Facebook-Comments-does-not-solve-anonymity-techkik-Amrita-MathurAfter posting my thoughts about lurkers a few weeks ago I got some requests for blog reader/commenter’s guidelines.


Apparently many of you like to read blogs and are now concerned that reading is a two-way street you’ve been treating as a super sketchy one way street designed for donkey’s but now capable of fitting two semi-trucks side-by-side.


(That may not have been the best visual but I hope you get that commenting on blogs can be quite satisfying when you enter into the conversation with the author!)


I’ve been a lurker on blogs for ages and ages but now I’m coming out of the closet and widening my road…


After an exhaustive search of the World Wide Web (which means I typed the search phrase “rules for blog commenting” in Google) I found there are a lot of sites with posts for getting people to comment but not so much advice about how, why and when readers should comment.


So I’ve come up with a few guidelines for the lurker all on my own.  Ta-Da!  Here they are, the




1.  Look for Guidelines.  If there are rules to be had on your blog of choice, there will be a comment guidelines page.  Go ahead and scan the page.  Alternatively, many bloggers are grateful to have feedback instead of hearing crickets chirp after a post.  For them, post early and post often.  Bloggers blog for a variety of reasons and when someone takes the time to comment, it makes us feel as though what we are doing is worthwhile which, in turn, inspires us to continue.


2.  Really talk to the Community.  Counterintuitively, right when I tell you to comment early and often I’m also going to challenge you not to comment just to put something out there.  Add value to the conversation. “That’s great!” or “Cool, me too!” comments are the equivalent of your first romantic phone conversation: “Um, Hi, is Jenny there?” “Speaking.”  “Uh, yeah.  It’s Eric.  Hi.” “Hi.” {chirp, chirp} Pretend you’re talking to your best friend and truly respond to the conversation.


3.  Be nice.  Speak from your point of view but don’t treat others as though they are idiots because they don’t agree with you.  Also, don’t be the idiot yourself – make an effort to use good grammar and spelling and to communicate your thoughts clearly. Don’t forget that people cannot see your expression or hear your voice. This is why smilies and snark tags such as “sarcasm” were invented – use them!


4.  Tell Your Friends.  This isn’t necessary, but if you want to build a relationship with the blog owner, tweet their post or share it on facebook. Many blogs have this button front and center and it’s just a matter of pushing it. Plus it makes everyone feel good.


5.  Come out of Hiding.  Comment at least once for every three visits to a website.  Also, when I enjoy a post but don’t have much to say about it and the option is available I’ll rate the post instead of leave a comment.  The blogger is looking to put a face to a number in the reader stats… and genuinely wants to know you through your response.  So… go for it!


Obviously, this etiquette can be tailored depending on the types of blogs you read; what works for will be different than a comment for the NASA website! (Not that I don’t talk about really smart stuff and rockets and boogers and stuff around here…)


Look forward to seeing you lurkers come out of the woodwork because, well…


Now’s the time to say goodbye to all our company… through the years we’ll all be friends wherever we may be… see ya real soon… why? because we like you!


A hot pink pot holder and a monkey wrench will be the prizes to the first people to identify that little excerpt in the comments.  Maybe.


This post was originally published June 7, 2011 and is being recycled as part of the “I’ve Been Around” summer! Hope you enjoyed it and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!


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