November 2017
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poll: do you read the comments before, after, or neither?


icon: "curious (my face, looking straight forward with one eyebrow up and a sideways smile, head tilted down a little)"

I realized just now that I usually do not read other people's comments before leaving my own, because I do not want to sway my response -- yet I often do read the comments before adding mine in places that aren't LJ. So I want to see if this is unusual, or if there is a discernible pattern to be found.

Poll #2048714 reading comments on LJ and elsewhere

Do you read the other comments before leaving your own, here on LJ?

70-100% of the time
18(40.0%)
40-70% of the time
10(22.2%)
10-40% of the time
8(17.8%)
less than 10% of the time
9(20.0%)

what about on facebook and other places?

70-100% of the time
22(50.0%)
40-70% of the time
11(25.0%)
10-40% of the time
6(13.6%)
less than 10% of the time
5(11.4%)

How often do you read all the comments on other people's posts?

70-100% of the time
8(17.8%)
40-70% of the time
20(44.4%)
10-40% of the time
12(26.7%)
less than 10% of the time
5(11.1%)

Which situation makes you more likely to comment?

when there are lots of comments
2(4.3%)
when there are only a few comments
7(14.9%)
when no one else has commented
5(10.6%)
none of these are relevant factors for me
33(70.2%)

what makes you more likely to read the comments on someone else's post?


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Comments
kehlen_crow ══╣McCoy - evil - pulling teeth╠══
Last but one question: my answer was not exactly accurate. The larger number of already made comments serves as a deterrent quite often, because I feel that the subject has already been well discussed (and/or my comment may be redundant) — and this without reading the comments. This probably stems from my experience in certain language/question communities where members only care to write their own answer, even if it's exactly the same as one of those already given.


Hmmm. So probably my answering personal post is a twofold: if it is a question directed at others, I would check comments first, to see if someone has already said what I want to (and maybe +1 their answer), and if it is a reflection, then I react to it first and (maybe) read others' reactions second.
belenen ══╣analytical╠══
Hm, interesting! thanks for sharing!
brujah ══╣╠══
The last question: My commenting is also greatly influenced by my mood and social ability. I have days when communication is generally hard.
kehlen_crow ══╣╠══
True for me as well. I ~might comment on such days, but not read others' replies.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
*nods* I understand that.
daphnep ══╣╠══
Failing to be able to fill out this survey, I realize it's because my commenting depends entirely on the journal, my relationship with that journaler, and the type of topic it is. With many journals I feel like I have a relationship with the writer and I want to respond to them and support them, regardless of others being there, also supporting them. So particularly with "yay" type posts, I comment without reading. Some advice posts I don't comment because mine echoes that of others, but some I do for the exact same reason, when I think echoing voices strengthen the position.

I have at least a few journals I read where I know the writer has cultivated a really good group of commenting readers, I know I will find much value in the comments section, and I may even go back and re-read in a day or two, just to see what has been contributed there since it was first posted. In some journals I've gotten to know others through the comments quite a bit...while in some other journals, I find the journaler unique among their peers, and their commenters less valuable, where I can skip them regularly.</p>

So, it all depends. And away from lj it shifts yet again, but is similarly relative to more than just the forum itself.

belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
Interesting! thanks for explaining!

I also read more regularly in journals where I have learned that the commenters give in-depth responses (though, always AFTER I have commented). I often find those as interesting as the post itself.
cactus_rs ══╣thoughtful╠══
A lot of it depends on the kind of post. If someone posts good or bad news, I try to comment regardless of how many other comments there are, even if it's just "yay!" or "*hugs*".

If I'm prompted to have more of a response, like if the news is complicated, or if the OP is asking for advice or just hashing out problems, I'll read the other comments first because lots of people are way more articulate than I am, and I think it's better to just support a really good answer than offer my own mediocre answer.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
mm, I get that. If I am not sure what to say because it is a sensitive topic and I don't know the person well, I will often read the comments to see if 1) anything has been left out and not yet responded to, and 2) if there are any patterns I want to agree or disagree with.
ladywind ══╣╠══
re: when am I more likely to comment:
I'll comment if I feel I might have something worth OP's time to add 9so...depending on how bitey my brainweasels are being on a given day, that bar might be reasonably low or reeeeeeallly high), or if someone has already said what I intended more elegantly than I could think to ("THIS!" and then a tiny bit of how-this). OR! in cases like this one, where OP's genuinely interested in results from their poll and there's a question I couldn't quite answer aright via tickybox.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
*giggles and nods*
call_me_katya ══╣Cat - questioning╠══
On FB I would always read the comments, because often many-commented posts on FB are questions, and I read to see if someone has already provided the answer. Or many-commented posts can be an argument, so I read to see who has said what, and what stage the conversation is at before I interject, if I decide to do so.

On LJ there is less cross-communication. Most people reply directly to the poster, not each other so I don't have to read the posts. Most answers are also opinions, rather than official answers to questions so I don't have to worry if someone has already 'answered'. But if someone has asked a really interesting opinion-question of their readers, I might read to see what the answers are, or how someone has interpreted a post/question if I'm confused by it/not sure how to reply. Like daphnep above [see? I read them this time!], if someone has a history of having a deep-thinking, full-answering friendslist then I might look at theirs. Usually these people have the most involved posts that inspire me to answer anyway, so the desire to read and write go together for those people.

For the majority of posts and people though, I don't, sadly, because I know the majority of comments are just 'Yay!' or 'Boo' or something similar.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
*nods along* I have a very similar habit. If I'm especially interested in the topic then after I comment I will skim the responses and read any that are more than a sentence. Sometimes this results in a second comment, as I realize there is more I want to react to, or if I get pissed off by a comment or a theme of comments.
ragnarok_08 ══╣AoT ★ we stand united╠══
I definitely take the time to read comments on LJ and on Facebook, but I comment only when I feel that I have something to contribute.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
huh, interesting. So you tend to do a lot more reading than most people, I would guess?
ragnarok_08 ══╣Original ★ dark grounds╠══
That sounds about right.
webgirluk ══╣╠══
I see LJ as sort of like an online forum, where someone begins a conversation and others reply and often enjoy reading the comments but how I read them varies, really. Sometimes I read before, other times after. Or I might just skim comments and read a couple. I love to be involved with the *who is who* community aspect and I think as well, I'm more likely to read conversations where we have mutuals, the person has a strong sense of LJ community interest or the topic fits with a key subject I enjoy reading about.

I am most likely to comment if ...

1. I really enjoy the subject of conversation.
2. If the person is going through a key life moment like new job, new partner or a close relative died. I try and do this for everyone on my page, even if we don't speak, really on here.
3. They're someone I know well away from the journals.
4. They're someone I consider a friend here and want to invest in, even if our contact is through LJ only.
5. We have mutual friends *more so I think on facebook*

Great poll ;-)
belenen ══╣vivacious╠══
I love to be involved with the *who is who* community aspect and I think as well, I'm more likely to read conversations where we have mutuals, the person has a strong sense of LJ community interest or the topic fits with a key subject I enjoy reading about.

Me too!

thanks for your answer :D
song_of_copper ══╣skogkatts!╠══
Other factors influencing likelihood of commenting...

Rapport or at least ability to communicate well with the person posting. Desire for a conversation with that person about that topic. Wanting to express support when someone's having a tough time.

There are some people I just really like interacting with (and feel cautiously-confident they feel the same), so will sometimes comment in a 'having a chat' way (rather than addressing a topic). Happy to comment first in this scenario.

There are some people I avoid commenting to, because of how they communicate (e.g. aggressive). (But still may like to read their posts for some reason! Education, entertainment value...)

Generally I will want to read all or most previous comments (if present), because choosing my words ultra-carefully/not speaking unnecessarily/not bothering people/worrying about whether my meaning and intent is clear = Me. :-P

But when people post asking all their readers a personal question, that makes it somewhat more likely I'll reply without reading every other comment, because they are asking each individual for THEIR perspective. There are a few people on my f'list who do this, and I notice they tend to get the most comments overall on their posts! :-)
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
Interesting! thank you for sharing :D

What aspects make someone's conversational style feel aggressive to you?
song_of_copper ══╣endless pencil╠══
"What aspects make someone's conversational style feel aggressive to you?"

Usually it’s obvious things: people who get into avoidable, unnecessary arguments via comments, people pre-silencing a perfectly harmless opinion they don’t want to hear (“Anyone who says XYZ is a [insult goes here]”).

(This is different from saying “I disagree with XYZ”. It’s also different from getting tough with someone who’s crossed a line. And it’s different from setting necessary boundaries. It’s more like… indulging in conflict, enjoying getting negative reactions, having nil empathy.)

Sometimes it’s more subtle - you just get the feeling before you even say anything that you will have to defend yourself. :-/

Mostly I would not stay ‘friends’ with such a person - there would have to be some very good reason for wanting to read what they write. Lately I’m less tolerant of that stuff.
zimtkeks ══╣╠══
I'm with you in that I want to write an answer that isn't influenced by other comments here; but they might be interesting to read later. One difference between LJ and places like FB could be that LJ is often way more personal.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
It is, often, and it doesn't feel public even on a public journal because LJ doesn't curate for you like facebook does. On LJ, if you say something in a comment, mutual friends are not likely to see it unless they make a special point to read the comments. On FB, if you comment on a friend's post, someone who is friends with both of you is VERY likely to see that pop up in their feed. It feels very different because of this.
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.