The Life of Bon: Where have all the comments gone?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Where have all the comments gone?

I have been blogging my little heart out for three years.

Three years!

I've seen a lot of things happen in those three years of blogging,  Trends have come and gone.  And here I stay.

One thing I've noticed the past year is the disappearance of comments.  Have you noticed this too?  I look back on posts that I wrote a year ago and see comments upon comments on (quite frankly) a totally stupid post.  A quality, well thought out post now doesn't rake in half the comments.  And according to blogger, my traffic is double what it was a year ago.  With half the comments.  Figure that one out for me.

If it were happening to just me I'd chalk it up to the fact that what I'm writing just isn't interesting enough to merit comments.  And maybe that does play in to it.  But it isn't happening to just me- I see it on blogs everywhere.  Even my very favorite bloggers'- bloggers who are providing an income for their entire families- are receiving a pittance of comments.

Naturally it makes me wonder what is going on.  Do you often comment on blogs?  Why or why not?  What makes you inclined to comment or inclined to just click out without saying a word?

Of course that leads me to wonder if people are even reading blogs at all anymore.  Maybe this is part of a much bigger problem.  Blogger tells me people are reading, but perhaps everyone's just skimming, looking at the pictures and then clicking out, not reading enough to justify leaving a comment.  Maybe people in general are much less interested in blogging than they were a year or two ago.  Could it be that blogging is on its way out?  Replaced by the better, faster, more efficient social media form of... instagram?  I get much more engagement on my instagram feed than on my blog, and my giveaways done on instagram are 3 or 4 times as successful as my giveaways done on my blog.  Is the ease and rapidity of instagram killing off our blogs?

These are the things I think about at 4 am when I'm feeding my baby.  I can't wait to hear what your thoughts are.  Please- comment away.

181 comments:

  1. You remember last year how GIANT GROUP GIVEAWAYS were all the rage? I think that those significantly inflated all follower counts, but didn't do too much as far as readership is concerned. I've also noticed comment numbers on all posts by all blogs I read going down. I read like 3 blogs these days and I don't comment unless I have something to add to the conversation. It will be interesting to hear what other people's perspectives on this are. Personally, I think that the golden age of blogging is over, but what do I know? Ha.

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    1. I wonder the same thing about the "golden age" of blogging. I feel like blogging is on its way out. Of course, I thought the same thing about facebook three years ago and it's still trucking on. I do have to wonder if in ten years we will all laugh at the fact that we spent so much time on blogs.

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    2. I read all my blogs through feedly and to comment would mean a few extra clicks. Sorry, I'm lazy. Doesn't mean I don't love reading your blog. :)

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    3. But I don't think it will all be for nothing! Even when it's over we'll have a pile of (sometimes) good writing or at least a record of our lives, so I'll keep on keeping on until the bitter end. Or next week. I make no commitments :)

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    4. Good point, Kim! Whatever happens to blogging in the future, I'll always be glad I did it and especially grateful for the posts upon posts that document my family's life.

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  2. I was just talking to some bloggers about that recently! I totally think because it's easier to comment and get responses on Instagram and Twitter that people don't comment on blogs. Especially since commenting on blogs takes more thought and a lot of times doesn't get a response. A shame really :/

    www.breezydaysblog.com

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    1. Interesting- I hadn't thought about the getting a response factor but I definitely agree with you that that plays in to it. I wish blogs notified you if you had a response like instagram or twitter does because a lot of times I wonder if my responses to comments are getting seen. Will you even read this?... I know I can reply via email, but I don't think that that contributes to the general discussion, which I don't like.

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    2. I agree with the discussion factor. I would MUCH rather read an interesting discussion on a blog than Instagram, but I think I'm a minority. That is why I installed Disqus. The commenter is always notified of the blogger's response via email, but you can still see the discussion on the blog.

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    3. I installed Disqus as a commenting platform on my blog for this very reason. You get notifications when people respond which means it's SO much easier to have an actual conversation :) my comments have definitely gone up since I installed it! xx

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    4. If you don't want to use Disqus but still want to comment on the blog, I know some bloggers with blogs that thrive on discussion will often send out a social media announcement (usually a tweet) letting the readers know that they have responded to comments on the blog or say something like, "We're having an interesting discussion on today's hot topic!" It always grabs my attention as well.

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    5. I agree with this. A lot of times I'm reading blogs on my phone while waiting on something and It is such a pain and often times doesn't work to have to login to my google account to leave a comment. Just isn't worth the hassle. Other media outlets are much more user friendly to comment on.

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    6. Okay after all of these comments I am definitely going to put it at the top of my priority list to install disqus this week. Sounds like it is a total game changer!

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  3. Honestly, if a blogger doesn't reply to my comments every so often, I stop bothering. (super honestly, this is the first time I've commented on your blog in ages for that very reason.) I know we are all busy but some interaction every so often is nice. Of course, we can't reply to the increase in no-reply bloggers, so that doesn't help either.

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    1. Thank you Bekah for your honest feedback. I really appreciate that. Do you prefer comments through email or right on the thread themselves? My problem is I like to reply on the thread to encourage discussion, but I know not many people come back to see if their comment was replied to so then I wonder if my replying to comments is a total waste.

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    2. I agree with Bekah. I know personally I have started commenting less specifically on your blog because I'm not sure if you've ever replied. Then again, I think most bloggers are replying through email now so if you did reply directly on your blog I missed that. I still read all of your posts, it's just I reserve my comments to blogs/bloggers that I know will reply back.

      I think this is the reason why Disqus is becoming so big. When you reply to someone it not only emails them but also shows up on your blog.

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    3. Jackie thanks so much for this comment- it is awesome feedback. I totally understand now wanting to comment if you don't feel like the comment is replied to. Not much of a conversation going on there. After reading all of these comments, I am definitely going to install Disqus. It seems like that makes a huge difference to both blogger and readers.

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  4. I know that I really do still read a lot of blogs, but commenting is much harder because 90-percent of the time I read blogs on my mobile devices. I've found that most of my blog comments actually come via Facebook. It's not ideal, but at least I know people are reading! I do wish that commenting would make a comeback. I love the interaction!

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    1. I think that definitely plays into it- I'd agree that I'm on my phone rather than on the computer 90% of the time. And I HATE typing on my phone- it's a huge pain in my butt so usually I don't respond unless I am extremely extremely interested in something. And I agree- I LOVE the interaction from commenting.

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    2. I agree with this - I used to always comment when I read blog posts at work on my computer but now that I'm home and reading on my phone... It is a lot of extra work to comment from the bloglovin app on my phone. I have to go into the original post, then sign into chrome etc etc.... I wish I could comment more but it's just too time consuming so I only comment when I have something really important to add (which might actually be good too - quality over quantity?)

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    3. So did you go to all that work to leave this comment^^? If so I'm honored!

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    4. Same here! I have been reading blogs on my phone or tablet much more often, and unfortunately it's just such a pain to comment that I usually don't bother, especially since I've typed out long comments only to have them fail to post. So frustrating!

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    5. Yes! The failing to post thing is beyond frustrating.

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    6. Yes I actually saw this post on Facebook so it took me directly to the link as opposed to bloglovin... Which skips one step and makes it a bit easier to comment :)

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  5. I think that blog comments are slightly less personal and less engaging. Usually I leave a comment if I want to engage with the blogger and its easier to do/more likely that they'll respond or that we'll have a conversation if done so on twitter and instagram. I don't think it means blogs are on the way out -- it just means they play a slightly different function. At alt, one of my favorite roundtable panelists described social media as the after party of the blog post. That's where people talk about the post and engage about it. They're still reading your posts, its just more fun to talk about it with people on social media than alone in a solitary blog comment. (side note: i also am more likely to check my social media account again to get a response than go back to the original blog post to see if a blogger responded)

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    1. Elisabeth I always love your insight. And I totally agree with you- I am much more likely to check social media for comments than a blog- but social media also alerts me if someone has responded to my comment. I would love it if blogs did that too. Unless I email this response to you (which I am going to) I would put money down that you would never see it. So maybe a flaw in blogger's set up?

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  6. Amen! I still comment all the time on blogs but am struggling to get comments on my posts too...gone are the days of endless comments...makes me sad!

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    1. good for you that you still comment! You are in the minority!

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  7. I've been noticing a super decline in comments over the past 3-4 months. It's crazy, I don't know what it's stemming from but I like your theories.

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    1. Maybe we should just accept it for what it is and allow other social media platforms to live in all their comment glory?

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  8. I'm just a blog reader (usually the silent type) but every now and then I leave a lil comment. I guess I am inclined to comment where I think I might get a reply, like if I have a question or something, or if I'm really moved by a post. But now I feel guilty and may start commenting a lot more!

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    1. Haha! So I guess guilting readers into commenting is one way to go?

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  9. I still love commenting on posts...but I have to say...I HATE commenting on the "word verification" comments and the ones where you have to type in your information every.single.time. if people have those, i won't comment unless I REALLY want to.

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    1. I agree with you- the word verifications are THE WORST

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  10. I have often sat and wondered this same thing. I still enjoy the stories and whole picture you get from reading a blog, but also know that when I'm in a hurry, the snapshots and ease of instagram are definitely a time saver. I think using a mix of social media platforms to fit with all your readers is key and look at it as a whole platform instead of the productivity of each one . . . but I'm glad I'm not the only one who wonders this!

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    1. I love that idea- looking at their productivity as a whole instead of what each individual platform is doing. All I know is that if I were a fashion blogger I'd be majorly threatened by instagram. I never check fashion bloggers' actual blogs anymore because I just see their outfits on instagram.

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  11. I have been a silent reader over here. I tend to not comment if I noticed the blogger does not respond back to comments. I know its impossible to respond to every single one, but I notice a lot of bloggers don't answer - almost like why should I bother to comment if they don't respond as it clearly doesn't matter. I am not saying you do this (as you clearly respond to a good portion of them), just speaking in general terms... As Megan said, if I have to do a CAPTCHA, all bets are off, I will not comment as what I have to comment is not worth the frustration of that.

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    1. well thank you for chiming in today! I know the blogger not responding back is a huge one, and I admit it's not something I am terribly good at. If I could respond on my phone I would be more prone to do it, but responding on my computer takes forever and sometimes has glitches. And maybe I just figured out why nobody else likes commenting on blogs either?

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  12. I don't get as many comments as I used to either, and although it's discouraging I've tried to remember that I started blogging for the fun of it so I try not to get down about it! But yeah, I think Instagram is just so easy sometimes people feel that's enough to get them caught up. I always comment when I read blogs!

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    1. Good for you that you always comment! You are among the minority!

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  13. I used to comment all the time on all the blogs I read. But, sometimes they were as small as, "Super adorable!" or "How cool!" but that doesn't add anything! So, now I only comment if I actually have something to say.

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    1. Good point, Tayler. I don't think all blog posts are necessarily conducive to commenting.

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  14. I am a silent reader as well, I agree with the comments about not commenting if I notice the blogger doesn't respond what's the point? I also feel like maybe something I say may be taken the wrong way or I may ask or say something stupid and I don't want to be ridiculed by other readers or the blogger themselves. (Not you, but many other bloggers especially on instagram and facebook, I don't dare comment on there, it can get scary mean and crazy on there if you say what others don't want to hear) I like commenting and getting replies on the blog post it just seems more personable and that they are actually taking time to read my comment and it gives others the chance to join the conversation. Thanks for sharing your opinion and asking for ours!

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    1. Interesting that you would worry about being ridiculed by other readers or the blogger. I totally understand that because in many ways it's a mean bloggy world, but it makes me sad that that would actually deter you from leaving comments. I agree that comments on the blog post are better!

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  15. I usually only comment when I have something to add to the topic. Simply commenting "I agree" or "That's cool" is probably a waste for both me and the blogger. I enjoy interaction with the blogger when I contribute something as well. Never getting a reply makes me not want to comment any more. I never go back to a site to see if I got a comment either, I can't remember which post I read when and which one I commented on. I think most times people are too busy to write a comment but they wouldn't keep coming back if they didn't enjoy it.

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    1. I get the too busy to comment, especially because it can be such a hassle. I guess what confuses me, though, is the shift in commenting because a year ago people were commenting a lot more often and it's hard to believe that people suddenly got that much busier, you know?

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  16. I think that it's partly because every year there are more and more new, great, blogs - I follow so many more blogs than I did this time last year and if I commented on them all I'd get nothing done!

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    1. I love that you feel that way! I feel like I read less blogs than I ever did before. I also feel that way about books, though so...

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  17. I have only been blogging for 6 months, so I cannot really comment as to whether I have seen a decline in comments. I comment a lot on other blogs, and try to reply to all comments that I receive. I really hope blogging is not on its way out!

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  18. I'm honestly just lazy. Haha. I also see blogs as.... fiction almost. Like, they are stories that I read online and I don't feel as though I have much to add most of the time. *shrug*

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    1. Great point! I never thought about it that way, but I don't feel necessarily like I need to comment on memoirs or books that I read, I just consume. It makes sense that some would view blogging the same way.

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  19. picky, my blog, has been around for almost a decade. i don't get a lot of comments. i don't get a lot of page views. and there have been a number of times when i've thought why the hell am i bothering with this. i'm not married, i don't have children, and it seems to me that the blogs people gravitate toward are blogs that detail that kind of life. and not everything i write is awesome. so it's easy for me to think i should just stop.

    but there are some damned fine posts on there that merit some attention, and i'm always thrilled when they get it. and i blog because it's kind of a therapy for me. my head's not always right, and it helps to just write the bullshit out. it helps to go back and look... to see that i'd managed to survive another wretched mental health day. so that's why i do it. not for the comments, though those sure are nice. every now and then, i'll get a really good one. you'd left one, bonnie, on a post called a smile as small as mine. the bloggess had left one. i treasure those single comments so much more than i would getting dozens and dozens.

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    1. I totally agree with you that blogging shouldn't be done for the comments. I do like, though, when there is a good discussion on the blog- I prefer to be more of a dialogue than a monologue. And I also agree whole heartedly on blogging for your mental health- it's weird but I am so much happier when I blog. It helps me to understand who I am and how i see the world around me.

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  20. I only read blogs on my phone nowadays and leaving comments on a phone can be a pain. Or when I do leave comments, the spelling errors that I'm too lazy to fix, get nitpicked :-) I think people are reading, but mostly in mobile devices

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  21. I find myself only really commenting on the same blogs over and over. The ones I've been reading for so long that I feel like I "know" the person writing haha Silly huh? However, once I feel like I'm saying the same thing over and over (you're hilarious, omg cute baby, etc) then I feel dumb. It's also kind of rare to get any responses from the blogger.

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  22. I am a person who comments almost every time I read. I want to support the bloggers whose hard work provides me with so much enjoyment (like you!), and I figure it's my job to comment in some way to know your time spent blogging is appreciated. Even if it's just "Great post!" sometimes. :) I don't expect replies to my comments. If you keep posting, then I've done my job, lol!

    With that said, my life has been VERY busy and that's why I haven't commented in a while...because I haven't been reading. But when I read...I comment! Instagram is nice, and I love pictures, but what I want out of a blog is way more than you can get from a quick picture and caption. Your posts are always thought-provoking and entertaining...hard to do both of those on Instagram!

    I will add that I am in agreement that it's HARD to comment when you're on a phone! But I persevere!! ;)

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  23. This is interesting! I often wonder if blogging is "over", too, but then I feel like I have a good engagement with my readers via my blog and social media, so then…???? I find that always replying to comments via email (if not no-reply), AND also visiting the blogs of those that comment on me is what works. I build a community and foster a real reason for folks to come back and read again, and also find new, cool blogs to visit and love;)

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  24. I couldn't agree more! I see so much more response on Instagram then I do my own blog, but I get a lot of views per day.. It's so confusing!! I hope blogging never dies. I try my best to comment on blog posts because I would people will want to comment on mine! It's just a nice thing to do and it shows the blogger that you are in fact interested in what they have to say!

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  25. I honestly think the golden age of blogging is beginning to be over. It used to be important to have a big blog. Now, it's important to have a big social media following - not just a blog.

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  26. I read a fair number of blogs and comment on very few, following the trend mentioned above that they are on blogs where the authors comment back. I think it's also just the fact that if I don't feel like I have something note worthy to comment I'll stay quite. But I always enjoy popping over here to see what you've got to say :)

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  27. I agree with what several people have said above - the massive group giveaways that were all the rage last year really turned me off of reading and commenting on other people's blogs. I prefer to be notified via email if you respond to my comment - once I read a post and it is cleared from my Bloglovin' feed I never go back. I look forward to your posts everyday, Bonnie! Your blog is one of the few that I read every single day. You make real life interesting to read and you always make me think!

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  28. I read (and love) lots of blogs, but rarely comment. I often think of things I would say or how I wish I knew these people in real life, but with a 1year old, I now read, move on, and ponder all that I read to myself. This is a good reminder to comment thought, because I'm sure it does matter to those who are taking the time to write,

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  29. I'm also a silent reader (lurker). I've whittled the list of blogs I read down to just a few. I no longer read any sponsor heavy blogs. I prefer blogs, such as yours, that are real people writing about their lives, as opposed to blogs that are too "shiny". I should comment more just to say I enjoy your writing!

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  30. Your blog is one of my favorites but I've never commented before today. I mostly read on my phone and it's annoying to comment that way... I just typed my whole comment and then had to retype it after it went away when I clicked the comment as button. At the risk of duplicating my comment, I wanted to be sure that it actually went through. Especially on this post!

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  31. I love your blog Bonnie and frequent it just about daily. I also usually don't leave comments due to the fact that during the work week, I'm usually reading blogs from my mobile device because it's easier then trying to be sneaky at work using my work computer. I have a boss who sees EVERYTHING I do, which sucks. Anyway, I will do better on my part about leaving comments. Your blog is so fun to read, and you always have such great topics. And this is the second time I'm writing this, the first time I hit publish the whole comment vanished. So hoping this won't show up twice.

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  32. I think a lot of the time people don't want to leave the same comment that everyone else left-- "Sounds like a fun weekend!" "Great haircut!" "Congrats on....." "I know what you mean, I hate it when...." "That recipe looks good!" Although I might really mean it, it sounds generic and half-hearted when there are 12 comments before mine that say the same exact thing.

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  33. I think that blogging as a whole is on the decline. There was a time when everyone wanted to highlight their own blogs, so making comments was one way to get noticed or at least draw a little attention toward a blog. Then, the mass giveaways came along, and that was another way to get noticed. I think it got too big too fast, and now people are stepping back a little bit. At one time, I had over 200 blogs in my reader. This summer, I cut it down to about 12 that I really like. It is a lot less overwhelming, and opens up time to actually enjoy life instead of constantly trying to keep up with everyone else!

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  34. I comment pretty often on blogs, but have noticed that I comment much more on a blog that gives personal responses to the comments. It makes me feel like the comment was noticed and appreciated. Sometimes I don't want to give a novel reply, so I will send a comment to the blogger via email. Keep blogging, I am loving everything you post!

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  35. I agree that commenting on phones is a pain and I very rarely do it, and yet that is where I'm often reading. I comment when I feel like I can add to the conversation, when a question was asked, or when I feel like it is a "conversation topic" and the blogger will most likely respond. [To which I also agree that I pretty much am only going to see if the blogger responds via email.]

    I think it is funny which posts get the most comments. I don't advertise or really market my blog-- that's not why I've chosen to write it- but a lot of former students and community members and family read it and it NEVER fails that I'll pour my heart out in a post and there will be very little response, and then I write about Dairy Queen ice cream cake and a week later I'm still having people send me pictures of themselves eating ice cream cake after they read it. I made the remark to my husband that, though it's fun, I wonder why they don't comment on the deeper stuff? He very wisely said that for a lot of people they probably read it and think, "Crap. That's good. I have no intelligent response to that."

    So, in summary:
    Just write about ice cream cake and you will get a lot of comments.

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    1. * I think the mobile device is the main thing though. I get tons of feedback when I link a post to my facebook, just because it's easier for them to comment through their phone on there. However, I'm rarely on facebook, so I rarely respond to those comments.

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  36. ive been wondering the same thing for the past couple of months but just assumed that maybe it was because it was summer. I dont think blogging is on its way out but I def think its starting to lose the amount of engagement.

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  37. There are a few reasons I don't comment on blogs that I love (and I do love yours). 1) I don't feel like I have anything important to add to the conversation. I don't want to just be like "great post!" I want to add quality comments that will actually show that I read what you were writing and I commented because I related to it. I think when bloggers ask questions, it really helps because the commenter at least has something to answer. Of course, I struggle with doing this on my own blog as well. And 2) the blogger never responds. I get that people are busy but when I see bloggers that NEVER respond to their commenters, it kind of irritates me. These people are supporting you. They are reading your blog and they liked it enough to take time out of their day to comment, say something back. Not to every single one, but to enough. I understand when you have a whole lot of comments, that is hard but even to just a few shows me that you care about your readers. Why should I comment on your blog if you never respond to me? It shows the blogger doesn't care.

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  38. Blogging is definitely decreasing, but I am one who still follows my favorites, including your blog! I tend to eventually lose interest unless bloggers post regularly (once a week or more) and have something interesting to say. Sorry I haven't left more comments, because the few I have left for you, you have replied to. Thanks!

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    1. Glad I've responded to them! I definitely don't have the best track record :) Thanks for continuing to read! :)

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  39. Its definitely easier to comment on insta or to tweet at you. And sometimes I feel like "Oh there's already like 10 comments; I'm sure someone has said what I was thinking already." That holds me back. Yet, I love it so much when people comment on my blog! Ah the paradox.

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    1. Yes the paradox! Also I want to talk to you sometime about teaching part time. Are you considering it? It's the bomb!

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  40. I only comment if I have something else to add to the mix (rarely because I read sporadically), I'm reading from a desk top (mobile devices are just too much of a pain to comment from), or if I feel like the blogger is actually going to reply to what I write. I find that many more bloggers are just accepting comments without any engagement. Why bother?

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    1. I also feel this way and find this to be true... so why engage when you don't feel as if you matter?! :( I hate commenting on a mobile device, pain in the rear! Ever since GFC went away its harder to read like I used to through Google Reader~ i loved having my blog reading time...

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    2. YES! The disappearance of GFC ruined everything

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  41. I do often comment, I made a big effort to comment more especially on GREAT posts! I follow you intently and love your new life as a mommy. Times they are a changing.... I am getting less views and less comments than I used to. It is perhaps that people are into instant gratification... and don't have time for writing and sharing someones true thoughts and feelings but I do hope this isn't the case.. :( I still blog and will whether my blog is successful or not.. I think I might go private and do the blogging thing for no one other than myself. :)

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    1. Thank you so much Nora, I so appreciate this comment and your sweet words. I think people in general are still reading blogs, just less inclined to comment.

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  42. I find it hard to comment on all the blogs I read because I mostly read them through Bloglovin' usually during a 3am baby feeding when I'm not super coherent. And I've noticed that a lot of times that I do actually make a comment, the blogger doesn't engage with me at all, so I wonder if they even read the comment that I made... which in turn makes me less likely to comment again.

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    1. YES! 3 am feedings definitely = not coherent!

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  43. I'm more likely to comment on a post that
    1) speaks to me (so I'm not just writing "great post!")
    2) is on a blog where I know I'll get a response.
    If I'm commenting and not seeing anything back from the blog author, it seems like my thoughts don't actually matter to her/him. I'll still read, but it takes more effort to click through bloglovin' and get to the comment section.
    That said, I also will consider how many steps I have to take to comment (i.e., no captchas!) and will comment more on blogs with Disqus (because I know if the blogger responds that I'll get it).

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    1. I totally understand the not seeing anything back from the blog author but know that regardless of a whether there is a response the bloggers read and appreciate the comment. I want to be better at responding, but be patient with us bloggers! :)

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  44. I actually wrote a post about this recently, because I chose to disable comments on my blog over a year ago. I, too, had noticed that comments were declining, even though my traffic was going up. Most of the people who did comment either wrote pointless things like "nice shirt" or just wanted a comment/follow back. Nowadays, if a reader wants to discuss a post with me, they do so over social media or through email which I find more personal anyway!

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    1. What an interesting idea- I never thought about disabling comments but I can definitely see the allure. Do you like it better?

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  45. I usually only comment if I have something of value to add AND if I'm on my laptop, though, if it's a super post or I really want to say something, sometimes I will comment from my iPad. But, a lot of my reading lately has been on my iPhone because life = super busy lately and it's just not as convenient to comment from that.

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    1. I agree- I never comment on my phone because it is just the worst. THE WORST.

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  46. I rarely post my blog to my facebook but I did after Olivia fell out of the window and the news reported it because I wanted my friends and family to know what actually happened. I got so many comments on facebook (I'm sure the topic had something to do with it!) but only a handful on my blog. I just think it's easier to comment there, or instagram or twitter, especially on a device.

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    1. Interesting! I think for non-bloggers facebook is much more popular and much more common- so much more user friendly!

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  47. I skimmed a couple of the comments and I think I pretty much agree that I either have the have something to add and really only like to comment when I know I will hear back from the author.

    I have noticed a drop in comments too but I just figured I lost A LOT of readers when I wasn't blogging as regularly. I'm kind of glad to know it isn't happening to just me.

    I hope blogging isn't on the way out!

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    1. Yes, you are NOT alone!

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  48. I read through Digg reader. I have to click through to the blog post to comment...usually what I have to say isn't worth that extra effort.

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    1. I've never even heard of Digg reader... doesn't sound like the easiest, but then again, what is?

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  49. I think blogging is on the way out and everyone is seeing this trend. It makes me sad though because I don't have instagram! But for some reason people seem to have less time to write, read and comment. I notice a lot of my favourite bloggers just don't have the content that they used to! (You are the exception I think!)

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    1. Yes I have also noticed a big drop in the content overall. I think it's just hard to keep quality content coming year after year. I am guessing a lot of people just get burnt out. And thank you for the sweet compliment!

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  50. I've noticed this. I think it's because people want instant gratification to some point. The question I wonder is if your pins/facebook shares/retweets are up from this same period a year ago.

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    1. Facebook followers, yes, but not necessarily facebook shares or retweets. Then again, I don't know that I am engaging like I used to so that certainly plays into it.

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    2. It's hard to know and it seems that everything just travels in cycles. Maybe it will dip the other way soon.

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  51. Bon have you met Helene?

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    1. Haha! Yes I have met Helene. She doesn't seem to leave me the abundance of comments that she leaves everyone else, though. Guess I'm not in the cool club?

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  52. I'm a very regular reader of many, many (too many) blogs but I rarely comment. I have a couple blogs that I comment on somewhat regularly, those are the bloggers I also often engage with on social media networks. The large majority of the time I don't comment though, mainly because I can't add anything of value to the discussion. I know a lot of people comment with "great post, loved it and totally agree" - and as a blogger I love those comments, so this is hypocritical, but I really only comment if I have something of substance to add.

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    1. Not hypocritical at all- totally understandable!

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  53. I still like to comment on blogs, but sometimes don't know what to comment. Sometimes blog posts just make me smile or laugh, but I don't always have a witty comment to follow. Your blogs usually make me laugh :) hope you and June are doing well!

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    1. Thank you Kara! So sweet!

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  54. I (like many people have already said) only leave a comment when I feel a particular urge to. I feel like back when my blog was getting tons of comments, it was because a lot of people were trying to boost their own numbers; they would leave a comment and then also a link to their own blog and tell me to "follow back". Now I only get a comment on my actual blog every now and then, but I'll get a whole slew of comments when I share the post on facebook. I suppose it's easier to comment there... not to mention I made the mistake of never engaging with my "readers" back when all the major blog growth-spurts and giveaways were happening, so I didn't really retain any of them when things died down.

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    1. Yes, I agree. MUCH easier to respond on facebook and it helps that it notifies you when a comment has been added- everyone stays much more involved in the discussion there.

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  55. I totally agree with you that blogging shouldn't be done for the comments. I do like, though, when there is a good discussion on the blog- I prefer to be more of a dialogue than a monologue. And I also agree whole heartedly on blogging for your mental health- it's weird but I am so much happier when I blog. It helps me to understand who I am and how i see the world around me.

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  56. I have a theory that kind of combines what others have said:

    I think social media has trained us to be reluctant and lazy commenters. We're so bombarded with stuff online, and we can only have so many meaningful interactions with the content we consume each day/hour/minute. So instead of investing time and energy into composing a comment, we can simply hit "like." Even the meaning/value of the "like" button has been diminished--these days it might as well be called the "acknowledge" button. I'm not saying this is a travesty, it's just the product of the information overload we live in.

    Also, I usually only comment on blogs where I either know the blogger is responsive to posts, or when the blogger specifically asked a question to start a discussion, as with this post. :)

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    1. "reluctant and lazy readers". I agree 100%. I see this everywhere, not just in blog land. It is especially noticeable in my students. It is so hard to get them to read, I swear.

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  57. I only comment when I have time or really have an opinion or thought about a post. It also depends on the post. I don't have anything to add to your parenting posts, or teaching posts because I don't have experience in either, though I do enjoy reading about them.

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    1. Good point. We can't always necessarily relate to what the writer is saying.

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  58. Sometimes I enjoy reading people's post, and just can't come up with something comment worthy to say.

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  59. Hi Bon, just to reassure you I READ your whole post, I don't just skim. I don't know why I don't comment more often but I will start because I love your content. ;))

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    1. Well thank you! Long live the non skimmers! :)

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  60. I read blogs on my phone and commenting can be such a headache sometimes!!! If all platforms/readers made commenting easier then that would prompt me to interact more!

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    1. I agree! I blame blogger!

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  61. Wow, so much good discussion here! I'm going to echo a few things: Disqus has helped my comment section thrive. It's cool to see bloggers mentioning one another and responding to eachother's comments and the emails keep everyone in the loop. My other first thought was the fact that more and more people are reading blogs on their phones and commenting can be a giant pain sometimes.

    I really prefer bloggers that reply in the comments section as opposed to only by email - sometimes I want to ask a question that has already been asked (and likely answered) but you can't tell since it was only emailed to the original commenter.

    Regardless, I don't think blogs are on the way out! It's much easier to relate to a 1,500 word reflection on something than an Instagram caption. Always enjoy your blog!

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    1. I love that you use the word "thrive" for your comment section. That is definitely what I want and it sounds like Disqus is the way to go. And I prefer the responses in the comment section as well! :)

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  62. I began with an online journal in 2001 and moved to a self hosted blog in 2002. Its a repeating pattern ... over 12 years ive seen it cycle with comments abounding and none at all for me and many long time blogging friends, especially before social media as we now know it. Stay the course is all I can say. If you enjoy blogging, keep doing it even if your BFF and mom are the only readers for a period of time. I kinda have to laugh about the "golden age of blogging" coming to an end ... it hasn't died in the 13 years I've been around the blogophere, it just keeps evolving; ask Dooce, she's been around the entire time :)

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    1. That's so interesting! Maybe I just need to be more patient? And yes, I suppose good old Dooce has seen it all :)

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    2. Ha, this is a great point. I started my livejournal (which technically still exists) back in 2004. I started my anon blog on blogger a little over three years ago. And this summer I started yet another blog, but this time, for the first time, under my own name. There are definitely cycles with everything, not just commenting. Popular blogging platforms change. Marketing changes. Social media changes. The types of blog posts people write change. But blogging will live on, in some fashion or another!

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  63. Such a good post! I haven't been blogging that long and I used to have more comments than I do now, so frustrating. I really do think pictures and social media (Instagram) are taking over. Let's just hope the blogging world stands strong!

    xo, Taylor

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  64. I read every single blog post you write - always to the bottom of the page :) To be honest I just recently started commenting even though I've been reading for quite a while. Sometimes I feel like I don't have anything intelligent to say so I don't bother, but I suppose people want to hear from their readers anyways?

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    1. Well thank you! That is so sweet of you! And keep the comments coming- they are awesome regardless of how "intelligent" the comments are :)

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  65. I am not reading 99 comments. You got 99 comments, and I ain't reading one. Okay, I read five and decided to call it quits because I really should be grading "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" questions. I used to comment on blogs much more frequently because I looked at them on my computer for the most part. Now, I get my reading in on the iPad or my phone, and commenting on anything other than a computer frustrates me. My comment evaporates, or I have to spend five minutes trying to remember my Google password. I'll be honest; this might be my very first time commenting on your blog. Look, I'm turning around your numbers. I'm so helpful.

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    1. Mostly I'm impressed that you're actually going to read the essays for "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God". :) I hate that essay.

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  66. Personally, I feel like a small fish reading blogs like this. I love reading the blog, but don't feel like what I have to say is important, especially when 100 other people are saying their own things. On a small blog, comments are personal and sweet. On a big blog, I feel like the blogger just wants comments to make them feel good about their post. I don't feel like the blogger actually cares what I have to say. Honestly, bon, are you reading all 100 of these comments? (That sounded snarky... didn't mean it snarky, but I wouldn't read 100 comments so I don't know why anyone else would)

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    1. Yes I am reading all 100 of these comments! Crazy huh! I don't know many bloggers who don't read their comments actually- isn't that kind of the purpose of blogging to start a discussion and a community? I get what you mean with a big blog though- it kind of starts to lose that personal touch and I totally understand that. Thanks for the comment!

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  67. I stopped commenting on blogs as much bc I read mostly from my phone now so it's just a hassle. Yours is actually a blog I would be more inclined to leave a comment on but I've been reading/ commenting for a few years now and there is rarely a response -- which I totally get, especially if I'm commenting a day or two after you published -- but I'm less likely to leave a comment if there's no response ... At the same time I totally get no responding to every comment, especially if people are saying the same thing. I do agree that disqus

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    1. Is awesome !( another reason why I don't comment from phone -half the time my comment box freezes halfway through and I'm too lazy to try again)

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    2. Thank you so much Kim for your feedback! This only strengthens my resolve to get Disqus. I admit I am bad at responding to comments, but trust me I have seen your comments and read them and I always enjoy reading have you have to say. So now I am going to be better at responding!

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  68. I LOVE reading your blog, definitely one of the best I've ever come across! One of the reasons I don't always comment (okay, hardly ever comment haha) is because I'm not always sure I have anything to bring to the discussion. Another thing I have found, and this is fairly recent so may have something to do with the blog-wide issue, is Firefox! So. many. times. it fails to publish comments at all. I gave up for ages, until I discovered Chrome, but even then it's a pain because I mainly use firefox. Not sure why it doesn't work on firefox, maybe it's a google thing?

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    1. Firefox is THE WORST. If I don't have chrome I don't even bother with the internet, I swear.

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  69. Well, this is just my point of view, but this is how I interact with blogs:

    90% of the time, I read blogs through the Bloglovin' app on the my iPad or phone. Post titles mean everything to me since I follow like a gazillion blogs. They have to catch my attention and if they don't, I mark as read. If they do catch my attention, even if I read them 2 weeks after they're posted, I make sure to read them and if I like it, I click the heart button on Bloglovin' just so the blogger knows I read it and appreciated it. But if I really love the post and felt a connection then I just have to say something so I keep the post marked as unread and wait to comment when I am at my computer.

    I definitely feel more of a connection to bloggers who have interesting instagram accounts but I won't ever stop reading/commenting on blogs. But, like I said, since I follow so many blogs now (thanks to all those group giveaways haha), I usually have no choice but to spend more time reading than commenting.

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    1. I am impressed that you have stuck with all the blogs you found through the big group giveaways. I have stopped reading most blogs nowdays- I have to really really love a blog to stick with it. I love that you make an effort to click the heart on bloglovin- that's so sweet!

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  70. And yet this post has over 100... it's weird. I know for me personally it's probably a content thing. I get so busy with my actual life that I don't have time to post. This in turn leads me to not read, and therefore not comment, on other bloggers' posts. then again, maybe blogging is on its way out. It seemed that last year everyone and their dog was starting a blog. I think you're write about people just skimming or looking at pictures and then clicking out though.

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  71. I read a ton of blogs, but I only comment when I feel really compelled to do that. Sometimes I'm more likely to respond when I know the blogger is going to engage with me/respond to my comment. Not always - sometimes I'm just leaving a word of encouragement or congratulations. I have found the quality of some blogs going down so I will read those less and less, but as long as I continue to feel some connection with a blogger and I like what she writes then I keep reading

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    1. Totally agree- I am always more likely to comment if I feel a response. At the same time, though, I understand that responding to all comments can be tough.

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  72. I've read a few of these comments, but not all. I could be repeating someone, but I figured I would leave my two cents worth as well. I read a lot of blogs, but I comment rarely, if ever. Although I generally enjoy the content, I mostly feel anonymous and overlooked. I rarely feel like my comment will make a difference or be significant amongst hundreds of other comments, including comments from people the blogger actually knows or larger blogs.

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    1. I totally agree with you!

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    2. Just saw this comment and 100% agree with it.

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    3. I can see your point here, but the comments do matter! I totally get the anonymous thing though- I feel that way with many bloggers.

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  73. Sometimes it feels weird to comment. Most of the time you only "know" the blogger through their blog. You really feel like you know them,you have been reading of their life for months. But, in reality, you are an faceless name on a screen. Sometimes, it seems stalkerish to comment. Unless something really moves me, I tend not to comment. But, I do so love stalking. :)

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    1. I totally understand that but there are real people on the other side of blogs and the "faceless name" really appreciates the comments. And not at all stalkerish!

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  74. Girl. You nailed it. Instagram is hands down my favorite social media but I am very guarded with who I let follow me there. If I haven't talked to the person in a year I don't allow the follow bc all the photos are of my kids and I am still very in certain about how much I want their little faces shown to the world. It is a shame really bc I love blogging and reading and I notice a huge decline when insta became huge.

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    1. That's so interesting to me. Some of my friends are more guarded with their instas, but I couldn't care less who sees it. I suppose that may change now that I have a daughter.

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  75. If I comment a few times on a blog, and I don't get a response back at least once, I think "well, she doesn't give a shit about what I said", and move on. It really depends on the content of the blog. I usually comment when I really relate to something. I try not to troll and leave mean comments or argue with people, because it's their blog and they are entitled to their own thoughts and feelings. But when you stop to read a blog, and say something nice (and I'm not talking about. Wow. I liked your post, wanna follow me?), and never get a response back, but the blogger is talking to other people, I tend not to leave any more comments. Sometimes it's hard, because not everyone responds to comments the same way. Some people email you, and some people respond on the blog, so you have to remember to look them up afterwards.

    I'm thinking it's IG. For some reason there is this stress on people, if they don't post/share a picture 3 times a week, they start to stress out about it. IG takes away that stress, because you just need to hit post and type a comment. I'm also noticing there is another influx of new bloggers, and the bigger blogs have kinda changed directions. Some have gotten married and pregnant. Some have gotten new jobs. Some have just stopped blogging.

    I read/skim blogs through an app that makes Feedly look like the old google reader. I noticed when you are on Bloglovin, that sometimes it's hard to leave comments, unless you exit out of the header bar. Perhaps more people are reading blogs on their phones? I don't really look up the numbers, so I"m not sure if they separate mobile/tablets from reg internet. I know my BL app on my phone sucks a lot of the time. It's way worse on the computer. Plus add in the laziness factor.

    I don't think blogs are on the way out. But I do think that some people won't blog more than a couple years, if they don't have a particular theme. If you do crafts, then that is something you can always focus on. If you are a fashion blog, you might not feel like doing it anymore after getting married and having kids. I'm not saying all women are like that, but you can see what I'm trying to say here. Maybe their life and their blog are growing apart :) If they don't change stuff around, I can see where it might be hard to keep writing about stuff that is not really relevant in your life anymore.

    But I enjoy reading your blog. I love hearing about your work. Long story short, but I'm a nurse and my sister passed from cancer when I was 31 (she was 29). I didn't want to do nursing anymore because of my grief, so I started subbing. I love it, it's fun, but I can't live off the salary. I'm going back to finish my original degree of accounting in the winter semester. But I love to hear about how you interact with the students. (and pics of the baby of course).

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    1. Wow! Long comment! I asked for comments and you definitely gave it to me. Thank you so much for your kind words about my blog- I wish you would consider teaching full time. It sounds like you are great at it and really enjoy it, but I totally understand the salary issues. We are pinching pennies every day of our dang lives.

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  76. I rarely comment. I mostly blame it on the fact that by the time I have seen a post, there are a billion comments, and I hate repeating what someone else has already said. I can't always check a blog hoping to be one of the first few to read it, and therefore, one of the first few to respond. Maybe I don't have a unique enough of an opinion or something? Just FYI, I didn't read ALL of the comments, so if someone said this already... sorry for the repeat. I can't imagine rereading the same input is very fun for you either.

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    1. Love the perspective- I definitely don't think that it's only the first comments that get read, but I can see where you could feel that way. I read them all for sure, but responding... that's a different story!

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  77. I hardly ever comment on a blog anymore. For a while I did, but to be honest, I skim a lot of bloggers' sites now to see if there's anything I'm even interested in reading, and even if there is, I don't comment. Also, Instagram and Twitter are my go-to sites, and I guess I'm more inclined to comment on something by someone I KNOW than just a blogger I enjoy reading. I've also noticed over the past year that I'm just not as interested in blogs anymore. It seems like everyone has one so I've just given up on trying to keep up!

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  78. Commenting takes a lot of time and thought, and I think people are just lazy and don't think it's "worth it" to do so because it doesn't directly make them money.

    However, commenting is crucial to forming relationships

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  79. I'm a commenter. I comment when I read & feel like that's how you build the relationship. As a blogger, I also think it's super important to reply to comments. I use disqus so it gets emailed to them. As a reader, I never check back to see if my comment got a reply. It's a waste of my time to go back through the hundred blogs I read daily and do that, you know? You'll love Disqus. It's the best!

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    1. And I always love your comments too! And yes, I definitely need to install disqus. Before the week is over! And I meant to tell you that I loved your response about the man telling me how to load my groceries in the car- so interesting that in the Navy they say if you know a better way of doing something to share that with others!

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  80. I've noticed. I pour my heart and sole into posts and don't get any comments anymore :(. Looks like you got a lot of comments on this post though!

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  81. I have a significant amount less comments than I used to, I just think it is because there are so many more blogs and social media outlets than there were just a few years ago! People are busy, and reading your blog post is already enough of their time let alone taking the time to leave a comment. I hardly ever comment on a blog unless I KNOW the reader! :)

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    1. I agree! The ones I love but don't really know (Nat the Fat Rat) I never leave comments on.

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  82. I think a lot of us are going through this lately. I used to get more comments and now I don't get as many, but my numbers are up. Just weird, but I hope it turns soon.

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  83. I rarely comment on any blogs that I read. I only comment when I feel like what I have to say is worth my time and yours. In other words, if you post a hilarious story, I'm not going to comment, "Haha, that's so funny!" because I'm not sure how it benefits us. However, if I've had a similar experience, I might comment and talk about that. That being said, the main reason I don't comment (on any blog) often is that I do the majority of my blog reading on my phone. Commenting using my phone makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a spoon because it takes three times as long as commenting on the computer so I always get so fed up with it that I just give up the fight.

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  84. I read on my phone way more than I used to and for some reason it seems like waaaay more work to comment while on my phone than when I'm on the computer. Also I had two babies. Haha. But I do really think Instagram is killing blogs. It is just so much more conducive to using on your phone than blogger is. I don't think blogs are on the way out though...at least I hope they're not! I'm still finding new blogs all the time that I love! Like yours!! :)

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  85. I love how you write about what everyone else is thinking.

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  86. I don't think blogging is necessarily on the decline, but I do think how individuals engage with blogs is changing. I think blogs are more of an extension of our overall social media and presence on the internet. Most blogs that I follow and really enjoy, I follow in Instagram as well - I do read the actual blog posts too but I think sometimes (more for fashion bloggers) that I will just skim the blog post if I have already seen the outfit on Insta. For personal blogs or bloggers who actually write posts, I will take the time to read through them because I enjoy reading about their lives.
    I will comment if I have something to add or an anecdote or anything more than 'Great post'. Although, maybe saying 'Great post' is at least affirming for the blogger that I have read and enjoyed that post. I don't really worry about getting a response from fellow bloggers (but when I do it's a wonderful moment) because I know we all have real lives away from our small corners of the internet.
    I try to refrain from reading blogs on my phone for the exact reason that it isn't as easy to quickly comment. If I'm on my computer, all my accounts are already logged in and it makes commenting seamless.
    Ps. I love the discussion that has been created by this post! And now I'm late for class because I got caught up in reading all of these comments but it was worth it :)

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  87. And with that, 165 comments and counting...nice work, Bon!
    I'm a commenter through and through, because I know how much a meaningful comment on a post you practically slave over can do for the writer - it's so encouraging and motivational. So I like to try and do the same for other bloggers, because we gotta boost each other up somehow, yannnno? I don't think blogging will ever die, because our generations just have too much to say and not enough internet space to say it. Instagram is a different animal. For the women who appreciate well thought out words and meaning, your blog will always be the go to.

    lovelovelove,
    Erica
    cominguprosestheblog.com

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  88. I comment on a LOT of blogs, but I also read a lot of blogs. I don't have time to read every post by every blog I follow (especially if they post 5x a week), and I definitely don't have time to comment on all of them. Plus sometimes I don't have anything significant to say, and I hate leaving comments that are just like, "Great post!" I've actually taken to pinning a lot of blog posts that are more picture-oriented than commenting. Like if a blogger shares a great recipe, I'm just going to pin that so I can make it later rather than comment, "Looks yummy!"

    I'm also trying to focus more on commenting on blogs who are commenting on my blog(s). I know that the bigger of a blogger you are, the less you can engage with every single blog reader on their own blogs. That's not a fault--it's a fact. But since I also have limited time, I'm going to focus my commenting time on fellow bloggers who are also my blog readers. Basically I want to reward my blog readers by engaging with their content. This does mean that with the big blogs I read, like yours, I just don't have the time to comment as often as I used to.

    Personally, I've also started a different blog that's under my own name, which means I'm now juggling two online identities, each with their own sets of social media. You know me as Belle, and my real name interactions are the ones I'm focusing on right now.

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  89. Your blog is one of my favorites to read and often your posts sit in my Bloglovin feed until I have more time to read and catch up. Although I do not comment I am reading. I guess I just don't feel I have anything important to say and don't want to comment to just comment, ya know? Keep up your writing though! I look forward to your posts!


    Cheers,
    Alyson

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  90. Comments come and go in waves for me, but I'm better at noticing when I don't leave comments and the reasoning behind it: I'm usually just skimming and not really reading into them. When I reset my thinking to reread, then the comments come out! When I first started reading blogs, I was scared to leave comments! But I realize now that it is a way to connect to others. =)

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  91. Thanks to your suggestion and many others', I installed Disqus! Game changer!

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  92. Jenn this is such a great comment! I am grateful for all the comments that you have left and for our blogging relationship. And yes, blogging does seem to have a very specific "type", doesn't it? But I love that you don't belong to the type and continue to pour your heart out into blogging.

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  93. I always love your comments! You are one of the best at commenting consistently.

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  94. Alright, Kelsey, this is a test to see if you get my response through Disqus. I am paranoid that no one will really see my replies on this. I always love hearing your two cents- and I think you're right. I think we feel most comfortable commenting on the posts that are surface level because the deeper stuff maybe makes us feel more vulnerable or insecure.

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  95. i think summer definitely plays into it! engagement is always down in the summer.

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  96. The blogger never responding thing is something that I am trying hard to be better at. Thanks for your comment- it makes me realize how important it is to readers!

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  97. Glad to hear that! I know I don't have the best track record

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  98. I've definitely noticed a difference! I recently switched to Wordpress, and as such I have been going back through my archives to fix problems from the migration. Some of my first posts six years ago were so ridiculous, yet there are all these comments! I put a lot more effort into each post now, and it's totally crickets most days. So much for better content. ;-)

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  99. I only comment on blogger comments. I read blogs on my iPad and while in bloglovin disquisition doesn't recognize me. I have to open it in safari which is a huge pain. And Wordpress?? No thank you. I will not fill out four fields before I can get to the comment. Commenting is just a pain.

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  100. I've been thinking the same thing lately... I'm still reading other people's blogs, just not commenting because I'm trying to squeeze in 10 posts before bed-time so I'm reading, then x-ing out. The other thing is that there's so much spam out there, we are all having to get new comment platforms/widgets to keep it out. So NOW to leave a comment you've got much more ish to fill out and we are all guilty of not doing things because it's "inconvenient" which is just silly. I hate it too... I used to get way more and it's hardly anything these days, even with a bigger audience.

    {Five minutes later...}
    And just now, Disqus wouldn't let me post my comment through Google, so I had to post through Disqus, which I couldn't apparently remember my password to, so had to get it sent to me. If I wasn't commenting on this post specifically, I would have said, "Fuck it." and gone on to the next one. It's a viscious cycle, I tell ya. ; )

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  101. I'm a commenter. I think it's because I have a blog. I know how good it feels to get a comment after writing a heart-felt post and I love sharing people's best stuff. But I keep reading things about the fact that commenting has gone way down. Sad stuff. Although, congrats on double the traffic. That's pretty baller.

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  102. My problem? (As is evidenced by when I am commenting on this very post) I am perpetually behind on reading blogs. By the time I read, it's a week, two...a month after the fact and then, even if I have a comment, I feel foolish leaving it!

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