The Great Orble Comment Debate: To Comment, Or Not To Comment. That Is The Question.
November 27th 2006 17:01
For some reason I can't help but find my self fascinated with this post by Katyzzz that discusses comments and being active within the Orble community. I haven't commented on the post yet, but I've carefully read each comment and I think I understand the two main sides of the debate.
Overall I think the general opinion here at Orble is split right down the middle on this, and believe it or not, I think both sides have plenty of merit.
To bring you up to speed, Katyzzz comments on a LOT of Orble posts. My blog is only a week or two old and I find Katyzzz in comments all over the place. Unfortunately, a good chunk of the bloggers that receive Katyzzz comments never go back to MS Paint Art to comment on a post for Katyzzz.
This obviously has our friend over at MS Paint Art a little frustrated and wondering what gives. So Katyzzz posted about it and a flurry of comments quickly followed. Let's re-cap.
"I honestly only comment when I feel I have something constructive to say. I don't see tihs as a forum - I don't just comment for the sake of commenting. If I find something good, I vote, if i have something to say, I comment. You don't build a fan base by jumping up and down till you get one, and I never expect the peopel I comment to rush to my blog. I want people there cos they want to be, not through obligation.
That's the way I feel about it, witohut any offence intended."
Brenton makes a very good point. I think expecting comments will eventually come back and bite you because it can aggravate other bloggers. I personally would never expect anyone to come and comment on my blog just because I commented on theirs and in my opinion it's not a good practice.
That being said, Katyzzz had a valid response.
"Sometimes people need that first step up the ladder help or even more, it's not just about what you write, it's existence and that means for all of us and Orble."
While this may at first seem like flawed logic, it actually holds a bit of truth. Online communities were indeed built with this vibe in mind. You may not like or agree with it, but it doesn't change the fact.
Cibbuano expands on this:
"There's unwritten blog etiquette which says if someone comments on your blog, you should at least leave a 'Hi!' comment on theirs.
And if someone links to your site, you should link to theirs."
The blogosphere is full of smaller, more personal spheres. These spheres work almost independent of each other, in turn creating the blogosphere as we know it. In order to be welcomed into a "sphere" of blogs, people and posts, you've got to live by this etiquette Cibbuano speaks of. Like it or not, it's a reality.
I think Stuart made the most compelling argument for the other side of this debate.
"In many respects I strongly dislike the voting system. Whilst I can understand that it's a vote of appreciation or congratulations of a post, it also has the vehicle to catapault a post into the limelight. Hence additional revenue etc which Katyzz has talked about.
But I see this as a recognition of merit. In otherwords if you write a good post, people vote for you. If you write a thought provoking post, people will discuss it with you.
However, what seems to be suggested here is a mutual voting obligation whereby we all vote for each other to catapault each others blogs in popularity. This is especially highlighted in comments like "I've earnt my dues."
If this is the case, and we're all voting for each other, then essentially instead of everyone starting at 0, we're all starting at 140, or 30, or 92, because we're all voting for each other".
Stuarts points here are spot on and I couldn't agree more. BUT, this is a social networking community, and the scenario that Katyzzz portrays is actually the blueprint for how they work.
Take Digg for example. It really eats at me when I submit a political story only to have it buried by a group of Diggers who work together as a team of friends who wish to benefit each other, but whether I like it or not that is the reason Digg has tens of thousands of visits every day. Because it allows networks of people to control the outcome of the content displayed on the homepage. Users have all the power to decide and that is the way it should be.
Where I will differ in opinion with Katyzzz is commenting for the sake of commenting. I agree that we should try our best to find something to comment on through another members blog, especially if that person did the same for us, but I refuse to comment out of obligation. I think it's slightly disingenuous and can subtract from a bloggers credibility.
At the same time, there is no reason to look down on "comment trading", as long as the comments hold validity and the person commenting had authentic care for the post or topic at hand.
What is my overall opinion on the comment debacle? The bottom line is that we are a community. In order for us to succeed individually, I believe we need to work together as a team within this community. This means we need to try and support each other as much as possible, but at the same time use caution in deciding what is genuine support and what support is wearing a veil.
There's a lot of grey area here, so just try and use common sense. Don't demand or expect anyone to come and comment just because you did. And for the love of God don't comment on a post that you care nothing about. It's fake, dishonest, and lends itself to your online credibility.
There is my two cents on this. Love it or leave it.
subscribe to this blog