Sunday, July 10, 2005

Blog Comments More Vital Than Posts

Blog comments are more vital than posts.

Comments make a site interactively dynamic, rather than non-participatorily static.

A blog post just starts the conversation.

Blog posts are a dime a dozen.

It's the unpredictable, uncanny, unnerving response

that steals the show. The star is the comment,

not the post. Post as star is narcissistic.

Without comments, most posts are dead-ends.

There may be some posts that can stand alone,

without any comment or interaction with readers.

But that's generally swerving too close to

the old, unilateral, monologue of arrogance,

superiority, and broadcast message dissemination.

A blog of posts without comments?

Sure the blogger engages in self-expression,

improves writing and thinking skills,

preserves ideas, links, feelings, insights.

But without comments, it's bleak, barren, dull.

A blogger cannot beg for comments.

A blogger must keep perfecting,

keep thinking original or comical thoughts.

A blogger must keep improving,

enhancing blog design, friendliness, trust.

If a blogger has something smart to say,

something new, unique, idiosyncratic, helpful,

and knows how to say it distinctly,

pugnaciously, alarmingly, creatively,

deconstructively, critically, peacefully,

whatever is appropriate or inspired,

the blog will get comments.

The blog will be discovered.

The blog will form a nucleus

of loyal lurkers and capable commenters.

The comments provide flow.

The commnents display life on the other side

of the blog, where the blogger ceases to exist

for self and becomes a conduit for others.

Posts with a chronic and festering lack of comments

are decaying, malingering posts, devoid of contact.

Comments are the conversation.

Comments are what make blogs tick.

Posts that are comment-worthy

make a blog sparkle and shine

like a star in the blogosphere.

Blogs need good posts and links,

but comments are the heartbeat.

Your brilliant imaginative posts,

photos, art, links, or design

are not the best aspect of your blog.

It's the interaction from readers

that makes a blog explode into grandeur.

The design, photos, art, music, etc.

just pave the way to the conversation:

posts plus comments.

The Blog Revolution is in Blog Conversation.

This is why the business world

is so far far behind on blogs.

The corporations are mute.

They've forgotten how to talk

to ordinary consumers and fans.

Only the personal bloggers

can show the way to the corporations.

Corporate bloggers must avoid

business blogs and seek good

personal blogs for inspiration.

Not just any trivial blabber blog,

but smart, introspective, funny,

artistic, distinctive voice personal blogs.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


Hans said...

...but no comments without a post, like no men without women. The post gives birth to comments ;-)

carrie said...

"the post gives birth to the comments"
interesting choice of words, grijsz

MARYBETH said...

i agree Carrie that Grijsz line is true, but what explains all the good blogs that lack few if any comments.
What do we make of that??

Hans said...

Yes, Marybeth, you are right: There are some so good Blogs and visitors are so astonished or frightened by the Blogs Quality, that they do not know what to post...

Michael Meiser said...

Aha! I agree on the bit about conversation. It's all about the conversation. Conversation is core, but I disagree on the execution. It's not all about comments. I seek quarrel with you! (Or at least good disagreement and debate. :)

Comments are good for the spirit and soul. But what about reblogging!?

Reblogging is what blogging lives on. Not comments! Without re-blogging blogging would wither up and die.

Reblogging is good for the spirit and the soul AND it feeds the conversation in a way comments cannot. It not only feeds the "google juice", but it makes us the bloggers the conduit through which we find things of importance.

Reblogging makes our friends and other bloggers the conduit through which we learn.

I'll take one reblogger over 1000 comments. I can live without comments. Can you live without rebloggers?

If no one blogged about you who would know you existed? Where would your readers come from? You would be a one handed tree clapping in the forrest! A sheep in a wolf's suit!

Sure there are other means in other medium through which you might reach new ears and eyes, but it comes down to this....

When we blog we make media but when we reblog we become the media.

It's through reblogging that we know what blogs are good, what posts are good, what's news is interesting. Every step of the way the color commentary is added. The sparks and fizzle, the spice of life. Important points are honed, validation given, credibility is found, useless drivel falls away, all that is left in the revlogging process is truth, brutal truth, agreement by fire.

And politicians fall from grace, and news anchors resign. Not because of the first post or the first word, but because of the rallying on, the groundswell, the uproar which comes there after. It's not that the first word was true. It's that the millions of bloggers there after found it and found it true and then reblogged it.

It's because of reblogging that I keep up on the important aspects of the blogosphere. If a pin drops on the far side of the world and it pertains to me I will find out about it because it's more likely that one of my trusted sources of like interest will blog about it than a newspaper will write about it. The blogs I read become my conduit.

Bloggy media is the future because only the collective we has the capacity to cover all the news that matters to us. No committee can, no political system, no media, no other system known to man has this power. A newspaper will not write about this post or you or me but these words are important, vital even to we who write them, if not many others.

But while a newspaper may not write about this, it is quite possible it may not fall on deaf ears and many will, and so the ideas, the passion and the truth in these words may travel outward virally.

Through reblogging the capacity of this medium is directly proportional to the amount of readers and the amount of rebloggers.

Comments are merely the niceties, the frosting. Reblogging is the business end, the mortar, the cake.

Reblogging is what makes blogging golden. It ignores the unfit, the unwelcome, the uninteresting, the uncontroversial and it embraces the bold, the thoughtful, the artful and the beautiful and it rallies them on.

That which is of no consequence falls on deaf ears and that is where it dies. That of interest finds its keepers in exactly those souls who find it interesting and worthy, and hence they reblog it, and on the story goes in exquisite form. Growing, adapting, evolving, finding new minds and fresh eyes. Twisting, turning. While it would appear to have a mind and life of it's own a soul even it is dead. Reblogging is an exquisite corpse at the same time it would appear to be alive without the hearts and minds of rebloggers it would be dead. It is only through re-blogging does the conversation lives on.

And so it goes with this post.

If you consider it worthy, I'm working on a little article on the etiquette of revlogging. It's in it's first stream of conscious draft, a rant, over on my wiki at:

mmeiser wiki - Mike's Guide to re-vlogging etiquette

Though it's focused on aspects of reVlogging not reBlogging it pertains directly to this post. The issue of reblogging is 100x's renewed in podcasting and video blogging.

As it is a first draft, it is sucky and narcissistic just like you'd expect it to be not serving but its own master. But it's full of pop and ooze and goo and stuff and it's on a wiki. So, please come help me fix it or send me an email, or comment in the "talk" function or reblog it, or quote it, or disagree with it tear it apart where it stands. That's what it's there for. It has nice creative common license on it or it should. It's for all to hammer upon and borrow from and rewrite. And just as long as credit is given where credit is do I don't care.

-Mike of

Michael Meiser said...

Wow, I much loved writing that. It's the fastest boldest and perhaps smoothes stream of conscious rant I've written. I tend to judge my rants on how well they flow. It's how I know I've really thought about them enough and really am prepared and have something to say... when it rolls of my fingers. Perhaps it's vanity, but we all need a little bit of whatever it is. I'm sure I'll get a little bit of flame for it, but I like the format. I just wish I could write shorters.

Anyway I'm just double commenting because I forgot to mention I re-blogged this as you might expect. :)

mmeiser blog: Core Values - Are Blog Comments More Vital Than Posts!?

steven edward streight said...

Comments are more vital than reblogging.

Reblogging makes little sense when it comes to business blogs.

Reblogging tends to create an "incestuous" circle of clinking: clique linking, cult linking, favoritism amongst bloggers who share similar beliefs and goals.

Reblogging represents a closed club of auto-affectionate butt kissing and self-reflexive grandeur.

Reblogging: writing a post on your blog that raves about, or discusses, some other blog. Is this how you use the word?

Reblogging can be one of the worst forms of blogging, if not handled correctly.

If I write posts that glamorize or fawn all over the blogs of bloggers I like personally or professionally, perhaps my readers will discover the virtues and joys of blogs they would not otherwise know.

Actually, reblogging is fine for personal blogs, though not that common. Personal bloggers generally just blogroll a blog they like, and receive comments from other bloggers at their blog, so readers can click-select the embedded link in the blogger's name.

But too often, what I see, especially in business and marcom blogs, is a vicious cirlce of always refering to the same blogs, always each blog has the same blogs in their blogrolls, so you spin in endless self-circumscribing circles.

You make many good points about reblogging, and I agree with you about most of it. I really appreciate your reminding me of reblogging, a topic I should post about more often. This is a great boon to me and I thank you for it.

But if it's a "quarrel" you want, you definitely came to the right place, for I am the undisputed King of Blogocombat, the Reigning Ruler of Radiant Reaction to Wrong Notions, the Disagreeable Clown Prince of Pugnacious Posting.


A business blog does not require much reblogging, but perhaps you are right about reblogging when it pertains to journalist and political blogs. I can see your point with news blogs. Very astute actually.

But I feel you mis-apply your profound thesis when you attempt, if you do indeed attempt, to stretch it into the general blogosphere.

A blog trying to reach consumers, or any audience the blogger wishes to cultivate, influence, and motivate in some commercial, social, or transformational direction, needs the voluntary interaction represented by reader comments.

This is not to say, Carrie and MaryBeth, that a blog without comments is of no value, or even lesser value.

Comment generation is a complex activity, consisting of valuable and frequent posting, search engine optimization, tags, blog directory listings, email conversations with readers and other bloggers, some reblogging, posting comments on other blogs, participation in other online forums, and several other avenues.

Comment generation is a sub-set of blog promotions, or a result of your efforts to make your blog known.

By valuing comments, and esteeming them as the conversation platform of a blog, plus email, we transport our blogs into a richer dimension.


Hans said...

"Comment generation" wow, a cool term invented, Steven !

Paul Woodhouse said...

The problem with business blogs per se is that they don't have many other blogs in their line of business to reference.

You ideally need a niche in order for your blog to breathe. Each niche is its own mini-blogosphere depending on your focus. No blog is an island.

However, linking to somebody because they've linked to your is blog whoredom and must be avoided at all costs. The next thing you know, you'll be attending geek dinners the world over.

Expanding on somebody else's post with your own analysis is one of the key elements to your blog survival.

There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.

Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

MARYBETH said...

"Comments are merely the niceties, the frosting. Reblogging is the business end, the mortar, the cake."

Being still a new Blogger, and an ( don't know enough to link to other bloggers), I though I might comment on the above- Cake!
I really like cake, I like cakes of all flavors, sizes and shapes.
I also like icing, though not the pre-made stuff in a can (yuck)
I most particularly adore homemade , or from a really fine bakery which = home made anyway.
each baker has their own secret unique something they do to make their frosted cake fantastic. Even though there are some cakes that stand without frosting, any significant celebration will have a frosted cake-weddings, birthdays, graduations= a frosted cake.
For myself, I will only partake of those frosted cakes that are home made or from a really fine bakery
oh sure, a hostess ho-ho, or a little Debbie may suffice in pinch to nip a strong craving in the bud; but, after scarfing one down, there still remains the lingering dissatisfaction and continued longing for the home made cake with frosting, or one from a really fine bakery
O. K. Steven + Carrie is this cryptic enough???

N a m s t e ,

steven edward streight said...

MB: your clever metaphorical analogue allegory of "cake", yes we all see what you're "really" refering to, and I must say it's like the movie Being There, where the gardener spoke of plants and everyone assumed he meant global politics and national security.

I hate cake and icing especially. I vastly prefer pie. My mom used to give me birthday pie (pumpkin, apple, cherry, lemon, chocolate, rhubarb) instead of birthday cake.

But since "cake" is actually symbolic, it's okay.

PAUL: good to hear from you again with my eyes. Your voice looks good, mate.

Listen to Paul aka Tinbasher: he is a world renowned authority on business blogs, and I'm not flattering or exaggerating.

Paul runs a sheet metal factory and blogs about it. That, my friends, is a real business blog. He also blogs about blogging and bloggers.

Paul and I have engaged in heavy hardcore blogocombat against the enemies of the blogosphere, disguised as consultants. Ha!

We even tried to start our own Free Blog Consultancy just to irritate the consultants who were greedily charging money for their dubious value "concepts" and "innovations".


Paul says something I was trying to drive at: who does a business blogger "reblog"? There aren't many sheet metal blogs out there.

But reblogging is a very important activity and needs good explanation.