Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Why Blog ? - Addendum

Thank you, dear readers, for your comments on the previous post. For the first time since I first started blogging, when I had no more than a dozen comments ever, I have replied to each of you  directly following on from your comment. It was a lot of work which took me several hours and I would be grateful if some of you could go and read my replies. It also means that I haven't had the time to visit your blogs as well; I will remedy that as soon as I can.

Could those of you who regularly reply to comments (other than the nice pics - thanks for sharing - wow - good post - variety; or the comments which consist of copied and pasted bits of your original post with a couple of additional, complimentary words), tell me if you find readers coming back to 'collect' your replies? I found it interesting to read and think about your comments and reply right away. It leads to further examination of the original reason for the post and engaged me in a - hopefully not entirely one-sided - exchange with you. But it makes the whole blogging experience even more time consuming. I'd be grateful for your thoughts.

I would also ask those of you who have decided against replying directly to comments to please explain your reasons, if you have them. Blogger has given us this Reply button now and I wonder how many have newly thought of using it. My inclination is towards a genuine exchange with commenters on the posts which would benefit from it, but others might find it irksome to have to return to a post they are done with. Would a compromise, where only those comments which raise a pertinent point receive a reply, be the way to go? Gardening, photographic, memes and other lightweight posts would be excluded; perhaps a quick sentence at the end of the individual post would be useful? Or is the whole thing too cumbersome and complicated?


  1. Hmm, when people leave comments on my blog, it gets emailed directly to me. I reply from there.

    When someone replies to something I commented on directly in the comment section, I don't always know, no. I find that I need the email reminders so I remember to answer, comment, read, etc.

    For example your blog. I may leave a comment in the comment section, and you might reply in the comment section... I don't get an email reminder for that. If I left a comment, and the comment is set up to automatically go to your email and you replied to your email, I will know you replied. Does that make any sense? I follow over almost 200 blogs, and it does get cumbersome if I have to go back to each one to check the comments section. It doesn't feel productive.

    For real interactions, I find emailing to be the best method, but that is just me. If you wish to set it up that way, you may find the options under the setting section.

  2. by the way, I haven't seen that reply button you mentioned. I'll have to check that out!

  3. i have found very few people actually come back and see a reply...there are a few and they know you will engage in conversation but most dont...i tried it early on in blogging...before direct reply and it just did not work for me...and it was time i could reply at their place if i wanted to...

  4. I don't keep track if people come back to read my reply - I assume that if I reply immediately, then most will check within a day or two. When there's a reply to my reply, then I know there's a real conversation going, and it's something I quite enjoy. When I read blogs, I also like to read the blogger's replies to her readers, and that's something I find missing here. (I do know how diligent you are about acknowledging your readers, never fear.)
    But it's a lot of work to reply to the number of readers you have. I don't know what the answer is, but it'll be interesting to see what people have to say about it here.

  5. I've been a bit behind in my blogging endeavors so, after reading your recent posts, I don't feel quite so guilty about not being caught up. As for your question about reply modes, I hardly ever reply on my blog--mainly because I AM never sure if the "commenter" will return to read it. I have a two-pronged strategy: 1. All comments left on my posts show up in my email box. When I am allowed, I email them back directly, saying a quick "thank you," etc. 2. When I can't reply to them directly through email (some people have their settings at ""), I make every effort to track down THEIR blogs to see what they are up to and leave THEM a comment. Since I always appreciate comments, I assume they do to--and I do enjoy visiting their blogs.
    Sometimes it's hard to keep up with you writers--so much good stuff to be read--so little time!!!! I'm looking forward to coming back and seeing what everyone writes about this.

  6. Well, I don't have that handy little reply button on mine but then I am using an old template. I liked it and saw no reason to change regardless of all the urging from blogger. When I reply to comments, as you know, I reply via email. that way if you have a further response I see it instead of having to constantly check my blog 'just in case'. I rarely go back to see if a blogger replied to my comment in their comment section. the reasons may have been a blog I don't regularly follow and don't remember it, it may be that the blogger just doesn't reply to comments, and like you say it's time consuming. There are a few blogs I do go back to after I comment to see if they replied but these blogs are more 'conversational' and I know the authors will respond most the time. I have no idea if people return to my blog to see if I answered their comment. My guess would be that my regular readers do not because they know I don't reply on my blog except for rare occasions when what I have to say is more like an edit. Of course the drawback to getting your comments and replying via email is that many bloggers do not make their return email address available. I can't reply to a 'no-reply' even if I want to. and no, I don't go back and reply on my blog to those. they just miss out on whatever it was I would have said.

  7. As you know, Friko, I reply to every comment left on my blog and enjoy the conversations which ensue. I find a lot of my core commenters come back to read my response because they know there will be always be one, though not always immediately. :-). Others may do what I do when commenting on other people's blogs and subscribe to receive follow-up comments by email, which saves remembering which blogs you have or haven't revisited.

    Incidentally, I get relatively few of the short Wow-type comments, perhaps because like you I tend to write somewhat longer and more reflective posts which seem to draw out considered and interesting comments from my readers. To me the commenting conversation has become an important part of blogging, both on my own blog and on others. Of course I have far fewer followers than you and therefore get far fewer comments (I think the maximum so far is between 25 and 30), so the work and time involved in responding is manageable.

  8. You asked a good question, Why Blog? I think we each might ask ourselves this from time to time. My response since reading your last two blogs is:

    1/ my relatives read my blog and owing to death of other elders, I am now the "Senior" in my family. When I write about my parents, siblings, etc. I know many of my family members are reading what I write; Just last week I received a birthday card from one of my Chicago cousins who told me she "loves to read my blog." She has urged her seven siblings to read it too.

    2/ I send my blog to Facebook where my friends can catch up with me..think of it as one of those awful "group" letters you receive at Christmas. (I assume some people in England have used this type of letter to update everyone at once?)

    3/ I have decided I can't be anyone but me and when I write, I write what I know. Yes, I am brainy, but my excuse is that my grandfather worked for a man who was a colleague of Einstein. My mother was like her father, extremely intelligent, but because she was very poor, she never had an opportunity to acquire a higher education, and like those sad souls in de Beauvior's 'Second Sex' lost her way. Thus another female light was extinguished. I suppose I try to make up for her in some way (fueled by anger no doubt).

    4/ I blog because I like it. Addiction, no, but writing is a family pasttime (my Mother wrote pulp fiction ( i.e., trashy romances) on a battered typewriter, and my daughter and two granddaughters are English majors). Writing is better that the drugs Mom took.


    PS the last thing anyone who knows me says about me is that I am sweet. I make an effort to be honest, and honestly, I think I err on the side of being too blunt at times.

  9. The give and take of thoughts exchanged is how we get to know one another. I tend to give up commenting on blogs where there is never any feedback. After commenting, on some blogs, it is necessary to sign up to follow subsequent comments (hit subscribe by email). The whole chain arrives in my gmail box, which I then read. I don't have to return to the original blog/post to see that.
    I believe that using the reply option means that the reply is private and not shown under your comments for all to see.

  10. As for me, I admit I like it when a blogger replies to a comment I've made on their blog. I sometimes reply to comments made on my own But replying to every comment seems like overkill to me, esp. since a lot of comments echo similar points of view. But, yeah, it's nice to see one or two replies per post, if for no other reason than to keep the conversation going.

  11. Some do come back, some don't. I usually go back to a post where I have left a comment after a day or two, to see whether the blog owner has replied to my comment, and I am always pleased if they have. It actually can be a bit disappointing NOT to have any reply to a comment, especially if it contained a question.
    Most of the bloggers whose blogs I comment on, though, are thoughtful enough to reply.
    On the other hand, I find it a bit odd if someone leaves a comment on my blog, I reply to them, and then never hear from them again - it happened so when the socks giveaway was still running: someone left a comment that they wanted to be included, but their profile lead to nowhere, so I asked them how I was supposed to get in touch in case they won; they never came back. Well, they didn't win, but still...

  12. I love comments, too, and have fun replying to them, when it's something that is conversational. Some reply to my replies. I really love it when people reply to other people's comments. Fun! Sometimes it seems better to e-mail a response. I find blog friendships special and enriching.

    While I appreciate the thought behind an award, I'm not much on "tagging" people if it means making work on their part.

    When I first bookmarked your blog, I wasn't sure where to put it--I love the writing, the photography, the gardening...!

  13. Dear Friko, . . . I admit that every time I return to a blog where I've commented, I look to see if the blogger there has replied. For me, the idea that my response haa somehow spoken to the blogger appeals. Moreover, I do respond to comments--but then I don't receive nearly the number that you do. The most comments I've ever had was about thirty. You get many more and so responding thoughtfully takes much more time. When I respond, I look for the theme behind the comment. What is the person trying to tell me about how what I wrote impinged on her or his life and thoughts? That's what I want to respond to. And that takes time.

    If the time should ever come that I get many more comments--my average really is only about twenty for each of my two postings a week--then I'll probably have to rethink this. But I truly like the idea of a someone commenting--as if sitting across the table from me--and my responding.


  14. I love comments on my blog and don't reply to most of them, unless they ask a question or there is a special reason for me to reply. I follow a lot of blogs, almost always leave a comment when I read a post, but do not go back to see if the blogger replied. That would be very time consuming for me. Imagine I leave 20 comments a day, and would then check back to that same post a couple days later to see if the blogger replied! I enjoy reading blog posts and blogging and aim to keep it fun.

  15. Ich selbst fand es immer wichtig, auf die Kommentare zu antworten, denn für mich ist ein Blog auch und vor allem ein Raum, in dem ich andere Leute kennen und schätzen lernen kann. Eine Diskussion ist bereichernd, ist persönlicher und macht es auch reizvoller und sinnvoller, eine Meinung oder Idee zum Eintrag zu schreiben. Ich selbst freue mich immer auf Antworten. Mit der Zeit hat sich das in der Blog-Welt so eingebürgert, nicht auf die Kommentare zu antworten. Ich schreibe selten Kommentare, wenn ich keine Antwort erhalte, ausser ich habe einen persönlichen Kontakt zum Schreibenden. Allerdings, wenn man soviele Antworten erhält wie Du, finde ich es natürlich verständlich, wenn man nicht antworten möchte. Es gibt einige Leute, die bei mir auf die Antworten warten und geben ein, dass sie benachrichtigt werden wollen, wenn ich eine Antwort schreibe. Ich bin überzeugt, dass die meisten Antworten gelesen werden.
    Ich grüsse Dich lieb und wünsche Dir einen schönen Tag!

  16. I went back to your previous post just now to see what you said about my comment; it was good and I'm glad I didn't miss it. I would not have gone back if you had not mentioned in this post that you responded to ALL of them. The "reply" button is only available if one uses the setting that embeds the comments after the post. I don't use that setting because it doesn't work with some bloggers' browsers. I would find it impossibly tedious to answer every comment I receive with a reply. I was SHOCKED by how much effort it required you to do that and I bogged down before I could read every comment and reply.

    If I only followed a few blogs, I might consider the reply feature to be important, but I myself find it to be a burden. If someone asks me a direct question and I can respond privately by email, I do. If not, I will seek out the person's own blog and put a comment in their comment section. I have started several email correspondences with blogging buddies. It's very satisfying to "know" these people but what I do or don't do is under my own control. Life keeps getting in the way of blogging, which is as it should be, if you ask me (and you did). :-)

  17. I do usually reply to the comments left on my blog. Once in awhile, I'll reply with a general reply (ie thank you all for your concern). I receive notification from wordpress in my email inbox, so, I know if there are comments. I plan to continue to respond to comments left on my blog. If, however, I should ever get the volume of comments you get, I would rethink it. There are a few blogs I read where the author will respond to several commenters in a thread.

    I also get a notice from wordpress indicating if a blogger has responded to a comment I've left. Sometimes, I conversation develops this way.

    I don't mind commenting without a response to my comments. Nor do I mind readers hovering and not commenting, or commenting every-so-often.

    I don't comment on every blog I read. Sometimes there is simply not enough time or I have enjoyed what I read but have nothing to add to the conversation.

    I don't know if this all helps or not, but do feel that blogging should feel good and be a growth process. I do enjoy your writing.

  18. I've avoided the reply set-up so as not to have the obligation to reply to each comment individually. I like to wait until it appears everyone who is going to has commented, then, before I put up my next post, I reply to everyone in a single comment (or sometimes two, as I often exceed the word limit). I have no idea if anyone comes back; I suspect mostly not (which leads me to wonder exactly why I am doing this).

    Even the way I do it, all in one go, it takes a tremendous amount of time, and that's only for the limited number of comments I get, as compared to you. I do like the interchange, if it's substantive, and I feel I've received a reasonable share of that. I notice a lot of folks reply to comments only if they have something particular they want to respond to. That's probably a lot more sensible.

    I do, by the way, go back and look at blogs where I'm aware the blogger tends to reply to comments. I don't get e-mails to alert me--I feel it would be too much coming into my already overfull inbox--so I might miss some.

  19. Friko, I do like getting comments on my blog, and sometimes leave a reply in the comments area, but sometimes send off an email. Whatever convention, it's great to have the exchange of thoughts.

    Yes, all this does take time, and give me yet another alibi (besides the pressures of work) to not post actual blogs very often.


  20. I find it cumbersome to return to blogs and see if the blogger replied to my comment. But that method does ensure a more consistent conversation than dropping a comment on the next post. On some blog interfaces, Typepad, for example, the replies to my comments come to my email box, which I find useful.

    I've been busy lately and have neglected reading a number of blogs, although I have read all of your posts. I just haven't commented. This virtual world of friendship requires some serious thinking and navigating to make it meaningful. It can so easily become trite.

  21. I find this an interesting topic. It is late here and we have a daughter to bring home from school tomorrow. I don't always respond directly on my blog comments but try to get to that persons blog to visit in return. Lately, I have been too swamped to do that. Sometimes actual e-mails are generated, but that is rare. I used blogger comments for a while, but then some said they had trouble leaving comments if it wasn't a pop-up window. So what to do? I leave comments and often click the "subscribe by email" button in case a blogger responds... but that does inundate my email! But I have gotten pretty handy with the delete button :) and I check it a few times a day. It is a busy time of year - that could have been the reason for so low a number in comments.

    I think it is important to do what you can do each day. If that is an in depth comment to each, great. Or a one comment to all - great. Or just visit the blogs that visited you. You don't want to stress yourself out too much. Your voice, your blog is so interesting, I would hate to see that happen.

  22. This is an important topic. We are developing this as we go. I try to be sure that the last comment in every of my posts is my own, thanking those kind commentors who give me so much joy.

    We can never read every post our friends produce, so I just try to enjoy without putting myself on a treadmill. Some days I need to abstain from the web altogether!

  23. though a comment is brief, or seemingly pro forma, it is still a real person taking their valuable time to visit and tell me "I was here, I value your thoughts."


    Warm Aloha from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral

    > < } } (°>

  24. As always, it takes forever to get through your list of comments ;) I like reading those too (when the subject is interesting and time is not an issue).

    I haven't blogged in one week. Has Blogger done something nice by providing a REPLY button? I would use it. In fact, I reply quite often to comments and some people do come back to collect and even comment again. I think they must do this "just in case" because as far as I'm aware, I don't have one of those "inform of replies by email" functions on my blog. I sometimes ask questions on other blogs and if I do, I return for my answers and get a bit sad when there are none.

    I love replying because it's more of a dialogue. I don't get much personally out of one way posts. It does take a lot of time though, you're right. Is it my imagination or are your comments today frightfully long? You must have scared everyone lol.

  25. I try to reply to the more general posts I do but when it is poetry or a short story I don't. I like my work to stand by itself and let comments be, beside it.
    I've been busy dear Friko so must now read your original post.

  26. Dear Friko - I've been working long days on the mainland - it's after 10 and I've just come in - and haven't had time to respond to your first post. I have thought about it often as I've traveled from institution to institution. I've even thought of blogging about your post. Perhaps I will yet. It's late, so just two comments from me. First, I blog because I like to engage with others. I get to write something, others comment, I read what they've written and usually comment. Sometimes I meet the writers, and I love that because I like people - usually! Second, no, I don't respond to each comment unless a questions is asked or some controversy has been raised. I'd find such replying to comments to be onerous - a duty. Then blogging would be work and not fun.
    That's it. Nothing very cerebral about my blogging, but I find the connections very satisfying.

  27. I started out replying to every comment - a hangover from my upbringing, that it's polite to answer when someone has addressed you. Some people no doubt comment, because they feel the need to say something after reading a post. Nothing wrong with that, but where does it all end? "After you." "No, I insist, after you." "Oh, I wouldn't hear of it. After you." You get the picture.

    These days, my blogging time is limited, so I tend to answer direct questions, or respond to remarks that, if left on their own, would leave things unbalanced. Basically, I enjoy writing, and blogging is a recreational outlet. When it becomes a chore, I'll stop, and find something else to do.

  28. Hello:
    We are late here but hope that you have found our personal email detailed and helpful.

  29. In the beginning I used to reply to all comments and then wondered if anyone ever bothered to come back (I know I often don't) so took to replying personally - if an e-mail address was available.

    I must admit I hadn't noticed the reply button and will use that in future. Eventually perhaps blogger will become like FB - notifying us everytime some hits the bloody like button.

    I find the need for constant praise and affirmation of how great we all are somewhat tiresome.

  30. I do try and respond to every comment. It seems a form of politeness - if someone has taken the time to comment, I should acknowledge that by replying. If, as does happen, life gets in the way I put a generic comment up, thanking people and saying that I will not have time to respond to every comment. So far it seems to work.

  31. From the beginning (2006) a blog friend in India taught me to respond to every comment. It was what seemed right to me, as if I were entertaining guests in a salon, and it would be rude not to. Likewise visiting their "salon". I learned much from this practice engaging with what commenters (some) had reflected on, prompted by my post. I developed lasting relationships with some, and others have drifted away. I know that many visitors never returned to read those thoughtful comments of mine, but some did, and those people have mattered. Sometimes too much, and I miss them deeply when they don't visit, I've come to value their feedback so much. That's when the fleeting nature of online friendships can be painful. Is it worth it?

    I've gotten weary of this obligation at times. I still plan to respond to every comment. But every so often I just don't do it (inspired by bloggers like you who don't). I ask myself, is it really necessary? And then I try to visit the blogs of those commenters as a different sort of response. As many comments as you get (really, it is incredible how many), it would be too much to imagine replying to each comment and also visiting every blog, each and every post. There has to be some sort of balance to this, and a healthy review of intention in this blog exchange is important, I think.

    When I know that a blogger responds specifically to each comment, and with thoughtfulness (I think of George at Transit Notes who does this religiously), i do not fail to return and see what he said.

  32. I like to leave comments and do quite often. As for replying, I email directly the person who left comments on my blog. If I can...some people don't leave their email.

  33. I don't reply directly to comments as I just don't have the time. But I do make sure I visit each and every person who comments or likes my posts.

  34. The thing I have discovered in over a year of blogging and actively seeking interaction is that relationships with Bloggers sometimes go through seasons. There will be a flurry of interaction which feeds both mind and heart and then there will be radio silence, which is sometimes sad but simply the nature of most relationships -- which are cyclical. The most poignant griefs are when the silence extends interminably or when a blogger deletes their blog altogether, leaving no trace.

    For me, my relationships with other bloggers are not just about the throwaway comments. They are a journey, in which I keep up with their lives and invite them to keep up with mine. Sometimes, the invitation is tossed into a bin or simply neglected because lives are busy, overwhelmed and frazzled to the point of no longer supplying any impetus toward utility. In other words, 'I have some consciousness that you are there, but I am just too tired and overwhelmed with other demands to respond.'

    Or something.

    Anyway, I think you and I are very similar, in that we somewhat despise shallow, meaningless, compulsory interaction -- and quite savor its opposite. For you, perhaps, there is an indignation at the former which causes disgust and reevaluation. For me, I am a very silly heart, I just keep trying and assume the best.

    All respect,
    Your Girl Wizard

  35. Hi Friko - it was the one thing that has frustrated me when Blogger took off the email connections from everyone's blog posts .. so I didn't get all the replies to everyone's comments. They've now put it back .. but for a few months it wasn't there and I felt bereft ..

    Also I lost that connection with everyone feeling .. and threads of comments when they were there .. lots more reading though ..

    Now it's back - some blogs I love reading everyone's comments to the post, some I'll miss out - now I just have to up the ante .... thought I'd wait til the A - Z is over .. so I'll push that subscribe by email button now: but not for everyone.

    I enjoy seeing everyone's comments at my blog - but question whether anyone comes back for the answers to queries raised, or to read my replies ..

    It's not an ideal situation .. especially if we're prolific posters and commenters on others' blogs ..

    Looking forward to your continued thoughts on this pondering .. cheers Hilary

  36. One of the blogs I visit often began replying to my comments on my blog, which makes sense to me otherwise I might never see it as who has time to revisit every blog every time? And, if you check the email response thingy you get every comment on that persons blog not just their reply to yours which quickly creates an email mess. There should be a better way.

    1. I so agree with Mr. Charleston here. It creates an email mess, which is why I don't subscribe to emails. And yes, there should be a better way!

  37. Until the last couple of months, I was responding to each and every comment on my blog within the comments section. The only reason I stopped was time related. I just couldn't handle that, the posts, the visits and comments elsewhere and my actual photo taking and processing. I know that some came back to read the comments because occasionally they would comment further to my reply.

    Now I'll respond in email if someone asks a particular question or says something that I would like to pursue. I hated dropping the practice of responding to everyone personally but with between 35 and 70 comments, I just couldn't continue. I do however make a point of visiting everyone who stops by my blog, above and beyond those who are already on my reading list.

    As far as my own follow up on other blogs goes... I'm often curious to see what response I might get to a comment so for those, I click on the "Subscribe by email" link and that allows me to see every comment on that post from my own onward right in the body of an email. The only problem with using the "reply" button to respond is that unless you refer to the visitor by name, it's impossible to tell in email, which comment you're replying to (without heading back to the blog) because they comments come out in chronological order and not paired up with the original remarks.

    So now, I'll hit the "Subscribe by email" link before hitting "Publish" and this way I can read all of the comment here which will come after mine.

  38. To comment or not to comment? I think most of us read several, if not many, blogs, so the decision to comment or not often is simply a matter of time, mood, or whether that particular posting struck a chord. Sometimes I simply have nothing to say, even if I thought the posting was most interesting. Do readers come back to see if I've replied to their comments? I don't know if there is a way of knowing that unless a dialog begins, which isn't very often. I would be happy if more readers simply commented at all so I could get a feel for who they are, where they're from, and such. Of those who do comment, I frequently discover a new blog that I'm interested in reading on a regular basis. Plus a comment indicates that someone who stumbles onto the blog actually took the time to read it. Jim

  39. Well, guess what. I came back to see what kind of responses you got to this post! Very very interesting. And some are funny. I think you have awesome followers!

  40. I took a break from blogging this past month...and i come back and it's all different! I'm not sure I'll get caught up on the technology. I'm not going to worry about replying to everything, even though I'm retired, there is a limit to the time I want to spend with this stuff.

  41. Friko, not only do you write in an interesting voice, but many of your commenters do, too. I often read your blog on my iPhone and it's not condusive to responding with much depth. I'm on my laptop now, so I can whip off a comment using all of my fingers!

    I'd like to add that I discovered your blog when I was looking for people who really had a story to tell. You cause me to think and eading decorating blogs is tiresome after awhile.

    Thank you so much for peeking in on my blog, too.

  42. One of the best things about Fridge Soup is the dialogue that can build up between its collective bloggers over some of its posts .
    But if someone kindly comments on our own blog , Smitonius or I tend to return the courtesy and comment on theirs . Finding other blogs can be a rather via-via affair anyway , so it is sometimes the best way to meet new people .

  43. I reply as often as I can, either on my blog or by going to that person's blog. Because I write every day -- and work a full-time job -- I don't have enough time to get back to everyone, every day, although I do my best to get back to them, to read their blogs, to stay in touch.


  44. Hello everybody,

    thank you for your views on the subject.
    It looks like there are almost as many ways of dealing with the matter as there are bloggers.
    I may try to do both for a while, reply to comments that ask a question, or raise a pertinent point, under the comment itself; otherwise I will do what I already do, email where possible and necessary, and visit your blogs.

  45. While I was blogging I replied to very few comments on my blog, but if I felt a point was important I would reply to the individual in email. Sometimes I just did not want everyone reading the reply. I usually made it a public blog comment only if I thought that perhaps others had a sim. question or concern, or I felt(in hindsight) I had not explained myself well.

    I don't usually go back to see if a blog author posted a comment in reference to my comment...maybe 5% of the time. I never subscribe by email because I don't want read 50 comments off every blog I have commented on. Just not that committed to all this.

  46. I DO subscribe to email, but it only takes me seconds to delete... (I know what I 'm looking for:) Your end solution sounds like a great compromise and allows you to enjoy yourself.

  47. I just stumbled upon this site. Thanks for sharing such a valuable discussion here.

  48. Hi, Friko,

    I am catching up from our time in Europe, crazy work and Gypsy's death and am reading backwards, so next I'll check your other post. But on comments -- this is just me, but I try to reply personally to comments via email or if there is no email connection, then with a note on the writer's blog. The only time I comment in my comments is if someone has asked a question that might have value to future readers of The Marmelade Gypsy and enhances that post. Why? I guess because I know when I read someone's blog and reply, I rarely return to that same post. I MIGHT if there appeared to be discussion going on (some posts facilitate more of that than others)but for the most part, once there, I've said what I need to say. In some ways, I think it takes less time to reply personally -- unless someone has really said something that requires more in-depth interaction, a sentence or two is all that is really needed to say "Thanks, I really appreciated that." I tend to be longer sometimes, because that's me, but it's time I don't regret -- someone took the time to visit -- I can take the time to say thanks. I generally average at 15-30 comments on posts, so that seems to work OK. Interesting discussing.

  49. Here I am, late to the party but I did want to say that I enjoy reading comments, equally enjoy replying to them (though it may be a day or two later before I have a chance to do so), and feel the whole interchange would be more of a conversation if we tried to make it so. I regularly read one friend's blog because the comment section is often as entertaining and informative as her posts! I'd love to have conversations on my own site but it hasn't happened yet. I thank you, Friko, for visiting and commenting often. I'd love to sit and have a cuppa with you. Alas - there's a pond between us! Sigh.

  50. As your 51st commenter..and not having the time to go and read the 50 that precede me here - I just wanted to chime in and say that I read this post and the one previous as to 'why we blog'..and have been asking myself the exact same questions. What does it all mean? And - with whom are we 'connecting'???

    That being said - no...I don't respond to the comments..and I rarely respond to comments that are responded to. I just don't have the time...

  51. I'm finding I enjoy replying to comments, even if the original commenter never returns to that spot to read my reply. There's something about acknowledging the comment and responding to it that's satisfying to me, whether or not the commenter ever sees it. However, when commenters do return and hit "reply" to add even more, I'm quite delighted with the idea that a conversation is taking place.

  52. Oh, how interesting! You already know my preference. From the beginning, I've responded to every comment on every post. I try very hard to respond directly to what has intrigued the commenter, and to respond in a personable manner even if the comment is nothing more than "Nice post". Sometimes, as you know, the comment will send me off to do a bit more research, and I'll provide a link or two that I think might be interesting to the reader.

    This is a time commitment, for sure. In the beginning, it might have required an hour or so, as I was receiving only three or four replies. Now, I often spend an entire evening doing nothing more than responding to comments.

    Is it worth it? I say yes, unreservedly. I know there are many people who follow comments on my blog - sometimes enjoying them more than the original post. And I enjoy the back-and-forth myself - the learning that takes place, and the sudden, unexpected turns of thought.

    I also try to keep up with the postings of my readers, and comment there. I've never clicked a "like" button in my life, and I've eliminated gravatars on my blog so "likes" don't show up. I much prefer to receive comments, so I think I should offer the same thoughtful courtesy to others.

    The one down side is that I have readers who won't comment, or who comment only via email - they feel uncomfortable leaving a public comment for one reason or another, mostly because they feel other commenters are more educated than they are, or better able to express themselves. I'm still working on how to deal with that.

    I understand my approach is self-limiting. I'll never have a popular blog in terms of numbers - but if I was getting a hundred comments per post, I'd have to retire to keep up with things! My daily prayer is, "Lord, save me from ever being Freshly Pressed" - that is, showing up on the front page of Wordpress. I couldn't stand the aggravation. ;)

  53. Friko, I try to reply to each comment and was thrilled when blogger gave me the 'reply' button. However, as others have said, if I had as many comments as you have I don't think I'd be able to keep up! I wish there was a way to know when someone has 'replied' to a comment, other than having to sign up to all the other comments sent into the blog on that particular post. However, I do make it a habit to revisit blogs where I have posted to see if ther has been a response -- but of course it's all about the time!


Comments are good, I like to know what you think of my posts. I know you'll keep it civil.