• Fri, Apr 20 2012

How Can We Get You Guys To Comment More?

commeners

Look, every time I go over to another website and see, like, 300 comments on a post I don’t want to kill myself. That would be a ridiculous overreaction.

But! But! Other websites do get 9,378,589 comments on posts (I hit a bunch of number keys at random, so I think that number is accurate). It’s not because their traffic is bigger than ours.  And we do get a tons of likes on facebook, so it’s not as though people aren’t reading and presumably enjoying the articles. Or at least they’re putting them on facebook to mock and deride.

However, our commenter base is pretty small, and I am jealous of websites where it seems like there is a thriving commenter community, all meeting in the village agora and discussing their lives and sharing secrets with one another, just letting their togas billow in the breeze. I see thegloss commenter community as more like 15 Vikings sitting in a mismanaged hut, scrawling dirty jokes on the floor and contemplating how to kill people who do viking things too slowly.

I imagine you all in funny hats made out of dead animal bones.

God, I love you guys.

And I say this knowing full well that the last time I regularly commented online I was probably 15, drunk on peach schnapps and trying to express how the musical group Cake was much better than Brahms (I stand by that). So, if you are, like me, someone who likes to hide in the forest of the internet, popping out only once a year to discuss the enduring, heartbreaking impact of “Frank Sinatra”… well, I accept that. In all honesty I’d probably never comment on your website. It’s not my style.

Which makes it hard for me to understand how some websites get such a good commenter community going. What are other places doing right that I am doing wrong?

Is it because our commenting system sucks and we can’t promote you or give you stars? It does. I’m sorry about that. I also find it insanely annoying that we can’t reply to individual comments within a comment thread.  So, those two things are clearly problematic. What else? HELP ME HELP YOU.

And on that note, fuck Brahms.

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  • Karen

    I really wanted to be an ass and just let the hilarity of this post having no comments endure as is… BUT. I love you guys, especially Jennifer. So I will let everyone know I am not at all above being gratuitous, where gratuity is deserved. If mine is the only comment, Jennifer is justified in drinking heavily tonight. So there’s that upside.

    • Jennifer Wright

      WE WILL HAVE ALL THE MEAD!

  • Maggie

    Ask more questions, or post more on things people feel the need to rant about

    • Jennifer Wright

      At one point, an overlord told me I should end every post with a perky “how do YOU guys feel!?” But I could never get into that, mostly because I’m not an unmitigated asshole.

    • Maggie

      I didn’t mean end your posts with a forced question, I meant write more posts that ARE a question, like this post or the ones where we help you choose clothes to buy, etc.

  • Brianna

    Quality over quantity? So many websites have people that post outlandish/off topic/offensive comments that provoke more of the same from responses to those posts. I love reading the comments here because they are usually thoughtful and funny! That said, I don’t have any idea how to get more comments, sorry.

    • Jennifer Wright

      Brianna, you have failed in the goal. You are banned now. I don’t know how to ban people, but you’re banned for failing in my head for the next ten minutes.

    • Brianna

      A 10 minute banning? I can handle that. I ‘ll try harder next time.

  • Cee

    Hm. Yea. When I first started reading this site (months after torturing my soul reading XOJane and typed the words “XOJane” and “hate” hah) and I read some of your stuff and looked at the lack of comments and thought “wow, why isn’t anybody reading this?!” Needless to say I was somewhat relieved when I saw some article or other with more than 10 comments that proved I wasn’t in some Tom Hanks Survivor type island.

    But as to why you don’t get comments. Hmm..maybe pepper ( or finish ) your articles with questions that might elicit passionate or differing opinions? Have a top comment of the week? And like Maggie (above or would that wind up being below?) said, maybe post articles that would have people yapping away? For example, I have come to like The Cardiff, but, I don’t think many of us really want or care to start a commenting thread about obscure models that we wont recognize the next day when were flipping through all our magazines.

  • JJ

    I have to agree with Brianna! It’s cliche, but – quality over quantity, man. Have you seen the sort of comments those other websites get? I mean, no, really. They are, more often than not, pretty subpar. But the ones here – they are special! And poignant! And even moreso because they are rare, like desert roses or something.

    THAT SAID, I do think that maybe the comment system needs work? Not really starred comments, because I personally hate those, but a resounding YES to the idea of being able to respond to individual comments within a thread. I would like that a lot!

  • Rebecca

    I think I am kind of like you, Jennifer – I am just not a commenter. But I love love love you ladies and always repost or tweet the articles I like. Maybe your readers are just SO awesome that we don’t let ourselves get caught up in the comments section? Or we are too busy being Bullicorns and awesome at our jobs? I don’t know the answer, but I appreciate your transparency in asking.
    Either way, keep up the good work!!!

  • Allison

    I love reading the articles here and would usually comment, but I run into the following issues that make harder and dissuade me:

    1. Every time i try to comment, I get so many stupid pop-up ads at the bottom of the page that I can’t click on anything without being taken to another site. Right now I have a footlocker ad popping up all over, so I’m writing this comment in my gmail and will paste it onto your site. This is honestly my biggest problem with commenting, and reading articles on your site in general.

    2. Unless this changed recently, comments appear newest-oldest, which is confusing., especially when the comments grow to two pages.

    PS: Frank Sinatra! <3

  • Christie

    I might be banned with Brianna for saying this, but I actually enjoy the intelligent (though few) comments on this site. I’m so tired of reading other websites’ comment sections which make me feel dumber for having read them. It’s also fascinating how truly horrible people can be under the anonymous guise of an avatar. I think TheGloss has a fairly large fan base, but the majority aren’t idiots who have to post something either because they think they’re being funny, or they want to intentionally stir up trouble.

    • alma

      like!

  • Erynn

    That’s so funny you’re asking for comments because there are so many times when I want to comment but feel strange about it, like it won’t get read, or there’s no point, or whatever. I’ll definitely comment more now that I know someone gives a crap xD

    • Jinxie

      I kind of feel the same way! There have actually been quite a few posts I’d wanted to comment on…but no one else had commented on them so I guess I sort of thought commenting maybe just wasn’t “done” here? And I didn’t to be the only dork who was commenting so I just didn’t comment. But now I see that someone just needs to be the commenting flag bearer or something, leading the way for others to follow!

  • Allison

    I love reading the articles here and would usually comment, but I run into the following issues that make harder and dissuade me:

    1. Every time i try to comment, I get so many stupid pop-up ads at the bottom of the page that I can’t click on anything without being taken to another site. Right now I have a footlocker ad popping up all over, so I’m writing this comment in my gmail and will paste it onto your site. This is honestly my biggest problem with commenting, and reading articles on your site in general.

    2. Unless this changed recently, comments appear newest-oldest, which is confusing., especially when the comments grow to two pages.

    3. I posted this comment a few minutes ago and it’s still not showing up. =(

  • Maggie2

    I’m with Brianna and JJ! I like that The Gloss comments sections usually have legitimate points being made in them, and it’s not only trolls who like to threaten people because they disagree (anyone see the backlash over at Crushable for the “Britney Spears is a has-been article? Yikes!). Testing out ending articles by asking readers what they think could be a good idea; it could give people more incentive to comment. Just word it in a Jennifer Wright-ish way so as to keep yourself from being an unmitigated asshole ;)

  • Fabel

    I like your comment system! At least, this must be true, because it’s the only site (& sometimes your “sister” sites) that I comment on. (Well, & an advice site that I think may run on the same platform?) ANYWAY

    • Fabel

      Oh, fuck, I accidentally hit post. I was going to continue and say that I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH. And it also makes me sad when I see some articles here have, like, no comments. It makes me want to comment, but sometimes I am out of comment-energy, plus I don’t want to be that weirdo making comments on everything when there’s no other comments. But <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  • Kate

    You get less comments because you get less trolls. +5 for having a good fan base

  • Jon

    i’ve only ever commented on emma posts. oh, and the occasional post about chick’s being fat or w/ev. it really is a great enough site as it is though. why gild the lily? why i ask!!

  • Fabel

    Also, no! I don’t think you should intentionally pepper your articles with bait-y things or be like “So how do YOUUUU feel, dear readers, hmm?” at the end of everything just to generate comments. 15 Vikings in a mismanaged hut kinda works for The Gloss? And (apparently I have many opinions on this), I think the reason people might hesistate to comment is that the quality of the articles are so high that they feel dumb remarking on it? Or like, “will these awesome people even READ my shitty comment?” (This probably sounds ass kiss-y as hell, but this is my actual speculation as to why there aren’t 7038075 comments on everything here. ALTHOUGH, this theory could just be projection on my part, since that’s how I felt in my lurking days before I said “fuck it” & started commenting.)

  • Jinx

    I agree with Fabel. The article quality is usually awesome enough that I feel I don’t have anything useful to add and I’m too lazy (sorry!) to comment just to say “I liked this”. Maybe you should have a facebook-esque “like” button so you’ll know people enjoyed your work? Maybe WE should give YOU stars.

    • Christie

      Oooh. Like. :-)

  • Leila

    I have put exactly 3 (okay, now 4) comments on the internet in my life and you have 3 of them. I think it’s because I don’t need an account to comment, so you’ve got a way lower threshold to jump for occasional commentators. Good job there.

    I will also agree with everyone here that the articles are smart enough that I’m not sure what I’d say in response. Although the occasional discussion question after a post might help. I stress occasional. This is totally self-serving, but it’s also possible that your readership is smart and self-secure enough not to have to comment on every little thing with snark or opinions the way that makes some sites super intimidating to comment on because I just don’t get my righteous anger or frothing pithy energy up that often anymore.
    This means you win. No seriously, you do, we all do.

  • Danielle

    One of the things I like about this site is that it doesn’t have 500 replies to the same thread. It’s like a nice little internet hideaway. That being said, I’m not sure why the comments are so low.

    I read this site and all the sister sites daily. There are other very popular websites I read daily but don’t post any comments on because the comments are full of territorial regulars who are all competing for some kind of celebrity status.

    It could simply have something to do with the average age of your viewers/readers. I’m in my mid thirties and don’t necessarily feel the need to give my opinion on every topic I read about.

  • Laura

    I don’t comment on articles that have grammatical errors, typos, spelling mistake, omitted words, etc. Yeah, I’m a bitch AND a snob like that. But the thing is, just about every article I read on this site has some sort of technical error- I mean, you guys are writers for a living, proofread. If you’re looking for insight into The Gloss you should have written an article about that issue since maybe getting more interested readers would naturally follow.

    Case and point: “In all honesty I’d probably never comment on your website. It’s not style.” Did you mean “It’s not MY style,”? Or is that last sentence some cool phrase I’m not hip enough to know? I doubt it, I’m very hip.

    In conclusion, I want to emphasize that I love this site and read it daily. I like that you ladies aren’t afraid to say “fuck” and the like. But I would be more inclined to spend a minute commenting if you all spent a minute proofing your work.

    (P.S. If this comment contains any errors, suck it- no one paid me to write it.)

    • Jennifer Wright

      Some people don’t comment because they are angry.

      Got it.

    • Maggie

      If you’re “a snob like that” then why are you commenting?? Commenting to comment that you don’t comment? Well done!

    • Laura

      So you’re going to assume I’m angry because I’m expressing an opinion as a reader about the quality of the writing? I wasn’t angry but your dismissive response is getting me there.

    • Maggie

      I’m sorry! I misread your comment, I thought it was being snarky but I was reading it wrong

    • Laura

      Thanks Maggie but rest assured my previous response was aimed at Ms. Wright.

      I’m not going to do anything frivolous like vow to “never read this blog again!” but I would hope when a reader tells you your writing needs a little polishing you at least consider it instead of calling them angry. I know this site is above reducing women who voice opinions to stereotypes which is why I would never say anything like “who the hell do you think you are?!” (there might be some snark in that last part, sorry Maggie)

    • Jennifer Wright

      I was joking. Sorry if that did not come through. There is no tone in comment sections.

    • Laura

      Meh- I’m PMS-ing and while that might be a stereotype, I am legitimately irritable today. I may or may not have subconsciously been trying to pick a fight. That urge has subsided, keep on keepin’ on.

    • Sam

      Perhaps you guys can add a “tone” option where you choose smiley faces to show how your comment is intended to be taken. Like Livejournal!

      Okay, okay, I’m kidding now. :)

  • Ella Jane

    this kind of pisses me off… I posted a comment the other day about your Kate Upton article (http://thegloss.com/beauty/gallery-kate-upton-is-awesome-in-harpers-bazaar-212/#comments) that was slightly critical. I know it went through because I’m getting the e-mail updates on it, but the comment’s gone now, so I have to assume it was removed.

    doesn’t exactly make me want to continue commenting when I know that instead of respectfully starting a discussion (which is the purpose of commenting as I understand it) my comments will just be removed.

    • Jennifer Wright

      I’ve never deleted a comment in my entire life. I am against it on principle. Freedom of speech, man. HOWEVER – we do have a spam filter that occassionally catches them, especially if they have links in them (it assumes they’re robots). If this happens again, e-mail me Jennifer@thegloss.com and I will be on it like the New York Times.

    • Ella Jane

      Good to hear… I was like man, The Gloss, really? It probably got sucked up because I included links to some of your other posts.

      Anyways… yes. You need the ability to reply to secondary threads. This is an example of that.

  • Jen

    Basically, I’m just paralyzed by the fear of sounding like an idiot. And when I do comment here, there isn’t much (any) feedback, so I go into this spiral of oh-god-I-sounded-like-an-idiot-nobobdy’s-touching-my-comment-with-a-ten-foot-pole-I’m-never-commenting-again-ever-ever-ever-gaaaaahhh!

    (Gosh, I like hyphens.)

    But then I comment again.

    • yiraf

      That’s pretty much my exact same fear! It’s like oh god this is a well written somewhat well thought out article that must have taken a longer time to write than it seems like it did just to make it seem like it took just a bit of time to write (spelling/grammar errors/run-on sentences included) and the writers are effortlessly verbose intellectuals. And then I’m like “I don’t want to spend 15 minutes crafting a witty comment that won’t make me look like an idiot and that is smart and sharp and makes me look like I DIDN’T spend 15 mins thinking about this.” Who the hell wants to do that? You should be able to troll on a board. If people don’t feel comfortable making dumb comments then you will get a lot less comments (make of that what you will… maybe that’s a GOOD thing??)

    • Ellen W.

      Thank god. Oh, thank god. I feel exactly the same way. I feel as though everyone looks at my comments and thinks “Oh my goodness, why does Ellen keep writing?!”

      And there was a stretch of like two weeks where I kept posting the same things as one other person and it seemed like I was internet stalking her. And I really didn’t want to freak her out!

  • Samantha

    Include a way to allow people to link back to their own blogs/websites/twitter accounts – you’ll get more comments from folks who want to self-promote.
    Otherwise, why worry about it? I like that I don’t die inside after a well-written article on The Gloss from idiotic comments. I think, like others have said, it’s a testament to good writing and well-expressed opinions that aren’t there for the sake of baiting the reader to action.

  • Siobhan

    So. I am going to operate on the assumption that y’all want a comment culture like the Hairpin.

    And to be honest, I think the problem lies with your readers. I mean, look at the comments above. They’re so nice, but that’s all. They’re not thoughtful, they’re not interesting, they’re just nice (it’s so Into the Woods!). And besides nice, I also see some semi-literate dipshit comments every once in a while, and so I think that the folks who do sort of go out and start a comment culture just feel like “why would I bother, this would be like trying to comment on a Fox News article.”

    Inspidity (that’s totally a word) is the enemy. In my opinion? And I think it’s weird that I have such an opinion about this? Is that you don’t want a stupid star system, and you don’t want a commentariat like Jezebel (UGH). You want first of all, your writers to interact (and maybe a designation of the writers), and you want your pieces to have more of a position. You can’t start a discussion when you write something that everyone agrees with. Soliciting feedback is generally unsuccessful; when you want a response, you have to troll for it a little. Gawker does it exceedingly well. As a fashion/beauty blog, you guys have an endless amount of opportunity to do the same thing. Have someone say that you think this nail art trend is idiotic, and you think less of people who do it. If you don’t think that, find someone who does.

    Big ranty pieces get people going, on both sides, and people like to talk about that. I realize it sounds confrontational, but to be honest, it is. I think an audition process helps, especially it would do for you guys, because it would help weed out the insipid and moronic, making the place seem a little more elite. You know, like how Pinterest dumbly requires invites.

    Ex: someone write a piece about how people on Pinterest are morons. Or how people who think Pinterest is dumb are morons. Someone’s always being a moron, somewhere!

    I GUARANTEE you’ll get comments. The possibilities are endless!

  • erica

    Everybody’s just an anonymous white head on a purple background. There’s no ownership of posts? When there ARE comments, I never recognize the people who they’re from, so it never feels like a commenter-community?

    • Ewa

      Hear, hear.

  • Anna

    Hey guys, glad you asked. I love the content here, but I don’t comment much because the actual site is a big old mess. Skimming through, I see a super wide sidebar with incredibly disruptive ads, “related” posts I don’t care about and at least three separate sharing functionality sections I will NEVER use. A fixed bar with ads and sharing at the bottom? Ick. It’s almost impossible to READ anything. I get that you need ads and clickthroughs to function, but the experience of reading here is not a pleasure.

    You can see simple formats like Rookie, The Hairpin and even the weird Gawker redesign let us create accounts and read comments in a clear way.

    And not sure whose issue this is, but your slideshows don’t work in Google Reader, so unless the headline is incredibly interesting, I’ll never click through to read the post.

  • Melissa

    Too funny. I’ve got to say, I do love that the comments on this site, while few, are often relevant to the topic at hand and thoughtful.

    I often don’t comment because someone else has often already put my thoughts down in wittier and more succinct way than I would’ve.

    Also, I’m quite frequently reading thegloss via RSS feed (Google Reader) and I don’t believe you have a link to add a comment.

    • Christie

      Agreed. I read TheGloss from Google Reader and it doesn’t transfer cleanly. If there are multiple pages, there are either bullets with no information or no indication that there are continuing pages from the first one. Also, no link to comment directly from Google Reader makes us lazy people not want to go on to the site directly, navigate through the ads, scroll to the bottom, and comment.

  • Adriana

    I love your articles and your site is one of my faves! I read up on here daily and I have never felt the need to comment because most of the time I completely agree with you, and even when I don’t I just think you ladies are hysterical. (But honestly, I pretty much agree with everything you write.) Much of the time, commenters on any site are either angry, stupid, or both. They’re too afraid to be rude to others in person so they throw their criticism at the internet. Your lack of commenters doesn’t signal to me a lack of readers or involvement, just a lack of idiocy and misplaced anger among your fanbase. Your fans seem chill. I think that’s a good thing!

    That’s not to say that all commenters are just trying to create or add to a shitstorm. Sometimes people have really insightful, funny, and/or relevant things to say. Unfortunately most of the time that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    At any rate, I guess this article did get me to comment, so take from that what you will. Maybe you need more articles about commenting on articles. :)

  • Sarah

    Word, let’s do this thing!

  • Catie8

    I think that actually requesting comments via a question at the end of an article can help. I’m not normally a commenter (tortured anxiety about posting anything anywhere for fear of mockery/being crapped on), but if there’s an interesting question posed then I’m much more likely to re-read an article carefully and spend the time crafting a comment.

    Also, is it possible to reorganize the order of comments to start with oldest comment and go to the newest at the end? Because of my crippling fear of being reamed online, I always want to read through what others have said so as not to repeat the brilliant points that others have made.

  • yasmin

    in terms of that comment below, i do agree that asking( like “what do you think??!!) gets comments, but it also annoys me a lot a la xojane, theyre pretty brutal about that every post. so i guess it works, but only by being that friend who always stares in the mirror and begs you to tell them they dont look fat and then you tell them, but inside youre super pissed off. i like on cult of pretty where theyre constantly giving shit away and in order to win you have to comment, follow, etc. bribes always work!!!! give us girly shit

  • Sam

    I am a strong advocate of TheGloss…I link my friends to it constantly, I post stuff on my Twitter about it, and I have it on my toolbar for Google Chrome so I can refresh it super easily all the time.

    That said, one of the reasons I think there is less commenting here is that there are so few posts at night and even less on weekends, both of which are when people have significantly more time to chill at home on the internet and do their commenting thang. I mean, yes, people can just reply hours after the posts have been up, but one of the reasons some posts get tons of comments = the replies to different users regarding the post, and if everyone is posting replies hours or days apart, chances are, there will be very little interaction between users. Plus, I’ve only had one or two writers on The Gloss reply to any comment I’ve written on here, and that feels a bit troubling if you want there to be more comments. Be the change you want to see yadda yadda, ya feel me?

    I know you guys post quite a bit during the day but to be honest, even though I am a frequent commenter already, I still wish there were more weekend posts (even if they were queued somehow and weren’t the absolutely daily news) so on my lazy hungover Saturday/Sundays, I could just chill out and refresh The Gloss and see something new.

    Plus, I wish there were more things where you guys called for submissions of stories from readers, you know? Some websites have loads of different writers and guest writers, and I wish there was more of that here; user interaction and valuing readers’ experiences like that can make it more of a community!

    • Lindsey

      I agree! I really liked the weeks where you all would have a theme and invite guest submissions.

  • T-Lex

    So I am a reader of both the Hairpin and The Gloss and I actually never comment on Hairpin articles but usually do comment on the Gloss. To be honest I am surprised more people don’t because the Gloss is more personable/ humane. I never have to read who the author is when I read a post, by the second sentence (or the title) its like oh this is a Jennifer or this Jamie ect. So honestly its weird that more people don’t comment- this is VERY helpful right?

    One thing I do have to second is that it would be cool if I could “join” or get like an avatar for my posts, I mean you already have my email and I get the subscription so why not?

    • NotThumper

      I second the avatar request. I’ve noticed some people who comment have them and I always wonder how they got it.

  • Lauren

    Oddly enough, this is one of the only sites I regularly comment on. I comment occasionally on other sites, but not as often as I do here. So I have absolutely no idea how to get more comments.

    I’m writing this just because I wanted to add to your comments so you could get closer to 9,378,589.

    (Is the word comment meaningless to anyone else now because you’ve said it/written it so much?)

  • Sarah!

    I didn’t read the other comments, cuz TLDR. But I did see a mention of avatars, which would be nice for telling people apart. A better thread system would also be nice.

    Sometimes I don’t like to comment if other people haven’t already said something.

  • Magda

    Honestly. I try to refrain from commenting excessively, because I feel like I comment on posts on her FAAAAAR too often. (I want to apologize for having a TRex all-caps-typing moment.. which reminds me, my dog currently looks like a stegosaurus[a funny looking dinosaur])

    But again, I feel like I comment way too much and my name is “different” enough to be recognizable and I have this paranoia of people being all like, “Oh there she goes again with some long rant/story that may or may not have anything to do with the content of this article” and rolling their eyes at me.

    But to jump on the “nice” train, you guys, for the most part are awesome and I wish that when I grow up I can be just like you! =) [I put a smiley face so you can tell that my tone is genuine. :)]

    • Jennifer Wright

      Look, I really, really love it every time someone comments. Just for the record, all Ashley and I ever say about commenters is how funny and cool they are, and how much we like them. So, we are watching, and we love you, and ugh, so many feelings, finished now.

      I want to point out how troublesome it is that there is no emoticon for “being all dry and witty right now” but here is Margaret Thatcher wearing a hat:

      [/(o-/-<

      So that's the emoticon we're using for that, now.

      It can be Dorothy Parker if you prefer.

    • Magda

      Thank you! You’ve made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. $^) <— that's me with sunglasses feeling warm and fuzzy.

      Also, I like her hat. Its very stylish and I like that its tipped at a jaunty angle, it gives her an air of spunk and flair.

  • Kj

    Just so you know, I’ve always tried to comment lots so that y’all can feel the luurrrrve I have for this blog.

    I like that I often get responses to my comments from the writer! Please keep doing that.

    I think that the biggest problem is that the comment platform sucks. You can’t go back and edit, and replying comes out weird. It was annoying to have to sign up for an account to comment on a certain ladyblog that begins with “J,” but at the same time, I like that it keeps track of things like posts, responses, and followers.

  • Marissa

    I think the personality type of TheGloss can be best described as a Myers-Briggs INFJ or INFP. As a fellow INFJ/P (i vary), I’m aware that people don’t respond to me always because of the following reasons.

    1. You come off as slightly intimidating or frosty, though it’s unintentional.
    2. You don’t feel the need to respond to every comment someone says, but people sometimes take this personally.
    3. You have some hardcore supporters who fiercely defend your opinions (people are scared to disagree with you…look at Maggie after Laura).
    4. You have strong opinions about things without necessarily strong reasoning. Umm…Lana Del Rey, Paz de la Huerta, Alexa Chung…you know what you like (and what you don’t) when you see it.

    This INFP profile also made me laugh after reading the article on being inept at talking on the phone:

    “INFPs are usually talented writers. They may be awkard and uncomfortable with expressing themselves verbally, but have a wonderful ability to define and express what they’re feeling on paper.”

    Interestingly enough, the readers really love it when you guys show photos of yourselves doing stuff. One week in particular Jennifer had several posts with her own photo, and I was convinced she was testing the audience see if she would be called out as self-indulgent. But everyone loved it. So maybe more of that…

  • Megan

    I’m pretty regular here, but I think a few other Megans also are. I’d welcome an avatar. So I can distinguish myself as the best Megan.

    I second (third? fourth?) that the commenting system sucks. I want to reply to secondary threads. I want to reply directly to a user’s comment, so there’s no confusion about which user I am addressing. I want an edit functionality. I’d like oldest comment on top–or, better, the ability to sort based on what chronology you’re comfortable with.

    I’m also going to second Laura: There are times that commenters have indicated typos and grammatical errors only to be called out as bitchy. Not necessarily by the writers (though that has happened on Mommyish), but other commenters. This kind of commenting a) isn’t constructive, and b) shouldn’t be happening in the first place. We all understand that you churn out many posts per day, but it does make an article feel less worthwhile to think about if it’s loaded with errors of the lingual persuasion. You need a copy editor.

    Another thought: TheGloss is a niche blog, not like TheHairpin. The Hairpin covers a much wider chunk of material; TheGloss is a beauty/fashion based blog. I don’t necessarily think you’re going to get the wide response from commenters because they’re simply not as specialized as you are. For example, Ashley, I love your Vogue spread posts…but as I am not as into fashion as you are, the most I can do is comment that I enjoy it. Not discussion-provoking. I’m not suggesting you change your approach–like others, I enjoy this corner of the Internet–I’m suggesting that you not value yourself totally on the weight of comments.

    For what it’s worth, I think we all enjoy when you writers step into the comments. Jamie always considers her words; Amanda welcomes people to share in her experiences, and Jennifer & Ashley…you two are hysterical. If you’re bent on building a comment community, the best way to do it may be to see a) what posts you wrote that were most commented-on, and use them as ideas for future posts, and b) what posts had the most interaction between the writers and commenters, and again, springboard.

    • Megan

      See, this is why we need an editing functionality: I meant to say “respond to a user’s comment within a secondary thread.” I understand I can reply directly to a user, but only on the top level.

      Another thought: When I click the “Notify me of follow-up comments via email,” I get all subsequent comments on the post. What I really want is only the replies (if any) to my particular comment.

      As to copy editing…would you like a remote copy editor with time on her hands and a technical writing background?

    • Jennifer Wright

      Yes. Yes, I would love that copy-editor, because I am terrible at it, and we have no budget for one. Yes. Yes. Yes.

    • Megan

      Jennifer–I have emailed you!

    • NotThumper

      Megan, I love the way you think! I agree on all points. :)

  • Natalie

    I love the articles on this website, and one of the reasons I love them so much is because you don’t write articles with the intention to garner comments. You all write about interesting, hilarious, relevant, etc. issues that I think most readers relate to, and I would argue that most readers finish the articles and think, “Hey! These writers wrote something of substance; I did not waste my time reading that.”

    Also, unlike with a couple of your sister sites and other websites, I thoroughly enjoy that you don’t write bullshit articles meant to piss people off and rack up comments. Seriously – those articles are the worst. You all have legitimately talented authors/journalists/bloggers, and your articles reflect that.

    Please don’t compromise quality for quantity!

  • Dana

    I feel like there’s less talking for the sake of talking on this site and I REALLY LOVE IT. I can’t even glance at the comments on most blogs, they’re just pointless.
    I’ve commented maybe three or four times, and it was only when I thought I had something interesting to add.

  • Felicia

    Here’s to hoping that this comment makes it up there, because every comment that I’ve tried to post in the past doesn’t appear so I stopped trying.

    I can’t be the only having this problem right!?

    Maybe people aren’t commenting because they can’t comment.

  • Eileen

    Brahms is fucking awesome maybe we can’t be friends now. Wait, I still like you even though you don’t like Wagner, so obviously I’m a pushover.

    Maybe if we could log in? It’s kind of tedious commenting on all the B5 sites. I used to do it more, back when I was in college and had more free time and Lilit was still writing here (I love Lilit. Come back, Lilit!)

    But then I remember hearing Vivian Schiller say once, back when she was president of NPR and that whole awkward, dumb-move brouhaha hadn’t happened, that only like 5% of the population makes up all commentators on websites. So, you know…lurkers are totally normal.

  • Lindsey

    I am on this site every day and I think I comment every other day or so. I read almost everything. I don’t like how the site can’t handle when posts have dozens of comments. It often doesn’t show some.

    Also, for a fashion and beauty blog… there isn’t much beauty! Though, I do follow enough beauty blogs that I probably don’t need another source.

    • Lindsey

      I also prefer commenting here over the hairpin because there’s no need to perform and get a ton of replies. And also, comments on there have ALL the emotions, and you have to be a PERFECT feminist, and THE MOST well-read. I like that the gloss is much more approachable.

      I also prefer original content. I have a bunch of free time that I should be spending better, but I read a lot of blogs, the hairpin, feministing, jezebel, the mary sue, crushable, etc. So when I see something here that is obviously from one of those sites I get disappointed. Because it’s usually just a boring version of the original, but also no reference to the other blogs? (I realize that some of thegloss articles are probably read from the same source as the other sites got it, but sometimes the wording and timing makes it obvious that the author had read the article on those blogs and then wrote an article after.)

    • Lo

      Yeah, maybe trim down the reblogging, or move it to its own section. That’ll keep your stuff at the top for longer, too.

    • Sam

      There’s often a lot of things I recognize from thedailywh.at as well as Reddit’s front page, so I agree that more original content is better (unless it’s political justice related news, in which case I am allllll about having that business get posted EVERYWHERE).

    • Lindsey

      And of course, part of blogging is seeing stuff other places and making content about the same subject. But I would prefer more of a unique spin on the articles, to make it worth reading here and not just on the site it’s from.

      (And more Jen Dziura!)

  • Lo

    I like the Viking hut system. Comments are easy enough to find, and nobody has to log in (please don’t make me register for anything). This is one of few sites where I don’t have to wade through all the attention-seeking arseholes to find a comment relevant to the article. I’m also glad that there’s no ranking system, because if I agree or disagree with a comment, I have to say so rather than hitting the ‘like’ button.

    One possible reason for lack of comments might be the frequency of articles posted. I doubt anyone would like fewer updates, but they need to be visible. The ‘popular’ bar is useful, and we can search by category, but I do sometimes find that interesting stuff gets lost down the page before anyone has a chance to notice and reply.

  • Sunshine

    I read this site every day. It’s the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do at night. I love you guys! However, I don’t comment. I am too self conscious and think you guys will think I’m stupid, and other commenters will think I’m stupid. I love that there isn’t a ‘comment culture’ and I can read without commenting and not feel like I’m being left out of the cool kids club.

    • Sam

      I feel the same way as sunshine here, although I comment some, just not as much as I’d like. Plus some of the regular commenters and some writers are harsh if you don’t share the same views. I read every article by the way. Love this site.

  • Kathryn

    writing is hard.

  • Eagle Eye

    FWIW I really do love this site, but I’m pretty busy, and at the end of the day (which I usually use to finally decompress and look through all of my blogs) I just want to be entertained and the idea of doing more writing (I’m a humanities grad student so take that for what you will) I guess I’m just kinda written out.

    I love this site though, its certainly one of the funniest and smartest I’ve been able to find yet. Plus, the people who do comment are usually just as smart and funny, so at least its not the commentators from like HuffPost or something…

  • Ewa

    Hey, I do comment from time to time. It’s just that you cater for the needs of us neurotics, and we really like lurking in the shadows;>

  • Lisa

    Avatar, please! If you scroll up and down the comments of this very article/piece, you’ll see that everyone is… a white negative space with short hair, on a purple background. I read and comment both here and at the Hairpin and something I like there is that you can recognize a certain commenter and get a feel for their thoughts/level of helpfulness/sense of humor, basically recognize them, and it’s easier to join in the discussion. Also, you can thumbs up or thumbs down comments on some sites (e.g. Yahoo), which makes the commenting section more interactive. A username would be cool as long as I didn’t have to announce to the whole internet my real name/email address. But yeah, avatars, commenters are often visual creatures.

  • Nessy

    Oh, dear! I feel like I comment too much as it is, often sleep deprived or, more embarrassingly, after a glass or five of wine. I shut up for a while when I’m particularly ashamed of a post. I think I’m funnier than I am, which is just sad. I do love this site, though, so keep up the good work!

    • Jennifer Wright

      No, you are funny. For real. Though I sort of feel like I should go through every single one of these and say “you are funny. And you. And you. And you.” And touch people with some sort of blessing sword, like we’re all in a historical novel, and I am Queen Elizabeth!

      Sometimes I share too much about my personal mindset when I post.

      But seriously, I think most of the comments we get are – amazingly – laugh out loud funny. I am legit amazed by the quality, especially since, as I’ve already pointed out, my only internet comments literally read “what you don’t understand is Cake is a good band, fuck you.”

    • Nessy

      I feel special in a good way.

      I like your imagery of a Tudor Oprah. I think a novel featuring Queen Elizabeth and a court full of jesters would be amusing. It would certainly be a different take on things.

  • MR

    Somewhere back last September, I did a google search cause of some comment two guys made, both in their mid 20s. One of the things that came up was an article you had on the subject, and I thought it was very objective, and I’ve been here every since. Also your readers haven’t run me off, and sometimes I’ve been pretty far out there in some of my responses. Your flow is intellectual, yeah no surprise all your writers are, and I think that’s a good thing. I don’t like trendy, it’s like being like everyone else. But yeah economics always drives things, so my two cents is I like your retro photo ones, but I seem to be the only who comments on them, so maybe less of them and more on topic matters that are getting more hits aka I noticed the politics stuff when it’s on core women issues seems to attract a lot of responses.

  • Jenny

    I agree with a lot of what has already been said. Avatars would be great; we are indeed visual creatures and it would make it easier to identify frequent commenters or someone who comments more than once in a thread. It would also be nice to reply to replies, if that makes sense.

    I would also add, I am an occasional commenter (very occasional) and the atmosphere in the comments can be a bit frigid. There are times when I would comment, but decide not to for fear of how it may be received. I’m not one of the “cool kids”.

  • Magda

    Dear Jennifer,

    I would like to let you know that ever since reading this on Friday afternoon I have not been able to get “Never There” to stop playing on repeat in my head.

    Sincerely,
    Me

    • Jennifer Wright

      I need your arms around me, I need to feel your touch
      I need your understanding, I need your love so much

  • Kele

    I love reading this site, but when it comes to commenting, it’s so much effort to have a thought, then sign in, and type it with proper grammar and spelling, then go to my gmail and confirm the comment, then return to see what other people have said.

    It makes me want to just type “aesdioae foaejfoaihewalowe” and hope you’ll understand that it was a rational (and probably very witty) thought which went haywire when I thought of all the admin of actually submitting it as a comment.

    That said, an avatar would be nice.

    And also, the commenters here are so much nicer than the trolls on other size. Quality vs. quantity applies here, methinks.

    • KeLynn

      Wait, do you have to confirm comments in your email? I think I only had to do that once. Now I never do…unless I’m just not getting those emails and you all can’t see my comments.

  • Tania

    I try to comment, because I write a blog and nothing makes me feel quite as sad as writing a well-thought out, edited post about something and seeing people read it and not comment.

    Although I’m sure my ten readers a day are much less than the traffic you get, I know a bunch of my readers and they won’t comment, they’ll like, call or text or email or MSN or Facebook me about it instead, not seeming to realize a comment is like a hug.

    An internet hug.

  • Tania

    And sometimes my comments disappear, or don’t seem to exist. It’s like trying to hug someone and they flinch away.

  • Arnie

    Oh gosh. I’m late on the train again. And feel like I’m probably going to reiterate everything that has already been said, but fuck it, you said you want comments, so I’m going to throw mine out there and hope that you really do love me at least a little.

    SO! My thoughts, in no particular order (Scratch that. There might be some order), in what will probably become a huge scrawl of unintelligible words.

    Reasons why I sometimes do not comment when I have something to say:
    1. I’ve been busy for a few days and have neglected to keep up with my daily Gloss readings, thus feeling like I am ridiculously late to the party, and anything I have to say will be subsequently lost to the void of things that nobody will ever read or care about.
    2. You guys are awesome, and that is scary because I am less awesome.
    3. Everything that I would want to say has already been said, and I feel that a comment saying either “Yes. This.” or “I love you” or “Holy crap that is awesome” would be not at all constructive and/or a little creepy.
    4. I have too much that I want to say, and not enough time (Like right now, where I should probably be stopping my naked internet catchup time and go be a responsible adult who helps her boyfriend move in half an hour) and I don’t want to say only half of what I want to say and have it all come out wrong.
    5. As mentioned, the comment system sometimes eats my comments and I wonder where they’ve gone to.

    Some other thoughts that other people have also already said:

    Quality over quantity really is a good thing. This is one of the only sites where I actually do read the comments, and enjoy them, because pretty much all of the commenters here are awesome, and add constructive and interesting things to the discussion.

    Something else, but I forgot, and need to go be an adult again, so shall stop with the late essay and leave you with a final request.

    Please can I have a hat made out of bones? I promise to look after it and clean it and not let anyone else chew on it.

  • Arnie

    Oh gosh. I’m late on the train again. And feel like I’m probably going to reiterate everything that has already been said, but fuck it, you said you want comments, so I’m going to throw mine out there and hope that you really do love me at least a little.

    SO! My thoughts, in no particular order (Scratch that. There might be some order), in what will probably become a huge scrawl of unintelligible words.

    Reasons why I sometimes do not comment when I have something to say:
    1. I’ve been busy for a few days and have neglected to keep up with my daily Gloss readings, thus feeling like I am ridiculously late to the party, and anything I have to say will be subsequently lost to the void of things that nobody will ever read or care about.
    2. You guys are awesome, and that is scary because I am less awesome.
    3. Everything that I would want to say has already been said, and I feel that a comment saying either “Yes. This.” or “I love you” or “Holy crap that is awesome” would be not at all constructive and/or a little creepy.
    4. I have too much that I want to say, and not enough time (Like right now, where I should probably be stopping my naked internet catchup time and go be a responsible adult who helps her boyfriend move in half an hour) and I don’t want to say only half of what I want to say and have it all come out wrong.
    5. As mentioned, the comment system sometimes eats my comments and I wonder where they’ve gone to. (Like just now. I’m rather glad I copy/pasted it. Hopefully it works this time, and this doesn’t show up twice…)

    Some other thoughts that other people have also already said:

    Quality over quantity really is a good thing. This is one of the only sites where I actually do read the comments, and enjoy them, because pretty much all of the commenters here are awesome, and add constructive and interesting things to the discussion.

    Something else, but I forgot, and need to go be an adult again, so shall stop with the late essay and leave you with a final request.

    Please can I have a hat made out of bones? I promise to look after it and clean it and not let anyone else chew on it.

  • Saphy

    First of all I really enjoy reading the articles but I have 2 general problems with the site:

    1) It does my head in when I see an interesting looking article but it’s in a ‘slideshow’ format so to read one line of text I have to click ‘next’ then scroll down to get past the huge picture to the text. I DON’T WANT TO HAVE TO KEEP CLICKING NEXT AND SCROLLING TO READ 10 LINES OF TEXT

    2) When I read stuff on your website I end up hearing some random advert playing and I can’t figure out how to shut it up. I don’t like my reading being interupted by some stupid annoying voice telling me to buy soap

    as for the comments, I think the articles are good and therefore don’t feel a need to add anything to it. I think you should take it as a compliment that your readers aren’t ass-kissers or trolls!

  • M

    I used to comment more frequently, but I also used to read more consistently; lately my life has gotten in the way of my regular internet-reading. Stupid life.

    Also, I have definitely noticed a significant increase in the number of times the site eats my comments lately when I do try to leave them, which makes me less inclined to try. Vicious cycle. If the comment-eating thing gets resolved I’m fine with Vikings in a hut though! I do already spend much of my day hitting things and telling dirty jokes, so it makes me feel right at home.