The Mila Araujo (@Milaspage) School of Commenting

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Confession: I’m an awkward commenter, and struggle with how to best deliver response without becoming overbearing. So I always perk my ears up when I run into a comment marketer who is well liked by their peers, and glean any best practices I can.

I met Montreal’s Mila Araujo at the TribeUp in NYC and then again at PodCamp East. She is known in her community as someone who delivers extremely rich and deep comments, and she also writes a damn good blog on social. So I decided to ask her a few questions.

BTW, I dubbed her thoughts a school. I meant this in a respectful way to others who have different methods of commenting. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, so to speak. On that note, here are Mila’s thoughts on commenting!

GL: You are known for thoughtful comments, it’s a core of your marketing ethos. Can explain to people why thoughtful comments matter to you?

MA: People take their time and effort to put their thoughts into a blog post/article. Not only have they taken the time to write but they share on a public forum for everyone to have access.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for this, I feel that if someone has gone through all this the very least we can do is give our thanks by means of thoughtful feedback, or commentary. This is someones art, the art of writing – it deserves thoughtful response and respect in thanks.

GL: What makes a good blog comment in your opinion?

MA: I think that good blog comments are comments that either add a new perspective, elaborate on thoughts contained in the post, or bring up new ideas, new questions or even points that may have been missed. The best thing about our modern use of internet “writing” is that ability to allow readers to participate.

This drives the potential of new ideas, collaborations and discussion. In essence, if the comment can bring a new dimension to the post, it makes it just as interesting to the readers to continue reading. It’s not just about agreement, it can include debate. Bottom line: If it adds value, that’s a good comment.

GL: What about short comments? Are they good, too?

MA: I have a great deal of respect for people who have the gift of being concise. A short comment that respects the concepts of a good comment is golden.

It’s not about the length of the comment, it’s about the value it adds to the conversation, and the feedback to the author. If it brings value, it is well worth it. Long or short – it’s about the contribution & value.

GL: I recently had a discussion with the Livefyre team, and argued that a Tweet is not a comment. We disagreed. What do you think?

MA: That’s a great question. I have looked at many of the “tweets” being integrated into the “comments” section via Livefyre.

At first I thought it was a great concept, but again, we come back to value: how much are the tweets really saying about the post? I feel that tweets are acknowledgements, conversation “sparks”, or promotion. Very rarely can a comment truly be played out in a tweet.

Most people are not using tweets as comment tools, therefore to count them as comments does not make sense to me. We have to go with how people are actually using the medium right now, tweeting is not being used as commenting, therefore they don’t equal a comment simply because they are being displayed.

What does provide value in Livefyre’s concept is the perceived “support” people may take from seeing a great deal of tweets on an article, however, the value to the conversation and subject is not comparable to a comment.

GL: What are the biggest faux pas you see with commenting today?

MA: The biggest faux pas:

I think a lot of people comment just to comment. I am not sure this drives conversation the right way, nor does it really add value. If you have nothing to add, I would recommend using the like button.

It is okay not to comment, forced comments come off unnatural. If you are stretching to respond, just walk away. You can always come back later if you really come up with something to say.

People commenting just to create back links or promote themselves without really respecting the depth of the writing they are commenting on – it’s a big faux pas. Not only because it’s rather self servant, but also because what ends up happening is the quality of the conversation goes downhill, once you’ve hit one or two totally irrelevant comments, as a reader you are likely to just skip the comments section all together, and that’s a shame because there can be some really great comments out there!

Quality of the comments revolving around unrelated content, and the concept of the post is then lost in the comments. Some might argue it’s the beauty of social media, but frankly, conversation totally unrelated to the post within the post’s comments section just seems out of place (and again self serving).

When I am reading comments, it is because I am interested in the opinions and views of readers on the subject matter. That’s what brings the deeper experience for the reader and author.

Personal dialogue that goes too far off base just dilutes things and lowers quality. Participating in this kind of “comment/blog takeover” is really inappropriate. You want to support the writer and the dialogue not take over and run with it for your own amusement.

***The exception, if the writer of the post just writes for their own little clique of friends, then go ahead – but keep in mind this kind of commenting alienates everyone else, lowers respectability of the blog and can make “outsiders” feel unwelcomed. Isn’t the idea of commenting to welcome new ideas, fresh minds, etc?

This last point can actually now happen more readily with Livefyres new integration – as a side note – another reason tweets aren’t really comments.

The best way I can illustrate is as if a speaker is doing a presentation, and the crowd in the Q&A gets off track and starts talking about the best restaurant in town. It might end up being a great conversation with some value about good food, but where’s the respect for the topic?

The challenge: Authors/bloggers have to be able to jump in and “moderate” the comments in such a way to coral the thoughts back in the right direction, or acknowledge the obvious need for a new topic and respond with a new post! It’s pretty interesting actually.

It’s your turn. What would you add about commenting?

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  • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

    Wow, I am incredibly honored and touched by your post Geoff. Thank you so much. I was in fact speechless, however given this post is on commenting, I felt I really must push past my speechlessness and thank you for sharing my thoughts on comments, and your support and kind words here. “A school of commenting” – wow! I am beyond honored.

    The most important thing is that we as people are often too hard on ourselves.

    Geoff, perhaps you feel your comments are not to your expectations or criteria, I don’t think that’s appropriate, because they reflect your style- people probably value them much more than you ever imagined!

    I also have news for you – I am *always* worried about my comments, I use the info I shared above to keep myself in check: Asking: “is it giving value?’…but I often think – oh my gosh, that was so long…they are going to think I am crazy!

    Then, someone like you comes around and says, “hey, this is cool”. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that.

    It’s all about being an individual, expressing yourself, gaining confidence in this online space- contributing various angles to an issue, or most importantly perhaps, saying thank you, and making someone smile, like you did for me today. Thank you so much.

    (rest assured, ill reread this comment and think it a million ways around: was that comment enough, was it okay, did it make sense?. We have to stop it, we have to just speak, and say what we feel – that’s the beauty of the social web dynamics!) – ha.

    My comment on commenting. What a very cool day this is, thanks Geoff!

    • geofflivingston

      We are getting very meta on the commenting. What’s hilarious about this post is we published it an hour ago, and well, no one is commenting. Yet.

      And thank YOU for all of your hard work on this post. It’s excellent, and people seem to be sharing it a bit. Cheers.

      • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

        Very Meta :) I really enjoyed our discussion on this Geoff. It was interesting for me to be asked to articulate my thoughts on the commenting “way” that I follow, I had never given it such deep thought before – sharing ideas, sparking discussion with others really adds to our human experience. Thank you for bringing this out, and for taking the time to have that discussion with me. It means a lot. :)

        Speaking of “Meta”, Below a picture I took without knowing : “Fox running through trees” – no, it’s not about commenting, but I’ll take artistic liberty in demonstrating the cool aspect of Disqus’ picture comment ability, which I believe is an incredible strength of Disqus. ;)

  • Positively Pampered Patty

    I love this article. I’ve had some beautiful comments on my blog, some really brief ones too, but I am always honoured that people take the time to read anything I write, and also take the time to comment. It is however something to think about for myself when I comment on other blogs, and it will make me reflect more on the quality of my comments when I write them. Great picture of us by the way!! :)

    • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

      Thank you Patty! Another very nice aspect of taking the time to comment is allowing the community, whether it be the blog author or other members get to know you. It makes it really special to meet in person for the first time like in this picture when we met at the 140 Montreal meet up. I love the picture from that evening too – a very special time! You always write very genuine pieces on your blog, commenting is not unlike that. Thank you so much or taking the time to add your thoughts, it means a lot to me!

  • http://www.grizzard.com/author/ericpratum/ Eric Pratum

    It’s nice to read a post that isn’t all about creating killer content or engaging at a higher level or whatever else. Commenting is something that’s taken for granted. Some communities thrive on it, but rarely talk about it, while others have essentially zero commenting even though the author has tons of traffic, respect, subscribers, etc.

    That all being said, I commented recently on a post from Marcus Sheridan (http://www.thesaleslion.com/going-stop-reading-blog-soon/#comment-33731) that I some people are pushing for less comments and more responses as blog posts. Some people have tried and given up. Some have moved completely to that.

    When you do comment though, I recommend bookmarking comments in something like Delicious (which can then be rigged up to auto-share/tweet/update/etc your comment through a Delicious RSS feed). This makes it much, much easier to come back around and find responses to your comments later. I wrote about this a year or more ago in this terribly formatted post on my old agency’s site: http://www.grizzard.com/comment-like-a-rockstar-make-the-most-of-commenting/

    • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

      Eric, so nice to meet you via this comment! I had to do some research in order to respond here. Which is cool, I appreciate the thought you’ve also put into commenting, and for sharing these ideas.

      I thought your idea of using delicious was rather interesting, and checked it out, as well as your comment in Marcus’ blog.

      I’ll reply to your comment on Marcus’ blog first, I totally agree with the concept that people take ideas from blogs and then can use them as entire subjects of blog posts on their own sites. In fact, I am pretty sure this is how I pushed myself to start blogging in some way. However, to simply read a blog post and then evade commenting to simply respond in a blog of your own, is actually not really comparable to commenting.

      The reason I feel this, is that although I do encourage exploring topics more deeply via a blog post, there is no guarantee that the reader of the original post will have any idea what you wrote about if you don’t comment in the post itself. The author, in fact may not even have the time to go looking for you to find your comment…

      For example, if I looked at this post and just answered as a blog post on my own site – where would the people who don’t know about me or where my blog is see any evidence of the dialogue?

      If I believe if what I have to contribute to the conversation is of value, I really should “touch” the author and readers via comments. If necessary, a simple – “Wow, thank you for that inspiring post, I actually blogged my response to you here” is well worth it, perhaps with a preview of the main ideas. So people have an option – to follow your thought further, or to simply see you were inspired.

      In a way, I think reading something, not commenting at all and posting your reply entirely to your own blog is somewhat “anti-community” – for me the whole idea of commenting is lost in that.

      If you got value from someone, let them know – on the spot.

      What do you think?

      Regarding Delicious, I think its an interesting thing you’ve done there. The only question I would have is why use that rather than Disqus or Livefyre – where it collects and attaches – as well as notifies you -when you make comments? I know Delicious is popular, and at the time of your original post (2010) things were different, so I take that into account also… Because you built it on another platform, it’s also definitely a way to reach new people with your comments (the Delicious audience), but I’m not sure I would want to create a whole new way of doing things (given the technological advancements in commenting tools right now).

      You’ve put a lot of work into it and its pretty cool – something I hadn’t come across! Thanks for sharing it – worth taking a look!

      • http://www.grizzard.com/author/ericpratum/ Eric Pratum

        Thanks, Mila.

        Regarding commenting vs blogging in response, I definitely agree. Even if a blogger checks their trackbacks, they’re often the only person that might read both their own post and the post in response since most bloggers do not display trackbacks, and even if they do, most readers don’t follow them. It would be awesome if someone would create a WordPress plugin where you could drop in a URL if your post is in reply to a different post. Then, maybe if you and the other blogger both used the same plugin, there would be a section of the page that said something like “See responses on other blogs.” Who knows if it’d actually work, but it would be interesting to try.

        As for using Delicious, I recommend only doing this for your comments on other websites. For my own uses, I don’t like getting email notifications about replies to my comments, so using Delicious allows me to periodically open it up, visit places that I’ve commented, and reply back if someone has left me a reply. For a commenting system, I still definitely recommend Disqus, Livefyre, Facebook Comments, etc to keep the conversation alive.

  • http://twitter.com/rdopping Ralph Dopping

    Where the value lies with me is in the conversation.

    There are numerous times where I have asked a question in a blog comment to gain clarification on something I have read or to entice the blogger or readers into conversation but I find this exceedingly difficult at the best of times to get a response.

    I do find that many people come by and leave a comment which is great unto itself. I wonder if I am expecting too much in a continued engagement on a comment?

    Great piece and bang on approach to commenting.

    • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

      I think your expectation of commenting is perfectly reasonable! When bloggers/authors blog, and a question is asked we should be prepared to answer. Sometimes, it does happen that it takes a few days – personally I know I have one comment on my own blog which requires an answer. My own personal issue in not replying sooner was that the response is quite elaborate, and at the time I had been mobile. This being said, that person will get an answer. It can happen that something delays a response, we are all human. However if you’re keeping “comments” active on a blog, and you get a fair question – it’s polite to reply.

      I think people are very perceptive. If you make a comment just to “poke” at other readers or the author – you may not get a reply. I am not saying that’s what you suggested, but I am throwing this angle in as well. In a case like that, just as people don’t like being bated in advertising, people don’t like being bated in comments on their blog. It’s all approach.

      Thanks for bringing up this expanded discussion :)
      Are you asking too much? I don’t know. don’t write for reaction, write for having something to say – then it doesn’t really matter too much , does it?

      Everyone is different, just do your best, and I think in the end, that’s all you need to worry about!

      • http://twitter.com/rdopping Ralph Dopping

        Good points. I would like to clarify simply by saying that my intention is never to write simply for a reaction. Personally, if someone asks me a question I feel I have an obligation to answer otherwise I feel I may come across as elitist. Taking your time to respond appropriately is never an issue and is preferable.

        I think the polite Canadian in me is showing through too much. :-) Thanks for the insightful response.

  • Brian D. Meeks

    When I read comments on my blog, I do appreciate the ones which are like you described. I love it when someone adds something to the conversation.

    On occasion, though, I’ve found a simply “hello, loved the post” sort of comment to be just as thrilling. It is a rare case, but I recently wrote a post about Triberr and BOTH founder popped in to say thanks for writing it. They didn’t advance the conversation or need to, in my opinion, they made my day just by letting me know they gave it a read.

    Yesterday, I wrote a review of an app called ProCamera for iPhone. I loved it. I didn’t get a comment, but I did get a RT from the folks at ProCamera and a tweet saying thanks for writing the review. For me, it was just as good as a comment, because it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Who doesn’t like to feel warm and fuzzy?

    So, I believe most comments should add value, but if you are a big wig, then maybe just saying hello, if that is all you have time for, is still worth it, because you just might brighten a tiny blogger’s day.

    • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

      I totally agree! :)

  • http://twitter.com/KDillabough Kaarina Dillabough

    I take commenting very seriously. I comment when I have something to say that I believe will add value to the discussion, provide a slightly different perspective for people to chew on, to acknowledge the work of the writer and/or to spark further discussion. (I’m also known to incite a #TeamBlogJack, but that’s a whole other story:)

    I don’t comment for the sake of commenting, for backlinks (I don’t even know how to do that) or to self-promote. I feel that if my words and perspective are interesting, someone might check me out. If not…I don’t need to push-sell myself or my ideas.

    This is my fave: “It’s not about the length of the comment, it’s about the value it adds
    to the conversation, and the feedback to the author. If it brings value,
    it is well worth it. Long or short – it’s about the contribution &
    value.”

    This is a really long comment for me. Usually, in both my posts and my comments, I’m pretty succinct. Nice to meet a fellow Canadian here:) Cheers! Kaarina

    • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

      Thank you so much Kaarina for taking the time to reply to these thoughts on commenting! Its really nice to have a dialogue like this, and I am happy to meet you too!

  • Pingback: Cheaters Not Welcome | Extremely Average

  • http://lyndaryoung.blogspot.com/ Lynda R. Young

    I’m a fan of brevity in my comments purely because I don’t have a lot of time, but the automatic replies I try to avoid eg thanks for sharing! lol

    • geofflivingston

      Yeah, I do the same. There’s nothing wrong with that, if it’s sincere, right? Cheers!

    • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

      Lynda, I agree, and time is pressing for everyone! We need to feel okay with not leaving a comment if we aren’t “moved” to do so. There is nothing wrong with that! I believe when something really “moves” you somehow, you make the time. If not, then you just let it go – maybe with the “like” :)

  • http://twitter.com/allenmireles Allen Mireles

    I smiled while reading this post and then worried that I had nothing of value to contribute as a comment. I appreciated the listing of the comment faux pas because so many of us need the reminder to back away from self promotion and the never-ending hunt for the mythical back link.

    And how wonderful to have built a reputation as someone whose comments are rich, deep and have value. Lovely to meet you, Mila.

    • geofflivingston

      You almost always have something to add, Allen! The back link and comment ratio things are annoying to me as a social media “old timer”, but I don’t want to downplay respect for other approaches. It works for them now. I hope Google figures out a new “Panther” algorithm update that discredits cheap commenting for backlinks though! Good to see you!

      • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

        Allen, Geoff, There must be a natural stabilizer if you think about it- I mean how many cheap comments with backlinks can possibly stick to a point that it outweighs the true work of a company or individual who has earned their rank with hard work & content???

        I do not believe the tactic works as a strategy *on it’s own* – and I believe those who are cheap enough to use it as a strategy on their own, are not very advanced anyways…that’s why they are relying on it…., so, I believe (and I may be wrong- because Im not an SEO expert) that the hard work put into a site and all that’s around it **will win** over the cheap tactics of a person just dropping backlinks 9 times out of 10. So its a waste of time!

        Even if they get the visit, their quality will be evident on the click through and they will not be able to obtain ANYTHING from it because they wont have interesting content, contrast, or enough appeal for success. Quality – not quantity. Maybe Im a Polyanna, but thats what I think.

    • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

      Allen, what a beautiful comment, thank you. Indeed Geoff asked some really good questions that made me reflect on things that I was doing, perhaps without really even realizing it. He is truly amazing. And, if you’ll forgive me straying in the focus of my comment for a minute, to add another comment on Geoff… Geoff took the time to listen to me, and hear that there was something to share. Thats a real gift. I was very touched by this.

      Allen, like you, when I saw this post I also smiled, for the reasons above, and I also worried about whether or not I could answer the comments and truly provide value, since I was in the subject. So, I think, it’s a sign that you are quite thoughtful yourself, to have even worried.

      Your comment really made my day! This entire comment thread on commenting has been so informative, and thought provoking, I have appreciated each comment, and also each person’s personality that’s comes through. I am so happy to meet you via Geoff’s community as well!

      Geoff, thank you for this wonderful post, for the opportunity to share ideas and meet wonderful people. :)

  • http://twitter.com/RogierNoort Rogier Noort

    OK, this too is a great post Geoff, thank you for posting this.
    I usually take great care with comments. Chances are they get read by more people than my blog :)

    And I love the comments below and Mila’s responses. It proves the point made in the post unequivocally.

    • geofflivingston

      Mila is fantastic. Really invests time in people, and I think that shows that she cares about what she’s reading and writing. I can definitely learn from this example! Cheers, and thanks for the compliment!

    • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

      When you take great care with comments, people who read your well thought out responses do click through your blog. I often get hits (based on my analytics) from comments – and that’s not from dropping links. I think it’s because people read the thoughts , agree or are curious, then want to know more about the person sharing them… You never know who is reading your blog without looking at analytics, comments on your posts are not a measure at all, so never feel bad if you do not get comments :) It’s not an indicator of visits. :)

      Thank you for your kind comment Rogier, I am glad some of my thoughts are useful or give perspective :)

  • Adam

    Geoff, Glad to learn of Mila — an interesting conversation.

    I think Livefyre has done a great job of improving their product, but I wholeheartedly agree that a tweet is not a comment. We are all trying to find ways to sift through the digital noise, and I think clogging the comment section with Tweets just adds clutter without adding value.

    • geofflivingston

      LiveFyre is a tempting platform. I have considered moving to it, but have some issues with reliability etc. based on my experiences. I continue to monitor it, and depending how things evolve, I may may make the great jump. Disqus 2012 was a good leap though, so I am happy right now.

      • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

        I am using Livefyre on one of my blogs and Disqus on my other blog. I agree that there are reliability issues and glitches often with Livefyre which I do not see with Disqus. They are really helpful in the customer service team, and I believe they try their best, but…there are issues. In my case issues that effect the whole reason I chose to use them in the first place – so, I am on the flip side of you Geoff, on my milaspage blog, im seriously considering moving to Disqus. The cost of the glitches is high – for me, and the value then is lost…

        Favorite Feature of Disqus: Photo attaching – easier to use on mobile commenting (more reliable)

        Fav Feature of Livefyre – the blog link (last comment, or last post)

    • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

      Agreed. To give some positive feedback on an attribute I really like about Livefyre… it shows the last post you wrote (if you use them on your blog) or commented on. This helps drive additional traffic and shows the people reading your comments where you have last been at a glance. It’s brought me to many a new blog, via “referral”. I like that! They have made some interesting progress in facilitating some interesting “value adds” for both commentators (“commenter”s?) and bloggers.

    • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

      Adam, really nice to meet you via this great discussion! Thanks for chiming in on the comment vs tweet issue. I was really curious to know how others were feeling about it. :)

  • The Animated Woman

    Although my own blog isn’t a good example, I love the kind of posts that take on divisive issues for precisely this reason – the comments are often more interesting than the blog post! I love human nature, it fascinates me no end, and reading comments gives me insight into the how’s and why’s people believe and behave what and as they do.

    This is a wonderful interview. Thank-you for sharing it!

    • geofflivingston

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you found it useful. I agree on divisive issues. As a blogger, I think we’re supposed to set the table for a dialogue, and then sometimes leave and let it happen. I’m sure Mila will add some additional insights, but thanks for coming by!

      • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

        How could I not add some insights to that one! ;)

    • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

      JC! your blog has the gift of communicating with visuals that often surpass the need for numerous words. One of my favorite posts was the time you wrote about your husband being away, your animations were so striking! Your commenting community/activity is quite active and strong because of it. Discourse and theory are all good, but there is no match for emotionally invoking posts, you do this very well! And, frankly I think your posts on Klout could be divisive – ha! I love the community you have going on your site, and the smiles you bring – surely you feel this too when you go to conferences and finally meet everyone in person. Your blog shares the human experience in a very cool way – comments and all. Sometimes we need each other to point things out that we don’t even realize-yet seem clear to others…I think your and this comment qualifies as an example. You invoke comments from the heart – pretty tough to accomplish and pretty cool. Thank you!! (For those of you who don’t know JC, here’s a post, that has few words, but you get the picture. http://www.theanimatedwoman.com/2011/08/smiling.html You will also notice consistently engaged people, commenting on every post – that’s impact.)

  • http://joshuawilner.com/ Josh

    Sometimes the simple comment is best. Every now and then I come across comments where it is clear to me the commenter is trying to impress people with their knowledge but they obfuscate their point by wrapping it up in jargon and unnecessary rhetoric.

    Comments aren’t currency and I don’t view them as being representative of whether a blog is successful or not. At the same time they also can be a virtual mine of gold nuggets.

    I have learned quite a bit from them.

    • geofflivingston

      I suppose it varies on the comment itself rather than the generalization of length or substance!

      • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

        100%

  • http://SEOcmo.com/ Josepf J Haslam

    Well, it should be no surprise to anyone who watches Mila comment to see this post has already garnered 33 comments :). My favorite of all time was when Sam Fiorella thanked Mila for writing a “Blog Post” reply in his comments section…

    Now, if this were LiveFyre I would have @ mentioned Sam and drawn him into the conversation; increasing the reach and richness of the dialog. Am a huge proponent of integrating Blog Commenting system directly with Social Media. (tried in this Disqus thread and it did not work, kept skipping to the beginning on my sentence)

    The one thing I can say about Mila’s school of commenting is this: When Mila comments you know she put some thought into it and is genuinely trying to connect. Too many times people drop in fly-by comments or quick pat-on-the-backs. Mila delivers substance and passion and fearlessly contributes her POV.

    Great interview Geoff and thanks to Mila for speaking in her voice and sharing more of her Art.

    • http://twitter.com/samfiorella Sam Fiorella

      ….and somehow I’ve been drawn in without Livefyre. Funny how that works.

      • geofflivingston

        Indeed, welcome!

      • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

        :) {{ << see that<<< my comment was just a smile.}}}

    • geofflivingston

      Yeah, she’s pretty unique. Makes me feel like I spread the peanut butter a little too thing! ;)

      On Livefyre, it certainly has its assets and strengths. There’s no question about that. I also don’t like getting Facebook wall posts from LiveFyre, though. A bit of a mixed bag.

    • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

      Thank you for your kind compliment, and true support of my “blogesque” commenting :)

      Warning: You get a real sample of it here – {side note: the beauty of comments is that if people don’t want to read your big long comment, they don’t have to}

      So, here we go –

      Josepf, you are a connector, I see how well you use this feature and it’s pretty neat – yet I am not sold like you. We’ve talked extensively about Livefyre vs. Disqus, I know you are a big fan of the ability to draw others into the conversation via this method….

      Here’s the reason I don’t make this a big factor in evaluating my commenting tool:

      I wonder how polite it is (to draw people in like that). And this question requires possible feedback from those who have been drawn in before. And in a way, is perhaps a private investigation into the real feeling behind it… But lets say , I tweeted you, I sent you a private facebook message, I mentioned you in a RT, and you didn’t “comment” on the blog (for whatever reasons)… then someone else comes along and sticks you right into the comments and drags you in, leaving you at a point where you either have to comment, or ignore it. Ignoring it puts you in a bad social position – you could be made to look rude.

      Is this any different than “baiting” people in comments?

      It’s all in the judgement of the user, of course it could be argued that only the socially savvy would know how to “at” mention people – but, I guess I am more of a go with the flow, and draw people in discretely through appropriate methods, not public “standing on soap boxes and documenting their name for the world to see”…let them decide if they want to comment or not – not in the body of the subject. UNLESS – and I have an unless, you absolutely know this is one of their “issues” their “big subjects” their passions…but even then, it’s a matter of opinion. Imagine if you @ mentioned me into another post on commenting, and for whatever reason, I just didn’t feel like saying anything…then im either completely rude, or an elitist (which I am not) – or people could interpret it as me disagreeing. Its a slippery slope, I don’t like the tactic, now that I’ve commented it out here.

      Drawing People In Vs. Referencing/Acknlowleding
      The circumstance I see the @ being polite and useful, is if the post is on a subject, and you cite or quote the person’s good work on a similar subject and you want them to see your Kudos, in such a way, that its almost a footnote to the person you are referring to. (A link back to their website may be just as strong, and of more value to them, however…)

      if it’s done in such a way that there is no obligation laid out to comment. Its a real art – i think as with anything some will abuse and take advantage of it, and overall there is a lot of opportunity for people to feel bad. Honestly, if Sam didn’t come here and comment after you drew him out, i would have wondered why. Sam, being my friend, and someone I really have good relations with, might have also felt bad if he didn’t comment (or maybe not- Sam is special- lol!) – but you see what I mean there?

      Comments should be about marketing, they should be about what you are saying. To use it for marketing and outreach is a very delicate art.

      • http://SEOcmo.com/ Josepf J Haslam

        WOW, so this is going to turn into a Rumble…. @geofflivingston:disqus it has been decided that @Milaspage:disqus and I are going to take this debate to a Googlehangout and “air” it out for the public to decide the virtues of Livefyre vs cough cough Disqus…

        • geofflivingston

          Rutrow, Shaggy!

  • http://gearboxmagazine.com/ Brian Driggs

    How refreshing – and terrifying – to see what happens when the bulk of the conversation in the comments section is from others like me who tend toward 100-300 words per comment!

    The topic becomes more – and less – defined with each response, lending the page a richer, more meaningful feel. But can you imagine if EVERY blog post we read were so substantive? Where would we find time for actually DOING that which inspires the posts?

    In over 400 posts, I seem to have averaged roughly 2 comments per in the last three years. Not bad, but I suspect I represent half those comments, as I feel it important to respond to every comment. Though my audience will spend days driving forum discussions to double-digit page counts, they just just aren’t interested in “blog” comments.

    I might just switch to a format without them and hide this little light of mine behind a pay (attention) wall this winter. 100 people who genuinely care are more important than 100,000 just looking for pictures of cars or shopping for car parts.

    Pollyanna, indeed.
    I know I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…

    • geofflivingston

      Well, I think it’s pretty healthy actually. The conversation transcends the blogger and becomes the community’s. In an ideal world, I’d like to see bloggers serve communities more often, in the sense that they kick off conversations and then let the community roll with it!

      As far as comment ratios, I wouldn’t get too crazy about that. There are well read blogs that get a ton of traffic…

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