I recently emptied my RSS reader of all its unread posts - read them of course. While doing this, I discovered that there were 54 posts that I hadn’t read on Stephen Downes’ blog. Just a few days worth of posts from Stephen! It took me almost an hour to read them all. You’ve got to hand it to the man (and I genuinely admire his prolific output). He writes posts the size of the average comment. And every one a masterpiece!
But what is it about long comments that some bloggers don’t like?
Is it something to do with the encroachment of the blog space with someone else’s writing? I always thought that was what commenting was all about.
Is it to do with the feeling the blogger has that the post is the thing, and a long comment challenges its authority? A bit like the commenter was attempting to mark out territory on another’s plot?
A habit of writing
I have wondered about this ever since I started commenting on blogs, and before I became a blogger. The reason for this is that I have a habit of writing extra long comments. I’ve been ticked off about doing that a few times too.
But there are other bloggers who welcome long comments and even say so in their replies. It’s nice to get a reply to a comment, even if it’s like, “Don’t come here with your three page comment-posts! Go and write your own damn post somewhere else!”
That’s probably a bit unfair. No blogger has ever said that to me. But it’s sometimes the impression I get of what they’re thinking. The term troll has come up in conversations a few times. I laugh, for I have this vision of an earthy character from Lord of The Rings. Perhaps it’s the Middle-earth connotation - who knows?
Post or comment?
There are times when I embarrass myself at the length of my comment. I have to admit that. I’ll type it and then wonder if I should submit it.
Frankly, the best fun I’ve had writing a long comment is when I submit the comment and immediately copy and paste it into a new post on my blog, linking back to the post where I left the original comment, of course. I can get mixed reactions from doing that, but in the main it’s successful and I’ve often struck up a useful relationship with the blogger who prompted my comment in the first place. After all, full credit has to be given to the blogger for initiating thought, and I’ve always made sure that credit’s given where credit’s due.
Then there is the post where the blogger ignores my comment completely. I write a masterpiece of a 1500 word comment, perhaps the only comment on the post. And it’s ignored! How deflating is that?
It’s like bringing a circus on to the village green and no one notices the big top. People come on to the green and have picnics. Some come to walk their dogs. But the big top is not even sniffed at. I don’t go back to these posts in a hurry.
Perhaps there's method in ignoring my long comments.