Sunday, January 11, 2009

commenting, I suck! talk to me.

I am the most horrid return commenter out there. okay, now it is out in the open! I know you already knew it was true...but I had to confess it. I used to be much better, but now I stink at it. I am not sure what changed for me. I think I decided I was spending too much time at the computer and return commenting went out the window. Do you know what I am talking about when I say return commenting??I am referring to when someone is sweet enough to write a comment on one of your reviews, and then you go visit their blog and return the favor.

Some of you are soooooo good at commenting on my blog, and I am the biggest looser when it comes to following up. I need to learn some tricks of the bloggie world trade. Do you feel someone needs to comment back if you comment on their blog? What if they are like me and they are neglectful, does that make you not comment on their blog anymore? How do you keep up with comments? Do you feel guilty if you haven't return commented?

I guess I first need to figure out what I should be doing, if I should feel bad, or if you all just comment when you feel like it too. Don't get into hate speech because I am the worst return commenter...but I really would like to know what you think should be the general protocol for a delightful comment left on your blog....the comment is there, what do you do next?

Secondly I need to know how the stinking BLANK do you keep up with you commenters, if you do feel it is in good bloggie spirit to return comment!? Do you just do it immediately? At the end of the day? HELP!!!!

Tell it to me strait peoples. I'll do a wrap up post with your opinions on this after I get some god feedback.

PS. I never actually use the word "suck" -just to clarify....but I figured it would get the most attention! I promise never to say it again.


Maw Books said...

I think it is nice blog etiquette to check out the commenters blog and perhaps leave a comment. That said, like you, I have the worse guilt!!!! I used to be so good and the last few months I can barely return the favor. And I do feel guilty. I wonder if people think less of me when I comment less on their blog than I do on theirs.

One of my goals this new year is to do better by getting out there in the community and leaving comments on the posts that interest me. Not everything mind you, just those where I feel like I have something to say. Like you, I'd like to know how others do such an amazing job. This post literally could have been written by me.

I have two small children so it's hard to comment during the day. For example, right now I'm sitting on the couch watching a movie with my husband.

Anonymous said...

hmmm...thats a really good question. If i see a comment on my blog, what i do in return is check out that persons blog, but I comment only if i feel like it, not because I should just because the person commented on my blog. But I do make it a point to check out that blog. And usually i do it immediately, if I leave it to the end of the day it might never happen.

Joanne said...

This exact thing has been on my mind for awhile.

Now that I've stopped lurking so much, I comment on the posts from my reader that appeal to me or that I have something to say about.

But when it comes to return commenting, I don't want to leave a comment that is meaningless, but on the other hand I want to acknowledge that I appreciate the comment I received.

Another thing I've been obsessing over is answering the comments in my own comment box. I notice alot of bloggers do this and that way you can acknowledge the comment and answer/follow-up on any questions relevant to the original post. I think this may be the way I will go, instead of return-commenting.

Anonymous said...

Commenting is so hard! I suffer with the guilt, too. Both with the return commenting and trying to leave comments regularly on all of the blogs that I love to read.

Alyce said...

I'm think I'm in the same boat. I comment back sporadically, sometimes on my post, sometimes on theirs.

Overall, the way I have decided to deal with it is that if someone has commented a few times on my blog then I add their blog to my feed reader. Then I read the posts in my feed reader and comment on anything there that I feel like I have something to constructive to comment about. That way I don't have to worry about responding to each and every comment specifically. I figure sooner or later if I'm stopping by the blogs in my reader, then I will return the favor and comment on their blog too.

Amy said...

Back when I had three readers I probably checked out every blog of commenters. Now, like Alyce, if I notice the same person often leaving comments I'll subscribe to their blog. I do try to acknowledge most comments by either replying via email or in comments themselves.

Dreamybee said...

If someone new leaves a comment on my blog (yay!), I'll usually respond to their comment AND go visit their blog where I will try to leave a comment just to let them know that I appreciated them stopping by. After that, I usually just reply to their comments on my own blog and leave comments where I feel I have something to say.

Nymeth said...

I prefer to acknowledge comments by replying on my own blog because, like Joanne, I don't want to leave a meaningless comment just because the person stopped by my blog, but at the same time I want to acknowledge them and say hi. Replying to comments is time consuming, though, and I completely understand why some bloggers don't do it. And I don't take it personally when they don't.

Like others have said, when someone new comments on my blog I like checking out their blog. But it's so that I can get to know them. I don't feel that I HAVE to leave a comment for every comment that's left to me.

The main reason I can see for someone to comment less on a blog if the person doesn't go back to comment on theirs is maybe becoming convinced that the blogger doesn't like them and/or their comments are annoying. This is something I sometimes worry about because I am very prone to paranoia myself. But I know that in reality others probably don't often have these fears or doubts half as often.

Don't worry too much, Bethany. We understand that you're busy and have a family, and so you don't always have the time to comment. But I really don't think it makes your readers like you any less.

Meghan said...

I'm bad at this too. I don't normally leave a comment for every comment I receive, but I do go check out new blogs when their owner comments on mine. Usually I add them to my google reader if I find them interesting and go from there. I don't feel that I have to comment back every time, but if I see something interesting, I'll leave one.

I also never comment back in my posts, I always reply through emails if I'm asked a question. I never check blog entries to see if anyone replies to my comments, so I figure no one is checking mine either.

- medieval bookworm

Anonymous said...

If someone whose blog I don't know yet leaves a comment on my blog, I always visit the commenter's blog and if I like it I add it to my feedreader (if only because this way I have found some great blogs!). But I only comment when I feel I have something meaningful to say. I don't want to be known as a 'spam-commenter'. ;-)

If I leave a comment on someone's blog, I don't expect the other person to come and leave a comment on mine.

I am making a point of answering all or at least most of the comments left on my blog because I think an important part of blogging is exactly this inter-activity. I love it when people take the time to read what I write and to comment on that, so I figure the very least I can do is acknowledging this by replying to their comment.

For me, blogging and leaving comments is not a plus/minus list where I have to receive as much as I give. I'd rather leave less but intelligent remarks than more with no content. The same actually goes for the comments I receive on my blog: I actually prefer getting fewer but more meaningful comments than getting a lot of 'empty' ones. In the first case it is just easier to keep or start a conversation, which for me is an important part of blogging.

On a sidenote, I love reading everyone's answers to this question! It's interesting to read how other bloggers deal with this.

Anonymous said...

Oh shoot! You can delete the first of my double comment, Bethany.
Myrthe (aka armenianodar)

Anonymous said...

I have my favorite blogs in GR and check them out just about every day. When someone new and different comments on my blog, I usually check out their blog and leave a comment if I think it's appropriate. (It's a whole different story if they've only come to enter a contest.) You need to do what works for you and your family.

Laura said...

I'm not great about commenting at all--either initially or returning comments. But I think I look at comments differently than most people. I do really enjoy getting comments on my blog--it makes me happy! And I try to leave comments when I have something to say. However, my main purpose for leaving comments is not to receive them in return. I don't keep a count of who leaves comments on my blog, and I don't pay attention to how many comments I leave and expect to get that same amount in return.

I think people can get too involved with the number of comments, and making sure to comment back to everyone who left one. Instead of worrying about it all so much, I find it more enjoyable just to comment when I want and to enjoy the comments I receive without having to keep track.

Sorry for such a long comment! I hope that doesn't make me sound really mean or that I don't care about other people, because that isn't the case!

Lisa said...

I saw something on another blog several months ago that I adopted at my own. The blog owner had, on her sidebar a note that said, "if you stop in and don't have a comment to leave, leave a stone (o) so I know you were here". I thought it was a good idea and put the same thing at my place. I've cut down on the number of comments I leave too because I often can't think of anything meaningful to add to the post. I figure that most people are using Google Analytics or some other tool and know who's been visiting anyway.

Iliana said...

I wouldn't worry about it. I love commenting but it is time consuming, especially now that the world of book blogs seems to have exploded and there are so many bookworms to meet! :)

I usually answer comments on my blog and I also try to keep up with the blog friends I've made. As far as new commenters, I do try to visit their blogs and hopefully get to know their blog, but again very time consuming. Sometimes I'm good and sometimes I just resign myself to knowing I'll always be behind.

Do whatever works for you and don't feel bad about it. This is supposed to be something to enjoy and to share the love of reading.

Lori L said...

While I really try to visit and read many blogs during the week, I usually lurk and rarely leave a comment. I also [s-word] at leaving comments and am hanging my head in shame and embarrassment. It always seems that after I've taken the time to READ the blogs I don't have the time to comment. I'm equally bad at responding to comments on my blog, although I have tried to do better lately. I never comment on someone else's blog just because they commented on mine because I know I would find a pointless "Hi there" comment annoying. (I'm being honest here.) And although I appreciate comments, I don't really care if people comment or not on my blog. Is it bad to admit that? If someone has something to add or say, or wants to suggest a book based on what I've read, then I appreciate it, but I never expect comments.

Marg said...

I do try to respond to comments that are left at my blog. It's much easier to keep track of responses to my comments now that blogger allows you to subscribe to your email.

There have been times when I have felt like I wasn't commenting enough so what I decided was that I would comment on 5 or 10 blog posts that were in my feed reader. By choosing an amount like that it didn't take all that long, it didn't feel overwhelming but still enough to assuage my guilt!

Ali said...

I try to check out all the blogs of people who comment and/or to respond to their comment, but if nothing comes to mind, I figure I'll try again next time they comment.

When I leave comments on other people's blogs, I don't keep tabs on who reciprocates. But, there's one popular blogger whose blog I adore, who as far as I know has never been to my blog, and never responds to my comments. It makes me feel like an outsider, like maybe I should be lurking because I'm not in her "in" group.

More often, though, I notice who regularly does comment, and I make it a point to visit those people's blogs first when I'm zipping through my reader. So, it has more of a cumulative effect, than a tit-for-tat kind of deal.

The Holistic Knitter said...

I do try to check out commenters blogs and leave a comment - but don't awlways. I'm trying to do so this year.
Ilove your blog and have nominated you for an award here:

Dar said...

Bethany, you do ask the best questions. I do think it's nice to comment on people's blogs who comment on yours. It doesn't have to be on every post and it doesn't even have to be every day-but at least often enough that they know you care. Does that make sense? For me, I take my morning coffee and comment on blogs. Throughout the day while I'm working if I see something interesting I will comment on it. For you it's a bit harder. You have young children and they come first.

I've set my google reader for my favorite blogs first in the listings today. Those I will go through in the morning and comment if it's something interesting. The others if I can read them I will, if not I won't stress.

I do feel guilty for not commenting back on comments that are left for me and as a matter of a fact I'm off to do that now. I always think if someone is nice enough to leave a comment I should answer back but then I wonder too how many people are actually reading my comments back-am I wasting my time?

I guess you have to do what's best for you. For me, I do try hard to comment on those blogs who visit me regularly just cause I think it's polite and I hate to hurt anyone's feelings.

Richard said...

Nobody's getting paid for this, so I don't think anybody should feel "guilty" about their own particular comment/no-comment practices on other peoples' blogs. That being said, I do have something of an issue with bloggers who don't even respond to comments left on their own blogs--I mean, if I wanted to feel ignored, I could always try talking to my wife while she was watching "True Blood" on HBO rather than being dissed by a total stranger!

S. Krishna said...

I have trouble with this as well, but I try to comment on as many blogs as possible

Luanne said...

I have struggled with this as well. Too many committments some weeks. I do have all the blogs I love to visit in my reader. I try to get to them all at least once a week and leave a comment to let them know I am reading and I am interested! I try to visit any new commenters as well.

Serena said...

I like commenting on everyones blog, but I may not get to it regularly given my full time job and other commitments...but I try to make a supreme effort...hence why I am here now. I haven't been around lately and I feel like I should be.

Anonymous said...

I admit the word suck got my attention. Commenting is so much fun but very time consuming. VERY time consuming. :)

Corinne said...

Since I only get to my reader a couple times a week, I try to comment on at least one post of all the ones I read at each blog, just to let people know I stopped by. I can't return comment, unless someone asks me a question on my blog. I don't have the energy :)

Callista said...

Again sorry for the lateness of my comments, had no interent access for past two weeks or so.

I TRY to go visit my commentors and leave a comment but I already have so much to do it rarely gets done. I try it more with my other blog because it doesn't have many readers and I'm trying to up my readers.

I say just try your best, visit those who've never commented before and try to comment, especially if you one of your goals is to up your visitors.