Comment and Connect.

Are you a blogger? Do you remember what it was like to get your first comment? Your first trackback? I sure do.

Pure bliss. To know that people were actually reading what I had written when they could have clicked to a zillion other places instead, was both amazing and incredibly affirming.

Sure, there was some indication people were reading (or at least they were searching and ended up here); I learned to read the stats. However, for someone to comment and speak to me, or trackback and actually write a post of their own that connected to the provocation of mine, well, that was mind-blowing.

If I was not a blog writer AND a blog reader and commenter, I would have never known the JOY in my life which has come from connecting with Scott (his was the first blog I ever read) Yvonne (hers was where I was inspired to leave my first comment) Wayne (who taught me very early on that bloggers give away what they know freely) Toni (who gave me my first comment on Talking Story) Heath (who was the first to link to the then-unknown z-lister me!) Anita, Bren (who gave me my first trackback. Back then, most of us didn’t know how pings worked), Burt, Paul, Michele, David and Dave (with his NYEve comment, I just knew this “blogging thing” would stick with me.)

These 12 people will always have a very, very special place in my heart. Most of those early connections happened before Managing with Aloha was published, and my blog had to stand on its own slim merit. It was unbelievable to me that they actually noticed it at all. Since then?

Well, since then, I have discovered another way to get that same kind of high I had gotten with receiving those early connections, and that’s to give them. The very best of all? Giving them to a new blogger just starting to get their own good words out.

It happened again yesterday, and the blogger I had left my comment for wrote me a private email to let me know I was his first. Wow. What a feeling to know I had done that for him, not even realizing it at the time, and just wanting to tell him thank you for the gift of his writing.

I share this with you to ask that you not deny yourself this high, this delicious pleasure of giving new bloggers the encouragement of your comments.

I have a new challenge for those of you in the Ho‘ohana Community who are bloggers regularly receiving your share of comments now that you’re no longer a newbie. I know you’ve worked hard to build community and get where you are, however I still ask that you remember what it was like to wait for that first breakthrough comment to come through. I know you are terrific with your own readers because I visit you and see what a pro you have become at this :-) Now, step outside your normal conversation circles, and give someone new your aloha and some of that joy. 

Let’s reach out, comment, connect and encourage. When you arrive at a new blog and those comment numbers are mostly at zero, zero in on a post that intrigues you and say something about it. You are all so brilliant at being positive, optimistic and enthusiastic; I know this because that’s what you share with me here all the time!

For those of you who are new at blogging, I have a suggestion for you too
. Love the personal email you send, really do, however duplicate it in your blog’s comments for everyone else to read too. That’s the only way that other readers get the message that you do appreciate them, and that you are responsive.

If you invite conversation, you have to continue it! Once a commenter puts themselves out there, believe me, they need the public acknowledgment from you that you understand what a big deal it was. They reveal themselves in their comments, and the way you say thank you is to answer them back and keep the conversation going, or comment yourself on their addition, complement or insight.

Let’s talk story folks,
the blog post itself is but the humble beginning. The good stuff is in how the post keeps giving, and that giving is in the comments. Blogs are such great aloha-conductors!

For those of you who continue to comment here on Talking Story, thank you so much. Keep them coming!


  1. says

    I have forgotten how even something as simple as saying “interesting post” or “thanks for a new point of view” can make a big difference.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  2. says

    It can make a difference Borino, however unless a blogger knows the commenter, when that short and sweet, those phrases can also send up a red flag that the commenter is just parking a cheap link to their own place. The proliferance of spam has made all seasoned bloggers cautious, and erring on the side of deleting possibilities is the choice made so that spammers are not encouraged.
    By the way, I just left a comment for you too – love your “Ten Things for a Better Day in Ten Minutes” and the response came back that I went to your spam filter! Good example of how aggressive we have to be these days (short and sweet comments are not my forte, so there’s another lesson for me I suppose :-)

  3. says

    Rosa – thanks. I am proud to have been a part of your “blogging” journey! You have also been a part of mine as well. Thank you for all you do!

  4. says

    Rosa, what a nice reminder to share the joy! I am always so touched by the comments I get from strangers who often become friends, and my life is enriched by these connections. It’s fun to just go out and click on the links in someone’s blog roll, reading and enjoying and getting acquainted — and commenting. I can’t remember how you and I first connected, but I’m glad we did. Thank you for once again bringing sunshine into my day.

  5. says

    Scott, you are waaaay more than “part” of my blogging journey … there’s only one first, and that was you! You continue to be such an inspiration to me with your tenacity and your positive spirit – I’ve been thrilled to know you are infecting the rest of the world as you do; have been loving those Thailand pictures you’ve been sharing with us.

  6. says

    Aloha Verna, I am so glad you have visited me today! It is amazing what one comment can lead to when there is the intention to connect and converse, isn’t there? And I am doubly sure it happens for you on Out of the Cube because of the grace and spirit you bring, being mea ho’okipa as you are!

  7. says

    A Love Affair with Books 2007 Starts Tomorrow!

    When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just

  8. Charlie St. Sure says

    I had an opportunity a couple of years ago to enjoy a special dinner with friends at one of Danny Meyer’s restaurants in New York. I commented then and have been commenting ever since about how unbelievably perfect the service was. If you did not look like you needed anything you never saw anyone, but just turn your head away from the conversation and look like you may need something and miraculously someone was at your side instantaneously. The service all evening was impeccable and professional – not one note out of tune.
    Thanks for the heads up – I’ll be on my way to Border’s ASAP.

  9. says

    Charlie I’m sure that Setting the Table is a book you’ll enjoy; we’ll have to compare notes the next time I see you, and you can tell me more about this story!
    Mahalo for stopping by, Rosa