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So many people rant and rave about comments that aren’t “valuable.” Are one-word comments really that bad?

TL;DR: No. It’s called small talk.

All comments on your blog and social media posts are valuable including one-word comments. Comments are reactions to posts.

Are one-word comments useless?

One-word comments are not useless. They are input from your community. I’ve come across the attitude (which, frankly, seems a bit entitled) that one-word comments are not useful more often than not. I’d argue that any comment is feedback.

“No single word comment is helpful. It doesn’t contribute to the conversation, or add value to the post. Writing ‘Nice’ may seem to him to be friendly and forthcoming, and certainly it isn’t a horrible word, but it doesn’t stimulate me into wanting to reply to him.” Allice Elliot 

I completely disagree with this post from the Commenting Club. Generally, I appreciate them as I also do social media for Postmatic – the best commenting plugin for WordPress.

I love all comments (save spam) because it tells me they read the article. It reminds me of who they are and who is reading. When 90% of our audience just consumes, you have no idea who is affected.

Of course, a longer comment allows for the conversation to continue, but a moderator can also extract more information.

“Thanks for the comment, Daniel. I’m glad you read the article. What part of it strikes you most after thinking about it a while?”

Remember that introverts need time to process. They may be commenting to be polite. I’d rather have a comment than none at all.

Comment Entitlement

Do you really believe your content deserves prose in response? Should people just stop reading your blog because their feedback isn’t good enough for you?

Seriously. If your article answered the question they had, then there is no reason to contribute to the conversation. If you want a conversation, ask a question.

I’m so done on this subject.

By the way, I tried to leave a lengthy comment on that post and, ironically, it was marked as spam.

“I completely disagree. I love all comments (save spam) because it tells me they read the article. It reminds me of who they are and who is reading. When 90% of our audience just consumes, you have no idea who is affected. Of course, a longer comment allows for the conversation to continue, but a moderator can also extract more information. “Thanks for the comment, Daniel. I’m glad you read the article. What part of it strikes you most after thinking about it a while?” Remember that introverts need time to process. They may be commenting to be polite. I’d rather have a comment than none at all. “

12 Comments

  1. John Locke on July 12, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    I would rather have one-word engagement than none. As you showed, that opens the door for further conversation. It’s all in how willing you are to work the process.

    • Bridget Willard on July 12, 2019 at 2:17 pm

      Exactly. And sometimes, people want to show you they are listening. Not everyone is a writer.

  2. Jason Tucker on July 12, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    No

  3. Robert Nissenbaum on July 13, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    From the algorithm perspective, Facebook places a higher level on interaction than engagement. A post with a string of one word comments will see less reach than 1 comment thread with 4 replies. It’s conversational. It’s genuine.

    I could care less if someone leaves a one word comment. The value to me is minimal…..unless I can use that to create conversation. My goal is moving you through my sales funnel. One word comments make that difficult, or make the process much longer.

    I want meaningful comments, not a simple acknowledge. My ego doesn’t need that kind of stroking.

    However, WHO leaves the comment does matter. Seeing the same person regularly commenting makes me take notice. That allows a chance to create conversation.

    It also matters if the page takes the time to say thank you. What you do with the comment matters.

    • Bridget Willard on July 13, 2019 at 8:18 pm

      “What you do with the comment matters.” <—- that is so true

  4. Howard on February 12, 2020 at 5:25 am

    I’m looking at my text message threads and see lots of one-word comments that don’t halt the conversation. So, here’s a to “uh huh.”

  5. Tina on May 13, 2020 at 6:40 am

    I absolutely love it when a visitor leaves a comment on my website. I recently noticed the one worded commenting trend. At first I was concerned because I thought I was doing something wrong.

    But it is better for me to ask the visitor to explain more. This way my other visitors and myself can really benefit from this type of feedback.

    I truly appreciate the time they took out of their busy schedules to acknowledge our online presence so I will always respond with a ‘Thank you ‘ which I deem sufficient for the effort.

  6. Randy Clark on June 19, 2020 at 7:22 am

    Nope

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