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Your Comments Count

There are no particular milestones prompting this post, no blogging birthdays, no halfway-through-the-year points, nothing in particular going on.

I just wanted to take a moment to say ‘thanks’ to everyone who comments here.

If you’re a blogger yourself you’ll know that blogging can be hard work at times.

Maybe life, or the summer months, or work issues get in the way.

Maybe you find yourself in one of those blogging dips that requires strength and tenacity to keep going till you find the upward momentum again.

I don’t know about you but when I’m in some of those ‘hard work’ times it’s the comments and conversation, always, that keeps me going.

‘Comments’ doesn’t really capture it for me, because what I get from you here are ideas, suggestions, reactions, challenges, prompts, quotes, questions…

Things that keep me interested, motivated, curious and inspired.

So, thank you. I’m in the fortunate blogging position of no longer counting the comments I get, but please be assured that every comment counts.

I’m not as speedy at replying as I used to be, but I do read, consider and think about each and every comment that  you write and share here, and respond to them as thoughtfully as I can.

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  1. Lillie Ammann says:


    Commenting on your blog is a pleasure because you invite conversation and your posts make us think.
    .-= ´s last blog ..That’s My King =-.

  2. Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach says:

    You’re one of the gems online - it’s always a pleasure to share ideas here.
    .-= ´s last blog ..#1 way to make money online with CommentLuv longterm - Part 2 =-.

  3. Brad Shorr says:

    Hi Joanna, Your blog is an easy one to comment on, because your posts and the other comments are so full of ideas and passion. In general, it seems to me that Twitter siphons off more and more blog comments every day, in the form of ReTweets and conversation around posts. Twitter does expand the participants in a conversation, but it would be a shame to lose the permanency of comments in the post itself.
    .-= ´s last blog ..A PC Guy Goes to the Apple Store =-.

  4. Jackie Cameron says:

    You make a great point here Brad. I used to be a regular commentor on my favourite blogs and realise that I am now also connected with the authors on Twitter ( yourself included). This for me means that I comment more “in the moment” in the Twitter stream than in the comment stream although I follow the links to the blogs just as often. In fact Twitter has overtaken my RSS feeds for routes to great posts. i need to give this some thought.
    .-= ´s last blog ..Who should you really listen to? =-.

  5. Christopher Sleight says:

    After replying to Joanna on Brad’s point (I agree completely) on Twitter, I found I’d fallen into the very habit I was complaining about, so thought I’d leave a comment as well.

    My photoblog has never attracted a huge amount of comments, but each one I receive makes me feel good. I love getting comments on my website. I wish I got more.

    But these days almost all the feedback on my photographs comes via Twitter. This is very welcome of course, but doesn’t generate the same excitement I feel when that email arrives telling me someone has just commented on my blog.

    So why did I instantly respond to Joanna on Twitter, rather than on this page? Mainly I guess because it’s easy and quick and that’s where the conversation is. And I think this is why comments feel more valuable, because they’re generally longer and take more effort to create. Plus, they don’t disappear into Twitter history, never to be found again after a couple of days.

    I just wish there was some easy way of aggregating Tweets replying to a blog post with the comments. Or is there?
    .-= ´s last blog ..Hidden world =-.

  6. Brad Shorr says:

    At the moment Joanna is using Twitter to generate a good discussion on her blog. As I think of it, we’ve used Twitter effectively to talk up a few “100 comment post” campaigns, so I guess, like Jackie, I need to give this more thought as well …
    .-= ´s last blog ..A PC Guy Goes to the Apple Store =-.

  7. Brad Shorr says:

    Christopher’s idea is brilliant - a pingback system for Tweets or something … Luke Gedeon aggregates Tweets on his blog from time to time, using a WordPress plugin called Twitter Tools.

    It’s a start, but a little kludgy.
    .-= ´s last blog ..A PC Guy Goes to the Apple Store =-.

  8. Robert Hruzek says:

    I love dropping by here now and then simply because it reminds me of the Middle Zone - it’s a nice spot to just hang, have a cup o’ tea and maybe some tablet! Besides, I’ve gotten so much inspiration from Joanna’s posts it feels like home!
    .-= ´s last blog ..The Road to Victory =-.

  9. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Brad, I tried with an early doors version of that, but it was v kludgy, and I gave up. Tweet meme is a good way to track links and shout outs.

    I said to Christopher on Twitter that “I think - from observation alone - that disqus integrates tweets/ comments.An example - tweets at end” - if you scroll down to the end you’ll see the comments from twitter too. Maybe I / we need to look into that further

  10. Christopher Sleight says:

    Joanna has since directed me to a site that is automatically integrating Tweets with comments -

    This seems to be powered by a service called which looks interesting.
    .-= ´s last blog ..Hidden world =-.

  11. Christopher Sleight says:

    Sorry for the repetition - crossed posts!
    .-= ´s last blog ..Hidden world =-.

  12. Emma Newman
    Twitter: emapocalyptic

    I couldn’t agree more, comments do count - it’s a great way to connect with the blogger, to say “Thank you, that resonated.” I’ve a had a few people contact me over twitter to say that they’ve enjoyed the latest podcast, and I want to reply “Please say that on the comments!” but it seems rude to do that.

    For me, comments not only reassure us bloggers that we’re not completely alone, but also reassure other people that there is a thing going on - a living community, a place to converse that is going to be there for a lot longer than a little tweet (though I love twitter too!).

    Comments on podcast blog posts are even more important as they help people just arriving to invest a little time - to take the risk. Hm, maybe I should mention that on the page!
    .-= ´s last blog ..Is there an artistic double standard? =-.

  13. Christopher Sleight says:

    Oddly enough, a Google Alert on my name (I know, I know) has just directed me to a website called Chat Catcher - a service which says it catches comments on Twitter and other platforms and then reposts them to your blog.

    Chat Catcher had just indexed the last Tweet I made to Joanna (an hour or so ago. Could be worth a look.

  14. jan geronimo says:

    Bummer. I wasn’t on the list. :) That’s for being a slacker. Now that Google Reader has a “Like” and “Share with a Note” feature - will that count in my favor? :) Sometimes, I’d like to read from the safety of my reader.

    What’s good about this new Reader feature is that it can be shared on the web. But of course you know that by now.

    My heart is not bleeding. There’s a Jan Scott up there in the lights after all. Yeeha. Go Jan!

    Joanna, I’m using Disqus. What’s great about it is that retweets about your posts get integrated below your comments. I’ve not used it though. My settings need to be tweaked as every retweet gets attributed to me and it’s very disconcerting to see a long line of tweets with my name on it. But I’m working on it.

    Thanks for giving recognition to your readers. Not only do we feel safe here, but we’re being acknowledged as stake-holders in your blog’s well-being as well. Super. I’d adopt this great mindset in building my own blog community.
    .-= ´s last blog ..A Bumbling Influential Blogger Says His Thanks =-.

  15. Lori Hoeck says:

    Hi Joanna,
    Thank you! You make commenting and community come alive with your genuine, thoughtful, and motivational posts.
    .-= ´s last blog ..‘Think Like a Black Belt’ around the web =-.

  16. Debbie Yost says:

    Yay! I made the list! I agree, comments can really make a difference in how much fun you’re having with blogging. If you don’t get a lot of comments, you need to consider why you blog and get gratification in another way.
    .-= ´s last blog ..Special Exposure Wednesday - Masks =-.

  17. Jan Scott says:

    For me it’s simply that whenever you post it prompts a new strand of thinking for me and I’m so thrilled I have to comment, to connect, in a kind of skipping up to you and saying, ‘wow, I’m so excited’ way! And so I am VERY proud that my enthusiastic response to what you write has got me a place on the list and am wearing a big fat smile. :)
    .-= ´s last blog ..gamelan =-.

  18. Danny Brown says:


    I love this idea of thanking those who come by and comment on your posts. Great way to build community and with the way Twitter, Friendfeed and other services compete for comment space, a really nice and personal touch.

    Thanks for using one of my posts as an example of Disqus, appreciate it. :) I actually tried both Disqus and IntenseDebate last year, but found they weren’t great at stopping comment spam (they took over from Akismet).

    Now, however, Disqus in particular is much better and can be integrated with Akismet as well. And, as you pointed out, it’s a great way of following the conversation about your posts around the web.

    You might also be interested in BackType. They offer a plugin called Connect that does the same thing (although not quite to the same extent as Disqus). You can find that here:

    Cheers, and like I say, great idea!

    .-= ´s last blog ..What the Cool Kids Can Teach Us About Selling Out =-.

  19. Bronson says:

    A most awesome idea for giving thanks and props to those that have contributed. Superb!
    .-= ´s last blog ..Top Gear Extreme Driving by Ken Block =-.

  20. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Lillie Lillie, thank you. I like the thought of writing as an invitation :-)

    Barbara, ditto. Thanks.

    Brad thanks for sharing such thoughtful reflections, and precipitating such an interesting conversation!

    Jackie it’s interesting isn’t it? There are some posts I only go to (and comment on) because I happen to be on twitter when I see a link. Others that I might link to and recommend when I’m on twitter. But generally the in depth conversation and questions, reflections, interesting stuff only emerges on the blog itself, and, as I said to you on Twitter (recognising the irony) as an author I do feel the need for that level of interaction and exchange. It helps to fuel my writing and I’d be lost without it. I also realise though that the conversation here only came to life as a result of the twitter exchanges, which is really making me think harder :-)

  21. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Christopher welcome and thanks for popping over from Twitter. I agree with you - comments are different, and give us powerful feedback mechanisms. Your comment about aggregating tweets with comments has really got me thinking, with some suggestions flowing here too… definitely one to explore further, not least as this conversation has shown me how rich a conversation can be when it moves between the two mediums (media?)

    Brad you hit it on the head there. It was entirely unintentional, but the results are interesting

    Robert that this place should remind you of the Zone is a compliment indeed. Here, have some tablet on me :-)

  22. Brad Shorr says:

    Wow, thanks to Danny and Christopher and everybody else for the great tips on integrated Tweets with blog comments. In a year or two it looks like everybody will be able to do this. How will that affect the popularity of blogging?
    .-= ´s last blog ..A PC Guy Goes to the Apple Store =-.

  23. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Christopher thanks for highlighting chat catcher… looks like there are some interesting new developments out there that need to be explored a bit

    Emma you’re right, comments do make a difference to the way that we feel, and also to the confidence that others have in what we do - it’s a public expression, and I can see why you’d want it on your blog, esp when you’re pushing the boat out with the podcasts. I think you should mention and maybe even ask directly some of the people you know are listening, I’m sure you have many fans who’d be willing to help.

  24. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Jan sorry for your name not being there - it was probably my editing - WP ate the first version of the post, I think it was all the li code. I’ve added your name in now at the bottom so it shows up clearly :-) Interesting point though aabout like and sharing and how we recognise and acknowledge that too… Haven’t thought about that one yet. You’ve reminded me I used to check where stumble upon traffic came from and thank the person who stumbled it, but I haven’t been near SU recently (problems getting into it…) I wonder where we should draw the lines though and how far I really want to go in the name of building community?

    You are all stakeholders, and thank you for putting it like that… More food for thought

  25. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Lori I’m not sure about thoughtful & motivational but I do always strive to be genuine. And to make a difference. Thanks for all your contributions here

    Debbie I never realised you were all going to get competitive about it! You’re right, the comments do make it meaningful and fun for me. I could imagine running a different sort of blog ‘for its own sake’ but I wouldn’t be able to put so much effort into it without getting the feedback loops. Good point about gratification though

    Jan comments make me smile and skip too, often, esp when they come from you :-) Thanks!

  26. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Danny thanks for following over from the link to your post - I’d noticed the way you’d got it set up when I was tracking through some of the (fascinating) conversations going on around your posts these days. I’m definitely going into Disqus, but I’ll have a look at BackType too. Oh and thanks for the shout out on Twitter :-0

    Bronson thanks for popping over and sharing that feedback - much appreciated

    Brad I think it’ll give blogging its proper place, as the home base for other social media activity. Without it you end up with so much froth… or am I biased because I’m a committed blogger?

  27. Dr.Mani says:

    Nice post, Joanna. This is my first comment here, because I’ve limited all my earlier comments on your posts to Twitter! Is there a way to pull those in to the blog, and then have a plug-in display top Twitter commenters?! ;-p

    All success
    @drmani on Twitter

  28. Tumblemoose says:

    Cheers, Joanna.

    Always a pleasure to come here.

    .-= ´s last blog ..Is content theft a bad thing? =-.

  29. Iain Broome | Write for Your Life
    Twitter: iainbroome

    Thanks for the inclusion on the list Joanna. Keep up the spiferoo workio, which is Italian for bravo!
    .-= ´s last blog ..How CCTV can help improve your productivity =-.

  30. Christopher Sleight says:

    These comments have sparked off some more thoughts.

    Much of the training I give to journalists and producers working in mainstream media touches on three themes:

    1. Set some content free - it’s a good way to reach new audiences
    2. Try not to own/control the conversation all the time
    3. Think content over platform

    Lots of them are sceptical. But next time I’m attempting to persuade them to work in new ways I shall remember this thread, and how I’d feel if it was the precious content on my own website, or discussion about my photographs :)

  31. Ulla Hennig
    Twitter: ullahe

    Late again! Having read all the comments up to now I am thinking about the difference between commenting on Twitter and commenting on a blog.
    1. My reaction on Twitter is very spontaneous, whereas I think a lot before commenting on a blog.
    2. It also takes more time for me to go through my various blog feeds (although yours is among the first I go to usually). When someone I know tweets a new blog post, I usually follow that immediately and then often give a direct feed back when I see that the author is online.
    .-= ´s last blog ..Art Nouveau House in Riga =-.

  32. Paul C says:

    What a wonderful idea to recognize your loyal commentators. Nothing gives a blogger a lift more than a thoughtful comment to a post.
    .-= ´s last blog ..The Black Hole of Cliches =-.

  33. Miguel | Simply Blog says:


    You’re one of the best commenter I’ve seen! :) Always nice to see bloggers recognize their readers… Well done,

    .-= ´s last blog ..What is Remarkable Blog Content? =-.

  34. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Dr Mani thanks for popping over :-) And making such a good point. I’ve done it the manual way this time because I wanted to say thanks to you all, but maybe someone will dream up a plugin some day…

    George cheers :-)

    Iain thanks, not least for the Italian :-)

    Christopher not owning or controlling the conversation is interesting - I’m happy to ‘let it go’ on Twitter and other places, but I do feel I want more control on my own blog. It’s one of the things I wonder about using something like disqus which makes it much easier for people to respond to each other. That makes it more like a conversation and less 1:1 author to reader, it should also mean your role shifts from needing to reply to everything to moderating… but I still do want to have time to reply properly to all the really thoughtful comments people leave here. And I’m not sure I can cope with ramping up the volume!

  35. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Ulla you’re never too late to comment here. I think you’re right about the spontaneity - which is of course one of the great things about Twitter, it allows us to go with the flow. Comments do matter though, not least as they are more thought out. Thank you for all of your own contributions - I love the way you often ask the direct questions or challenging points that others skirt around.

    Paul C well, the comments mean a lot to me, so I try and find ways to say ‘thanks’ when I can. Thanks for popping by.

    Mig thanks.

  36. Davina says:

    Hi Joanna. Just this post alone has proven to offer up so much information when you take time to read through the comments. It’s like getting three blog posts in one. Great stuff!

    Thanks for holding the space for this to happen. In my experience, Confident Writing is a calm sea in the blogosphere; a cozy corner to curl up with a blog as opposed to a book :-) There is a confidence about not being too edgy that I appreciate. A smooth ride with less distractions from the ego; how refreshing! I’m pleased to be included in the list Joanna.
    .-= ´s last blog ..Roaming with the Metaphor =-.

  37. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Davina thanks for those words. I really appreciate the part about holding the space for it to happen. That’s what good coaches do too :-)

  38. Janice Cartier says:

    Just a quick dip in… I am still on break, but in the world of possibilities we set up context and let life unfold to quote Ben Zander. I see the comments and conversations the “unfolding ” part. So vital, so much a part of what we are trying to create. Seems I ‘ll have some technology to check out when I return… waves hello to every one of the lovely voices here. :)
    .-= ´s last blog ..Real Time Texas =-.

  39. Wilson Pon says:

    Ahh…, I never thought that you’ll list my name here, Joanna! I was overwhelming, when I looked my name in the list. :)

    Thanks again, Joanna.

  40. Fred H Schlegel says:

    It is a pleasure to comment at a blog where the discussion is a fine as yours is here. Your posts spur comments and then the back and forth begins. I love that this became a semi-technical discussion of integrating twitter into the flow.
    The only drawback I’ve seen on sites that try to integrate tweets is that it can really disrupt the flow of back and fourth on the primary comment stream. Some of the suggestions above that describe a way to pack them at the end of the comment stream actually makes a lot of sense.
    .-= Fred H Schlegel´s last blog ..Tackling the Uncertainty Paradox – An Introduction =-.

  41. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    @ Janice, thanks for popping by, sorry you’re not well… hope you’re back in the swing of things soon

    @ Wilson, well your comments count a lot to me, each and every one, thank you

    @ Fred, thanks for your comments and practical suggestions. I know what you mean - some comment streams are a bit overwhelming and/or confusing. I’m experimenting just now with Chatcatcher - we’ll see how that goes

  42. Ken Allan says:

    Kia ora Joanna!

    Much like the paper that’s needed to write on is the inspiration needed to write. If you’ll excuse the metaphor, it’s a pleasure to have the paper and inspiration to write a comment.

    Thanks for providing both paper and inspiration Joanna.

    Catchya later
    .-= Ken Allan´s last blog ..What Do You Do When You Find A New Site? =-.

  43. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    @ Ken, sorry for not replying before - your comment got a bit buried. It’s a bit of a challenge nowadays to respond to each and every one because there are so many… but I guess that is a nice problem to have :-) I like the idea that this blog is somehow providing the paper… yes, okay, and a wee bit inspiration too. Thanks Ken, as ever.

  44. Write a Writing says:

    Thanks a lot Joanna for including my name here…. It sure gives a super-milo boost …wink wink

    Amy Dyslex
    .-= Write a Writing´s last blog ..How to Write Creatively =-.

  45. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    @ Amy, my pleasure, thanks for all your contributions