Tuesday 9 August 2011

And yes, the blog comment issue, yet again, has stolen a post of its own ...

effective blog commenting tips
I'm always really busy. Unfortunately. And when I spend time blogging, I make sure that all my effort goes into visiting and commenting on YOUR blogs rather than my own. On occasion, if someone asks me a question, I will reply by email. If your email isn't attached to your profile, I'll answer in the comments. But generally, I do not reply because there are only so many hours in a day and I make it a priority to make the rounds to you directly.

I'm just wondering, does this bother any of you? Because I notice that many many of you reply to my comments. Thank you so much, to those who do this, but honestly, please don't feel obligated to! Use that time to read and comment on someone else's blog post. I think it's energy more efficiently spent, don't you? Mind you, if you do want to keep replying, because that's simply the way you like to do things, I'm not complaining at all. You're free to blog how you want to blog, and I love that you want to reply to me.

I guess my point today is, I think all this "blog etiquette," which I have learned so well these past two years, is a touch out of my control now, and I'm really sorry that I don't always have the time to reply any more. I know I used to. But I'm afraid that the more and more followers I get, the more and more impossible it is becoming for me to do so. And it's only going to get worse. But please know, I appreciate every single minute you spend communicating with me and I cherish every single comment I get. And if your comment REQUIRES a reply I PROMISE you will get one. All your comments on my posts bring a huge smile to my face. Each and every single one of them.

How do you deal with your comments? Do you always reply, even if the comment only consists of "great post!"? Why do you think you feel the need to do that? PS: This is NOT a criticism, I'm simply curious about others' blogging habits.


  1. The good thing about 'good post' type comments is it indicates people are actually reading your posts, page views could just be people clicking through and leaving. It's hard to know how your posts are going over if no one says anything and easy to feel like you're spitting in the wind.

    I don't email people to continue conversations because it excludes everyone else who might be interested in the discussion. I tend to answer in the comments and then hit the subscribe button so all the comments will be updated in one thread in my email and I can see if someone has made a comment directed at me or if other peopel are saying something I want to join in about.

    Moody Writing

  2. I certainly understand about comments and time. As my followers grow, I feel I don't have time any more. A good thing to talk about, as everyone must feel the same.

  3. I was thinking about this - my hypothetical future blog and how I'd handle comments - just last night.

    I really like how you and Matthew MacNish have always replied to comments - it's like getting mail every morning from friends - but I figured I wouldn't have time for that, so I totally understand.

    Just keep posting, okay?

  4. I wonder how many hudreds of times I've emailed you. "Thanks, Jess."

    Hah! I can't help it.

    When it comes to my blog habits, I will not read a blog without leaving a comment. To me it says, I was here, and I want you to know I was here, because I found what you wrote interesting. I'm not saying I have a problem with people who lurk at all. I understand there isn't always something to say, and I don't mind if someone reads my blog but doesn't comment.

    I just would never do that myself.

  5. I reply in my comments, usually to several people at one time. Many people have told me they like seeing that interaction on my blog, even if that person never comes back for my reply. Some do though!
    I visit a hundred blogs a day, and yeah, it takes a bit of time. But I have so many blogger buddies I want to keep up with and I'd hate to miss some exciting news in their lives.

  6. OMG, there is blog etiquette? Is there a book on this? :)

    Not all blogs are as big as yours and people have time to respond. I'm currently responding by email only; no email, no response.

    Lord, now I'm worried I've belched while reading someones blog.
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  7. I don't like being responded to by email. It's just one more thing for me to have to go through and check. But, I'm exactly like you, I don't respond to a commenter unless (a) they ask me a question or (b) they say something controversial or worthy or a conversation about. I respond by going to the other person's blog and leaving a comment about their post. I hope I'm not offending anyone either.

  8. Comments....Oh Boy!
    Well here's the thing. Sometimes a post will touch me so but I find that the words to respond just are not coming to me..I may go back later in the day and comment....the thing is I don't want to leave just a "great post" or "very nice"..I want to say something that means something.
    As to commenting on comments...sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I do not email people because I have a feeling that is overstepping the bounds of blogdom (unless they asked me to of course, that's different).
    After rambling away like this it occurs to me that maybe I need to read up on blog etiquette.

  9. I'm SO with you on this. I love to comment, and love getting comments, but as you pointed out, it takes time to comment on a comment. I'm always humbled when someone responds to my comment via email. I rarely do. And even worse...I rarely thank a new follower. I do however start following them, but sometimes the link to their email is weird and it seems impossible to get to them. I need a comment assistant.

  10. I like emailing commenters and letting them know that I read their feedback and appreciate that they took the time to leave me a comment. I tell myself that in the interest of time management, I don't need to. But so often these days I don't get around to the blogs of those who visited mine. And then there's no reciprocation of any type, which makes me feel terrible. *sigh* If only there were a button I could push to stop time for a short bit, so get a few tasks squeezed into an otherwise stretched day...that would help. :))

  11. I reply to comments on my blog if I have time (becoming a rare commodity these days), because it's fun to interact. But, like you, I think going to my commenters blogs and leaving a comment THERE is probably more appreciated.

  12. There are so many kind and supportive people and although I have little time I feel that I should visit them and return their kindness whenever I can.

  13. Oh, man... it's tough, isn't it? I typically reply on the comments page, mostly because then I can hit everyone at once. My last people of the day always get READ, but I can get negligent on responding. I DON'T do the email response... I think it scares me... seems like a huge undertaking? As for responding? I don't get back all that often, so I don't mind you not doing it here. The email is nice if I've asked a question or volunteered for something, but I don't feel left out if I don't get one...

  14. I almost always reply to a person who leaves a comment.
    I figure if they took the time to read my (at times rather long) blog entries and say something, I ought to acknowledge that in some manner.

    There are exceptions, of coruse, when I do not reply. And I suppose that's worse than your method, because when I don't reply, it really sticks out.

    Everybody has different amounts of time, which varies over the month and the year. So I never take any of it personally...

  15. If someone asks a questions or says something personal I'll email them. I respond to some but usually I give a general comment to everyone in the direction the comments are taking or I add further insight. So I'm reading them and responding just not to each person.

    And it doesn't bother me b/c I rarely visit twice. I think responding some shows the new people visiting that you actually pay attention. :)

  16. I have never yet had so many comments that I couldn’t reply to each of them individually. And, frankly, I don’t see me getting to that stage for a long, long time, if ever. Fortunately most people who comment on my site say interesting things and the shame is that we can’t head off into a corner and keep the conversation going into the wee hours but that’s not the way it goes. We all have to respect people’s time. I probably have more time than any of you and yet I find the whole social aspect of being a writer a terrible burden, a real drain, but I also realise that, at the moment, it is a necessary evil. To that end I always strive to make meaningful comments on the sites I visit. That gives the site owner something to respond to. Only very rarely will I make a second comment and I don’t expect them to respond to it; I’ve usually just thought of something flippant to say and can’t resist trying to have the last word.

    This is, ironically, where Facebook comes into its own because people can ‘like’ your post without having to write something inane like ‘Great post.’ Some sites have similar tick boxes at the end like yours where you can rank a post without having to say anything more. I think that’s a good thing. Have you cut back to three posts a week by the way? I’ve not checked. I just wanted to point out that if you have I’ve not noticed. And probably no one else will have either. That would be a very effective way of reducing the comments you have to deal with by a whole 25%.

  17. I'm often a lurker. I read a lot of blogs nearly every day, but I don't always have something meaningful to say or a gazillion people have already said it. On the one hand, it's probably nice to at least say something that indicates I was there, but on the other hand, I feel like that's narcissistic - if I don't have anything meaningful to add, does the blogger really care if I was here? Especially bloggers with tons of commenters. Newbies, yeah, I'll comment to encourage.

    As far as replying to comments, I only feel compelled if it's necessary - a question I need to answer or conversation I want/need to get involved in. Otherwise, it's whether I have time. I need to go to commenters' blogs more often. I really do think that's a better way to be involved with each other. I know I like it when a blogger whose blog I just commented on leaves me a comment on one of my posts.

  18. I mostly try to use my blogging time to read and comment on blogs so I don't always reply to comments on my blog.

  19. I try to reply to many of the comments, though sometimes just by email. I do love to get comments because it lets me know people are reading, which is what makes it all worthwhile. I wish I commented more on other peoples' blogs, but I tend to only do so when I really have something to say.

  20. i rarely ever reply to comment nowadays. it's, um, i dunno, it just seems useless to me. i mean, if someone asks me a particular question, then i just head over to their blog and answer it through a comment. that seems a lot more effective to me. :)

  21. I always reply to comments on my blog; if someone asks me a question, I always do it in the threat itself instead of emailing them, so everyone can read my answer. I've considered switching to email or not responding unless the person's comment requires a reply, but I like the the potential for back-and-forth replies open up.

  22. Funny, I was thinking about this same topic today!
    I'm like you, i [refer to use my (limited) time to visit other people and comment on their blog, but if someone asks a question or a reply is needed, then I will reply, but again, more oftne than not by visiting them.
    Interesting, I never thought about keeping a "thread" going.
    I love comments, don't we all, and I still get excited when I see emails telling me I've a new comment!

  23. I don't always comment, but I like to click the little ticks to show I was here...

  24. I nearly almost ALWAYS reply. Though, I"m not sure it's needed. I definitely visit.

    but you're right. It's hard, and takes TIME. Also - I never care if my comment isn't answered. Not all my comments are answer-worthy, lol.

  25. I know what you mean about not having enough time to do it all. I wish I could stop time to get a few things done. =)

    As far as replying, I try to reply to everyone who comments. But it doesn't bother me if someone doesn't reply to me. I still love going to their blogs and seeing how things are going.

  26. I'm with Clarissa. I don't want email comments. Comments are for everyone. At this stage I respond on my blog, but a whole bunch at a time. I also visit that person's blog eventually as they've visited mine. Blogging is a two-way street. If we posted a post and had no comments or few comments, we'd wonder why we even post, so by visiting each other we keep the blogoverse spinning. That said it does take too much time away from our writing, but like all relationships, it must be nurtured and we mustn't be selfish.


  27. Mostly I don't. Now and then I do, depending on my mood or the time factor, and what frame of mind I'm in,or the topic.


“I'm using my art to comment on what I see. You don't have to agree with it.” ~John Mellencamp

“Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass without comment is a wonderful social grace” ~Judith S. Marin

“I don't ever try to make a serious social comment.” ~Paul McCartney

“I'd make a comment at a meeting and nobody would even acknowledge me. Then some man would say the same thing and they'd all nod.” ~Charlotte Bunch

“Probably what my comment meant was that I don't care about the circumstances if I can tell the truth.” ~Sally Kirkland

“We're not going to pay attention to the silliness and the petty comments. And quite frankly, women have joined me in this effort, and so it's not about appearances. It's about effectiveness.” ~Katherine Harris