Comments are the most obvious way in which a blogger can gauge whether his or her profound words are being read and appreciated. Although many of us will – like every second-rate indie band of the 1990s – claim that we’re “doing this for ourselves, and if anyone else likes it then that’s a bonus”, there’s nothing more dispiriting than scrolling through your blog and being greeted with zero after pitiful zero, indicating that nobody thought your posts worth even the briefest remark. Oh, the agony.
So comments are important, most definitely, if only to preserve the self-esteem of the site’s author. But what kind of commenters can most often be found lurking behind that clickable link?
THE ‘ME TOO!’ COMMENTER
A person of few words, other than to agree with what you’ve painstakingly written in your post: “Yay! Me too!” While it’s nice to receive feedback, you can’t help thinking that they could have made a bit more of an effort. An even shorter version of such comments is occasionally sighted – just those three solitary letters that strike fear into my heart: “LOL”.
They comment once, then they accidentally press the ‘submit’ button and post the same comment again. Then they apologise for posting that comment twice. That comment gets posted twice, and then … well, you get the picture.
THE 3.00AM INEBRIATE
Every night of the year, there’s at least one drunken person somewhere in the world who decides to explore new internet sites in the middle of the night. “Hello, I have jusht dishcovered your shite – shorry, site – and I can’t really undershtand it but it’s very late and I’m pished.”
THE CHEAP LINK TART
“Hey! Great site! I’ve linked your site! Do you want to link mine? If so, please visit www.pleasebemyfriend.com! Thanks!” Such comments are generally, though not always, the preserve of 14-year-olds.
THE PLAIN SCARY
“I really feel what you’re saying. I do. I know that this is my sixty-eighth comment on your site today, but it’s just that your words have really found a resonance deep in my soul. I’ve made a little plasticine model of you. I know where you live. You haven’t seen your pet cat for the past two days, have you? I’ll tell you why that is, shall I? Here kitty. Here kitty kitty.”
THE ‘I DON’T GET IT’ COMMENTER
Oh, the bane of my life. These are the commenters who think that a weblog needs to offer some kind of balanced view of the world, to bear in mind other opinions apart from the writer’s own. They totally neglect the fact that blogs are all about the personal aspect, containing opinions that don’t have to be backed up with facts and figures. If you want editorial balance, watch the news. You can easily imagine such comments being written in green ink; they often end with the pithy suggestion that you should “Think about it!” Er, thanks. I still have nightmares about the time my weblog upset the entire worldwide population of Dire Straits fans after I irrationally confessed to loathing Brothers in Arms. Shiver.
SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM & SPAM
Because the quickest way to avoid a row of zeroes on the front page of your blog is to receive 583 comments about improving the size of your genitals.
The personality types above are just illustrations, and obviously many more sub-categories exist. But somehow, writing a blog entry about comments seems wrong. Inappropriate. So – hey kids! here’s a crazy notion! – use the comments on this post to tell me what sort of commenter you are.*