The Art of Engagement: Do Blog Comments Matter?

A social experiment.

I’m interested in conducting a very short experiment right here, right now.

In the comment section below, answer the following:

Is blogging dead? If not, do blog comments matter?

That is all. It’s a bit meta – and that’s the point.

Prompt: Chat section on a website with a cozy, cottage core, gaming aesthetic.

DALL-E 3 model with the help of Magai.

23 responses to “The Art of Engagement: Do Blog Comments Matter?”

  1. Jos Velasco Avatar

    I like the idea of owning even the commenting platform.

    Blogging is not dead. It’s just more for special moments.

    1. Sam Brockway Avatar

      What do you blog about, Joe?

      And I’m with you – I like the idea of owning absolutely *everything* I write. I’ve even considered publishing all of my X/Twitter thoughts on my own platform and then just re-sharing there (much like Rich Tabor does these days).

      1. Jos Velasco Avatar

        I used to blog very personal thoughts through essays and poems.

        Then, about tools to create a digital presence. Now, I like blogging about WordPress, but always with a personal perspective.

  2. Rob Avatar

    I think comments to blogs are generally do 5 years ago

    1. Sam Brockway Avatar

      Do you find anyone commenting or having meaningful discussions on any of your written content? If not, how do you engage with your audience or community for something like your podcast?

  3. Hashim Warren Avatar

    No one comments anymore! 🙂

    1. Sam Brockway Avatar

      Muahaha – so very meta, Hashim! 😜

  4. Michelle Frechette Avatar

    I think it depends on what you’re writing and how you want to engage the community. There are usually comments on things that are controversial. (I had a TON of negative comments when I wrote about misogyny on Post Status, and a bunch of support when I wrote about support for disabilities at WordCamps.)

    It also depends on the size of the audience you’re reaching and how you solicit feedback.

    It always depends. (Isn’t that what we say about everything in WordPress? LOL)

    1. Sam Brockway Avatar

      That’s a really good point – and also so indicative of the age we live in. Hot button, fiesty, click-baity opinions are what provoke the most comments and engagement (either in the form of critcism or agreement).

      Engagement just for the sake feels definitely counter to the mission of community building – but at the same time, it’s a constant quest to cultivate meaningful dialogue.

      I enjoy asking questions + hoping readers and community members feel compared to share their 2 cents – because I love learning about different perspectives.

      Thanks for your contribution, Michelle!

  5. Andy Fragen Avatar

    Blogging isn’t dead, we simply write about what we want when we have the time or inclination.

    Commenting however is a choice to host other people’s content.

    1. Sam Brockway Avatar

      Interesting thoughts, Andy. I have a follow up question.

      Do you blog for you, or for others?

      1. Andy Fragen Avatar

        I mostly blog for me. That can mean a conversation happens elsewhere too.

  6. Matt Avatar

    Blog yes. Comments depends on if you want to manage spam ;p

    1. Sam Brockway Avatar

      That’s fair, Matt. Actually one thing I considered when I was putting this together was if I wanted to have the comments automatically appear. Obviously that opens the post up to spam…but also for more “live” conversation (which I find valuable).

  7. BobWP Avatar

    Great comments so far, and much that I resonate with.

    Blogging is far from dead, it’s just evolving. And for archival reasons, a lot of blogs that maybe are no longer active, are still around and not decomposing like other dead things.

    We all know comments have gone down, depending on the site and content. As Michelle said, it “depends”. And yes, if you choose to, managing spam as Matt said, as well as moderation comes into play. It bums me out the direction of comments and following the long and winding road… see post on social, go read post, return to social to comment.

    But honestly I am optimistic, always have been, and I would never say never. I have some plans and strategies when I get my new site up and running around “comments”. We will see 😉

    1. Sam Brockway Avatar

      Thank you for sharing your opinion, Bob! I’d like to see a revival – I think what we’re missing (that you find in other platforms) are things like up/down voting or favoriting. More interaction with comments.

      I’m okay with moderation, I think. I want community + that just comes with the territory!

      1. BobWP Avatar

        Exactly, I am also happy to moderate. Small price to pay for some community back on our sites!

  8. Rich Tabor Avatar

    Comments are one of the best parts of blogging. 🙂

    1. Sam Brockway Avatar

      I totally agree. Do you feel like you have the kinds of conversations in the comment sections of your blog posts that you are hoping for? Have you found anything that’s worked particularly well for encouraging discussion?

      Thanks for sharing your opinion, Rich!

  9. Tom Avatar

    We should definitely do comments _and_ RSS more. And bring back webrings.

    1. Sam Brockway Avatar

      Love it, Tom! You know what I’m missing now in these blog comments though is the ability to “heart” or otherwise say “I agree” without adding an additional comment.

  10. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Blogs are not dead… not by a longshot. I don’t know about blog comments though. I turned them off on my personal blog a long time ago because of the spam moderation overhead it required, and the very small amount of quality comments that came through (by comparison).

    Personally, I prefer social media to “comment” on a piece that I’ve just read. But not sure if most people would take that extra step to link the article + tag the author on social when commenting.

    1. Sam Brockway Avatar

      Spam moderation IS a genuine concern – however I think that’s kind of what any community is subject to, it’s just a matter of whether or not the value you receive from such engagement outweighs the annoyance of spam.

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