Monday, December 26, 2011

Where Did All The Comments Go?

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

I have been spending time reviewing old posts here on Reflections, copying them into individual word processing files for backup purposes.

It is an interesting trip down memory lane.  Fun, joyful, sometimes sad, but, always interesting.

But, I cannot help but wonder, where did all the comments go?

Last year this time I received quite a few comments on quite a few posts.

Maybe you all are bored with THE Trip.  Maybe, I really should have moved THE Trip to it's own blog.  Maybe I just don't write interesting stuff these days.

Maybe you are all just so busy.  Maybe turning the captcha back on discouraged you.

Maybe you just aren't reading??  Well, someone is reading, my numbers reported by StatCounter have made me smile, 35 so far today, the days prior, Christmas day 98 hits, going back further 153, 120, 181, 203, 158 and 150.  I smile at those numbers.

So, why the downturn of comments?

I have chatted about this with other bloggers, I am not the only one noticing this.

Has the heyday of blogging come and gone?  Or is it that we have so many great things to read that we zip in and out, or use email delivery to read or one of the RSS feeds/readers and never visit the sites, so, rarely comment.

Where or where did the comments go?

*Ohh, for the record, I noticed the down turn well before the holidays, so it seems to be an ongoing issue.


Greta Koehl said...

Hmm ... not sure whether it is that the heyday of blogging has past, or that there are more blogs to read now and people tend to rush through them more, or something else altogether. I do read every post on the trip (and BTW - showed my girls the Grand Tetons pic - they are awed by it) and am not bored. Perhaps I get a little self-conscious about my comments - sometimes I feel that what I have to say, appreciative as it is, just sounds so mundane compared to a fab post. Also, people pressed for time may have cut reading down to a small number of blogs that get lots of exposure on FB, Twitter, and Google+ and are regulars on "Best of" lists. These are helpful blogs, but often the places where I get inspiration and an essential tip or piece of information are on other blogs, so I definitely do not limit my reading.

Ginger Smith said...

Howdy! I am leaving my first comment to your blog from my smart phone. I hope it works! My first question is : does stat counter "count" hits to your blog posts when someone reads it through their reader? You should be able to tell if the CAPCHA deters comments with statcouner because they will hit the comment part of your page but not leave a comment. Just my two cents.

Amanda (the librarian) said...

I read a lot but rarely make comments - and I can tell you the CAPCHA is a discouragement, for me, to commenting.

Barbara Poole said...

Everything Greta said...and you do know I respond a lot, but sometimes it's hard to be creative with comments. Am I helping you here, probably not, but just know I appreciate your blog and your posts.

Debbie Blanton McCoy said...

I'm definitely not bored with The Trip. :-) I leave fewer comments on all of the blogs that I read just because I am reading more blogs and that takes longer, so I skip leaving comments. Plus, like Greta pointed out, sometimes what I have to say sounds mundane. I am more apt to leave a small comment on FB if the person has left a link to their post. It's faster and seems more appropriate when just saying, "Good post" or something similar. I love that you always take the time to respond to my comments. Most people don't do that.

Kristin said...

I sometimes read and don't comment on my regular blogs lately because, like Greta, I feel so mundane! and for the last month I've been in a time crunch. I hope the hey day has not come and gone just as I am hitting my stride ;-)

Jan Kelpe said...

Don't want to bore you with too many comments.

Carol said...

Greta and Barb, Snicker, I was not looking for pats on the back for my blog, but, snicker again, I will take them and thanks.

Ginger, I will study StatCounter closer and see if I can answer your points. They have so many different ways of reporting the stats that I don't use all of them, staggering amount of data there, and truth, some I don't understand.

Amanda, I understand the captcha reluctance. I even had it TOTALLY OFF of Reflections and proudly displayed a 'free of captcha' button for many months. Then, I got snagged by some commercial spammers. Moderation did in fact capture them before they appeared on my blog, but in discussing this (not verified to be perfectly clear about this) someone told me that if these spammers post to a blog post where others have commented that my prior posters may get the spammer stuff unless captcha is on. I don't want my readers getting that stuff, so, captcha went back on.

Craig Manson of GeneaBlogie just had an issue this last week with spamming comments on his blog and the only way he could get around it was to put captcha on too, even though he resisted.

Jan, you won't leave too many comments! Sweet of you to think that way! :-)))

Kristin, yes, you are coming into your own for sure.

Debbie, Comments left on FB and/or G+, yes, many do leave comments that way, and the ease of doing so, is well noted. Thank you.

Thank you all for your feedback, again, this is not for a pat on the back of ole Carol, this is something I am noting across our blog land. I know that we all like feedback, and the best way to discourage others and lose them to blogging is to let them feel as if they are out there talking to no one. Comments keep them writing.

Carol Yates Wilkerson said...

I'm one of the guilty parties that reads but doesn't comment. I know I should, but I'm sometimes at a loss as to what to say. Something else too is that it takes me so long to write a post on my own blog I usually have to go do something exciting like laundry or cook. LOL

Ginger Smith said...

Here is my comment #2: I don't know what my google deal is, but when I leave a comment, I have to hit "post" several times before it will actually post, whether there is a captcha or not.

Oh and regarding the captcha...honestly...I totally suck at them. My brain doesn't decipher the letters because they are too close together. I have to reset them at least 3 times. (in fact, while posting this comment, your "visual verification" did not even display :(

Carol said...

Carol Yates Wilkerson , I hear ya, I need to do laundry right now! LOL Seriously. I also relate to the "my posts take up so much of my time....."

Ginger, welcome back! :-) First wild thought is, "won't it be wonderful when they get this new fangled internet thingy to work, it will be such a great tool". Sarcasm aside, I know the stinkin' captcha does not always work. SIGHHH That was why I had it off for so long, and LOVED that it was off. Then, the attack started. It went from bad to miserable in 2 days. I tried to turn if off a second time and the attacks started right back up with a vengeance. I am still researching the first question you had about Stat Counter, and so far, I am not finding a report that would tell me how many readers start in with comments and then just don't finish due to the captcha. I suspect it is quite a few. SIGHHH Thanks to all the spammers, sploggers and creeps, my fun friends and readers suffer, as do I. Can we say, BLECHHHHH??? Yep, I guess we can.

TennLady said...

I'd much rather hear about what you are doing NOW rather than several months back. Yeah, bored. And you know how I feel about the captcha

Carol said...

Yes, TennLady, I know how you feel about Captcha, I use it everytime I leave a comment on your blog too! LOL And, I do know that you would rather hear the current stuff. I tried desperately to keep up, and I couldn't. But, since this was my outlet for my travel log as well as other parts of my life, I still want to finish THE Trip. You have my permission with blessings to just skip those posts, but you won't get to see the bear in Yellowstone that appears in a few days. (snicker)

Becky said...

I'm not sure that having captcha on really has very much to do with people leaving or not leaving comments. I think it is more of what Greta said - more blogs being read and less time to do more things... and leaving what may seem to be mundane comments. I don't get nearly as many comments now as I have in the past and what comments I do get seem to come from the same people (thank you to them!). All comments are appreciated - mundane, positive, or negative - at least it lets you know that people actually are reading!

Linda McCauley said...

I agree with the points already made. In addition, I think more and more comments are being made on FB and G+. It's easier to have a conversation about a post there. Everyone leaving blog comments may not request notification of additional comments so they don't always return to continue the conversation as others add comments. If that conversation is taking place on FB or G+, they are more likely to see what others are saying and make additional comments.

And. I would never get tired of THE Trip.

Carol said...

Becky, I could not agree more with your statement: "All comments are appreciated - mundane, positive, or negative - at least it lets you know that people actually are reading!"

Linda, having discussions on FB and G+ as you point out does also have strong merits.

Southwest Arkie said...

I never get tired of "the trip"-I love to travel and I am right there with you in spirit. The CAPCHA doesn't bother me at all, tbh- it seems someone usually says what I want to say and then I feel like I am just repeating. The list of blogs I read now has tripled, so that has a lot to do with it too- it's just a time issue some days.

Carol said...

Thanks SouthwestArkie and all for your comments, this had been a great discussion, well, I think it has been.

Lisa Wallen Logsdon said...

Yep...sometimes comments end up on FB or G+. Sometimes I also feel mundane...I mean, how many ways are there to say Oooohhhh and aaaahhhh? LOL! I don't always expect comments because of my blog type being family history. If you are teaching something it seems you get tons more comments. I love reading but don't always have the right words to comment and sometimes don't have time to comment on all I read.

Hummer said...

All of the above. As you can tell I stay behind. I wish there was a like button on the blogs like FB or 1+ oh, wait there is a 1+ if you've activated it... will need to look now. I love all your posts here and on the Flora blog. I have been guilty of just passing through when viewing... Those blogs I subscribe to I tend to read on the reader and not come to the blog. Love ya and each and every post. : )

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Thanks for asking the question. I really enjoyed the replies you got! ;-)

Charles Hansen said...

I agree with Greta, so many more blogs to follow each day, I have been to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons a few times, so the picture are an update of what I saw years ago. The CAPCHA does not bother me either, what really does bother me is when I hit the leave comment box and a file not found box comes up. That is much worse.

Amanda (the librarian) said...

Carol wrote, "I know that we all like feedback, and the best way to discourage others and lose them to blogging is to let them feel as if they are out there talking to no one. Comments keep them writing."

I think that varies from person to person. I have far fewer followers than you and get far less comments, but I really don't care. I'm writing the blog for ME, and for relatives that I know sometimes read it but don't comment, and for the occasional person out there who stumbles across one of my posts while doing a Google search (one of the reasons I stick with Blogger).

For the latter, who might be uncomfortable posting a comment, I put an e-mail link in every post so they can get in touch with me that way. I've found a few relatives that way!

Hummer said, "I wish there was a like button on the blogs." You can put in the Reactions widget if you are using Blogger, and edit it to include a "like" button. I've decided to experiment with that.

Carol said...

Again, I thank you all for your interest and comments, what a great discussion.

Amanda, I actually had that reactions button at one time, and maybe others used it, but, I almost never saw the reactions button results, I don't believe there is a "report" that comes back to the blogger on that, is there???? Anyway, I took it off, and now, I cannot find the silly thing again.

OHHH, and I write my blog first and foremost for ME too! But, have to say, it is fun and fulfilling when others read it and indicate they enjoy it. And, I have had a few cousin bait hits, stuff like that.

If you don't write it for fun and for YOU, it is gonna be like work. Once it is work and no fun, it is time to take a long break or maybe find a new sand box to play in, eh??

Thank you Dr. Bill and Lisa, Hummer and Charles for your comments as well.

Seems like many of us suffer from just too many really great blogs to read! Tough job, but someone has to do it, right?? LOL

Jasia said...

My two cents worth...
1. All comments on all the genealogy blogs dropped off when the bloggers joined FB enmass a few years back. Comments used to be a form of socializing as much as critiquing, complimenting, and expressing gratitude. Now FB (and to a lesser extent G+) is where the socializing/connecting is done. The number of blog comments I see and receive continues to trend downward.
2. Captcha doesn't bother me one bit. Most everyone has it on their blogs now out of necessity. It's what I've come to expect. It's the new normal.
3. When someone shares a whole series of stunning photos, post after post, they do start to lose their impact. Not that the photos are any less awesome as time goes by but you come to expect the awesomeness. Steve Danko just recently finished his series of photos from his trip to Europe. I waited until the series was completed to send him an email to express my feelings and observations about them. That's what I was planning to do when you finish sharing about your trip too. All of your pics are wonderful Carol, but lack of time prohibits me from commenting on them all.
4. I find that I too am more interested in what you're doing now.
5. Keep clicking that shutter, Carol. You have a great eye no matter where you are or what you're doing!

Heather Rojo said...

I love all the discussion here, and I've been following your trip, but don't have much to say besides sighing in envy at your travels and your lovely photos. But today it has been fun to comment on something different!

Renate said...

I still follow, and I've been enjoying, "The TRIP." I've mentioned to a few folks here and there that for some reason, I cannot post comments to blogs (even my own) when reading from my phone. I tend to visit my reader while waiting for appointments, sitting in traffic, or even in bed as I'm heading off to sleep, or if I wake up in the middle of the night. Therefore, I'm not able to make comments, even when I want to! I guess my phone just isn't "smart" enough, but if/when I upgrade to an iphone, that should change. :)

I'd also like to add that I've had some of the same issues as Ginger mentioned with my comments using my Google profile. (This is during those few times, like now, when I'm actually on my computer and able to comment.) I don't know what the deal is either, but I end up haveing to click over and over again, and then sometimes the comment submits, and sometimes it doesn't.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I'm still here, and still reading.


Carol said...

Thanks Jasia for your observations and 2 cents worth. Insightful, as always.

And, thanks Heather, it has been an interesting day.

And with that, this ole gal is going to go read, something of no redeeming value, most likely. LOL Hoping it will put me to sleep, FAST! LOL

Ohhh, and, snicker, sorry, tomorrow, THE Trip returns, you are all excused from reading! LOL

And, if you missed it earlier in some of my comments, this really was NOT about me, nor THE Trip, it was about comments on blogs and how your feel about them. And, I think we had a great discussion.

Myrna said...

It has been a great discussion and I like others don't always comment. Like others I read several blogs and usually at the end of my day... can I say tired and lazy!! Love your blogs and admire that you keep them going on a regular basis. Thanks.

Cynthia Shenette said...

It's ironic that a post about a lack of comments generates so many comments! I read this post on my iPhone last night but didn't have a chance to comment on it until this morning!

I've noticed the drop of comments as well. I've also noticed that there are fewer comments at certain times of the year--summer, late December--when people are busy with other things.

For me it's all a question of balance (or trying to find the right balance). Some days I have more time to comment than others. I also lost the ability to leave comments for a while (Thanks Blogger!).

CAPCHA doesn't bother me. I'm all for slamming spammers! Love the THE Trip, especially the photos. I will admit I often read a bunch of posts at a time and take a break. The photos are truly a feast for the eyes! You might be happy to know THE Trip ended up as dinner conversation at my cousin's house last week!

Carol said...

Renate, Thanks for following along. That not being able to leave comments is annoying. Let's face it, sometimes Blogger works, other times, not so well. There are lots of little glitches on several of Google products that annoy me to no end, and suddenly the glitches change or go away. Frustrating indeed.

Yes, Myrna, I get that tired part! Thank you for reading.

Cynthia, VERY ironic! Balance, check! That is why today I will be out in the sun shine (it rained here ALL day yesterday, buckets of it). THE Trip as dinner conversation, wow, I don't know what to say about that, cept WOW.

Ya all have a great day, thanks for reading, thanks for the thought provoking and insightful comments, Carol has to go feed the fur kids, do some laundry and get out in the sunshine!

Michelle Goodrum said...

Love THE Trip. PLEASE don't stop! I know I don't comment as much because I'm
reading more blogs and because I now read a great deal with my Droid and it's harder to comment from it. Tiny keys and all. Like now.

Captcha - hate that necessary evil.

Looks like you're. Not hurting for comments now. LOL

Amanda (the librarian) said...

Lots of good discussion here. I think commenting can be encouraged when the original poster responds to comments (which I know you do, Carol), AND when the original poster goes to the blogs of those who comment and comments on something there. That's something I try to do with everyone who comments on my blog. I've found some new blogs to follow that way too.

Greta Koehl said...

Carol - I knew that you were not fishing for compliments or comments - you mentioned that other people had noticed a similar trend in comments - but I was a little worried that you might not continue to post about The Trip - I get most of my travel jollies vicariously these days, and I love the photos. I also wanted to chime in with those here who commented that they write their blogs for themselves and for certain interested relatives - that's still true, too. I would write no matter what, but the comments I get often inspire me to look at issues from a different angle, take a different track in research, etc. Or they are just funny and give me a laugh! Now, onto trying to accurately duplicate that very wicked capcha word....

Carol said...

Michelle and Greta, won't be stopping THE Trip, as it is my journal. And, Greta, I write for me too! Hopefully some net-friends will come along for the read. Even better, they come along and smile.

Amanda, I agree, lots of great discussion, gave me a lot to contemplate. You are so right, following comments may lead you to a new to you fabulous blog and more learning, laughing, crying, soul searching, growth, and on a good day, fun. On a really good day, new cousins or answers to our brick walls.

Again, thanks to all my readers, this has been an eyeopening post for me.

Comment on- - Cheers!