My name is Marian and I am a Comment Whore

by Marian Schembari on March 2, 2010


The other night I was checking my email while a friend was over. I saw that someone had commented on my blog – which always gets me goin’ -  so I went to check on this awesomeness. After seeing that my most recent post had 19 comments (a HUGE amount for someone like me) I went a little giddy.

Until my lovely friend called me a “comment whore”. His words exactly: “Oh. You’re not one of those comment whores are you?”

Why yes, Charles, yes I am.

And p.s.? Bite me.

So I tweeted it (because that’s what us social media sluts do nowadays). RedoingMedia responded, saying, “@marianschembari proof positive that this is not the person for you????”

Which got me thinking. There’s this super-specific blogging community that you only understand if you’re knee-deep in the trenches. So maybe my friends don’t 100% get why I dig comments, but anyone else with a blog understands how vital they are to not only your site’s survival, but to your sanity/ego/motivation to move forward with your life.

We judge a blog entirely on its comments. I could give less of a shit if you get millions of readers every month, but if you’re getting 100 comments per post you are the cat’s pajamas. If you’re in PR you understand that reaching out to bloggers is important. But which bloggers do you contact? Those who are part of something bigger? The columnists for AOL? The biggies on HuffPo? Or do you go to the ones who have established their own little “cult followings”? People like The Bloggess or Marie Forleo

Darren Rowse on Problogger wrote a post, 7 Questions to Ask On Your Blog to Get More Reader Engagement(one of many on that site doesn’t say much but has an enticing header), on how using questions is THE number one way to get people talking. Chris Brogan says this too. In fact, most of his posts end in a question, but I’m not fully convinced this is why he gets so many people talking.

To be perfectly honest, the reason I comment on blogs isn’t because people ask. From my experience, both with my own comments and seeing why other people write, here are the top reasons I comment a blog post:

  • The blogger has said something I agree or disagree with strongly
  • I want to congratulate someone on a new job/baby/engagement/personal success
  • Something is hilarious and I want to add my own experience
  • Something is so amazing I couldn’t possibly leave the website without letting the blogger know how amazing they are but am too lazy to write an email (There is a fine line. Remember that.)
  • There’s some form of list, usually in advice-form, where I have something to contribute

Ryan Rancatore writes on his blog, Personal Branding 101, that one of the top 5 uncommon ways to measure social media success is through comments per page view.

20 Something Bloggers even has a group called We love comments! that has over 1,000 members. I know I’m not alone. If you have a blog, you are… a comment whore.

My posts with the most comments:

So we’ve got two personal posts, one “helpful” post and two controversial ones. Here are Penelope Trunk’s most commented:

Her most commented post talks about her miscarriage (personal), one is moderately helpful (usually involving a number), the other three are controversial, two of which have the word “hate” in the title.

So maybe this isn’t an exact science, but I don’t think readings posts like, 10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog is going to cut it.

Let’s try the questions thing – just for shits and giggles. Why do you comment? Are you a dirty little slut too?


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  • http://twitter.com/marianschembari/status/9882276792 Marian Schembari

    My name is Marian and I am a Comment Whore http://bit.ly/aLXEoM

  • http://twitter.com/lbelgray/status/9882589843 Laura Belgray

    RT @marianschembari: My name is Marian and I am a Comment Whore http://bit.ly/aLXEoM >Same. Me love u long time, too beaucoup. Sucky sucky.

  • http://talkingshrimp.com/blog/ Laura Belgray

    I will blow you for comments. That’s the general “you,” but doesn’t rule out the specific “you.” Because I, too, am a comment whore. A sad, toothless one. At least I don’t have a pimp who beats me.

  • https://www.blogger.com/blogin.g?blogspotURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.defactopublishing.blogspot.com%2F Katherine

    Dear Marian,
    I don’t comment (this is my first), but if I feel that an article is really top-notch or useful, I re-tweet it. If a blog is consistently terrific overall, I add it to my blogroll. I hope that by associating content with my own blog/twitter I’m paying it the compliment of being excellent enough to be worth sending my readers to. I don’t have many blogs on my blogroll (about a half-dozen), as I’m trying to only associate with the best of the best. FYI, Marian- this includes your blog!

    In commentitude,
    Katherine

    http://www.defactopublishing.blogspot.com

  • http://talkingshrimp.com/blog/ Laura Belgray

    I will blow you for comments. That’s the general “you,” but doesn’t rule out the specific “you.” Because I, too, am a comment whore. A sad, toothless one. At least I don’t have a pimp who beats me.

  • http://talkingshrimp.com/blog/ Laura Belgray

    I will blow you for comments. That’s the general “you,” but doesn’t rule out the specific “you.” Because I, too, am a comment whore. A sad, toothless one. At least I don’t have a pimp who beats me.

  • EC Sheedy

    I don't always comment, but I am reading more and more blogs. So the compulsion to comment is growing, and growing . . . But, really, I'm not too, too crazy about the question thing at the end of a blog. Too much like a set up (says she who just answered your question).

  • http://thebloggess.com/ Jenny, bloggess

    I read way more than I comment because I'm pressed for time but usually if I comment it's to say “YES! I get this. You are not alone.” And that's why I'm commenting now. I can tell you though that I have one blog that gets tons of comments and one that gets 3 or 4 comments a post at most but I still love both of the blogs. I think a lot of times getting lots of comments is just a matter of being at the right place at the right time. Blog popularity is fleeting, fickle and largely based on chance.

  • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

    100% AGREED. No one wants to admit it's really just luck – that's why you get shitty articles on how to get more comments that don't actually provide any valid insight.

    Regardless, thanks for leaving a comment here. Tis much appreciated ;-)

  • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

    It does sound a little desperate, doesn't it? That's why I don't usually do it.

    Plus, it's super embarrassing if you ask a question and no one actually answers you…

  • http://www.pattyk.com/ Patty K

    I already knew I was an attention slut. Now I find out I'm a comment whore too. Gotta love self discovery! Can't get enough of that comment crack. :) Glad to know I'm not the only one.

  • http://www.domesticsluttery.com/ Siany

    I comment differently on different blogs. But on my own, I always, always respond to comments. Or someone else on Domestic Sluttery does. No comment outside the team goes unanswered (within reason, but I'd go as far to say 97% of our comments get a response). If someone takes the time to say something, good or bad, then they deserve something in return. I stop leaving comments on blog posts where that doesn't happen. Otherwise it's a bit like talking to yourself. How can you have a community around a blog if you're not willing to engage in it yourself?

  • EC Sheedy

    Siany, I notice that on a lot of blogs comments always go unacknowledged. It's not that someone has to reply to every piece of pithless prose you put out there, but so often it's as if everyone commenting is spitting into the wind. Oh, well, such is blogland, I suppose.

  • isaokato

    You're kicking ass! (I know you know) I believe the biggest comment whore is someone who says he or she does not care about comments. Anyhow.
    I think one way to see if a blog is worth it is to see the quality, not necessary quantity, of comments – are the comments themselves worth reading? Both my favorite writers, Penelope and The Bloggess scores high tremendously. And you – I read comments from others here and they are also inspiring. Keep rocking!

  • valeritem

    I really dont know what to comment, just want u to know that I always read your blog….but i never comment. Yeah, thats me! Love u.

  • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

    Awww, that is so sweet! Thanks Valerita!

  • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

    Yeah, I don't think that every comment has to be replied to, but it is nice to know that what you have to say has been acknowledged. If you don't have anything to say, don't say it. End of story.

    That being said, I REALLY hate it when you ask a question and the blogger doesn't reply. That's just rude. But I guess if you're like Penelope and are getting over 700 comments you don't really read them all, do you?

  • http://twitter.com/ryanrancatore/status/9914807038 Ryan Rancatore

    RT @MarianSchembari: My name is Marian and I am a Comment Whore http://bit.ly/aLXEoM

  • http://thesisthemehq.com/ Somone

    Marian, it is my pleasure that you visited my blog and left a comment. I read the title of this post courtesy of Comment Luv and I had to find out it is all about.Shits and giggles hey? I first and have only ever heard this on Austin Powers.LOLI agree with the question thing. Some posts are good and then the blogger finishes up with a lame question and I think, “I’m not commenting to that.” I want flexibility to say what grabs me. I have to somehow encourage more comments to my blog and I think it may have a lot to do with the dryness of some of the posts (technical tutorials) and also I don’t get a chance to get around (busy trying to create a few other sites and work full time).

  • http://thebloggess.com/ Jenny, bloggess

    Of course! I loved your post.

  • http://personalbranding101.com/ Ryan Rancatore

    Marian, your promiscuity for comments seems to work wonders – your guest post on my site got more comments than I usually get, and you didn’t even have to ask a question (or offer a cookie). I think your writing style gets people all pumped up and they don’t know what to do with themselves besides write something in response.

    P.S. Always remember to practice safe commenting.

  • Melissa

    I am definitely a comment whore!

  • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

    I'm really glad that doesn't rule me out. I totes just left a comment on your blog… You gonna follow through?

  • http://twitter.com/pete_kistler/status/9918444699 Pete Kistler

    @marianschembari: My name is Marian and I am a Comment Whore http://bit.ly/a0Wdw2

  • http://twitter.com/ohal/status/9919024236 Hal Brown

    My name is Marian and I am a Comment Whore: http://bit.ly/ctA5Om

  • http://weblogredux.com Hal Brown

    I must be a comment gigolo. I love to see comments. Maybe a cardboard sign on my site, “Will whore out for comments” would help. Funny, I just wrote a guest post about why people should comment for Quick Online Tips.
    Loved this creative post.

  • http://twitter.com/isaokato/status/9923032535 Isao Kato

    We all are comment whores, and be proud of it http://ow.ly/1dtpa @marianschembari

  • http://twitter.com/marianschembari/status/9926552904 Marian Schembari

    I should start a support group. Or a brothel. RT @isaokato We all are comment whores and proud of it http://ow.ly/1dtpa @marianschembari

  • http://www.domesticsluttery.com/ Siany

    Like I say, we do it within reason, but I do think you need to read every comment, or at least acknowledge them. Whether you reply in a longer comment addressing several responses, or pick out the main points, they should all be read.

    The one comment you don't reply to, is the one landing page that someone else will arrive on, and they'll see that you don't reply to comments. They won't bother getting involved. Even if six people are saying “OMG that's amazing” about a recipe we've written, people do like a personal reply so we give them one. It makes a huge difference to our community.

    Blogs that don't reply to comments miss the point of blogging. Engaging with your audience is the best thing you can do.

  • Avans Kilmberry

    Good day,

    My name is Avans Kilmberry, I work as an external auditor for Bahrain Development Bank(BDB) in the Kingdom Of Bahrain, working as part of the team that covers the entire Middle East region. I had took much time to find your contact through a random web search using a deceased customer name.

    I have Business Proposal of Twenty Seven Million, One hundred and fifty thousand United States Dollars ($27,150,000 USD) for you to handle with me from my bank. I will need you to help me in transferring the above funds from Bahrain to your country. I need to know if you will be able to handle this with me before I explain to you in details.

    Contact on email via: kilmberryvns@hotmail.com

    Kind regards
    Avans Kilmberry

  • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

    I hate you. HATE you. I just spent 10 minutes stressing that my spam blocker wasn't working. Then I just said, “fuck it, I'm going to block this mofo” only to realize that it is you, dear Charles.

    Note to readers: this is the ass wipe who called me a whore. (and by ass wipe I mean he's beyond hilarious and kind of cool)

  • tomnunamaker

    My wife and I started a blog at the end of Jan when she was accepted to Le Cordon Bleu in Paris (We move in Dec!!!!!). Since it's so new, we really don't have many comments yet. We do answer the ones people post of course. I think that's important as a blogger to developer interaction with your readers.

    I'm like you in that I'll post a comment if I see a post I like lot for one of many reasons (entertaining, educational, useful advice, etc). I wouldn't say any of use are whores. Just interacting with other people in a natural way.

    If I meet someone in line at the grocery store and start a conversation, am I a conversation whore? I think the whole phrase that started this post was inappropriate (but funny).

    Nice blog btw… I'm going to explore it a bit more!

  • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

    Yes well, that's me. Inappropriate.

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  • http://alisaan.wordpress.com/ Alisaan

    Hi, my name is Aleksandra and I'm a n00b to the blogosphere. Wait. Let me rephrase that – new to WRITING in the blogosphere.

    As such my blog sits in a small corner of the Interwebs and probably doesn't get as much traffic as Marian here cos she's clearly a superstar but I too enjoy the odd comment or two.

    I try so hard to be engaging and I ask questions at the end of every post but sometimes….*deep sigh*…sometimes there's nothing but binary crickets on the other end.

    But lately that's changed. My last two posts received comments and I was thrilled! People are reading, people are thinking about what I say and I've evoked some sort of emotion enough that they want to post something in return. BAM! Do I care if you comment? Well I won't die if you don't because at the end of the day I write my blog for me as therapy…and secondly because I think people will enjoy it.. but like any good writer I like to see that my users are engaged.

    Also, because I have a free WordPress blog I can't install great applications like Disqus so when people comment on my work in their ReTweets the conversation purely exists on Twitter and my blog doesn't even know they exist (poor thing!).

    And perhaps because I'm so new it's just a matter of time – who knows! But either way I love the ride and I want my readers to know that I appreciate their comments. I try to respond to all of them! :)

    Great post Marian – takes a lot of cajones to put it out there to the world that you are a comment whore. :) Be loud, be proud!

  • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

    Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Aleksandra. I totally know what it's like to get beyond excited every time you get a comment. It shows you're not just writing for yourself ;-)

    And BTW, I just comment on your blog. Yay for comments!

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  • http://www.askgarden.com/ Josh @ Ask Garden

    I completely agree with you here. Sure, I enjoy the fact that people are reading my posts in reasonable numbers and stuff, but getting that buzz from my email client telling me someone has commenting is a feeling like no other. It's a shame that I haven't had as many in the past, and if I'm honest, it was a big part of the reason that my posting was a little infrequent.

    We should set up a group and all comment on each other's posts, it would be like some form of international circlejerk, oh boy!

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  • http://elaunch.com.au/blog/ Michael

    For a long time I thought that I don't have much to add to a discussion. I always felt that saying good post is more spam than good comment. Since I started blogging I see it little bit differently and I really appreciate any comment. (Except the obvious spam). Also commenting is sort of nice like a when you smile at another person. (unless you write something very nasty)
    Comments=love
    :)

  • http://thetsaritsasez.com/ Alexandra the Tsaritsa

    Like you, I comment when I feel strongly toward the post, one way or the other. I think it surprises people sometimes that I want to argue a little bit, or at least discuss the post. I, for one, encourage discussion on my blog. I'm going to try posting a question as an experiment and see what kind of response I get.

  • http://twitter.com/DustBunnyMafia Dust Bunny Mafia

    I love the authenticity of this article. And I can say that I too do the same thing when I receive notifications of comments on my blog. I get super excited (especially when they are not spam comments) to see that someone commented on my blog with something good to say.

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    It’s a shame that I haven’t had as many in the past, and if I’m honest, it was a big part of the reason that my posting was a little infrequent.

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    I think your writing style gets people all pumped up and they don’t know what to do with themselves besides write something in response.

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    I enjoy the fact that people are reading my posts in reasonable numbers and stuff, but getting that buzz from my email client telling me someone has commenting is a feeling like no other.

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