What's the Value of "Looks Delicious?"

Feb 072010
 

BerriesIn a previous post about Simply RecipesElise Bauer and her comments policy, we started a discussion about the value of “Looks delicious” as a comment on food blogs. At the risk of flaring tempers again, I’d like to bring it up now. 

Let’s look at the “Looks delicious” comment from a variety of angles related to food writing. First, I’m sure we’ve all left some version of “looks delicious” as a comment when we’re salivating over close-ups of salted caramels and a crispy roasted chicken. It’s human. Boring, but human.

So is it just the nature of food blogs to attract responses so banal when a blogger posts a photo and recipe of a mouth-watering dish? I’ve talked about this with a client, whose posts are mostly some version of “Look what I just made!” Granted, he’s talented and enthusiastic, but I’d like him to give his readers more credit. I’ve suggested the only response he’s asking readers for is passive. They’ve watched his performance. All they need say is, “Wow. Good for you. Looks delicious.

If you’re a blogger, wouldn’t you want  more than that from readers? Or are you happy to get any comment, even if it’s “Looks delicious?” Would you ever consider deleting this kind of comment, later on? Or should they stand as some kind of record, boring or not?

When you find a blog post with 50 comments like “Looks delicious,” do you read them? Or do you not bother because a) they’re tedious and b) they’re not really aimed at you anyway, but aimed at the writer of the post. Are you impressed, because 50 “looks delicious” comments means the blogger is cool?

Lastly, should blog comments be for the readers of the blog, or just for the blogger? I’m in the former camp. I think all content on my blog is for my readers, not just for me, and I want to keep it as fascinating as possible. But that’s just my opinion. Now, please give me yours. 

 

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  88 Responses to “What's the Value of "Looks Delicious?"”

  1. Comments should, in a perfect world, continue the conversation. Blogging is magical in that way, you CAN exchange with your reader. The mix of ideas can, and often do, create new ideas to emerge. Perfect stuff :)

    I believe it is our job, as bloggers, to write in such a way that people will be driven to comment with more/other comments than “looks delicious”. Asking open ended questions as part of the blog is a good way to do that.

    Yet, at the same time, I can understand why some people leave such comments. They want to acknowledge the post, that they enjoyed reading it, that they got something out of it, but there is not really anything more/new/original/non-boring to add.

    Just like a conversation at your local pub, some people say profound things that push the conversation forward, and other people say not-so profound things. But we’re all part of something.

    My 2 cents

  2. Some would say that such a banal comment as “looks delicious” is beneath them and lowers the value of the blog post. But I appreciate that a post has moved a reader to at least say something. I am trying to ask more questions and encourage deeper participation, but for now I am happy enough with them.

    And no, I would not delete that kind of comment. If a reader has taken the time to leave a name, contact info, and comment, then it would be mean of me to delete it. I may not reply to it, but I’ll leave it alone.

    • I don’t think anyone would say it’s beneath them or lowers the value of the blog. Certainly I’m not saying that. I’ve left comments like that myself!

  3. I have stopped commenting on blogs for fear of leaving boring comments. The truth is, I love any comment of that sort. It is a pleasure to have someone give you attention. For many, blogs are an escape. I don’t want to spend my time over thinking what I write as a comment. Reading a blog is not supposed to be work. Sometimes a little snippet of “I was just here” is worth a lot. When you are wearing a nice shirt, it’s nice for people to say you look nice and you don’t get tired of hearing it. People have to stop thinking so much and start enjoying what there is. When people are being supportive, that’s enough.

  4. Blog comments are ultimately for my readers, even when they are questions for me. Comments/questions should continue a dialog, which my blog post has started.

    I don’t mind any version of “looks delicious” because I feel the person is trying to be supportive, but I would prefer that he/she answer a question I’ve posed instead. This is where I’ve been most challenged.

    When my questions go unanswered and instead I get versions of “looks delicious,” I am disappointed and tend to question the quality and placement of my questions, hoping to improve on the next post.

    • Fascinating, Kathy. So you are asking questions and not getting answers. I wonder what that is about? Will have to go look.

  5. I’d rather receive a “Looks delicious” comment than “Looks like crap” :). I’m not sure I feel comfortable expecting readers to comment eloquently, or to comment at all. That seems like a lot of responsibility to place on a reader. However you raise an interesting point regarding reader commentary as a reflection of a blog’s effectiveness. Still, if reader comments were the last word on a blog, so to speak, I’d be talking to myself. I can’t always expect readers to comment. Some readers just click through, while others prefer to remain anonymous, some are bashful, while others are effusive. Some readers, and I’m betting they’re in the minority, are genuinely interested in discussing the topic of a given post. Which raises a question, for me anyway, namely: have I written a given post to say whatever I have to say, or to generate a discussion about a given topic? My posts generally fall in the former category. (There’s an interesting subtext here, which I’d be curious to explore. For whom are bloggers blogging? For/to themselves, or others? Are there different styles of blog, ranging from the personal essay, to the journalistic or news-based article to a breezy, conversational style peppered with colloquialisms? Which of these are given to greater or fewer comments?)

    When I see a blog post with 50 “Looks delicious” comments, I sometimes read it, if I think it will be well-written or tasty. 50 comments indicates to me that the blogger has a lot of readers, or not very many readers at all but 50 very vocal ones.

    I agree that comments can be a good opportunity for readers and bloggers alike to discuss topics related to a post. I’m curious about how social networking sites are changing the dynamics of the typical exchange of ideas on blog posts. While the old style blog comments are more difficult to follow, Facebook comment threads on blog post links create a disconnect between the blog itself and the comments associated with a post. You can easily wind up with a post seemingly bereft of any comments at all on your site, but a Facebook thread with 50 back and forth comments on the link to the post. The nature of Facebook is that the discussion is soon buried under the weight of subsequent Facebook activity, and your fascinating discussion is ultimately ephemeral.

    • Shelly, these are good questions. If you “say what you have to say,” and you are not looking for a response, is there anything wrong with that? No. Depends on your goal. If the blog is for your own pleasure, you might not care if few people respond. If the blog is a path to a wider platform, then editors and publishers will want to see that you connect with your readership.

      Re which style of blog gets more comments, I’m not sure it’s the style that makes the difference. It’s about how people respond to the content.

      I agree that Facebook results in an ephemeral discussion. That’s why I’m always grateful when people post here instead.

  6. And, um, I apologize for going on at length. Again. But this only proves your point, I think. Your post was interesting enough to get the hamsters in my brain running at this time of night :).

  7. In the early days of food blogging myself, and at this stage “Looks delicious” is very acceptable because it means some one at least is looking! As a blog becomes more established, I think it tends to start attracting other comments such as can I substitute this for this etc but the blogger needs to develop some authority for this to happen and also to maintain an interaction with the readers who comment.

    It’s not unique to food blogging though, I also have a travel site where “beautiful photo” is common. Somewhere like problogger, people will comment “great post”, just hoping the odd reader will click through on the strength of their link being on a larger blog.
    I think unless it is obvious spam, or offensive, if readers have taken the time to comment, the blogger should publish it, it’s just good manners.

    • Hah! Funny that “beautiful photo” is the equivalent. And it didn’t occur to me that people might leave a comment like that in the hopes of a click through. I’d have to have more reason than that, personally.

      Agreed that “looks delicious” can be satisfying when you’re wondering if anyone at all is reading your work.

  8. I think the assessment of value of “looks delicious” comments depends entirely on the stage of maturity/notoriety of the blog. For a relatively young blog like mine that receives on average only a few comments per post, even mere compliments show others that there are people out there that do read and enjoy my blog. It is a huge turnoff to come up on a blog site and then notice that every single post has 0 comments. The blog looks dead. So in that sense, a couple “looks delicious”s can surely add some value -but to a point. I’m not sure where that point is (# of comments received? readership?), but somewhere, I will agree that active participation from readers should be prioritized. I will be the first to admit that I need to work on actively engaging my readers!

    I also think it is partly the responsibility of the commenter to leave interesting comments and engage in conversation. When I first started reading food blogs, I left “looks delicious” comments all the time on every post I liked. Now, I don’t do that nearly as much (though I will admit I still do sometimes), but I try to think about how I can add to what has been said, ask questions, etc. and try to provide some value as a commenter. I can understand commenting as a form of “leaving a calling card”, but does one really elicit much traffic from other blogs by simply saying “that’s delicious” and linking to their blog? I know I never have.

    • I guess we’re all told to leave comments on other people’s blogs to increase our visibility, but I just can’t do it when the only thing I can come up with is “looks delicious.” I feel a responsibility, as you say. Not everyone will agree.

      Re when are you at the point where you’ve received enough of those kind of comments to try for something more substantial, it sounds like you’ve reached that point!

  9. I have nothing against ‘looks delicious’ comments at all and I really can’t see why one should be bothered about them! I appreciate all comments I get. If someone thinks what I made looks delicious, I’m happy with that.

    I am aware that sometimes it is a way to make me aware of the commenters as a food blogger, but I don’t have to go to their blogs, nor leave comments there if I don’t feel like it. And we all did this when we started out as bloggers, at least I did.

    Apart from that, I am just happy someone took some of their time to leave a positive comment on my blog so why should I complain about what kind of comment it is? It would never occur to me to delete that kind of comments as I find that rude. I don’t delete the few negative comments I get either, the only ones I have ever deleted are from well-known trolls and spam.

    I definitely don’t think that comments on other people’s blogs are aimed at me as a reader, and why would I? I see comments as a great possibility to interact with the writer of the blog and as a writer with my readers. I love, on the other hand, to see interactions between commenters on my blog and I know that many of them have found new blogs in this way.

    Let the comments flow free as long as they are not nasty or destructive!

    • Seems like a thread — some of you are suspicious that people only say “looks delicious” as a way of raising visibility on their own blogs. I must say, I didn’t think of that.

      At least here, comments are aimed at the community, not just to me. Whereas on Pioneer Woman Cooks, readers are infatuated and want to speak to with her, get to know her.

      Sometimes, on this blog, people get a conversation going that doesn’t involve me at all. I love that!

  10. I am so grateful and thank anyone and everyone for reading my site. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought anyone would want to read what I have to say. Because of this I am happy with even just a “hello!” in the comments. Someone taking the time to say “Looks delicious!” is valid to me, no matter the sentiment behind it. I’m grateful for every reader, for every comment. No matter what.

  11. I am entirely with KitchenMage on this one. I suppose it depends on your purpose in blogging–is the blog purely a money-making venture? If so, then of course you want every word that appears on its pages to draw more readers; go ahead and edit the comments, delete them, rewrite them–whatever. It’s your product that’s being promoted and you get to do what you want to it. Just don’t expect all your readers to return once you slash their comments.

    If I left an innocuous, pleasant but otherwise boring comment and it was deleted (maybe my original reaction to the entry had already been stated in the comments section; maybe the recipe did look delicious, and I was in a rush to get my kids to hockey and wanted the writer to know I’d stopped by; maybe I didn’t get enough sleep last night to think of something witty to write; maybe I’m menopausal and words elude me), I know I wouldn’t return to that blog. As a blog writer, sure, I love the thought-provoking comments, the comments that introduce new information for readers to share, the comments that say more than “that looks delicious”; however, I am always happy to know that people visit my blog and have taken some time to let me know that fact through a comment. Maybe today’s “that looks delicious” will return next time with a five-paragraph essay. But not if I delete her/his initial short comment.

    I’m also not clear as to why someone who receives thousands of views per day is more justified in deleting the boring comments. I want my readers to feel welcome at my site and free to say what’s on their minds, as long as it’s civilized, (mostly) cogent, and relates to the topic of the blog post. For fun, I hopped over to the mega-blog, Smitten Kitchen, where Deb has received over 120 comments in 6 days (a slow week for her). It looks as if many “that’s delicious” type comments have been left unscathed; she does, however, provide guidelines for commenters (points such as “join the conversation”; “provide recipe feedback”; or “don’t post off-topic comments [such as how to raise a child—on a food blog]”. Makes total sense to me. On the very few occasions when I’ve had to delete a comment, it was because the commenter attacked another commenter (bizarrely, I haven’t received any negative commentary directed at me yet), or someone repeated a link to their own site more than once. But I have never edited the actual words or writing of a commenter–it’s their material, and I don’t feel I have a right to change it.

    It also seems to me that the purpose and function of comments has changed somewhat since the inception of blogging. With the advent of social networking, blogs have become more interactive, and I think that trend has filtered into blog comments. I’ve noticed many more conversations between commenters lately, in addition to those between the blogger and commenters (and isn’t the use of nested boxes to indicate commenters’ replies to other commenters a new invention–or have I just been reading the wrong blogs?). This would suggest that many readers DO read the other comments (but really, how hard is it to skim past a four-word comment when you’re doing so? Let ‘em stay, I say!).

    Sorry to go on so–didn’t realize I had this much to say until I started typing! And I’ll be curious, or course, to see whether or not I get edited as a result. ;)

    • Thanks for such a thoughtful reply, Ricki. It is unedited, since you’re wondering.

      I don’t think many people blog as a money-making venture. If so, they would be disappointed!

      Re deleting comments, I just got a Tweet from a guy who deletes ALL compliments such as “great photo” or “looks delicious.” His blog, his choice.

      • Now I’m totally curious to know why that tweeter deletes all complimentary comments! Does he think it seems vain, or something? (and I was kidding about the editing–sorry that didn’t come through clearly!).

  12. As a blogger, I appreciate most fully the comments that make it clear that the reader has actually read the post and not just looked at the photos. Though I am always pleased with comments of any length, and it’s fine with me if someone just visits my blog to look at the pictures, the comments that are truly meaningful or useful to me are the ones that provide the opportunity to begin a little dialogue. (One of the main reasons I started my blog was to connect with other people who like to chat in depth about the nitty-gritty details of recipes, ingredients, techniques, and so on.) And, when I put a comment on someone’s blog, I try to always keep in mind that whatever I write isn’t necessarily going to be seen by its author alone. That knowledge can be a bit inhibiting from a conversational standpoint, but it seems to me that a modicum of inhibition is, in general, a good thing in the blogosphere.

    • Agreed!

      On other people’s blogs, I feel pressure to say something clever or meaningful. I guess I take it as seriously as the printed word, since the comment sits around forever — longer than print. I should lighten up, eh?

    • I find this interesting, the concept that people might just look at the photos without really digging into the “meat” of the post. My site is only a couple months old and I noticed that the few comments I have are more in response to blog posts than recipes posted. I approached my food site/blog a bit differently than the majority of sites I’ve seen. I tend to offer the recipe as a stand alone. And I blog about food related stuff, but not necessarily the recipe. I was concerned that perhaps people couldn’t “see” the “Discussion” area of the recipes. But your post made me think that perhaps because the recipe is just a recipe, it doesn’t really call for commenting. Hmmm, I have to ponder this some more. Merci

      • My sense is that when a “recipe is just a recipe” it doesn’t call for much conversation. You have to give it some life.

  13. This is interesting. I love your posts, such – pardon the pun – food for thought.

    I tend not to submit a comment on a blog if all I want to say is “looks delicious.” What’s the point? I appreciate the comments that relate back to the reader’s own experience with a similar story or recipe, like my post is the opening of a conversation. But please, make sure I can respond directly to you!

    I don’t have the time to go back and edit comments (aside from slurs) so I let all comments stand, boring or not. I also don’t have a huge amount of comments coming my way.

  14. As a fairly new blogger (less than a year), I ave been through the following over the past 8 months:

    1. Start blog. Only family and friends reading and commenting.
    2. Join Foodbuzz and discover many many other wonderful bloggers (in addition to those I already knew about – the “biggies” like Lebovitz, Clotilde etc..)
    3. Start interacting with other food bloggers on a comments level – leaving on others and having people leave on mine
    4. Add these blogs to my Google reader
    5. Feel compelled to comment on every post of every blog I read so that the blogger knows I am reading.
    6. Spend HOURS over my summer vacation keeping up with the above.
    7. Discover MORE new blogs
    8. Add them to my Google Reader
    9. Feel compelled to comment on only every couple of posts

    and so on and so forth until now when I am starting to be “ok” with not commenting on every single post of blogs I like unless I have something meaningful to contribute. What I found hard was that many of the new blogs I was discovering were also newish and posting every day or multiple times a day and I simply can’t keep up. It’s only recently that I began posting 3-4 times a week instead of daily myself…

    I admit to the odd “looks amazing” comment etc… but honestly, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Of course, if a blog has 50 comments per post and they all say “looks delicious” the blogger must wonder what they need to do more to get more interaction. I generally read all the comments before me so as not to repeat stuff and often I will leave a comment including something directed to another commenter.

    On my own blog, I get quite a few “looks delicious” comments (my 68 year old mum in Australia sometimes will leave things like that and in her case, I know the effort is has taken her to actually post that comment – on her first ever in her life computer!!!) but never delete them. You just don’t know sometimes who’s behind the comment so you can imagine how someone would feel if their comment was deleted and they were a blog reading newbie who was just getting the hang of a computer like my mum – I wouldn’t expect that person to come back…

    I also have a few people who interact amongst themselves on my blog (my husband is great for that!) and I love it. It’s starting to build up a loyal readership (though small) and a sense of community.

    All that to say, I am guilty of leaving a “looks delicious” here and there – more likely on blogs whose authors I know just to let them know I dropped by in a busy week. I will often revisit them later to comment in more depth. As for leaving “looks delicious” on my blog – well all I can say is go ahead – as Shelly says, better than “looks like crap” and once that person has commented a few times, they might feel more comfortable posting something a bit more “in depth” – once they get to know you, so to speak, a little more.

    WHOA – sorry for the long winded comment…

    • LOL Mardi, you have so much energy! I can see how you were posting daily.

      Thanks for this long comment. I like that you will go back to a blog and comment in depth. I don’t think most people would delete “looks delicious” comments either. Seems better to work on getting more interaction.

    • That’s a great summary of the first year of blogging. So, true!

      I think Dianne needs to address (only a suggestion) that trap of posting so frequently for new bloggers. Excitement? Sense of obligation? Drumming up traffic? Perhaps a conversation for another day?

      • Perhaps. Although I think most bloggers have the opposite problem, of not blogging frequently enough!

      • I just visited Cheryl’s blog and (ahem) subscribed… Cheryl, I see you are into quilting. When my mum isn’t at the Apple Store for her One on One sessions or writing comments on my blog, she also quilts… It’s a small world!

        Re: the posting too frequently, for me it was out of a sense of drumming up traffic, wanting there to be fresh content every single day. I am learning to relax a little more about it now…

        • Mardi, how nice that you made a connection with someone who commented here. I like that.

          Yep, I think we all need to relax a little about competitive commenting.

  15. I’m pretty much in agreement with most of the previous comments, especially Matt’s…I’m happy to get any kind of (positive) comment because it lets me know who’s reading.
    I would never delete such a comment when someone has gone through the effort of writing it (like Mardi’s mum).
    The kind of comments I like to receive, and give, are the kinds that let me (or the other blogger) know that we have a shared experience. When I write about my daughter’s graduation and what I made for her brunch, I’m interested to hear from others who are feeling the same way or going through the same things.
    I think that’s a much more heartfelt comment than “looks delicious”
    But again, I would never reject that one!

    • That seems to be the consensus, never to delete. People feel it dishonors the person. I’m waiting to hear from the guy who deletes them all. Maybe he’ll tell us why. Or maybe he’s nervous now, because of the consensus.

      It is nice to get the heartfelt comments, isn’t it? It’s also more work.

  16. I publish all comments except spam. Oh, and one troll once on a post about PETA – but that was asking for it, I guess. If you want to say ‘looks delicious’ on my site, please do…and please link your blog in the right field in the form so I can visit. I remember before food blogging became stratified and cliquey – we ALL (even people who now disdain it) left such comments and visited each other’s blogs from them. That is how the BIG blogs got big. But now it’s wrong somehow?

    Here’s my counter question: what is the HARM in posting ‘looks delicious’? Does it take away value from your site somehow? (links have NOFOLLOW tags so it’s not that)

    • No one’s saying it’s wrong. Certainly it’s not harmful. I said it was boring and banal. Some commenters suggested the people who write “looks delicious” are doing so as a way to drive traffic to their own site. Perhaps.

      And that is one of the questions: does it take away value from the site? I think your answer is no.

      • I agree that many people write “looks delicious” simply as a way to show their face and drive people over to their own blog. But if the blog they left this comment on is getting more involved comments from other readers than who would visit the one blogger who couldn’t find the time or effort to write more than “looks delicious”? It’s all relative.

        Also – I have one or two bloggers (well known bloggers) who leave simple one sentence comments on my blog BUT they visit and comment on every single post and I have also notice that the one single sentence comment has evolved from “looks delicious” to something more personal. I hope that this is in because of my blogging which in itself is a success and means that these bloggers are, in their own way, reacting to the content of my blog. One must – and can – read into those single sentence comments.

        • So they’re getting to know you, and now they’re leaving more interesting comments. That’s a good insight.

      • I didn’t mean that they wanted to drive traffic to their own sites, I meant that they wanted to make themselves known as food bloggers which is perfectly valid to me, if you don’t go out and comment, how will I ever discover you? So I’m all for it!

        • Yes, we’ve all read a lot about this strategy of posting on each others’ sites. Maybe I should take up that topic also. Hmm.

  17. What a great thread you’ve got going here. I tend to be rather verbose and because of this I edit and and edit again and maybe one more time before I post a comment. Since my first encounter with digital conversation I’ve found myself editing my thoughts. Now I find I edit verbal thoughts as well. All this because I began worrying about how the recipient of my messages would interpret what I intended to say when it was reduced to bits and bytes and 1’s and 0’s.

    Sure we can use emoticoms, but I don’t want the crutch of a little smiley (or sad) face to help me write a letter or comment so I write and re-write and write again until I feel my message is clear enough for any reader to understand what I have to say.

    As a result of this obsessive online behavior, I don’t post comments as often as I’d like. It’s not because I have nothing to say, I just want to be sure I say it well.

    And yes, I’ve edited the heck out of this comment. It began at about noon and it’s now 8:30pm. I let it sit for the day and came back to it an hour ago.

    Mmm hmmm … I need to lighten up!

    • Yeah, I have that problem too, Fran. Even though I’ve been published professionally for a long time, I still worry about my writing being good enough. Does this insecurity ever go away? I sure hope so.

      Uh, you’ve been working on this comment for 7.5 hours? Go get a drink and a spa treatment, girl.

  18. If I’m visiting a blog and enjoy what I’ve seen, I always make sure to leave a comment – especially if it’s a new blogger and/or there are hardly any comments on their site. When I stop by my ‘old favorites,’ I usually try to leave a comment to let the blogger know I’ve popped in. We’re all very busy these days and don’t always have time to keep up regular e-mail correspondence. A comment, at least for me, works as a little ‘hello.’

    That said, in an attempt to say something more than the equivalent of ‘Looks delicious!’ I currently have no fewer than 16 blogs open on my computer (some of which have literally been open and reopened for days), all awaiting some ‘better’ comment from me that, for the most part, I probably won’t end up leaving anyway because, honestly, half the time I can’t think of anything else to say.

    I agree with a lot of what Ilva said. I post ‘daily doses of cute’ photos on my food and farm blog, and lots of the comments are along the ones of, “That’s so cute! You made my morning.” I appreciate each and every one of those comments (and each and every one of my visitors), especially when they tell me that came to my blog and left happy.

    And yes, people often leave comments in the hopes that the blogger or their readers will click on their link and go visit their blog. A lot of us started blogging back in 2005, and leaving comments was how we met each other!

    Some of my closest friends (who live all over the world) are people I found through blogging. I hate to think that I never would have met them because they didn’t want to/bother to/were afraid to leave a comment saying, “Looks delicious!”

    • Susan, but now you do not leave as many comments, because you have to think of something clever to say! Is this the evolution of blogging, that we’re all trying to be professional in our comments? You feel that something — potential friendships –might be lost as a result. That’s kind of sad. Maybe you should content yourself with “looks delicious” then.

      Or how about some middle ground? Surely there’s room between LD and not commenting at all.

    • Susan, like you I am happy for every comment I get either on photos or recipes, Its the feeling behind it that counts!

  19. P.S. I, too, think it’s great when my readers start discussions between themselves in the comments sections on my blogs – in fact I encourage it, especially on my kitchen garden blog where we’re all about sharing information with each other.

    I can think of several bloggers right off the top of my head who I know are now friends and fans of each others’ blogs because they ‘met’ in the comments section of my blog. I think that’s one of the neatest things about blogging – bringing people together, no matter what their comments say how boring they might sometimes be!

    • That’s wonderful. However, I don’t think you would have all met up if all you’d said to each other was “looks delicious.” There had to be some seriously good content to spark a relationship.

  20. I feel compelled to comment since I was the one who said first, on the post about Elise Bauer, that “I would prefer that people have something constructive to say, but if they just want to tell me “Looks delicious!” that’s ok.”

    Who knew it would spur such discussion? I’m glad that I’m not alone in thinking it’s ok. Do I wish people would say more? Of course! But who am I to judge as to why they too the time to comment and then said so little. I’m just glad they took the time and that it wasn’t negative.

    Personally, I do make an effort to say more than that when I comment, but sometimes it’s difficult and all I want to say is, in essence, “I read your post, acknowledge your time and effort, and I’m impressed.”
    “Looks delicious” implies that as well.

  21. Ok, I’ll join the fray. The idea that an “A” list blogger deletes what he/she considers a banal comment is appalling to me. I’ve been reading and writing blogs for 5-6 years. If one is going to expect a conversation, one must clearly understand that the conversation in a two way street. Much like this post and its accompanying comments. You, Dianne, have responded, many “A” listers feel overwhelmed by the quantity of comments that they state openly that they are just too busy to keep up, yet, feel the need to delete boring comments???! Even the blog of topic is a bit absent in her responses, fewer than I would expect, yes there are some, yet hardly a conversation.

    A comment policy would help innocent “looks delicious” commenters, and save them the embarrassment of leaving such an unworthy comment as described above.

    I have chosen to never delete a comment unless they are obviously a spam comment. Unfortunately, my comments are all going to be deleted soon as the comments won’t migrate with the export of my blog to a new platform. Disappointing for certain. I may just copy and paste them all, but then again 5 years of comments just may do me in, and I may never want to see another comments at all. (just kidding)

    • Robyn, I don’t know where you’re getting this. This post has nothing to do with A listers, other than that they attract a lot of “looks delicious” comments. No “A” lister has said they delete similar comments, and I’ve never heard of a comment policy that says not to bother leaving comments like that.

      Now that we’ve got that straightened out — congrats on five years of comments. That’s an accomplishment!

  22. This is an excellent discussion and I still must go back and read all of the responses, but just wanted to throw out a comment off the top of my head. As I said in my response to the previous blog entry (and as you suggest here as well) a blog post gets the response that it elicits – a response is in reaction and, well, response, to what is received. If I go to a blog and either 1) the post is basically only a recipe or 2) the post itself is uninteresting or badly written but the recipe or photo is excellent or 3) I simply want to make my presence known (which is rare) then I will simply comment on the recipe or the photo with “Wow! Delicious!” or “Stunning photo” or something of the kind.

    On the other hand, if the blog post inspires, tells a tale or an excellent story, offers valuable and interesting information, etc etc, then automatically I am inspired to “discuss”, leave a much more personal and involved comment. As I said before, most of the comments left on my own blog are of this type. Why? Because I put so much into my posts, my writing, it is really the focus of my blog – the food is a result of or an inspiration to whatever I am writing about. I aim to engage my readers in a discussion by stirring up memories or emotions. And the success of my writing is that many of my readers comment on the post rather than the food.

    Would I ever delete a simple “Looks delicious” comment? No, I don’t think so. Why not? I feel that it is rude to the person who made the effort and took the time to come and visit my blog. Yes, if the comment is rude, silly or makes absolutely no sense (it seems obvious that they did not even read the post or look at the food/recipe) then yes, I would delete it. But not everyone is as verbose or chatty or reactive as I am (I always leave long comments on other people’s blogs). Yes, I prefer that each reader of my blog leave some kind of comment about what I write but just knowing that they have visited is not so bad either. Making the decision to delete a simple comment is a lack of respect for the reader.

    • Thanks, Jamie. Food blogging lends itself to posts that are only recipes — that’s what elicits so many “looks delicious” responses. And certainly writing recipes is a lot of effort too. But yes, it’s great to read posts such as you describe above. Not sure how many bloggers can do that every time.

  23. I wouldn’t dream of deleting comments – that’s not the point of my blog. I’m always thrilled when people comment, even just to say hello. They let me know people are reading, and that these readers care enough to take the time to say something.

    If I’m walking down the street and someone says to me, “Hey, nice haircut,” I smile and thank them. I wouldn’t treat my blog readers any differently.

  24. This posting’s photo brought to mind Stephanie Dean’s Modern Groceries photos.

    It’s a clever series in which she creates a contrast between old master-like still lifes of food and the way in which we actually encounter our produce these days (e.g., stickered & wrapped in plastic).

  25. I love getting comments. It makes my day. Of course I love those comments where people discuss something you talked about — that way you know that they actually read your post and didnt just skip to the recipe.

    But even the “looks yummy” posts make me happy because they took the time to write it. I speak from personal experience…I rarely post comments unless I feel it REALLY deserves it…and even then…I usually dont bother. I’ve started commenting more however-not ‘to get exposure’, but because I would appreciate the good karma you know?:) If I would like people to leave me comments I should do the same, especially when it was a good and helpful post (like this one ;))

    • Oh yes, it’s always exciting to see a comment waiting for me. I like the idea of good karma. Certainly can’t go wrong there.

  26. With a book deadline looming I should not be here posting, but I can’t stand not to! I don’t edit comments and I only delete ones that are really offensive–which is extremely rare. I don’t mind at all if people comment “looks delish;” it’s much better than the alternative! Plus, I don’t expect them to be as articulate as professional writers–they are often just foodies who want to say something nice but don’t want to make a chore of it. Sometimes when I’m tired, I don’t want to bother being articulate either–which is why I’m not going to go back and polish this comment!

    • That’s funny. I hope you get back to work on your book.

      So the question is, are professional writers and food bloggers allowed to leave a comment that says “Looks delicious?” You think so.

  27. I do delete comments once in a while. If they are promoting their stores on etsy, if they are saiyng something like cool, but have enough savvy to backlink back to their site, I will delete. Love comments, I don’t like folks who want to be opportunistic.

  28. Like many above had said… the “looks delicious” comment is the blogging equivalent of “I was here” or “hello, I read your post”. I don’t take offense to it at all. I think if you want to get quality comments you need to engage your readers, ask them a question or start a conversation.

    • Okay Nicole. I get your point. I just figure that food writers should do a little better than that. I’m giving a pass to readers who are not writers.

  29. I am a firm believer in criticism whether it is good or bad. I keep all comments, unless, they are name calling; but, whether they like the recipe or not, I keep it. As well I think comments should be geared towards the blogger and not the readers. If I want to engage my readers , I would start a forum and have everyone engage that way.

    • That sounds reasonable about keeping all kinds of criticism, but not about engagement.What’s wrong with comments geared towards other readers? That happens here.

      Of course you should want to engage your readers on a food blog. To see how it’s done: Ree Drummond has a post on French toast that has more than 800 hits. She has a black belt in engagement.

  30. Dianne, don’t get me wrong, I wish I could engage my readers in a continuous thread on each and every post. Unfortunately, I have a company, that warrants about 80% of my time, 10% goes to another business venture I am starting and that leaves 10% for my life and the blog. If I did not love the blog, I would have quit almost 3 years ago; but, I really love it. I do reply to each and every comment though with a personal note and thanks. As well if they have a site, I will go to it first, look around and comment about something I found interesting when I reply to their comment. I respect my reader’s time and appreciate, even a “that looks delicious”.

  31. I suspected my last post would not get approved as I was being facetious by just replying with “I don’t agree.”

    I never comment on anything I look at or read online. It’s not because I don’t have anything to say. I just appreciate what I’m looking at or reading, then I move on. Now, the fact that I never comment on a post shouldn’t add any weight to this comment. It’s just not something I do.

    Here’s another thing I don’t do. I don’t compliment my girlfriend enough. I live with her. I work with her. I even go to the gym with her. We basically spend all friggin day together. There are about 100 times a day that I look at her and can say “Your hair looks nice. I like that shirt . Great belt. Foxy shoes. Your boyfriend is AWESOME!” but I don’t. Find me one woman that wouldn’t like her man-lover to say something nice to her once in a while. Unfortunately, saying something nice to a food blogger involves writing a dissertation going into how your meal-O-the-day made me feel. Is that really necessary?

    At the end of the day. It doesn’t really matter.

    Lenny

  32. Lenny – you so need to get out there and comment more, because your honesty and transparency is greatly needed to keep this medium in check!

    Matt – i think i just fell in love with you!

    Ilva, Jamie & Denise – the friendship and collaboration that has since transpired after our tentative first meetings in each other comments boxes has enriched my life to no end – for this I am grateful!

    To the rest of you, I still can’t believe that you have the time and energy to edit and delete comments!

    • Well, Nanette. I see you have some friends here.

      I have been letting comments go lately, unless I see something egregious.

  33. […] commenting.  There has been a lot written about commenting on other people’s blogs, some of it rather controversial, but for me, it’s […]

  34. Hello Dianne! I just found this post (and your blog) and hope it’s okay if I join in.

    It was so interesting to read about what bloggers think about leaving comments. I read through each and every comment above and generally agree with most of the comments. I for one, used to be afraid of leaving comments because I was a little shy of having people possibly visiting the link I left and reading my blog(s). Strange, I suppose. I actually feel a little shy about commenting here too, because everyone who left comments had such interesting things to say!

    Now I leave comments on at least one post of each blog I visit, should I find something that relates to my interests because I really like to, and it seems to encourage bloggers and make their day for them. I find it fun to think of interesting ways of commenting, it’s a sort of challenge to me. Sometimes I feel guilty because I think I like commenting more than writing in my blog.

    I also wonder if people usually subscribe to comments whenever they leave comments on any blog posts. I do, most of the time, because I like reading the feedback from the writer, should they leave any. If it’s interesting, I’d post a response. And so on. I for one, always reply to comments, it doesn’t matter if people come back to read my responses or not. Besides, I don’t get a lot of comments so it’s easy.

    Thank you for generating this very interesting thread of discussion!

    • You are most welcome, Sumaiyyah. It sounds like you have a great approach to commenting that works well for you. Now you have to work on how to get more comments on your own blog.

  35. A fellow blogger pointed me to this blog entry and I am so glad she did. It is fascinating to read peoples viewpoints on this. I have to admit I have been guilty of this myself, but nowadays gauge the from the style of the blogger before leaving a comment because everyone approaches blogging differently. On a personal note, I would never delete such a comment from my blog – comments on my blog vary from day to day, so every comment is appreciated.

    Another question we should also be asking is the ‘wahts the value of the descriptive Delicious’. I come across a number of blogs, where everything the person makes is delicious, its never…. ummm – just okay.

    • Hah. That is a great observation. You certainly don’t want to post a recipe that’s just okay, although I’ve seen a few great blog posts on disasters that make for good reading. And yes, as a result, every dish that’s published is “delicious.” Writers just need to describe the dish rather than sell it in such a lazy way. I wrote a post on that subject too.

  36. Any comments have value to me. It shows that they take the time to visit your blog. I don’t want to dictate people what to comment on my blog. I want them to feel welcome to say whatever they want. If they feel like saying: Looks delicious or simply: I like your pics. That made my day. That shows that I am not doing all this work for nothing. The problem is that a lot of people don’t comment and will never comment because they are afraid to look ridiculous. That is sad and they should be free to express themselves the way they want, feel good about it and not feeling the pressure of anyone judging their comments.

    • Yes, I see your point, Helene. I have not commented several times because I couldn’t think of what to say, and I didn’t want to say something as simplistic as “Looks delicious” when in fact, that was my instinct. But since I am a writer, I would like to think I can come up with something more sophisticated.

  37. Thanks for taking time out to talk about this subject.I feel fervently about it and I like learning this subject.If viable, as you gain know-how, please update this blog with new information.I have found it tremendously helpful.

  38. Oh, Dianne, this is just what I was discussing with my husband last night!
    I started blogging, following blogs and commenting only since last year.
    And the numerous comments I’ve read so far on other bloggers’ posts, such as, “oh, looks delicious”, “looks so tempting”, or “wow, looks inviting” – my hubby says sound seductive, haha.
    And just recently when I read a comment on one of my posts “This is such a yummy one…I would love to try it..U have made perfectly Dear..Bookmarking it..” – I felt so good, just until I saw that comment, copy-pasted by the same person, on about 8 other blogs that I also followed. Can you believe it?!

    • Wow. Yes I can. She must be one of those bloggers who wants to increase her incoming links. But to put the same comment on each blog…wow. That’s lame. You might consider contacting her and telling her you saw the other comments and she might want to rethink her strategy.

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