One of the things I like about blogging is the comments and ratings that readers leave in my posts. I am sort of expecting them, waiting for them, and feel good about seeing them pop up in the blog’s notification. To me, they are an affirmation that there are people out there who read what I have written.
Sometimes, however, I can’t help but wonder: Do they actually read?
Of late, I have received comments and ratings for posts that I have written in Indonesian from bloggers who do not seem to speak the language.
How could they rate and comment on a post that they don’t understand?
I could only think of several explanations for this:
The worst possibility is that they are spams. But with the WordPress, this is quite unlikely. It’s Akismet spam comment protection is so good that even the least suspicious comment will not make it to the Dashboard’s Discussion box (bravo WordPress! This is one of the things I like best about your platform.).
Another explanation would be that these ‘readers’ did not actually read. They blog-walked blindfolded-ly and rate or leave comments indiscriminately for the sake of promoting their own blogs or websites. I – like most other bloggers, I suppose – would be curious enough to know who this virtual persona is who has been kind enough to spare his/her precious time to read, rate or comment on my post. Thus, as a kind of appreciation, I would usually make time to return the visit and comment, if I could. And return visits, as we all know, are good for the blog stats.
This kind of ratings and comments, however, does not really make me happy. They are not genuine. I feel like I am being appreciated for nothing and forced to say thank you in return.
The best thing to do about this is, I suppose, to have a benevolent technological prejudice: that it is possible even for readers who do not speak the language in which we post our posts to read and understand what we are trying to communicate/share because there are technological tools out there in the world wide web that make it possible to do it. Google Translate, which I must admit I use every now and then to help me understand messages written in languages which I have no command of, is one of them.
What do you think?