Why Your Post Sucks and Everyone Hates Your Blog

7460433450 f2c72855d0 n Why Your Post Sucks and Everyone Hates Your Blog
How to Search Engine Optimization (Photo credit: SEOPlanter)

That headline is what we social media experts and uberbloggers call link bait. It is slightly more sophisticated than saying something like Kim Kardashian Sex Tape, Naked pictures of Brad Pitt or Better Than Viagra. It has one purpose and that is to get you the reader to click on it. It is kind of a weak way to go and I try not to use it too often. I prefer to be far more blatant and write something like “5 reasons you won’t read this.”

I suppose that I should be pleased that Akismet isn’t a person because those samples of link bait are guaranteed to generate quite a bit of spam. If Akky were a person he would be less than pleased to see me make extra work for him.

During the past week I have read a half dozen posts that have made me shake my head for a variety of reasons. Join me for a moment on a brief tour of the inside of my head. Mind the dust, when I turned 40 they replaced brain with a colander and it has gotten kind of messy inside there.

I am not a fan of these YouTube videos starring Hitler. I generally don’t see much value in using a genocidal maniac as the comic foil for videos and or posts. It is even worse when they are poorly written. Granted I probably have less tolerance for laughing at the man who is responsible for wiping out part of my family. I suspect that more than a few people share this in common. One person tried to explain his use of Hitler as being similar to the exploits in Jackass. There is a huge difference between showing videos of your friends farting on another and using a genocidal murderer who is responsible for the deaths of tens of millions.

And we move on.

More than a few posts discussed the proper way to comment on blogs. It took restraint on my part not to point out that telling people to innovate and be creative 25 times is not innovative, creative or particularly interesting. Sometimes less is more. That might sound funny coming from a man who has a problem with brevity but it is true.

But what bothers me more than that poorly written, ill constructed and definitely not innovative post is the general cynicism and selfish streak that seems to be taking hold in the blogosphere. I keep reading posts where people write about how much they dislike one line comments. They keep talking about how they hate reading “great post” and how they often delete those because they don’t want to be used by other bloggers as a tool for building page rank, SEO and link juice.

I take a different approach. While I prefer longer comments that demonstrate that someone read my post I don’t get upset with things like “Great post” provided that they aren’t used for free advertising. In fact if someone writes a thoughtful comment that links to some sort of commercial service I will usually leave it up.

My goal is to build a community and to create conversation. My blog is like a backyard barbecue. I want to facilitate conversation not stifle it. I don’t wander around my backyard shushing people for talking.

One last thought to share. RSS, Twitter and Facebook have really had a negative impact on blogging in two areas.

1) Fewer people come to the actual blog to read the posts. They lose some of the flavor of the blog and it is far less likely that they will click through the archives.

2) We really do share fewer links than we used to. It has been said here and many other places but it bears repeating. There is a lot of value in sharing links in blog posts. Social media is about engagement and interaction. Interact with others. Share information that you think is worthwhile and valuable and do it without trying to figure out if you will be compensated for it.

And most importantly, be nice. Good things will come from it.

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  • http://noisefortheunderdog.com/ pammustard

    Great post! Hahaha! :) I have been blogging for only a few months but have seen a few uhh…….strange things. Like, for example, there seem to be “cliques” in blogging. Or maybe I am just imagining it? Also, my blog is not that widely read and yet it didn’t stop one person from commenting one day and then writing a post of his own on the very same topic the next day. Who cares really but is it not just a polite thing to do to mention you got the inspiration from another blog? Seems kind of rude to me but hey perhaps that’s the way the game is played. I do tend to read a lot of “how to” type posts about blogging but am always perplexed when I find spelling and grammatical errors in them. That seems a bit odd no? Anyway, I am having a lot of fun with the blogging. Happened upon your blog from the yeah write list and yes, you are getting one of my votes. Now……about that “bbq” type of feel……are you  serving beer? :)

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ TheJackB

       @pammustard 
      Hi Pam. Welcome to the blog. There definitely are cliques in blogging but not all of them are intentional or are of the “we’re better than you are” kind.
      You’ll see all sorts of crazy stuff out here in the blogosphere but most of the time you run into good people. 
      The best advice I have to offer is to:
      Have fun, sustain your effort and remember there is no single way to be successful at blogging.  Hope to see you again. Thank you for the vote.

  • http://www.blake.co.za/blog/ Andrew

    great post, i really enjoyed reading it, thank you for sharing those great tips it is very interesting and helpful to learn, i will be sure to return to read more of your posts it really looks like you post very interesting articles.

  • http://www.whenthesuncomes.com Andrea

    Yes, absolutely and excellent point.

    I think twitter and Facebook have killed the blog. No one blogs anymore, and especially no one comments anymore. I have one faithful reader. It’s sad but I’ve decided, eh, that’s life in these modern times.

    • http://www.thejackb.com Jack

      I disagree about no one blogging anymore because there are still quite a few of us who do but I agree that commenting is down.

      It means we have to work a bit harder to get them but ultimately I think we build stronger communities.

  • http://www.fromtracie.com Tracie

    I have gotten into the habit of doing a lot of my blog reading in the reader and not clicking through as much as I have in the past. This post reminded me why clicking through is good, because the comment section can be just as interesting as the post.

    The Hitler videos are sick. I don’t understand them at all.

    • http://www.thejackb.com Jack

      Hi Tracie,

      A good comment section can be like gold. I try not to use a reader because of that and because when I do I end up loading it with 1000 blogs. Don’t know why, but I go hog wild with it.

  • http://www.central-e-commerce.com Gabriella

    I agree one hundred percent wih everything that it is you say here. You are so right. What irks me most in the blogging world today is how everybody is an expert. I understand that we all need to make some money but it annoys me when bloggers try to force a product or service at you – if I am not interested, then I am simply not interested.

    As you mentioned, a post about how to comment. Why should some self-proclaimed ‘expert’ deem what is right or is not right. We’re all creative beings in our opinions anyway instead of being prompted to be so.

    Oh, I am ranting. I do apologize but I really feel strongly towards this…. :)

    • http://www.central-e-commerce.com Gabriella

      Apologies for the grammar and punctuation – my ranting gets the better of me :)

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ TheJackB

    @blisshabits It is always good to know what brings readers around and what keeps them there.

  • blisshabits

    I’m delighted with ANY comments!! I’m new here and I’m enjoying my wander around in your actual site!

    An interesting fact about traffic on my blog is if someone comes to my site via my home page they almost always stick around for a while. If they come via a specific post they are there and gone in seconds.

  • http://expatdoctormom.com/ Expat Doctor Mom

    Jack

    I never thought about commenting as link bait, but you are right it gets you link back to your site… That is not why I comment. I enjoy the community.

    I have seen some one of the Hitler video’s. Can agree with you on that it is not in the best taste. My grandfather was a POW in WWII in Germany. He would never ever talk about it. I am certain he was not treated well.

    I have left posts w/o commenting when I don’t have more to say than great post. But perhaps some would appreciate this? I retweet these and or share them on FB instead.

    Cheers,

    Rajka “Ryka”

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

      @expatdoctormom:disqus Bloggers are ordinary people who like everyone else enjoy being acknowledged.

      But the blogs I love best have strong communities because that is what turns a few megabytes of code into something more.

  • Anonymous

    Jack

    I never thought about commenting as link bait, but you are right it gets you link back to your site… That is not why I comment. I enjoy the community.

    I have seen some one of the Hitler video’s. Can agree with you on that it is not in the best taste. My grandfather was a POW in WWII in Germany. He would never ever talk about it. I am certain he was not treated well.

    I have left posts w/o commenting when I don’t have more to say than great post. But perhaps some would appreciate this? I retweet these and or share them on FB instead.

    Cheers,

    Rajka “Ryka”

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

      @expatdoctormom:disqus Bloggers are ordinary people who like everyone else enjoy being acknowledged.

      But the blogs I love best have strong communities because that is what turns a few megabytes of code into something more.

  • le chef

    Wow, I am obviously clueless. Link bait? Do I want to know? And Hitler … I’m at a loss here, as it would have never occurred to me to ever put him on my blog for any reason. As for the “great post” .. I had written a personal post about my brothers suicide only to have someone comment “Great post, it made my day, loved it! Visit me at …” Something tells me they didn’t read it. It actually made me laugh, it was so obvious. I tend to delete the ones that clearly haven’t read it and are simply there fishing.
    They just BUG me.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

      @b7cf5ef8c347d5402b3c947916ca3a3a:disqus That is terrible. Sometimes “great post” is appropriate but that is just awful. Very sorry to hear it.

  • le chef

    Wow, I am obviously clueless. Link bait? Do I want to know? And Hitler … I’m at a loss here, as it would have never occurred to me to ever put him on my blog for any reason. As for the “great post” .. I had written a personal post about my brothers suicide only to have someone comment “Great post, it made my day, loved it! Visit me at …” Something tells me they didn’t read it. It actually made me laugh, it was so obvious. I tend to delete the ones that clearly haven’t read it and are simply there fishing.
    They just BUG me.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

      @b7cf5ef8c347d5402b3c947916ca3a3a:disqus That is terrible. Sometimes “great post” is appropriate but that is just awful. Very sorry to hear it.

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  • http://twelvemakesadozen.blogspot.com/ Kira

    Wow, I was caught by your headline and ended lost in this post reading it and all the comments in its entirety. Now I kind of wish I had taken notes. Because there really isn’t a friendly way to go back and quote the passages I wanted to comment on.

    I actually find the blogosphere intimidating. I am not the author of my blog. But I do edit and prepare each blog for publishing and I am primarily responsible for the PR my mother’s blog receives. It seems everyday I read something that contradicts the blog etiquette I just learned the day before. It makes me feel a little better knowing that veteran bloggers are learning things in this progressively changing forum.

    I guess I maybe guilty of link bait on other blogs. To be honest I comment on blogs hoping that what I say might interest the author of the blog into visiting. But I never just spam my blog, I read and comment on the point of the blog post. I’ve never been to a blog that tells its readers not to comment if it is just “great post.” Instead in the mommy blogs I frequent, it seems most comments are made just to enter a contest. It saddens me that most of the bloggers I follow don’t even bother reading their comments. And it seems rare to find a blogger individually responding to each comment. I remember the first “blogging etiquette” post I ever read was a giant rant about bloggers returning comment within the comment sections of the original post. “I am not going to return to your blog to see if you posted,” ranted one blogger, “if you have something to say come tell me on my most recent post.” I wondered at the logic in this. Where is the discussion? How can other readers know the answer? To me it was more about readers and comment count on their individual blogs then interaction and discussion between bloggers and readers.

    I can’t comment directly on the Hitler videos as I haven’t seen them. But I have read this post and the response by the person claiming to be the other blogger. I am actually ashamed at the thought of glorifying Hitler through video. I agree that we shouldn’t sweep this part of history under the rug but there are more appropriate ways of doing this. I am a twenty-something girl, but my paternal grandfather fought in WWII. The horrible things he experienced there are not something that should be taken lightly. It saddens me to think my generation has reached the stage where they believe it is okay to do so by using Hitler for comic relief or “making fun of” if you prefer. And I am sorry but saying “my religion was persecuted too” is not acceptable to justify his actions. Please do not let the actions of this one person taint your opinion of other Mormons.

    In all thank you for letting me comment on your blog and “shamelessly” link my blog to your readers. I look forward to future backyard blogging barbecues.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      Hi Kira,

      The blogosphere is one hell of place to hang out and I mean that in a good way. It is a place that offers ample opportunities to meet incredible people and to learn a lot. Because it is populated by people you’ll find every good and bad quality that people have on full display.

      And you will undoubtedly run into lots of contradictory advice. The best suggestion that I can give you is to do your best to treat people here the way that you treat them in the real world. It makes it much easier to be natural and authentic.

      To me social media is about engagement. Be honest, be real, and talk to people. Some will like you and others won’t. Link bait isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The question is whether you give and take.

  • http://www.startyournovel.com Bell

    I enjoyed “Downfall.” The comedy videos are pretty much a waste of time. They’re crap.

    But I do believe that Hitler and others of his kind deserve ridicule. Except in this case, it’s not so much Hitler being ridiculed as Bruno Ganz’s outstanding portrayal of a genocidal maniac.

    Ok, that’s my bit about the movie and the videos.

    As for one-line comments, brevity is the soul of wit. However, when your only reaction to a blog post is “great post,” you have neither soul nor wit to spare. I’ve been on Flickr for quite a while, and pictures get this kind of reaction — a lot. I delete all the “nice”/”very nice”/”great”/”cool” one-liners. They damn with faint praise.
    My approach to commenting is, if you can’t conjure up at least 20 words to show the blogger/photographer how their work has affected or delighted you, you might as well say nothing. Because one- or two-word comments have been emptied of any real meaning by now.

    As philosopher Paul Virilio noted, silence is not a sin.

    There is such a thing as contemplative silence, a silence that is pregnant with words and approval. Maybe people shouldn’t express themselves at such an alarming rate. With such frequency. They don’t give themselves time to think.

    Please excuse the verbiage. Obviously I care about this issue more than I thought.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      I used to feel very similar. It irritated me to no end that people would read a post and give a response that made me wonder if they had bothered to read it. I looked at some of the posts and wondered why they couldn’t spare a few more words. If they took the time to read it then it seemed strange to me that they couldn’t give a few more.

      But I found over time that when I tried to interact and engage I was able to convert them into commenters who gave more. And besides there are plenty of comments that aren’t two words that make me shake my head. It is hard to find balance.

      • http://www.startyournovel.com Bell

        Re: your second paragraph — good point.

  • http://www.squidmom.com Lydia

    I’ve always thought people who complain about only get short comments are obviously blessed with comments already. I really don’t mind them- the only comments I delete are actual spam, I get 10 comments from a website(not a blog) all saying the same thing on different posts.
    And I didn’t know they were making hitler you tube videos- that’s disgusting!

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      For the past three weeks this lovely blog of mine has been innundated with Russian spam. Can’t tell you what it is about because I haven’t translated it, but I admit to being sort of curious.

      As for comments, well I think that there is a lot of copy cat bloggers around. I don’t believe that as many people are upset with this kind of thing as are writing about it. Some of them legitimately do, but I think that a large number of bloggers like to say the same things as the “big guys” do because they think it makes them look better.

  • John

    Wow, my blog was indirectly featured quite prominently in this post!

    I haven’t included my real name or link to my blog because as you said, you don’t want to give my blog any traffic (though I have included my personal email address so you can be sure it’s me) after the Hitler video episode.

    The video of Hitler does not glorify him in any way. It makes fun of him, and I’m sorry that you seem to feel that any reference to him is bad, even in a derogatory context. I obviously disagree, as do many others.

    And to answer another commenter’s question, no, I’m not Jewish. I’m Mormon, and have been attacked for my beliefs many, many times. I have been verbally and physically abused because of it. In addition, many relatives of mine in the 1800s were killed and persecuted because of their faith.

    I have nothing but deep respect for Jews. I have Jewish friends. I respect Jewish beliefs. I’ve been to the Holocaust museum in Washington DC. I’ve lived in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and China, all of which have been ruled by genocidal maniacs that have killed millions (Stalin and Mao). I’m not unfamiliar with what these lunatics can do.

    Also, as I mentioned elsewhere, I’m a quarter Armenian. I have many ancestors who were killed in in the Turkish genocides of the late 1800s and early 1900s.

    So you’re not alone in carrying emotional baggage from people persecuting your family. I don’t hold any grudges.

    I’m sorry if you felt that that video was a personal attack on you or your beliefs. I’m sorry if you felt that it was an affront to you, your faith, the faith of your family, or the legacy/memory of your family. No offence of any kind was intended.

    I of course can’t say that you’re wrong to feel the way you feel because that’s obviously not my place, but I’m sorry it’s upset you so much. I don’t feel that I am in the wrong by having created the video, and I will not be removing it. If that (among other things, I guess) means that you won’t be reading my blog any more, so be it. But thanks for reading and for having been a contributor to the blog in the past. I really do appreciate it, and I wish you well.

    As far as “great post” comments go. Yes, I hate them. I get several of them a day, and yes, they are spammy. “Great post comments” has essentially become in the blogosphere another way of saying “spam comments.” Of course there are comments in them that contain the words “great post” that are legitimate comments that provide value in the form of additional information or support. Those I’m 100% fine with. Comments don’t have to be long, they just have to be legit.

    No, I wouldn’t expect you to shush people at your backyard barbecue for talking. I would, however, expect you to ask them to leave if they ran into your backyard, took a dump on your lawn, and stuck a visitmyblog.com flag next to it. Because that’s what I feel like spammers do on my blog.

    Now regarding headlines. You said that type of headline you don’t like “has one purpose and that is to get you the reader to click on it. It is kind of a weak way to go and I try not to use it too often.”

    This to me just doesn’t make sense. Of course the purpose is to get readers to click on it! It informs you about what the blog post will be about and also makes you curious and draws you in. What else is a blog post title for??

    Regarding the post that you indirectly refer to that’s on my blog that commits this sin, how is the title sensationalized in any way? That is exactly what the author of the post (who wasn’t me and who I didn’t agree with 100%, remember) said in his blog post. I take full responsibility for crafting the title of the post, but I do not in any way agree that it is misleading or misrepresentative. Yes, I created that headline to get people to click on it. And guess what? People clicked on it. And a fascinating debate about something that is very common in the blogosphere ensued. I see no problems.

    At the end of the day, Jack, it looks like we’re just not on the same page here on a lot of things. Regrettable, but true. But you can’t please everyone. Good luck and have fun with your blogging, and I’m sorry I’ve put such a bitter taste in your mouth.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      “John,”

      There are two references to your blog but overall it plays a minor role. My primary issue was with the Hitler video. I just don’t like it and see no reason to belabor the point. We agree to disagree. You’ll notice that I didn’t attack you personally and see no reason to do so. This is a simple disagreement.

      Nor did I want to start some sort of flame war which is another reason why I didn’t link to your blog. I have been there a number of times and think that overall it is pretty good.

      Really it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. I’ll put on my obnoxious old timer’s hat and say that I have seen almost everything that happens in the blogosphere. The argument about comments isn’t new and it will be run a million times after this on a million different blogs.

      Part of what I love about social media is that there is no one way to do it right. There are a million different paths.

      We are in agreement regarding our distaste for spam. I am not interested in providing free advertising to other bloggers whose purpose here is to do nothing but promote themselves. Leave something of value and link away.

      But just to reiterate this post isn’t about you.

  • http://www.kansashealth.org Kathy Manweiler

    I love the analogy that your blog is like a back-yard barbecue! People feel comfortable but it’s also a great atmosphere for good conversations.

    I didn’t see the Hitler post(s), but if a blogger/YouTube member I subscribe to ever did something like that, I would never read or watch that person’s content again. What a disgusting way to “make a point.”

    And thanks for making people feel welcome and appreciated for commenting on your blog. I was really shocked earlier this week when a blogger I admire basically said, “Don’t bother commenting on my blog because there’s little value in the comments and I don’t blog for the ‘little people’ like you. I write for potential clients and to showcase my own brilliant thoughts.” And after looking deeper into his posts and tweets, I don’t respect him as much as I did before because he comes across as all about himself (and a few other social media superstars.)

    You have taught me a lot and entertained me, and I truly appreciate both. I’m glad I follow you and your work, and I will continue to do so. @kamkansas

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      Hi Kathy,

      My goal is to build a community and I can’t do that by telling everyone to get lost. And considering that I am a grumpy old man I have to try extra hard.

      Ideally this blog will one day become a primary or significant source of income so that community I mention is important to me for selfish reasons as well. But I figure that if I am transparent about that people will be less likely to be offended.

      It doesn’t hurt that I love to write so either way I am going to keep on doing this.

  • http://www.mommaontherocks.com Jenn

    Excellent points, all. Posting on Facebook via Networked Blogs has had an unexpected negative effect: my facebook readers come back to Facebook to leave a comment, instead of the blog (HELLO, MOM) I shouldn’t fuss – any comment is great and all, but looking back through my posts I forget about FB comments and then get frustrated because I feel unread.

    I completely agree with Alan, too, in that mobile devices are not comment friendly, especially when I have to constantly sign in to leave a comment with many websites. Sometimes it is just easier to Tweet and Facebook share it.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      It is all a big adventure to me, this blogging thingamajig. It is a big puzzle with a ton of moving parts that I am consistently moving and adjusting.

  • http://www.alwaysjacked.com Alan

    I wanted to come back and make an actual comment/contribution.

    The reason I had to come back is because I first read this on my iPad and sitting and typing something thoughtful on the touchpad can sometimes be a challenge. Especially when my son is climbing into my lap and asking to see the video of Beaker from The Muppets that I have favorited on YouTube for him.

    So there’s issue one about the demands of commenting. Think about the swing of where and how people are reading content and it’s more and more on a mobile platform. Commenting systems, overall, are not necessarily friendly for that. (I just had one person, a pretty loyal reader of mine, tell me just this week that it was the first time she’d read my blog on her laptop.)

    I don’t take any umbrage at a comment as short as ‘great post’ because I’ll take that at face value. Have you ever read a magazine article and liked it and felt compelled to reach out to the writer and say, “Great article?” Just because blogs offer the possibility for instant feedback more than other, more traditional forms of content, doesn’t always mean people are going to take you up on them.

    And then there’s the Facebook effect. I would say when people are compelled to comment on something I write, I get a 50/50 split of people who make those comments within Facebook and those who make it on my actual blog. These considerations matter more when you’re trying to make money via traffic, but that is not one of my blogging goals, so I am less concerned about it, personally.

    And your note on linking and sharing is really well taken and something I’ve been giving a lot of thought to myself, about how to point and support writers who I like. Granted, maybe they don’t need my help, but I don’t know if that is really the point anyway.

    I guess my bottom line is that if you’re trying to measure impact, you’d be better off going with a more holistic ‘engagement’ measure (likes, shares, comments, tweets, etc.) than simply on comments. Is a comment more valuable than a share? I know in my own reactionary behavior, I kind of have them tiered in an order of importance.

    Apologies for the big, long ramble. But it was a great, thoughtful post, so thanks for putting it out there.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      Ah, my friend you have come back wearing your professional hat and I am grateful for that. One of these days we need to speak offline about all these things. I spend more time than I should thinking about metrics and what is most significant and what is fluff.

      Sometimes when I review my stats I see that people have spent 10-12 minutes sifting through my posts. Although they haven’t left a comment the time they spent here tells me that they find it to be important and worth checking out. At least that is my interpretation based upon the number of pageviews they generate.

      Others sometimes sit here for extended periods but never shift from one post to the next. While I like to believe that they are enthralled by what they see I imagine that they have moved to a different tab and forgotten about me.

      As for engagement, well that is a worthwhile question. I think that comments can be significant based upon the conversation/.discussion that is generated within. In an ideal world we would have a real audit and not extrapolate information based upon a small sample.

      It would make it easy to say that my readers are exceptionally well educated and have enormous purchasing power. And just in case any PR/Brands are reading this post the takeaway is that my readers are thought leaders, well educated and have enormous purchasing power. Email me immediately so that we can discuss how to promote your message to them. ;)

  • http://freefringes.com Erica M

    Your posts are getting better and better. I’m taking all the credit. Backlink, please.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      You and your fringes get all the credit. :)

  • drhoctor2

    You make some fine points here. I’ll add this. If I have any criticism for monetizing it is that bloggers dumped their blog rolls to make room for ads. I miss those and while I don’t “need” anybody to sacrifice $ space, appreciate bloggers who include/use a separate blog roll page. I know that it is extra maintenance work and I don’t even want to think of blog roll drama that some may have gone thru but it’s handy for me and I’ll book mark bloggers that link to other bloggers I read vs. making extra favorites. Feels like a bonus in a way.
    I don’t know about agreeing that Twitter is the devil.That’s how I got here.
    I can not believe a blogger would be so ignorant and entitled as to complain about a One line comment. That raised my hackles. To them I say..Brevity is Art..Shakespeare said so.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      I don’t think that Twitter is the devil- it has been quite good to me. But Twitter has definitely had an impact on comments and link sharing.

      As for Blogrolls I have been wrestling with that. I like them because they have been a great source for finding new writers and I appreciate being help them with a link.

      But I have grown tired of the emails and comments from people who want to be added to mine. I may put mine back up. Frankly I haven’t had time to deal with it.

  • http://www.bellebeanchicagodog.com liz

    I agree with CMom about your analogy. I, too, do not get all up-in-arms about “great post” comments nor do I think that people who leave them have an ulterior motive.

    Along the lines of what you said about Facebook and RSS readers…with smartphones, there are definitely going to be more and more people reading and not clicking through. It’s one of the “side effects” or our increasingly mobile society.

    • http://mtietbohl.wordpress.com Mark Tietbohl

      Great Post!! (LOL)… I agree that taking the stage, and then choosing dubious examples to drive a point is one of the negative byproducts of this digital age. That being said, it is becoming easier to recognize when that is going to be the result. For myself, I have become satisfied to just click off and move on…

      Poor use of language is often more disturbing, because I may have an interest in what is written, but lose the desire to respond or refer because of the pain of reading through the post.

      • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

        Poor use of language is more than annoying. If your post is riddled with grammar and spelling mistakes I’ll just leave. It is too hard to read.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      I really wanted to leave some nasty comments on some of these posts with their smug and snarky attitudes. Wanted to tell them to go rub salt where the sun don’t shine because I know that they aren’t making any more or any less cash because of these comments.

      But what would the point be. Even if it satisfied my juvenile nature and my desire to throw a little mud at them.

      Besides if I want to prove my point the best way I can do it is to follow my own advice and build my community around me.

      I am very curious to see if Tablets get to be more prevalent than the smartphones or if there will be some sort of combination. The point being that larger screens make it easier to comment-but somehow I doubt that it will all work out that way.

  • http://www.ciaomom.com C.Mom

    I love the back yard barbecue analogy!! So very true. One thing that I think has impacted commenting is the mechanism. So many of us read posts off our iphones, or ipads–when we are on the go but have two minutes waiting to pick up our children. Often times I find that I have a hard time even commenting from my phone. So it ends up that I do not comment at all. Or maybe I bookmark it to go back to, and then of course forget. So I although I appreciate the meatier comments, I get it when they are short and sweet.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      That is an excellent point. I use my Droid to read posts quite frequently so that certainly impacts things as well. The text to speech function has saved me on more than one occasion. On a related note I think that I need to investigate some of the utilities that people use to bookmark articles/posts of interest.

  • Alan

    Great post.

    ;)

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      Ladies and gentlemen, our Director of Interaction. ;)

  • http://www.thecomplexmedia.com/blog/ theComplex

    I do find it interesting that when I post a link to Facebook or Twitter, 90% of the replies and comments are from people who have an opinion without even clicking or reading the post. I honestly thought I was the only person having this issue (or atleast one of a few losers with dumb ass friends/followers).

    As far as how to comment, I’ve always wondered if I pissed off a fellow blogger by having a minimal comment. In honesty, sometimes “this is really great!” is all I have to say and as easy as it would have been to not commented at all, they should be happy I did.

    On the Hitler Youtube videos, I wasn’t sure of what you were talking about until I checked out Stan’s link. I saw this clip being used I guess a year ago by MANY people with different captions and found them to be amusing however I understand your point. As Stan mentioned it’s more about the ridiculousness of the captions vs. such an intense clip and the best part — the “belittlement of that icon of evil.” In the end, we still see him as completely insane and unstable, perhaps even moreso.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      I pay close attention to ideology. I am cautious not to mark the actions of certain people as having happened because they are insane. Some people are quite sane and still think that murder is ok when it is based upon a difference in beliefs.

      But you are right about how many people respond/reply to posts without reading them carefully. Sometimes they rush through and make remarks that they wouldn’t if they really read through it.

      I also think that sometimes people forget that there is no obligation to comment. I understand the frustration of working hard on a post and then feeling like there is no acknowledgement of that work.

      Yet sometimes that simple ‘great post’ is exactly that. When you are really busy and you take time out to comment that says something.

  • http://www.not20anymore.com not20anymore

    Great post

    No really in all honesty I usually don’t comment on any posts because I’m just too damn busy and I’m reading them in between the toddler doing something with her 2 minute attention span.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      If I didn’t have to be online all day for work I would probably comment and read a lot less. Toddlers are a lot of fun, but they are busy. Takes time to keep them corralled. ;)

  • http://www.poopandboogies.com William

    I do not do a good enough job of leaving links in my posts to other bloggers.

    Since Facebook is way less anonymous people tend to not comment at all.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      I am not as good at sharing links as I used to be either. I tend to tweet them out pretty quickly and blog posts take time so it is often easier not to include any.

      I wrote this more as a reminder to myself than anyone else.

  • http://momalom.com Sarah

    Yes, to all of it. In the short two years my sister and I have been blogging there has been a huge shift toward less comments, more twitter nonsense, more substitute facebook likes. And I am not exempt, for which I feel badly. Life gets busy and we roll with the punches, dropping the stress that can sometimes be associated with blogging so that we can do more laundry or, God forbid, have an hour to read a novel.

    On the subject of blogs telling us all how to be good bloggers I’d like to say “Shut Up!” To them, not you. :) For a group of people who are supposedly forming a community online there is a whole lot of ego, snark and bullsh*t out there. So yeah, I get it.

    Happy Sunday on all other fronts. May there be sunshine where you are today.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      Life seems to get busier all the time and many of the productivity tools seem to make us busier. One of the things that I liked best about my flights to and from Seattle were how they forced me to slow down.

      For a brief time I was out of touch and I loved it.

      People are naturally competitive and I think that the blogosphere sometimes enhances that. It is really easy to look at a blog and wonder why they have more readers/comments/sponsors than ours. It is even easier to get irritated when you feel like you are a better writer.

      I admit to having those thoughts from time to time. The best advice I have for bloggers/writers is to keep pushing, keep writing. The people who last are those who love it. Find your community and enjoy.

  • http://www.theshoppinqueen.com geekbabe

    I didn’t see the Hitler bit so in fairness I will not comment on it. As far as link baiting goes, I take it on a case by case basis. Many bloggers are actually quite funny & I’ve been got more than once by a carefully crafted, truly humorous link bait style post. Bottom line, if I know you to be funny on your site, twitter or facebook and your post makes me laugh,you’re golden, if your post is crap calculated just to try to sell me something or generate a few hits to your site, you’re not.

    Thanks for the thought provoking post, a great way to start my Sunday!

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      I don’t mind good link bait. As you mentioned it can be fun, interesting and humorous. Nor am I above using it from time to time. Sometimes the arrow misses the mark and I find surfing over to the next place.

      The big question is whether we have a relationship. It is like real life in that respect- we are more tolerant/accepting of friends than of others.

  • http://stanfaryna.wordpress.com Stan Faryna

    Good stuff.

    I suppose you’re referring to **** H-something’s video of Hitler on ****** (Editor’s note- I appreciate the link- but am not interested in providing traffic to the video or in starting a fight with the blogger so I have removed name/link.)

    The first minute or two, I couldn’t even grin at where I saw where it was going. It was funny, but it felt wrong. I had reservations. Is *** Jewish? Can he get-away with this if he isn’t? I wondered.

    Midway through, I was laughing. I stopped focusing on Hitler as an anti-Christ. monster, and tragedy. I was caught up in the entertainment of a mash-up of passion, irony, and, perhaps, even belittlement of that icon of evil.

    **** took a risk. He wanted to push the limits. He wanted to make something that goes viral. Could he have done things to minimize the potential conflict, offense, and risk to his reputation? If he had, that would have made this video, genius.

    I find it hard to hold grudges against the enemies of my ancestors. Just like you I can trace my ancestry back a thousand years or two. There’s actually a book that records the names of every child by generation down to my mother. Such are the privileges of imperial heritage. But I have enough grudges of my own that I’m trying to work through. Nor do I feel that my heritage empowers me.

    And I would like to think, deep down, you feel the same way, Jack. We face life from where we stand – a little disappointed, a little angry, but with a whole lotta love, curiosity and a taste for the marrow.

    Hitler is a sensitive subject. Obviously. But should Hitler be taboo outside of the anti-Christ-monster context? Or am I being obtuse?

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      Hi Stan,
      I debated including the name/link of the blogger but decided against it. Most of the time I will choose to provide links so that readers understand what I am referring to, but in this case I feel differently.

      I prefer not to provide them with any traffic. If people find it on their own that is different.

      As for Hitler I do hold a grudge. He is not nameless/faceless to me. I am obviously not old enough to have lived through WWII but I have many relatives who did. I have seen the pictures of family who was murdered. I have heard stories firsthand from survivors.

      Hitler and any who support him receive no quarter here.

      There are lots of other ways to make a point and or to be funny that don’t involve him.

  • http://louisewise.blogspot.com louise

    I *always* share/like/tweet for several reasons. The first is to “help” the blogger; second will because I think others will like it; third *I* liked it and want to share; fourth, because it’s blimming good manners to share things!

    And I just loved this headline, and *had* to nosy on over to have a look. Going to be more adventurous with my own headlines in future. Maybe not to your extreme though. lol

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      Hi Louise,

      Thank you for joining the discussion. I am in agreement with you regarding your reasons for sharing/linking/linking/tweeting.

      As for adventurous headlines- well they can be fun.

  • http://renbimo.blogspot.com Carina

    If I were on facebook reading your blog post, I would like it. Since I’m not (because I just like blog pages better), I’m commenting.

    Another good (and much more creative) message about blogging. I also think it’s worth saying that if you like a blog, linking is good and so is adding it to your blogroll. I use my own to catch up on blogs I like to read and others’ to find new blogs.

    I try to come to your backyard barbecues as often as possible. :)

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      I appreciate it. Linking is always good. I like sifting through blogrolls to see what people are reading. You discover a lot of cool blogs that way.