistance to the writer so that they know that they are not alone. I have been told that I have a lot of compassion in my comments to others. I try to offer any kind of helpful and supportive words which will help build confidence in the writer. So often we are exposing ourselves to public scrutiny by posting our thoughts and our feelings. We do not want to feel that we have said these things in vain, nor do we want to be ridiculed for being brave enough to post.
Dutiful Comments
Many times people feel obligated to comment back if you commented first. Some people consider this a type of empty comment, but I feel that it is a way of letting the person who commented first know that you read their comment and are willing to comment back.
Empty Comments
I hear a lot of people complain about empty comments. These are the ones that tend to not have much thought behind them. They may not even make much sense and not tie very well to the original post. To me a comment is welcome no matter how much thought goes behind it. It just proves that you are there and are willing to say so.
Feedback Comments
Sometimes someone writes something that is very well written and you want to give your feedback as to how you interpreted their writing. I find this to be very helpful especially when the post is a story or poem.
Group Comments
I have seen others comment back to the comments that others have left. I myself have tried this because it offers a way to dialog about the post. Many times I write directly to the person who commented, but sometimes they do not have a return address so I have to add a comment to the thread of comments already given.

This is by no means an exhaustive list— I am sure there are other types and would welcome any additional ones you happen to have encountered. It does seem odd to have to comment on commenting, but that is what commenting is all about.

I tend to view comments a lot like telling jokes. So often you hear a joke that reminds you of a joke you know and you want to tell it. So often I find a post that reminds me of something that I myself have experienced and I want to share my thoughts about it. Many times a comment leads me to another post because they offer an opinion or perspective that I had not thought of before.

What about you… How do you comment? Do you feel like you tend to comment in a particular way? Do you find that comments help you in your writing?


Anonymous said...

Here's my comment on comments: I usually will comment with advice if it's a post dealing with troubles, or I'll tell a quick "like-wise" tale that relates to what the author was posting about. Sometimes I leave a fairly generic comment if I have nothing particular to add but want to say I've been there.

Eternal Lizdom said...

I tend to read and if there is something immediate that calls me to reply, I will. Often, it's an anecdote of my own. I will sometimes leave a generic comment- but I don't like doing that unless I really feel it's important to the writer to get those positive strokes. I basically try to leave the kind of comments that I want on my own blog. Comments that show that the reader was really invested in what I shared, took something from it, connected with it somehow.

Captain Dumbass said...

Comments. We're all whores for them so I don't see the point in complaining about what you got. Personally, I try to be funny with mine, depending on the circumstances. In fact, some days I'm sure I leave better material in the comment section than I put up on my own blog.

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

Hmm, I usually try to say something funny about what I read but sometimes I just like to make a point of letting the person know I was there or that I liked what they wrote. To me, a comment is just a way of saying, "hey, I was here and I care enough about you to take the time to let you know!"

Jillene said...

I try to relate to the post and comment about something I maybe know about it or I try to be funny.

Erin said...

I'm here and I wanted to let you know!

I really try to comment to let the person know that I read what they wrote and that I care.

Wendyburd1 said...

I LOVE comments, even empty ones, and even those seem scarce right now.
I comment with whatever jumps in my head. I know mine might seem empty sometimes, but it is just because I read the blog post but have nothing to contribute but want them to know I still stopped by.

Mike said...

I comment depending on my relationship with the blogger, the content and tone of the post, and my mood at the time that I am blogging! I will not leave a silly comment on a blog where someone is healing from hardship, but I will leave a silly comment somewhere else in a heartbeat!

Meg said...

I tend to run the gamut of comment types. And I'm not sure I believe there's any such thing as an "empty" comment, but that might be because I crave them, so all comments are good.

Great post!

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