One of my favorite things about blogging has been connecting with my readers. I especially enjoy the comments section here–it is often more interesting than the original post.
When I first began blogging, I scanned the blog frequently for comments until I realized that I could set Blogger to send me an email. At one point Jameel and I had an exchange of eight comments on a post about blogging, setting the record for many months. (Those early comments disappeared when I switched to Haloscan.)
I’m not 100% sure how the community here grew the way it did, but I’ll share some of my ideas:
- I started by commenting on other blogs that address similar topics. If a blogger begins posting here, I usually add that blog to my reader. (A reader is a web page that lets you know when the blogs you like have been updated. I use Netvibes, but Bloglines and Google Reader are more popular.) Lately I comment less (I hope temporarily), but I still read.
- Despite my semi-anonymous status (soon to be retired), I am fairly open. People are more likely to comment when they feel that they know the blogger.
- I try to write on issues that my readers have responded to in the past. Of course, if you don’t comment, I have no idea what topics you like.
- I enjoy learning how others handle challenges I have encountered.
- Even when writing about daily life I try to present an unusual perspective. I also like to throw out some kind of provocative question.
- When I get overwhelmed by a lot of intense comments I might decide put my energy into a new post instead. Or bury my head in the sand for a day or two. Some bloggers never respond to comments–that’s hard for me to understand.
- I welcome new visitors, and try to be respectful of those who disagree. I actually like dissenting comments, because they generate the most interesting conversation.
As for you lurkers, don’t feel you have to leave a comment if you have nothing to say. Visiting and reading is a form of appreciation too. [But comments are better.]