Wednesday, 23 February 2011

How do you respond to comments?

In the first few weeks of starting my blog there was one question that troubled me more than any other - how should I respond to comments?

At first I responded within the comment box itself and assumed that if a blogger was interested enough in my post, they'd come back to see if I'd responded to their comments. Then I realised I rarely went back to another bloggers post; not because I wasn't interested but because there simply wasn't enough time.

But at the same time I really appreciated the bloggers who took the time to reply to my comments via email. It felt as if they had made an extra effort. So I decided to do the same, and now I reply to comments via email and post my response in the comment box. Unfortunately it does take more time and I can't always respond straight away, and sometimes I wonder if I attach too much importance to commenting.

How do you respond to comments on your blog? Do you appreciate bloggers who respond to your comments via email? As your follower numbers increase, how do you plan to balance responding to comments, visiting other bloggers, and writing?

32 comments:

  1. It's tricky - but I try to visit the other person's blog and comment on theirs somewhere. If they ask me a specific question I'll answer it, either through email or in the comment box on my blog.

    I wish I had the time to thank everyone and repoly individually, but I don't.

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  2. Hi Ellie .. as your comment box says .. you love comments! I love comments .. I answer each one within the post - I don't tend to get email comments from bloggers, unless it's about a personal different aspect.

    I may start answering them (ndividually still) but in one comment box.

    On the other hand recently I've been posting once a week or so - my posts are quite involved. The once a week wasn't intended .. just my mother and life took me on that route .. fortunately wonderful followers and readers are there and continue to come.

    Other bloggers will follow across to your blog if you leave relevant comments elsewhere ..

    Blogging is 'hard work' .. but well worth it - it's getting that recognition and then going to the next level .. got to get to the top of the hill! I'll read everyone's comments .. as they come into to my email inbox ..

    Cheers - Hilary

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  3. I always respond to individuals in the comment box, always visit the blog of a new commenter as well as regular visits to regulars. I've had a couple of emails from people via the blog but would only email if there was something very private to say, or something needing saying at more length. Comments come into my email box anyway and I assume other people do it this way too, so I'd worry about overloading people with double messages.

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  4. I always respond to comments in my comment box and return the favour by visiting the commenter's blog and commenting there. If bloggers don't return the favour by visiting me I usually stop visiting them - blogging etiquette is important.

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  5. I always try to respond. If time beats me, I leave a 'thank you, everyone' message. It's the least I can do, when someone has taken the trouble to comment. It is a tricky one, though.

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  6. I do a mixture of both, reading the posting left by the bloggers who leave comments on my posting and visiting the blogs of the bloggers who are in my saved-blogs lists. I try to regularly visit all my followers' blogs and leave comments on every one. I just think it's important to take the time if others are taking the time to leave you comments.

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  7. At first I tried responding to comments directly on my blog, but realized the same thing you did, Ellie - when I leave comments, I rarely go back to the blog to see if they responded. I just don't have the time! So I have the email notification set so that when I get comments, it goes right to my Inbox letting me know. I can't check my blog during the day at work but I can check my email. I'll definitely respond if there's a question, but I don't always respond to every single comment.

    It's tough because I feel bad not responding to every single one. I love receiving comments (I think we all do!). I know how busy I am, and how tough it is just for me to make my twice daily rounds (once in the morning, once at night) and leave my comments. So the fact that someone else has taken the time to comment means a lot.

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  8. I've been pondering on this too, Ellie. I'm still using the comments box to respond.

    Recently I started a new blog and have noticed that now all the comments come into my email box as well as on the blog. I've tried to figure out what I have done differently in 'settings' since this didn't happen on the old blog. It might mean that my comments on other people's blogs are going into their email boxes. Need to find out as I don't want to start duplicating.

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  9. Good topic! So far, I only respond in the comment box UNLESS a reply is requested. If someone asks a question, I email them back. Or find them on Facebook, etc if I can't find the email.

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  10. I try to visit the blogs of those who comment on mine. If it's someone who doesn't have a blog, I try to respond via email. I admit that I don't usually email responses to comments unless it contains a.) a question or b.) an intriguing statement.

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  11. I do respond to comments. My feeling is if someone took the time to read and comment, the least I can do is respond.

    I visit the commenter's blog too, but I only comment if I feel I have something to add.

    For me, it's not tit for tat. It's about dialog.

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  12. I usually respond by email, but some people have their accounts set up with a "no reply" setting. If that's the case, I'll try to go to the person's blog and leave a comment.

    Recently I read a blog post where someone made the point that if you don't respond in the comments area it looks like you don't interact. So, I've been trying to go back and leave comments there too. I type fast, so it isn't that big of a deal. :) Although, I have to say, I don't see any conversations starting in my comments like they do when I respond by email.

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  13. i have been terrible lately in my responses, but i found that the comments are awesome in any way shape or form. i try to group a response to all who have taking the time to say something. in each post, but lately my brain has been on overload and i fizzled out.

    though i love the fact you are so personable and very sweet. never change.

    jeremy

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  14. Oh this is perfect. I've been feeling bad about my lack of commenting lately. When I first started and only had a few commentors I would comment each individual one. Now that they range from 5 to 50 I just don't have the time. Usually if a large number comments then I give a blanket comment a few times during the day and at least go to their blog to comment on their post. The ones who comment on my blog are the blogs I make a point to check on as much as possible. But your right, unless it's something I really want to see what other's have to say I normally don't check back on my comments on other blogs. Jeez that was rambly wasn't it? :)

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  15. Could I have used the word "comment" one more time? :)

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  16. The best way for me to reply to any comment on my blog is to read the commentator's blog and to comment on their blog posts and be a very loyal follower. :-)

    Take care
    x

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  17. Good questions.

    I comment on the blog only. Although I enjoy receiving an e-mail, I don't mind not getting it. And if the answer matters enough, I subscribe to that post's comments.

    My readership trippled this month, so I am still trying to work out how to balance my blogging time.

    :-)

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  18. I try and comment as frequently as I can. It doesn't always work out but I do my best. I used to stop by everyone who commented on my blog every day. Now I try and do my best to comment once a week.

    As far as how I respond to comments if I have something to say I'll respond via email. I don't always have time to visit my blog so that's the way I find to handle it best!!!

    Everyone is different!!

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  19. I try to thank commenters in either the comment box or the blog post itself. There are a couple of people who respond to the comments I leave on their blogs. I appreciate that, but I presume it's an awful lot of work for them!

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  20. Email is my way. I, like you, can't go back to the blogs because of lack of time. And I really love getting email's back too.

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  21. I try to visit the blogs of those who comment on my posts and return the favor. Sometimes I'll respond on my blog but I know a lot of people don't have time to pop back in just to see if I made a comment to their comment. I haven't done the email responses because my settings aren't set up for that, altho I think it's a really good idea. I like it when I get an email response for a comment. I would like to start doing that myself. Guess I need to review my settings and figure it out.

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  22. I only respond by email, as long as they have email set!

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  23. I admit I get a bit lax when thanking people for their comments. It's not intentional it's just something many crop up and my attention is needed then I forget what I was doing before I had the phonecall.
    So for all your visits and comments THANK YOU,
    Yvonne,

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  24. I always respond in the comment box and keep a track of replies to my comments on others blogs by ticking the subscribe by email box.

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  25. I thank them in my comments and follow them back to their blog and read their entry and then comment. If I'm not following them I make sure I do. I don't discriminate because they don't list fantasy as their number one read choice. I enjoy many different genres and appreciate everyone. Now I do have too many followers to visit everyday. So I will make sure to go to my favorites and then to those who comment.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

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  26. It's a tough one! I go to people's blogs and comment there, if they comment on mine. If they do ask a specific question, I email them a response. That's it, really!

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  27. Great question! I only reply to a comment if there's a question in the comment, or if it's something that I want to add another two bits to myself :) I'm using a plugin that emails my reply to the person commenting, so that's helpful. But the main thing that I try to do is read and comment at my commentors' blogs.

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  28. I don't: respond by email.
    I rarely: respond to comments made on my blog.
    I do: visit those who comment on my blog.

    I don't like email responses because it adds more work for me and for the reader. True it shows they enjoyed my comment but I know they did when they visit my blog in return. Unless I ask them a question.

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  29. I usually answer comments on my blog but since I started receiving quite a number of replies in my email, I see how that might be better. I'm searching for a better commenting system that can allow me do both.

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  30. I respond within the comments, usually to many at one time. Everyone says the 'conversation' aspect of my blog is cool, so I'll stick with that rather than email comments that no one sees.

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  31. Always a dilemma. I got back to the blogger and leave a comment there.

    Oh, and it would be remiss of me not to say Happy Presidents Pets Day - the day after Presidents Day, as I like to call it. In the US, we love our presidents..... pets. See my blog if you’re in the mood for a good ol' irreverent howl.

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  32. This has been an oft asked question since I've started blogging and I can appreciate both sides. I rarely answer via email, unless the reply is more of a personal nature. As Alex pointed out, replying within the comments give a more conversational feel to that thread. Though I doubt whether many people follow all of the comments, especially if there are many, but if they do and are wondering about my reply to someone else's comment, they will see my reply since I am sharing it with everyone. I feel like the comment section is a sort of open forum and all participants should have access to everything that is said. Probably some of my replies get missed, but that is the way I handle it. Maybe I should state this in my comment policy. This is a question that is important to consider if we care about our commenters.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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I love comments. They make my day!