Sunday, 31 May 2015

Reading and Commenting on Blogs by Susan Sanderson

Oh, hello! Thanks for dropping by.

Are you a reader, a writer, a blogger, all three, or two out of three?

Blog is an ugly word, isn’t it? It started out as weblog, being a log of a life uploaded regularly to the World Wide Web.

The name was shortened, but the scope was widened. Nowadays a blog may be used in the original manner, but there is far more variety in blogs.

A blog may be about any single topic or a mixture. It may be written by one person, a team or (like this one) many individuals taking turns. What distinguishes a blog from writing in a diary or notebook is that the latest entry (or post) appears first. This is a common feature of social media. Facebook, Twitter, message boards, Soundcloud (and no doubt all the other platforms I have managed to keep away from) all work the same way.

At first I hid behind a username and a photograph. I still use these to comment on most blogs. Is this confusing?

I had no intention of blogging about my faith. What changed is another story.

Blogging invites social interaction between strangers. Many bloggers are disappointed when no-one comments. Sometimes this is because commenting can be very time-consuming and doesn’t always work.

On the day I began to draft this post, I failed to post a comment on a blog. I know I opened a disqus account, however I failed to login (is that really a single word?) to it. For bloggers it is relatively easy to comment on blogs using the same platform (blogspot or WordPress, for example).

A comment on Facebook, “I couldn’t find where to comment,” inspired me to write this post. It is often much easier to comment on Facebook or Twitter, but the discussion is disconnected from the blog.

Blogs may be displayed in different ways. If a link has been followed to the blog’s home, more than one post may be shown. Scrolling down reveals a number of posts, but the comment fields are not shown. In this case it is necessary to click on a comment link for one of the posts. Just to confuse the reader, the link may be at the top or near the bottom of the post. One of my blogs just has a heart as the link. (There is some advice on a page, which used to be called “Navigation”, but now goes under the more usual name, “Start here”.)

If an individual post is displayed there should be somewhere to comment. For people who do not have their own blog, commenting is more off-putting as there is so much personal information to enter. Where does it all go? Who can see it?

Oh, are you still there? Good.

Before you go, please take a look around and see if you can find where to comment, how to share this post on social media and how to read older posts.

Thanks for reading.

Susan Sanderson always wanted to be a writer.  In 2012 she revived her interest in writing with a project to collect the kinds of sayings, which were much used in her childhood.
Blogging was intended as a way of improving writing skills, but has become an interest in its own right.  Susan experiments with factual writing, fiction, humour and poetry.  She does not yet have a book to her name. Her interests include words, languages, music, knitting and crochet.  She has experience of the world of work, being a stay-at-home mum and an empty-nester.   She is active in her local community and Church, where she sings alto in the choir. She and her husband live in Cumbria.  


  1. Thanks for this Susan. Great post. I agree commenting and sharing are crucial and ca show appreciation for the post

    1. Thank you for your behind-the-scenes work in publishing it, Wendy. I realise that I have opted on my own blogs to "close" comments after 30 days. I reduces spam, but may cause confusion for readers wishing to interact. Sue

  2. Thanks for educating me a while ago, Susan, on helping people navigate around my website. Now I see I need to consider whether to share links to the individual blog posts (with comments), or to the website home page (multiple posts, comments hidden). Do you have a preference between those two?

  3. Philip, in my experience, people are reluctant to click. If one post appears they may read it and then move on to something else. Conversely if there is a scroll to infinity option the blog may take so long to load that people click away (I do). What needs to be considered is whether having people read more or comment more is your priority.
    At one time I had a static front page. This was a magnet for spam. (Pink meat anyone?)

  4. Thanks, Sue. Having readers is the priority for me, rather than comments. I wondered about a static front page, but then got myself mixed up about pages and posts. My Home page shows the last five posts (I think), which shouldn't take too long to load. Thanks for your experience and expertise!

    1. You're welcome. Sue

  5. Hi Sue

    Finally got around to reading your article (and commenting hopefully).

    Interesting stuff and typically Sue: lighthearted yet sincere. I always find it strange when readers will tell you your story/writing is good or ask questions on it to your face, but seem reluctant to do it online - fear factor, as well as the time factor, maybe?


  6. Hi Kelvin.
    Just found your comment. Blogger didn't allow me to subscribe to comments for some reason! Personally I think it is mainly writers, who comment. They value the interaction, whether online or face to face. (Online has the benefit of being at a time to suit and not causing anyone to risk missing deadlines!)