Thursday, May 12, 2016

Discussion: How Much Discussion Actually Happens In A Discussion Post?

Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts At Midnight host the 2016 Discussion Challenge.

How many times can I cram the word “discussion” into the post title? I was trying for five, but that turned out to be a little too ridiculous, even for me.

I love discussions. They’re my favorite posts to write and my favorite posts to read on other blogs. Some of the most thought-provoking comments I’ve gotten on my blog have been in response to my discussion posts.

But, recently, I’ve been wondering how much discussion actually happens in these posts.

A discussion on a blog isn’t like a discussion in real life. In my experience, there usually isn’t a lot of back-and-forth between discussion post commenters. It’s not like a real-life conversation. This is probably the fault of the comment systems on blogs. With most comment systems, you don’t know if anyone replies to your comment unless you check the little box to get an email notification. I’m guessing that most people don’t do that. The comment systems on blogs definitely hinder the quality of discussions.

I also wonder how honest people are in their replies to discussions. For example, I read a post a few months ago about what should and should not be considered a spoiler in a book review. I could see the author’s point, but I disagreed with it. I scrolled down to the comments and saw that all of the commenters agreed with the author. Instead of typing a response to the post that explained why I disagreed, I just moved on to a different post and didn’t say anything.

I think I clicked off of the post because I was intimidated by the number of people who were agreeing with the post’s author. My reaction was stupid because the post was a discussion. It said so right in the title. The point of it was to discuss. Maybe the author would have been happy to have someone disagree.

I’ve had people disagree with my posts (both discussions and reviews), and I’ve never been offended by someone’s opinion. It feels more like a discussion when there are (polite) arguments from all sides of a topic. I would hope that other bloggers wouldn’t get offended by actual discussion happening in a discussion post.



I guess this has been a long-winded public service announcement: Don’t be a discussion chicken like me. If you find an interesting discussion, don’t be afraid to click the notify me of comments button. If you disagree with a post’s author, that’s great! We won’t learn anything from each other if we agree about everything all the time.




What about you? How often do you use the notify me button on a post? Are you ever too intimidated to disagree in a discussion? Has a blogger ever attacked you for disagreeing?






 

21 comments:

  1. I never thought about it like that, but it's true that I rarely see real discussions in the comments of posts. I'm not sure if it's because of the comment system because you can get notifications on your comments.
    I think a lot of discussions now take place on sites like twitter or goodreads, places where people can comment and discuss lots of topics with many people. In general comments on blogs seem to become less frequent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point. I also wondered if the “real” discussions take place on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, etc. It definitely seems like there are a lot more arguments on those sites than on blogs.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  2. This discussion post is so meta.

    I have seen that when most people reply to one of my blog posts, I ALWAYS reply back but then the conversation ends even if they asked questions of me and I reply in a way that implies a continued conversation. But that continuation seldom happens. I do appreciate every comment, though, so I'm not going to complain about not continuing the conversation. I do it too! Haha :/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol, it is a very meta post. I think the lack of continued conversation could be because of the comment systems. If I don’t get a notification email, sometimes I forget that I commented on a post.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  3. I try to always click Notify, but sometimes I forget.

    I was just considering whether or not I should put, "Please feel free to say you disagree." or something like that, somewhere in my discussion posts. I posted a discussion today and didn't do it, but I did specifically ask people to tell me why they have the opposite preference.

    *clicking "Notify Me"*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also wondered if I should give people permission to disagree with me in a discussion. I really don’t mind if someone does. I don't want anyone to be afraid to say their opinion.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  4. I feel like you've certainly addressed the two main reasons why there is little discussion on discussion posts.

    I'm terrible when it comes to the 'notify' button... Often times I just forget to press it, especially if it's a blog that I read often as I think 'oh, I'll go back to that', but with the vast amount of posts in the community that isn't always the case.

    I've don't ever recall disagreeing with a blogger's post, but I also don't recall intentionally not leaving a comment because it was a disagreement. Sometimes I don't leave a comment because I feel like my thoughts aren't really important - which is silly really because as a blogger I love getting comments from each and every one of my readers, regardless of what the comment is. Commenting is something I've been working on lately though.

    Really great discussion post - it gets you thinking!

    Reading With Jade

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I’ve also not left comments because I didn’t think my opinion mattered. The other commenters had already said my opinion, so I didn’t know if I should leave a redundant comment.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  5. I don't use the notify button, though I do sometimes check back later.

    I definitely keep my disagreement to myself usually. The more serious or hot button the issue, the more likely I am to not comment.

    I've had some bad experiences - me disagreeing but sticking to the issue, and other people responding with personal insults. I just don't need that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also avoid commenting on hot-button issues. Some commenters can’t be reasonable about disagreements, and I don’t want to get involved in a hate-fest. Luckily, people in the book blogosphere seem to be pretty nice.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  6. Wow, this is a really interesting topic! I usually check the notify button because I would always love to hear about the author's response to my comment. I agree that sometimes I hesitate to comment on a blog post because of the other opinions (or I'm just really nervous to share my own), but usually I just tune out my fear and comment anyway. I mean, that's the point of discussions, right? Not everybody will agree with everybody. It's even fun to read disagreeing opinions on discussions (especially mine) because it gives me a chance to see the topic in another person's point of view. :)

    Mara @ Mara Was Here

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! I need to get braver about stating my opinion. Discussion are more interesting when people disagree.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  7. I totally forget to hit the notify button. Some of the comment systems do send the reply in an email though automatically. It depends on the topic whether I will disagree with it. Sometimes I say it, sometimes I don't. Still I have never been attacked for disagreeing. Great post!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I also forget to click the notify button fairly often.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  8. "With most comment systems, you don’t know if anyone replies to your comment unless you check the little box to get an email notification." <---- THIS is the reason I love the Disqus platform! I always get notified of new comments so I'm able to actually have a discussion and I love it!

    I think you have a point about honesty too, and it's a shame. I sometimes share discussion posts that I'm honestly afraid will lose readers for me, but then everyone seems to agree! Now I'm wondering if they actually agree or if they just don't like confrontation... I'd much rather people be honest with their opinions so we can actually, you know, discuss it.

    Great post!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’ve been thinking about switching to Disqus because I like it, too. I just haven’t had a chance to research and figure everything out, yet. Disqus does make it much easier to have a discussion.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  9. I try to always hit the button whenever I comment on someone's blog, but it's hard to remember! I wouldn't be offended if someone disagreed with me. But, it's one thing to disagree and discuss it, and it's another to disagree and disrespect the person who made the post. Nice discussion post! It really made me think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yes, attacking the person who wrote the post isn’t cool. I don’t mind if people disagree with me, but personal attacks are never necessary.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  10. I LOVE when discussion posts do end up becoming an actual back and forth thing. Those are the best. But I have a comment system that notifies people when only their comment is replied to, which helps. I know that I never check the button to receive all the comments, so sometimes I do forget to check back. But if I receive a notification, sometimes I do have more to say in response and viola! Discussion lol.

    As for whether I'm a discussion chicken or not... it depends on the blog and the post. If it's a blogger I'm comfortable with, I feel comfortable disagreeing because I know they won't be offended. I also never mind at all when someone respectfully disagrees (I mean, the things I discuss are *opinions*), and on my more opinionated posts I try to include something about all different views are welcome so that readers won't be afraid to disagree. But the unfortunate thing is that *some* people do get offended, so I do hesitate to comment sometimes if I'm not sure how the person might react :-/

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is a great discussion in itself! You made a lot of good points about the whole commenting conundrum. I have also moved on from discussions where I disagreed, but didn't bother to add my own two cents. Maybe I should rethink doing that.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'll typically respond to discussions even if I disagree, but it's sometimes hard if I have an "unpopular" opinion. For instance, just the other day, I responded to someone's discussion about the double-standard of women being looked down on when they have a lot of sexual partners and men not. I had to confess that I'm not a fan of books that talk about sex with lots of guys as "female empowerment" - just my opinion. But I knew this wasn't the answer that most people wanted to hear. I considered not commenting at all, but I decided to just go for it!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    ReplyDelete

I do a happy dance every time I get a comment. (You should be grateful that you’re not around to witness this dance. It’s truly horrifying.) Leave a link to your blog so I can visit you.