Can We Stop Calling It Blog Commenting Now?

Think of the last time you got together with friends, or family, or even colleagues from work.

You enjoyed the company, you laughed, you caught up on missed life events, and basically had a really good time. Hopefully, right?

As you reflect on that time together, there’s probably a good chance that the key takeaway for everyone is that you all enjoyed the great company and conversations.

Because, let’s face it, conversations – and those that help make us more educated, or filled in, or even better people – can make all the difference between a drab experience and a fun one.

So why don’t we treat blog comments the same way? In fact, why do we continue to even call them comments when, in truth, they’re very much the same as the awesome conversations we have offline?

We Don’t Just Comment Our Way Through Life

Ever since blogs were set up to enable comments in the Web 2.0 era, they’ve been a mainstay of many a blog. And rightly so.

From opening up an extended dialogue around the post itself to fostering friendships within the blog’s community, blog comment sections have been one of the unsung “heroes” of the blogging world.

Interesting. I bet it wasn’t a big deal for folks that were already part of your community – they know the value of the conversation.

Since you already have a user system in place you could just add something like Oneall Social Login or another one of the social login plugins to let users authenticate quickly and easily…

Good luck!

Jason
From the comments

And yet…. all too often, they’re either looked upon with disdain due to the belief it’s just a breeding ground for immature trolls or spammers, or they’re ignored as being a tacked-on surplus area that no-one really cares about.

The first reason is down to the blogger – yes, there are trolls and spammers, but if you really care about your blog and your audience, you’ll handle these issues the way they should be dealt with. The technology exists.

The second reason is a fair one – and, for me, it’s all down to the use of the words “blog comments”. Specifically, comments.

Think back to the opening part of this post, and the example of a great time with people you like, and the wonderful conversations that sprung from that.

Now, imagine if, when looking back, you’d described the evening as “oh, yes, we all commented really well together, and left such great comments after everyone had said their piece.”

How ridiculous does that sound? Right? Stupid ridiculous!

So why do we take conversations after our posts and call them comments? Because that’s exactly what we should be calling comments – conversations.

Blog comments are true conversations, pure and simple. It's time to start treating them as such. Click To Tweet

Comments, by perception, are throwaway snippets of soundbites that are soon forgotten.

Conversations, on the other hand, are true one-to-one and one-to-many sharing of thoughts, agreements, disagreements and more, and can live as long as there’s a new thought shared.

And comments as email? They don’t get much more conversational than that.

It’s Time to Shift the Comment Mindset

Although a couple of years old now, there’s a reason The Atlantic called email “the best thing on the Internet”.

From that piece:

Email is a refugee from the open, interoperable, less-controlled “web we lost.” It’s an exciting landscape of freedom amidst the walled gardens of social networking and messaging services.

Simply put, it’s the simplicity – and, most importantly of all, privacy – of email that enables true conversations to take place, as opposed to the guarded, stilted ones that can be found on social media and groups.

Email’s usage is ubiquitous across so many cultures and generations, and the buy-in is minimal. And that fact you’re sitting in a comfy spot to send and reply to an email makes it easier to settle into a “this is a personal conversation” mindset.

We’ve seen it with both Postmatic and now Replyable.

Comments are thoughtful. Caring. Educational. Raw. Real. Honest. Fun. Happy. Encouraging. And so much more.

Because if there’s one thing we truly believe here, “blog comments” are deserving of so much more than the reputation and perception they have.

They’re more than a breeding ground for waste and hostility. They’re more than a throwaway line at a second-rate comedy open night.

They’re true conversations, pure and simple. It’s time to start treating them as such. Those bloggers that already know that are seeing the benefits, with deep, long, and connected conversations that make their content rise to a new level.

We’re here to help you start reimagining conversations on your blog, and what that can mean for your goals.

Ready to get started?

Subscribe

4 comments

  1. I like this. I believe the way we refer to things matter. That is why I changed the language around the comments section of my website to better reflect this, including the word “conversation” more. Thanks!

    • Jason says:

      Hey Christian,

      I noticed you have your site set up so that users need to log in to be able to comment on a post. How is that going for you? Care to share what lead you to that decision and how it’s working out? Just curious…..

      Jason

      • cforella says:

        Hey Jason,

        It is a decision I made a while ago after we had some problems with people impersonating other people; all you need is somebody else’s email address to publish comments under their name after all. Back then we had an active community on my website, and though the switch did bother some people, the conversations kept going. The site went on hiatus for a while, and now that I am trying to reactivate the community I am considering lowering the barrier to participate in the discussion because, right now, there aren’t really any conversations going on. 🙁

        • postmatic says:

          Interesting. I bet it wasn’t a big deal for folks that were already part of your community – they know the value of the conversation.

          Since you already have a user system in place you could just add something like Oneall Social Login or another one of the social login plugins to let users authenticate quickly and easily…

          Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *