That stated, I (and many of my blogging companions) have noticed that many, many, many commenters seem, well, disingenuous. Over the past few months we've identified many laughable habits and have even come up with terms describing these particular blog "readers." And I figured I'd share them with you.
- Alpha-Omegas - these are the people who, usually when dealing with admittedly lengthy blog entries, only read the first and last paragraphs of that entry, and leave comments in the hopes that you won't notice. These "readers" fancy themselves as extremely clever, though often their comments provide glaring evidence leading to the conclusion that they have no idea what your piece is about.
- Charlie Tunas - simply put, these are people who leave "canned comments." Often painfully obvious (as many tend to be members of writing groups or memes), one can safely surmise that they actually cut and paste certain comments, changing a word here or there in order to tailor it to your entry.
- Fanboys - not necessarily non-readers, but their commenting practices reveal a certain... lack of discerning ability? Have you ever come across a blog that is clearly full of talentless or otherwise bad "writing," but somehow has hundreds of followers? And those followers ALWAYS "love" the work and never have anything constructive or specific to say. Yeah... those people.
- Follower Fishers - people who only comment in the hopes of attracting followers to their own blogs. They come in many forms, utilizing the non-reading technique of others in vain (as in vanity) attempts to get us to read their crap.
- Moles - not bad in and of themselves, but they do tend to be a tad condescending by linking their own blog or blog entry in a comment they leave for you. Sure, it can be a thoughtful thing to do when the link leads to something the commenter feels might be related to what you wrote, but more often a mole is simply follower-fishing. If not, they're doing a pretty good job of implying that you're too stupid to follow their profile back to their blog. Which, you know, is what most of us do when we're curious enough to see who left a comment.
- Missionaries - these make me want to puke most of the time. You know who they are. Someone who came across your blog, read something they didn't like or disagreed with, and offered to show you their own work in order to "correct your opinion" or "belief set" so you can be saved. I don't know about you, but I write fiction a lot, and I don't need to be saved. My characters might, but I don't. And even if I did, I don't want to be. And even if I wanted to be, I doubt I'd let a blogger or a viral marketer try to do it.
- Skimmers - though these "readers" don't feel they are as clever as Alpha-Omegas, they are actually far better at not reading your blog than most other pretend-readers. They'll scroll through, looking for keywords that repeat or otherwise stand out, then leave a cautiously formulated comment reflecting the fact that they noticed those words or phrases. Harder to catch, these ones, but their comments also hint at not knowing what your piece is actually about.
At any rate, I'm just asking for commenters to provide the courtesy of actually having read what they have commented on. Is that fair? Or am I just being anal?
While I may leave a short, confusing, or otherwise sarcastically brief and/or bereft comment, I can assure you that if a comment was left by me, it means that I read your post... from the first word to the last word. Anything less would be hypocritical.
Can't we all just get along?
Oh, wait... never mind. Getting along would make my life boring.