There’s a scene in the movie “Julie & Julia” where Julie jubilantly shares with her co-workers how she received her first comment. After watching that, I remember telling my husband how much I could relate to her excitement because I felt the same way after receiving my first comment on my first blog. In fact, over a dozen years later, I can tell you it’s still just as wonderful to have someone stop and respond to something I posted.
I often think about new bloggers and wonder if they feel the same excitement as we did in the old school. Back in the day we didn’t have the social networks. We didn’t have retweets, shares or thumbs up icons. We didn’t have buttons encouraging you to follow us or share our stuff with your friends. If folks wanted to respond to our writing, their first inclination was to comment, not “like.”
Our early blogs had dozens, if not hundreds of comments, and links from other blogs who also wanted to discuss what we wrote. These responses tell me a lot more than a quick “like.”
Comments say “thank you”
Don ‘t get me wrong, “likes” are cool. They tell us people dug something we wrote. But to me they’re quick acknowledgement. They’re like saying thank you when handed a gift over taking the time to handwrite a thank you note. They’re appreciated for what they are.
On the other hand, comments say a lot more. Comments say “Thank you for writing this post, it made me think.” Whether you agreed with a blog post or status update or not doesn’t matter. What matters is you took time to read the darn thing all the way through and respond in kind. When you’re a writer, hoping, praying, someone will read your stuff, this means more than anyone can ever know. Comments are like stopping and saying “hello” to a neighbor instead of walking by with a wave.
Most of us scan content all day with nary a reaction. Comments are the difference between a scan and a read. When someone comments after a blog post or status update it means they were paying attention. It doesn’t matter if the content resonated in a positive or negative matter as much as that it reasonated. Stopping to offer an opinion, whether positive or negative, tells us you care about what we do and say.
When we write something and you respond it tells us we touched you. That’s the best gosh darned feeling ever.
Comments are giving back
You may be thinking to yourself, “well, wait a minute. I click ‘like’ when I like something, why isn’t that good enough?” It’s not that it’s not good enough. We appreciate likes very much, but they’re like drive by approval. We absolutely appreciate the support but sometimes we like to know why you gave us that thumbs up. Sometimes people hit “like” after a well – written piece, even though they don’t agree at all. A “like” doesn’t tell us this. Comments are feedback. They tell us how you feel about what we’re doing. We like our likes, but we love our comments.
I’m so busy sometimes I forget to blog. And I’m the first person to hit “like” after reading a good blog post or status update. After thinking about this, though, I’m going to take more time to think about what I read and comment in kind. And I’m going to work harder to respond to the people who take the time to respond to me, because comments work both ways.
What makes you determine what gets a quick, drive by “like” and what receives a more thoughtful response?