your comments are my drug

“I love your blog!” “that post on jeggings changed my life!” “keep it up- I love your posts!” If I had a dollar for how often I’ve heard comments like these during the past week, I would be able to buy happy meals for myself and at least, like, seven of my friends.

I always wanted these puppets when I was little 🙂

My friend and blogger Grace and I were recently lamenting how difficult it can be to encourage people to comment on our blogs without sounding like needy, desperate comment-junkies. The truth is receiving comments on a blog is one of the best things about blogging! When I began Sidewalk Theologian two years ago, in response to God telling me to blog (yes, I know that sounds weird, but Jesus can be funny like that) receiving comments helped me to keep writing.  At the time I was really struggling with the question “is it really o.k. to be myself?” especially in writing and sharing my thoughts on the worldwidewebs.  Looking back my blogs weren’t especially insightful, but each post was a step of obedience in honoring God by using a tool he’s given me- to write and help people think about him in different ways. Your comments were and are a gift to me that remind me why Jesus nudged me to start blogging in the first place- to help people relate to him and to another. Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting! I love interacting with you all!

yes, please.

So here’s the nitty-gritttay; In 2011 I’d love for you to keep or start commenting! Comments are in part what makes a blog a blog- a community where people interact with ideas and each other. I know there are a lot of blog-lurkers out there; people who read but don’t comment. I’d encourage you to take a small step to use your voice and share your thoughts. I know it can feel scary but they don’t have to be profound, deep or even well thought out- share what you think and what you feel when you read a post.

Still not convinced and think I’m just a comment-hog? Here are some tips that might nudge you to hit the comment button (borrowed from Grace’s comment encouragement post):

  1. Whether you are reading this in a feed reader, an email message, or a syndicated blog post somewhere, click here for the actual post.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and follow the directions to add a comment.
  3. Type in your 1st name -or alias. I understand that for privacy reasons you may not want to put your real name out there- so if you want to go by “captain glitter-pants” on my blog, that’s fine by me.
  4. Type in your real email address (which isn’t shown on the blog) so I can email you privately, thanking you for de-lurking.
  5. Type in your blog address, or your corporate website, or maybe your Facebook page. Somewhere where I and others can click your name (your web link will be linked to your name) and read more about you (if you’re into that sort of thing- otherwise just leave it blank).
  6. Type in whatever text you want, maybe it’s simply a “encouraging post!” “I like unicorns too!” Pretend that we bumped into each other somewhere and you happen to mention what you liked about a recent post or what you had been thinking on the topic at hand.
  7. If you want to read subsequent comments of other people, you need to check the applicable box under the text box to receive emailed updates. This is fun especially if it’s a post you’re interested in reading what others have to say about it.
  8. If you’re a new commenter, I’ll need to approve your comments for the first time. After that, you can comment away without any approval from me or your mom.
rude, kind, I'll take em' all.

WordPress recently sent me an overall summary of my blog stats since I began it & it blew me away. In the course of a year, readers of Sidewalk Theologian jumped from 6,000 to 20,000. what?! I was as shocked as you likely are. I’d love for 2011 not only to be a year of great posts, but a year of comments on how you’re being challenged, encouraged, disgusted or inspired. Thanks to you blog readers/commenters and blog lurkers alike! Here’s to another year of spectacular and ordinary stories of how life and faith intersect as a Jesus follower!


  • Una Cap'n Sparkle Pants

    Your post on jeggings did NOT change my life, thanks be to God. But, I have enjoyed checking in from time to time and reading what’s on your mind. I loved praying for you while at Burning Man. I love the fashion stuff. Good times! (It was great to see you NSC, by the way. A highlight. I’m a fan.)

  • Cha Cha Heels Shimmery Glimmery Booty =)

    I would like to COMMENT & say that I plan to COMMENT more often because I LOVE your blog & I LOVE encouraging you to grow your voice & your gift of write-tah-lish-us-ness. =)

    Now, if you want to go back to my blog about comments & leave a comment you may win a $25 gift card from Home Goods. (I like to bribe people, that works too) =)

    Comment away everyone! Jess is the Bess!

  • Jill


    I read Grace’s blog too, so the fact that you guys are running in parallel universes right now cracks me up! And…you can feel special because I commented on hers before I commented on yours. But you both are right: I need to quit being a lurker. Especially since I try to blog myself, it’s nice to have proof that someone else reads all your hard work. And yes, you make me think differently about God.

  • breylee

    Hey Jess. I’m not sure how I feel feeding your drug addiction, but I’ll comment anyway. 😉
    I love your blog. You are a huge part of the inspiration behind me starting my own blog. (Now I just need to keep up with it.) Gold star! Keep up the good work!

  • Ocean Wave Moon Whisperer

    I’m experiencing blog stat jealousy here. 20,000??? WELL. SOMEONE is special!

    They say that only about 1% of readers comment. I’m cool with being a minority. 😉

    P.S. I ALMOST commented as Crestwood Platinum but wanted to leave it open in case you were considering it for your next child…

  • Elizabeth

    I’m trying to remember if I already de-lurked or if this will do it. Hmmm.

    Since I DID just pass you in the hallway and stop and chat (and eat dinner, which was then followed by breakfast), I will say that I do read your blog and enjoy hearing your insights! Like many others, I found your posts on The Burning Man mesmerizing. Thank you for your honesty and for continuing to be yourself, even on these interwebs.

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