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15 Tips On How To Build A Network By Leaving Comments That Add Value

September 18, 2015

Sorry to be so long between posts. It’s fall here in New Hampshire. I’ve been out chopping wood and trying to get wood chips out of my socks… : (BlankVertSpace.4pixels

I read a post about the power of comments recently.

The basic idea is this: one of the best ways to build your online network, is by leaving comments that add value on other people’s posts. The idea of comments leading to connections conjured up this illustration.blank vertical space, 32 pixels high
Battery with comments as electrical wires connecting spiral CFL lightbulbs with meter showing high network strength idea leaving comments on posts helps you make connections and build network

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highAm I somebody that does his own electrical wiring? No. I can change a lightbulb– that’s about it. Here’s a detail image.blank vertical space, 32 pixels high
detail image Battery with comments as electrical wires connecting spiral CFL lightbulbs with meter showing high network strength idea leaving comments on posts helps you make connections and build network

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highBlankVertSpace.8pixelsSome comments are definitely better than others. I like chocolate. It inspires me…blank vertical space, 32 pixels high
Two Hershey's foil-wrapped chocolate kisses with little tags kisses hugs caresses squeezes kama sutra endorphins representing enthusiastic comments left on blog

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highBlankVertSpace.4pixelsWhat do I mean by leaving a comment that “adds value”?BlankVertSpace.4pixels

Comments like “Nice post!” and “Really enjoyed it!” don’t add anything to a post, content-wise. I’m not saying they don’t have value– they do. They’re kind, they’re supportive, they’re appreciated– but they’re not likely to engage the author or other readers.

A comment that contributes to the discussion, however, adds value. When you leave such a comment, you’re providing additional content. You’re sharing your own expertise or experience, and making the post stronger and more comprehensive. Such comments get special attention– from the author and from other readers.

By leaving an “added-value” comment, you’re drawing attention to yourself as someone worth knowing. The author may reach out to you, so may other readers, asking to connect. Perhaps you’ll be the one to reach out. But don’t rush things. Leaving a comment is like planting a seed of goodwill. Give it time to germinate.BlankVertSpace.4pixelsBlankVertSpace.4pixelsBlankVertSpace.8pixels

Here are 15 tips on leaving comments, as a strategy for expanding your online network.BlankVertSpace.4pixelsBlankVertSpace.2pixelsBlankVertSpace.2pixelsBlankVertSpace.4pixels

1. Make it a point to comment on a few posts every day.

2. Choose posts that attract the kind of people you’d like to connect with.

3. Comment with a view towards building a relationship.

4. Be polite, stay positive. Always. Avoid direct criticism in favor of positive suggestions.

5. Comment on something specific in the post, and/or add a new thought.

6. Draw on your own experience and expertise when you comment.

7. Consider responding to other readers’ comments, and attracting their attention.

8. Never force a comment. If a post has no real value, don’t waste your time.

9. If you’re the post author, always respond to any comment left on your post.

10. If someone responds to your comment, do not immediately ask to connect. It reeks of insincerity and opportunism.

11. Never engage negative or abusive people.

12. Be patient, be persistent. Give comments time to work and establish trust.

13. Accept the fact that a comment may fall unheeded into the void. That’s life.

14. Say no to profanity. Some will defend it as hip. Don’t buy it. Attitude is a poor substitute for professionalism.

15. Your comments are a part of your brand. Every word. Never forget that truth.BlankVertSpace.8pixels

BlankVertSpace.4pixelsDid you know that blogging goes back to around 3100 B.C.? That’s when hieroglyphics first made their appearance. Here, take a look:blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

Cartoon showing ancient Egyptians looking at hieroglyphics on wall representing blog post, social media share icons, and comment someone left on post

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highHere’s a close-up detail. My favorite part of the cartoon is the little social media icons (Google+, Vimeo, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc). Yup, just press the wall to share the post with your friends!blank vertical space, 32 pixels high
detail image Cartoon showing ancient Egyptians looking at hieroglyphics on wall representing blog post, social media share icons, and comment someone left on post

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Are you someone who leaves comments? Ever left one and wound up making a friend?

Do you have a strategy for making connections and building your online network? Care to share it?

Ever noticed any blog posts on tomb walls when you’re watching one of those mummy horror movies??

Hope you’ll leave a comment.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

If you enjoyed this post, please click the Like button below.

If you’d like to share this post with others, please click Tweet or Facebook or one of the other Share buttons.

I also invite you to get updates. Just click the Get Updates button in the sidebar below the Portfolio Thumbnails, or click + Follow in the blog menu bar.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high
Other Posts You Might Enjoy:BlankVertSpace.8pixels

Hare Today, Hare Tomorrow: The Enduring Appeal Of Beatrix Potter

From Cabbage Patch To Garbage Pail

Calling All Caricature Lovers: Another Edition Of “Name That Idiot Celeb”
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footer for all future blog posts showing picture of blog author Mark Armstrong, along with short bio and contact information

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74 Comments leave one →
  1. September 18, 2015 4:34 PM

    I actually really appreciate this post. Being newly returned to the blogsphere I often find myself at a lost on how to navigate and connect with people online. This was very helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 18, 2015 8:53 PM

      It’s my pleasure, sir, glad you found the post helpful, and thanks so much for your kind comment. Nice to meet you, and I appreciate your stopping by. Best of luck with your future blogging, and thanks again for your support! : )


  2. September 18, 2015 4:40 PM

    ::runs in and looks around::
    Am I the first to arrive? Wooohooo!!! Gotta say something RIGHT NOW and then I’ll be back in a few minutes: I lovelovelove your hieroglyphics blog illustration! BWAHAHAH!! It rocks!
    As do you.

    OK – I’ll be back in a flash!

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 18, 2015 9:25 PM

      Yow!! Who was that woman dressed in a mummy pantsuit, riding American Pharoah, and wearing a stylish, long tall Nefertiti topper?? ::gives hoarse cry, jumps in 4-wheel sarcophagus, hits the gas, does a big zoom outta the tomb::

      My dear Robin!!– was that you?? I had no idea you were Egyptian. I must speak to you in Cairo Hiero: ®†¥∆˙♨︎©♍︎ƒ∂ç√ç♑︎∫⚗˜øª•¶§∞⚔¢£™¡∂≤≥µˆø•♣︎⚽︎♘☂☯⏅⍾🐪🍔🍺

      Translation: You’re The Best, you make me cry happy tears, yer a breath of moonshine here in the netherworld, and your camel wants a burger and a beer!!

      I thank you, and I shall breathlessly await your return… : )


  3. September 18, 2015 5:10 PM

    Mark! Super-beefy post! I read the LinkedIn one first and was thrilled to see your illustration there. Bravo!
    It’s all such good advice (yours and the LinkedIn one), based on insightful observations about how people really do things/feel things. One-click “liking” and sharing has left many people with the impression that they’re connecting and being connected with, but that’s not the case at all. True interaction matters…too bad that it’s not the norm.

    You’re great at it, by the way. 🙂

    If I could have one web-wish come true it would be to eliminate “Likes” unless they were accompanied by comments. I’m weary of people who do social drive-by’s, spraying their “Likes” all over the place but never stopping to say anything. My suspicion is that they just want to be noticed. But it’s a negative notice, as far as I’m concerned. I’d rather have a less attention if it’s meaningful than hordes of “Likers” blow mindlessly through my blog.

    LOL!!! I pretty much mangled both of those violent metaphors up there, time to exit.

    Superb post!
    ::applauds wildly::

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 18, 2015 10:36 PM

      Where’s the beef?? In the post!! Uh-oh! I do hope this won’t be a problem for my vegetarian readers… : )

      Thank you for that lovely and off-the-scale supportive comment, dear Robin! Yes, Karthik Rajan wrote a great post— definitely got me thinking. I guess there are a couple of take-aways here, pardon that hip buzzword: 1) if you want to get noticed and make a positive impression on social media platforms, you have to make a contribution: ideally, one that highlights your expertise and/or hard-won experience. 2) is a more painful truth: comments are hard work: they require thought, reflection, effort, editing, good grammar, and… time.

      Ergo, success online is no different than success anywhere else: there aren’t any shortcuts, and smoke, mirrors, and bull-hooey always come back to haunt you: people are just too savvy– they can smell a faker a mile away. Which is why I’m forced to spend so much on soap and deodorant… : (

      I guess I have mixed feelings about “Likes.” True, they’re easy and don’t require a lot of thought, which makes them somewhat superficial. On the other hand, many readers are pressed for time, and just want to say thanks, good job, I enjoyed it. It’s a nice gesture, and, I think, well-intentioned. And Likes can lead to engagement, since always sends an email notification (when someone Likes your post), suggesting you might want to visit their blog. I usually try to return the favor, and have had some good experiences. FWIW.

      Thank you, thank you!!– for your comment, kindness, enthusiasm, insights, rollicking good humor, and especially those wunnafully violent metaphors!!! : )


      • September 19, 2015 8:22 AM

        Quick reply, will be back later (LOL — you must be sick of hearing that!!) just wanted to say “Yes!” I agree about the “Likes.” I didn’t take the time to say it above (should’ve!) but some people do read and like, then “Like” but can’t hang around longer than that. It happens to everyone at some point. And when I get a “Like” I do visit the “Liker’s” site. I read, comment, etc. If I enjoy it I go back a couple of times, at least. But if the person never replies, never says anything on my site, and — the worst part, IMO — delivers a “Like” to me within seconds of my posting (no time to read!!), then I exit gracefully. If I really like their posts I do try again. But even my time is valuable, so I don’t try more than a couple of times. Over the years I’ve found that a large portion of the serial “Likers” are never going to do more than that. Some of them post in languages I can’t read, trying to sell merchandise that makes me blush. Others “Like” me until I “Follow” and then they never “Like” me again, much less visit and comment. They’re “Follow”-farmers and they’re easy to spot.

        The reciprocation thing makes a difference and I do it. I think it’s not only kind and polite but also useful. I’ve been told by a few people that it’s stupid, pointless, etc., but I don’t think so. If someone reaches out to me, I reach back. Well, unless they’re reaching out with an axe or something. Then I run like the wind…Ha!!

        Gotta go – I have a rain check from Target for two 40oz bags of Reeses that were on sale last week. Can’t delay!


        Liked by 1 person

        • September 19, 2015 9:19 PM

          “Follow farmers”– a new agricultural term, with ominous social media overtones!! And yes, when someone reaches out to you with an axe, it’s time to exit, stage right, as ol’ Snagglepuss would say. It’s good advice– and you know that if you’ve ever watched Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte— chop!

          “Staying positive,” for me, meaning giving people the benefit of the doubt. If they Like my post, I make it a point to visit their blog and check out their work. If they try to sell me something that makes me blush or pull an axe on me, I revise my opinion, jump in my Little Deuce Sarcophagus and burn stone… : )

          40 oz. Reeses on sale?? Huzzah! Hope ya got there in time– Happy Dining!!

          P.S. I don’t see reciprocation too often. Most people woulda said reciprocity. You speak da language wid aplomb, as my old grammar used to say… : )


  4. Margie permalink
    September 18, 2015 10:37 PM

    Great Post! Your information is excellent, and your graphics always crack me up! I love the social media icons.

    Yes, I leave comments, and I really try to say something more than the first two words of this comment!

    I have mixed emotions about the ‘Like’ button. I know that many people hit the button, even though they haven’t read the post. I use the ‘Like’ button as a calling card. It says I’ve read the post, but having nothing new to add to the conversation. Conservation of Words…

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 19, 2015 9:01 PM

      What?? My favorite Canadian photographer is checking in?? No wonder there’s a big smile on my face… : )

      Hi, Margie!! No worries about comments where you’re concerned. You always manage to combine support, humor, and insight in perfect proportion. Yup, we’re a lot alike that way… : )

      Your Like button strategy sounds excellent. Yes, a calling card: I was here, I read it, I liked it, I having nothing to add right now. A supportive hat-tip… sometimes that’s the best we can do. It’s hard to write a comment when you’re not in the zone. => Tip #16: Know when it’s time to pack it in, and head for the exit!

      Always nice to see you, thanks a heap for stopping by!! : )


      • Margie permalink
        September 19, 2015 9:58 PM

        Thanks a heap for stopping by my blog too… can’t remember seeing you for a few months, though, so hopefully you are getting tons of good paying commissions!

        Liked by 1 person

        • September 19, 2015 10:16 PM

          Arrgghh! I must hang my head in shame, and hope my toupée doesn’t fall off… : (

          I am overdue at your blog, and I apologize. Sad to say, you’re not the only one– I have a core group of long-time blogger friends, and I’m behind on many visits. It’s embarrassing, and that’s no lie. I have had some good commissions in recent months, and I appreciate your asking after same– I’m behind on blogging about those, too!! : (

          Ah, well– one of these days, I shall change my evil ways, he said with a nervous tick– promise!! : )


  5. September 19, 2015 12:06 AM

    out chopping wood? That is a very nice excuse, if it were one, Else, it get’s me nosy: woodfire in this day and age…

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 19, 2015 8:48 PM

      Ha! Nobody but us cavemen around here. We just discovered fire last week, and we can’t get enough of it– especially when somebody brings some marshmallows to toast… : )

      Many thanks for your good-humored comment. Many of us heat with wood here in New Hampshire. Nothing like sitting next to a cozy woodstove on a winter’s night– especially if you’ve always got cold feet like me!! : )


      • September 19, 2015 11:44 PM

        🙂 thanks for your reply, Mr. Caveman. All I recall from the good, old wood fire days over here in Europe are the ice crystals on the carpet in the mornings, before said cosy fire was built. I am quite content with central heating. But have to admit, that I sometimes miss the nice sounds, real fire makes. Not missed are the ashes, the dirt and the hard work of gathering, sawing, chopping and stacking of fire fodder….

        Liked by 1 person

        • September 20, 2015 8:26 AM

          Ha! I remember coming home from a trip once, and finding the water in the toilet bowl had iced over. Never saw any crystals on the carpet, tho… : )

          Ashes, dirt, hard work… we caveman thrive on such things. No wonder we’re so primitive… : )

          Liked by 1 person

  6. September 19, 2015 2:08 AM

    Reblogged this on ladyavom.


  7. September 19, 2015 11:43 AM

    Yay!! Got my Reeses! ::whew:: Big relief.

    LOL re “Cairo Hiero” & “4-wheel sarcophagus!!”
    And thank you for all the kind things you said!


    Liked by 1 person

    • September 19, 2015 9:21 PM

      Reeses in hand!– hurrah!! Stand down from red alert… : )

      Oh, wait– you wrote that comment a few hours ago.

      Reeses all gone!!– go to red alert again!!! : )


  8. September 19, 2015 12:06 PM

    The social media icons on the pyramid wall is genius. I really enjoyed that detail. I feel about comments – the ones I write that is – the same way I do about conversation so I try to follow rules of etiquette and have good manners. The teacher in me also leads me to strive to leave comments that are encouraging and provide positive feedback. Sometimes I’m rushed so I might just leave a brief comment or click “like” but for me a lot of the pleasure of blogging comes down to interaction with other bloggers and readers and comments are obviously critical to that. I think of “likes” or brief comments as being a sort of supportive pat on the back or smile but comments are definitely appreciated more because they are a conversation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 19, 2015 10:00 PM

      An excellent analysis, beautifully stated– and of course that “genius” part was my favorite… : )

      Hi, Laura! Your comments have a wonderful serenity about them. They actually create a receptive atmosphere in which to work– that’s a rare gift. We seem to be completely in sync: etiquette, good manners, being positive and supportive, providing useful feedback– sounds a bit like something from a Scout handbook, I suppose, but those are all values that never go out of date. Subscribing to those values and living by them lifts everyone up and makes the world a better place. A comment is a lot like any kind word, really, and has the same kind of power.

      Many thanks for your sharing thoughts and being such a good influence– always nice to see you, thanks for stopping by! : )


  9. lucyhikaru permalink
    September 20, 2015 1:57 AM

    Reblogged this on Po Po Land.


  10. September 20, 2015 1:27 PM

    Mark, you are a master at leaving comments, and yours are always the best. I could take your comments from my blog posts and turn them into a book destined to become a best seller!

    These are great illustrations (as always) and a great list. I’m happy to say, I accomplished #9 this morning. A couple of them were two months late, but I did manage to reply.

    To answer your question … I made a friend when I stopped by a famous illustrator’s blog one day and left a comment. It was a very good decision on my part! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 28, 2015 8:24 AM

      My Dearest Maddie–! You have taken me up on a cloud to Comment Heaven!! I’ll be flyin’ around up here for the rest of the day!!! : )

      Speaking of late replies, please excuse this one. I was away last week, riding my bicycle and airing out my brain. I’m happy to report the latter is now 90% cobweb-free!! Oops– did I say 90%? I meant 9%… : (

      That was a fateful day when you stopped by my blog and left a comment. ‘Twas the beginning of a beautiful friendship that sustains me to this day. Thank you for your latest comment that made me laugh and blush at the same time, and continues to maintain a silly grin on my face. You’re a beautiful person, and that’s something I usually say only when I’m looking in a mirror… : )


  11. Martes de cuento permalink
    September 21, 2015 3:08 AM

    I also leave a comment 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 I liked it a lot

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 28, 2015 8:35 AM

      Here I am reacting to your comment => ☺️😊😋😀😄😃😅😇

      Hmm… my complexion seems a little yellow. I should probably cut back on the bananas which I eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner… 😋

      Thank you for that very toothy comment, and for your jolly support, sir!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Martes de cuento permalink
        September 29, 2015 3:39 AM

        Nooo, Mark I’m a “lady” not “mister”
        A hug!


        • September 29, 2015 9:03 AM

          Blush, blush, double-blush, and triple-blush!! Is my face red or what?? => 😳😳😧😓😰😱😭😥🙊

          I’m so sorry and embarrassed, Martes. Here’s the funny part: Up till my last comment, I’ve carefully avoided using any gender references because I wasn’t sure if Martes equated to the English name Martin (male) or Martha (female). Yesterday, I googled ‘Martes,’ but found conflicting reports: some references said it was a male name, some said a female name. A very slim majority of the google search references came down on the male side, so I decided to take a chance and tack on that ‘sir.’ => 🙈🙉🙊💔💣🚑🚽

          Sorry! But I’m very happy to have that mystery solved, and I really appreciate your being so good-humored about it. And thanks for the hug– I needed it!! 😊😍😃

          Blush, colorete, rubor doble y triple rubor!! ¿¿Es mi cara roja o qué??

          Lo siento mucho y avergonzado, Martes. Aquí está la parte divertida: Hasta mi último lo he evitado cuidadosamente usando Cualquier referencia de género porque no estaba seguro de si Martes equipara al nombre Inglés Martin (masculino) o Martha (hembra). Ayer, busqué en Google ‘Martes’ gol aplazamientos encontré en conflicto: algunas referencias dijo que era un nombre masculino, nombre femenino se dijo que algunos. Una búsqueda en Google majorité muy escasas las referencias leva hacia abajo en el lado masculino, así que decidí tomar la oportunidad y virar tiene que ‘sir.’

          ¡Lo siento! Pero estoy muy feliz de-tener ese misterio resuelto, y realmente aprecio su ser blanco tan buen humor al respecto. Y gracias por la hug– lo necesitaba!!

          Liked by 1 person

        • Martes de cuento permalink
          September 29, 2015 9:11 AM

          Mark jjajjajaja is neither Marta nor Martin. “Martes” is “Tuesday”. Why? Because that day my weekly public story.
          The fault is all mine because I did not tell if it was male or female. I apologize for being so rude. And forgive my google English.

          Liked by 1 person

        • September 29, 2015 10:37 AM

          Martes de cuento = Tuesday tale… why, it’s as plain as day!!– even for a dumb Google scholar like me!! 😳😵

          Why didn’t I think to just google “martes de cuento” before I did anything else?? I’m running out of blush, said Mr. Tomato Face… 😳😳😳

          Rude? Never! Your fault? No, no– not so! I must accept all responsibility for this merry mixup– it’s really quite funny! Much is lost in translation in this crazy world, but I think, in this case, all has come right in the end. In fact, it makes a wonderful Tuesday Tale!! 😃😃😃

          Your google English is fine– I’m not so sure about my google Spanish, however!! Thanks for a charming exchange! 😊

          Martes de cuento = Martes cuento … por qué, es tan claro como el día!!– incluso para un tonto erudito Google como yo!! 😳😵

          ¿¿Por qué no pensé que simplemente google “Martes de cuento” antes que yo nada más?? Me estoy quedando sin vista, dijo el Sr. Tomate Cara… 😳😳😳

          Rude? ¡Nunca! ¿Tu culpa? No, no no– que sí! Debo aceptar toda la responsabilidad por este feliz mixup– es realmente muy divertido! Mucho se pierde en la traducción en este mundo loco, pero creo que, en este caso, todo ha venido bien al final. De hecho, hace un maravilloso Martes Cuento!! 😃😃😃

          Su google Inglés es bien– no estoy tan seguro de mi google español, sin embargo!! Gracias por un cambio encantador! 😊

          Liked by 1 person

        • Martes de cuento permalink
          September 30, 2015 2:16 AM

          Mark! You made me laugh a lot. At last you have seen clear my name. No matter destrocemos English or Spanish, the most important thing is that you and I can talk, even if others laugh at us.
          Maybe we learn! A big hug from Barcelona!

          Liked by 1 person

        • September 30, 2015 11:27 AM

          I have finally seen the light, as the carpet said to the lamp… : )

          Yes, we can talk, and I’m amazed at all the witty things we say. If others laugh at us, we shall just consider it applause… : )

          I’ve already learned a lot. I feel new synapses firing in my brain!! A big hug from rainy soggy New Hampshire!! 😊

          Liked by 1 person

        • Martes de cuento permalink
          September 30, 2015 2:27 PM

          Rain also irrigates my city today, it will be that inspires us.
          A hug, Mark! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  12. September 21, 2015 9:20 AM

    I love the way you do close up of your sketches. As an artist myself seeing the picture close up makes me think about your technique and how I might better my own + it also makes me want to come back to your posts and say nice things like kiss, mwah, hugs for you! Thanks for sharing (and the close ups)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 28, 2015 8:57 AM

      Thank you, Fiona! You summed up the value of detail images very nicely. I feel the same way. I’ll often come across an illustration and wish I could see a certain part up close. It’s always so helpful to be able to study an artist’s technique, and think about how they achieved a certain effect.

      Kisses, hugs, mwahs?? For me?? I accept them all!! I’m a great believer in diversity when it comes to expressing gratitude and affection… : )

      Thanks again for your lovely comment, I’m delighted to meet you!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. September 24, 2015 7:23 PM

    I really appreciated your comments regarding making comments. I have been scrambling to get my site up and running and have not had a lot of time to write many comments. However, I am certainly going to make certain I make more comments on items. I love giving my opinion, anyway! I also like the fact that your comments are well worth reading. They are something I can use. Thank you. But most of all, I thoroughly enjoy your cartoon work! Great colors and sketches that make sense. And I love your sense of humor. Let’s face it, cartoons would not be cartoons without a great sense of humor to go along with it. Keep up the great work. Steve

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 29, 2015 9:22 AM

      Hi, Steve! Thanks so much for that very kind and supportive comment– sincerely appreciated! Yes, comments are a great way to contribute, connect with people, and show your expertise, but they do take time. It can be hard to strike the right balance– I continue to struggle with that! : )

      Thanks for your kind words about my art and humor. There’s something very mysterious about humor. Some people do seem more disposed toward it than others, but even that seems mysterious. I love jokes, puns, and banter (verbal), but there’s something about visual humor that seems to have a special kind of power. Am I perhaps a little biased there?? Yes– definitely!

      Nice to meet you, good luck with your site, and thanks again for stopping by! : )

      Liked by 1 person

  14. September 25, 2015 6:21 PM

    I could feel a void lately but wasn’t quite sure why… now I know! I haven’t been around here for sometime and everything is gloomy! No more though! I am gradually taking my Mark doses of joy and the sky is clearing!
    Of course you are very right and to the point – as always. [how could it be otherwise my genius friend!].
    I’m thinking that for people like me [the brain handicapped!] maybe there should be a timer on when they’re responding and if they take longer than one hour, they ought to give up trying! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 29, 2015 8:03 PM

      My dear Marina–! Did no one ever tell you that you need not type a word?? That your presence alone at any blog post is a cause for rejoicing?? It’s true. I read it in The Greek Goddess Handbook, Chapter 2, “On Visiting & Interacting With Mortals’ Blogs.” You could look it up… : )

      I, too, have felt an encroaching void, a sense of gloom. That’s because I am overdue at your blog, where your paintings nourish my soul. And, of course, I always look forward to those little cupcakes you bring down from the Mt. Olympus Bakery– they nourish the rest of me… : )

      Your lovely comment has put a song in my heart, a spring in my step, a smile on my face, and ambrosia sprinkles on my ice cream. Why, it’s almost like viewing one of your paintings! Brain handicapped?? Nay, nay, fie, forsooth, untrue! Your paintings attest that your amazing cranial unit soars into realms much too rarified for the soggy gray cells of mere mortals. A-hem! I hope that’s clear… : )

      Thank you for your kind words, but remember: words are unnecessary, your presence is enough.


  15. luluscities permalink
    September 27, 2015 1:51 PM

    Hello, I’ve only just begun blogging recently, I never thought I’d ever have a blog but its crazy how life works out sometimes. Anyways, I really enjoyed this piece, its been very helpful.

    The theme of my blog, people’s role in the making of their cities, I feel, is going to require a lot of interaction from readers. Or at least that’s what I envision. I’m hoping that eventually people will not only read it but also use it as a tool to intervene in their own cities. So I’m looking for all kinds of advice on how to get people involved, sharing their knowledge, particularly about their cities so I can get ideas on where to go next and what new project to check out and write about.

    So I’m definitely going to be following your advice here! I guess in a way, it could be said that one should comment and treat other blogs according to how one wishes people to treat one’s own? So if you want people to give meaningful feedback, you gotta give it too… or something like that? Perhaps it makes more sense in my head 🙂

    Looking forward to reading more from you! Best!

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 30, 2015 9:30 AM

      What a lovely comment!– thank you very much. Your new blog sounds wonderful: a resource for people who want to help chart a brighter future for their cities. And yes, people’s comments would be a source of ideas, new topics to write about. Interesting!– I had never considered that: encouraging comments not just as a way to meet people and attract other readers, but as an ongoing inspiration for new post topics. Excellent!– you have clearly advanced the discussion here!

      Comment unto others, as you would have them comment unto you. I like it! Funny how so many things in life simply come down to The Golden Rule. Great to meet you, good luck with your blog, and thanks so much for stopping by! : )


  16. September 27, 2015 7:01 PM

    I comment on blogs of regular readers for my blog and will comment on a new blog several times per week, that I’ve never read before if I have something worthwhile to say.

    That pretty well describes my strategy. I agree about not engaging in an abusive, negative commenter.

    I do “like” blog posts sparingly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 30, 2015 9:50 AM

      Hi, Jean! Always nice to see my favorite Far North Cyclist pedal in. I like your strategy: support your regular readers (the ones who consistently support you) by commenting on their posts, and lend support to new blogs by contributing to relevant discussions. I think we’re much more likely to return to a blog if the author has replied to our comment. The more engaging the reply, the more likely we are to return.

      I sincerely appreciate your ongoing support. I also hope you are fully recovered from that accident, and enjoying some beautiful, crisp and bracing fall rides. Cheers! : )


  17. Lily permalink
    September 28, 2015 4:27 PM

    Mark, I agree! An “added-value” comment which adds new insight to a discussion is much more interesting to readers/authors. Thus making the comment (and comment author) a little more memorable!

    I guess it’s a bit like general life too. You can make acquaintances with generally positive, encouraging words. But you make deeper friendships when your words become a discussion. 🙂

    P.S. Nice post – really enjoyed it! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 30, 2015 10:47 AM

      My dear Lily! If there’s anybody who adds value, it’s you. Somehow you manage to do it just by showing up. You must teach me that trick sometime!! : )

      I love the parallel you drew: some comments are like acquaintances: pleasant, encouraging, light; other comments are like friends: something deeper gets shared, which leads to a stronger bond. By taking the time to leave a comment that adds value, we open the door to a deeper connection: a new friend, a new business associate, new possibilities.

      Your comments always add value. Of course they also encourage me to be a windbag… ah, well– there’s always a downside… 😊

      Always wonderful to see you, thanks as ever for all your kindness and support!


  18. September 29, 2015 11:00 PM

    How is it whenever I tune into your blog there is always something of value that applies to my life at this moment. I would like to share this, Mark, if that’s okay let me know.
    Another smile from me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 30, 2015 11:01 AM

      Hi Alison, great to see you. You always find value at my blog?? Whoa! I feel like I just got shot out of a cannon! Good thing I was wearing my wings– I’ll be flying around up here in Happyland for the rest of the day!! : )

      Thanks so much for that lovely comment. So glad you enjoyed the post, and yes, by all means, feel free to share it. Thanks for the smile! Every smile is an energizing force, and I really appreciate the boost. Always a pleasure, thanks again for stopping by! : )

      Liked by 1 person

  19. September 30, 2015 1:59 PM

    Where’s that Like button??

    I loved this post Mark! Sorry I’m late to the party. This is an excellent list. I agree with #3 – comments should be all about building a relationship. Most importantly, it should show you read the post.

    That’s why I rarely stay subscribed if I don’t find a blogger’s posts at least somewhat compelling. We should only read what we find interesting and not feign interest just to make some sort of connection.

    All of us take a lot of time and effort to write each post. And it may not look like much to an outsider, but to the person who wrote it, it’s probably very significant. So we have an obligation to spend time reading it, and offer our opinion.

    I also can’t stand when someone replies to other commenters but not to me. That’s called being a lousy guest. 🙂

    I agree 100 PERCENT about civility. Act like an adult. Never curse or insult. Being a good “host” means putting your foot down about how people behave in “your house”, and I don’t allow incivility on my blog.

    Having said that – I’d prefer someone challenge my posts, form a disagreement, than have them fake interest or make some comment just for the sake of joining the discussion. I post about science and films – and without debates, my blog gets awfully boring!

    Geez – I hope “keep comments short” wasn’t on the list!! 😀


    • October 1, 2015 10:29 AM

      Hi, Emmy! Thanks for that epic comment! It was just the right length… : )

      Feigning interest– ha! Yes, it’s problematic. Funny: it’s something we all do on a regular basis: making small talk with people at parties, listening to a friend go on and on about what they did on vacation, etc. Dishonest, I suppose, but it runs up against the need to be polite and give others a chance to shine. I agree, tho: feigning interest is a losing strategy if you want to build a good relationship. Waste of energy, waste of time, plus you’re sure to be exposed in the end– pretense is very hard to sustain!!

      I also agree about responding to all commenters. It’s the courteous thing to do. We’ve all been snubbed at some point. It’s no fun. And snubbing others always says something unpleasant about ourselves: we don’t consider some people “worthy.” It’s bad for our brand, it’s bad for our reputation, and it’s bad for us, period.

      Great to have another vote for civility, and you’re right: we need disagreement. We never learn anything from people who agree with us, but we can learn from those who disagree– if we’re prepared to listen.

      Great to see you, Emmy, and thanks again for your very thoughtful comment! : )


  20. October 1, 2015 3:03 AM

    interesting tips! thanks!
    unfortunately, comments sometimes land in a spam and I don’t always understand why…


    • October 1, 2015 9:30 AM

      A Rockhopper left me a comment?? That’s a first– and an excellent one! I’m delighted, thank you!

      I’m not sure what to say about the comment-spam problem. Every so often I’ll hear of someone who’s had that experience (not necessarily here on my blog). They’ll leave a comment somewhere, and the WordPress spam filter (known as “Akismet”) will classify it as Spam. I’ve rescued a few comments from Spam, but it’s rare, and I can’t remember the last time it happened. I’m sorry if you’ve had this experience. I’m afraid the only thing I can think to suggest is contacting WordPress Support, and giving them the details of a particular case. Sorry I can’t be more help.

      Glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks again for your comment– Happy Hopping! : )

      Liked by 1 person

  21. October 3, 2015 2:43 PM

    I recall leaving a comment or two to this creative, humorous fellow several years ago. What was his name? Oh, yes – Mark … Mark Armstrong. And that wonderfully funny guy made a comment on my blog, too. His remarks were always engaging and fun.

    It’s been great fun getting to “know” you Mark. I consider you a friend, and I always look forward to your posts and comments. 😉


    • October 5, 2015 12:31 PM

      Ditto, ditto, and more ditto, if I may wax poetic, my dear Judy! Yes, it was a fateful encounter: like Gilbert & Sullivan, Currier & Ives, Twist & Shout, Heckle & Jeckle… um, perhaps I should stop there… : )

      I echo your sentiments exactly. I have many wonderful blogging friendships, and you are certainly one of my favorites. Forming our mutual admiration society was one of the smartest things we ever did– thank you for your lovely comment!! : )

      Liked by 1 person

      • October 7, 2015 7:07 PM

        I always look forward to your funny and thoughtful comments, Mark. You are a friend I will always treasure. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • October 7, 2015 8:36 PM

          I could say the same, my dear Judy. In fact, I will say the same: You are a friend I will always treasure. There– I’m a copycat, and proud of it!! : )

          Liked by 1 person

  22. October 12, 2015 11:54 AM

    Great post. I am new to the blogging world, so it was informing.


    • October 14, 2015 10:00 PM

      Thank you very much, I’m glad you found it helpful. Welcome to the world of blogs, sometimes called the Blogosphere. It’s nice to have you with us. Blogging can be somewhat daunting at first, but never fear: you’ll learn a lot as you go along, and things will gradually fall into place. I wish you the best of luck, and thanks again for your kind comment. : )

      Liked by 1 person

  23. October 13, 2015 3:05 PM

    Dear Sir LOL,

    I hereby submit my CV* for your perusal – I hope it meets your high standard of blogging. Anyone lucky enough to keep company of “Dam Good Work” will find its content is always germane to good cheer.

    $ḯя ℒ☮Ḻ, ⑂☺ü αᾔⅾ ⑂øüґ ♭ʟ☺ℊ @яε αẘ℮ṧ◎ღ℮❣

    * = Comment Value, not to be mistaken for Curriculum Vitae

    Translation of hieroglyphics above = Sir LOL, you and your blog are awesome! I was going for Cuneiform but had to settle for a mumbo-jumbo (mine) of FB symbols since WP is prehistoric in too many ways! I hope it works. 😀


    • October 15, 2015 10:19 PM

      My Dear, Erudite, Learned, Sage, Wise, Witty, Compelling, Mischievous, and Endlessly Inventive Radhika!! Yes, I’m speaking to ¥øµ⏎!! 😄😂😜😘

      Gee… that seems rather lame after your epic calligraphic tour de force… 😔😕😓😞🎱💣🚽

      Your commentrical (??) feat has boggled my brain, flipped my burger, rattled my cage, and cracked my coconut!! Its CV is off the 📈 and has put a strange polka-dot smile on my face => 👙

      How on third planet did you manage to work that out?? It’s a true work of art!! I copied it, boosted the font size to 80 points, and sent it to myself in an email, so I can gaze at it whenever I want and experience instant nirvana!! Thank you for an incredible gift!! I showed it to some of the other Varanasi Wise Men down at the Ganges Club, and they immediately went into a deep trance.

      Finally one of them blinked and said: “There are 10 levels of consciousness. The tenth and highest level is the Non-dual (Brahman-Atman).”

      “And–??” I prompted.

      “And this was clearly created by someone on the 11th level,” said he. “This changes the meaning of existence, as we know it…”

      Well, now you’ve gone and done it, my dear Radhika– and I find my own consciousness much invigorated!! Thank you for the most delightful mumbo-jumbo what ever got mumbled-jumbled. My turban has been spinning for days, and down at the Ganges Club, I sit and read the Mumbai Times with a blissful smile on my face– आप मिठाई और सबसे सम्मानित धन्यवाद 😊


      • October 19, 2015 10:03 AM

        A RV* is as important as a CV and yours, Sir LOL, are EPIC! 😀

        Most of your RVs make me tear up, bow my head and pound my fist on the table because I’m laughing so hard! So, why do I adopt this 11th level pose that makes me look nutsiola (whoever said nirvana is pretty?!) here? Because you’re worth it (or so insists L’Oreal)!!! Thanks for changing my virtual existence! 👌😊

        RV* = Reply Value or Recreational Vehicle which is also what your blog is……great laughter mileage and lovely sights. 🎶

        Liked by 1 person

        • October 21, 2015 9:55 PM

          The 11th level pose! That means something else entirely here at the Ganges Club. Our yogi yoga instructor yelled it out last week (“Number 11– now!!“), and the results were cataclysmic. It took some of us three days to get untangled. I learned things about the human anatomy I never wanted to know… 😱

          Not surprised to hear you can assume it with ease, however. I was telling some of the RV‘s (Randy Varanasis) about you. They were very impressed, and voted to make you a member of the GC. (The vote would have been unanimous, but one guy couldn’t raise his hand because he’s still tangled in the #11 position.) Full disclosure: they’re always voting somebody in because new members have to stand a round of drinks. I hope you’ll stop by soon, because there are about 700 RV‘s pounding their empty glasses on the bar as I type this. Is there anything more annoying than a thirsty wise man? Doubtful, my dear Radhika, doubtful… 👎👳🏽🔫

          I’ve changed your virtual existence? Well, that makes us even then. I’d take you for a ride in my RVV (Rusty Virtual Volkswagen), but I had to sell it to pay for drinks. Why did I join the Ganges Club?? It’d be a lot cheaper to just buy the Mumbai Times at the newsstand… 💰😢

          गंगा अपने स्विमिंग पूल में एक बुद्धिमान व्यक्ति को धोने कभी नहीं हो सकता, अपनी मेज पर होना हमेशा kozhakkattai सकता है, और आप कभी नहीं खुद के बाद लेने नहीं करता है, जो एक हाथी के पीछे चल सकता है… 🐘🚽😊


  24. November 5, 2015 10:23 PM

    very well said, you have given me a different look on things, and I will definitely apply this. just the kind of motivation I need


    • November 6, 2015 9:15 PM

      Thank you very much for your kind comment. I’m very happy you enjoyed the post and found it helpful. Good luck, nice to meet you, and thanks so much for stopping by! : )

      Liked by 1 person

  25. January 20, 2016 10:08 PM

    Very sound advice. I especially like “15. Your comments are a part of your brand. Every word. Never forget that truth.” I keep that in mind whenever I leave a comment on a blog or post on social media.

    Great post.



    • January 23, 2016 11:39 AM

      Thank you very much, Pierre. I’m often astounded at some of the things people put in their comments. Words are hard to take back (especially when they’re in writing!) A good reputation is a precious commodity, one that’s easily squandered by a careless word or lapse of taste. You’ve elected to keep to the high road, and that says great things about you.

      Nice to meet you, and thanks again for your kind comment!



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