On Blog Comments

Comments from readers are some of the most gratifying parts of blogging. Someone’s reading! Someone felt compelled to send a note!

Even more gratifying is when a lurker de-lurks and identifies him or herself. Those are times when I’ve re-read my post to see what on earth it was about THAT post that got someone to shed their anonymity, and introduce themselves.

It is very much like inviting guests into your home, and making a connection. And sometimes, making very good friends as they return repeatedly for your hospitality, and you in turn, invite them to return for their good grace.

So how do we make our home and blog inviting? And what it is that keeps people returning?

I’ve found that it’s about making your blog safe–and curating the comments, should people disagree and escalate disagreement into barbs. It’s starting a dialogue in your own post, and then facilitating the comments. It’s acknowledging their comments. Saying thank you. Common courtesies, even if you disagree, even if the commenter has hurt your feelings.

Chances are that if people have come around to write something on your blog post, their intentions are good. I’ve found (and maybe I’m wrong) that people tend to be more courteous on personal blogs than on larger sites, for instance Salon.com.

Do you enjoy your comments? What is the best comment you’ve ever had on your blog? What have you done to welcome comments?