With Blaugust fully rolling now, I thought it might be ok to post a meta post about blogging – or more specifically questions about blogging and commenting.
(I guess this could be better asked on the Blaugust Discord, but I don’t really use or get Discord, and anything posted there is only visible to the Discorders. Which is why blogging is so great – it’s public and a permanent record).
One of my biggest confusions with blogging is commenting. Whenever I see a post that stirs the imagination, I think about commenting, but then decide it would be better to make a full post here. The logic is normally that there is too much to write in a comment, and comments tend to be seen by a tiny fraction of blog readers.
On the other hand, comments can be the heart of a blog. It’s how you know people are reading, and reading enough to care to respond. Veteran blogger and Blaugust mentor Bhagpuss is pretty clear on the matter:
I one hundred percent recommend and advise any reader to comment, whether or not they also blog or plan on starting. Comments are the life-blood of blogs. Bloggers love comments and commenting leads to blogging. Do it!
But! He also goes on to say:
I’ll start commenting and within a few sentences it will occur to me that a) the comment is going to run long – most likely very long – and b) it would make a perfectly adequate blog post! At this point, out of blogging solidarity and politeness, I usually change the comment to something along the lines of “Great post! I was going to comment but then I realized I ought to make it into a post over at my blog”.
This is exactly what happens. Though I rarely get as far as starting a reply.
Is the best etiquette to post a reply, but link to your post if you make one? That sometimes seems like it might be a bit rude, hijacking someone else’s post, but it does seem a good compromise? I certainly like seeing a link posted as it leads me to find great new bloggers, or great posts from existing blogs.
It might also be the only way to guarantee the author knows you have posted a response. The state of link-backs seem perilous at best, which is a real shame. There could be terrific post somewhere engaging with one of yours, but you may never see it.
Interested in thoughts on this – feel free to comment or post a response! And then comment. With a link. Argh!