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Why Blog Comments are Necessary

Uncle_Sam_BWI don’t comment on blogs anymore. I don’t see the point.

This has sadly become more the norm. To put it politely, engaging with blog content has morphed from leaving comments and engaging with the author to liking or sharing on social media and only engaging with your own self-cultivated audience.

And the world is worse off as a result.

The Coffee Shop

My dad is a coffee shop guy. In fact, over the years my dad has become such a regular at his coffee shop that he has the key. He actually gets there before the owners, unlocks the door, and starts the coffee.

He knows everything going on in his community, has talked with people it impacts, and has well-informed opinions, tempered by talking to people who both agree and disagree with his point of view.

Before there were blogs there were coffee shops and other places in society where adults sat around and discussed the news of the day before heading off to work. In these settings you didn’t just talk to people you already agreed with, you interacted with your neighbors in a way that raises the conversation above petty disagreement.

The Lowly Blog Comment, Today’s Coffee Counter

A lot of people have convinced themselves of stuff like this:

  • Their opinion doesn’t matter to their community.
  • Their opinion cannot and will not change.
  • Others opinions cannot and will not change.
  • They are too important to engage in dialogue.
  • Disagreeing with someone is risky to their position.
  • They are too busy to discuss stuff.
  • Discussing things publicly won’t do any good.

My Encouragement

I know it’s become en vogue to be too cool to leave comments on blogs, news websites, and even the troll-haven of ESPN. But I want to encourage you to do it. Stick your neck out, represent the reasonable middle. Don’t give into temptation to believe that discussing things in community is a waste of time.

Get messy, take some risks, use your real name, call people out, and use your voice to make this world a better place.

A lot of people call themselves leaders but hide from using their voice. And to those people I ask, “Are you leading or are you just protecting your title?

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

13 replies on “Why Blog Comments are Necessary”

You don’t know what you’re talking about, Adam. (See, I’m disagreeing just to make you happy.) Coffee shops are just as cliquish as social media and the rules are pretty much the same. You may be right about the value of comments on blogs, but let’s have none of this fictional regarding a utopia of egalitarianism in coffee shops. We have 4 different ones in my small town (5500) and people not only have their favorite, but they go at the time where they know they can find their own self-cultivated audience.

I hear you. I find that “all the crazy people” are just trolls. And I don’t talk to trolls or even respond to them. If a person wants to make a case using their real name, I can talk all day. But when a person wants to hide behind a pseudo-name… they are under no obligation to be who they really are. Anonymity arms people online to be completely vile. (Which is why I have a rule… if I have a troll, I research them and expose them to the light by calling them out by name.)

Good thoughts, and too true. I feel like Youth Pastors especially have a tough time with this. When we do dialogue, we get all bent out of shape when our points of view arent popularly accepted, write people off. We need great discussions.

I think that’s reflected in our teaching. We’re rather used to having a microphone and guiding/weighing any feedback against our position of power. But I’ve found that by intentionally giving that mantel up, pealing away that need/desire/want to protect losing face… really cool things can happen!

I am SO glad you posted this. I really thought I was the only one that desired blog comments, I write regardless of how many followers or responses I get, I honestley have given up on reposnses to my For the Love of God Too blog, although my mom always comes thru with some encouragement. More Than A Beard gets a few from time to time, I generally make it a point to comment on others post.

By the way, did you know if you life your own blog post WordPress will send you email telling you your vain? Just saying.

Thanks again Adam. You da man.

I have to admit sometimes I WANT to comment about something on a blog, but in “church world” (especially if you work at a more conservative church) it seems like we are always one tweet, one blog post, or one blog comment away from getting fired! One wrong word posted somewhere or taken out of context…can spark trouble. Their are “snipers on every roof top” (Rob Bell quote) ready to take us down. Oops I quoted Rob Bell…people have been fired for less.

The irony of that comment is that I know of 1 individual who was fired for a comment on this blog. Wish it weren’t true but it totally happened.

Now… getting fired for a church that doesn’t allow a diversity of thought? Gosh, seems like it might save your soul in the long run. 🙂

It seems to me that the social media sharing makes this complicated… i was really surprised when “random” entry on my blog tripled my traffic for that day (it’s just thoughts-to share with friends and family, so that’s not saying a a whole lot) with only a few comments. Later I found out some friends-of-a-friend had shared it on facebook and there was a long thread of comments about this on several private profiles I couldn’t even see! It wasn’t controversial, but it would have been nice if those people would have engaged directly with me. (I feel the same way when people comment on a facebook link – why not just comment on the blog so all the discussion stays in the same place?)

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