Are They Drinking The Koolaid?

If you know who Jim Jones was,  you’re probably familiar with the expression “drank the Koolaid”.   Even if you have to consult the Urban Dictionary chances are you know that the phrase refers to followers of the Reverend Jim Jones who committed mass suicide by drinking poisoned Koolaid at their compound in Guayana.   It’s become a meme for folks accepting some too good to be true promise or scheme that someone online is selling them.

I honestly like my friends in the Inspiration niche,  and sometimes I do find some of their posts genuinely helpful,  some of their aphorisms genuinely useful and some of their thinking genuinely compelling.    And yet,  sometimes I really have to wonder if some of these people are really drinking the Koolaid that they are selling.    The thing about using blog comments to drive traffic to your website,  is that you really do need to post good on-topic comments.      You don’t have to write a book.    Two coherent sentences that actually address something in the blog post or the conversation that has followed it in the comments is Excellent.    One decent sentence shows you’re trying.    As long as it’s more than ‘nice post’ or the equivalent,  most every blogger who worked hard at writing a great post will be genuinely grateful that you left a comment on it.

But if what you are selling sounds vague and your comment is clearly intending not to participate in the conversation but to link your site with your keywords,  you are very much understanding the technical web-mastery part of back link comments.     You are also completely failing at showing yourself to be a good blogger who is constantly contributing to the blogosphere’s conversations.     Mentioning a post you wrote three years ago that is legitimately on topic to the current discussion and linking it with your preferred keywords is both a smart move and something that shows you to be a smart blogger.   Spamming your keywords without connecting to the conversations.    So not a #winning move.


13 comments on “Are They Drinking The Koolaid?

  1. I may be terribly old fashioned, but I consider putting a link to my website in a comment on your blog an example of very bad manners. In the offline world, it would be like me putting a sign with directions to my store in your shop window without asking your permission.

    Unless a commentator posts anonymously, his or her blog / website can be reached by clicking on his or her user name.

    The whole trick is to write such compelling comments that hundreds of other readers rush to click on your user name and visit your own blog. That is how I have become a regular visitor to many blogs. Unless a comment meets that criterion, I certainly do not click on either a link within a comment or a user name.

    • Peter,

      I completely agree that leaving a link IN the comment (unless it is a relevant one) is bad manners. Though I do sometimes link my name to a specific post, rather than to my blog’s main url. I too often find new blogs and meet new friends by clicking on the name of blog commentator.

  2. Sounds like my blog comments are considered too long. I’ll try be more concise and keep them to two sentences then. : /

    • Oh Liz. I love long comments. My remarks were to discourage folks from commenting ‘nice post’. If a post attracts several comments that are longer than the post itself, that is one of my ideas of a successful post 🙂

  3. I agree with zimpeterw – Verb sap, or ‘a word is sufficient to the wise’. It is not necessary to hit people over the head with a hammer to make your point. If what you say is to the point, interesting or amusing, people will click your user name to visit your blog.

  4. Hi Alan,
    All good points and I learned a lot just now about the science of blog commenting. I would consider people not contributing to the conversation and adding their website links as bordering on spam.. if not being actual spam. But I am assuming what you are talking about is something else and not spam, because I would have thought you would have said so.

    May I also add that I did not infer from your blog that long comments were not good, when you said, “You don’t have to write a book. Two coherent sentences that actually address something in the blog post or the conversation that has followed it in the comments is Excellent.”

    I just thought you were saying that 2 on-topic sentences were excellent. From that I automatically assumed you meant that 5 or 6 on-topic sentences were good too.. even better. Or did I miss an important point and get it wrong? I do that often in unfamiliar territory. 🙂

    Thanks for another great read,


    • You understand perfectly, it seems to me Gaye. I am happy with a comment of a sentence or two. And a longer reply that is actually on topic, makes my day 🙂

  5. I never thought that leaving a short comment meant that someone was doing that. Sometimes I am just tired, or have a lot to do, and want to be supportive anyway. Amazing how different people have different intentions!!

  6. I like to slow sip the Kool Aid on a warm afternoon. I do thoroughly enjoy your writing, even though normally I get fake “paid” to read them, I have become somewhat selective when it comes to going and seeding people’s social media going ons. Keep it up.

    • I think that’s a very important point, Sia. When they first came out, missions were a very easy way to get folks to do things for you. It seems to me there has been a lot of inflation, and even with the eaves reward you actually have to create engaging content and then engage with your readers. The eaves help, but I don’t think eaves alone would be enough to drive lots of traffic and comments.

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