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Do You Respond to Blog Comments?

There is a popular blogger I read who responds to every single comment she receives.  Sometimes it’s just a quick message such as “Oh! I hadn’t thought of that!” and sometimes it’s a longer, more thoughtful response.  I am somewhat amazed since responding to comments takes up a lot of time.  The defensive side of me (which is also a little jealous of her master response skills) thinks that time has to come from somewhere — either she reads fewer blogs than she could or she leaves fewer comments on other people’s blogs than she could.  Or she is just much better at using her time wisely (I, on the other hand, often get sucked into jumping from blog to blog to blog via the comment section on posts and lose hours of my life).

It is easy to judge how someone else uses their online time, and this post is not meant to be a judgment (nor, frankly, do I want my own practices judged).  Though I am interested in a discussion.  The difference being that it’s unhelpful to state that how I do things is the best way and all others who don’t do it my way are not doing it correctly.  Whereas it’s interesting to hear how different people approach receiving comments and what they do once they’re in their comment box.

You have probably noticed that I am not consistent with my comment responses.  Every once in a while, I add a comment to the thread below the post.  I usually do that when the answer could apply to a bunch of people with the same question or thought.  Sometimes I reply directly via email, especially when the person asks a question or when they have changed the way I’m seeing a situation.  Other times, I say nothing at all (though I read every single comment left on the blog).  Again, not consistent.

A lot of that lack of consistency has to do with time: sometimes I’m just plain busy with work or the twins have something going on or I’m trying to master shoulder stands in yoga.  Sometimes I’m reading the comments on a mobile device and it’s a pain-in-the-ass to write something back in the moment, and by the time I get to the computer, the thought is gone.

The other side of the time issue is that if I have an hour to be on the computer, I’d rather use my time reading other people’s blogs and leaving comments there rather than responding to comments that people left me.  And I realize that it’s sort of selfish — my attitude.  It would be like saying I’d rather go and buy other people presents than write thank you notes for the gifts that people just gave me.  Because while sometimes it’s tit-for-a-tat, other times, person X leaves a comment on my blog, but then I go leave a comment on person Y’s blog.  So, yes, I realize it’s selfish, but the alternative is to not read other people’s blogs (and yes, more often than not, even if I haven’t commented, I have been on your blog reading if you’ve commented here).  And where would that get me?  I learn so much from reading other people’s point-of-view.  Or I could not write Stirrup Queens.  Or drop the LFCA.

I thought it would be interesting to hear what other people think and how other people do things.  There is no right or wrong answer.  Things that you may find extremely rude another person will find completely kind.  And vice versa.  In other words, the point of this discussion is not to make you feel guilty for not doing things a certain way nor is it to encourage you to do things differently.  If your commenting routine works for you, I say go with it.  Got it?

  1. So, do you respond to your comments?
  2. If yes, do you respond directly back to the person via email, or do you leave a message in the comment section?
  3. And do you, as a reader, ever return to the comment section of a post to see if the writer has responded to you?
  4. And if you don’t respond to comments, what do you do instead with your online time?
  5. Would you rather have someone respond to your comment, or would you rather have them read your blog and leave you a comment?
  6. As a comment leaver, do you expect to receive a response?  Does knowing that someone is not responding simply due to a lack of time vs. a lack of care change your expectation?
  7. Are there certain times when you deem a response necessary and other times that you do not?

Do not feel obligated to answer all of my questions — just the ones that speak to you, where you feel you have something to say.

One side note, I am majorly not a fan of auto-reply comment responses.  It’s just clutter in my inbox.  I sort of figure that unless I’m flaming someone (since, you know, even with my general kumbayaness, I sometimes like to do a 180 and get my troll on*), they are appreciative of the fact that I’ve left a comment.  On the other hand, I’m not really appreciative of receiving an email from a machine.  People are free to disagree with me, but I only like receiving responses that have been sent directly from the person; not from a commenting program.  So I’m not counting those emails as a comment response.

* For some reason, I feel the need to point out the facetiousness of this statement.

38 comments

1 Jen { 02.15.12 at 9:38 am }

I don’t reply directly to comments. Perhaps that’s because I don’t expect replies to my comments – to me it feels like receiving a thank you letter for sending a thank you letter. But I will try to go back next time the person writes a post of their own and comment on that post.

As an aside, once or twice you have been kind enough to respond to a comment I made on this blog and I have been astounded (and thrilled) that you have found time to do it! Thank you for creating this supportive and thought-provoking space.

2 Ashley { 02.15.12 at 9:39 am }

Interesting: what motivates different blog commenting approaches? What is the reason behind the strategy?

1. Yes, I respond to comments — all of them, usually.
2. I always respond on my blog because I feel my response could answer questions or thoughts about my blog that other people have. I want my blog comment section to be a discursive community. Emailing a response wouldn’t accomplish that. I also want to comment publicly so my readers will see that I respond to comments and know that I’ll probably respond to theirs.
3. I return to the post if I have reason to believe the person replied. I am particularly likely to do this is if I wrote a really passionate comment.
6. I respect a response if I wrote a really thoughtful, analytical comment, especially a critical one. I don’t expect a response if the blog post has received dozens of comments.

3 robin { 02.15.12 at 10:07 am }

I definitely would not like an automatic email when I comment on someone else’s site. That would for sure keep me from commenting. I get enough random stuff in my inbox.

I think some kind of recognition of the fact that I comment (not necessarily EVERY single comment) is something that keeps me coming back to read a blog. If I keep commenting and they never visit my site or respond to my comment, there’s a good chance I’ll stop commenting and possibly eventually stop reading all together. I see commenting as a way to form a relationship with the blogger (I only comment on the ALI blogs that I read), not just to say my piece, so if I don’t feel like that relationship is being reciprocated I might not continue to reach out. It’s okay, it doesn’t offend me and I’m not hurt when someone doesn’t reach back. It’s just the way I view commenting and blogging in the ALI community and I know not everyone feels the same way. :)

4 manymanymoons { 02.15.12 at 10:10 am }

This is such a great topic. I struggle with this question myself. I’m like you. If the person has presented a great point that I hadn’t thought of before than I will always try to respond. I also always try to respond to new posters. I know how good that always made me feel when I started blogging to thinkthat someone had taken the time to reach out to me. It’s just so hard to find the time though to respond to everyone. Plus, I find that I don’t find it necessary. I find myself getting almost annoyed when someone responds to my comment when all I’ve simply said was, “great post, thanks”. I think the annoyance comes from me feeling like a mirror is being held up to my own inadequate responses to my commenters (if that makes sense).

5 Mrs Green Grass { 02.15.12 at 10:13 am }

I reply directly in the comments when someone says something that was particularly interesting or thoughtful or if I took a lot of effort to write. And I try to only respond when I can say more than thanks.

I definitely think it’s polite to respond and to show the readers that you care about their comments, especially for blogs with smaller readership, like mine.

I never thought about whether people check back! I rarely check to see if my blog comments were responded to.

6 magpie { 02.15.12 at 10:13 am }

you flame people? you?

i try and respond to a lot of comments, via email – not on the blog, because i figure everyone is like me and almost never goes back to read for follow-ups. (the only place i return to often to check comments is in the flame wars in my local on-line newspaper.)

7 a { 02.15.12 at 10:22 am }

Blogger makes it difficult to reply to comments, unless you do it in the comment section. :( Boo! I’d rather email, because if the comment spurred a response, then I feel like a conversation has been started. So, sometimes I try to do the work to find the email address.

If anyone has tips on how to respond via email more directly (plug-ins? settings?), I’d like to hear them!

I enjoy getting responses to my comments – and when I know that the blogger responds in the comment section, I will sometimes go back and check – but I do not feel it’s necessary in every case.

8 Becky { 02.15.12 at 10:36 am }

I rarely respond to comments on my blog. This is probably because I rarely return to a blog where I’ve left a comment. I use blogger and haven’t yet found a way to be able to respond directly under someone’s comment and so I find it irritating. Like you, I will sometimes email a person in response to a particularly thought-envoking comment. Llike Jen said, the times I’ve received an email response from you (or others) has meant a lot to me because it seems – to me at least – that they really thought about what I said and took the extra time to respond to me individually.

My online time is generally rather limited, so I spend it reading blogs. Or facebooking. Stupid FB sucks a lot of my online time.

9 Lori Lavender Luz { 02.15.12 at 11:09 am }

1. On some posts I do. Usually either the fun ones or the deep ones.
2. Usually both.
3. Sometimes.
4. Read, read read (blogs) and go down the associated rabbit holes.
5. That matters less than whether or not the comment or response if substantive. I value something that is thoughtful and adds an element to the conversation beyond just “Thanks for the comment!” or “Great post!”
6. I don’t expect a response unless I think I’ve delivered something insightful. Then I would like to know that my comment was received and possibly made a difference.
7. Not really. If I get any feedback, it’s a gift, a positive. If I don’t, it’s neutral. This way there is no negative (unless the comment feels like a dig, like one I received this week).

Not a big fan of shoulder stand.

10 Lori Lavender Luz { 02.15.12 at 11:10 am }

P.S. When I have a new commenter and that commenter lists a blog, I always go over and browse around and leave a comment.

11 It Is What It Is { 02.15.12 at 11:28 am }

1. I sometimes respond and sometimes don’t. If someone asks a question, I usually respond, or, if they’ve made an erroneous assumption or misstated a fact, I will correct it. In the beginning, I used to respond to the comment on my blog, but now I usually respond to the commenter via email. Unless the commenter subscribes to the comment feed, too, or unless they check back to the blog, they probably won’t see the response. If I email them, it sometimes even creates a dialogue.
2. I comment so frequently that it is impossible to remember which blogs I might have commented on that warranted a response. As a prolific commenter, I appreciated getting an email response from the blogger vs a response on their blog because, chances are, I won’t see it.
4. I would much rather they read my blog and comment. In fact, I have a blog post brewing about why that just isn’t the case. I’m not talking about lurkers who I’m unaware of. I am talking about bloggers whose blogs I have read and commented on, sometimes for YEARS, who have never left one comment on my blog. Just this week, I reduced my reader by about 30% and also deleted blogs from my blogroll. Even though, in a lot of cases, I feel invested in the blog, these days I just can’t get past the inequity. This will free up time for other things (reading new blogs, commenting, responding to comments, posting).
5. I never expect to get a response to a comment but I am always happy to receive one. No response is better than an auto-generated response to a comment. In this age of technology, I expect that my comment has been received and don’t need that level of validation.

12 Rachel { 02.15.12 at 11:34 am }

1) I don’t respond to every single comment ANYMORE (when I first started blogging, I tried.)
2) I leave the note in the comment section, unless what I have to say is really obnoxious and silly, and then I email. :)
3) I do return if I feel like what I said held merit, or if I’m curious as to what the updates are on their situation.
4) THIS: I, on the other hand, often get sucked into jumping from blog to blog to blog via the comment section on posts and lose hours of my life.
5) Either way…I just like knowing I’m not alone!
6) I don’t care unless I asked a question that I”m really curious about.
7) Comments really are the new hug. Knowing I’m not alone is so fabulous.

I wish I were a better commenter. Esperanza and Jjirafe are amazing with their insight, and I just don’t get to that level of analysis that much.

Also: please know that the times you have responded to me, you always crack me up and you definitely cause me to want to write more! :)

13 Tigger { 02.15.12 at 11:48 am }

1: So, do you respond to your comments? I do not, most of the time.

2: If yes, do you respond directly back to the person via email, or do you leave a message in the comment section? If I do comment back, it’s most likely going to be via email.
3: And do you, as a reader, ever return to the comment section of a post to see if the writer has responded to you? sometimes. If it’s a person I know responds, then yes. Or if I felt like it was a particularly good comment and I want to see if they (or anyone else!) responded.
4: And if you don’t respond to comments, what do you do instead with your online time? A lot. School, email, school, research, games, school, blog & webcomic reading.
5: Would you rather have someone respond to your comment, or would you rather have them read your blog and leave you a comment? I would rather have them read my blog and respond, because I don’t get a lot of visitors or comments and it gives me a permanent record.
6: As a comment leaver, do you expect to receive a response? Does knowing that someone is not responding simply due to a lack of time vs. a lack of care change your expectation? I never expect a response. They’re nice, but I don’t expect it. Knowing why they didn’t doesn’t matter – it’s their blog, they can respond or not as they see fit and it doesn’t bother me either way.
7: Are there certain times when you deem a response necessary and other times that you do not? Not really. I mean, perhaps my comment is one they’ve seen dozens of times. Perhaps that post has a lot of comments already, and one cannot reasonably be expected to respond to so many. Perhaps I am not as clever and supportive as I think I am! Now, if I accidentally hurt someone’s feelings, I would hope they would take the time to question me and find out what I really meant. Sometimes my words don’t work and I have a hard time saying what I mean to, in a way that makes sense to others.

14 EC { 02.15.12 at 11:49 am }

I occasionally respond to comments, and I switched from blogger to wordpress for exactly that reason. I like to respond within the comment section if I do respond. When I used blogger, there were times I wanted to respond to a comment, and the format blogger uses makes it awkward. I do sometimes go back to a blog I commented on to see if I got a response – not necessarily from the blog author, but from anyone. If I think I made a good point, I like to see if any other commenters or the author said that they agree, disagree, etc.

I would definitely rather have someone read my blog and comment than respond to a comment I made. I wouldn’t say I expect a response at all – I don’t think I have any expectations either way.

15 Stephanie { 02.15.12 at 12:09 pm }

I always respond to comments. I don’t post so often, though, so it’s easier. I also visit every commenter’s blog and make an effort to leave a comment. I don’t expect responses when I leave comments, but if I know that a blogger generally responds, then I’ll go back and check. I also go back and check if I left a really long and passionate comment.

I’ve cut WAY down on the number of blogs that I read. This has nothing to do with spending more time responding to comments and everything to do with needing to reprioritize my time in general so that I spend more time creating and less time consuming. I still read a lot of blogs, but I no longer read blogs out of obligation. I stick to the ones I really enjoy and learn from. I only comment on blogs with small readerships or with whom I feel some sort of relationship…I don’t leave comments on blogs with huge readerships who never interact with me. I still read and tweet their blogs though, if I really enjoy them.

Given the choice between getting a response to my comment or having someone visit my blog…then I’d choose the second, definitely.

16 The Cornfed Feminist { 02.15.12 at 12:37 pm }

I try to reply to all comments if I’ve asked a question in the post. Otherwise I usually only reply if it’s someone new commenting on my blog for the first time (my readership is such that I know when I have a new commenter). Then of course there are the comments that are so hilarious they warrant a response.

I would rather have someone leave a comment on my blog than reply to a comment I left on theirs and we’ll sometimes have conversations that way, which is fun!

17 unaffected { 02.15.12 at 12:54 pm }

I didn’t realize until about a month ago that there was even an option to reply to comments. I smart!

1. I have started to sometimes respond to a comment here and there. I wish I could respond to all of them, but when I’m busy at work, it’s just not possible.
2. If I do respond, I just hit “reply” after their comment. No email involved.
3. I have recently started returning to some comment sections to see if someone has replied. Typically only when there is some back-and-forth action happening.
4. When not responding to comments (most of the time), I’m either a) working, b) chatting with my husband, c) moderating the TTC forum that I am apart of, or b) trying to catch up on blogs
5. I guess if I had to choose one, I’d rather them read my blog and leave a comment. But I’d also like both. And a million dollars.
6. As a comment leaver, I do not expect a response.
7. Nope. I think that because I rarely respond to comments, that I don’t expect others to do so either. But I’m happy when they do!

18 Ann Z { 02.15.12 at 1:19 pm }

I think that it depends a lot on the comment, and the blog post that inspired it. I do reply to comments quite often, but that’s because I have intentionally tried to create a discussion in the comments of my blog (the little four eyes one, much less so on tragic optimist), and so often the comments are questions. I post the reply on the blog – actually, my blog is set up so that I receive an email with the comment, and if I reply to the email, it gets posted as a reply on my blog – because I think it’s often likely that someone else might have the same question. Sometimes, though, I wait to respond, hoping that some other reader will reply to the comment, since I think it’s more interesting when all the readers have a discussion, rather than a q & a session with me, I mean, who do I think I am, that that would be interesting? I’m not an expert. Although now I find that a lot of the discussion that used to happen in comments on my blog happens on a related facebook group. I kind of miss the back in forth in my comments sections, but honestly the facebook group works better for some discussions.

Occasionally, I’ll email the commenter, but that’s usually if I have a question for them. Sometimes I ask if I can post their comment as a blog post, or I’ll ask if I can forward their email to another reader if I think there’s a good connection to be made.

I think that responding to comments does take away from my online reading and posting time, but recently I’ve felt like I haven’t had time for anything online, and the fact that I can reply to comments from my email means that those are what I can get to.

I sometimes go back to comment threads on other blogs to see if there’s more discussion, but I rarely expect any responses to my comments. But again, that depends on my comment and on the blog and blog post.

Honestly, I think I’d rather have someone read my blog, but if I comment with a question, I’d like the response to be posted on their blog, not mine. I’ve occasionally asked a question in a comment, and had the blogger come to my blog to answer the question, and that feels needlessly complicated and really hard for anyone else to figure out what is going on.

19 April { 02.15.12 at 1:29 pm }

1. Sometimes I do, but not very often.
2. I usually respond by e-mail.
3. I do on certain blogs.
4. I read lots of blogs.
5. I’d rather have people read and comment.
6. I do not expect to receive a response, but when I do it is very nice. I figure their time is their own and how they choose to respond to comments is their perogative.
7. Yes. Depending on the comment, the post, and sometimes even the poster determines if I’ll respond or not.

20 alimartell { 02.15.12 at 2:32 pm }

Here’s the short answer: I do what I feel.

I respond to comments below comments…when I feel like it
I respond to comment through email…when I feel like it
I don’t respond at all…when I don’t feel like responding, or if I have nothing more to add to the conversation.

If I get a comment like, “GREAT POST!” I’m bound to ignore the shit out of that. If I get a comment that has a question in it, I will ALWAYS reply. And a lot of times, I get comments that require follow-ups..to add to the conversation. So there’s that.

I have no hard rules…I do what I feel :)

21 Amy Elaine { 02.15.12 at 3:35 pm }

I’m not a blogger, but a blog reader. Soon after I started following your blog and I posed a comment you sent me a personal email – and it was SO. AWESOME. I had just read your book and was really excited to get a personal response. I absolutely understand you can’t respond to every comment, but know that when you do, it is probably making someone’s day a little better! :)

22 Esperanza { 02.15.12 at 5:32 pm }

I used to respond to all comments but I just don’t have the time anymore. It makes me sad because I loved to do it, but I would respond to each with a lot and it was a huge time suck.

I would reply right on my page and that was part of the problem. I never knew if people even read them!

I do sometimes return to the comment section but I’m sure I’ve missed responses to my comments by not going back to check.

I definitely comment more on other people’s blogs with that time. Right now I’m working on writing/illustrating a children’s book so that is taking all my time.

Hmmm, sometimes I think I’d rather they respond to my comment and sometimes I think I’d rather they come to my blog and read a post and respond to it.

I don’t expect to receive a response to a comment. I do think, if I’ve commented many times, and the blogger isn’t that big (isn’t getting dozens of comments on very post) that it would be nice for them to eventually leave a comment on my blog. But I would never expect that to happen right away.

I would never deem a response necessary. Leaving a comment on a blog is a voluntary thing. I don’t think there should be an expectation of any reciprocal action from the poster. If I really wanted to get a response from someone I would contact them directly via email.

23 Lisa { 02.15.12 at 7:12 pm }

I really really wish I could! I don’t expect responses, and even forget to check to see if a person who typically responds to posts responded to mine.

24 Mali { 02.15.12 at 8:58 pm }

Ugh – automatic responses. Worse than no response at all! I’ve also been extremely impressed when I’ve received a personal response from you. This is how you are so successful at winning people over, Mel!

Now, to answer your questions.
1. So, do you respond to your comments? Yes, but not always.
2. I respond by a message in the comment section. Only once or twice have I emailed, and that’s because we both know we have something to say neither of us would say on-line.
3. And do you, as a reader, ever return to the comment section of a post to see if the writer has responded to you? Yes – though I’ll mostly return just to see if anyone (not just the blog writer) has responded to me, or to see how the discussion developed.
4. And if you don’t respond to comments, what do you do instead with your online time?
5. Would you rather have someone respond to your comment, or would you rather have them read your blog and leave you a comment?
6. As a comment leaver, do you expect to receive a response? No. But it depends both on what I say, the relationship I’ve developed with the writer (ie how long I’ve read their blog, whether they read mine, etc), whether my comment required a response, etc.
7. Does knowing that someone is not responding simply due to a lack of time vs. a lack of care change your expectation? Not really. If I thought there was a lack of care for their readers, I probably wouldn’t a) bother to comment on their blog, and b) bother to read their blog!
8. Are there certain times when you deem a response necessary and other times that you do not? Yes. Depends on the post, the comment, the context – and all the things I mentioned above.

25 AlexMMR { 02.15.12 at 9:04 pm }

I respond if someone asks a question, or if they make a point that would be really helpful to someone else that I didn’t make in my original blog post.

26 Orodemniades { 02.15.12 at 10:03 pm }

Sometimes I respond directly to a comment via the reply button, other times I respond in the next post, and yet other times (such as now), I just can’t say anything.

27 Lily { 02.15.12 at 10:09 pm }

I always reply to all of my comments, even if it’s just a “thanks”! I try to go back to my blogs I read where I leave comments to see if there were any replies to my comments. :)

28 Justine { 02.15.12 at 10:23 pm }

with the new threaded comment section in Blogger, I’ve started replying to all of my comments in that comment section. I’m not sure if it’s a good idea, though, because I don’t know whether my readers see those replies, whether they get an email saying that they’ve been replied to … I suspect in most cases, not. I don’t tend to go back to see if I get a reply from a comment … too time consuming. I already spend way too much time commenting and not enough time, probably, producing content. It’s a vicious cycle. ;) I also leave a comment on another person’s blog when they visit mine and leave a comment. I don’t know … I like email follow up because it feels personal, but I also like the threaded discussion because it engenders more conversation among later commenters …

29 JustHeather { 02.16.12 at 9:12 am }

In the beginning, I responded to every single comment. It astounded me (still does) that people actually read my blog AND comment. These days, I still respond to many comments, but lately, I just haven’t been as good about it. But as someone else said, it gets “tedious” to just write “Thank you” only.
Most times I respond directly to the comment (using Disqus comment platform), but a few times I’ve emailed the person. Also, if I can get to the person’s blog via the comment, I’ll quite often go there and find a post to comment on and sometimes reply/mention their comment on my blog. Especially if there is a question or they said something that really caught my attention.
It is rare I go back to a blog to specifically see if my comment has been responded to. I guess if they really had something to say to me, they could email me (isn’t that why our profiles are linked?) or come to my blog and leave a comment.
A lot of my online time is spent reading other blogs and leaving comments there and also hopefully posting my thoughts on my own blog.

30 Monica { 02.16.12 at 10:57 am }

I am a relatively “new” blogger and still learning all the rules. I typically don’t respond to all the comments, but when I have it is through the comment section.

For me – I like to know that even though I am blogging for me (to keep track of things, sort out the thoughts in my head, express my feelings) I truly like knowing that someone has read my blog. Without someone commenting – it sometimes feel no one else is out there – cheering me on or acknowledging me. So I often comment on my usual list of blogs that I go to….and lurk at others.

I love seeing the blogs that other people follow – as they often have similar interests as me and so I go from thread to thread.

I blog at work (ssshh! don’t tell) so time and work load drives how much I blog and read.

31 KeAnne { 02.16.12 at 5:01 pm }

1) I do try to respond to my comments but I confess that I don’t do a great job. I’m trying to improve on it.

2) I leave a message in the comment section. I should probably send an email to those who ask questions in the comments or give a really thoughtful comment.

3) I do return to the comments section if I’ve posted a comment I think is witty, asked a question or generally posted something I thought worth replying to. Some bloggers are great about replying, and I really enjoy receiving the notification w/ their reply. Others are not.

4) Online time: I surf, blog, read blogs, play on Twitter

5) I would rather them read my blog and comment there

6) I don’t expect a response, especially if my comment is something like “great post. I identify.” I understand that some of the blogs I read get a lot of comments and I don’t expect them to reply to them; in most cases, I truly feel like it’s a lack of time vs lack of caring, but I think that multiple comments deserve at least one reciprocal visit and a comment just to let you know they appreciate your time and investment in their blog. Sometimes if the blogger seems to reply only to the same people, it feels like there’s a clique and you’ll never be a part of their circle and makes me question how much they appreciate readership.

7) If I ask a serious question, I would like a reply, but overall, I don’t expect one.

32 Her Royal Fabulousness { 02.19.12 at 8:38 am }

1. I respond to some comments, but not all. About half I would say.
2. I leave a comment in the comments section, usually. Occasionally I’ll email.
3. If it is a post I am very interested in or one where I wrote a lengthy comment, I return to read comments. If I just said something like “Good luck!” then I don’t.
4. I spend more time reading/commenting on other people’s blogs than on my own.
5. I would rather someone leave a comment on my blog than comment back on theirs.
6. I don’t *expect* people to comment back but it gives me the warm and fuzzies when they do.
7. When someone asks me a direct questions or puts a lot of time and effort into a comment on my blog, I make extra effort to comment back.

33 Finding My New Normal { 02.19.12 at 10:59 am }

Sometimes I respond to comments but not very often. I use blogger and it’s not really set up for comment conversations. I have no idea if the person would come back to check and so it seems a bit pointless.

I don’t expect responses to my comments either. If I have a direct question I will email the blogger directly. I have no way to track which blogs I comment on so if the author did respond, it’s likely that I wouldn’t ever see it anyway.

It worries me a bit to think that there is some kind of obligation to follow or comment on blogs that happen to follow or comment on mine. I read lots of blogs, but only ones that I feel connected to.

I comment on blog posts that touch me and that I feel I can contribute something to. If I don’t think I can add anything useful, I won’t comment.

I don’t expect that bloggers I follow should have to follow me back. Nor do I expect bloggers who’s posts I comment on to have to comment back on my posts.

We should all be free to read and comment as we feel we want to. I’d hate to add guilt or obligation to something that is supposed to be done for the joy of it. I’d also hate to think that someone is just commenting on my posts because they feel they must.

34 Manapan { 02.20.12 at 3:02 am }

I respond to some of my comments, and almost always just in a threaded reply. I always mean to respond to more of them, but time gets away from me and I feel like I can’t leave a response after a couple of days pass. I rarely use my computer unless I’m passing the dead hours at work and I only work on the weekends now, so I feel like I miss a lot. My inability to respond to comments in a timely manner actually keeps me from posting sometimes.

I do return to comments in other blogs to check for replies if I’ve asked a question, like, for clarification of something in the post, or for when the poster was asking for advice and might further elaborate on the situation in the replies. I don’t always return though, because I have several hundred blogs in my reader.

35 loribeth { 02.20.12 at 1:49 pm }

1.So, do you respond to your comments? Sometimes, especially if it’s something that made me think or brought up a point that I can elaborate on further or clarify (or a question that should be answered). I don’t think every comment requires a response, and I don’t think every commenter expects one. I certainly don’t.

2.If yes, do you respond directly back to the person via email, or do you leave a message in the comment section? Usually in the comment section below. I will e-mail if it’s something that I don’t particularly want broadcast widely.

3.And do you, as a reader, ever return to the comment section of a post to see if the writer has responded to you? Sometimes, yes. But usually I’m just checking on what other comments have come in after mine.
4.And if you don’t respond to comments, what do you do instead with your online time? I read blogs. I blush to even think how many blogs I read. I’m also on a few message boards, & Facebook. And sometimes I even blog myself, lol.

5.Would you rather have someone respond to your comment, or would you rather have them read your blog and leave you a comment? No real preference. Unless I’ve asked a specific question in my comment, I really don’t expect to get a response. I do love getting comments on my own blog.

6.As a comment leaver, do you expect to receive a response? Does knowing that someone is not responding simply due to a lack of time vs. a lack of care change your expectation? I generally don’t expect a response. Time is certainly an issue for me; I imagine others have the same issue too.

7.Are there certain times when you deem a response necessary and other times that you do not? If I’ve asked a question, it would be nice to get an answer.

36 Jessie { 02.24.12 at 12:14 am }

So, do you respond to your comments?
Sometime

If yes, do you respond directly back to the person via email, or do you leave a message in the comment section?
Message in the comment section. I don’t know how to respond by email.

And do you, as a reader, ever return to the comment section of a post to see if the writer has responded to you?
Sometimes, usually when I’ve asked a question in the comment or said something with a lot of emotion behind it.

And if you don’t respond to comments, what do you do instead with your online time?
Read and comment on other blogs (or, if I’m being lazy, be bored on Facebook)

Would you rather have someone respond to your comment, or would you rather have them read your blog and leave you a comment?
Both! If I leave a comment that’s direct, as opposed to a generic “Good luck with your testing/cycle/bedrest!” I’d more want a response there instead of them coming to me.

As a comment leaver, do you expect to receive a response?
Depends on the kind of comment

Does knowing that someone is not responding simply due to a lack of time vs. a lack of care change your expectation?
Yes

Are there certain times when you deem a response necessary and other times that you do not?
Yeah, I don’t feel they’re needed for more generic comments. Also, a more general “Thanks, guys” response is fine by me if several people say about the same thing

37 Billy { 03.10.12 at 4:51 pm }

Nowdays I am so so so late on my reading and my reader is so full that I hardly comment. As for comments on my blog (and your questions :-)):
1. I love when people respond to every comment written on their blog. I tried doing it once, but am so not good at it so I kind of left it. This also reminds me of FB where I am learning that I should put a “like” on comments addressed to me,even if it’s just to show that I’ve read what they said..
2. I never (or almost never, there might have been an occasion when I have…) return to a post I have read (and commented). It is just too much time consuming. I do, however, like to tick the option that sends a notification to my e-mail.
3. Oh, there is so much to do and so little time!!
4. In general, I think I’d rather someone left a comment on my blog than respond to my comment, but I guess it also has to do with what I said in the comment/on my post, my mood, etc :-).
5. I mostly do not expect a response for my comments (probably why I do not go back to a blog I’ve commented on)

38 Sally Southern(aka: Carol K.) { 02.07.13 at 12:38 pm }

New at this, was not sure of the polite form expected. I have been commenting on a happenings that catches my fancy. Surprised that people have been responding to my comments. Reading some of the responses here on this page, many say they don’t go back to check whether someone has responded to their comment. This surprised me because I don’t check to see if someone has responded, because Yahoo sends me notification if I have received a reply or a thumbs up, etc. hence this query on my part. Now that I have this info, not sure what to do with it. Help!

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