Let's think about why a writer might want to find a readership this way, and then how you'd go about doing it well.
Caffeine Soldier is one of our commenters here. You can see from his profile that he also has a blog. At the top of his blog, he writes:
This is not a blogger's blog, this is a commenter's blog. Here's to all brave commenters who really fight the battles of the blogosphere - you're my cup of coffee! I raise my mug to salute you!I'm pleased that he — along with a lot of other wonderful commenters — has chosen to contribute his writing to my blog, and I said:
About Me... A proud member of the reality based commentosphere since 2000. You'll find my crap mainly in liberal and centrist blogs, but also at some other surprising places.
I like the idea of being a star in the commentosphere. It's harder to see who the great commenters are, because they're tucked into the back pages, but it is a cool idea to have ambitions limited to commenting. I was saying something like this on the Stanford panel, a recommendation for people who worried about getting their names out.When Stanford gets the audio up from the panel, I'll direct you to that part of the discussion.
You might want to do your blog writing as a commenter so you can fly under the radar, invisible to clients and employers, but that isn't the only reason.
Someone wrote a while back — sorry, I can't remember who or where — that they loved the commenter role because they didn't want responsibility for keeping up the flow of new topics — the blogger's job — but they enjoyed jumping in with something when they had it.
I know that feeling, because I play the commenter on my own blog a lot of the time. I feel different as a commenter — in my commenters persona — though I learned that my antagonists often pick up things I write in that more casual mode.
Another commenter, John Kindley, wrote:
I don't know about aspiring to be a star, but my blog now mainly consists of a running compendium of my comments on much higher traffic blogs. That way I don't run the risk of spending a lot of time on posts that nobody reads, and I'm basically doing what I'd do anyway. Thanks to Althouse for the idea (in one of her earlier posts) of blogging this way.Thanks for the reminder that I thought that up!
I think it's probably true that you can be a writing star through blogging. (But the idea that one must write books nags at me.) But can you be a writing star through commenting? I'm sure many who do their blog writing in the comments of other people's blogs like it precisely because it's low profile. But let's assume someone wants to be a famous writer and wants to do it in the format of comment writing. Can it be done?
What could help would be a website — does this thing work? — that would collect and give order to all your contributions on all the blogs where you comment. Maybe Blogger could devise a feature like that. It would be nice if, when you clicked on a commenter's name here, you could get to all his other comments and had options to order them by date, page views, or subject matter.