More on commenting

Several other people, disappointed in having their Haloscan comments disappear, have moved their blogs.  Phantom Scribbler notes that comments have gone the way of the do-do bird, thanks to platforms like Facebook and Twitter.  I have never gotten a huge amount of comments, as some bloggers have.  Compared to Phantom’s Whining Wednesday and even to many of Laura at 11D‘s posts, I was hosting an intimate dinner party compared to their big tent affairs.  And that’s been okay with me, though I do like having conversations better than standing on a soapbox.  One thing Facebook and its ilk can’t capture is a conversation around someone’s idea or commentary.  A blogger writes something and people have things to add.  Other people come along and add not just to the original idea, but the new ones.  The original post is more than it was, thanks to the additions of the people who contributed.  I remember struggling to find a way to post recent comments on the sidebar because I wanted to highlight that conversation.  Sure, it was a way to say, “Hey, people actually read my blog!” but more than that, I saw as an invitation for people to contribute, to participate in the conversations that were already going on.

It’s been interesting to be a part of this phenomenon from nearly its beginning.  When we all first began, we commented a lot because there weren’t a lot of us out there.  We had no one else to talk to.  Now, there are blogs and/or commnets associated with nearly every major publication and broadcasting company.  There are places like the Huffington Post for people to turn to for blogs on every topic from politics to entertainment to the arts.  People do comment there and at the New York Times, and at The Washington Post, but they devolve quickly sometimes and/or they sound like the call-in radio callers, some of whom sound like they could have their own show and some of whom you know you don’t want to run into in a dark alley.  Compared to that, commenters here and on other blogs I read had the feeling of running into old friends at the grocery store.  Oh, there’s Wendy and Janice and bj and Grace and Phantom and jo(e) and Susan and Elizabeth again!  Hello, how’ve you been?  What’s new and interesting in your world? I think as long as it feels like that.  As long as people want it to be a kind of camaraderie, comments will linger.  There may not be as many of them, but they’ll be there just the same.

P.S. I’m still hoping to find a way to import comments here.  We shall see.

5 Replies to “More on commenting”

  1. What I enjoy about comments is the chance to learn more about the people behind them–in precisely the sorts of spaces you reference, Laura. FB serves a similar sort of purpose, but only for people who already know each other. I like the chance that comments offer to find other people who like to think and talk about the same things I do.

  2. What you said…

    I never quite understood what the advantage of Haloscan comments was over the built in comments on blogger.

    Truly, the conversations we had were wonderful. And the people we met. I’m terribly sad at the idea that these are really over…

  3. When I first started, blogger didn’t have comments, thus, Haloscan. Once blogger added comments, some people switched to the built-in ones, but a lot of us stuck with Haloscan.

  4. I was wondering why Haloscan came about–I wasn’t on blogger until after it had comment capacity, I guess.

    You make a really good point, Laura, that with comments, the original post ends up being more than it was to start with.

  5. Indeed, I do feel like part of a community in the few blogs I post on. I’ve compared it to a “salon”. For me, that means civility, because the commenters & blogger are part of a community and a topic of discussion (because of the work of the blogger in framing a topic) and history (because I know where people are coming from when they comment, through their past history of comments).

    I don’t blog, and so the community of bloggers (cross-linking) was only useful to me because it helped me find blogs I’m interested in reading (not because I wanted my blog linked). But, I’ll be around commenting as long as people like you and Laura at 11d, and Dawn at this Woman’s work are blogging.

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