Monday, August 3, 2009

comments...obstacle or catalyst?

One of my goals, as a blogger, has been to make this blog a welcome
spot, where readers feel comfortable to participate in the comment
section. In fact, I am quite in awe of the comments left by all of you.
I am daily inspired, very much entertained (your comments make
me laugh until it hurts), as well as enlightened, by your thoughtful
and avid participation. In many of the more lively conversations,
there are those of you who return, adding further to the discussion.

Last week, I visited an interesting blog for the first time and left a
comment. This blogger, in turn, visited Willow Manor, and instead of
leaving a comment, took the extra effort to send an email, telling me
they "turned tail" because of the number of comments. It never
occurred to me that too many comments could chase bloggers away.
I know. I know. I shouldn't take these kinds of things personally, but
not being one who relishes the thought of being blissfully ignorant, as
Reya so eloquently mentions in her blog today, I took a moment to

I've always considered the comment section the soul of the blog.
That's where the compelling expression takes place. I appreciate that
readers feel free to leave their own ideas, even if they vary from my
own. It gives the blogging community the texture and interest it
needs to be engaging and appealing. The more the merrier. There are
countless times an excellent book, piece of music, an artist, recipe, or
thought provoking idea has been mentioned, not in the text of a post,
but in the comment section of a blog.

So, what's your opinion? When you visit a blog, does the number of
comments effect you? Are you repelled by a large number and leave
without visiting the comment section? Or does the number work as
a catalyst, drawing you in, behind the scene, to the smoke-filled

artwork: detail from Mr. Hulings' Rack Picture by William Harnett


  1. Looks like I might be first! Comments are the thing that drives me to keep writing, I check back on my posts quite often to see if any comments have been left and while my blog is still young, I can keep up with the comments...but, maybe a blogger who is established has many, many comments and cannot or does not keep up with the comments and from that perspective, applies that to leaving comments....maybe? I find that I do go back to a blog if I've commented there to see if the author has made a responsorial comment....and, yes, on occasion, I have not commented because of the amount of comments in 'line ahead of me'. Something to think about when my blog grows up to be a big

  2. I don't think the number of comments made has an affect on me and whether I will leave a comment or not.

    Some people may just be intimidated by a lot of people, whether in person or even in a blog's comment section.

    Now, there are some more controversial blogs that I have attempted to participate in where there is a large readership who have already "bonded," shall we say. And if my comments are not well received I may not feel comfortable returning to that blog. In fact I don't feel comfortable doing that. Everyone should be allowed to express their opinions (sans vulgarity and what not) without feel jumped on.

    Maybe that person you mentioned has had an experience like that and is now afraid of saying the wrong thing.

    You have a wonderful, welcoming way, though, Willow, and so do your readers/commenters. Thank you for that.

  3. I comment if I have time and if I have something to add to the conversation - as a blogger, I appreciate each and every comment that someone took the time to write :)

  4. hi willow, blogs are like kites for me. when they fly, i love to see the breezes that carry them dipping and diving across the sky. the comments are those breezes. without them the post becomes a kite - lovely to look at, exquisite even - but without the breezes - something just to look at but not really there to experience as a whole. there you go. steven

  5. The number of comments doesn't affect me at all. If a blog post inspires a comment, I'll leave one. I agree, the blogging world has a community feel, and that's one of the things that draws me to it - that interaction and great big exchange of ideas. You never know who you'll meet, and that's wonderful!

    I appreciate that you're welcoming it.

    Incidentally, I'm a new reader to your blog and I'm quite enjoying it. How are you enjoying the Ondaatje poems? He's my favourite novelist, largely because that poet in him comes through in his sublime prose.


  6. I don't think it really makes a difference to me how many comments are on a blogpost as to whether I comment or not. But I was quite shy of commenting when I first started blogging. Then decided to stick my neck out and do it! :)

  7. Jennifer, I am really enjoying the Ondaatje poems. Just lovely. I'm going to have to buy a copy for myself. It's one of those library books I'm going to have a hard time returning!

  8. I like to read others' comments after I post mine. If there are too many comments, I do skip on. Some people enjoy being part of a big group. I don't have that patience.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Whether or not I comment has more to do with how much (or how little) time I have rather than how many comments there are...this is the first time in more than a week that I have had a chance to catch up on your blog and there are so many posts that I will never be able to comment on them all even though I will certainly read them all:)

    If there are a lot of comments I will not usually read all of them but will skip around taking peeks...

  11. I just wanted to let you know that I have no comment about commenting.



  12. i view blogging as a huge conversation. if iread your blog i usually comment.sometimes silly, sometimes insightful...sometimes just to appreciate. i love the way comments ush the conversation deeper. the more the merrier.

  13. Comments are nice to read and see what others feel about the blog posted. Its always interesting to see how many followers you have. the numbers of comments do not deter me from commenting if I have something to say.

  14. A very good blog. I have kept my site here for my poetry and you are so right that the comments are very important. I believe the comments give you a lift and encouragement to add to your site. Although I have not been at this site for long, it is so inspiring to login and find someone is comunicating with you about your work. You are very fortunate to have so many followers, comments are no doub't high and therefore such a joy to login and exchange thoughts. I wish you all the very best with your blogger here. Also, a rather cheeky request, if you have any advise as to how to find followers I would so much appreciate !!! :) have a wonderful day my friend *hug* :)

  15. Sometimes if there are a ton of comments I won't leave mine because I feel like it'll get lost in the mix (unless of course I think what I have to say is very inspiring or thought-provoking - which is not very often). But then I realized that many bloggers get their comments emailed to them anyway, so that competely changes the setting. Knowing that ones comment will stand out - at least to the author - usually will prompt me to leave comments now. And for my own blog, I appreciate any insights that are left by the visitors.

  16. I like to read the comments on the blogs I follow. Many comments don't stop me , but I don't tend to comment as a 'me too' I prefer to comment if I feel I have something to add.
    Some of the comments can be more thought provoking than the original article and will prompt me to visit the commentators blog.

  17. Brendarose, I know, my followers list is a little crazy! I must thank Blogger for chosing me as a "Blog of Note" back in December. My best advice is to just get out there in the bloggyhood and start leaving comments. :^)

  18. Oh this is such a great post and opens an important conversation (I know comments have been discussed on other blogs, but here I expect to learn a lot about this aspect of blogging).

    I have a blogger friend who really dislikes comments. He was a DJ and his blog is kind of the same thing for him - he puts it out there but doesn't really want to talk any further about it.

    Other bloggers write specifically in order to get comments. Their posts are always phrased as questions. They want to know what their readers thing.

    I'm always blown away by the intelligence and thoughtfulness of the people who comment on my blog.

    When I read a post that brings up some kind of response in me, I leave a comment. If I don't have anything interesting to say, I read and then move on. I've never understood the judgment against that behavior. The label "lurker" is so weird. Should I comment even if I have nothing to say? Strange, at least to me.

    Looking forward to reading other commenters here! Thanks, Willow.

  19. You do succeed in making your blog a welcoming place! I usually comment if I feel I might have something to add, or if I'm itching to tell you something that your post has conjured up for me.

  20. I dont give it a second thought!

  21. What their readers THINK not thing.

    What I love about blogging is that it's free form. There is no obligation and each blog tends to have its own distinct form. I love that!

    Hate my typos, though.

  22. Reya, that's just the point I'm trying to make. The comment section is comfortable, informal conversation. How many of us speak without a little verbal typo here or there?

  23. Hi! Willow,
    My answer to your questions are as follow:

    Willow said,"So, what's your opinion? When you visit a blog, does the number of
    comments effect you?..."

    No, not at all I like to read different bloggers opinion(s) about your post. (or any and every blog that I visit.)

    ..."Are you repelled by a large number and leave
    without visiting the comment section?"...

    Oh! No,...never!

    ..."Or does the number work as
    a catalyst, drawing you in, behind the scene, to the smoke-filled

    Ha! Ha!...most definitely!
    Thanks, for sharing!
    DeeDee ;-D

  24. Seriously I LOVE to see all the comments left by different people! I don't know why someone would be chased away by them...
    It's interesting to see the different opinions people leave so to answer your question, no I'm not chased away :D

  25. Oh Willow- I read every one of your posts and rarely leave a comment probably for that very reason- like who needs the clutter- I know it is not REALLY clutter but my comments are not profound or hilarious or even remotely delightful so I would have to say I AM CLUTTER...anyway, dearest- I adore your blog and my days would not be complete without reading what goes on at the manor and inside your head...I just don't comment much. If I read every one elses comments on your all too popular blog I have to take a nap and then my whole day would be shot- I will send you comments...with my MIND! Listen for them.....

  26. Willow, I have to admit that I haven't been commenting lately due to the large number ahead of me. I feel that you'll never get around to reading what I have to say AND that I would probably just be reiterating what was said before.

    I like to read the others comments but once it goes past 18 or 20 I just simply don't have time.

  27. You need to get a feel for the blogger that you are leaving comments for, if you leave comments on 10 different posts and never get a response or the person never visits your site, then you might feel like you are commenting and no one is reading it. On a different note, other commenters read the other comments as much as the blog itself, I have found that conversations develop between other bloggers in a comment section. I have not been here that long and I have always felt that there has been interaction between you and your readers, that one time visitor just did not give you a chance!

  28. For almost two and a half years I blogged away without hardly anyone leaving a comment. Equally, I had few connections with other bloggers and therefore I didn't leave comments. Commenting and being commented on gives a new dimension to blogging, one I very much welcome.

  29. Clever Pup, I'm sorry you feel I would not "get around to reading" your comments. I do take the time and relish each and every comment left on my blog, and feel each one contributes to the discussion. Thank you for your candid comment! :^)

  30. I usually don't comment in any blog if there is already a large amount of posts. However, I tried a recipe you posted last winter (cabbage roll casserole) and commented despite the large number of posts because it was great. I have since passed the recipe and your blog on to others--whether they post or not, I don't know.

    On the flip side, I will almost always comment in blog that has no posts at all.

    As for my own blog, I do not expect everybody to sign my blog and I don't have time to sign every blog I read.

    Must admit that this is an interesting topic and something to think about!

  31. I visit some blogs that get 200-300comments per post - sheesh! Nothing I feel like I can add there. I still read them because I'm interested, but I'll admit that I don't read many of the comments (that could also be the nature of those communities - I'm a fringe member who would stop dropping by if I read the types of comments left there).

    However, your blog & the people who respond make me feel right at home. If I don't have time to read the comments then I might not leave one (I'm an insecure commenter afraid of making a fool of myself). But if I think I have something to contribute I'll just go ahead & comment - & duck!

  32. Since I'm on dial-up here in the country and have to pay extra for it since I have cable in the city, I usually don't leave as many comments as I ordinarily would. Besides the fact that It takes so long for everything to load. So that said, I have not read the comments that came before here as I usually would. Sometimes the number of comments does put me off because I think (and probably wrongly so) that the blogger is overwhelmed. But only if whatever comment I have to make is inane. If it's something I want to say I will say it no matter the number that went before.

    Like you, I love the comments and the interaction between writer and reader. I am finally getting a fair amount (and by that I mean less than far I think 17 or 18 is my top) and I like to be able to answer each. I don't always because, well, just because. If I was getting 30 or 40 I don't know if I would have the time to so that. also I struggle with answering...if I answer just a few do I have to answer all? I would hate to hurt feelings by just selecting the few I thought needed a reply.

    Anyway, that's my quick off the top thoughts to your question, Willow. The timer just went off and I have to get stuff out of the oven.

  33. Without comments what's the point? You can't just sit listening to yourself speak in a vacate room. Comments are the spice that add flavor to the mix.

    Plus I just think it shows respect if you let someone know something they thought/said has in some simple way touched you through this vacuum of the net.

  34. Tattered, my thoughts exactly.

  35. I agree with Brian..the more the merrier! I do feel the comments are the feedback and without them blogging seems very one-sided. The more comments there are, the more diverse the opinions, which makes it all the more interesting.

    I've never seen a large number of comments and felt I couldn't leave one. I may not have time to read them all, but I know the poster appreciates the feedback.

    The only things I don't like about comments are the word verification (so nice if it is NOT there) or moderation (sometimes there are many comments but they aren't posted yet...and that stifles the flow of conversation).

  36. The number never matters to me. I always look at the number, however. And I'm often surprised that someone who receives a large number of comments will still take the time to visit me and thank me for stopping by.

  37. It doesn't deter me at all; in fact I usually don't read the comments preceding, if I wish to comment.

    If I don't have anything to say, I might read what others have said then move on.

  38. I've read several posts on this subject just in the last couple days. The general thought was, why bother on the larger sites. Your comment is lost in the shuffle and your questions on the post, if any, are never answered. I had to agree.

  39. I have no idea why too many comments would turn anyone away. I think it is a great thing when people leave a lot of comments!

  40. Willow. To answer your questions: No. No. And the *content* of the blog and comments entice me to comment. So does the spirit of the blogger.

    I've been away for awhile. I've missed reading your blog!


  41. Hi - I read every one of your posts - but because of my travel and work - sometimes I don't get to them for a few days - so if I am reading a post that is three days old and has 75 + comments ....I read the others but I don't leave one.

    The flip side is - when I first started following blogs and had more time - there were some that I commented on regularly but was never once acknowledged......that really hurts.

    I am slowly finding my rhythm.

  42. Mary, I think you've made a very good point. Everyone has different time constraints and preferences. We all have our blog rhythms.

  43. I visit a pretty fair number of blogs and comment when I have something to say. Creating a comment when I don't really have one seems silly to me. Perhaps I should just leave a stone (o) to let you know I've been here...

    I love it when people comment on my site---sometimes they do, and often not. that's just the way it is. I write when I have something to share. Just. Like. That. :-)

  44. Hello, just floating by....I love comments, and appreciate everyone that takes time to leave one on my blog. I feel the more the merrier. I do not expect a response back when i see a long list of commenters on the blog i am leaving a comment on. Dee

  45. As someone above said, time determines my ability to comment.

    I understand what the person was saying, but I guess what might not be understood is that bloggers/writers appreciate every voice and every perspective. It's important for growth.

    Numbers should not scare us - but I do like to leave my thoughts, then read the others AFTER I've finished .. that is, if time allows.

    You always draw in the crowds, Willow. That's just plain awesome.

  46. I love reading the comments on my blog and try to respond to all of them. And I almost always read the comments on other blogs. But sometimes, especially when there are many responses -- your blog, Willow, is one such -- truly, I have nothing new to add and hesitate to simply say 'Me too.'

    That said, there is indeed a wonderful sense of community as you begin to recognize familiar names on different blogs.

  47. Willow, you know I am crazy about you and your posts are always so educational and thought provoking. I have enjoyed reading your posts for a long time now and plan on continuing with them for years to come. I will admit that I sometimes don't comment because I wonder if you do get to read all of them. It's my issue, not yours. You are a sweetie and always write such kind and uplifting comments on my blog. I have been guilty of being intiminated by all the comments. I'm so happy for you and was thrilled through the days when you got your award and got a huge following. I feel like I have let you down and I will do better in the future. You are very creative and talented. Your research is fantastic and I do appreciate you so much.

  48. Writing is a means of communicating. If you write into a diary and lock it away, the information is written for an audience of one. If you write by posting on a blog, the audience potential is huge! The posted piece of writing is published in the hopes the audience reading the blog will communicate their ideas. Sometimes you create a piece of writing and you are waiting for a particular bloggyland friend to see it and comment. If the friend doesn't respond because you already had 50 responses, disappointment happens on both sides. I agree with Steven, the breezes(comments) make the kite (blog) fly. The more there are, the better. Very great analogy, Steven!

  49. I always feel that if you enjoy a Blog it is mannerly to leave a comment letting the person know. However, I understand that people just don't have time to do so. Before I started my own Blog I would always comment on my favourite Blogs. There are times I can feel intimidated on some intellectual Blogs but still don't mind leaving a short sentence so the Blogger knows I have visited. It makes no difference to me if the person who owns the Blog has hundreds of comments or only a few. I follow very popular Blogs like yours dear Willow and very small Blogs with only a small following and no comments. I like the sharing side of Blogging. When I recently started my Blog I was quite prepared to go for a year or so with no comments but luckily I get more than I expected! Nowhere near your massive following but I'm very happy that there is any response. However, my Blog is for my own thoughts and ideas and to have some fun from writing all the time and so I'd continue to do it with no comments until I tired of it! xx

  50. I like visiting and if I have something to add then I leave my comment...not always clever but a word or two. I always read the other comments. I so appreciate visitors and comments to my site that I feel good leaving my words and never feel the obstacle of numbers.

  51. I have only been blogging since the first of the year and I can say that, initially, the number of comments was intimidating. I read your blog for months before finally getting up the nerve to leave one.

    But after 6 months, I don't think a thing about volume on a blog. Sometimes I leave a comment sometimes not. Depends on my time and the subject matter of the blog.

  52. Depends on the topic. If the topic of the post interests me enough, I want to see what others have to say. After visiting WM for a while, I've realized that you have an intriguing bunch of readers, and that often the comment section becomes a sort of community. I can't believe some of the personal gems various readers have honored us with. You have encouraged this by asking powerful questions of your readers.

    On a political blog, on the other hand, a brief glance is enough to show that the comments are often little more than name-calling. I don't like watching people fight, especially when they can't use logic.

    For those with slow download speeds, they might be deterred from looking at the comments because they don't want to wait for the window to open. The same goes for videos, archives and other kinds of links.

    It's very humble of you, Willow, to value interaction and other's opinions for their own sake. The temptation for me is simply to value comments as proof that someone visited my blog and liked it.

  53. If there are too many comments, I usually tend to go on by, and yet, here I am. Guess cause I love your blog. Many commentators can be a tad narcissistic: I like the one's with spunk and humor and sometimes empathy. As Talkin' Trash said, "comments are the heartbeats of the blog." The worst is when you get no comments. I try to leave them often.

  54. This time, I'll comment before I read the other comments. A large number of comments doesn't drive me away - I usually enjoy reading them - but it may discourage me from adding my own, because I'll see similar thoughts expressed (probably more eloquently) by someone else.

  55. As a fellow blogger I feel that if a post reaches me it is important to comment, regardless of how many. I am certain that many people are reluctant to comment if there are many before them - it takes time to read them all and to load etc. For me, the more comments the merrier - that is what makes blogging so rewarding, xv.

  56. I don't comment on blogs that require 'moderation'; that's what discourages me from leaving a thought or two.

    Also, more than 30 comments, pretty much is the limit I'll read through unless the topic is really appealing to me, and I think I've not only got something to add, but will look forward to reading through the comments that precede mine.

    I didn't build any of my blogs to draw comments, so I think some bloggers just want to share their ideas; links they've found, information they think is helpful, and it isn't a 'dialog blog' where there's frequent posts or discussions.

    Each blog I built for a specific purpose; shared the links with friends and family who I knew would appreciate having the information handy, or 'enjoy the read', without cluttering their e-mail inbox. I figured if anyone else stumbled upon it and liked it, I might hear from them too.

    Most of my input comes from e-mail and I like that because it remains 'private' to me and the person writing me.

    As to the cabbage roll casserole; I did save that one - I love good recipes, so I look for those as well as good poems.....

  57. Well, obviously it doesn't slow many people down because what number am I? Oh...number 57! I read most of them, browse until something really catches my eye. I agree: you get good ideas about things and the ways that people are feeling. Isn't that why we do it? Otherwise we would just write words on paper that only we could read and not publish in any sort of fashion. It is all about connecting for me. In a sort of "non-connected" way, if you know what I mean!

  58. First time I came here, it scared the socks off me when I saw how many comments you get. 56 comments already, I mean, why the hell should I bother? What I wanted to say has already prolly been said and said better. (And no, I haven't yet read any of the comments here on this post.)

    Intimidating, I guess, is the word I'm looking for.

  59. I always try to return a comment on my own blog. If someone takes the trouble to comment on mine, I will return the compliment. However, it is very disappointing to me when I repeatedly comment on someone else's blog and they NEVER comment back on mine, eh Willow?? That smacks of a clique. People get their own little round of friends and don't have room for any more. This does happen, of course. We all have busy lives and can't spend all day writing comments. I don't think we should judge our popularity by the number of comments we get and some parting sentences request comments, whereas others do not.
    If one is lucky enough to be chosen as Blog of Notes, then obviously the comments will come flooding in, but this may just be because the people who leave the comments are "advertising themselves" and we are all guilty of this, I suspect!
    Blessings Star

  60. Dear Willow,

    it is always the blog, i.e. the blogger,that draws me in and makes me return, and neither too few nor too many comments could ever make me hesitate to leave a few words myself! The only "problem" I have with comments is that I wished I were able to comment more often on more of the blogs that I love and to react to each and every comment I receive on my own.

    I feel immensely encouraged by visitors who do leave comments. I don't think I would have lasted this long with a daily virtual postcard if it were not for the fact that I know looking at them has become part of the day of a reader or two (and I am not discounting my sweet friends for whom I started my blog after all!).

    Dear Willow,
    this one blogger who got scared away by the many comments shared his/her opinion with you, and is alright. He/she took the time out of her/his day to let you know. It would think that if she were not sufficiently drawn in by the content of your blog, she/he would have left without letting you ever know. So, see it positively, somebody actually took the time to let you know! I know how often I think about why in the world am I putting my daily blog up, especially after visiting other bloggers who leave me in awe, make me question mine: I can absolutely understand why someone would throw the towel after having read your blog! What is there left to say that has not already been commented on? Only one who has the experience from the other side may still pick up the courage to add a few more words, don't you think?

    The comments I leave here are mostly meant to affirm that I value what you offer, not that I have something of great importance to add!

    Wishing you wonderful start into a very good week,

  61. I wrote my comment without reading the other readers' opinions first. I wanted to answer free of the thoughts of others, but I was looking forward to read all of them:

    I love Stephen's answer,
    his metapher is spot on, thank you! :-)

    Oliag spoke about the question of having the time to comment - oh, the eternal question, affects us all, I dare say!

    I agree, "comments ush the conversation deeper"!

    I share Reya Mellicker's thoughts about the "lurker" and the negative connotation it seems to have acquired!

    Regarding the comment about the number of followers that you have made me ralize that I would go hide under the rug if I hadn't "met" you back when you were still starting out (those first few days before the rest of the world started following you! *smile*)

    I hope you don't mind that I took the liberty to comment on your readers' comment!

  62. Looks like I will be comment #62. :-)

    I tend to read non-commercial, smaller blogs (judged by number of ads, followers and comments). A big part of the fun for me is discovering who's wonderful out there who is not well-known.

    If a blog is exceptional (like this one!), I'm still interested. I just don't comment as often.

    And of course when one of the popular bloggers leaves a comment for me, I'm all "Ooh, so-and-so NOTICED us!"

  63. Ooh, catalyst for sure! Frequently the best bit of a post, even when the posts are outstanding. The community is all!

  64. Comments on my blog make my day! It's such a validation as a writer, and writing is so often a lonely occupation. What a marvelous community we have all built here! I lift my glass to each and every one of you! (Sorry for all the exclamation marks, but I just ingested more than my fair share of caffeine, alas.) Cheers!

  65. Many comments can be daunting, sort of what it must be like to live in Manhattan: Varied and cosmopolitan, but difficult to get around. When I see a lot of comments, I tend not to add to the discussion because I don't want to be repetitive.

    Re my own efforts, I have two blogs. I really enjoy the sense of community that has built up with one and is building with the second. And I must say: The more comments, the merrier!

  66. Wow, see what I mean?! I have the BEST commenters in the whole blogosphere. This is exactly the point I am trying to make. Look at all these insightful and heartfelt comments, woven together to form a community here. The thing I enjoy most is that you are commenting on each others' comments. It's great.

    The frustrating part on my end, is getting around to pay all of you a visit. I will...just give a day or two.

  67. I guess it would depend on why one blogs. I blog as another way to express myself (through words and photography), which occurs whether other people read it or comment. Having visitors is a bonus, but not the objective.

  68. If there are a lot of comments I often skim a few, sometimes read them all. But i am not put off by lots of comments. I feel it is my choice to read or not to read.

  69. Willow, when I read and do not reply, it is not beacause of the number of comments. It may be that what I was going to say has already been expressed. I tend to get carried away when I do respond and worry that I have over done it! Sometimes you just strike such a chord that is so personal, for me, and for many, that the ideas and emotions just come pouring out. I do, sometimes take comfort in the fact, that if I can't get to you each day, to say hello , or thank you for all that you do here, that many other really wonderful people will be doing that for me!
    What always amazes me is knowing that you not only read all the responses, but reply to them on the same post, in addition to visiting our blogs as well!
    It is so good to have you and Willow Manor as the "Must Have Handbook" for blogging! Thank you!

  70. oops....clicked publish not edit...
    Corrections: because {sp}
    and "but reply to quite a few on the same post"
    {not all} Curse of the English Teacher strikes again!

  71. I sometimes wonder if my comment will be 'heard the same' If Tons of other Comments.That's just me i suppose. ......
    When I first started blogging i left the comments off.being rather surprised at the idea that anyone would actually read anything i wrote........let alone comment!
    No Happy Medium I Guess?

  72. I understand your commenter (?) who turned tail, overawed by the number already commenting. That demonstrates, of course, that you have achieved your goal in making your blog a comfortable one for those who want to comment. I too, have found the comments a rewarding (the most rewarding) aspect of blogging, but find leaving comments the most difficult.

  73. I find comments are one of the gems of blogging. I experience them as encouragement to continue to take the time to create a blog post that hopefully has something to offer. I see bloggers’ I interact with leaving comments out and about and those bloggers feel like neighbors. The “conversations” continue not just on two blogs, but on several. I make efforts to comment on blogs I visit. Although I don’t comment each time, I try to comment frequently, as a type of “wave” as I go by. My blog is focused on art, and the creation of art, and the creative spirit. However, there are a few blogs outside of that focus that add quality to my life, and I visit frequently. Yours is among those Willow. Movie recommendations, recipes for pears and soups, life observations, who can resist? Blog on dear Willow, blog on.

  74. That's a pretty thought provoking issue.

    I'm thinking about it and yes- I do tend to not leave comments when there's a large amount of comments already left. Why? I figure the author has seen enough probably, there's nothing more to be said, and I can't imagine that the author goes through each and every comment and reads/responds to each one. Much of it is, I just don't want to be a hindrance, haha.

    But then again, I am leaving a comment here and you've already got 70+ of them...maybe you're doing what you wanted and being an exception to that rule that some people unconsciously follow.

  75. Leave a comment, everyone loves feed back, it's engaging, appreciated and somewhat the 'purpose' of sharing. Those who are turned off by it, don't have to leave a message, but please do come back and visit :)The long and short of it, don't sweat the small stuff

  76. I have to say "ditto" to An Open Heart. I feel quite insulted when no one comments. On the other hand, I write the blog for "me". How selfish. I love to read what others comments are on everyone's blog too.

  77. Honestly, I think it can be both. There are times when the huge number of comments can be overwhelming. It makes you wonder if, in a crowd so large, your one voice will be heard. But the great thing about blogging is that the comments don't fade away. They stay posted on the page so that they can be read at the leisure of the blog owner.

    On the other hand, when something is so talked about, it draws you in...makes you wonder what all the fuss is about.

    And Willow, you've always been great about responding. It's encouraging. :)

  78. Honestly, I don't read all the comments that preceed mine (especially if there are a lot). I would not, however, say that a lot of comments deter me. Not at all! It just makes me realize that the person has a lot to say and a lot of friends/followers who, in turn, have a lot to say. I'm just happy to be able to put my two cents worth in when I feel I have something worth while to contribute. I will, however, read a few comments and sometimes venture over to their blogs if I enjoy what they have to say.


  79. Comments are lovely .. I reply to comments on my blog via email only as I havent a huge amount to time to visit blogs more than once a day .. its not a lot of comments that stop me or put me off commenting .. its the gazillion layers of security involved on some blogs that thwart leaving a comment .. scrolling down the post to the comment link, ending up on another page which needs scrolling down .. then finally reaching the comment box .. having to enter my name, rank, serial number, blood type, etc. and then getting a word verification .. and then getting the message that my comment which took me 10 minutes to leave is going to be read by the blog owner before he/she decides it worthy of being posted... ah but this not a new rant/whine for me .. the last time I posted about it some Anon commenter accused me of Darylizing ... I hope that Anon doesnt accuse you of Willowizing .. ;-)

  80. hello.
    very nice blog.


  81. I really value the comments section willow - it is there that we hold a conversation, express our point of view and interact with others - long may it continue - and it can never be too long.

  82. This is a tricky one: I have, in the past, balked at huge comment numbers but not always, so it might be that they add to a feeling of disenfranchisement rather than create discomfort.

    Do I mean disenfranchisement, possibly that's too strong?

    I love reading other people's comments on every blog I visit, it adds to the sense of engagement.

  83. You see me all of the time, so you know my answer to that question. But I have had people comment that they are a little intimidated if my blog has many comments. (I feel the same way, the more, the merrier.)
    But if I don't have much to say, and the comments are long, I will not leave one either. Thinking this blogger has plenty of activity, they won't miss my comment on this post.

  84. too many comments don't bother me on someone's blog, unless there's a giveaway and then i feel that i'll never stand a chance to win the item. :) the comments on your blog are truly a gem and i leave them periodically. like many others, i go back to something i've commented on (and sometimes ones i have not) to see what the author, et al. have written.

    if there are a large number of comments all saying the same thing i want to say, such as today's, i may hesitate to repeat what you've already read from so many others. it does not turn me away though.

  85. Not only do I leave a comment, but I leave another one, as today when #1 disappears..or maybe not..remains to be seen..
    I feel the response bubbling up within me when I read the post..yours is always enticing..would 100 comments keep me away..nah...
    It's blog/ comment..a great system!!

  86. OK ... .
    I'll leave a comment - in spite of the 85 in line ahead of me!
    And I feel I should really take time
    to read them , but frankly I just don't have time.
    Think about it: if one takes time to read all 85 here - then goes to read all 65 at Cote d'Texas and another 60 at French Essence , it doesn't leave much time left for .... . ANYTHING ELSE.
    Guess that's why I usually keep my comments brief: I just want to let you know that I've stopped by and appreciated your post.
    (because I do!)

  87. When I visit a blog it is a visit to a friend. If you don't leave a comment it's like going to a friends house to visit but never knocking on the door to announce you've arrived! I don't let the amount of comments bother me. They already had their visit and now its my turn! I read every comment left on my blog and TRY to respond if I can. Sometimes it's not possiable for me to both respond and visit them and leave a comment!I don't care if you get 500 comments, I'm still coming to visit my dear friend Willow at her Manor!!

  88. Am I at the end?-LOL! Willow I do know a fellow blogger(no names, now )that is a bit intimidated by the vast amount of comments on some bloggos. But it's more of a time thing. The more comments the merrier, I say. I want in on the topic( as it were )of discussion, if it's of interest to me. And quite often, I'll find others who share the same answers and ideas. That( to me )keeps everything on the move, so to speak. Plus, being able to speed read comes in handy!

  89. They sometimes give me food for the next day's blog, but they're always inspirational - even if only in terms of the risposte.

  90. Wow, I am leaving two comments on this post. I do comment on your blog, I must just get lost in the shuffle.

    I should tell you, you probably already know, there is another "willow" out there and I always have to hit the link to see which one it is...she is also a nice lady.

    {willow said... (on my recent post)
    It's sad how religion causes so much hatred.

    And I'm sorry to hear you feel the way you do about leaving comments at WM. I always do my best to answer any questions in the comment section. Peace to you.

    August 3, 2009 10:13 AM }

    My post on the priest was supposed to be funny...I get misunderstood a lot. It made for a tumultuous childhood and left me with a sense of humor.

    When I spoke of the BIG BLOGS and never leaving a comment...I follow a couple blogs with over 7,000 followers. I rarely bother, but I do read the comments as the are often as funny as the post.

    willow, if you try to answer all your commenters, that's all you'll ever get done and you would be lucky to crank out one post a week.

    I think (don't want to speak for everyone) that we are pretty happy with your blog just as you have it.

    But please, do try to answer any questions that are asked and maybe you could work out some system where you could pop in on your commenters every now and then.

    I was just thinking last night about running some sort of poll on my readers, but then I fell asleep and erased my brain.

  91. Jeez, 91 comments!!! Isn't that what you hope for? You know what they say, if you aren't irritating someone somewhere, you're not doing your job. hahahaha! i believe that. I would KILL for 91 comments, or 40 or 50! You have a following and that is great.

  92. You opened a bag of worms. People strive hard to come up with a blog that garners some attention, like this post did, and then nobody comes. That is about the most disheartening thing that can happen. So, I do like you and others do, I try to repay each visitor to my blogs with a return visit. Nowadays that is getting to be something of a challenge as my readership has gone up. And, I get a lot of visitors who never leave comments -- as you know. As I write this I have had 95 people who actually stopped and looked at my post on Pick a Peck of Pixels.

    I look at the number of people who have looked at my profile and was stunned that over 45,000 have done that. It is amazing.

    However, the Pioneer Woman gets four, five, six, 10 thousand comments sometimes. Now she doesn't have any way to respond to that many visitors who leaves comments but the people still come every day. Some days she will have 300 visitors by mid morning when I get there. I think it is fun.

    No, numbers don't put me off. If they did I would have turned around and left as you had 91 comments when I stopped.

  93. I have to admit, I almost didn't leave a comment regarding the number of comments because there were so many comments!

    And now that I think about it, I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's because I think that one more comment won't make a difference, that the author won't read it or that I couldn't possibly add any more to the conversation. Kinda silly when I think about it!


  94. Pearl, I am totally surprised at the number of those who think I might not read all the comments. I don't know about you, but I think I am safe to say that most bloggers, like myself, LIVE for the comments. How could I possibly not read and appreciate each one? Do other bloggers actually ignore their comments?

  95. Willow, in response to your comment in response to Pearl's:

    Yes, there are some bloggers out there that don't keep up with all their comments. Esp. ones that have enormous amounts of bloggy love like yourself. That's part of why large numbers of comments can sometimes be daunting.

    (I've been following this comment conversation. It's one of the most interesting I've seen yet!)

  96. Thanks, Carrie. I love when bloggers are interested enough in the discussion to come back and add further thoughts.

  97. Well, judging by the fact that there are 97 comments before I saw your post here, Willow--I'd say you're making things inviting enough! LOL Some people are just shy, I think, and some tell me they can't figure out how to leave a comment if they don't have their own blog. I think it's great if people respond, and I think the comments are highly entertaining.

  98. I blog as a kind of diary for myself( I've never been able to keep a hand written one!!) if someone comments it is like a little gift been left for me, I am in awe of the amount of comments you get...if there is something I love on a blog I will always comment regardless of how many have gone before!!

  99. Wonderful I hit the jackpot at number 100!!!

    The number of comments does not affect me - the more the merrier! I love them - those left on my blogs and those written on the blogs I visit. It's amazing what one can learn and how one finds people who are interesting, thoughtful, funny etc...

  100. I love comments. I am part of a group blog and we want to know what people think. I spend time reading and commenting on other blogs and when I do I hope that others do the same on mine.

    How do we know if what we have written has struck a cord if all we hear is silence?

  101. Comments often bring a new twist to a started conversation. I like that! I like how sometimes comments challenge our own view of things, opening us to to new ideas and different angles.

  102. thought provoking, Willow.

    Well, for me the number of comments has no affect one way or the other. If I am compelled to respond, I will anyway, but I must say I do enjoy reading the others' comments before I do at times. If there are tons and tons I might too not catch them all but generally do try to read the ones on posts most intriguing. And, as you've seen,I will even return to some if the comments and conversation continue for some time.

    I like what you write about the comments being like the soul of the blog. Hmmm. I just don't think non bloggers even get that. It is so true though, ...or maybe, in fact, it is the curly thick dark hair on top?! :)

  103. What I most like to do too is read those other blogger's comments who I already visit anyway as i usually enjoy what they have to add.

  104. Comment 105 - the Historic;

    By Eskimo Bob

    Now that I have your undivided attention. . . oh great- you've moved onto another comment. (Winky smiley face emoticon)

    As a blogger (now internet radio phenom) I thrive on comments or callers; it's the lifeblood of the posts.

    I get discouraged as a blogger when I don't get as many comments (or as I call them "insights") as I would like - but also when there are hundreds of comments it does feel like it gets lost in the shuffle. It's a fickle thing and changes with the scenery.

  105. The volume of comments here has never worried me in the slightest Willow. Adding mine is fun, I feel part of a very lively & fascinating group aka The WM Fan Club. Your posts are always thoughtful, often thought-provoking & WM is a warm & welcoming site to return to often. Like you I value each & every comment left over @ The Hedge & I've never doubted that you read all yours, no matter the number, that's just the way you are. You have a unique ability to connect with your Followers, don't change a thing girl!!
    Millie ^_^

  106. At this moment there are 106 comments on your post. I never feel put off by the number, on the contrary I think it is a wonderful thing. Sure, it is nice when your comment gets noticed, but mostly we should be commenting because we feel compelled to say something. As in most things, the concern lies in the intent. Your followers (me included) are obviously not put off by the amount of people you inspire to take a moment and add a paintstroke.

    XO S

  107. Only if there's hundreds and I have to scroll through them all to get to this box. I love getting comments on my own blog. I check several times a day to see if anyone has commented. Pathetic, aren't I?

  108. I must admit that I will probably not comment when there are more comments than I care to read. With 108 ahead of me I had to scan them quickly to get to the end. Unless I have something of huge merit to say I will probably assume that somewhere in a field of 108 another reader would have made a similar comment.

    The comments on my blogs tend to number in the range of zero to one, so I cannot yet relate to this problem.

    Love your blog. Great eye candy, good prose, and plenty of comments to read.


  109. Hello Willow,

    I'm catching up here, which means this comment could be No.110 !

    I can be honest and say that I haven't read any of the others! But I do prefer to read the comments before mine: so that I can take other views into account; so that I do not repeat another; so that I don't ask an unnecessary question that has already been answered.

    But I can understand why someone might imagine that with so many comments already made, there is nothing new to say, and could the host be bothered to read them all anyway? (I know you do!)

  110. I'm never turned off by the number of comments and I always try to read them all before leaving my own comment. Sometimes the latter is hard to do with time constraints, some days better than others, but if that's the case, I always at least scan them. I learn so much from comments made by others, on my own blog as well as others.

  111. Willow,
    Breaking my own rule here; commenting in a comment section overpopulated with comments.
    I too am repulsed by too numerous comments. It's that feeling of disappearing into the crowd.

  112. I have visited your blog from time to time, but I never comment. It seems to me when there are 100 or more comments, it's irrelevant.

  113. What the dilemma is for me, is whether or not to respond to all comments on my blog, or make the effort to visit everyone who has paid ME a visit. Lately, I'm trying to spend less time on the blogs and more time working and I constantly feel I'm letting people down if I can't get to them or make a remark in response to something they have said.
    As for being daunted by other comments on someone else's blog, I am not put off by numbers. I don't read them all - maybe a few ahead of my own, or folks I recognize and whose ideas I respect, but generally, I just respond myself if I have something that may be of value or interest.

    See, I'm something like #115 on this post and it doesn't really faze me.

    I trust implicitly, Willow that you are taking the time to read all of your readers' comments and are so discerning of when to remark back to them.


  114. It makes no odds, really. I am number 115, by the way, unless someone posts before my reply appears. Whether a blogger has 200 comments or none at all, if I like the content, I leave my feedback. It's just pure courtesy.

    Your blog is a fine balance of everything and that's why I like it. Keep up the good work.

    Greetings from London.

  115. Yes Willow, comments are that which meke blogging worth while, otherwise we could just as well talk to a brick wall.

  116. The number of comments does not
    turn me off, quite the contrary
    I think the blog must be doing
    something right.

  117. As a blogger who has just recently turned off the comments on my blog, I found this post and the many responses fascinating.

    I must admit that I am often am turned away from commenting when there are already many, many other responses to a post. I suppose I feel as though what I have to say has already been said one, or two, or three times.

    I have mixed feeling about comments. I really do enjoy the interaction, yet, often I feel as though many comments are rather... shallow (gee, that sounds harsh), merely "stamps of approval" with no real thought added. And, yes, my own comments are often this way.

    For me, right now, removing the comments from my blog was the right thing to do... I need the simplicity and quietness. I do miss people's responses, but I enjoy feeling less "obligated" to my blog, my email, and other blogs.

    I realize that removing the comments is a decidedly unpopular thing to do in blogging circles, and honestly I expected to see a decrease in my readers and subscriptions. Surprise of surprises, the number of readers and subscribers has grown since making the change... which leads me to wonder if folks actually enjoy being able to read/view a blog without feeling obligated to comment...?

  118. Thanks for your insight, MG. I think it all boils down to what we are looking to glean from the blogging experience. For me, it's all about the community of blogging. I'm sure many out there don't feel the need for the social end. It's true, we must all find our rhythms. I do miss not being able to comment on your blog. Your pear photo today was brilliant, by the way.

  119. I don't think a lot of comments puts me off. In personal blogs (as opposed to commercial ones),
    a lot of comments seems to indicated that the person is engaging. A lot of comments don't show up in blogs where they post and never respond to the comments. We connect with the people. So if I encounter a blog (like yours) with many comments, it says to me.. "this is an engaging person at some level. It might be interesting to begin a conversation, even if it is just a comment. Over my time blogging, a couple of my commenter have become real friends, and there is huge value in a friend. You never know where things will lead, and that's the magic of it.

  120. Christian ~ I miss commenting to you, too! fact, if it weren't for commenting, we wouldn't have formed a friendship. And we met you because you commented on Nancy's blog way back when.

    I know many times someone's comment to me has made my day and encouraged me. I hope my comments to others don't seem shallow. Even if I simply reply that something is lovely, I really mean it.

    And yes, your pear was gorgeous!

  121. I very, very rarely read a post without commenting -- so the number of comments (little or large) doesn't make a difference either way, really.

    The comments are definitely the dynamic part of it all.

  122. If I am moved or affected by a post, I will always leave a comment. But in truth I must admit that being the 123 person to comment on this was a little daunting, and sometimes I wonder if anyone would bother reading a comment from little old me!
    thanks for asking!

  123. I read the comments on this post through #57 and then my eyes got tired (white letters on black get "shimmery"... perhaps my glasses). What I'm very curious about is you... How much time do you spend daily with your blog -writing, photographing, reading and answering comments? Why do you do it?

    You do seem to have a very open and respectful blog demeanor. Even though you don't answer all the comments, you are responsive to ones that ask questions or pose an interesting tangent to your topic, thus encouranging them to return and building a readership community that is fun to follow.

    BTW, thanks for visiting my blog today. It made me come back to yours and read through several more of your posts (including the comments). I'm enjoying the journey!

  124. Robin, I spend about 90 minutes in the morning and 90 minutes at night blogging, with a few popping in and out of blogs through the afternoon. My PC in on an old drafting table in my kitchen, so I can do walk up blogging. It is impossible to answer all the comments on my blog, but I try to keep the conversation moving in the comment section and visit each commenter at least once a week.

    Why do I blog? See my "transformative moment" post on Wednesday August 19. That pretty much sums it up.

    Thanks for your kind compliments.

  125. Thanks so much for answering my question! I'm not surprised it takes you 3+ hours per day... I would have guessed even more. It's a gift, Willow. I understand (from reading transformative moment) that it's a gift to yourself as well as to us.

    Having access to the net in your kitchen is a smart idea!

    Btw, I'm in the process of writing a post about why I blog... It begins with links to your blog and 2 of your posts.

  126. Robin, and I forgot to add that I pretty much take weekends off! Thanks for the mention on your blog. I'll pop over and take a peek...

  127. Perhaps "blogging" is a quiet way to "socialize" without having to leave the house.

    Or it could be a way to keep our writing skills up :)

    I found my way here via "Robin Atkins" blog.

    I do have a blog, but presently am signed in with one of my other user names, ah well.

    This comment I very much enjoyed reading, why because of the word "kite", be a kiteflier, married to a kiteflier, the word KITE always catches my eye.

    >>hi willow, blogs are like kites for me. when they fly, i love to see the breezes that carry them dipping and diving across the sky. the comments are those breezes. without them the post becomes a kite - lovely to look at, exquisite even - but without the breezes - something just to look at but not really there to experience as a whole. there you go. steven<<

    Have a beautiful week.


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)