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How and why to comment on a blog

I’m always grateful when a reader contacts me with their thoughts and ideas in response to one of my posts here at Mediator Tech. Not only does it help me get a sense of how well my content is meeting your needs, but it also gives me the interaction with fellow ADR folks that’s a good chunk of the fun of blogging.

Thank you to each and every one of you who has ever contacted me with a comment.

I’ve come to understand lately that some of you are emailing me to comment because you’re not aware that there’s a comment box on the article’s web page (if you get the article by email or RSS feed, you don’t see the comment box) or are uncomfortable leaving a public comment. So I’m writing this post to encourage you to comment on blogs and to offer up some tips if you’re new to it.

Why comment on a blog post?

  • Commenting is like joining a conversation. I (or any blogger) start the conversation and I’m hoping you’ll help extend it.
  • Commenting is a way to build link love and Google juice for your own site. You help build your own web presence with effective commenting practices.
  • Commenting helps others discover you, because your name will be turned into a link to whatever website you list (if you have one, of course).
  • The blogger will love you, even when you disagree (unless you do it wish such lack of grace that you’re more memorable for your ascerbic style than your comment). We don’t blog to send our voices out into the universe. We blog to connect with you.

Commenting tips

  • If you’re reading a blog post via an email subscription, just click on the post’s title (sometimes there’s also a clear link to the article) and you’ll be taken automatically to the article on the blogsite. Scroll down to the end of the article and you’ll find a comment box.
  • Most (if not all) comment features require your email, in part so that we can follow up with you if there’s a technical or other problem with your comment. Your email is not published and not available to spammers, so you should not worry about including it when commenting on reputable blogs.
  • If you see a checkbox that allows you to be notified of follow-up comment (I use one here), I encourage you to leave it checked. You’ll then be able to see what others write or what the blogger writes in response to your comment, without having to check back on the webpage. And you can notify the blogger’s system anytime that you don’t want to receive the follow-up comments anymore.
  • You can leave more than one comment! If you leave a comment, the blogger replies, and there’s something more you’d like to say as a result, by all means, continue the conversation.
  • When you comment, add to the conversation by contributing your own reactions and ideas. Don’t use commenting just to promote yourself. It’s a turn-off in the blogosphere and can have the opposite effect from what you intend.
  • I was at dinner over the weekend with a terrific group of business people who blog and conversation worked its way around to people who fill in a tagline, promotional phrase or product name instead of their own name in the comment form. Universal opinion was a big thumbs down. Use your own name!
  • Unless you’re trying to protect your identity for some reason, use your first and last name. I’ll leave it to my pal Dawud Miracle to explain why.
  • When someone comments on your own blog, if you have one, take the time to leave a reply comment. It’s a way to thank them for taking the time, a way to make them feel welcome, and a way to encourage them to continue participating in the future.

Commenting doesn’t completely replace contacting the blogger directly by email, of course. If you have a question or comment that doesn’t pertain to a post, then email is a perfect choice. If you have a comment others might appreciate seeing, then the comment box is the right choice. If your comment is very personal or particularly snarky, then email may be the best option.

What do you think? You know what I’m going to say here, right? Leave me a comment and join the conversation!


Tammy Lenski

Dr. Tammy Lenski helps individuals, pairs, teams, and audiences navigate disagreement better, address friction, and build alignment. Her current work centers on creating the conditions for robust collaboration and sound decisions while fostering resilient personal and professional relationships. Her conflict resolution podcast and blog, Disagree Better, are available at… MORE >

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