What's the protocol on commenting?

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Monday September 25, 2006.

I’m pondering something I just read. Inspired by my own post where I spent a small amount of time defending self-promotion in comments, I started looking into how others view commenting on other blogs’ posts. I came across this one which points to something I long thought I hated. It’s number 2: if you have written something similar, post a link to your post in the comments. The author explains it like this:

I think that was when I woke up to the impact that commenting was having on others. Meaningful, relevant, real world comments add power to the blogs that you frequent. You give those blogs credibility and you also give yourself credibility as one who participates and truly cares about your topic and doesn’t just have selfish aims.

She also says that the point is not to comment because you want to be noticed, but to comment because you have something too addd to the conversation. So add your explicit link (as opposed to implicit, which simply comes from others clicking on your name) only if it’s relevant. That means you, Cobbler.

The reason I bring this up is that I always hated when I saw comments that pointed to a post on the author’s blog as a way of backing up a point. I can’t put a finger on it entirely. Maybe it was only those that said something along the lines of, “I wrote something like this before, check it out.” That just looks spamish to me. I think I’d much rather see a summation of the post you wrote before followed by a link to that post that I’ll check out if I like what you have to say.

I might change my tune on that thought, though. I think I have only actually posted a specific link one time in a comment on another site. I’ve been averse to it for the reason above. I wasn’t sure if it really was all that relevant, and I wanted to be careful, despite the fact that I think posting comments on blogs is definitely a form of self-promotion. I always just kind of thought it was cheating to link back to yourself explicitly instead of selling yourself with the aggregate of your brilliance.

Anyone else have thoughts on the two schools of thought?

Ryan JerzRyan Jerz is an all-around good guy who wants people to eventually refer to him as "that dude who climbs mountains."

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