I Have a Comment to Make

Just thought I’d pass along a thank you to all of you who read my blog. You make my day 🙂

I started this site shortly before my book came out as a place for people to come if they were looking for information about my book or me. As authors we’re told it’s the thing to do.

Being new to blogging, I never expected to form online relationships as a direct result of blogging. I had no idea what blogging was all about. In fact, it took me a long time to come to terms with the notion that I was actually blogging…I know, sounds kind of silly.

I read quite a number of blogs myself—when I get the time that is. I read somewhere that the average blogger follows at least 200 blogs. Wow! All I can say it thank goodness for Google Reader.

WordPress allows us to subscribe to blogs by email which means each time a post is written it comes to our inbox. I gave up my email subscriptions after I discovered more and more blogs. For me, Google Reader works much better. I know by the number of email subscribers to my blog that obviously not everyone finds this method overwhelming. In fact, it obviously works quite well for them.

I don’t comment on all the blogs I follow (I wouldn’t have time to write if I did) but I try to comment whenever possible. I like for people to know that I’m out there and reading the posts they took the time to write.

One thing I’ve noticed through blogging is that various bloggers treat the comment section on their blog differently. Some bloggers disable the comment section altogether, while some leave theirs open to comments, and reply to each one. As you know, this is what I do. For me, I find it helps me to get to know all of you. I do like getting to know people. 🙂

I’ve noticed that not all bloggers respond to comments on their blog. One blogger noted she felt it was similar to inviting someone to your house and then ignoring them once they get there. Again, some bloggers respond to the occasional comment or acknowledge the comments in a general way.

Make no mistake responding to comments is time consuming, and I can understand why some bloggers might not have time to respond to each and every comment left on their blog— especially those blogs that typically receive many comments.

This post isn’t meant in any way to be a criticism about how other bloggers relate to the comment sections on the own blog. We’re all free to do as we please.

What I’d like to know is, what are your thoughts on this issue?

Here’s what I’m curious about: When you leave a comment on a blog do you feel slighted if you receive no response? Do you feel ignored? Or do you even check back to see if the blog host responded to your comment? If you’re a blogger yourself how do you respond to comments on your blog?

One last question: Do you even care if the blog host responds to your comment?

I think that’s it, unless you can think of your own questions…

Ooops! Nope I thought of something else. Do you use Google Reader or email subscription or perhaps you just bookmark your favoutie blogs? That’s the last question, I promise.

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41 Comments

  1. I answer every comment, Laura…I’m one of those people who thinks it’s rude not to acknowledge people who’ve come to visit! I usually only bother to read blogs where writers acknowledge comments…the community is important to me!

    I find that e-mail subscriptions work better for me…I have a few RSS feeds (e-mail subscriptions weren’t available), but these are on my work computer, so I can’t get at them when I’m home.

    Wendy

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    • Interesting, Wendy. I’m sure other people feel the same way you do about only reading blogs where comments are acknowledged. For some people this is important. They feel that the blogger appreciates their coments.

      Many of the people who have subscribed to my blog never comment. I think some people prefer to be anonymous or who knows maybe they’ve subscribed but never read.

      I have some blogs in my google reader that I like to read but very rarely comment, sometimes because they receive so many comments it just feels as though mine would get lost.

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  2. 1959duke

     /  March 9, 2011

    I don’t feel slighted. You are right there is the issue of time for some. I respond to mine because I don’t get that many.

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    • Thanks for commenting, Mike. It always nice to see everyone’s perspective. I understand that many people feel they way you do.

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  3. I need the Google Reader. My brother told me I needed it, but I’m such a techno-illiterate that I can’t figure it out.

    That aside, I reply to all who comment on my posts. I like to read their comments and I am glad they visit. I, too, notice that not all bloggers reply to every comment, and I can see how impossible it would be for some that get so many comments. I am not offended if I do not receive a reply, but I also am not likely to keep commenting. Maybe I do feel ignored. If I like the blog, I might keep visiting, but not commenting. You know how busy we are, though, Laura. Stopping to read is time consuming, even if it is enjoyable. I enjoy your blog and the considerate way you reply to each of us. You are genuinely a nice person. Blessings to you, Laura…

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    • I hear what you’re saying Carol Ann. I have in the past have felt that if I leave comments on various occasions that are never acknowledged either with a comment or even a return visit at least once I personally take that as disinterest on the bloggers part. That might not even be the case. Not that I’m saying I expect a visit for visit, because I don’t. We are all busy and blogging is time consuming. Sometimes just a one time, “thank you for visiting my blog” is nice. I like to acknowledge my visitors. Not everyone feels that way.

      And thank you for your sweet words, Carols Ann. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you this past while. 🙂

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  4. You know, I had the same experience with blogging, Laura. An agent told me to set up a blog, so I did. I had no idea of the relationships that would form! It’s wonderful!

    200+ blogs they follow. Wow!! I don’t come anywhere near, and I don’t imagine I ever would. How???

    I like to be acknowledged when I leave a comment. I feel that a post is a discussion. I answer every comment on my blog (unless I miss one) although sometimes I’m slow at getting back to people (just my life situation at the moment, as I guess you understand! lol).
    And, I’ve been meaning to give goodle reader a go, but never did yet. On that ever expanding to do list.

    Glad you decided blogging was the thing to do 🙂

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    • I do realize though, that things happen sometimes people can’t respond to comments, and some people I think get comments in heaps and mountains – would be impossible to answer all of those as well. I like a small amount of comments, keeps things manageable and also allows me to get to know other bloggers better. I know that I should be wanting more, more, but really I don’t. (and gee, my tongue really went loose, must be because I’m typing withoug a baby on my lap for the first time in ages! lol)

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      • The amount of comments that some blogs get are simply outrageous and I can certainly see how a blogger would have time to respond to each and every one. I don’t expect I’ll ever have that problem so for now I usually respond to each comment becasue I do like to get to know my readers. For me that means a dialogue back and forth.

        But as there are many many bloggers out there there are many opinions about this. Thanks for dropping in, Jennifer. I always feels graced by your presence because I know how extremely challenging it must be for you to be blogging/writing and being a mommy to three small kids.

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  5. I don’t feel slighted if my comments are not responded to on other blogs. Sometimes I check back for answers, especially if I asked a follow up question in my comment or if I know the blogger will leave an interesting reply.

    I treat my comments on other blogs and the responses to comments on The Chameleon’s Backbone as an extension of my blog and its theme/topics. I don’t feel pressured to comment or to respond to a comment on my own site if I don’t have anything substantive to say. Lately, however, I’ve been responding to all comments because I don’t get an overwhelming number and I truely appreciate the time that people take to visit my site and leave a comment.

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    • Tracy, you have a very laid back attitude about comments and it sounds as though you’ve found an approach that work well for you. One thing about this is there really is no hard and fast rule. Just because we’ve done something one way for awhile doesn’t mean we can’t do something different later on as you’ve just mentioned.

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  6. Let me preface my observations by saying I’ve been blogging for over five years now, and have seen many bloggers come and go in that time. There’s something I fondly call comment karma–if you that’s a general you, not you specifically) want comments, you need to do one of several things: either reply to your comments (as you, Laura, can so easily do in WordPress, which to me is the only superior thing about WordPress compared to Blogger) or else go visit the commentee’s blog(s) and leave comments for them. Some do both. Some do neither. I answer my comments whenever possible, especially if there are questions that require answers, but I can’t reply to each one individually all the time, especially when there’s nothing much to say except Thank you! So I go visit the other person’s blog and leave a comment there.
    There are some, however, who never leave comments elsewhere, or reply to those they receive, and then wonder why they don’t get many visitors or much feedback. I have stopped visiting some who never reciprocate in any way, because apparently they’re not interested in a conversation. It happens.
    All that said, however…it can be overwhelming if one tries to reply to every comment or return to ever blog if one has a lot of traffic. And we have to decide how much time we can spend, as you note, away from our ‘real writing’–the kind that pays the bills. 🙂 I take time to read blogs regularly, but I don’t profess to read every post on every one of the hundreds of blogs I follow through one medium or another. It can all get to be too much, and then it’s no fun.

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    • Thanks, Jodi, your comments are always welcome and coming from someone who has blogged for five years I’m sure you have seen many bloggers come and go.

      There have been a few blogs that I have lost interest in when the blogger doesn’t seem to have any interest, and I’m sure it has happened to many other people.You do make a good point there.

      I like the way you handle the comments on your blog, and by visiting the blogs of those who leave comments you’re showing that you are interested. Not only that you take the time to leave well thought out answers. I’m sure many people appreciate that. I know I do.

      I follow a fair amount of blogs. I have a few that I regularly comment on and others I read faithfully yet rarely comment. One thing I think we’ll all agree on is that no matter which way you look at it blogging is time consuming and yet most of us would also agree that we enjoy the interaction with others..

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  7. Abigail

     /  March 9, 2011

    200 blogs???? Is that all they do? Geesh!

    I try to leave a comment for everyone who visits any of my blogs. And I check blogs that I comment on to see if anyone responded. So make sure you do, Laura! *laugh*

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    • Yes indeed. 200. I had the same reaction when I read that. I’m scared to check how many blogs I have in my Google Reader now.

      I sometimes check back for a response, but sometimes I just don’t have the time for that. Yeah, I knew you’d be checking, Gayle..lol!

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  8. I read much more than I comment, and never feel slighted if writers don’t respond. It’s great to get responses, but I assume people are as crazy-busy as I am and might not have a chance to get to every comment. On the flip side, I try to respond to all comments on my blog. I might not get to them immediately, but I get to them.

    I would love to have the luxury of reading all of the blogs I like all the time, commenting on each post, checking back for responses … but I really don’t have that kind of time. I use Google Reader, but even that started to feel like too much (logging in and seeing that there were over 300 new posts to read just made me want to log off again!). My solution right now is to check in with a random selection of sites from my blogroll every week or two. Not only does it enable me to catch up with people, it also helps ensure that the links on my blogroll are still active.

    (Thanks for stopping by my page tonight. I appreciated your comment!)

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    • Nice to have you drop in Stacie, and for your comment. As great as what Google Reader is I also find it a bit overwhelming if I’ve been away from it for a day or so and log in to see so many unread posts waiting for me. There are a few blogs that I read most every post, but many of the others I have to pick and choose. If someone has four posts waiting for me, I try to read one or two.

      Receiving your first published works in the mail is a big deal, so I wanted to send my congrats.Here’s to many more!

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  9. As you know, Laura, I do reply to all comments on my blog because my posts are meant as a conversation opener. Sometimes I end with a direct question, like you just did. So if you respond, I would be rude not to acknowledge you.

    As for bloggers who never respond to comments, I always wonder why they even have comments open. It seems rather selfish. Even if they don’t respond individually, the very least they could do is write one general thank you reply.

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  10. Oh, and I subscribe to the RSS feed, but read those feeds through my email software, Thunderbird.

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    • I’m not sure I understand what a RSS feed is. Guess I’m behind times.

      I’ve seen blogs where people make a general comment at the end, and I’ve done that a time or two here depending upon what the post was about. Sometimes it is challenging to respond to every comment especially, as Jodi said, if all you’re writing is thanks. I do like how Jodi handles the comments on her blog by visiting and commenting on other blogs. It lets the blog follower know that she is interested in conversation.

      I guess it comes down to each of us
      finding out what we’re comfortable and what works for us.

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  11. If I see the blogger already has 40+ comments, I don’t feel I can add much and don’t comment and wouldn’t expect an acknowledgement if I did. The way I see it, the host triggered soemthing among her readers and probably feels it’s best to let her readers mingle without her input.

    I answer each of my comments because my blog is small, and I notice when I visit a like-sized blog and don’t get a response. Then I feel slighted. I guess I’m trying to say, size matters. 🙂

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  12. It does not bother me if I get no reply to my comments unless I ask a question. Otherwise, there really is no point considering most comments are too similar anyway. I’m the same with my own blog. I only reply to comments if there is a question being asked or if I need to clarify something.

    I subscribe through the Google Followers and read blog updates on my Blogger dashboard but I also have a blogroll that includes blogs that doesn’t have Google Followers.

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    • Hi Lissa, nice to add your comment to the mix.

      I’ve seen some bloggers to respond only to those comments that ask a question, or if the person commenting makes a specific point that they feel needs to be addressed. For me, this still gives the impression that the blogger is interested in conversation. I see nothing wrong with this approach.

      Also we don’t know how much time the blogger has available. It can most surely be a bit daunting by times.

      I’ve been on your blog before and it’s lovely.

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  13. 1959duke

     /  March 10, 2011

    All this stuff can give you a headache. The blogging world is a neat place to see what others are thinking and reading.

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  14. An average of 200 blogs!? Wow. I’m in awe. I follow or check in on about ten blogs regularly. That’s probably my limit. Of course, I have stumbled upon blogs to read just one post of interest and then continued on, never to return.

    Personally, I’d rather be regularly involved with ten blogs instead of casually involved with 50 blogs.

    Do I feel ignored if the blogger doesn’t comment on my comment? No, not really. Especially if there have been lots of comments.

    I try and comment at least once on comments made on my blog, but I don’t get a huge amount of traffic. Perhaps if I did, I wouldn’t. Time is valuable to me.

    Sometimes I check back to see if a blogger commented on my blog. I always return to the comment section if I have left a question or if I’m interested in what others have to say about the blog.

    Do I care if a blogger comments on my comments. Yes, I do unless it was a general comment that does not necessarily require a comment. Sometimes I leave a short ‘thank you’ comment to let the blogger know I found their blog interesting. That doesn’t require a comment. I feel if 300 people read a blog and no one commented, it leaves the blogger feeling as if no one was interested.

    I do not use Google Reader — I don’t even know what it is. I use email subscription, so I don’t have to go looking. The blogs I follow are listed in my blog roll, so I can easily find them when I have time to read.

    With so many bloggers out there with different ideas of what is expected and what is not expected, it’s good to have discussions like this to get the ideas out there.

    Great questions.

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    • I was pretty shocked to read this 200 blog average, too. I assume that whoever follows that many can’t read every post. I know I couldn’t. I suppose it comes down to how much time we can devote to blogging. You have young kids at home and that certainly makes a difference.

      You’re right that by leaving comments we are showing the blogger that we are interested and have read their blog. That’s why I like the *like* button on wordpress. I often hit that when I don’t have a comment, but enjoyed the post or if I don’t have time to leave a comment.

      We all seem to have various ideas and opinions on this subject, but it seems that over all most people like to be acknowledged, if not every time than at least when the situation warrants.

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  15. I answer every comment. It just strikes me as the polite thing to do, even if it’s just a “thank you”.

    Maybe this is just me, but I don’t typically *expect* a reply to my comments. I try to live by the Wil Wheaton law of “Don’t be a dick.” I take a very humble stance in regards to this. And I can’t expect a blogger to give me focus and limelight when they’re probably very busy.

    I know that some published authors don’t respond to every comment. It doesn’t really bother me, unless their post is made in a specific environment that encourages/expects comments and discussion, and then it kind of irks me because if you’ve been invited to post there, then you should play by the unspoken rules of the site.

    I don’t subscribe to a blog feed anymore, but I may start again. I’ve been having trouble keeping up with things lately. The biggest problem for me is that I forget to check my blog feed!

    But I do click on the links posted to my friends’ news feed on Facebook.

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    • I like that “Don’t be a dick.” It’s a good philosophy and it also made me laugh because there’s truth in it.

      Facebook is a great way to let people know that you’ve updated especially those people who aren’t bloggers and don’t read blogs on a regular basis. 🙂
      A lot of bloggers do this.

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  16. I respond to every person who comments on my blog because I enjoy it. There are several blogs(maybe 10) that I check every day or so using my bookmarks, and I’ll often leave comments on those. At other times I randomly visit the blogs of people who’ve visited mine and left a comment. If there’s a post I can relate to, I try to leave an appropriate comment, but I don’t get offended if I don’t get a reply. I have dozens of blogs bookmarked, but over time I’ve decreased the number I actively follow.

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    • I used to bookmark the blogs I checked in on regularly or sometimes if I found one that looked interesting and I thought I might want to check back on it later.

      I also like to reply to each comment and as long as there are not an overwhelming amount of comments coming in I’ll probably stick to that, provided time allows.

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  17. Oh boy, you want to get me in trouble, Laura. LOL I will try to answer all comments, but I don’t always check back to see answers. I will go back if I left a question or something. I’m glad we’ve met in the blogging world!

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  18. I use Google Reader and sort those I’m following into folders. Some days I don’t get beyond the folder of my ‘regulars’, but over the week I read the rest. I don’t always comment, especially if it would just duplicate what others have already said, but I like to pop in with a comment every so often even if it’s just to let the blogger know I’m still around. And on my ‘regulars’ I often return to check for follow-up comments or subscribe to the comments so anything will come to my e-mail.

    I know how long it takes to make the rounds and to compose thoughtful comments so I’m not slighted if visitors don’t comment regularly on my posts. But I do appreciate occasional interaction with them — building relationships is the whole point of my blogging.

    Truthfully, I think my blogging and commenting habits vary, depending on what else is going on in my life. Some weeks are busier than others and my online socializing is brief. Other weeks I can spend hours on my online visiting. 🙂

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    • Sometimes I think we forget the lives we all lead outside blogging. It isn’t always easy to make the time to read blogs let alone comment. I enjoy interacting and getting to know people so I really appreciate the comments I receive just as I’m sure every blogger does. 🙂

      I also use Google Reader but I don’t know how to put anything into folders. You now have me curious, Carol. I’ll have to check that out.

      With a dial-up connection I don’t tend to play around with these often.

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  19. For starters, I don’t visit or comment on very many blogs on a regular basis. I think I routinely visit 10 or 12. Lately, I haven’t even had time to post on my own site, even though I have a new book out & should be promoting.

    As to your questions –

    When you leave a comment on a blog do you feel slighted if you receive no response? No

    Do you feel ignored? No

    Or do you even check back to see if the blog host responded to your comment? Sometimes – about 50/50 w/ “regulars”

    If you’re a blogger yourself how do you respond to comments on your blog?
    I try to reply to comments individually.

    Do you even care if the blog host responds to your comment? Not really. Some bloggers get lots of comments – it’s all about time management.

    Do you use Google Reader or email subscription –
    No! I get waaaay too many emails as it is. (My Project Admin actually screens my emails for me – business & personal) I disabled texting on my Blackberry for this reason. I also don’t answer my phone if I don’t recognize the number. Guess I sound strange but … it’s … complicated.

    or perhaps you just bookmark your favourite blogs? I have links set up

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    • I agree with you, Dave about email subscriptions. I started out that way but I was receiving so many emails I couldn’t keep up with it. It would probable be a good system for people who only subscribe to a few blogs or maybe to have a seperate email account for those updates to go into to.

      About the phone, all I can say is thank goodness for caller ID.

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  20. I respond to all comments Laura. I feel it would be rude not to, even if it is just to say thanks for stopping by. I do feel put off when I take the time to comment on someone’s post and they don’t respond. You are right that many more people read posts then those who comment, so taking the time to comment is important. Having someone ignore that rubs me the wrong way.

    I used to get updates on all the blogs I followed via e-mail subscriptions, but changed that when I started following several. If they are WordPress blogs, I just read the subscriptions via the list I’ve set up there. A few outside of that come to me via e-mail. I guess I need to check out Google Reader.

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    • Thanks for dropping in, Barbara.Myself, I like to leave comments because I think it helps to encourage the blogger, and for many people blogging provides a wonderful venue for expressing ourselves to the rest of the world.

      I never want anyone who comments on my blog to feel ignored, so for now I will continue to respond to the comments that people so generously take the time to write.

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