Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Remedial Blog School: Got a Comment?

Welcome back to Remedial Blog School. I hope that you all enjoyed your break.

Today's topic is comments: the good and the sucky.

But first things first. If you don't have a gravatar, go get a free one here. A gravatar is a little photo that is associated with your email address and will show up next to you comment. There's just no good reason not to have one.

Another tip/plea, for the love of everything that is American and anti-terrorist, please enable your email address in the comments. If you don't, I have no way to respond to you. Which may be just how you like it, but let me tell you, you're really missing out. I like to email responses to people who leave me comments and sometimes I even give them opportunities to send me cash. So do it. Unless you like living in the 20th century, in which case, tell my grandmother I said "hi".

Oh, and if you'd like to know how to enable your email address and join civilization, Mommy's Martini was kind enough to explain:

Go to www.blogger.com/home and log in if necessary (your computer might have you already logged in). On the upper left side of the screen, next to the little picture that's associated with your profile, click the link for "edit profile," then fill in an email address on the line cleverly marked "email address." If you don't want your email address to show on your profile, but you do want people to be able to reply to your comments, then just leave the box next to "show my email address" (a few lines above where you actually type in your address) unchecked. Anyone who has created a Blogger profile, even if their blog is on another platform, should do this. Those of us on Blogger don't have comment forms available like all you Wordpress and Typepad and Square Space and basically everyone else in the world do, and it's no end of frustrating that we can't reply to our commenters easily.

With that technical mumbo jumbo out of the way--what makes a good comment?

To me, it's a few things: It shows an appreciation for the post and builds on it. I won't lie, the "you are pure comedic genius and extremely attractive!" comments do really well, too, but really, how many times can I read that one before it gets old?

Mostly, good comments are known for that they're not. Here is a collection of what some of my blogging friends call their pet peeves. In no particular order:

Christy, "I absolutely HATE it when people left comments that said "dropping by from SITS to say hi" -- wtf? Why leave a comment when you obviously didn't even read my post?!"

I totally agree with this. Unless you're here as Mary Magdalene's personal representative, who cares where you are from. Now, I don't mind if people mention where they're from, as long as that's not their entire comment. I mean, how would you like it if I appeared on your blog and left "I am from Russia" as the comment?

Jessica, "I get very turned off when it is clear someone has only written me to promo themselves and clearly couldn't give a shit what I wrote".

Which reminds me, don't forget to visit Secret Spineless Whine for hours of whining fun!

Kirsten is very Zen, "Nothing really bothers me all that much about blog comments. The FIRST!! can be annoying, but since I have only the most un-annoying readers no one ever does that on my blog. "

I'm assuming that Zen means "giving responses that are annoying to the rest of us who do have comment pet peeves."

Denise doesn't like fancy spam, "Biggest pet peeve with commenting, when people include links to their website that is totally unrelated to my post or comment. I call it fancy spam because the person leaving the comment took time to read my post, leave a relative comment, just to get me to their random site, like how to win the lottery. "

And then, most of the time, the lottery winning tips are totally bogus.

Kate, "I've already written about my distaste for acronyms - which is primarily based on the fact that I'm really a 74 year old woman and have no idea what most of them mean. So I don't like comments that are in code. Speak plainly. But give me a minute while I put in my hearing aid.
Another peeve of mine has nothing to do with my own comments section (sadly enough). I know that some blogs are very good - but at the end of the day they are BLOGS, not the great American novel. So the truly obsequious use of hyperbole praising the writer's amazing talent makes me cringe. It's not like this is news to them - if they're that good, they probably know it (or have gotten enough gushing comments to have a clue). So I try to stick with more substantive compliments about the points they made, their good grammar and their flattering profile pictures. Seriously though - I cringe when I read things like, "your writing is so beautiful - it's like you're writing what's in my soul..." I mean really - get a room already."


Stefanie, obviously not on intimate terms with the porn industry, ""Keep it up!" What does that even mean? Obviously they have nothing to add except to let me know that they think I should continue along my blogging journey with their blessing. Thanks, I think."

Issa doesn't like "FIRST!" "The first thing has always bugged me. What's the point of it? Sometimes I want to comment twenty-fifth. Just because. But the one that gets me the most, is the people who say, oh I wrote about this, please come look at my link right here." You know, this hasn't bothered me because I am so open minded, but now that it's been pointed out to me that it's annoying, it totally will.

Vicki ranks her pet peeves:
The Paris Hilton: FIRST!!!11!!
The Rush Limbaugh: I agree with your point, but you have a typo in one of the most insignificant words you wrote. Just pointing it out. Sorry to be the grammar police! LOL!!!
The door-to-door missionary: LOL!! THAT'S A GREAT POST!! hahahehehe. (not adding any value to the conversation that should take place in the comments of blogs)
The Osama Bin Laden: Oh, that sounds so much like what happened on my blog. You know, this happened on my blog, too. Here's the link to my blog. Here's another comment with the link, just in case you HAVEN'T VISITED MY BLOG YET!! BLOG, BLOG, BLOG!

Maura doesn't like name calling in comments: "The worst thing that has ever happened in my comments is that someone called me a "hoe." Being called a garden implement really got under my skin."


Anna needs to be appreciated: "The I don't understand your joke comment bugs me. Isn't it obvious that they need to go off on their own for a while, let the joke marinate, perhaps do a few deep-knee bends and then try again? I mean, come on, people, DIG DEEP."

I don't get it. Why do I have to do yoga and excavate?

OHMommy, "I hate it when people write wish me Happy Anniversary when it's really just me talking about my sister's upcoming wedding. Obviously they didn't take the time to read the post. Also. Hate it when people say something like, "OMG! You are so funny. You should come and check out my blog at www.iamaloser.com."

Thanks for the shout out, OHMommy!

Kelcey's pet peeves are "Thanks for stopping by my blog which is the equivalent of leaving a phone message that says, just wanted to call you back. I hate comments that say, you misspelled tulle or some other word.. Just email me. No need to point out my stupidity in public."

What are "typos"?



Blogger Threeboys1mommy said...

You are pure comedic genius and extremely attractive!

August 3, 2009 at 5:21 PM  
Blogger MommyTime said...


August 3, 2009 at 5:25 PM  
Blogger The Panic Room said...

Well, thanks a lot for asking me what I thought was annoying.

How bout that one? The make you feel guilty on your own blog comments.

August 3, 2009 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger Kay said...

Unless it's a comment being all mean and trashy (or spam for V1@gr@ type shit) then I don't care - I GOT A COMMENT.
Hmm... does that mean I'm easy? Or that I took too much xanax?
Whatever. That's what the "delete comment" button is for, right?
All the pet peeves mentioned irritate me - but not enough for me to complain about them, because... well, PEOPLE COMMENTED.

August 3, 2009 at 6:38 PM  
Blogger Mwa said...

(...whine...) Do I have to get a grava-whatsit? Sounds like EFFORT to me. Will think about it.

August 3, 2009 at 6:38 PM  
Blogger TeacherMommy said...

I'm seriously thinking of just stealing your whole post and putting it over on my blog (Have you read my blog? OMG! You totally have to check it out! LMAO!) because you have said what I would LOVE to say to many of my commenters, but I'm too scared of losing them. Because I'm a delicate flower who is afraid of rejection and abandonment.

Truly, though, I was relieved to discover that, according to you, I am generally a "good" commenter and have not deeply offended the Comment Gods. Most of my commenters are pretty decent in their content, but it still drives me batty that about two-thirds of them do not enable their email. I, too, prefer to email them back, and so it makes me cry when they don't let me.

And then there's my beloved sister, who persists in commenting as "Anonymous," even though she'll then sign off with her own special code name (we're all precious like that). Just because she made a Blogger profile years ago and then it dumped her for no good reason and so she's holding a grudge.

Oh! Where do the comments-as-long-as-a-post land on your pet peeve list?


August 3, 2009 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger ShallowGal said...

My comment pet peeves are when someone asks me what my comment pet peeves are and gives me until 8 pm to reply and then BOOM posts a full 3 hours earlier, before I even had a chance to answer.

That's what you meant, right?

xo, SG

August 3, 2009 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger *Akilah Sakai* said...

Marinka, your blog is wonderful and the very reason I breathe.

August 3, 2009 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger *Akilah Sakai* said...

This post has intimidated me to the point that I think I'll stop commenting on blogs from now on.

Now I'm all nervous and shit about my commenting skills when I should be worried about my bedroom skills!! Fuck!

August 3, 2009 at 7:57 PM  
Blogger McMommy said...

I am SO not leaving a comment on this post. I'm easily intimidated. (However, I might get drunk and THEN leave a comment...drunk commenting makes me braver.)

August 3, 2009 at 8:04 PM  
Blogger Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

I honestly don't care. A comment's a comment. BRING IT ON! I, too, am easy. (Nothing new!)

I will say the one thing I could do without? The links to porn sites. Why? Does a blog with the words MOMMY BLOG in the title scream "porn links"??? Eh???

August 3, 2009 at 8:12 PM  
Blogger Marinka said...

Hey Tracey--don't knock the porn links. I was truly humbled when a porn blog put me on its sidebar. It was awesome to see the links.





August 3, 2009 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger ZenMom said...

Well, hell. Now I'm too intimidated to leave a comment.

Oh, wait, no, I'm not.

But I'm going to risk setting off some pet peeves, I think. Because, really, I just want to let you know how much I've enjoyed reading this whole better-blogging series. They've been really great fun. Thanks. :)

August 3, 2009 at 8:34 PM  
Blogger A Mom on Spin said...


Oh no. . . well. . .

GREAT POST! or. . .

LOL!!! and


August 3, 2009 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Daffodil Campbell said...

I am absolutely petrified to leave a comment now.

But this remedial blog school is really helping me out, so I wanted to just say thanks. I'm not sure if that is annoying or not.


To be honest, I am impressed by any blogger who gets enough comments to find one (or more then one) type annoying.

August 3, 2009 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger Molly C said...

I sort of just want to comment on 6 billion blogs saying "I am from Russia"

but they'd be like wtf. I don't understand your joke.

and then I'd be like "OMG CHECK OUT MAH BLOG"

August 3, 2009 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger Keyona said...

Well fuck. Now I don't know what to say.

You're so funny.

Love your blog.

Happy Anniversary/Birthday.

I quit.

August 3, 2009 at 8:57 PM  
Anonymous Inna said...

I am from Brazil, but am in NY. You don't care do you???

I think I'm failing remedial blogging school. When do we get our grades? If we send you Russian booze do we get extra credit?

August 3, 2009 at 9:13 PM  
Blogger Comedy Goddess said...

You took the words right out of my mouth.

Is my email enabled? Because I never hear back from you.

August 3, 2009 at 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Andrea's Sweet Life said...

I just like comments. I even go so far as to keep some of the funny spam comments.

My FAVE comments are the witty ones, or the ones where I can tell my reader connected with what I've said.

Also, I don't have blogger, and that other thing says my email address is "already taken". WHA?

August 3, 2009 at 9:19 PM  
Blogger momtrolfreak said...

I was going to try to commit every faux pas outlines here but I'm too fucking lazy and my husband's leftover birthday cake is singing its siren call.
But: every post in this remedial blog school has both made me laugh out loud AND taught me something (gravatar: who knew!??!). YOu are awesome.
and a really, really excellent writer who speaks to the very core of my soul.
Your adjectives make me quiver.
or something.
love, Laura

August 3, 2009 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger Amber, The Unlikely Mama said...

Thank you for the tip about Gravatars! I've set mine up just for you :-) Though, you have a Blogger account so my photo already shows up. I even double checked to make sure my email was enabled on my profile. Everything is in order for you to send me an email...so hop to it :P

August 3, 2009 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger blognut said...

I feel completely shunned that I wasn't part of the comment survey.

Seriously, there are a lot of things that I really hate and I could've added value to your blog post for the first time ever. Not that it wasn't valuable 'as is', just saying you really missed an opportunity here.

Oh, never mind.

Crap. I always go one sentence too far.

August 3, 2009 at 9:56 PM  
Blogger Rambling Rachel said...

I'm from Whittier, Iowa. Along with 25 other people.

I went to Russia once for a month. I about starved eating hotel dirty borscht, but things turned around when I lived with an actual Russian family.

Oh, and your post was an excellent way to refer to some cool bloggers. I was not so creative in my recent post, er, wait. I won't leave you a link.....

Now I have to try and be a good commenter. Thanks a lot.

August 3, 2009 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

To paraphrase Mark Twain:

It is better to be a lurker and have everyone think you are dumb than to leave a stupid comment and prove it.

Like this one. :)

August 3, 2009 at 10:16 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

hahaha you're so funny. LOL.

Wait, did I miss a point somewhere? And ya know - I'm VERY glad you posted that bit about email addys on Blogger because that is so frustrating to me. I hope everyone on Blogger earth reads this post, leaves a witty and relevant comment, and goes to check that their email address is there.

And now I'm paranoid that mine isn't...

August 3, 2009 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger April said...

haha, i love this post!

i recently posted a picture of myself on my blog (insert fancy link that i don't know how to do) of when i was sixteen and the picture was clearly labeled 'SIXTEEN YEAR OLD ME'... at least three jackasses commented - OMG you look so young! you could be a teenager!!!

are you effing kidding me?

August 3, 2009 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger Issas Crazy World said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.



See, isn't is lovely? I love these lessons Marinka. Next time I think you should teach trolls how to have names. Just a thought. I seem to attract them like fruit flies.

August 3, 2009 at 10:44 PM  
Blogger Smiling Mama said...

Oh now you've really put the pressure on for just the perfect comment! Seriously, thanks for explaining why I don't always see e-mail addresses for the (very few which is why I can't afford to have pet peeves!!) comments I get.

August 3, 2009 at 11:16 PM  
Blogger Loukia said...

Oh my God! You are so funny! This was the greatest post ever written... you're awesome!!
Just kidding. But I have to say... I have done some of those commenting faux pas before - like "Hahaha that was sooo funny!" I do this because that is what I'm thinking... not because I don't care! So... now I'm sort of scared to comment... yikes! ;) Also? I just did that gravitor thingy and I made my email address public. So thank you for the tips!

August 3, 2009 at 11:19 PM  
Blogger Kirsten said...

I am really enjoying remedial blog school.

August 3, 2009 at 11:52 PM  
Blogger gretchen said...

Damn. Now I'm in a panic that I may have at some time left one of these detested types of comments. My blog is so new that I don't care what anybody says as along as they leave a comment. Any comment. At my blog. I have a blog. Did I mention that? Sorry.

August 4, 2009 at 12:20 AM  
Blogger jen said...

like so many others ... i now have an acute case of comment angst.
my favorite comment ever ... something to the effect of ... "your children are beautiful but would be more beautiful if you checked out our cameras we have for sale here"
um ... ok?

August 4, 2009 at 12:59 AM  
Blogger Sophie said...

Now i'm afraid to write the wrong kind of comment...

no. here goes.

Marinka, I think you are fabulously funny, as well as beautiful and smart.

What is "ITFA", please?

August 4, 2009 at 4:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Unless you like living in the 20th century, in which case, tell my grandmother I said "hi"."

hmmm...real rich coming from someone who can't view all those you tube videos i spam you and Gay John with. now that's just fcuking annoying.

i am only trying to enrich your cyper experience. you do remember the "Glass in the Ass" video i sent you? that was for you- i care Marinka, i really care. who knows what you might find yourself doing when your "Drunken Russian Whore" is released and empty vodka bottles are strewn about.

with my imagination and sincere concern for you, i was totally focused on your safety.

signing out- in my Ambien stupor-
love you- love your blog,
the Lady Ashfield xx

p.s. please forward my comment test score...you know how to reach me. ;)

August 4, 2009 at 5:40 AM  
Blogger Christy said...

36th! Greetings from New Jersey! You are a winner!

No, seriously. I LOVE this blog series - it should be required reading for all newbie bloggers. Maybe all bloggers full stop. Love it! And of course love that you used my comment (first) hehe.

August 4, 2009 at 7:08 AM  
Blogger Swistle said...

OMG, now I have to ADD TO THE DISCUSSION? Geezum pete, I think I do enough. Saying "HA HA HA HA HA!"---that is what I'd add to the discussion if I were in person, too.

August 4, 2009 at 7:17 AM  
Blogger kwr221 said...

Ditto what momtrolfreak, except well, I think I'm 38th or something.

Anyway, would you give me personal blogs tips when I meet you? You WILL be there on the 7th right?

August 4, 2009 at 7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I regularly scan your post for f bombs, and if I don't find any, I move on. BUT TODAY, thanks for walking my remedial ass through the gravatar. I clicked over to find out I had already registered, just never posted a picture to it. And just like that! My hot ass will grace my comments from now on. Now....if only I could find a way to rip your updo pic I'd sprinkle nasty comments all over the place, signing your name of course.

August 4, 2009 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger HaB said...

IDK - Will you be my new BFF? ROFLMAO!

Sorry. Had too.

I am not entirely new to to blogging, but am at the same time - and while I enjoy a comment, I find that the posts I think will get nice heartfelt comments get nothing and the posts that are not worthy of comments get all the comments. And, yes, it is painfully obvious when people don't read the post and post. That to me is nothing more than a back handed compliment - of which, I can do without.

And the no e-mail thing - pisses me off - Sometimes I feel that my comment needs to be done outside of a public sphere or if I want to let you know I appreciated the comment that was left, and I can't. It sucks, and then I worry that it makes me look like a shitty person for not responding. Go Figure.

August 4, 2009 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger bethsix said...

I am trying to figure out what ITFA is. All I can come up with is "in the fucking air" or "I'm the fat ass."

August 4, 2009 at 11:17 AM  
Blogger Anna See said...


Yeah, I've got nothing else. I don't want to sound like I'm fawning.

August 4, 2009 at 11:34 AM  
Anonymous Liam's Grandma said...

I found your site by reading another blog. And I'm adding this one to my bookmarks. My only comment is that, yes, oftentimes many leave comments hoping others will trackback to their own site and I am wondering: is not everyone guilty of this who has a blog? It's not just to get readers of our blog but it's to join the community - to be a part of this great thing that is now possible. To read each other's stuff, comment on it and come back.

Thanks for a great post.

August 4, 2009 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger Fiona Picklebottom said...

I'm here as Mary Magdalene's personal representative. I'm not from Russia, but I still find your blog to be wonderfully well-written and full of wit and wisdom easily accessible to the masses.

Oh, don't forget to check out my blog! I only post once a millenium, so it won't clog up your reader.

Mary Magdalene sends her regards.

August 4, 2009 at 1:56 PM  
Anonymous Carrie @ Who Knew? said...

Thanks for the tip on the, uh, I can't remember what it was called. The little picture thingy that goes with your comments. I did it promptly.

August 4, 2009 at 2:52 PM  
Blogger Nanny Goats In Panties said...


Part of me just wants to move to WordPress, but part of me is too lazy, but it really bugs me that I can't easily respond back to people either because of Blogger. I do use Haloscan, which is a little better, but still requires some cutting and pasting to respond to people.

I don't care if people pass thru with "visiting from SITS" or "LOL you're funny", blogs have different purposes for different people. Some people just want to see comment numbers, regardless of quality.

I can't have a conversation in my comments because Blogger doesn't LET YOU HAVE A CONVERSATION! I want to be able to insert a response right after somebody said something. And I don't want to respond to everybody. And I don't want to add a comment with a list of names and responses because then I have to deal with the guilt of leaving someone out. Also, I don't know if someone is "subscribing" to the comments and always have to wonder if I'm wasting my breath adding to the comments.

Haloscan sucks when it comes to responding. I'm still waiting for their DELAYED switchover to JS-Kit which is supposed to allow easy responding. In fact, every time I think about it, I just want to quit Haloscan and start over with JS-Kit without waiting, and now I'm spiraling down into a sea of ranting and raving that is not becoming of a commenter, so I'll just shut up now.

August 4, 2009 at 3:07 PM  
Anonymous Jos said...

Marinka, I love your blog. LOVE IT. er, & I don't comment much b/c I either keep posting "HAHA" & "love your blog!" or ramble on & on. (like now) I know that's annoying so I'm a lurker instead. whoops!

nonetheless I'd be in heaven to receive my very own Marinka email responses but since I'm still in the bloggie dark ages, with no blogger acct (well, & no blog either) I have no idea how to do that. put it in URL when I post under name? or does that post my email address to everyone? it's snertmeid at aol dot com, by the way.

I think ITFA is I Totally Fucking Agree.

August 4, 2009 at 3:10 PM  
Blogger Suzy said...

I have a blog friend who has a commenter who must sit next to his computer and check her blog every 3seconds. The very split half-second she posts he comments FIRST!!

After 2 years I emailed her and asked her why in the fuck he kept doing that. She wrote back and said, "Oh that's just a little thing we do to each other."

A little thing they should do to each other is cut off their fingers and spare us the agony of first!!

August 4, 2009 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger skiplovey said...

It's a minor pet peeve but you can tell they've obviously skimmed because they mess up major plot points in the post like "too bad about your trip" when you've just described the most awesome trip ever. Skimmers, grrr.

August 4, 2009 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger Kate Coveny Hood said...

No idea what ITFA means. I looked it up and only found "International Trade and Finance Association" and "Internet Tax Freedom Act" - or could it have been "IFTA" that you meant ("Interactive Fitness Trainers of America" or "Independent Film & Television Alliance")? Google FAIL.

August 5, 2009 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Miss Britt said...

Dear People Who Leave Loving Comments About How Awesome The Blogger Is,

I do not hate that.

In fact, I encourage it.

If you would like to go somewhere where you can be appreciated, come on by to my blog at http://www.miss-britt.com.

Miss Britt

August 5, 2009 at 5:00 PM  
Blogger Kari said...

Hmmm, guess I should have read this before I started leaving comments on today's visit to your blog. But it's true. You are a comic genius, and I know you can't hear that enough.

August 6, 2009 at 5:29 PM  
Blogger Kari said...

Also, I didn't know they were called gravatars. I thought it was avatars. Could you please write a post explaining the difference between gravatars and avatars? Thanks.

August 6, 2009 at 5:36 PM  
Blogger Reiven said...

I feel I just had to tell you how much I love your blog! You are so intelligent, articulate and beautiful!!!! You make me laugh until I cry and lol again and again!!! You should check out my blog, it's really funny too! I write just like you! I'm not crazy or anything, I'm at the hospital by choice. I just need a little vacation.... Big hugs, and really, ur the best!

August 7, 2009 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

OMG! I left a useless comment saying I was jealous of you because you were so funny. Actually, that's worse than useless, because it's vaguely threatening. So now I've offended you AND frightened you!!! AGGGHHH!!!! I just wanted you to like me (and maybe read my blog).

Booooo hoooo hooooo!!! sniff sniff No, that's alright, I'll be ok in a secon...booooo hooo hooooo...

October 13, 2009 at 6:45 AM  

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