Super Blogger

Look up on the net, it’s a troll, it’s a spambot, no it’s SUPER BLOGGER!

Are you faster than a speeding bullet, arriving at a blog mere seconds after it’s been posted? Are your posts more powerful that a locomotive, firing up emotions in your readers that bring tears of laughter, sadness and fits of rage? Are you able to leap to the comment section in a single bound, writing out a response so engaging and articulate that people swear you’re going to be the next Danielle Steel (and think, that’s just reading your comments!)

Okay, so many most of us will never become a “Super Blogger,” at least not by those terms. All jokes aside, most of us do try to be good bloggers. We do our best to come up with interesting content, posting as regularly as life permits, and most of all we try and make visitors to our blogging home feel welcome. (We don’t even make them take their shoes off before they come in.) And many of us reciprocate when it comes to our blog followers and comments. It seems like the right thing to do.

Let’s face it, being a “good” blogger is a lot of work and could be all-consuming if we let it. We could be zipping up and down wordspress hitting the “like” button with lightening speed, staying up into the wee hours racking our brains to come up with clever and meaningful comments. But blogging, as with all things, takes us time to find the right balance, one that works for us. We wouldn’t want to be accused of being a rude blogger by any means and yet it could take over our lives if we let it.

Last week, Roni Loren blogged about blogging manners in her post, enough-with-the-quid-pro-quo-blogging-etiquette-free-yourself check it out to see what she has to say.

In her post, Roni mentions the “rule” about bloggers supporting one another, following each other, and commenting back and forth, and says we basically do it because it’s good manners. Many of us would agree with that. Growing up, my parents believed that when someone visited you then “owed” them a visit. It was a fairly common practise. People kept tabs on it, same as phone calls. It was tit for tat. I’m not so sure that this rule holds true today or if I just ignore it. If I want to visit someone I do. If I want to phone them I do. I could care less when last they called me. I figure if they didn’t want to talk they just wouldn’t pick up. Thank goodness for caller ID.

Roni says that in the beginning “the reciprocity thing can be a great way to start making friends,” and this is very true. If you don’t put yourself out there how will anyone find you?

So what is it then, have things not changed since my parent’s day? Are we simply reading other blogs and commenting so they will reciprocate? I had to give this some thought. It’s a tricky subject.

The point of Roni’s post is to say that it’s not bad manners if we don’t reciprocate. She says, “We should not have to suffer a guilt trip because instead of visiting all of our blogroll that day, we turned off the computer and took our kid to the park. We shouldn’t have to “catch up” at midnight and hit all those posts we missed out of some sense of obligation.”

She goes on to say that the key to having blog followers is to write interesting posts, ones that encourage discussion and above all be genuine. These are all great points and is why I read the blogs I do.

Okay, I certainly understand the idea of visiting back and forth and leaving comments. As one blogger said, “Everyone likes to get comments on their posts.”

But is anyone going to comment on your blog if you never comment on theirs? For me it’s nice to know that others are reading. Hits to our blogs don’t mean a darn thing if no one is taking the time to actually read what we’ve written. Call me a social butterfly, but I do like getting to know bloggers and it seems the best way to do this is to engage in conversation. Still, it’s hard to shake that thought that not reciprocating, at least to some degree, is bad manners. If I visit a blog on several occasions, leave comments that are never replied to, nor does the blogger visit at least once to say hi, it gives the impression that the blogger isn’t interested. Sorry, but that’s how I’ve been conditioned to think. I don’t need anyone to be my next best buddy, but if you acknowledge me, at least a tiny bit, I won’t feel as though I’m being completely ignored. Sound lame? Sorry, just speaking the truth here.

All that said, I do have blogs I follow that I seldom, or never, leave comments on. Roni’s is one of them. I love Roni’s blog. I visit often, but in the almost three years that I’ve been following her I might have commented on her blog three times. I don’t feel the need to let her know that I’m hiding in the shadows, and I don’t expect a return visit. I met Roni way back when she was blogging on wordpress. I follow her blog because I like what she has to say, which I guess was the point she was making. Like I  said earlier it’s a tricky subject and I don’t really have any answers.

So the moral of the story is? Okay, I’m trying to come up with one here and I’m not sure if there is one. How about this? No need for any of us to worry if we’re not awarded Super-Blogger of the year. We just need to be ourselves. People will visit and leave comments because of the posts we write not because there’s something in it for them.

 What are your thoughts about good/bad blogging manners? Do you feel ignored if a blogger never acknowledges you? Or do you feel a blogger’s only responsibility is to writing great post and to heck with reciprocity no one can be everwhere all the time?

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26 Comments

  1. This is, or can be, a dilemma for me. I follow quite a few blogs but don’t even visit all of them often, nor do I always comment on the ones I get time to visit. Sometimes I just have nothing to say. The ones on Blogpost I cannot leave a comment on; no matter how I’ve tried it just won’t let me anymore – and I don’t know why! So, I seem like a bad follower, and yet I am one who will try to visit if the post title catches my attention.

    On the other side of the coin, I enjoy blogging although a Super Blogger I am not, nor do I ever expect to be. I enjoy seeing that my latest post has drawn visitors, and I am disappointed if no one wants to make conversation. (I know you never have that problem.)
    When someone new comments I try to pop in to see their blog if they have one, out of curiosity, and maybe leave a quick comment. I just can’t keep up very well so I don’t follow them all.

    Another interesting post, Laura.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Lynn!

      I think it’s nice to acknowlege our readers, and visiting back is fun. I guess Ron’i’s point is that we shouldn’t feel obligated to comment on each and every post . You’re right, sometimes we just don’t have anything to say and time is a big issue for most of us. We do what we can.

      Reply
  2. Whenever someone comments on my blog I do try to comment at least once on their site so they’ll know I’m appreciative. I love getting comments, of course, and there’s something in me that says I should reciprocate for every single comment I ever receive. Lately, I’ve been weaning myself off of that. There’s no point in me wracking my brain for something interesting and intelligent to say on a topic or conversation I’m not interested in just for the sake of being polite. But if the post is good, then I’ll comment.

    Reply
    • I think that’s a great attitude and it does free us up somewhat. Blogging can be as time consuming as we make it but it shouldn’t feel like an obligation on our part. Certainly there’s nothing wrong if someone has the time and inclination to leave lots of comments, but for those of us who can’t we should’nt feel like we’re being rude. I do think most people enjoy hearing from our readers. It makes all the work we put into our posts feel worthwhile. BTW Nice to see you again, Julie!

      Reply
  3. :) I’m spending the evening replying to comments made on my blog the past week and visiting blogs I didn’t get the chance to visit (and leaving comments) because this week has been very busy, leaving me no time for this part of blogging. So it’s funny to read this post at this time.

    I think we were raised in the same house, Laura. My mother always taught us to reciprocate a visit and I still have that teaching in my brain. If someone sends me a Christmas card I have to send one to them. If someone wishes me Happy Birthday then I should do the same on their birthday.

    I can see where it’s important to do this. It keeps things balanced and the connection between people strong.

    However — and this is where I’ve changed a bit — I find if I don’t have the time, I don’t reciprocate. I feel guilty, but I choose my children and my writing over keeping that rule.

    Do I leave comments on every blog I visit? No. It all depends on the blog and if there are already dozens of comments. There’s a chance I won’t add anything to the conversation. In this case, I simply hit the like button.

    Do I stop following a blog because comments are not commented on? No. I stop following a blog when what is written no longer interests me.

    I believe blogging is an exchange of information, so as long as the comment section isn’t turned off, I assume the blogger will comment on comments. But if they don’t, well, that’s a missed opportunity to encourage a new visitor to their blog to return.

    Now, I wonder, how many people read the comments of other visitors. Sometimes I find practical information within the comments, making comments valuable.

    And that’s the end of this comment from a Non-superblogger.

    Reply
    • I’m sure we’re related somehow, Diane or maybe it’s just because we grew up in rural Nova Scotia. I usually don’t read the comments of others just because I don’t have the time to unless it’s a subject that I might be looking to get more imformation about. But that’s an interesting point.

      I don’t want or expect a response to every comment I make. In fact, I enjoying the new feature of wordpress where you are notified when someone responds because truth be told, I struggled to go back to see if a reply was left. This is SO conventient.

      Blogging really is a balance both ways and we have to find what we’re comfortable withand what works for us.

      Reply
  4. My motto is to treat everyone – online and in person – how I want to be treated. If someone leaves a comment, most times I respond. But not always. (You see, I also live by the motto if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all; or, at least be vague.)

    However, I don’t usually leave comments on other blogs / sites. A group moderator on Goodreads urged me to join in on discussions more often; I told him, “I’m a lurker, not a talker.” He got a kick outta that – it’s the truth, though. I comment because something in whatever that author wrote urged me to do so. (Case in point, this comment. :D )

    Do I expect a response from the author if I leave a comment? Not really. Not unless I ask a direct question or write something particularly snark-a-licious.

    Do I expect that author to visit my site just because I left a comment on theirs? Nope. I visit blogs and sites I like, not to gather followers, but for their content and their author. Now, if the author enjoyed my comment enough to visit my blog to learn more about me, sweet!

    And I don’t write anything for my blog with the intention of provoking comments or seeing how many hits that post will rack up: I write because I have something to say. If those words resonate with someone else, great! But being genuine and true to myself are more important than popularity or reciprocal linkage. Always have been.

    Reply
    • First off, I like the word snark-a-licious. lol!

      And I would fully expect a response such as this from you. You didn’t disappoint. :)

      I do find the subject a bit tricky, even so far as what my own thoughts are on the subject. Like you, I do try to respond to comments. Some posts, however don’t seem to require individual responses, just an over all thanks to those who left a comment.( I try to be curtious in my every day life, so blogging wouldn’t be any different.) Many people do that, and it seems to work good for them. It would certainly be less time consuming and I’ve considered trying to cut back on the time I spend responding. I think many people undertand how time-consuming it can be.

      When a new person comments I usually check their blog out, not just to be mannerly but because I’m curious. Although, I don’t ever expect to win any popularity contests for my blog, I do like to know that someone is reading. To deny that wouldn’t be the truth. If no one ever read my posts I would be less inclined to spend the time putting together a post. I could find a much better way to spend my writing time. My Dalhousie blog I don’t give another thought to. I started it to post pictures around the area for my daughter and granddaughter. I receive a few comments but never feel obligated to respond. It’s just there for me to have fun with. Sometimes I post once a month, other times once a week. I do like that freedom. I would like it better if I had that care-free an attitude about this blog. I’m striving toward that and I’m making a bit of progress from when I first began so I don’t think I’m a total lost cause..lol . Truthfully, we’ve been conditioned to look for validation for most every thing we do. It’s starts when we’re in school and it can sometimes hold us hostage if we let it. For many it is a hard thing to shake.

      Leah, you’re one of the most genuine bloggers I’ve come across and I’m glad.Truthfully, there have been times when I wished I cared a little less about blogging. Thanks for stopping in. :)

      Reply
  5. You are right, it’s tricky. You don’t want to offend by not returning the visit but at the same time, it’s not such a big deal. Things will go on even if you did nothing.

    It doesn’t bother me if they don’t return my visit or leave comments. It would be nice to hear from them but unrealistic.

    Besides, if you’re too busy visiting and commenting, you won’t have time to write a decent post. But thinking too much on this is bad for you also.

    I’m with Leah and her comment on why she post — “something to say.” Isn’t that the sole reason any blogger would blog?

    Hope you have a sunny day.

    Reply
    • Putting things into perspective always helps life make sense, Lissa.You’re right,life will go on even if we don’t visit other blogs, even if someone doesn’t bother to return the visit. I think most of us agree that we do like hearing from our readers, but we usually understand when a blogger simply doesn’t have the time. We never know what could be going on in someone else’s life. Generally I don’t think people are intentially bad mannered.

      Reply
  6. Comments and likes are nice, (I do look forward to both every day), but traffic is what tells me the real story. If I get a steady stream of visitors, then I know I’m writing an interesting blog. I like to keep in touch with a few bloggers I’ve connect with over the last year, but I won’t wallow in guilt if I missed their post one day. There’s always tomorrow! Blogging is very reciprocal, but it shouldn’t be an overwhelmingly stressful prospect.

    Reply
    • I also enjoy comments, and generally getting to know people and their personalities. Once upon a time I did feel obligated to read each and every post when I followed a blog, but it’s not realistic, not for me. The longer we blog the more people we get to know but we are all only capable of so much.

      Reply
  7. Thanks for the shout out, Laura. : ) And I think you may have been my very first bloggy friend, lol. And I hear where you’re coming from. I was raised in the south where manners are like law. So I think that’s part of why I was running myself ragged. So is it a nice thing to do to reciprocate? Sure. Just like it’s a nice thing to bake cookies for your neighbor. It’s the ideal. But sometimes life just gets way too busy to be ideal. : )

    Reply
    • Roni, it’s been so great to follow your career and be there to see all the great things that have been coming your way. You deserve all this success. I couldn’t be happier for you. :) It makes me smile each time I think about it. I love success stories! And of course you hold a special place in my heart.

      This good manners versus bad manners is a hard thing to shake for many of us. But life is simply so much busier these days. It really isn’t realistic to think we can do it all. Your post really hit a note for me. You spoke about somthing that many of us are too polite to even talk about… I like that!

      Thanks for the visit. But of course, you have good manners. :)

      Reply
  8. I like to visit the blogs of people who frequent my site. I guess at first that was partly a “manners” thing, but I honestly enjoy building online friendships with people (and wish I had MORE time to read and comment on everyone’s posts!). Beyond getting to know people, though, I imagine that if someone reads my blog semi-regularly, odds are we have common interests and I’ll enjoy their blog, too. ;)

    Reply
    • I think getting to know the people who read our blogs is great! That has been one of the nicest things about blogging for me. Yes, in the beginning we probably visit to be polite. Many of us seem interested in getting to know others and what better way then to reciprocate and see what they’re all about as well? Still we needed run ourselves ragged because we feel obligated when we just don’t have the time. :)

      Reply
  9. Ok, normally I will visit people who comment. Generally, it’s the same group who comment on my page, and we know each other quite well, in this on-line universe. But, I don’t go visit the people who click the like button very often.

    I find the whole ‘follow’ thing odd. All the people following my blog who have never left a comment and are strangers. I have no idea what the etiquette is there. Do you?

    Reply
    • I sometimes visit those who hit the like button when time and curiousity permit. That’s not often. We do know that wordpress encourages people to “like” a post to encourage blog hits to your blog. Truthfully,(and I’m probably going to get myself in trouble here) I wonder if many don’t just do that to increase traffic to their own blogs, same as the “follow.” If the amount of people who are “following”my blog read even once in awhile, I think I’d probably get more hits than I do. When it’s someone I know, or someone who has made contact is some way, it feels more genuine. I do like getting to know other bloggers. Like I said, I’m a social butterfly.

      There, I go that off my chest..lol

      Reply
  10. Marsha

     /  March 16, 2012

    I am not a very good blogger. I comment occassionaly on other blogs…most of the time I read what is written and continue on….I don’t have much free time. When I do comment, I backspace a hundred times because I fear what I am saying sounds stupid.

    Reply
    • Marsha, truthfully commenting on a lot of blogs is really time consuming. We all can only so do much. And as far as sounding stupid, I can’t speak for everyone but I’m sure we’ve all left some less than stellar comments from time to time. Too back wordpress won’t let us go back and edit them ..lol

      Reply
  11. Could not send re Indian heritage question so write here. It is most likely spam for id theft or infect virus. Just keep spamming and delete.

    Reply
    • I don’t as a rule get that kind of spam, maybe because I don’t do very many online things. I figured it was best not to respond to this one, though. If anyone legitimately emails, they should at least address me by my name and not send a vague email. I’d rather err on the side of caution. I get enough emails to sift through without getting loads of spam. lol!

      Reply
  12. I like commenting and reading comments. I’m addicted, what can I say? Time is becoming an issue, so I’m going to have to change my ways a bit. I don’t feel like I HAVE to comment, but when I researched blogging before I got started, commenting was recommended, and I feel that has helped to build relationships with other bloggers.

    Reply
    • I rarely read the comments heft by others on a blog I’m commenting on, but I know many others do. Commenting helps us get to know our readers better, and I’m sure I went through a phase, in the beginning, where I did feel a certain obligation. I’m with you, time is becoming an issue. Luckily, I think most of us do understand this. I do like the “like” button because if we don’t have time to comment, we can at least let the blogger know we read their post.

      Reply

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