Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Comments? A Lurker Confesses
There are few things that make a blogger's heart beat faster than comments. It shows people are reading and by taking the time to leave a little message, they are engaging the author. That's you.
As a reader, I always scroll through the comments of posts I like. I often visit the sites of people who's insights or observations I connected, agreed or in some cases violently disagreed with.
To successfully build readership of your blog, it is recommended to visit and comment on at least four different blogs a day. With the thousands out there, seems easy right?
Apparently, I'm what is known as a "lurker" in the blogsphere. Sounds far more creepy than it is. A lurker is someone who reads but doesn't comment on other people's blogs. I confess, I'm guilty. I don't often comment. But there are reasons I swear.
It's silly, I know, but leaving a comment on someones blog for the first time is like a first date for me. I get nervous. How to break the ice? You don't know them. They don't know you. Should I try and be witty? Be funny? What if they don't get my humour? I don't want to be an ass. Etc, etc, etc. I can't tell you the number of times I've sat, fingers over the keyboard and my brain freezes. Nothing, a complete blank. The more previous comments there are the less likely I am to add mine. Oh, the pressure.
I want to leave a good impression.Their writing has engaged me on some level so I want them to think well of me too. Hopefully, they'll swing by my bit of cyberspace and a new follower or friendship ensues. No simple, "I like your blog ", will do. I know, way over thinking.
Funnily enough, I appreciate all the comments I have received, even the short and sweet, I like your blog. I think no less or more of those than I do the longer ones. In my brain I know it doesn't matter. Does that mean it lets me off the hook and make commenting easy, not a chance. Stupid over analyzing brain.
The other reason my comment quota is low is technical difficulties. I went through a long period over at my cousin's Time Out for Mom where I couldn't comment. Her comment system hated me. Every time I tried I got that wonderful "Error on page message". That has been now transferred over to Kiddothings. It's annoying because it's random and I really do want to leave a comment.
A number of times I have tried to leave a comment but couldn't because I'm not a member of Wordpress, Blogher, Twitter etc etc etc. If I have to fill out a form, remember a new screen name and password just to leave a comment, not so much. I've done it, but not often. The same goes for entering captcha codes. I know why those safe guards are in place, that doesn't mean I don't find them frustrating. Like many of us, I blog and read on stolen time. Anything that slows that down.....
Slowly but surely, I've been working on my "lurker" problem. Knowing there's a problem is half the battle, right?