Commenting: Getting Ahead or Embracing Community?

There is so much greed in our world (at least the capitalist Western world). People will do pretty much anything to get ahead, and I find myself often questioning people’s intentions – are you offering to help me because it will benefit you in some way? Are you interested in this so I’ll be interested in that? While this isn’t always a bad thing, I do like to know people’s intentions.

Since entering theΒ real blogging world, I have realized that blogging is about a lot more than just writing posts. It’s about engaging with a community of people who are doing the same. It’s about sharing experiences and ideas, making blogging friends, and helping each other out. I can accept that last part – that if I get to know people online, they’ll send me more readers my way (and I’ll send readers their way, of course).

But what I’m not certain about, yet, is whether someone is genuinely interested or if he/she is simply following blogging etiquette (bletiqutte?) or trying to make noise in order to get more hits.Β When someone comments on my blog, is it because they’re looking to get ahead (more readers) or because they have a sincere thought to share? When someone follows my blog, are they doing it so they are notified of my new posts, or because they want me to “return the favor”? When does etiquette become meaningless exchange?

One of the reasons I’ve started blogging is because I am hoping my posts might spark some thought-provoking, heart-warming, or otherwise interesting discussions. I prefer to have a real conversation, a meaningful exchange when commenting. As an overwhelmed newbie to the blogosphere, I really haven’t had much time for these types of comments, but I do hope they’ll come with time (I can’t force this). And I hope my readers feel the same. I love getting comments, even if they’re just a quick “Hello. I enjoyed your post for x reason” or something of the sort that doesn’t initiate a deep discussion. Those comments warm my heart and inspire me to keep writing. But I do hope to go a little deeper as I become a more prominent member of this community. And I hope the bloggers I am interacting with feel the same. I don’t care for meaningless interactions motivated purely by the desire to ‘get ahead’.

Likewise, when someone follows my blog, I check out their blog. If they like mine, chances are I’ll like theirs. But it doesn’t always work this way. Looking through my list of followers (admittedly quite small at this point), I see that I’m only following about half. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the readership or that I don’t enjoy reading those blogs. What it means is that, at this point in my life, my blogging career, I don’t see a need to be reading those blogs. Perhaps that will change in the future. Perhaps it won’t. Regardless, I’m not going to follow those blogs simply because their owners followed mine. And I hope others don’t feel that obligation when I follow their blogs.

My bottom line: anything I do, I do it with transparent intentions. And I wonder what percentage of other bloggers do the same. What do you think? Are there lots of “non-transparent” bloggers out there? What is the etiquette and does the etiquette ever become a meaningless exchange of “you follow me, I’ll follow you”?

 

This post was written in response to this Daily Prompt.

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13 thoughts on “Commenting: Getting Ahead or Embracing Community?

  1. hello dear blogging friend!

    it’s is very good to have you here:)

    i really enjoyed your post it’s is thought provoking πŸ™‚

    here you made many good points.
    in response of our likes expecting likes is fair upto some extent but beyond that it becomes business. which ruins the whole joy of learning process:)
    it might be the case that i am also commenting because i also expect comment from you:)

    i am not sure about that. i leave this up to you.

    thanks for sharing:)

    all the best:)

    Like

  2. I know my intentions and I have to say you are a deep thinker πŸ™‚

    Good for you πŸ™‚

    Not everyone thinks as deeply–good for them πŸ™‚

    I feel I am commenting here because I like to know people and also like to help some of them who might be helped. I also get helped in the process by making new friends πŸ™‚

    I read almost everything and am not fond of anything in particular. πŸ™‚

    If you remain very analytical and think too much you will not feel very happy and doubts will sap your energy out. This is not my selfish intention of throwing you along the zombie bloggers of rat race who follow others so that others follow them but rather because I know it for a fact.

    Meditate and let go. Don’t judge so that ye shall also not be judged πŸ™‚

    Love and light ❀

    Anand πŸ™‚

    Like

    • Thank you, Vibrant, for your thoughtful comment and positive energy! I *think* I’ve understood your post, but I’m not 100% certain about your words so I hope my response makes sense.
      It’s funny that, when I was writing the post, I almost completely erased it for the exact reason you’ve given – I didn’t want to overthink it. I feel I have, for the most part, been able to identify those genuinely interested in the community, so that I can focus positive energy towards them and not fret about the rest. However, I do value critical thinking, questioning things, and analyzing as well. For me, it’s important to have a balance of the two. It sounds to me like you value both as well?

      Liked by 2 people

      • I definitely do. My suggestion is to incline more towards faith in totality of humanity/blogosphere being good at large rather than taking cases of mean people and keep thinking it over and over again. Acceptance is better than complaining and frees up much more energy and in no time you become the person you wanted to see around you–positive, vibrant, genuine, selfless and looking at you–four more get inspired. πŸ™‚

        Love and light ❀

        Anand πŸ™‚

        Like

  3. Well, for what it’s worth, I don’t bother to hit the like button unless I did like the post sufficiently… either to want to come back or to encourage the blogger to keep it up. πŸ™‚ Same about commenting, I only do it if I feel I want genuinely say something. But I think you get both kind – three in fact: genuine comments, etiquette comments and comments to get audience for the commenter. If someone is regular, presumably you get to know them and they’re more likely to be genuine.
    And I almost don’t follow anybody although that’s as much for lack of time as for lack of interest. If I liked a post on a blog, I prefer to go back at random times to check when I’ve got the time and browse the blog extensively to catch up. This is based on past experience when I subscribed to newsletters from websites and found that when the long and rambling e-mail hit, I was too busy to read it or wasn’t in the mood. Or that the e-mails came so frequently that I felt bombarded. So I do it my way now.

    Like

    • Hey! I think you’re absolutely right about there being 3 kinds. I hadn’t made that distinction in my head, but it’s so clear now that you point it out!
      I know what you’re saying about following blogs – the first few I followed, I would get emails and I sent them straight to the trash for lack of time (or interest). Turning off email notifications was an easy fix for this and now I use “follow” as a way to keep track of which blogs I’d like to check up on in the future. And the Reader will collect their posts for me (talk about a time saver). Just wanted to throw it out there in case you might find that method useful, too. Cheers!

      Like

  4. Pingback: Real Neat Blog Award |

  5. This made me laugh! If I am honest with myself I have though all of those thoughts myself when I first started to blog. Now I don’t let those thoughts disturb me, I guess because having been in this blogosphere a while I noticed I feel so much better when I am giving than getting. If people want to take, that’s fine…I have much to give. Give your time and energy to being you, and don’t concern yourself with what others intentions or motives are…you will be much happier!

    Like

    • Good point about giving. I definitely enjoy both. Just for the record, it never really upset me in any way that interferes with my life or happiness. Based on a couple comments, I feel I may have incorrectly given that impression. I think it’s important to recognise these things while not letting them get to you (and focusing instead on what you enjoy, like you said) πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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