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Fly By Nighters March 31, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Blogging, Humor, People.

Comment threads on the blogs I follow are informative, entertaining, silly, happy, funny, and thoughtful.

It’s great when a post sparks thought-provoking comments from diverse and varied visitors.  Comments that make me sit up and say WOW! often inspire me to head round and meet the blogger on their home turf.

That said, some “fly by nighters” need to brush up on comment etiquette:

* X scrolls through partial posts on his reader at lightning speed, pressing “LIKE” for each . . . without bothering to read them first.

* Y slows down long enough to leave comments in his wake, but most are banal . . . and often off putting.  Colonialist gave a terrific example once upon a time:

Post:  My whole family was wiped out today. I am distraught.

Comment:  LOL

* Z hasn’t been around for weeks.  She rushes in, out of breath from cruising around 47 other blogs during a 15-minute blog break, blitzes through 12 posts in 3 minutes, leaves cursory comments on each . . . AND expects us to believe she read each post.

Silly rabbits!

All of us have days when our comments don’t flow ~ sometimes it’s a slow go, other times a no go.  That’s to be expected.

But if we act like X Y or Z on a daily basis, perhaps we need to rethink our practices and priorities?  Are we following the blogs we follow because we enjoy reading them . . . or for some other ulterior motive?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts (on being “the perfect host”): The Perfect Host ~ Comment Moderation (WP Daily Post) * Commenting on Posts (Carol Balawyder)

* * *

Artwork available at Roderick MacIver Arts.  Rod conveys nature with brilliant brushstrokes.  The beauty of Rod’s watercolors lies in his ability NOT to control all aspects of the water ~ he allows it latitude to do its thing while he does his. The result speaks for itself.


1. Don - March 31, 2014

Nancy, admire your courage for saying what many of us have wanted to say. My response to the Lol post is Lol, not because I’m insensitive to the post but because of the absurdity of the one commenting.

I have someone who when I publish a post an immediate “like” appears like lightening obviously done without having read a word.

I think we would be surprised if we could see just how much reading is done on our blogs. I suspect very little, but I’m deeply appreciative of those who obviously take time to read. I like to think I afford them the same courtesy in my enjoyment of their blogs.

nrhatch - March 31, 2014

Thanks, Don! Col’s LOL example shines the spotlight on something I’ve observed on occasion ~ a comment that is so off point that I want to respond, “Did you even read this post?”

Of course, I’m far too polite to ever do that. 😎

Some people want to create the impression they’ve read our words without taking the time to read them. Why, I do not know. Maybe they view it as a “random act of kindness.”

I don’t get too caught up in “the stats” (# visitors, page views, likes) for exactly the reason you’ve stated . . . those numbers are skewed in any number of ways. To me, the give and take of intelligible and intelligent comments (such as yours) is what keeps me blogging.

Thank you for that!

lindalitebeing - March 31, 2014

amen to that 🙂

nrhatch - March 31, 2014

Here’s to the free exchange of thoughts and ideas!

Don - March 31, 2014

Of course Nancy, you are far too polite to ever do that 🙂

nrhatch - March 31, 2014

Exactly! I am nothing if not “demure and retiring.”

2. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - March 31, 2014

I don’t leave a comment on any blog unless it is genuine. And that means that I will sometimes read a blog and just not have a comment. I do follow another blog that I frequently enjoy – but sometimes, like today, I just didn’t connect with anything she wrote, I couldn’t see the point of her post – and so, I had no comment. But, I did hit like so she would know I stopped by!

I do have some blogs I follow in a very one-sided manner, I follow and comment on their blog, but they don’t follow or comment on mine – but I’m okay with that! I don’t think everything has to be symbiotic. I think that I get something out of their blogs and they don’t get anything out of mine – and that’s okay.

And for those that just go through and hit Like, well, I’m glad they took time to acknowledge, but I don’t base anything on Likes or Hits, I love the interaction. I enjoy the dialog and the learning.

Great post!

nrhatch - March 31, 2014

I do much the same, Kate. When you shared your thoughts about someday “not being T’s mom anymore,” I read it twice and didn’t say a word because I’ve never been a mom and felt that the mom’s in your audience could better relate.

I agree about not needing perfect symmetry and reciprocity. I read posts and comment because I enjoy those posts . . . not as a way to entice people to come back here.

katecrimmins - March 31, 2014

I couldn’t have said it better myself. I am always flattered when someone writes a meaningful comment but I know that, like myself, sometimes there isn’t enough time or the post doesn’t resonate even though it’s well written.

Nancy, I am disappointed you didn’t do the watercolor! It’s gorgeous!

nrhatch - March 31, 2014

I aspire to paint like Rod . . . does that count? 😎

Agreed ~> sometimes I don’t have the time, sometimes I don’t have the words, sometimes I don’t have the inclination. So I don’t leave a comment. That I get.

But I do wonder why certain bloggers create the illusion of following blogs they aren’t really following ~ it’s all smoke and mirrors.

katecrimmins - March 31, 2014

Perhaps they feel obligated? Or they don’t want to lose you as a reader? Or they want to remind you that they are out their? My big WordPress ahh-ha moment came soon after I started blogging. There was a blog I was reading that had over 5K followers but as I looked at each post there were less than 20 likes and even less comments. Followers who don’t get involved? Ever? What’s the point?

nrhatch - March 31, 2014

I agree, Kate! I would rather have a smaller pool of followers who comment . . . than an enormous pool of “silent admirers.”

3. Pix Under the Oaks - March 31, 2014

Good Morning Nancy. I am not feeling well today so I am going to agree that sometimes our comments don’t flow. I always want to leave a ‘like’ because I want the blog author to know I was here and read the post but sometimes the words just won’t come. I enjoyed this post. Pretty watercolor today, gives me a sense of peace.

nrhatch - March 31, 2014

Feel better, Pix! Perhaps a good book and a cup of tea?

If I don’t have a comment on the tip of my tongue, I often press “Like” to say “thanks for sharing.” And I assume others do the same. But I wouldn’t press “Like” without reading the post first.

4. sued51 - March 31, 2014

You can tell when someone just “likes” from their reader and doesn’t go to the post by looking at your stats.
I’m glad you posted this…I will be big enough to admit that sometimes I read too quickly…I need to be better about that. The only ones that are appropriate for a “fly” through are the photography ones…

nrhatch - March 31, 2014

We all have our days ~ when all we have the energy, time, and inclination for are “fly bys.” It’s what we do “most” of the time that matters.

If a post resonates with me, I want to leave a comment . . . even if I have to come back when I have more time to do so.

5. Carol Balawyder - March 31, 2014

I love that you posted some etiquette “rules” for leaving comments on posts.
One of the great perks of blogging is connecting with other bloggers and exchanging ideas and thoughts. I’m always happy when bloggers leave comments on my posts and love to read comments bloggers leave on other posts.
I do like the “likes” as well although it’s hard to say whether the person has read the post or not. But, that doesn’t bother me so much because I tend to think it says I like your blog as a whole but today I’m pressed for time. 🙂

nrhatch - March 31, 2014

That’s a positive way of looking at it, Carol ~ especially when a “regular reader” presses “LIKE” without commenting from time to time.

Of course, some of my “LIKES” are from people who have NEVER introduced themselves in the comment thread. To them, I’ll say, “HELLO! If you’re reading this . . . say something.”

I enjoyed your post on commenting today:

Carol Balawyder - March 31, 2014

Thanks..I truly appreciate it. 🙂

6. Grannymar - March 31, 2014

I have several people who seem to have an automatic like button. It appears almost before my post has landed, this also happens on Facebook. I am not a lover of ‘likes’, and would prefer to add a comment. If the words don’t come, I’ll go away and think about what I want to say.

I do know of one blog with this message above the comment box:

‘Although I may not always answer, I love to hear your comments. I will answer if I feel I have something to say. :)’ It makes you wonder if she even reads them?

nrhatch - March 31, 2014

I’m with you on the LIKE button ~ I do press it on some posts, but usually in conjunction with a comment, not in lieu of. Of course, I’m naturally verbose. I have lots of words in me and I like to spill them out.

Some people probably use LIKE because they aren’t writers or bloggers and just want a quick way to say, “hey!”

I follow a few blogs with no back and forth in the comment box. But I don’t leave comments there any more ~ it felt like I was talking to myself. Now, I just read the post and head home.

Grannymar - March 31, 2014

I am adopting that idea too, after all there is no obligation to either read or comment on blogs, but it does make all the difference and helps to build a community. So many of the folk who have commented on my blog have become friends and now interact with each other behind the scenes.

nrhatch - March 31, 2014

I agree. If not for the relationships I’ve forged in the comment thread, blogging wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.

7. Arlee Bird - March 31, 2014

I dislike fly-by-night comments almost as much as red-eye flights. Well maybe not that bad, but agreed that comments inappropriate to what has been post can be head scratchers.

An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out

nrhatch - March 31, 2014

Col’s LOL example is perfect ~> a comment that is so off point that I want to respond, “Did you even read this post?”

Of course, I’m far too polite to ever say that out loud. 😎

8. My Light Bag - March 31, 2014

I can actually relate to being Z: I only have one or two opportunities in the week to sit down and read the blogs I follow. So I read all the recent posts, and comment on several in one sitting. I relish those few hours when I can enjoy reading other blogs! Unfortunately I can’t do so daily 😦

nrhatch - March 31, 2014

That does NOT make you a Z ~> a true Z scans posts, tosses out a “nothing comment,” and moves on to the next post . . . all in the blink of an eye.

I have never seen you do that. Your comments are thoughtful and “on point.” And I have NEVER once wondered whether you read the post before commenting.

But I know what you mean about never having enough time to read, savor, and comment on all the posts I would like to enjoy.

My Light Bag - April 1, 2014

yes, there are so many interesting blogs out there, but, just like with books, we don’t have time for them all!

nrhatch - April 1, 2014

It’s that realization that reminds us to be discerning. Not enjoying a book? Stop reading it. Not enjoying a movie? Turn it off or change the channel.

9. ericjbaker - March 31, 2014

Haha. I get a kick out of the Like-aholics. You can tell they click “like” in assembly-line fashion, somehow thinking that will translate into visit to their blogs?

I think I do pretty well when it comes to meaty comments, hopefully because I invite discussion with my topics. A few oddballs pop in here and there to deposit pearls of WTF, but I am a sucker for weirdos, so I don’t really mind.

nrhatch - March 31, 2014

Your comments are always a treat ~ meaty and delicious (and that’s saying a lot coming from a vegetarian).

Perhaps, we need to start a Like-aholics Anonymous and enroll them all in a 12 step program to Blogging Sobriety!

10. barb19 - March 31, 2014

I think we have all had the same kind of thoughts about this, but you were brave enough to bring it up Nancy, you have my admiration for that! From the comments already, there is great interest in why we comment and like. I can’t understand why someone can like a post and yet it’s obvious they haven’t even read it….what’s the point?
Sometimes the words just don’t come to leave a comment, but I will like (only after actually reading it), to let the blogger know that I’ve at least visited. Quite often we can get a lot more out of the post by reading the comments – they can be as interesting as the post….sometimes the interaction flows like a river!
Quality, not quantity, makes it all worthwhile.

nrhatch - March 31, 2014

Yes x everything you said, Barb! If I enjoy a post, I tend to enjoy reading through the comments as well . . . the interaction all adds to the journey.

11. Crowing Crone - March 31, 2014

Is the water colour one of yours? It is quite lovely. I find I am least likely to leave a comment on a blog that already has 38+ comments! simply, because it seems to me the blogger must tire of reading them all and being the introvert I am, I rarely read other people’s comments.

nrhatch - March 31, 2014

You raised a good point, Joss ~ I don’t leave comments on most of the WP Daily Posts because there are already 138 comments there AND I’m not trying to forge a relationship with the writer.

The water colour is by Rod MacIver ~ link to his website at the bottom of the page.

12. diannegray - March 31, 2014

I love the example of the ‘whole family wiped out’ post and LOL comment here, Nancy – it’s so true! I once wrote a post about ‘likes’ and a couple of people got very sh*tty with me. One ‘serial liker’ told me he ALWAYS reads the posts when he pushes ‘like’ – so I checked it out and found he’d pushed ‘like’ on six of my posts within the space of one minute (he must have been a speed reader).
Sometimes I don’t know what to say in the comments – an example of this was the other day when I read a post to see one of my favourite blogger’s mother had died. I wrote in the comments ‘I don’t what to say. I’m so very sorry.’
Other than that, I usually put in my two cent’s worth because I find the bloggers I follow are highly entertaining! 😀
I’ve had a few weird ones that seem like fly-by-nighters, but I find if you respond, ‘what do you mean?’ they usually don’t come back 😉

nrhatch - March 31, 2014

Like you, I am delighted with most comments ~ they are fun and witty and entertaining. Sometimes, we are at a loss for words. That’s OK. It’s what we do 90% of the time that matters most.

Your “serial liker” might believe that the best defense is a good offensive gesture . . . “this just in!”

13. Val Boyko - April 1, 2014

Thanks Nancy for bringing this juicy discussion to the table 🙂
I noticed a few weeks ago, that with more people coming to my bog, and the more connections I’ve made, I was becoming a skimmer…. rather than a mindful reader and commenter.
Now I take a deep breath, get comfortable and take my time to enjoy the blogs that resonate with me.
When I don’t have much time, I’ll swing by with a like…. and will come back later.
I’ve also unfollowed quite a few ….. LOL

nrhatch - April 1, 2014

The blogs I follow ebb and flow. If I enjoy a new-to-me blog, I subscribe. If time goes by and I notice that I’m not interested in reading someone’s posts anymore, I unsubscribe. Of course, that’s harder if they are a regular visitor here.

We will never be able to read and comment on all the posts worth our time, so it pays to be selective.

14. bluebee - April 1, 2014

Maybe the LOL on Col’s post stood for ‘lots of love’, but unlikely!

I don’t like to press the like button without commenting, but confess to having done so from time to time, mostly on photographic posts.

I can’t keep up with blog posts at the moment (others or my own), so I’m not 🙂

nrhatch - April 2, 2014

That’s it! They meant Lots of Love!

I sometimes press the LIKE button without commenting . . . but not if I haven’t read the post. That would be wrong.

Sounds like you’re doing the right thing by stepping back from cyberspace. Life = so many options . . . so little time.

15. jannatwrites - April 2, 2014

It’s difficult to read and respond to everything (which is why I’m often days behind!) Sometimes a ‘like’ says it all and no comment is needed. But liking without reading isn’t right. It’s like signing legal papers without reading them. (I know, people do that too!)

nrhatch - April 2, 2014

Sometimes a LIKE does say it all ~ especially when it’s a short post, quote, photo, or the like.

Signing legal papers without reading them first is risky business.

16. Behind the Story - April 2, 2014

It’s not easy to write a good comment. Sometimes I’ve enjoyed a post but can’t think of anything substantial to add to the discussion. I do, however, make it a matter of conscience to have read a post before clicking “like.” In the past seven months since I started my blog, I’ve had nothing but on-point comments and what look like to me sincere “likes.” I have a good feeling about the people who visit my blog. Of course, it’s still small. Maybe that will change if it grows larger.

nrhatch - April 2, 2014

I know just what you mean, Nicki. Sometimes, even when a post resonates with me, I’m not sure how to sum up my thoughts in a few sentences. Sometimes, in that situation, I press “LIKE” and leave it at that.

I’m glad you have a good feeling about the people who visit your blog ~ the interactions we have make blogging such FUN!

17. Three Well Beings - April 2, 2014

I immediately recognized the artwork, Nancy. I have loved Heron Dance for a long time, and find Rod MacIver such a gentle and beautiful soul. I’m glad you called attention to him. And I do understand each of the remarks you’ve made about attentive commenting and blogging. I’ve moved away from several over the last few months simply because I found I was just not feeling connected and I didn’t really look forward to “visiting.” I very rarely just say “like,” unless I’m really tired. That has happened! LOL! But I always read first. Otherwise, I really don’t get the point of blogging. 🙂

nrhatch - April 3, 2014

I think that’s it, Debra. You and I share the perspective of blogging as a means of connecting through our thoughts, cares, concerns, and joys. But . . . others may see blogging as a game to rack up the most stats. Hence the spammers and the fly by nighters.

Rod MacIver’s watercolors “wow” me every time. He’s got a new site for his cyber gallery.

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