The commenters' block

We all know about the writer's block. When the blogger doesn't want to write, when there may be ideas in the head but the body is just too lazy to type. When there are demands on time, place or net usage and you simply cannot get yourself to sit down and write a coherent blog post. Yeah, it happens to all of us.

However, there is another one --- the commenter's block. When you read a post but don't post a comment. Yes, all ye lurking readers... I am talking about you. But, believe me: I completely understand. There is this block --- the commenters' block which is very difficult to overcome. You read a post, maybe enjoy it and then also perhaps it provokes thoughts. You might also want to go into the comments section and see what others added to the discussion there. But going out to type one yourself is a problem. There is this awkward fear, the nagging doubt that your comment may be judged, even met with disapproval. Also, then the fact that you've read the post will be revealed, and then someone might just trace it back to you. It is sort of the unwanted attraction you don't like when you suddenly step into a hall full of people and everyone stares to look at you. And however irrational the feeling is, it prevents the comment from happening.

There are these other posts where you read it, but don't have anything useful to contribute to the discussion. These posts are just to be absorbed in, and enjoyed by yourself. You wouldn't like to put in a comment to express what you felt after reading it --- somehow it spoils the fun; like having to explain the pun in a sentence to a dumbo. The other variety of posts kind of grow on you. Yes, a certain guy might be writing funny. But after some time the humour becomes bland, like you've been sitting in a hot tub or sauna for too long. After all, how many times do you need to carry coals to Newcastle and tell the blogger that "hey, that was a funny post" or "you're great". Hmmphh... let those others do it, I'll just sit back and watch.

Finally, there are some places where you need to tell the blogger that you did come and read the post, or the blogger friend drops an email or a comment saying "Hey, you didn't comment on MY blog?". Sometimes these also get some traffic to your own blog. But, at the end of the day, these "Yes Ma'am" and "Present Sir" comments that you do also bite you at some level... the closest word I can find to describing the feeling is: 'petty'. I used to do that on some blogs: thankfully I don't do it any longer.

But I'll tell you what --- any single comment makes a blogger's day. When I wake up in the morning and open my laptop to see my email, 4 new comments on a post always make me smile. I sometimes just don't open that thread on gmail till the very last, savouring every moment of anticipation and eagerness. Thanks, guys... your comments do matter.

Comments

  1. pehla number GOLD!!! ab jaake post padhti hoon :D

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  2. Sudipta, you're right about commentator's block. It happens particularly when one posts a joke. I hardly get comments on my funny articles, because... well... there's almost nothing to discuss.

    On the other issue of anonymity. I agree as well there. There are many blogs which I read but don't comment on because I want to keep to a small circle as much as possible and don't want my link/contact info plastered all over the web.

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  3. Let me add one more point. I love commenting on blogs where the author acknowledges the comment.. Too many bloggers don't reply to their comments. Which is kind of like a one-way traffic. The motivation to keep commenting diminishes over time.

    Another thing - the comment form should be as easy as possible - that is, without captchas and the tab-order should be correct so that I can navigate the fields without a mouse.

    Unfortunately blogger.com's commenting system is the worst in this regard. The tab-order is not proper and the captcha acts as a further deterrent to commenting

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  4. I really relate to ur post..its like baking a delicious cake n not havin anyone around to join in..comments r essential to a post..n trust me,good comments r kinda cliche..i like ones dat sorta ignite a discussion..its like that final step in d makin of a cake..icing it in a variey of ways :):)..nice post

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  5. i go wit Hari's comments. very true!
    Needless to say.. Good read! Thoughtful!!
    :)

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  6. lol. here's one for you then
    nice - refreshingly honest post :)

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  7. Life lover, okay... sona liya aur chal diye? Or did you too stumble upon the commenters' block? :)

    Hari, thank you so much for putting words to some thoughts which I couldn't express earlier. And yes, replies to comments do act as an incentive, even with blogger's horrible interface.

    Lavender, thank you, and thanks for posting your comment as well. :)

    Janum, thanks a lot!

    Ricercar, cheers! To honesty... *clink*

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  8. lol, yep I think I did hit the commenters' block ;) dekho aap ne jo bhi likha hai woh sahi hai :D on a more serious note, I have never really experienced the commenters' block and always make a point to comment on something that I have liked reading, but yeah, I really cannot write a comment just for the heck of it, even if I didn't like the post :)

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  9. :) How is it you always find the right words? How is it you always hit the nail on it's head? Who says engineers are mirthless creeps without any appreciation for the finer points of life? Who says an engineer a writer never made?

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  10. I hear ya! It can't be put more explicitly than what you have

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  11. Arunava, thank you thank you thank you for the compliment.

    Oh... wait... you're talking about Sudipta... :-p

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  12. Identified with everything you said. But most of all with "I used to do that on some blogs: thankfully I don't do it any longer." Me too :))
    And I'm more at peace with myself.

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  13. Hari,
    whatever made you think I was referring to you? Or did I miss something about it? Anyway, I like your blogsite as well -and very much; but I guess it's the commenter's block that gets me when it comes to commenting there :P. Keep blogging!

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  14. "Thanks, guys... your comments do matter."
    -- you are welcome bhai :)
    And, thank you as well for keeping us hooked to these, so well written, posts!!! :)

    Since i don't blog, i will be asking you to comment on my comments very soon!!! lolz

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  15. Life Lover, wow... thats a nice policy. On a different note, though --- you commented twice on this post... meaning :D :D

    Arunava, ahh... a fine comment, that one. Thank you so much just like the way Hari put it. Oh, BTW, Hari was just trying to pull my leg and compliment me at the same time... so don't get worked over it. :)

    Final Transit, thanks a lot! :) And of course, welcome onboard!

    Hari, jealous, now, are we? :D

    M, exactly! It is like a burden off the chest, isn't it?

    Varun, as always --- I'm flattered. :)

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  16. so there you go! one comment from me too..:)

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  17. Arunava, Sudipta is right. I'm naughty like this sometimes. Don't take me too seriously. Hehehehe... Sudipta, me jealous? First convert to WordPress and then I'll consider it. :P

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  18. i know... i know.. :D

    PS: it isnt a sign of the block..but just wat i was saying in my head wen i read this :)

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  19. Pallavi, ossum... thanks! :)

    Hari, well, have been meaning to move to wordpress, but don't really see the need as of now. I know I'm being lazy, but then... I'm sure you understand :D

    Di, so now I can read your thoughts? Wah-wah!!

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  20. On second thoughts, if you're planning to get a host for your blog, consider other good options like TextPattern, b2evolution, bBlog and so on. I myself wish I could give up WordPress, but that would mean giving up my old permalinks.

    I need to convert my own blog in such a way that the permalinks are preserved.

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  21. Okay, so that was what I missed! :D

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  22. Hari, I believe greatbong did exactly this --- the old permalinks just redirect to the new location. Try asking for his help.

    Arunava, now you're wiser :)

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  23. Yes ma'am, present sir! ;p

    On a totally unrelated topic...why is everyone saying 'ossum' these days? I mean, did this word creep into the 'cool hep words' list while I was not looking? Is nothing good, nice, fine, great anymore? Does it have to be 'ossum' every time???!!!!!!!!!

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  24. Umm sorry, in my agitation over ossum, I (as usual) forgot to sign my name in the previous comment (of course you know am the-one-who-must-not-be-named)

    Sky :)

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  25. I'm honored..:D-Ms NMA

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  26. Sky, okay, attendance granted. And I started the trend called 'ossum' :)

    Miss NMA, long time no see, and of course my pleasure! :)

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