poll (ish): commenting habits

I was going to set up an actual poll for this, but it started getting ridiculously long, so I gave up.

In any case, I was (while avoiding NaNoWriMo and homework) flipping through my friends list and Google feed-reader, and thinking about why and when I comment on people's posts.

There are a few people (2, I think. Maybe 3) to whom I almost always respond, regardless what sort of post they make. And these people are ones I would consider actual friends, or in the process of becoming so. We have similar views on things, like to talk about the same stuff, and I know they won't be offended if my comment is a bit weird or incoherent.

Then there are a whole bunch of people to whom I sometimes respond, depending on the sort of post, the mood I'm in, and various other factors. Some of these simply write stories I like, some are people I'm interested in getting to know better. (Some are simply highly entertaining in their freak-outs over real life -- and I'm not saying anything more on the matter.)

Everyone else falls into the "I'm not saying anything unless they write a brilliant story (particularly if no one else comments on it) and perhaps not even then" category. For which I sometimes feel guilty -- there are several people who write very, very well and are fairly prolific, and yet have received (perhaps) one comment from me. I'll say to myself "You know, I should really let the author know how much I enjoyed that", and then I just -- don't. And I'm not sure why. Habit, maybe.

How about you all? Why/when do you comment on stuff? If you don't feel comfortable admitting stuff in public, go ahead and comment anonymously -- or don't. After all, that's a kind of answer in itself.
more like your second example, I'll comment as time allows, as the mood takes me. if I have something to say, etc. and i try to comment on stories I like, even it it's just a lame "it was good!", but don't always manage to, especially if I saved the fic to read offline and then lost track of where i first read it...
I've got plenty of those, too -- stories I meant to comment on, didn't have the time, and then either forgot about or couldn't find again later.
If I liked the story - even if the story wasn't that great - I try to comment as often as I can. Shallow person that I am, when it comes to SGA fics, I always comment if it's shep-centered or has a lot of Shep-involvement (the only time I don't is if it involves something that I really don't like to the point I can't ignore, or the writing is utter crud). Non-Shep centered or involved stories I comment on only if it strikes the right cord with me (In otherwords, wows or intrigues me).

And sometimes I'll just plain forget to comment *winces*

Even if a story isn't all that great, could be written better, handled better, etc but was still a good read, I like to comment to be supportive. There are a lot of writers, myself included, who began as ameteurs but have since progressed with each story we've written. There are a ton of writers with promise, and the more they write the better they get, and we all know how motivating feedback can be.
Even if a story isn't all that great, could be written better, handled better, etc but was still a good read, I like to comment to be supportive.

I want to do that, I really do -- but for some reason I often just can't bring myself to click the "comment" button. I'm not sure whether it's me being shy, or what.
I think commenting is harder than it looks because you always want to say so much but can never think of anything. It's part of the reason why I don't respond a lot to feedback on It's easier in LJ even if all I say is "thank you". On, I only respond if I have a lot to say. Other than that, I just do one big huge "thank you" in the next chapter since, sometimes, that's all I can think of.

Sometimes all you can say is thanks, but even then it's enough just to let people know that you are reading.

The answer's a little different for meta/discussion/personal posts and for fic. Generally, I try to stifle my urge to comment on non-fic posts unless I know the author at least a little bit. I imagine that nobody appreciates having a stranger come into their journal and dump 4300 comment-characters of opinions on them.

I usually try to comment regularly in the journals of those people I consider "friends" online (in the real, not the LJ sense). Otherwise, I comment only if I find the topic interesting and have something to say about it.

For fic, I'm not always the best at leaving comments because I prefer to leave detailed feedback, and it's much harder to come up with a couple of paragraphs than to just say "nice story" and leave it at that. Not that I mind getting the "nice story" sort of comment (who does?) but honestly, I feel like if I'm going to say something, I ought to take the time to do it right. When there's new fic by someone that I know as an individual and have a personal (online) relationship with, I'll almost always try to comment on it (at least, if I *read* it; due to being rather picky in my reading tastes, I don't necessarily read everything, even by authors I like) but assuming I read it and liked it, I feel that basic human decency moves me to leave them some feedback. *g* Otherwise, stories that "wow" me always get feedback; others get feedback on a "when I have time" basis.

There's a certain amount of self-servingness in my feedback algorithm, because I'm more likely to comment on a story if I want to encourage more stories like it in the fandom, and less likely to comment if I read a story that I think is good but of a type that's over-represented in the fandom -- unless it really blew me away. For the same reason, I make more of an effort to comment on original fiction when I like it, because I want to encourage the writers to concentrate their efforts in that area. (Not that I have anything against fanfic, of course. But there's something more ... personal? ... about original fiction.)
I prefer to leave detailed feedback, and it's much harder to come up with a couple of paragraphs than to just say "nice story" and leave it at that.

I think this is at least part of my problem -- I don't know why I have such a hard time leaving a simple "I really enjoyed this, thanks". It's something I should probably start doing, if only because I know how I appreciate getting even that much.
hmmm...usuall, if I can pick out one thing that really struck me--a line, an idea, a bit of characterization--then I usually comment on that. If the whole entry was so fantastic that I'd find myself quoting the whole thing, then I usually say that and include an appropriate amount of squee. If it didn't make much of an impression, I don't leave much of a comment;) There's a lot of great fic I don't comment on (probably b/c I jump fandoms a lot and don't keep up with my f-list and therefore don't read all the great fic), and there's some mediocre fic I do comment on, because there was something particularly striking, but I make very few bland "good fic" comments, so I figure it all balances out