Is blog commenting dead, on the decline, or a waste of time? I for one certainly don’t think so and although I’m biased when it comes to my views towards interacting with blogs, there seems to be little or no evidence to support these claims.
A couple of days ago avid tech pundit Robert Scoble wrote on his Google+ page that blog comments are dead, as in absent from major tech and news blogs. Using recent Facebook news as a reference point, Scoble pointed out that articles posted via The New York Times, Inside Facebook, Search Engine Land, and Gigaom amongst others were void of any activity. Not a single comment.
Why is this so?
An initial hunch is that maybe *just maybe* an article about Facebook, especially regarding privacy, isn’t really anything to get excited about. Facebook and privacy news is a broken record. One is tempted to yawn just thinking about it. The reality is that blog commenting is alive and healthy. On the opposite end of the spectrum, recent articles about Steve Jobs and the earthquake on the east coast have warranted healthy amounts of commenting.
Here’s the big question in all of this: why should marketers comment on other blogs?
More specifically, can blog commenting still drive traffic and build relationships?
Gini Dietrich recently argued that blog commenting is part of the secret sauce of online community building and greatly increased traffic to her blog over time. Commenting on other blogs, especially those within your niche, is an easy (not to mention free) way of earning the attention of others. Comments that fit within the context of a blog post and add to the discussion are almost guaranteed to get noticed. Tacking on a short “great post” or “I agree” comment probably won’t do much good, but insightful commentary and questions are welcomed on almost any blog. Comments show that you’re listening and want to contribute to the discussion.
It doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming
If you read something online and strongly agree, disagree, or have any type of educated opinion regarding what the writer is trying to communicate, let them know by leaving a comment. Use Twitter or Google Blog Search to find relevant blogs/articles and make commenting a regular habit. Writers and frequent readers will appreciate the input. Not only does it help with blogger relations, but it also proves that you’re serious about building community around a topic, industry, or ideal.
Blog commenting isn’t dead, but consider the mere thought as an extra potent incentive to keep readers and writers active.