thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Keep Hoping Machine Running ([personal profile] thefourthvine) wrote2009-04-21 09:48 pm
Entry tags:

Why Aren't People Commenting on My Post/Story/Whatever?

Sometimes you may say to yourself: all these people have me friended. And yet I posted a story (or a link, or four extremely compelling pictures of my cat, including one where she almost had a ribbon on her head) and many of them have not commented! You may wonder why. You may even be downcast in your wonderment and confusion.

Well, wonder no longer! I have been doing some careful research on this very topic, and I have all the answers.
  • 15% of the people who have you friended have since left for greener fannish pastures, or perhaps for somewhere outside of fandom altogether (it's sad, but it happens; fannish scientists are working round the clock to discover a cure, except for the four hours they spent reading that Jack Harkness/Brian O'Conner epic last night). They no longer read your fandom-related posts. (Or, alternately, it's cats they don't like. My point is: whatever you posted doesn't interest them.)

  • 15% were planning to get back to that post later. It's open! It's in a tab! Or it's in Read Later!, busy, you know how it is. (Of course, if you're counting every comment and comparing it to a master list, maybe you don't know how it is. In that case you'll just have to trust me.)

  • 10% of the people who have you friended think you're boring. (Sorry! Sometimes science means having to say the hard truths.) They scroll past you, or they filter you. Or maybe they think everyone they have friended is boring, and they don't read their friends list at all; their friending is just a social nicety. It would probably be better if you believed that last one. Yeah, this segment is the one we'll call "social niceties."

  • 10% of the people who have you friended weren't reading the day you posted. Someone had horrible news and came home and went straight to bed with a dog and a hot water bottle. Someone has food poisoning and is puking too much to go near her computer. Someone is addicted to a flash game and can't click away until she beats level 77. Someone is in the South Pacific having a lot more fantastic sex than you ever have or ever will; she isn't thinking about you or fandom right now. (Okay, she's thinking, "I have to use that the next time I write Merlin/Arthur, or John/Rodney, or Bertie/Jeeves - ooo, yeah, Jeeves is probably mega-kinky." But she's not missing her friends list, is my point.)

  • 10% only read you on a phone, or a netbook or internet tablet that's impossible to type on, or a Kindle, or in five minute snatches at work or between dragging kids to soccer or whatever. They love you, but they never do manage to get back to comment.

  • 10% of the people who read you only lurk. They lurk everywhere. Maybe they can't type. Maybe they have tentacles and can't find a tentacle-ready keyboard. You don't know. And do you really want to risk displaying your prejudice against the betentacled?

  • 5% of the people who read you are still pissed off about the comment you didn't reply to. You know the one. (You reply to every single comment you get, you say? Even the ones obviously from bots? Even the ones LJ forgets to notify you about? In that case, these people are sulking about an inadequate response you left them, where you missed the point or missed the question or failed to thank them or sounded snarky. You can't please everyone. Not even with an incredible facility at hitting "Reply.")

  • 5% of the people who read you are still pissed off about that post you made. You know the one.

  • 5% of the people who read you are pissed off that you didn't comment on one of their important posts. They're withholding sex - sorry, I meant comments - until you understand how important they are, and maybe send some flowers or something.

  • 5% of the people who read you have broken internet connections right now. Fucking Comcast.

  • 1% of the people who read you hurt their hands this morning.

  • 1% of the people who read you currently have a broken spacebar.

  • 1% of the people who read you are heavily medicated. Their loved ones have taken away their keyboards for everyone's safety.

  • 1% of the people who read you are seriously undermedicated. Their loved ones have taken away their keyboards so they still have friends when the meds kick back in.

  • 1% of the people who read you read you in bed, and a loved one has threatened to take away the keyboard if they type at night anymore.

  • 1% of the people who read you are sockpuppets. They're only going to comment if they want sparkle pens.

  • 1% of the people who read you are, in fact, commenting, but they're doing so by telepathy. If you're not getting the comments, well, obviously something is wrong with you. They can't be held responsible for that.

  • 1% of the people who read you are aliens. They can't ever pass the prove-you're-human test, and for some reason they get the CAPTCHA every time. They are thinking of filing a lawsuit against LJ.

  • 1% of the people who read you cannot comment for religious reasons.

  • 1% of the people who read you haven't figured out that you have to hit the "Post comment" button in order to get the comment posted. They keep typing like it's an IM box, and nothing ever shows up, and they just do not know why. They've submitted several complaints to Support about this. (It's possible you didn't want to read their comments anyway.)
But wait, you say! That's everyone!

You're right. It is. So, hey, if you get any comments at all, you have beaten the odds. You must be really awesome and special. Can I friend you?

(P.S. I don't comment a lot, but I'm probably reading. And I'll repeat what I said in my info: I love all the comments I get, except the ones from the spambots who are cordially invited to DIE DIE DIE, but no one ever should feel obligated to comment here. I get the lurking, I really do.)
ladyseishou: (Default)

[personal profile] ladyseishou 2009-04-22 05:15 am (UTC)(link)
You have pegged me on a bunch of these (as to why I have not left feedback/comments). Looking at it from the other side, I am shamed now to try to do better. Hence this comment (I am what you might call a habitual lurker). Thanks for the kick-in-the-seat-of-the-pants!
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)

[personal profile] melannen 2009-04-22 05:16 am (UTC)(link)
I feel like this should be a numbered list, so instead of leaving comments I can just post the number that applied.

Although you forgot my favorite: None of these apply to your current post, but one did apply to you last post, and nobody wants to comment about your ( cute cats / youtube link / porn ) when they ignored your (mental breakdown / new job / 500,000 word novel / brilliant essay / divorce)

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cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Default)

[personal profile] cofax7 2009-04-22 05:20 am (UTC)(link)
U R Teh Awesome.

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abbylee: (Default)

[personal profile] abbylee 2009-04-22 05:21 am (UTC)(link)
What about those of us who are mad that there are no Earthlings in this post!?!?!?!?

Oh, wait, I guess I commented anyway <3
florahart: (cheerleading)

[personal profile] florahart 2009-04-22 05:22 am (UTC)(link)
I ♥ you for coming up with a tidy 100% that even breaks down into the ones. Just sayin'.

*goes back to icing wrists*
abbylee: (Default)

[personal profile] abbylee 2009-04-22 05:28 am (UTC)(link)
Also, dude, go to and turn on multi-level tags. Tell your friends.
hermitsoul: online computer icon (* Online: unexpectedbox)

[personal profile] hermitsoul 2009-04-22 05:38 am (UTC)(link)
Alright, every time I start to play around with one thing on DW, someone else points out something even shinier! *wanders off to play with tags*

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auburn: (Frazzled)

beating the odds

[personal profile] auburn 2009-04-22 05:29 am (UTC)(link)
That's why my circle is not complete without you.

Say, where are the sparkle pens?
hermitsoul: woman wearing a corset (* type of girl: unexpectedbox)

[personal profile] hermitsoul 2009-04-22 05:33 am (UTC)(link)
1% of the people who read you are, in fact, commenting, but they're doing so by telepathy.

This. See, you get it, why can't everyone else? I'm totally sending awesome feedback - it's not my fault they're not receiving! Do I need to switch brainwave frequencies again? ;)

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Your Icon

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jeeps: (btvs ♡ a little sexy)

[personal profile] jeeps 2009-04-22 05:35 am (UTC)(link)
5% of the people who read you are still pissed off about that post you made. You know the one.

this made me lol. cos a lot of truth is said in jest.
merryish: X - elephant tv (Default)

[personal profile] merryish 2009-04-22 05:37 am (UTC)(link)
starfish: Paul Gross, in sunglasses and leather jacket (Comfy chair)

[personal profile] starfish 2009-04-22 11:24 am (UTC)(link)
I wonder if there's a category for people who only comment by replying to other commenters ...
seperis: (Default)

[personal profile] seperis 2009-04-22 05:37 am (UTC)(link)
"I have to use that the next time I write Merlin/Arthur, or John/Rodney, or Bertie/Jeeves - ooo, yeah, Jeeves is probably mega-kinky."

That would explain suspicious prolificicity post-vacation in PWPs.

montanaharper: dean punching the air with the text F T W (ftw)

[personal profile] montanaharper 2009-04-22 06:26 am (UTC)(link)

That is all.

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northern: they tried to make me go to rehab - I said no, no, no. John Hart from Torchwood. (evol and liking it)

[personal profile] northern 2009-04-22 06:38 am (UTC)(link)
ahahahahah awesome!
damned_colonial: Napoleonic-era officer reading a letter, and the words "Dear John" (dear john)

[personal profile] damned_colonial 2009-04-22 06:56 am (UTC)(link)
You know what I love about DW? I went on a friending subscription spree here (back before [staff profile] denise started handing out four hundred invites a day, when it was possible to at least try to keep up) and would drop comments on strangers' journals saying "Hi! Welcome to Dreamwidth!" And a surprising number of them would say "oh hai, I read your fic five years ago and didn't comment, but I just wanted to let you know I read it and enjoyed it."

So, you know, maybe there's a percentage there who are just waiting to see if they still feel that way about your fic in five years time, in which case they will let you know for sure.
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)

[personal profile] synecdochic 2009-04-22 07:25 am (UTC)(link)
hahahaha i have totally done this
bethbethbeth: Animated ACSII symbols doing the macarena (and ending with Paul Gross arms) (ACSII Dance (copperbadge))

[personal profile] bethbethbeth 2009-04-22 07:26 am (UTC)(link)
Not only is this fantastically funny, it's also - probably - 100% statistically verifiably true!
anotherslashfan: sign reading f... (blotted out) censorship (Default)

[personal profile] anotherslashfan 2009-04-22 07:45 am (UTC)(link)
I love you for this post! Of course, some of the reasons you decscribe are, well, not completely "un-understandable".
I am a (former) lurker, but glad to say that I have started to better my ways before I read your post ;) (And , yes, if asked, I will give proof).
elaran: signpost of fate (confused!dinozzo)

[personal profile] elaran 2009-04-22 09:16 am (UTC)(link)
hey leave us betentacled ones alone. [i am of the lucky with the special tentacle-ready keyboard]. sometimes we are just happy lurking. we like to think the readers have a special lurker alert lightbulb that goes off when we read the fics hence making it unneccessary for us to comment.

or something.

maybe i need more coffee.
alasen: tenniel's picture of alice adjusting her crown (Default)

[personal profile] alasen 2009-04-22 09:25 am (UTC)(link)
1% of the people who read you are, in fact, commenting, but they're doing so by telepathy. If you're not getting the comments, well, obviously something is wrong with you. They can't be held responsible for that.

I do this *all* the time. I think up a reply, go away to something else and forget to type it up, yet in my head I have replied.
ratcreature: RatCreature wearing a tinhat: That's crazy. (crazy)

[personal profile] ratcreature 2009-04-22 10:12 am (UTC)(link)
This happens in RL too. Rather frequently my brother is absolutely convinced he told me something, fairly important things too, yet the conversations never actually happened. This causes all kinds of trouble, like say I don't go to a family thing, because noone told me it was happening, yet my brother was supposed to invite me and told them he did, so everyone thinks I snubbed them, when in reality he only relayed the message in some imaginary world. Once after this kind of thing happened again, I was fairly annoyed with him for being left completely out of the loop, and he told me that he sometimes just intends to tell me something and thinks of doing so as things happen, and then afterwards somehow thinks this took place, just because he thought of it.

I don't understand this mechanism myself, but yeah, he does this all the time. Every other conversation between us, he talks about stuff, then I'm completely lost, and have no idea what this is about, then he is exasperated, provides context and goes "I told you about this!" and I'm like "No, you really didn't."

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siegeofangels: The angel from Guido Reni's "The Angel Appearing To St. Jerome" (Default)

[personal profile] siegeofangels 2009-04-22 09:38 am (UTC)(link)
Or maybe they're so intimidated by your greatness that they're afraid to leave a sub-par comment that makes them sound like an idiot.

Really, it's a *compliment*.
dragonfly: I think I used to belong here over a yellow rape field (belong)

[personal profile] dragonfly 2009-04-22 03:46 pm (UTC)(link)

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ratcreature: The lurkers support me in email. (lurkers)

[personal profile] ratcreature 2009-04-22 09:47 am (UTC)(link)
15% were planning to get back to that post later.

This is expecially true for 100,000+ words novels. Which I really like as fanfic, and I try to comment on them to encourage long fic, but insta-feedback is not likely to happen in those cases. Though sometimes I actually comment with a "yay, you finished your novel! Will read later." comment to provide some instant feedback for the poster, so it won't feel like dropping their opus into a void.
musesfool: !!!! from Middleman (!!!!)

[personal profile] musesfool 2009-04-22 02:19 pm (UTC)(link)
When I get those kinds of comments (well, on the rare longer stories I've posted), I'm always like, "But you never came back!" (not you-specific, but generally speaking) and then I can't fight the urge to comment a couple of weeks later with, "But did you like it?" Sigh.

(Of course, I also do that sometimes to people who only comment on some other commentator's icon without actually addressing a comment to me about the story - I don't care on non-fic posts, but when people do it in story comments, I get quite irate.)

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general_jinjur: (chicken)

[personal profile] general_jinjur 2009-04-22 11:44 am (UTC)(link)
1% of the people who read you read you in bed, and a loved one has threatened to take away the keyboard if they type at night anymore.

1% means i have a peer group!

nice list.
were_duck: Ellen Ripley from Alien looking pensively to the right in her space helmet (Think Often)

[personal profile] were_duck 2009-04-22 12:01 pm (UTC)(link)
I belong to this peer group!

Hilarious list! thank you!
cathexys: dark sphinx (default icon) (Default)

[personal profile] cathexys 2009-04-22 11:45 am (UTC)(link)
This is beautiful! And beautifully true!!!

The thing that bugs me most about my feedback habit is that the stories that deserve it most (long and good) are the ones I'm least likely to comment...mostly because of the reading in between driving kids to and from soccer practices etc, but also (I think that's one you didn't address except in the tab open sense) because I'm drafting this really good, really involved, really long reply (for a story thus deserving) never gets finished... :)
dzurlady: (Default)

[personal profile] dzurlady 2009-04-22 12:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes, the better the story the better you think the comment has to be, and then you can't quite get it up to the standard you've set.

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ancientsavvy: (Default)

[personal profile] ancientsavvy 2009-04-22 12:19 pm (UTC)(link)
That was hysterical! Thanks for that!
cereta: Captain Jack will get you high tonight (Captain Jack will get you high tonight)

[personal profile] cereta 2009-04-22 12:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Awesome! I especially loved "Fucking Comcast." Oh, how we suffer.
ext_19529: (glee)

[identity profile] 2009-04-22 01:01 pm (UTC)(link)
you FTW! \o/

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