Monday, 20 January 2014

DISCUSSION: Why I Dislike 'Comment Swapping' or 'Comment Luv'

Please be aware that when I say 'comment luv', I'm not referring to the blog widget, I'm referring to when people ask for 'comment luv.'
Has anyone ever tweeted you with a link asking you to comment on their blog post?

Have you yourself asked for a comment and then been told that the other person will only do it if you comment on their blog first?

For most people the answer to those questions will probably be 'yes'. What I'm talking about here is a fairly new thing called 'comment trading/swapping' or 'comment luv', where you will be asked to comment on someone's blog post. You might ignore it, like I do. You might say yes. You might say yes, but only if they comment on your blog first.

It's spam! It's like when a salesman comes to your door asking if you want to buy a washing machine or some other random item - the answer is no, I would not. Wouldn't it be nicer if you got comments on your blog posts just because people wanted to, because they felt your content was so good?

Personally, I'll comment on a blog post if I think it is particularly good and/or if I have something to say. It also depends on how much time I have. Since when did it become acceptable to hassle other bloggers to comment? I'm pretty sure it wasn't a thing until recently. When people outright ask me to comment on their blog post, I ignore it - I'm not being mean, I just don't feel comfortable with it at all. People should comment on blog posts because they want to, not because they've been asked.

You could argue that 'comment swapping' or 'comment luv' helps new bloggers gain a following, but does it really? To me it just makes them look like their content isn't good enough to get comments on it's own, so they're having to spam people instead. A lot of us didn't get comments for months when we became book bloggers, but I'm pretty sure the majority of us didn't care because we were doing what we love and that's all that mattered. If you're having to ask people for comments, maybe you should think about what you may be doing wrong in that department.

Personally, I'm fine with:

  • Tweeting me your blog link if you've mentioned me or if you genuinely think I'll enjoy it.

What I'm not fine with:

  • Tweeting me asking to comment on your new post. 
  • I love it when people comment on my blog, but for them to then say 'can you comment on mine now?' That just makes me think you didn't even care about my post, you're just doing it for the comments.

Before I wrap up this post, I would just like to say that this post was not intended to offend anyone and if I have offended you then I'm truly sorry. This post isn't directed at any specific person and if you have asked me to comment on your blog before, it's okay. :)

As always when I write a rant-y blog post, have a photo of a kitten!



What do you think about comment swapping? Discuss!


56 comments:

  1. I totally agree! I recently heard about this site that's a comment exchange. You sign up and once a week they email you a list of blogs you have to comment on. And in exchange, your blog is on some of the lists sent to other people...

    I would NEVER do that! Any comments you get from that system are fake! They're not genuine and the people involved probably don't care. It's just a system for getting more comments.

    I'd rather have fewer comments on my blog, but have them made by people who chose to comment because they wanted to; not because they were getting something for it in return.

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    1. I'd never heard of that site but it sounds stupid! The only comments from that would probably be like 'great post' which isn't exactly a meaningful comment. I completely agree, it's much better to get fewer comments which are genuine than more comments which are fake/just there to get return comments.

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  2. What the hell is that creepy blue face thing behind the kitten's ear?!

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  3. I can't say I've ever been prompted to comment on another blog outright, but tend to comment on posts that interest me. I think as a general rule, if you leave a comment elsewhere, sadly people feel they need to return the favor. If I had 20 or 2000 followers, I'd still blog with or without the comments. It's nice to receive feedback, but not if it's forced. Brilliant article...

    That's why I commented. No return visit required :D

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    1. Thank you! Forced feedback just doesn't mean anything, and it's really obvious when people are commenting just to get comments back. Genuine comments are much nicer. :)

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    2. I couldn't agree more with Kelly.
      I also don't expect an even exchange in the commenting department. I think, if anything, I'd like a general acknowledgement from a fellow blogger if I've commented or did a link-back during a wrap-up post, but more as a courtesy saying, "Thanks for the link".
      I can't expect that all the time, and I do get them occasionally. But other then that, I shouldn't throw the expectation to another blogger to comment on my blog just because I commented on theirs. It does nothing but increase your viewership.

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    3. Dang it! My commend disappeared!
      Okay, just to reiterate.. grrr..
      I agree with Kelly. Overall I think the idea of throwing the expectation on another blogger to increase viewership is petty and slightly overrated. I think bloggers need to be more appreciative if, say, another blogger mentions "you" in a post. Saying "Thank you" or just general acknowledgement that it was done. But other than that, I don't think the give one-receive one ratio should work well and anybody who does it needs to think twice about their ways of promoting themselves.

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    4. Hi Krys! Sometimes it looks like the comment has disappeared but that's because I moderate them, so it doesn't show up straight away.
      Anyway, I completely agree with you. It's really not the best way of promoting!

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  4. And I got a free kitten? Well, a picture of one. Which is what Caleb probably prefers to having a new animal in his vicinity!
    Anyway, back to the rant. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks this! It does annoy me on Twitter too if anyone does it too much. Or, if they haven't talked to me for ages & it's out of the blue. They may think it'll get us talking again but I'd prefer a few tweets as a conversation cos on a blog you often don't really. Then I'd I'm talking to them, I'm more likely to check their blog out, RT their tweets etc.
    Comment swapping I'd be more wary of. As will the comments be the same value? Was one just saying that liked it & linking to their blog while the other was actually... thoughtful? I mean, anyone would love comments back but it shouldn't be a given, or a condition. It is RUDE, exactly.
    Although we obviously allow it on Blogger Lift I haven't participated. I'm on GR less for starters but cos of reasons mentioned above. I'm glad I'm not the only one who is just not that into it… :)
    Oh, and BTW, I'm reading Amber at the moment & there's points when I'm almost thinking it is YOU not some… Well, don't want to spoil but it's pretty obvious when you start reading & with the cover too? Yeah…
    ~ Amy Bookworm (:

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    1. I'm not sure what Blogger Lift is. I'm guessing it's a comment swapping thing?
      I've read Amber, it's amazing! It's creepy how similar me and Amber are. O_O

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  5. To be honest, I have never asked for a person to comment on my blog. Of course, I have tweeted the link around, like "hey it's up there, you can take a look, if you want", but I'm pretty sure everyone does that I still don't have a lot of followers, and I don't really mind either. I just like receiving the random comments that I get, and it still surprises me when I get a comment and it just makes me really happy.

    I don't think comment swapping is particularly good, I mean, asking for a comment back is just rude in my opinion. I mean, they probably haven't read the post in the first place. (at least that's what I think). Just no. I prefer random comments out of the blue.

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    1. Me too! If you just tweet the link, it's likely to get comments on its own. Tweeting the link asking for people to comment, however, probably makes some people avoid it.

      Yay for random comments out of the blue! :)

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  6. The photo of the kitten is always a nice touch.

    Anywho, I get what you mean. People aren't ever obligated to leave comments. I love it when people leave messages on my posts but it doesnt count if the only reason they do, is because they were hassled into doing so. Not exactly gratifying.

    -Kimi at Geeky Chiquitas

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  7. Haha, love the kitten! :D

    I completely understand where you're coming from. I only tag people in a tweet if they're mentioned in my post, so they can see why I've been talking about them. And I agree that it is nice to have people comment on your blog because they WANT to, not because you feel obliged to. However, I feel that the stats on my blog drop when I don't comment on other people's blogs. Even though everything isn't about numbers, it feels nice to have lots of comments. I think if you leave a meaningful comment on someone's post, they're happy to return the favour and hopefully it doesn't make them feel uncomfortable. But I hate it when I get a comment with no reference to the post and it's like "Great post, comment on mine and follow my blog *leaves link*" -.-

    Interesting post, Amber! :)

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    1. Yeah, when people comment with no reference to the post and just leave a link, I don't even bother publishing the comment (I moderate them). It's even more awkward when someone reads the post and comments with something totally irrelevant which shows they haven't read it. *sigh*

      Thanks Zoe! :)

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  8. everyone's leaving LONG COMMENTS THIS IS FREAKING ME OUT I CAN'T I DON'T HAVE TIME. ;P
    but.
    LOL MOON EMOJI ALERT. and. *uhum* i used to do this..................
    ....
    .......
    not as badly though did i? o.o
    *awkward turtle*
    but i never comment on people's posts asking them to comment back IT'S SO AWKWARD WHEN THAT HAPPENS.
    some people DM me. *cough cough cough*

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    1. So you decided to put each sentence on a different line to make your comment bigger? ;)
      Who DMs you asking you to comment? That's even worse (or I think so anyway) because it's invading your personal online space....that doesn't even make sense does it :P AWKWARD.

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  9. I completely agree! While I love most comments and appreciate everyone who takes the time to leave a comment, I really don't like those that are all, "Awesome post. Can you check out mine?". It annoys me, and basically makes me want to avoid that person's blog. I like it most when people send me links of other people's posts because they think I'll enjoy them. But don't try to guilt me into checking out your blog, because it's counter effective.

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    1. People who comment 'Awesome post, can you check out mine?' or whatever are just using your blog as a springboard for their own publicity and it's so rude! It's like saying 'Hello blog readers, come to my blog instead, don't stay on this one!' Exactly, it's counter effective.

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  10. I agree completely! It's so annoying! Sometimes I'll check out the blog or comment if I feel like it, but most of the time it just annoys me. I mean, I understand that they're usually new and just want followers, but there are much better ways to get traffic to your blog. I mean, set up social media accounts and *actually use them.* I've noticed that a lot of the people that ask for comments tend to have nothing but links on their social media. That's great and all, but I don't usually follow people who are all links. Great post! And lovely kitten photo. Those are the best.
    -Kelsey

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    1. I agree. Setting up a social media account and then just posting links on it isn't going to work at all. Thanks Kelsey!

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  11. I was never asked to comment on a post in exchange to get a comment on my blog. I guess it shows how small and unpopular my blog is. LOL I don't care about numbers and stats so I am not chasing after followers although I like to talk and always respond to comments on my blog when/if I get them.

    I leave comments on other blogs only if I feel that have something to say (or if there is a picture of kitten in the end). ;)

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    1. I wouldn't see that as a bad thing! And not stressing over stats is a pretty good attitude to have, in my opinion. :)

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  12. I had no idea it was even a thing.. haha! Gotta say, though, I'm not surprised, it happens almost everywhere. Completely agree that it highlights any disbelief you have in your blog. To be honest I don't think those people care about how genuine their following is, they just want the high numbers, and it's kinda sad really, because you miss out on the nice feeling you get when someone comments or follows because they actually really liked your post/blog.

    Oh well, nothing we can do about it right? Haha

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    1. Exactly, they just do it for the numbers. Getting surprise comments is the best feeling!

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  13. THAT KITTEN. Looooooove it… I want it NOW… okay?

    *Nods head for you*

    Anyways, I agree completely with your post here. Sometimes I'll swap comments with people if we've both reviewed/read the same book recently, but that's only reaaaally with bloggers I know and it does make complete sense. Swapping comments with a random person for no reason? SO not my thing.

    When someone leaves a comment on my blog which says "Great post! Comment back?" it irritates me so much… they CLEARLY didn't read my post so why should I even bother looking at theirs? Urgh, it makes no sense. The number of people that do it though…

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    1. Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby *starts singing that Kaiser Chiefs song*....ehem. Sorry. :P

      Those types of comments are irritating! I don't even bother publishing them on my blog! I think more people are doing it nowadays, too...:/

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  14. Like Emmanuel said, I too had no idea people really did this. I comment on people's blogs if I lik the post or I just feel like talking to someone. But I never say to someone "if I comment on yours will you comment on mine" because although I rarely do get comments on my blog, I know that I feel really pleased when I do receive them and it genuinely is because someone has actually taken the time to read my blog, not just because they've felt they've had to.

    Holly xx

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  15. Only thing I'd say is that this totally isn't a new thing. Sorry. (Dinosaur blogger alert.) At blog conferences people are advised when building a blog that one of the ways to do it is by leaving comments as you'll often get a return visit out of it. So there you go.

    (Obviously works better on systems where you can actually leave your blog link!)

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    1. I completely understand that, and I think it's fine. But if people are doing that and not even paying attention to the blog post and just outright asking for a comment back, that's when it becomes irritating.

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  16. It's not nice when people do that :( I feel bad enough as it is for falling behind on checking out my favourite blogs so when someone says "Hey, read my newest post!" it feels like they're saying "I'M WATCHING EVERYTHING YOU DO SO DROP ALL THE IMPORTANT STUFF NOW!" I know they just want to get their posts out there and receive feedback but I'm with you, Amber. I comment to show my appreciation after reading the post, not after being frogmarched to the posts. If I've mentioned/tagged then it's a totally different story! I know I've been rubbish at catching up on everybody's blogs so I feel bad for that but...yeah I don't know where I was going with that....I smelled food and got distracted....
    Awesome post though! I'm just going to scope out the kitchen......

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    1. Ahhh me too. I haven't commented on my favourite blogs in ages! And yeah, it seems like they expect you to just go and comment. It's not like we have important things to do... -_-
      FOOD! Asdfghjkl <3

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  17. I totally agree! Sometimes I just don't have the time to comment but it doesn't mean I haven't read your post. Or I'm just not that interested in the post because we all have different tastes in books. I still try and take the time to comment and it's always nice to get feedback but I think I'd feel more accomplished earning the comments and followers myself instead of asking people to do it.

    I see both sides of the argument though because sometimes you put all this effort into a post and you get disappointed with the lack of feedback but it just depends on the time and whether people are busy! All bloggers are busy!

    Great discussion I agree 100%!!!

    Francoise
    http://www.mycrazybookishworld.blogspot.com.au/

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  18. Like everyone else, I totally agree. I mean, I get why some people do that. They want comment (everyone wants comments), but there's better ways to go about getting them. Make quality posts. Comment on your favorite blogs consistently with thoughtful statements, and then people will start to take notice. Asking for comments just seems so ... short-termed in my opinion.

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    1. I wasn't sure if people would agree with me but the response has been great so far. There are definitely better ways at getting comments, asking for them is not the answer! Thanks Kim :)

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  19. URRRRRRRRRRGH this post is perfect! Lately my blog has been growing, which is super cool and I'm thankful for it, but I've noticed some people stop by and just leave pointless comments that make me think they didn't read the post at ALL. For example, someone left on my weekly recap post (which features a bit about my life at the top, as well as songs of the week and "stacking the shelves" stuff) "You should so go see Frozen!" Which, okay, sure, I want to see Frozen, but that had .01% to do with the post as a whole.

    The one line comments annoy me, as well as the "Great post! Here's my Top Ten Tuesday: URL" posts. I return the comments I receive by default because I like visiting other people's blogs, but if you ASK me to? I'm probably going to ignore it. :B

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    1. Haha thank you! YES, it's so annoying when someone who comments blatantly hasn't read the post! No effort goes into the comment, either, and it's just...ugh. Also, I'm liking the little smiley thing :B

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  20. I don't really see the point of asking for comments; you might get some hits out of it, but I prefer to leave "proper" ones (i.e. I read the post, and reply to that). I wouldn't say it's a new thing as I think I've been receiving them for quite a while now, but I guess some people are just too into stats and figures to care about quality of their content and the community that they can build up online

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    1. Stats is another thing people care way too much about. It's always been 'quality over quantity' and it always will be!

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  21. I will admit that at one stage I used to tag people in my tweets linking to my latest post but I don't do that any more. I feel that it can be insulting at times when people leave a quick comment with almost no relevance whatsoever and then ask me to comment back. I don't want to feel like people are commenting on posts because they feel obligated to, I want to see comments because they enjoyed my post and have feedback. When those genuine comments arrive in my inbox, it makes me happy. Great post Amber!

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  22. I totally agree with you! Though I must say I've never encountered such a situation...

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  23. I've been thinking about installing comment luv on my blog, but only because some people have said it seems easier to comment on blogs hosted by blogger (mine is). I thought about Disqus first, but the only problem with that is it isn't supported by some web browsers. I don't leave a link to my blog when leaving comments because I see it as a major faux pas.

    I'm really lucky because over the last year, I've met many bloggers through Parajunkee's & Alison Can Read's Feature & Follow Friday, and they comment on my posts with meaningful, insightful comments. We chat through comments on just about everything. :)

    When I do get comments from bloggers I don't know asking me to comment on their post, they usually have commented on mine but nothing really substantial. Sometimes I ignore it, sometimes I don't depending on the mood I'm in. I don't get a lot of this though thank goodness.

    Awww, I love the kitten! So adorable! :)

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    1. The widget Comment Luv is great, but in my post I was actually referring to the term 'comment luv' as in: 'Anyone want to give some comment luv on my post?'

      Feature and Follow Friday is brilliant. Some people say 'they're just following for the sake of it' but it's genuinely a great way to make new friends. :)

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  24. did not knew threre was such in a thing will not acept and why is the picture of a cat?

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    1. Kittens are great for toning down a rant. ;)

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    2. weell kittens do not commet blog post do they?

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    3. Cats belong everywhere... isn't that enough????

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  25. Completely agree with this. I know that it is somewhat common practice to return a comment if someone leaves one on your blog, but it actually makes me feel awkward. I want people to comment who actually have something to comment and read my blog and not just because I think their blog is amazing. :P It's an awkward mechanism, though not as bad as the spamming ones. It's just very artificial. I'd prefer to be a bit more honest and genuine about my hobby.

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  26. If someone's commenting on a post with that, it's obvious they have no real interest so the comment they eventually do leave is likely to be nothing of any value. Comments that keep the conversation flowing are the best, and I doubt someone who asks for a comment swap will be doing that!

    Like you, I only comment on a post when I have something I want to say. There are lots of posts I've read and not commented on, because I don't want to repeat myself/say something useless/repeat others (that tends to be on reviews, unless I have a really strong opinion on the book).

    This sort of thing was great for starting out blogging I guess - since a lot of the Feature and Follow comments I got when I started out were literally just the other person's link - but once you've established at least a couple of regular readers who come back for the conversation, it's really not needed.

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  27. I actually do like Commentluv. It can help me when I am bored find other blogs. I don't usually get people stopping by my blog asking me to comment back. The only time MAYBE is on follow me Friday and then I expect that kind of comment. Unfortunately I had to add Disqus on my blog this week because the blogger comment system just quit working on my blog. It sucks I liked the blogger system but oh well. I think on reviews and discussion posts people shouldn't ask for you to comment back.. but on memes don't be surprised when you get them.

    Angie
    Angela's Anxious Life

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Feel free to leave me a comment. I will get back to you as soon as I can! :)