The social value of blog comments.

Wade published a great post on the SEO value of commenting on other blogs. His advice is spot on if your primary goal is improving your relevance in Google. I offer “Do Follow” links on my blogs for the express purpose of encouraging people like Wade to contribute to the conversation.

I’m a prolific commenter myself. I wouldn’t be surprised if the number of comments I’ve left on other blogs in the last three years number well into the thousands. I’ve always taken the time to leave an appropriate link back, but it was never for the benefit of Google. I believe in the social value of commenting.

It’s so very hard as a blogger, to know if your ideas are resonating. Comments, any comments are welcome feedback. When I decided to post on other people’s blogs, it’s because I wanted them to know I was listening. I wanted to engage them in conversation. I wanted to forge a relationship with them.

During my stint as Fake Greg Swann, I wrote about how I love to argue. I try to keep that in check while commenting on other people’s blogs, but it doesn’t always work out. Sometimes, my strong opinions lead to a comment of mine being deleted for no other reason than the blog author disagrees with it. That’s unfortunate, because, like I said, the whole idea was to forge a relationship in the first place.

On the other hand, comments are a two way street. It’s ridiculous to me to solicit comments, and only  publish the ones who agree with your point. When one of my comments is deleted, I think, “who else is being silenced?” I also question if this is a blog worth commenting on. Who wants to spend the time to comment if nothing was ever to come from it? This happened to me today, on a pretty big RE.net blog. I doubt I’ll spend as much time there.

If anything can be taken from this, I would just say that comments are the 2.0 in Web 2.0. It’s important to treat comments like they are a face to face conversation. Don’t try get over on anyone, or BS them, or silence them, and you’ll be good to go.

0 thoughts on “The social value of blog comments.

  1. Trevor Smith

    Todd – regularly I would have read your post and moved on… but you inspired me to comment. Great reminder about the whole purpose behind blogging… its not just about SEO.

    -Trev

    Reply
  2. Paul

    “It’s ridiculous to me to solicit comments, only publish the one who agree with your point.”

    On my BrokenCredit.com blog, I don’t have the commenting function enabled, but there is an area where people submit a question/comment on the site.

    I actually wish more people would disagree or enter some otherwise scathing words. I believe it makes for more interesting reading and, more importantly, I know that I aint always right!

    Reply
  3. ines

    You make such a good point and also need to point out the unwritten blogging etiquette rules. When I first started Miamism, I wanted to become part of the conversation and spent hours commenting and contributing to the blogosphere. I found out the hard way that some people don’t want you to comment or think you are doing it for the link-back or Google-juice.

    I also found out that comments may dilute the value of the post in Google’s eyes……never easy, is it?

    Reply

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