The Problem with Comments

Let me start this off with a very professional what the y'all.

So I've been lurking on this site for around four-ish years. I've written some coughtycough stories, and I remember the good ol' days when readers would comment out the . Nowadays, I have stories with 1000+ subscribers, and I hear a peep out of like three of them.

I'm not a mathematician AND I'm 40% blind, but my can see something wrong with those numbers.

Back to the lurking thing. I scroll through the social side of this site more than the story side, I'll admit. I am not shy by any means fam, and I'll blow your up if I'm really feeling it. But is it hard for people to take five seconds out of their day and just say something?

It's disheartening when I go and type 3000+ words for a chapter and nobody says anything about it. Granted, I get over it and move on, but that took some WORK. I could be doing other adult things, but no, I sit my down and type.

Straight up, I don't give a if it's a negative comment such as "This is kys" at least it's some sort of feedback. Did you like the chapter or nah? Give me something to work with because dead silence really ain't cutting it, yo.

I even open the chats on some stories and the same three people are the only ones using them!

This is not me hating on silent readers; you do you fam. But women's intuition is telling me that the likelihood of 1000 people being introverts is hIGHLY ING UNLIKELY.

So, if that little rant didn't clearly state my position on this topic, here it is: the y'all doin'? I dunno why but this new generation of AFFers just don't ing TALK. SAY SOMETHING DAMMIT I KNOW I'M NOT THE ONLY EXTROVERT ON THE INTERNET. /tRigGEReD

How do you feel about silent readers? Or lack of comments? What do you think the cause of this silence is? /hellodarknessmyoldfriend/ share your thoughts!
Jumpdiva
3 months ago
I don't comment if there's no reason to. If the story is good though, I'll comment. But I don't run into that many stories that make me go 'OMG SO WELL WRITTEN'. I run into a lot of poorly written ones. I used to give criticism and end it with encouragement, but authors tend to get butthurt if you say anything negative about their stories -so I stopped. And yes, I am an introvert.
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Oreoyumyum304
4 months ago
I love to comment on works from time to time, but my comments take a lot of time and thought since I type around 100+ words a comment, it takes me hours. I like to interact with the authors, but sometimes the authors never respond and that makes me a little disappointed. I do like to respond to comments.
enos_sone
4 months ago
I'm still new here but I don't really care, words don't flatter me. But I do leave comments on stories, to brighten up somebody's else day.
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darkqueen_25
4 months ago
i'm not sure about the actual details of the traffic on aff, but it honestly feels like since i started a few years back, the active readership on here has dwindled down too. not completely (there's still a significant amount of people on here), but it feels like fandom fics are spread across so many diff sites now, which may explain the change in commenting as well. there may be more or less people on here than a few years ago, but maybe there are less as active members and more as just browsers?

personalities are quite fluid as well, and it's been shown that introversion tends to be a growing trait as one gets older (sorry im a neuroscientist so i refer to studies a lot lol). for readers who used to actively comment a lot, but don't anymore, they may have grown out of that outgoing-ness that they had previously. i don't think it's so much shyness as a lack of energetic readers either from growing older or growing quieter

and besides all that there's just the fact that people are lazy and forgetful r i p
Philosophies
4 months ago
(I am actually kinda introverted, a least my 16 Personalities Test told me so, but) I leave comments whenever possible because I've been that writer. Just receiving a comment can make someone's day. But I do agree with comments already listed that say that it's sometimes hard to think of something to say, and I also think that it's sometimes awkward to be the only reader leaving comments. (Of course, that links back to the idea of no one leaving comments. 20 subscribers, only me leaving comments!) I like building a reader/writer relationship with the authors, because hell, we're not getting paid for this writing crap. Might as well make the most of it.
istj 4 months ago
i feel sad about it tbh... most of the time seeing comments push writers to publish better content. im very lucky to get loyal readers that comment on every chapter but its like.1:1 ratio per fic... and those are with varying number of subscribers. disheartening...
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xoanneox
4 months ago
im a hella loud reader, (when im not reading updates in between hurrying for other stuff) and comment on most stuff i read.
I go into convos with authors and think theyre nice, it's fun to talk about them with stuff that's not only related to their stories,
so when i write my fics and get only 1 comment im like?? what did i do wrong?? but then i realize not everyone can be as loud as me
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angelflyer22 4 months ago
@Alex-su Same!! :D
[deactivated] 4 months ago
I think the reason why so many readers are silent is because they don't know what to say? As in, they can't think of an "intelligent" or "good" enough comment. Like when I comment on stories (and I'm purely a reader on this site), I have to rack my brain to think of ways to compliment the author on his/her use of literary techniques or the plot or character development without sounding lame and repeating what other readers have already said. Maybe I'm just too much of an overthinker when it comes to commenting though.

There's also the problem with giving out constructive criticism. Tbh, most people are afraid of confrontation, and when it comes to a story that could be improved, I think a lot of readers (including me) shy away from critiquing the story. So if they don't know how to phrase their criticism, or they don't want to hurt the author's feelings, they just choose not to say anything.

however, I may just be projecting my own habits onto other readers.
1998saranamichael
4 months ago
@Alex-su Hi. I'm trying something new right now. Sort of a reading club to address these issues. This is in the hope that others will follow our example and come up with their own efforts too :)
http://www.asianfanfics.com/story/view/1278295
flytothesKAI
4 months ago
@Alex-su OMGGGG BB BUT T MY STORIES ARE FGDJFHGKDHK OK OMG I NEED TO CA L M
Alex-su
4 months ago
@flytothesKAI Nice to meet ya! Now if you'll excuse me imma read all of your daejae fics bc daejae is my favorite yo /sends hearts
1998saranamichael
4 months ago
@Alex-su You're totally right. I myself had discontinued a number of stories for the same reason.
flytothesKAI
4 months ago
@Alex-su heyy don't say like that :/ u might disappoint your other readers. and oHHHHH i can't believe you are the writer that wrote my favourite kaisoo fic sdhjshjdh HIII nice to meet you omg senpaiiii
psychobarbie__
4 months ago
I agree with you 100%.
I've also been here for years (6 if I remember correctly), as a beginner (ty) writer but the comment section of my stories was blooming!
I used to make friends through comments, I used to get honest opinions, praises, criticism and I was sooo happy.
And I honestly don't know how to answer your question. Maybe the readers got lazy - it's easier to get a vote than a worth-reading comment?
I come upon blogs and discussions like this one every other day. Writers are trying to get their attention with these obvious call outs, But they don't seem to be of any use.
Sadly, I dont think there's anything we can do about it.
The "I'm introvert" and "I'm shy" excuses make no sense. We all have usernames to protect us and it doesn't really take much (it doesn't take anything) to annonimously write your opinion about something.

I have been trying to understand them but I can't.
Alex-su
4 months ago
@angelflyer22 If I read a completed story, I'll usually comment at the end, unless a certain chapter has me shook. But if I find an ongoing story, I usually try to comment on every new chapter unless it's a filler where literally nothing happens :p
angelflyer22 4 months ago
But also for me (since I accidentally pressed "enter") I try to comment when I have time because I often do things and read at the same time. And sometimes I'm just very forgetful. Other than time and my forgetfulness. I mostly only comment on stories constantly if it's on-going or if I really am in to the story and plot and all that :)
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angelflyer22 4 months ago
I know how you feel. I mean, my stories are really not the best, but I get a couple subscribers. I can't say that it's that bad for me, but I don't get many comments other than "please update" besides for like a good 1 or 2 actual commenter. (Is that how you would describe it? Lol)
Alex-su
4 months ago
@1998saranamichael I've read some stories in the past that were never finished due to the authors saying something like "I have no motivation to finish this since nobody comments about anything" and it's sad to see. Some readers are super faithful and comment on every chapter, and I'm glad they do; I really appreciate it. But when you have a lot of subscribers, you kind of expect more of a reaction from them, y'know? There should be something, maybe even where the site put the "Enjoy this story? Leave an upvote!" they could add something about leaving a comment? Like "Enjoy this story? Let the author know how they're doing!" Idk.
Alex-su
4 months ago
@flytothesKAI Duuuuude same. Like sure upvotes are cool and all, but it doesn't really give much insight on how a reader feels other than they dig it enough to spend some kp. Tbh I don't think writers are going to be able to solve the problem except for begging for comments at the end since others said that it's worked for them. Readers just need to be more appreciative bc it's really easy for some to straight up discontinue or delete stories due to silence. I thought about discontinuing some of my stuff :/
Alex-su
4 months ago
@neonflowers For my older stories, the hundreds of comments came easy. But for my newer ones, up until about halfway through the story, the comments just stopped coming. Which was very strange to me since the subscriber count would keep going up. I don't get it tbh.