REVISED - I Have Some Comments About Comments

Education & Training with Tech Training for You!

NOTE: This is the REVISED version of this post (see the changes in the middle section). I was made aware of a system bug that will affect the choice you have in making comments, read more:

The ActiveRain points system pretty ingenious. It incentivizes the types of actions that you should be doing and this makes the community thrive. For example, you get points for making blog posts and you get points for making comments on others' blog posts. At first, you may do comments 'for the points' but as you interact on others posts, you quickly realize that getting comments on your own posts encourages you to do more posts and you realize that your comments to others will have the same effect. If you've ever posted on your own blog outside of AR, and especially as a new blogger with minimal followers, hearing either crickets in the comments section or needing to throw out a bunch of bot-like spam comments is no fun. As you get established in ActiveRain, you'll expect to see more and more comments and you'll really like it!

Here are some of my observations, and suggestions on making comments.

If you are just making comments to get numerical points,
you missed the point.

If you are simply running around trying to get points for comments and all you ever say is "Great post, I really appreciated that information." You may get numerical points in AR but don't count on gaining more important points -- from the author of the article. If you sincerely liked it, but have nothing more to say, click the LIKE button. They'll know and appreciate that you were there. However, if you really enjoyed the post, it only takes a little more effort in a couple of sentences to be specific about what you liked or gained from the post. That added personal touch is much more likely to have the author want to learn more about you. Quite often the added benefit is that they'll want to venture over your blog and check it out too.

Here's where things get a little tricky, let me explain.

ActiveRain introduced threaded comments, a new feature update for us back in Sept 2015. The potential was great. You could now more directly reply to somebody who commented on your post. If you click the comment link located beneath their comment then your reply comment is shown directly below. Before that feature, you had to start an entirely new comment box with your reply. Doing a separated reply was simple enough in the case where your comment was immediately below theirs. However if you came back to your post after a few hours and you had many comments lined up waiting, by the time you got to reply back you ended up doing a lot of scrolling up and down to review their comment as you typed your reply. 

However there is a hiccup in the threaded comments system that you should be aware of. (I was unaware of this until yesterday when I originally posted this and it seems that many others are also unaware because it took about a hundred views of my post until Lottie Kendall gave me a heads up on it, thanks Lottie! I learned also afterward that Debe Maxwell, CRS also wrote "Confused About When to Tag in the Rain" over a year ago also explaining this predicament.) So here's the problem:

If you reply using the threaded comment system, the system ideally would just automatically notify the poster of the comment that they got a reply. It does not. So what many people (including me until yesterday) would do is @tag the person, thinking they would then get a notification. It turns out (BUG ALERT), people do not get a notification when you tag them in a threaded comment.

So we, at this point in time, are left with two choices A or B. You'll have to choose which route to go.

The A option is back to 'old school' method. This is where you post your reply as a separate comment. When you do this, you can @tag the person and they WILL get a notification. As mentioned, this is easy enough when your comment is directly below theirs. If there are many comments in between, then you have a scrolling up/down issue (I'll put a **tech tip at the end that can help you with that). In the example below, see how Lottie replied to George.

The B option is to use threaded comments, which definitely makes for a nicer looking conversation thread but then you just have to be aware that quite a few that you respond to will never make it back to see how you replied. (see my notes below about the easiest way to go back and check where you have made comments using the comments log page). In the example below, see how Alan May is using threaded comments. Notice that he is not tagging anyone because in threaded mode tagging does not work. For Alan this is the best choice. (His witty comments are sure to make you smile.) But, imagine if his replies were separated by needing to scroll down so far the original comment is off the page, you would have forgotten the connection of the comment to the reply!

SHOULD I @tag* somebody when I make a comment?

When you are commenting on a person's post, you do NOT need to @tag* them in the comment. The system already sends them a notification each time somebody comments. So @tags are just redundant and honestly sometimes can be a little awkward looking because many people add additional details to their name and all of that extra stuff shows up in your comment (e.g. their location and/or phone number). So just skip the @tag in your comments, it's not required!

Avoiding a Community Faux Pas

It is considered good etiquette in the AR community to reply to all comments that you receive. Yes this takes extra time, so you should really make an attempt to do so. At the very least, in particularly busy seasons when you truly maxxed out of time, after you read the comments, you can click the like button so that the person knows you appreciated their time there with you.

You've been a very busy commenter? How can you easily go back to the comments you've made to see the reply you got?

If you have been a very busy person in making comments all over the AR stratosphere, how can you easily return to see what the author's replies are? (especially if they didn't @mention you in the reply). I highly recommend that make a bookmark of your comments log page. Wait, did you not know that you have a comments log page?! Check this out:
Start at your My Home page > on the left sidebar, expand "Find Blogs to Read" > click "My Comments"

Ok, that took three clicks to get there (not very efficient for such a useful page!)
That's why I suggest you make it a bookmark in your browser, because then you can land there in the future with just a single click. Moreover, notice the links on your comments log page will jump you not only to the blog post, but to the spot in the page where you actually made the comment (#timesaver)

"I'm a new blogger. How can I get more comments on my AR blog posts?"

Initially, when you first start posting, you may only get a comment or two. It's all a matter of having your post be seen so it can be clicked on. In the main blogroll feed (of everyone's posts) your post will be on that page for just a short while. Beyond that, there are a couple of strategies to consider. (1) Join and post to various popular AR Groups. On the each group's feed page, you'll have a little longer visibility there. (2) Spend time interacting with others in the community. Read and give genuine comments on their posts. They'll come check you out. If you have great content, don't be surprised when you get a "new subscriber notification". The more of these you get, the more people will see your posts in the future.

Happy blogging and commenting!


*footnote: @tagging is the case where you type an @ and then followed by a few letters of their name. If they have commented on your post, their name will appear so that you can click on it. This creates a link to the person so others can follow the link if they want. But it importantly also sends out a system notification so they are aware that they were mentioned and can come check it out.

**tech tip: This is how I solve the issue when trying to see what the person said if my reply comment is scrolled down so that their comment is off the page where I can no longer see it as I write the reply. Open up two browser tabs with your same post in it. Then arrange the windows left and right. For instance, the left window can be used for reading the comment, the right window could be used for writing your reply. Not ideal, but for me, this beats the constant scrolling up and down problem.


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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Barbara Todaro 11/02/2019 09:24 AM
  2. Mott Marvin Kornicki 11/02/2019 10:21 AM
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Gwen Fowler-CRS- 864-638-3599 SC Mountains & Lakes--
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc - Salem, SC
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc.

Points do drive many of us to read more blogs and comments.  Thanks for the clarification on how things work.

Nov 02, 2019 01:38 PM #26
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Barbara Todaro  thanks very much for the reblog. hopefully more will have a chance to understand the options better now.

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD  yes, you have to wonder how many comments went out went unread on threads, but wiser and better moving on. Thanks for the encouragement to be back :) thanks for the banana feature!

Kathy Streib glad you are adding to your bookmarks that's a good one to have. the split screen saves the scrolling problem, minor consolation right? at least were still here able to have conversations!

Ron and Alexandra Seigel  glad to see you made it back to the revised post. I wouldn't want to have suggested to people something that wasn't in fact helpful!

Nov 02, 2019 01:45 PM #27
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, GRI, WLS
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ

Hi again Craig. Glad to see you figured out why many of us went to tagging in separate comments. We want them to know we appreciate their comment and get notice. And glad to see your ideas for going through this process easier.  Much appreciated!

Nov 02, 2019 02:22 PM #28
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I use the tag here and thread comments in the q and a and frankly I can't figure out why they can make it work there and not here after 4 years of knowing it's broken.  But hey, I don't pay to be here so I don't complain about free stuff.

Nov 02, 2019 02:29 PM #31
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Being kind in the comments section is very important. Just saying thank you for sharing is nice but it does not say one read the post. Tagging someone in the comment yes I have done this, although it does not always work the name of the person does not always highlight after the @sysmbol.

Nov 02, 2019 03:33 PM #32
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, GRI, WLS haha yes I'm a little behind the curve, but observing the scene of the comment world out there, I see I wasn't the only one so now it is all 'more clear'. Not happy about, but at least I get it : ) thanks for stopping by the blog today! 

Tammy Lankford, yes if I had my wishlist of items to fix, this would probably make the very top. AR seems to lately have a lack of dev personnel resources to fix items these days. At least we can work around it

Nov 02, 2019 03:39 PM #33
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Laura Filip yes I always appreciate the more specific comments... the ones that say something in particular instead of general. For tagging people, I find if you type @ and then a few letters and then wait just a few seconds the matching names will appear (the list shows people who have commented on your post plus people that you are subscribed to)

Nov 02, 2019 03:42 PM #34
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Thanks, Craig and I neglected to mention earlier, I'm happy to see you back in the Rain!  ☔️ 

Nov 02, 2019 05:31 PM #35
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Hi Craig,

Great post and one I really learned something! So glad to see you back in the Rain clarifying things!!

Nov 02, 2019 06:08 PM #36
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Your post on comments hits all the etiquette and technical bases.  Technical bases that I didn't even known existed. 

And now I know why no one I ever tagged in a threaded comment knew they had been tagged.  (sigh)

Nov 02, 2019 06:26 PM #37
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I was frustrated by not being notified when someone made a sub comment, so I reported it to the powers that be and they told me that it would be fixed.  That was years ago, so I assume that it will never be fixed, haha.

Nov 03, 2019 06:22 AM #42
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I'm sort of glad to hear the "old" way of responding to comments is still probably the best. Now I don't feel too out of touch!

Nov 03, 2019 06:25 AM #43
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Now here is someone that should be teaching class.....

Nov 03, 2019 06:40 AM #44
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

p.s. Thanks again for the mention Craig Daniels!

Nov 03, 2019 08:35 AM #45
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

oh wow.  i feel edumacated now.  i has bin doin things totally wrongster!!  Appreciate the detailed explanation as I have been over tagging for no reason... hmmm

Nov 03, 2019 10:46 AM #46
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Debe Maxwell, CRS :: Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR :: Chris Ann Cleland :: Brian England :: Kat Palmiotti - hi all thanks for your comments! I replied above

Nov 04, 2019 05:27 AM #47
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Richie Alan Naggar :: Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can! :: John Henry, Florida Architect - hi all, thanks for your comments! replies above

Nov 04, 2019 05:35 AM #48
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

That was good info and I learned a thing or two!  It's pretty hard to keep up with it all.

Nov 05, 2019 07:08 PM #49
Janelle Ancillotti
Seneca Home Staging - Syracuse, NY
HSR Certified Home Stager, Syracuse, NY

Hi Craig. Thanks for clearing up this mystery, I will be following your tips from now on.

Nov 06, 2019 04:27 AM #50
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089 it can be daunting at times, if you learned a couple of things though, makes me glad! thanks for stopping by!

Janelle Ancillotti sounds like I connected a few dots. I know doing this post helped clear up some things for me. have a great day!

Nov 06, 2019 05:12 AM #51
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