Ayush Kumar On Thursday, July 15, 2010

How many times has it happened that you came across a really good article on the net and just closed the tab without even leaving a comment there? Ok, how many of you really take out some time everyday and try to comment on the articles you read that day? 

I believe that only 5% of the people really do. And amongst those 5%, half are mainly spammers, trolls and people with comments like 'first!', 'nice article', 'good work' etc. The situation  is really bad. And its getting worse. 

Now some might ask if I myself comment (properly) on other blogs or not. The answer is that till a month back, I didn't. But I realized the importance of commenting properly on articles on the web just recently. That is why, today, I'm compiling all the benefits of properly commenting on the articles you read everyday, and also of going through others' comments. Please note that these points are not meant just for design related articles, but for every article you find useful and informative on the internet. 

1. Who doesn't love comments?

True, isn't it? And by comments, i mean proper comments, not spam or 'great post' type. When someone leaves a comment saying how he/she loved what we wrote and adds some of his/her own suggestions, it really does feel so good. Especially new bloggers (like me). It encourages them and gives them the necessary push to carry on with what they are doing. Bloggers who get a lot of comments and have lots readers will also understand this because they surely must have gone through a time when their posts didn't get even a single comment. Some useful links:

2.  It helps the author in improving

Proper feedback helps a lot. I'll take up my case. Instead of 10 comments saying 'Great article!', I'd any day like even 1 meaningful comment explaining why the article was so great. And you know, I would be even happier if someone told me why my article was not good (in a respectful way) because it would help me improve and know what my readers love to read and expect on my blog. I'm sure this is the case with you people too. 

3. Its good manners 

Writing a good and an informative article isn't an easy task. A lot of work goes into it, be it articles related to design, technology or even blogging. A lot of research work has to be done and a lot of facts have to be checked before the article is published. It might even take hours to complete a single post, but it just takes a few minutes to read one. When someone work so hard to give you some knowledge/ improve you, can't you spend a minute writing a meaningful comment appreciating the author's efforts? 

4. You get noticed

If you frequently leave thought-provoking comments on blogs, you must know what I mean. Or sometimes, even if your logo/gravavtar is interesting and unique, people might want to know you, follow you etc. Take interest in people and whatever they do, and people will do the same with you. Be rude to people, and expect the same behaviour from others.

5. Builds credibility

A good comment leaves a good  impression on people. When you know what you are talking about, people admire you. They want to know you more. Hence, many end up visiting your website and some of them turn into your blog's loyal readers too. This, and the points above and below this are inter-related. Some useful links:

6. Traffic getting strategy

As I said before, if you comment regularly and properly, people will start noticing you and many end up visiting your website, thereby increasing the traffic to your website. One note here - many people think being the first to comment in an article will definitely help in being extent. This is only partly true. Here is one article explaining this. Also, as I am no SEO (search engine optimization) expert, I can't say for sure if it is good for improving your search engine rankings or not, but here are some articles you might want to go through to know more on this topic. But one thing is for sure - proper commenting does help. Some useful links (SEO related): 

7. You discover new stuff

A lot of information gathered just by reading other's comments. Many people do take out time to notify the author what he/she may have missed out in the post, or to highlight new things or share their experiences. A lot of information is also gained by this. let me give you one example. I have come across a lot of articles which showcase new and interesting apps. i make it a point to go through the comments on that article because in these articles get a lot of comments because people love to share what apps they are using instead of the ones showcased. And the benefits of reading these comments? I get to know what alternatives are available and people's opinions about all these apps. Same applies to other types of articles. 

8. You get to voice your opinion

This is mainly what the comments section was made for - to hear your opinion. you can ask the author anything if you want, share your experience and knowledge, provide feedback or correct the author on some point. But lets just hope the author replies to your comment too.. Many don't and this is a bad thing on their part if they expect people to comment.

9. A place for discussions

The 'comments' section is a great place for readers to engage in a healthy conversation amongst themselves and the author. Features like threaded comments on blogs have helped a lot in this area. It helps in building a bond between the readers and the author and is a characteristic of a good community. 

Now lets see (below) how many of you really got what this article was trying to explain! ;-)


swati said...

yep!.. a good comment certainly has its benefits..
people generally determine the worth of an article based on the number and the type of comments it gets..

Ayush said...

You are right, swati! Thanks.

Joseph McCullough said...

While providing feedback and criticism are appreciated when the commenter is an expert on the subject matter, sometimes it's better to just take in the information without a comment. It's much better to appreciate the article in silence instead of diluting the comments with worthless drivel.

Ayush said...

I agree and partly disagree with you, Joseph. I don't deny that silence can sometimes be good, but I also say that (proper) commenting is better because I shows that the readers are listening to the author. Many authors also get a boost when they see someone unknown post a comment on their article (like I did :-) ) showing that his/her content is being read by the people.

I think your point might be more applicable to the big and famous blogs. :-)
Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Joseph McCullough said...

Whenever I see a comment that says "Nice post!" or "Really good information on PHP For Loops, thanks!", I immediately think "These guys just want a backlink."

My self-esteem isn't low enough to accept those crappy comments. I know that those type of comments are intended for link spam: Allowing those comments to be displayed despite this knowledge would be self-deception and an indication of low self-worth.

There is a time and place for short comments: An example would be my MySQL installation tutorial. A visitor might want to scroll down to the comments to verify that the tutorial successfully installs MySQL before taking the time to configure their web server. In that instance, displaying the comments that say "It works!" or "Working great, thanks!" are sufficient...as long as the names of the comment-leavers aren't "Viagra" or "Web Design Company" ;)

Ayush said...

I agree that most of them want a backlink. And half of them are spam. But you know Joseph, most of us are intelligent enough to figure out such people and not click on them. (I'm not sure but I have heard in doesn't help much in SEO either) :)

And yes - your last point is true. It has helped me many times!

Daniel said...

Now I feel bad for not commenting something creative/clever :(

Ayush said...


That was clever enough :p

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