Monday, October 18, 2010

On comments

So I've noticed that one of the things I really do spend a lot of time on in the whole bloggathingary is to reply to individual comments. Bloggers do this differently, and I've found my way that sort of works, sort of. Some bloggers never reply to comments. Some reply to certain comments. Some visit the commentator's blog, and reply there. Some email the commentator. And some, like me, aspire to write individual replies to each comment they get below each post.

I say "aspire to". Sometimes (especially recently) I just don't have the time to cover them all, and I always feel terrible. But should I?

I know some of my visitors come back and read my follow-up comments, but many of them probably don't. Overall I suspect that the majority of my comment replies are never read by the person I replied to (but they might be read by others stopping by to leave a comment, and I often enjoy reading the interaction between a blogger and the visitors on other people's blogs).

Principally, I think interaction is an important part of blogging. Without it, a blog is just another media to publish an article. The interaction is what makes blogging unique. Besides, no single blogger I know of dislikes receiving comments.

Thus, I do think it is important to reply to comments, and I will strive to do so also in the future. But for the moment, when my time is so limited, I hope you all excuse me if I sometimes won't have the time to reply to every single one, or even any of them. I still read them all - and love them - and I also strive to visit other people's blogs and leave comments. Until I can get my thesis out of the way, though, I don't see it as realistic that I will get around to actually participate as much in the blogosphere. Sorry, and thank you for understanding.

25 comments:

Cold As Heaven said...

Yes, if you don't reply to every single comment, one by one, you deserve to feel terrible >;)))

Just joking. If you have the time, it's very nice to reply to each individual. But you don't have to do that every time. In particular, as long as you still work on your thesis, you're excused >:)

Cold As Heaven

Jennifer Hillier said...

I totally understand this. It's hard to respond personally to everyone, especially when you'd like to read their blogs and post comments over there! So I don't think you should worry about it too much. :)

Good luck on your thesis!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

I second CaH- if you don't reply to each and every comment, you deserve to feel terrible.

As for me, I try to reply to every comment, but in that quest, I often end up replying only a day or two after the comments have been posted- which sort of makes it pointless, ne?

M.J. Nicholls said...

Yes, I've always wondered if people read the responses to their comments. I usually do, but if I'm commenting on six thousand blogs it's not always worth it to go back through them all to read "hahaha good comment" or "yes that is true."

I'm also guilty of not responding until the next day. Mainly because Blogger keeps logging me out and I'm lazy.

Cruella Collett said...

CAH - but I do feel terrible! It feels as though I am ignoring my wonderful readers even if I'm not. But thanks ;)

Jennifer - thank you, I may need all the luck I can get with the thesis... And yes, you're right, it is probably more valuable to leave a comment elsewhere than to be a zealot about replying here.

Natasha - if I have a question, for instance, I might actually go back several days to check. But you're right - delayed comments might be less of a point than immediate ones.

Mark - is it Blogger that logs you out, or is it you that logs in as the King of Gjøvik and whatnot? ;)
And I agree - it feels pointless to reply unless you actually have something to say...

Jan Morrison said...

oh man, I go back and forth on this one. Sometimes I check if someone has responded to my comment but usually not. I never feel bad if they haven't so?? Many comments that are received are pretty much equal to a 'hi, I was here and don't have much to say or the time to say it' variety and I'm sorry but what does one say to that. Sometimes I do it out of duty but not always. I sound poopy I guess but I'm trying to be honest. It takes a lot of time to make meaningful comments on many sites but I am happy when I do this regardless of being acknowledged or not. There.

David L Macaulay said...

This is so true. But on the upside I seldom have time to go back to individual blogs to see who hasn't commented on my postings. it's an exercise in randomness.

Hannah Kincade said...

I always subscribe to comments because I want to see what the response will be to my ridiculous comment. I email commenters if they provide an email, otherwise I just comment on my blog. Sometimes I do a general comment, it depends. I spend a lot of time doing it as well but I figure if someone took the time to comment, I should say something back, even if it's just a general thank you to everyone.

Stephen Tremp said...

Your thesis is muy importante. Best wishes with that. Keep us updated on your progress. We're all proud of you.

Stephen Tremp

nonamedufus said...

I must say you've been very good in responding to comments and visiting other blogs - like mine! But we all know there are times real life just has a habit of getting in the way. And that's not a bad thing. Otherwise we'd all weigh 500 pounds and suffer from acute eye strain. You're to be admired for trying to do it all but right now your thesis needs your focus. Go for it!

Georgina Dollface said...

I totally understand the time thing. I blog in the morning and if not too tired, also at night, but rarely at work. It's just not the risk of someone stumbling upon my blog. I try my best to reciprocate on comments, usually by visiting the commenter's blog in return. I think after awhile, people figure out what a blogger's style is and then just go with the flow. I return to blogs when I know the blogger replies, but it doesn't make me like them any less if they don't. Do what you can, when you can. We all have a life to live. I think most of us understand and can spot sincerity easily. And you are an incredibly sincere blogger. - G

M.J. Nicholls said...

I came back! Back to award Morrison and Dollface the Longest Comment of the Day Award. Share it between yourselves, you shining starlets.

LTM said...

mbrr... this blogging world just keeps pushing FORWARD... I try to come back and read comments--esp the really provocative ones. :D But I also do the whole email thing to my commenters. If I can...

sigh. it's tough keeping up! :D

Hart Johnson said...

I think you and I think very similarly on this... responding to the comments one by one is like a little thank you to the people who drop by and I feel like I should. There are two exceptions though... SOMETIMES you are just too busy and the first time you get there there is already a LONG string of comments. And SOMETIMES you've posted something and almost all the comments are the SAME (especially if it is a congrats or something for meeting a goal)--if everyone is saying the same thing, i feel like I can respond back collectively. Mostly though, I try to be more personal than that...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I respond to comments on my blog because it is interaction and quite a few check back.
However, commenting on other's blogs - I do good to get there once!

Kelly said...

I always try to check back if I know someone is in the habit of replying to their comments. But in instances like this...you've told us you're very busy so I wouldn't expect you to have time to do a lot of responding (or blog hopping).

I've recently tried to get better about making personal responses though I'm not sure anyone ever comes back for a second look.

The Golden Eagle said...

I try to respond to every person who comments on my blog (or, if they follow me, to follow them back). Sometimes I have to reply to them the next day, but I also feel bad about letting their comments just sit there open-ended.

Cruella Collett said...

Jan - I agree, I prefer making meaningful comments too. And since I get so many back, I do want to reply to most of them. But yes, certain comments are hard to reply to. There are only so many ways to say "thanks" after all...

David - this is true. I also confess that I sometimes forget which blogs I have and have not left a comment on, unless they are really specific to the topic. I wish I was more organized in my randomness, though ;)

Hannah - so you'll get an email with this now, then, won't you? Tee hee. *waves at Hannah* I agree, though, a comment deserves acknowledgement. (Will get back to that once thesis is done)

Stephen - thank you! It is muy importante, and muy time consuming, but unfortunately also muy-muy boring. I'm desperately craving for the finish line!

Noname - so far, I have, perhaps. Thesis is getting the better off me. But I will get back in swing after it's all over! (And likewise - on the being good part, not "thesis" or "all over"...)

Georgina - sincere blogger! I think that's the nicest thing someone has told me in a while (not that people aren't telling me nice things - they are, actually, I'm just not a good listener right now...) :)

Mark - you came back! To hand out awards! Love that! You're getting the double commenter award today!

Leigh - that's true. Forward means looking back is unlikely/unnecessary/un-somethingelse. I still do it occasionally ;)

Tami - you're right (since we're thinking similarly and all...). If there is time - reply. If not.... Write thesis.

Alex - that's true. Which is one of the major reasons why I don't expect people to come back (even if I reply just in case. Like now...)

Kelly - yes, we do develop habits, and people will notice, of course. I don't check back on bloggers I know don't reply to comments, so it makes sense.

TGE - exactly. I usually follow back too, but lately the google tool has been acting weird. Increasing numbers but no new faces - what's up with that?

I think consensus has been reached - it's good to comment, but you can't expect people to check back. And I will resume regularly scheduled comment replying as soon as I have my head above the water. Thanks for the input everyone :)

Holly Ruggiero said...

When I first started out blogging I didn’t reply unless a specific question was asked. The more I blogged and saw how others blogged I started replying more. I don’t reply to every commenter though.

Clarissa Draper said...

Please, do not respond to this comment because I will not be back to check your reply.. I just don't have enough time today. That doesn't mean I don't love you or your blog but I just can't...

Oh, and I beg all bloggers PLEASE DO NOT EMAIL ME REPLIES... not unless I ask you to or unless I ask you a question.

Great post.

CD

Deb and Barbara said...

I usually expect that the blogger at least engages somewhat with their readers after the post. That's my personal preference. Love getting comments myself and also leaving comments, but usually don't go back to read comments on comments. Except this time -- I'm going to check if you replied to my comment and if you don't I'm going to haunt you with it over the blogoshpere. No, I'm not. Don't listen to me...

xo b

Jen Daiker said...

When I first started blogging I was very strong in the commenting within my comment section, it was fun and it made me feel important.

Now that I have an overload of comments and little time on my hands I had to make a decision. Visit their blog and respond there along with reading their post for the day, or reply to their comment in my blog and get to writing. I chose the first, though I know it's not perfect, and not exactly what I want to do. I know it's the most efficient for me.

I love Jemi Fraser, devoted is an understatement! She is awesome, comments on all of those who comment and then visits their blogs. I aspire to be like her!

Pat Tillett said...

You hit it right on the head. I really do enjoy the interaction of comments and responses to them, so I do it!

After a while it starts to feel like you really get to know folks!

Toemailer said...

I agree with you, blogs are all about communication, expression, interacting, networking, all of it. I try to comment directly on every comment, and I do make a point of going back to blogs I have commented on to see if there was a reply, or maybe because it had to have been interesting for me to comment in the first place. Good luck with the thesis!!

Toemailer said...

Back checking, lol.

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