My apologies for the long wait on this article! This is the next part to my Helpful Guide for Flickr Refugees. My aim is to get people up and running over here and in a happy place so you can make this your new home.
Please read this article first!!
Ninja Commenting vs. Thoughtful Commenting
#1 Rule For Getting Comments and Visits: Reply to Your Comments!*
We all love attention. But more than that, we want our pictures to be seen and appreciated. However, this is a two-way street. You can't just put up a picture and expect hoards of people to stampede over to your photostream and leave comments if you don't return the favor. So what's the easiest way to do this?
* #1 Commenting Mistake: VERY IMPORTANT: Do NOT reply to comments left on your picture IN YOUR PICTURE COMMENTS! (unless you have visitors who routinely come back to see and respond to your replies) I used to do this because it seems like good manners, but the truth is that most people will VERY RARELY SEE THESE COMMENTS! Your good intentions will usually be wasted because people very rarely go back to see if the author has left a response. You will be wasting your very precious time. Don't feel bad if you've been doing this up till now though! :D You're a thoughtful, nice person!! Instead, if you have a specific response to a comment left on your picture, leave this response on their newest picture and let them know what you're replying to. This way they will see your response! It will also possibly generate interest when people read the comment and they may visit the picture to see what you're talking about! :) Also, you can reply to a specific comment in an ipernity mail, but comments work just as well. (NOTE: there are always exceptions, and for example, I have a contact who treats every one of her pictures as an ongoing conversation. Yuma De Lamour is engaging and sweet and visits everyone who leaves comments on her pictures, but she ALSO leaves wonderful and entertaining comments and conversation within the comments on each picture too. In fact, her commentary and back and forth chatter with her visitors is such fun that people DO go back to see if she's replied to a comment they've made. There are not many people that treat their photos and comments like this, but they are extremely entertaining to keep up with! :)
Commenting Tactics For Speed & Efficiency
I developed this method to reduce the time it takes to visit each person's stream and to reduce the time it takes for pictures to load. I want to have the most amount of time to appreciate each picture I visit and enough time to leave a thoughtful comment too! I truly love getting to know my friends and visitors, and seeing their photography is very important to me. Viewing these images is enjoyable but it's educational as well, and studying other people's photography is one of the tools I use to become a better photographer myself.
This is how I reply to comments, and it's the same method I used on Flickr, which worked great. However, there may be other ways that are even better and faster, so if you have a another idea, please let me know and I'll try out your method! (In fact, I just found out from Dubonnet that there there's another way to comment! Please visit her article, "How to Save Time on Your Computer" to learn about "CoolPreviews"! THANK YOU DUBONNET!)
1) After I put up new pictures, I open a new browser window and go to the first picture from the previous upload. (Yesterday's first image) It's the "First Position" picture, and the one that generates the most interest from each batch.
2) I go down to the Comments after re-reading the first comment, I right-click (Option-Ctrl-Click on a Mac) on the contact's icon next to the comment and choose, "Open Link in New Tab".
3) I work my way down my comments to the very end of the list, reading and then right-clicking (Option-Ctrl-Clicking on a Mac) every commenter's name and adding new tabs for everyone who left a note. Depending on how many comments you got for that picture, you may have to click on the "Next Comments" button one or more times to see them all. When you are done, you'll have a whole row of tabs. (If you've put up more than one picture for the same day, go to the next image(s) and repeat the steps above until you have tabs for everyone who left comments.)
4) Press the two keys Control and thenTab (Ctrl-Tab): this will bring you to the next tab, which will be the contact who left the first comment.
5) Click on their Latest Picture. Don't bother waiting for the picture to load, we are going to queue up all of the pictures for you to comment on so they are all pre-loaded for you!
6) Press Ctrl-Tab again and click on their Latest Picture. Note: If you've already left a comment on this picture, press the Right Arrow button (→) to and check if you've seen this picture yet. Otherwise, you will need to look backwards through their stream until you find a picture you haven't commented on.
7) Repeat these steps until you reach the end of your tabs. Press Ctrl-Tab again and it will wrap around and end up on your picture again! Press Ctrl-Tab one more time and you will find yourself on the loaded picture of the first person who left a comment.
8) Take a moment to appreciate the picture. What do you like about it? Did it impress you so much that you said something out loud? Is there something very special about it that you really like? Does it make you think about a memory? Did it make you laugh or feel emotional? Think about how this picture effected you.
9) Write a comment to convey your opinion. Try to write at least a short sentence, not just a word or two. This makes a huge difference to the author and shows that you looked and cared about this person's photography enough to give a nice response. You don't have to write a paragraph, but don't be shy about letting a person know how much you loved their picture if you have the time to tell them what you think! You can even leave notes on their pictures (if that option is available) or you can add links to a reference, or anything that satisfies your desire to let the photographer know what's on your mind.
REMEMBER THIS TIP! Visitors read detailed and/or long comments--if you leave them, you will generate new contacts, new comments, and make more friends because everyone wants to have friends who really care about their pictures!!)
10) After you've left the comment by clicking Post, press the two keys Control and the letter W (Ctrl-W) to close that window.
11) You will now have the second commenter's picture in front of you to appreciate and leave a comment on, without having to do any other steps. Using this method, you can easily and quickly work your way through all of the comments left on your picture(s)!
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR SLOW INTERNET CONNECTIONS:
If you have a slow internet and there are other people using it while you open all those windows and then all the pictures, you will suddenly hear lots of squawking and yelling as everything slows down to a slow crawl while you suck the bandwidth dry. :D In order to keep yourself from becoming a murder statistic, it is well-advised to load only 3-5 pictures at a time as you work your way down your list of commentors. Takes a bit longer to do it this way, but you will live to see another day! :D
Coming up in the next installment:
I'll be giving tips on how you should name and describe your images, how to get more visits by using key words and putting your pictures into groups, and more! Stay tuned!