Temerity Jane
09. 11. 2009

TJ PWC Banner mediumInternet! We are on The Becoming People Who Comment Challenge #3! Are you hanging in there? This week, I am introducing something new, you’ll see at the end.

And also? Here at the beginning? What do you think about that badge! How awesome is that? I have them in three sizes, thanks very much to Carrie,  so if you’re interested in displaying one on your blog, let me know in the email you send after completing today’s challenge, and I’ll send them over to you. I also have some other banners I’ll be debuting soon, and if you feel moved to make one, I certainly would not object. I know there is a big market for 125×125 icons, for you artistic types. Also, if you sent one or offered to send one and I did not respond, I apologize. I’ve been busy. Commenting.

Today’s Topic: Excuses

Internet, I started the Becoming People Who Comment Challenge after I was a few weeks into my own mission to become a Person Who Comments, so I’ve been passing along to you each of the challenges I gave to myself. In fact, the challenge I was going to give you today was next on the list. However, I noticed something about my own habits that I feel like we should address up front.

I know that, in addition to doing the challenges, a lot of you have been challenging yourself to comment even more, above and beyond the challenges, and I try to do that myself, as well. There’s something I’ve noticed, though – there are certain blogs or types of blogs that I continually excuse myself from commenting on. For whatever reason, when I am going through my blogs and commenting, these are blogs I read, but don’t leave a comment.

Here I am, telling you that “Me, too” comments are always welcome, that you can think of something to say, but I read the same blogs continually, have for AGES in some cases, but for a laundry list of reasons, exclude them from my list to comment on. Maybe some of my excuses are valid, but I’m betting most of them aren’t. Here’s the thing, though – I’ve never really thought about what those excuses are.

For example? I’ve never commented on The Bloggess. She’s hilarious, I love all of her stuff, Phil and I both read it. But I’ve not once left a comment in all the time I’ve been reading her blog. I will comment on the blog above hers on the list, the blog below, and for some reason, completely excuse myself from commenting on hers, with no reason that I can articulate at all.

How about you, Internet? In your efforts to comment more frequently, do you find yourself consistently excusing yourself from commenting on one specific blog?

Today’s Challenge: One + Five!

To be completed by: Thursday, November 12

Challenge: As I mentioned above, we’re doing it a little differently this time, since I had planned on one challenge, but came upon something else interesting I wanted to talk about instead. So there are TWO ways for you to be a Person Who Comments for this challenge.

1. What blog have you been excusing yourself from commenting on regularly? I know that last week, we talked about making a peep on the blog you’ve been silently reading the longest. This time, you should comment on a blog you have been deliberately avoiding for some reason – bonus if you can figure out what that reason is.

OR

2. The original challenge for this week – comment on 5 blogs. In a single day. Not 5 blogs total between now and Thursday, but 5 blogs in a single day. For some of you, this will be easy. Others, maybe not so easy.

If you’re feeling particularly motivated, you can try both Becoming People Who Comment Challenges for this time around.

When you’re finished, be sure to email me at PeopleWhoComment [at] gmail.com. Include a link to your favorite post that you’ve written recently, or favorite post that you’ve read recently if you don’t have a blog of your own. Links will be chosen at random for the Practice Section of the next post!

Commenting Practice

I’ve assigned a number to all of the emails sent to me after the first challenge and chosen three at random. If you feel like practicing your comments, go flex your muscles on some of your fellow Becoming People Who Comment Challenge participants!

Alex submitted this entry from Mamapop, which never fails to be hilarious in a snarky-about-pop-culture-in-a-smart-way… way. Mamapop is a great place to practice your commenting because the comments are often as awesome as the entries.

Lara submitted this most excellent post: Not On the Ballot by Swistle. I was particularly excited to see this one submitted because one, it was an excellent post for sure; two, I have my own epic length comment on there; and three, it’s Swistle, a professional commenter!

And, lastly, but not leastly, Mel, who has not yet been shamed into starting a blog but likes to leave a Twitter link which is totally fine, submitted this link from More is Better, which I really think you need to just read and comment on, rather than hearing a summary from me.

27 responses to “The Becoming People Who Comment Challenge, #3”

  1. Tami says:

    I’ll go for challenge 1, because I just emptied my feed reader and I’d feel guilty if I said I’d do #2 and only ended up hitting four comments. Though I suppose this comment counts as one.

    In truth, YOUR blog is one that falls under my “rarely if ever comment” rule. I read, I laugh, I chuckle, I share stories with non TJ readers…

    …and yet I say nothing, more often than not.

    I think it’s because so much of what you blog about is the sort of thing that’s conversational. If you told it to me in person, I’d probably laugh and say “Oh, haha, that’s funny!”

    But that’s a seriously lame comment, especially over and over and over and over and over again.

    Sometimes I think of something amusing to say, or an added “oh, I do that, too!” and then (honesty here) when I don’t get a reply, I feel like that really annoying person who hangs on the edges of the popular crowd and every once in a while bursts out with something inappropriate and really embarrassing, and it goes really quiet, and one by one the group finds something else to do so they aren’t THERE anymore.

    Now, intellectually, I know that isn’t what a lack of a reply on a blog means at all. AT ALL. (In no way do I intend that statement to be a reflection upon your comment replyness.) And seriously? How are you supposed to reply to that stuff, if I had such a hard time finding a comment in the first place?

    So…having spelled all of that out, I think the base reason underlying all of that is just that most of the time, I can’t think of a conversational response to a conversational blog post.

    Informational posts I respond to, and topical conversational (gaming, etc) I do as well, but “hey, a funny thing happened on the way to the library” I just feel lost at how to not look like a mouth-breather when I respond, and I would prefer to leave a comment that opens lines of communication instead of just being the conversational equivalent of flicking a penny into a koi pond.

    TJ Reply:

    You bring up good points for both commenters and commentees – I’ve been struggling for YEARS to find the proper balance of responding. For a while, I did in the comments. Then, strictly in email. Now, back to comments.

    Sometimes I reply to every single person because I feel like if I miss even the most inane, no-response-necessary comment, I’ll look like a d-bag. Sometimes I reply to no one simply because I don’t have time to reply to everyone. Sometimes, I try to find the exact right balance of “I’m clearly not replying to everyone so people don’t feel specifically ignored, but I’m also replying to ENOUGH people so that I don’t look like a snot who doesn’t answer at all or only answers certain people.”

    I mean, it’s hard. On both sides. Hence… the challenge!

    Tami Reply:

    ^ QFT “Sometimes, I try to find the exact right balance of “I’m clearly not replying to everyone so people don’t feel specifically ignored, but I’m also replying to ENOUGH people so that I don’t look like a snot who doesn’t answer at all or only answers certain people.””

    There’s a delicate balance in being a blogger, just as being a commenter. I wish I knew the answer. Right now my blog is small enough that I can get away with the “reply to just about everything” but I’ve HAD the more popular blog, and the commenting got away from me. I READ all the comments then, but I almost never replied because of exactly what you’re talking about here.

    Which is a little off topic since it’s more about replying to comments than originally doing the comment.

    TLDR version is still a variation of your “me, too!” philosophy.

    Comments don’t have to be fantastic and graceful and worthy of awards.

    Bloggers love your comments, even if they are awkward and gangly. So are baby sheep, and everybody loves baby sheep!

    Adlib Reply:

    Tami, you should totally draw a baby sheep now!

    As a commenter, I just want to put it out there that I wouldn’t be offended if you didn’t answer one of my comments. I comment on plenty of blogs where I don’t get an answer! So you’re pretty unique in doing that, I think.

    TJ Reply:

    Keep in mind that a lot of bloggers may answer behind the scenes, through email. I have that option as well.

    Anna Reply:

    I struggle with the balance of replying vs. not-replying as well. I go through phases of it, but I’m trying to get better.

    Like Tami, I did challenge #1 (and emailed it) – I’ll probably do challenge #2 as well, but not today!

    TJ Reply:

    I am glad to hear other bloggers deal with the same thing, I have felt like I was the only one who didn’t know how to get a handle on it.

  2. I am so proud of you for becoming a person who comments. It makes people sooooo happy to get the comments, yanno.

  3. Alex says:

    I WIN!!!! This PWC thing just keeps getting better and freakin’ better.

    Totally going to do both challenges. I think the reason I deliberatly don’t comment at a few blogs is because I just don’t feel cool enough. Or I read the comments, think the the other people are stupid, and don’t want to be “one of them”. That sounds rude, doesn’t it? Oh well.

    I have a question for the bloggers out there (since I am not one): Does it matter to you if people comment on past posts? I always feel like a tool commenting on somthing from a week ago. Am I being irrational?

    TJ Reply:

    Yep, totally irrational! Commenting any time is fine. Even if other readers don’t go that far back to read comments regularly, I see them all, no matter how old the post is.

  4. Bernie says:

    I haven’t commented on BRK’s new site, although I read every new post.
    Also I don’t read 5 blogs. TJ, the aforementioned Brain Needed Space and Big Bear Butt are what I check every day. There are others that I have went to after seeing links in the blogs I read but these 3 all share witty and intelligent writing.

    TJ Reply:

    There are toooons of blogs out there that share witty and intelligent writing. You are totally limiting yourself!

  5. Firespirit says:

    Miss TJ:

    I am here to complete challenge #3 – I have been reading your blog for about 3 months, and I just love it! You are articulate and freaking hilarious. But, for whatever reason, I have not commented. Ever.

    So here is my first comment ever! Great blog! Now to go back to challenge #1 and 2….

    TJ Reply:

    So you have found yourself making excuses for never commenting on my blog? Did you ever figure out what the excuse was?

    Overwhelmed by AWESOME, maybe?

    Anyway, don’t forget to send an email to the challenge email account!

  6. Carrie says:

    DUDE! I am having a huge fangirl moment that you used my banner thinger. Seriously. XD

    Yay!

    That aside, some time this week I will be doing challenge #2. I thought about challenge #1, but the problem I have is that I read so -many- blogs, I couldn’t tell you if there’s one on my reader that I read but never comment on, unless it’s brand new and I just haven’t gotten to that “I have to leave a comment on this!” moment yet.

    So. Five blogs. Five comments. One day. I can do this!! :D

    TJ Reply:

    A whooooole day to make just fiiiiive little comments. Of course you can do it!

  7. Aunt Becky says:

    You are rocking the party, TJ. I’m so proud of you.

    TJ Reply:

    When I read this comment, I totally flexed. I’m not even kidding.

    Also, I am aware that I am way behind on my email obligations. I’ve been really busy flexing and stuff.

  8. Swistle says:

    I can barely comment on The Bloggess EVER, even though I WANT TO, because I am usually limp and light-headed with laughter after one of her posts. And then so many of her commenters are so funny too. And I’m all, “HA HA HA—super-fly post there as usual! *dork-out*”

    Oh god, have mercy and don’t make them try to comment on that Super! Controversial! Post! of mine. That is HARD, dude. Give them something where there’s a question they can answer, like do they like Mr. Rogers or do they think he’s creepy.

    TJ Reply:

    It’s a commenting CHALLENGE. People are supposed to feel CHALLENGED.

    Sheesh!

    Lara Reply:

    OK, I’m here, a day late. Phew.

    I’m replying to Swistle’s comment because hers is the blog I have never commented on, and it’s in my Faves folder and everything!

    So. Dear Swistle:

    My reason for never commenting on your blog, I suppose falls into the “Why would you want to hear from me?” category. I think (in my head) this is for two reasons – one, our lives are super different – you has five kids, I have none. Which, stupid stupid stupid, I know – it’s not like I don’t talk to (and love) people in real life who have kids, I love kids too, I just…don’t know.

    My second excuse is I feel like a piss-poor writer (even “comment writer”) because your posts are so well written and articulate (which is why I love them so) and your commenters, for the most part, are articulate and intelligent too.

    As I said to TJ when I submitted your Not On the Ballot post as my fave of last week, I wanted to chime in on that post but I felt like I’d just drool all over the place and everyone would be all “Whoa-ho. Who’s the new kid?” and I’d feel like a moron.

    So lame and so my own fault, but there it is. I will comment soon. Honestly.

    Swistle Reply:

    Hee! I do, though! I DO want to hear from you! And now you will have to, because I will be keeping an eye out!

  9. morgan says:

    There are only 3 blogs I read :(

    I have commented on all of them today though, does that count?!

    TJ Reply:

    The challenges are on the honor system! If you feel that you’ve completed it to the best of your ability, go ahead and send and email!

    And may I suggest you find some more blogs? Because they’re awesome.

  10. morgan says:

    Just thought I’d follow-up and let you know that I checked out the blogs you linked in your post and commented on them … so I hit that magical number 5 after all.

  11. Shelly says:

    Loving this whole People Who Comment thing.

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