On Monday I talked about blog comments – more specifically the fact that even when I enjoy reading something I don’t necessarily leave a message to say so.

I mentioned this is because if I was going to say something I’d want it to add value to the discussion, or at the very make me appear pithy / wise / hilarious to other readers…. But also conceded that I love getting comments on my blog regardless of what they say, because the important thing is someone stayed long enough to read an entire post. People often get here by accident – sometimes looking for Glempy, Sandra, or Michelle; other times because some of my tags are a bit facetious.

Still, I’m rarely inundated with chat in the comments section and I reckon this is partly down to the fact that lurking readers do the same thing as me – read (or skim), go ‘I see. Well, I have nothing to add,’ and move on.  But help is at hand!  From now on you will always have something to add – just choose from one of my top ten pithy and insightful blog comments*, listed below. Copying and pasting has never made a blogger feel so validated.

The ‘please’

I enjoyed/hated reading this; please post more fantastic insights along the same lines/please stop writing about stuff like this, you terrible human.  (except don’t do the insult thing – there’s nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone in a polite and intelligent way, but nobody likes a troll)

The ‘thank you’

This made me laugh/cry/do a little wee with joy/anger/incontinence – thank you for posting / I can’t believe you posted this / pass me the tenalady. (delete as appropriate)

The ‘I totally read this’

This made me think of: a time in my life when a thing happened / an article I read elsewhere / a story I heard.  (please go on to elaborate by telling the story or linking to the article – sadly I can’t help with specifics)

The ‘this made me think’

I’d never really considered this before, but I’m glad you brought it up because it made me think. (you could go on to say ‘I did(n’t) agree with your conclusion for the following reasons)

The ‘let me help’

When I was in the same position as you / working or studying in a related field I found this book / website / joke / advice really helped.

The ‘constructive criticism’

Whilst what you say here is quite interesting, I wonder whether you have considered this big pile of evidence to the contrary? (NB explain / give examples other than speculation or hearsay)  If so, what are your thoughts on it? (be careful here – always be measured and polite, and aware that people – including other commenters – may misread or misconstrue your words and then want to lash out. The critical comment is definitely the time to exercise those empathy glands – consider how you’d feel about receiving the comment on something you’d written.  If it would make you furious and upset and ruin your day, don’t go there.  But if it would make you embarrassed because you’ve missed out a massive chunk of the debate, it might be OK – as long as it is not presented in a smug, patronising or condescending way.  I’m including this because I think there should be room for debate on tinternet that doesn’t descend into name calling, but it’s hard to be the bigger person when trolls attack and you may need to be thick skinned)

The ‘suggestion’

Have you considered writing a post about x? I think it would be interesting to get your take on it / it seems like the sort of thing you’d be interested in.

The ‘I shared this’

Thanks for writing this, I’ve told everyone I know they need to stop whatever they’re doing and read it ASAP!

The ‘non sequitur’

Sure, but what’s the deal with the Post Office? (probably not advisable, to be honest, as most people will assume you are spamming. Consider context before trying this…)

The ‘first time’

I just wanted to say I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I think it’s great / patchy / well designed.  Keep up the (good) work.

*warning, may not be pithy or insightful