Friday, May 16, 2008

A Comment / Post Paradox

Tēnā koutou katoa
Welcome to you all

I’ve just left a comment on Andrea Hernandez's post for Day 14 (which paradoxically is really her Day 16 task – Go Back And Catch Up On Something - shades of Back To The Future - oops, I haven't done mine yet!)

I was very grateful for this opportunity to leave a comment on a post that turned the blog over to the readers.
While I was writing my comment (and also after I’d submitted it) I couldn’t help but think about how I should have written it.

A comment as a post

Should I, as the commenter, write the comment as I would a post? Or should I blaze ahead and write the comment simply as I usually do when I write a comment? What’s the psychology behind how a comment is viewed by readers compared to how a post (of the same text content) is viewed?

We’ve been discussing how to write a post that attracts discussion, and there have been a number of key pointers raised, some of which border on psychology to do with how the reader views the post. Does the same psychology apply to how a reader views a comment?

Psychology of the reader

Let's say a reader looks at a post and thinks, "That’s a poorly written post and doesn’t really do anything for me; best go find a better post to comment on”?

What if the same post had been written as a comment. Would the reader’s reaction be the same? Or would it be more like “I can’t agree with that - this deserves a comment from me”?

Further to this, in the context of the Day 14 task, what affect does the post have on a subsequent comment that has a significant influence over how the reader views the comment?

I know it seems a bit like the chicken and the egg theme. But for me, commenting on a post that’s turned over to me as commenter gets me thinking about all this.
What do you think?

Ka kite ano
Catch ya later


Michele Martin said...

You think a lot, Ken! :-)

For me, I generally post as I would a regular comment. Actually I'm not aware of thinking any differently when I comment vs. when I write a post, except that in a comment I'm obviously responding to something a blogger has said. Do you find that the two are really different for you?

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Hi Michele - thinking too much may be the problem! In this instance I do think differently, especially in the light of our most recent conversations on how to improve posting techniques.

As a blogger the post is put as food for thought but also as bait; there is intent to entice comment. Don't you agree?

As a commenter there is opportunity for direct agreement or disagreement. Not so with a post unless there is a passive reference to another post. Here lies a difference.

There is something passive about the post compared to the interactive participation associated with a comment.

Metaphorically it's the difference between posting a letter hoping for a reply and replying to one.