Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bloggers - Where Do You Prefer to Get Comments?

Yesterday, my friend Linda in Australia asked me a great question - "Do people prefer comments on their Blog post where stats are available or on Google+ where there often is a larger audience?"

This is such an interesting question and I'm sure that many bloggers will have different responses.

Here's my response:

I love to get comments to my blog posts. I will take them where ever I can get them. That means sometimes people leave comments on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or in the comments of the individual blog posts. I will read them all no matter where they appear.

From a practical standpoint, the blog post is the lowest common denominator for all blog readers. Everyone (except for those using an RSS feed or blog reader) will see the blog post and the comments. That means that anyone reading a blog post will see the comments shared by the other readers. This is helpful when a great dialog starts in the comments and the readers start sharing with each other. Sometimes the comments are better than the original post!

When people leave comments on Facebook, Twitter or Google+, the only other people who can see those comments are the other people on those sites. There might be mini separate conversations on Google+ and Facebook.

Of course, the people who don't see comments at all at the ones using a blog reader or an RSS feed. It's a matter of the mechanics of how those programs/feeds are set up. I understand that using a reader or feeds is easier for organizing and quickly reading a number of blogs but the sacrifice is the lack of comments. In fact, I wrote a whole blog post on this topic.

So my answer to the question is more people will see the comments when they are posted in the comments section of the blog but I'm not fussy. I'm happy to get comments where ever readers want to leave them. I want them to do whatever is easiest and most comfortable for them.

Photo Credit: Photo by Search Engine People's Blog and used under the creative commons license.


  1. I agree with you! I love getting comments, no matter how I get them. Many of my family members get my blog in their email and they will write back to me with comments that never show up on my blog. I just feel lucky to get a response!

  2. I like comments on my blog. They turn up in search engines, which drives traffic to my site. This is also of value to the person commenting. The more places your name appears in a search engine, the more attention you get.

  3. I second that emotion! (chuckle)
    Any comment, from any source is good. It's nice to know that someone found a blog post interesting enough to stop and comment. After all, it is much too easy to blast through multiple blogs and leave nary a footprint in this hurried and harried culture we have created.

    I do use a blog reader but any post of interest will cause me to click directly to that blog and leave a comment.

    Another thought: Do we write our blog entries as 'complete' in themselves, or write them in a way to invite comment? I fear my posts sometime leave little room for comment. That might be worthy of a separate blog post.

  4. Although I have always maintained that I write my blog posts for myself and not for others, I still like receiving comments. I like blog post comments because they can be traced and have context, i.e. the original post. Someone ten years later can find a post with comments and know exactly the tone of the discussion being had at the time and still make a meaningful contribution. Perhaps the best plus to blog comments is that I can post genealogical bait on my ancestors. More than once I have 'caught' a distant cousin using that technique.

  5. Ed - I agree completely. When people leave comments on Facebook or Google+ they get lost in the chronological aspect of those sites. Within a day or so they are off your radar with no easy way to retrieve them (well, easier now on Google+ with the personal Google search). But a comment on a blog post is always easy to find either by using a search engine to find the post or with the blog archive or tags. Another great reason to leave comments on the blog.

  6. Randall - another great question. I'll address that one on Friday.

  7. Lori - That's another good point that I didn't address in my post. Many people read blog posts via email. Quite a few people reply back to me via email. How could I forget that?!! Nobody gets to see those comments but me but I wouldn't rather it be that way than no comments at all.

  8. I already left a comment on google+ but since I prefer comments on my blog and I see that you do too, I will say here that I appreciate all comments everywhere but especially like them on the blog where they don't fade away.

  9. I like comments wherever they show up but I really, really like them on my blog so they stay with the post as a package. While I do write for myself, it is rewarding to know others are reading my blog.

  10. I too prefer to get comments on my blog so they're in the original context and are easily accessible.

    In FeedBurner you can turn on Comments under Optimize/FeedFlare so at least the number of comments will show up for email subscribers at the end of the post and they can click through to your blog if they want to. But that only works the first time they see it, which could be before the comments.

    From the other side: There's a WordPress plugin called 'Subscribe to Comments' so you will be notified by email when there are additional comments on a post you're interested in. Alas! I've not seen this in Blogger so I bookmark any post I want to follow for comments and check back.

  11. Marian, When I read a post in email, if I want to apply, I try to remember to click to get to the original post before I comment, so I see them there. As with you, I like comments, anywhere. Finally, since I ofter refer to posts in my articles, I always remind mind readers (just did it again yesterday) to remember to read the comments, as well as the post - comments on posts are valuable assets. THANKS for another great discussion! ;-)

  12. @JL - at the bottom right of a Blogger comment section, you should see "Subscribe by email" which you click on to subscribe to comments for that one post by email. I like this because I don't necessarily want to subscribe to all comments on all blog posts, but I like to subscribe to comments on a post on which I have commented.

    I get frustrated when a post on which I have commented doesn't have the option to subscribe to comments - I don't remember to go back and read additional comments.

    1. I much prefer comments on the blog itself. Like Elizabeth, I often use the 'Subscribe by email' link at the bottom right of a Blogger comment section. As for comments that come by email - if the content is likely to help other readers, I may post a comment myself, quoting the main points from the email.

  13. Thanks Marian for putting this question out there. In future, what I will do is add my comment on the blog, as it seems to be the preferred option.

    Often when you compare the comments on both streams (G+ and the blog post), the responses can be totally different, which throws me off track - or sends me down different paths

  14. Well this post and comments are very interesting - I often prefer to leave comments on G+ as I run through my Genealogy circle... and I also check Google Reader - clicking through to the specific blogs I want to comment on, if I haven't seen them on G+. Hmmm. There have been some good chatter posts on G+ posts, however...