Two way communication is a fundamental part of human nature. This does not change just because we sit in front of a computer or with an iPhone in the hand trying to reach out and communicate. Conversation, sharing thoughts or experiences & getting feedback is important for the individual but is also essential for our development and improvement. Blogging is communication and while it is typically controlled by the blogger taking the initiative it doesn’t really work and add value to anyone if no one talks back.
Adding comments to blogs is a very common practice. In fact, it’s an integral part of the web 2.0 hype! Some people do it for the fun of it and some use it as a very intelligent strategy for effective web presence. Whether you’re a SEO newbie or pro, you probably heard zillion times that blog commenting is an excellent link-building technique. I couldn’t agree more but I want to draw your attention to a very important yet often forgotten concept: The importance of blog commenting as a reflection of “internet ethics”.
What do you mean by “Internet Ethics”?
Ethics are abstract rules that govern our relationship with each other. They are indispensable in every area of life that requires human interaction. We constantly hear terms like “work ethics” and “social ethics”. Well, the internet, being the most gigantic communication medium known to man, is certainly no exception. Malicious acts such as spam, fraud, hacking, and intellectual property abuse are obvious violations of the internet ethics. However, the concept of internet ethics is much broader than the “Do nots”. It also covers the “Must Do” and “Nice to Do” patterns of behaviour. I strongly believe that blog commenting is a must-do internet ethics rule. Which bring us to the second question…
Where is the link between Internet ethics and a simple act like blog commenting?
There’s an Arabic proverb that says:”If someone taught me a letter, I should become his slave!” Reciprocation is ingrained in the human nature. Thanks to the internet revolution, if someone helped me out or taught me great tips and insights, I don’t need to travel overseas to thank him/her. Technology is “pampering” us to the extent that all we need is just a click on the mouse and a small “thank you” comment. That’s why; I’m an advocate of blog commenting as a must-do internet ethics practice because it’s too simple that you have no excuse for ignoring it!
Who should I be commenting on his/her blog?
Anyone you felt inspired, intrigued, uplifted, enlightened, educated by when you read his/her words, deserves that you allocate one minute of your precious time to express your gratitude for his/her genuine contributions
Why is blog commenting good for ME from the “Internet Ethics” perspective?
We constantly need to create lasting friendships and build strong bonds with like-minded people. Commenting on the blogs of others who share the same views and ideals that you do is an excellent networking and friendship building opportunity. The social media hype is not so popular for no reason. It fills the basic need for creating social bonds between people and, as an additional bonus, helps spreading the word about your business in a subtle non-intrusive way. Blog commenting is definitely a social media practice that adds value to the blog and enhances the author’s credibility. Writing a positive comment on someone’s blog will boost his/her confidence and brightens his/her day and you never know: perhaps you two could create a lasting friendship as a result
When could blog commenting go wrong?!
Using blog commenting for e-marketing purposes ONLY is a big NO!Some e-marketing newbies believe that quantity is more important than quality (which is bogus!). So, they would go to endless blogs and paste a vague comment like “great job” and IMPOSE their link on the body of the comment! People who behave this way are completely inconsiderate to the simple fact that someone else’s blog is NOT their private property and that their sales-pitch comments could significantly affect the quality of the blog post as a whole!
So far so good! How can I write effective blog comments?
- “Thank You” is NOT enough
Of course, comments like “waaaw”, “Thank you”, ‘I love it” would certainly add value to the blog itself but it wouldn’t add a value to YOU as a blog commenter. How about explaining what exactly “waawed” you about the post? Or sharing additional tips, links and information relevant to the original post? Even better, you can share a personal experience that supports the blog topic…etc.
- Keep it simple…
In your sincere quest to thank the author for a post well-written, you might be tempted to complicate things. For example, if you have two additional tips to give on a certain blog post, picture, or video you name it, it’s better to place each of them in a separate comment
- Who has time?! Make it brief!
Put yourself in the blog reader’s shoe or even see how you personally feel about lengthy blog comments written by others. The web is an information avalanche! No one has time to read an elaborated blog comment!
- When you beg to differ, do it politely!
It boggles my mind how some people could become insanely obnoxious when they disagree with a blog post and shower the writer with swear words and nasty vocabulary! What if, instead, you tactfully explained why you disagree with the blog writer’s opinion in general rather than attacking him/her on a personal level?!
- Make sure you have a great theme. WordPress gallery themes are great for photographers and designers showcasing their creations in an online portfolio. Likewise a wordpress magazine theme is excellent if you have a log of content and many categories you want to showcase on the front page.
Some real life examples!
Recently, DesignInformer.com published “The secret behind great designs”. It is the first guest-post I have ever written. Shortly after its publication, I was blown away by the warm and supportive comments I received on the guest-post as well as my personal blog, davykestens.be. I was so touched when I received the nicest fan-mails from total strangers! (Well, they are no longer “strangers” as far as I’m concerned.
The following are some beautiful comments that I want to share with you. They boosted my confidence and made me, as an author, feel great and more determined than ever to keep writing guest articles in the future!
A great mail from Justin Seidl
“I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your article. I enjoy your website and like yourself I’m currently 21, a college student, and quickly looking to develop myself on the web. I currently work at my university as the web design and developer and personally I’m developing my own website. I’m impressed with what you’ve done so far and hope to see more of your work in the future.”
And even simple comments like these will make a writer’s day!
“Nice read Davy. Good luck with your project”
“What a great article from a fresh young designer. I like your project too. Thanks for sharing.”
“Thanks for this great article! I just show it to my girlfriend to make her understand why i work all the time, that i need to improve my skills and keep on my passion.”
The bottom line is, if you place a small comment to a blog-post you like, mail an author or even just retweeted an article, you will be proving in actions, not just words, that you admire the writer and respect him/her. As a result, he/she will be inspired and motivated to excel and write even more and better articles! Your seemingly small contribution will make a huge difference in the writer’s work. Trust me!
That’s it! Looking at blog commenting from an ethical perspective can make a hell of difference in how, what, when, where you do it. Enjoy!