My Summary of Previous Post: Comment Here or Comment There?

So 26 people commented regarding how they handle comments on their blogs - whether they email responses back to the commenters, or visit their blogs and leave a reciprocal comment, or reply to comments within their own comments.

For the most part, I think everyone is evenly divided on this subject. I Need a Martini Mom had over 100 comments on this topic, and I think her comments were about as evenly divided as those left on my blog.

Here's my take on the comments that y'all left on this subject: we all do the best we can, and we all do it differently. And there's really no right or wrong way, no true blog etiquette when it comes to comments and responding to them.

Neil from Life with Dogs responded with his trademark humor, at first: No comment. :-p

He followed that up with: And now for a real answer. I can't do it. Can't visit or comment on all. And I don't like that I cannot, but when I work 80 hours a week, getting back to 30 or 45 comments from a post can eat a lot of time.

Bottom line: just respond as much as you can. Obviously those who get TONS of comments cannot feasibly respond to every single one. But I've been to blogs who have, for example, less than 20 readers and when I've left comments I've never heard a word from them... even when I've left multiple comments over the space of a few weeks. I'm sorry, but if you obviously don't care that I'm reading your blog, then I'm not going to visit anymore. At that point, I'm feelin' like a dog kicked to the curb.

Midlife Slices said: Either way, I feel if you leave your blog open to comments, you should respond in some way or another and if you're too busy to do that, then you should close your comments.

I have to agree with her statement. If you want to blog and you have no intention of ever responding or even acknowledging those who read your blog, then why are you blogging at all?! Make your blog private if it's only for family and friends. Or close the comments section if you don't want to deal with comments.

As far as responding to comments, we've probably all wondered or thought, "there's got to be a better way to do this!" I always have a feeling of disorganization when I'm trying to stay on top of everyone who has commented; I want to be sure I take the time to return the favor in one way or another.

I've decided that it works best for me to leave the emails in my inbox (I have the comments set up to forward to my yahoo email account) until I have taken the time to go through them and reciprocate - either by email if their email is available, or by going to their blog.

I think most of us agreed that it sure does make life easier if people turn on their email permissions -- in Blogger, you can do this within your Edit Profile section. I'm not sure how it's set up in Wordpress. Sometimes, if you've left me a comment that includes a question for me, I prefer to respond directly to you. I still visit your blog in most cases, but having your email just makes my life a lil easier!

Smart Mouth Broad said: I always respond to comments within my blog but wonder if anyone comes back to read them. I love it when it turns into a conversation in the comment section but it's not always that way. Who has the time to go back several times. So many little time.

SMB hit it right on the nose; when the comments turn into a conversation, it's a pretty cool thing! I guess if I don't respond within my own comments, I've killed the potential to have this happen.

When I posted this topic on Sunday, I had decided to change my response format, and to start commenting within my own comments. But after doing it only once on Saturday, it feels foreign to me. I'm not used to doing it that way. So I've changed my mind and I'm not going to do it that way. I'll continue responding via email or by visiting your blogs.

In the meantime, I think we can all hope that perhaps Blogger and/or Wordpress will come up with a way to streamline the whole comments forum. I like the way Wordpress allows their bloggers to respond to comments, and from what I understand, the response posts within the comment section AND can also be set up to email the comment response to that person. If that's the case, then Wordpress sounds like they're on the right track.

Wendy from Of Books and Boys mentioned: After reading, I have longed to have a comment forum as she does (she calls hers the VIP lounge and regularly gets feedback conversations going on).

We'll cross our fingers and hope that the blog engines out there will think harder about how to better their available comment options; a forum like Cardiogirl has would be oh-so-cool! There are most likely plug-ins out there, but the more things I "plug-in" to my blog, the chances increase that I'm going to mess up my blog for sure!

I just proofread what I've typed in this post so far... my eyeballs are chasing themselves around in their sockets. I'm not sure if it's because what I've written here so far is confusing, or if it's because I'm extremely tired.

I'll go ahead and post this and maybe take a nap, or get caught up on the Bachelorette episodes I've missed. A few hours from now I'll read this again; if it still sounds confusing, then I'll fix it. 'K?


  1. I think it is just SO MUCH EASIER to reply via email. I love it when the email is hooked up to a person's "handle" - you know, when you edit your profile i think you can set this up.

    It affords a real personal connection with people, which I LOVE LOVE LOVE.

  2. I am guilty of not responding to comments left on my blogs. I need to get over their right now and see if I can respond via email! Thanks for bringing this topic up for discussion!

  3. Hey sweetie - I try and always reply to comments but some I miss. Speaking of comments - come see me because I left a little surprise for you at my blog. Hugs@ Linda

  4. well, talk about typos - I meant to just leave u Hugs...not Hugs @ me....I'm such a hoot! come visit soon! It's a good thing. :)

  5. I like the gist, we do the best we can. It's difficult sometimes.

  6. My problem is not when someone actually writes something, but what if they just say "I know what you mean" or "I hate that too"?

  7. Help! I just lost my comment - I think! Well if two show up you will know what happened.
    I didnt see this post as we have only recently found each other's blog.
    I agree with you - if you keep leaving comments and nobody gets back you tend to feel rejected.
    There has to be reciprocity - I dont expect a comment on every post but if I never get a reply I start to wonder why I am bothering.
    I know everyone is busy - I also work, blog and dog walk!
    I cannot comment on every post on every blog and dont expect anyone else to but I try to maintain contact.
    That is what I enjoy about blogging - getting to know other people and their dogs. I enjoy the humour and the friendship. People who dont think I am mad cos I love my dogs!!!
    My own personal HATE is people who copy and paste the same comment onto every blog - what is the point of that???
    Rant over for today and off to work now!!!
    Thanks for that
    Martha & Bailey's Mum xx

  8. I believe I have a simple mind, as I didn't know this is complicated. Perhaps I've been talking online for so long I don't give it much thought. I am often not responded to. If there is email notification of responses you don't have to check back to see who is saying what.

    Very often a single response covers everyone. But I don't have a really busy blog, so what do I know! No response necessary to this. : )

  9. I so wish I had more time to comment on all the blogs that I love - I really wish there was a way to comment from my reader instead of having to wait until the pages load, it would save so much time! I don't respond to every comment but many times will especially if their email is available. I also occasionally comment back in my comments, but feel like they may never see it. If it's been a while since I commented on their blog, then usually instead of commenting back, I'll visit their blog and comment on their posts. Hmmm I seem to be in to run on sentences today! Anyway, have a great weekend!!!!

  10. Very interesting! I'll probably keep doing what I'm doing. If someone new comments on my posts, I try to go to their blog and check it out and comment on their latest post. I'm sure I don't get them all, but I try.

    Thanks for the wind-up of the survey!

  11. Good survey. Makes us think of the best way to answer everyone, I didn't know how and now I have a little better knowledge of how to do it thanks to you.

  12. I sure hope I've never made you feel like a dog kicked to the curb. This past week and a hlaf have been taken over with mare and foal issues and sleeping in the barn. And the last two nights have been in my own bed....and that takes some getting used to. lol!

    As for me and comments. I don't expect anyone to reply to my comments I leave on their blogs.

    I consider them a gift...sort of like when you're bed ridden and people stop over and bring you meals....but put the meals in disposable dishes so you don't have to wash 'em and return 'em?
    No obligation, given from the heart :)


  13. After reading your blog on the comments, I tried to leave comments back to comments within my own blog (that doesn't make sense but you get the idea..LOL). I'm with felt foreign. I've gone back to what I did before and leave a comment on their blog. It does get you over to their blog and lets them know you care about what they have to say, too! comment necessary ☺!

  14. First, Thanks for stopping my blog and commenting on my post about Guilt Free Blogging. I've also dealt with this comment conundrum. At first I commented on all comments within my own post. Then I realized that not everyone will return to read them. Huge waste fo time and effort. Now I reply through email - if available- and if not within the comments section of my own blog. I always return a visit to someone who comments on my blog for the first time and I always thank someone for following me. I do not feel obliged to follow someone who follows me, but I do always visit their blog at least once and comment. This really is a confusing subject - isn't it?

  15. I agree that when you comment on a small blog - several times, and you get NO response, it is quite frustrating.
    Right now, I am getting NO comments, but I'm not posting either.
    I guess you can't have it both ways. :)

  16. I don't expect anyone to reply to my comments. I still can't quite get back to all who comment each week, but can likely catch up with most in a two to three week cycle. I don't want to close comments because some people (like myself) like to be able to leave them.

  17. Just like everyone else, I love comments. I read every one of them and enjoy each of them and they are the reason I blog. Summer here in Vermont is so brief and I'm not as quick to respond to people because I'm outside working on the farm but I always get back to people eventually.
    I had been replying to people within the comment box but I'm not sure people come back so now I try to answer questions in my next post.
    In the winter, I'm online more and am quicker to respond.

  18. Great subject! I probably follow too many blogs but there are just so many great ones out there what is a blog addict like me to do? :-)

    I do try to at least visit in return their blogs and leave comments for people that leave comments on my blog. Sometimes I don't always get that done when things get busy at home but I do try my best.

    I also found when our high speed internet service was down and I was forced back on dial-up it just made a huge difference in how many comments I could leave. It just took so long to load each page but I still did my best because I appreciate the comments left on my blog so much I do want to let people know that.

    As far as questions left on my blog. I usually go to that person's blog to answer them but once in awhile I have answered them within the comment section of my own blog. I prefer to do it that way because as you mentioned it can be a start of a great conversation but I also know that many people just don't have the time to keep coming back to check the comments on my blog.

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