Have you heard a single word I said?
Immediately after reading the title, I suspect everyone will think that I am talking about me, but I'm really just making a generalized statement here. It occurred while reading a post by a fellow ActiveRain member that (strangely enough) was a re-blog of something I had written. I had forgotten the post, so I quickly re-read through the re-blog.
The fellow blogger had written a great intro to my post and shared some of their thoughts and feelings about what I had written - in my opinion, the only way re-blogging should really be done. It was encouraging to see their opinions of what I had written about which took me further into the post and down into the comments.
I love comments and will always consider them a part of the post as a whole. I'm very particular about commenting and what it means to me, but that is neither here no there. The comments in this particular blog were a mixture of thoughts and feelings about both my original post and this particular member's introduction to the re-blog.
Then came the comments that distracted me from the post and had me over here tapping away at my keyboard. Two comments in particular, both with the same issue: the comments were about the events in my post, but directed to the re-blogger. In this particular case, it was quite clear that the commenters had read the post (or at least part of it) and attributed their "congratulations" back to the re-blogger. In reading just the introduction, it was quite clear that this person had not done the things I wrote about in my post, but yet somehow these two people had just skipped over that fact.
Read it and react to it.
I don't really care about the pat on the back that they handed to someone else, this isn't an ego competition for me. What concerned me was that someone used up a piece of their day (an albeit small one I would hope) to say something that had absolutely no meaning behind it, because they didn't take the time to read and comprehend what the post was about. Were they ActiveRain point seekers, looking to pass their next milestone or were they just skimming through posts, assuming everything in between the lines on their own? Either is dangerous from where I stand.
Posts take time and effort for bloggers and from my experience, most bloggers have a tendency to put their heart and soul into their efforts. When someone comes along and ignores those efforts and just comments for the sake of throwing their name out there, we all suffer. There has been a lot of talk about the value of the community here at ActiveRain in regards to the recent downtime...is there really strength in the community if we're just commenting for commenting's sake? Of course not. Adding value through commenting is a core concept of any blog, but in particular a blogging community such as ActiveRain.
So read the posts, react to them, start a discussion, agree or disagree. Don't just throw out the "well done" and "I agree" comments. Be a part of something. On my own blog, I have begun to limit the responses to comments. I used to reply to everyone, but now I try and limit my "thanks for stopping by" comments in order to focus in on what I believe to be the more important part of blogging - the exchange and flow of ideas and opinions. So while I may comment back to you, it may not always happen. Not because I'm not thankful that you stopped by, but because I want us all to build off of each idea and see where it leads, not spend our days telling each other how great we're all doing.
I have a bigger mission than just stroking my own (or anyone else's) ego, I hope you do too.
photo courtesy of ganesha.isis