Thursday, December 04, 2008

On the Etiquette of Commenting

So sometimes we bloggers get so busy, we get behind. The blogosphere has been musing on the "manners of commenting," so I thought I'd do a little poll.

I try to reply to comments on my blog, visit my visitors' blogs & comment there. But sometimes I get behind, and I'm not sure what Ms. Manners would suggest.

As a side note, I think it's really cool what Susan does: she rarely replies to comments on her own blog, but she visits other blogs, comments on their post, and then responds to their comment at the bottom of her comment on their post/blog. Isn't that cool?

When you leave a comment somewhere, what do you think is the polite response if the blogger gets behind? The polls are completely anonymous, so please don't feel you'll hurt my feelings or anything. I'm just intellectually interested.

If you can't see the poll below, you can go here.

And what should a blogger do first, if they're behind? What's the most polite? Should they put up the next blog on time, then respond to comments on their last post, then visit their visitor's blogs? Or visit their visitor's blog first, then reply to comments, then post their blog? Or reply to comments first, then visit their visitors, and then post their blog?

If you can't see the poll below, you can go here.

I didn't put this in the poll, but there are a few blogs who happen to blog in a way that doesn't really solicit a response, aside from "cool blog," or some such random thing. Sometimes I don't say anything. Is that really rude? And sometimes I get a little shy, or I just don't know what to say, you know? I just can't think of anything. What are your thoughts on that, too?

Oh wait, here's another one: what about comments on your blog? Can they be too long? Too short? Do you like if they come back a second time and reply to your reply, or do you prefer they just comment once?

Sometimes I wonder about that. I kinda like it when people leave comments that make other visitors want to come back and comment a second or third time, because then it's more like a conversation. But then I'm not sure what the etiquette on that is, either. How do you feel about doing that? How do you feel when people comment a second or third time?

Please don't be careful with your answers, I won't take anything personally. I'm really curious about discovering the best blogging etiquette.

Bonus question from Aerin (a good one!):
Do people prefer an "I was here" comment vs. no comment, if you're shy or rushed or whatever?

83 bonus scribbles:

Avery DeBow 12/04/2008 12:41:00 PM  

Your polls are missing. Did you know?

I do like the idea of responding to others' comments on their own blog. It's very conscious of other people's time. Very nice, Susan.

Personally, I like pretty much anything that isn't a sucking void of no response. Having said that, I don't expect everyone to respond to every single thing I write, especially if they feel like they're forcing a response just to show they popped by. Totally not necessary; I run a non-militant blog.

Anonymous,  12/04/2008 01:39:00 PM  

I'm with Avery re: the sucking void of no response. I think it's cool that, for example, Cindy and Ello and ChurchLady (and you) comment back to people in your comments, but damned if I don't most of the time forget to go back and read the responses.

I read all of my comments voraciously, but my "response" tends to be to go visit that blog and leave a comment. I've been wondering about changing that (since PJD got all snippy about people having their readers click to his site - kidding, Pete - ) so I am interested, definitely, in what results you discover.

Recently, I've been made ridiculously giddy when people add themselves to my "Followers" list. I know not all Blogspot bloggers use that widget, but I love it.

There are a couple of blogs where I comment often and have never heard back from the authors, ever. But one of them, for example, added me to his blogroll, and the other doesn't know me from Adam (or Eve, as the case may be), and in the virtual world, I figure that's good enough.

I'm totally rambling. Benadryl does that to me.

Then again, I /love/ receiving long comments, so I hope you will, too. Rambling or not!

Anonymous,  12/04/2008 01:41:00 PM  

Can you add this question:

Do people prefer a "I was here" comment vs. no comment, if (as you said) you're shy or rushed or whatever?

Melanie Avila 12/04/2008 01:47:00 PM  

Here's what I do, starting from when I get up:

1st - reply to commenters. I love it when there are conversations on blogs (mine or otherwise) so I try to respond quickly. I realize not everyone's schedule allows this.

2nd - post new blog. I'm already in blogger, may as well write it.

3rd - read other blogs. There are some blogs I comment at every day, some only when I have something to say, and others very rarely. It all depends on how well I know the person, what the topic is, etc. If it's a blog I always read but rarely comment, I usually let them know in some way that I do read regularly, usually by linking them on my blog.

I focus on my blog first because I'm the one running it. If I disappear for several days, no one else is going to update things for me. By that same thought, other bloggers are maintaining their blogs and they will go on without me, even if some days I'd really prefer to hang out there.

My 2¢.

Melanie Avila 12/04/2008 01:48:00 PM  

Oh, and I'd rather people read my blog because they like it, not out of obligation because I visit theirs. I've been thinking about cutting out a few that I normally visit, but I feel guilty. However, I don't think guilt is a reason to devote my time to something.

spyscribbler 12/04/2008 01:52:00 PM  

Thanks, Avery! They're a flash embed, so I posted an html link for those browser who have that turned off or it won't work for.

I love the way Susan does it, too. I hesitate, only because I love the conversation in one place, but that's a bit selfish of me. :-)

The sucking void of no response IS weird! It sorta makes me feel like an idiot, LOL.

But then a few blogs just don't respond, and sometimes I'm okay with that, but I rarely comment there. I figure a comment is a conversation, you know? Just ignoring it always strikes me as awkward.

spyscribbler 12/04/2008 01:58:00 PM  

Aerin, PJD? That sounds like a blog I've yet to discover! I hear what you mean about going back. Have you tried You drag a little thing to your bookmark bar, and everytime you leave a comment on a site, you click that little thing.

Then, at the end of the day, all the comment threads are on a single page, with everyone's replies and everything.

It's really hard to explain, but super easy. :-)

I added your question. I meant to ask that! :-)

Heather Harper 12/04/2008 02:00:00 PM  

I don't always comment, but I read my blogroll every day. I subscribe to so many that it is next to impossible to comment on them all.

I do the best I can and then I move on.

spyscribbler 12/04/2008 02:02:00 PM  

Melanie, about leaving a blog... sometimes, you either develop a relationship or you don't. It's unlikely that, if you're thinking of leaving them off the daily visit, that there's really a relationship there, you know?

Now if I'm one of those blogs you're thinking of leaving off, then I change my answer to you should absolutely never stop visiting. ;-)

I like the way you think... that makes sense. The blog won't keep blogging without me. :-)

spyscribbler 12/04/2008 02:04:00 PM  

Heather, I'm that way with about 60% of the blogs I read. I do make a point of commenting on the blogs whose bloggers comment here, but I don't comment on all the blogs I read, usually. It's time-consuming, sometimes!

Realmcovet 12/04/2008 02:14:00 PM  

Hi Spyscribbler!!

It is time consuming!!

I had to respond here, even though I only have two minutes left before I go pick up the kiddos from school.

I usually add anybody right away onto my blogroll that is brave enough to comment on my blog. I don't always comment on what they have to say just because it may not be my "field o' expertise" but I figure by adding them to my blogroll, I've let them know that I appreciate them visiting and that I enjoy visiting them too. But I know everyone is different. I like to comment back whoever leaves any on my page on my own blog, and then leave whatever I have to say on theirs. But I feel your blogger "angst". Good questions to ask!

And I looooooove long comments. As long as it's not 10 consecutive lines of telling me how much I suck. :D

Eric Mayer,  12/04/2008 02:28:00 PM  

I'm pretty bad about responding to comments at my blog. Heck, I haven't even been posting recently. Although I enjoy blogs they are kind of overwhelming -- so fast, so many! Years ago, long before the Internet, I got accustomed to the much more sedate process of publishing, and reading and responding to little zines which rarely came out more than every couple months and usually not that often. So I try to keep up and hope folks aren't offended when I don't manage.

Bill Henderson 12/04/2008 02:42:00 PM  

Blush--you're so much better than me about this, Natasha. My record is slapdash and inconsistent and I don't respond half as much as I should. But when I do, HOW I do depends on the context. Some comments I want to reply to privately, so I email. Some raise questions, so I respond with a new comment. Occasionally I'll excerpt four or five comments and answer them in a post. It hasn't occurred to me to go to a commentor's blog and reply there. I'm not sure how you "butt in" with a subject the other commentators will be in the dark about. I guess you just reference the post in question--and presto, it's a plug! But thanks for bringing this up. One thing I am very bad about is visiting my commentor's blogs. I'm going to fix that.

Zoe Winters 12/04/2008 02:54:00 PM  

I'm with Avery on the sucking void of no response. I feel like I should reply at least to acknowledge every person who takes the time to comment on my blog. And people like to be acknowledged and know that their words were read.

Susan Helene Gottfried 12/04/2008 03:00:00 PM  

Uhh, well, you know where I stand on this issue...

(btw, your new look is awesome! Have I commented on it before?)

I like to return visits; it helps traffic rankings and lets you see what others are saying (thanks, Avery!). Plus, I almost NEVER remember where I've left a comment. It's so much easier to have a dialogue that runs between the two blogs, sort of like writing on each other's walls at Facebook.

As far as being behind? Like I am now? I don't know how best to handle it... I'm just sort of muddling along on that one.

Just remember that no one can ask you to do more than your best. And then do your best for that moment!

Susan Helene Gottfried 12/04/2008 03:01:00 PM  

Oops... an "I was here" comment -- I do those, too. Especially if it's someone I value a lot who I haven't said much to. I'll drop in and say, "I'm just letting you know I've been lurking. I haven't forgotten you."

I like seeing those comments. So... do unto others, ya know?

Jenna 12/04/2008 05:32:00 PM  

Wow...I may be bad at this blogging etiquette thing because I read a handful of blogs daily that I don't comment on that often. With two crazy kids and all that goes with them I'm lucky if get to read and absorb an entire post let alone write an intelligent comment.

I guess when I started reading blogs I figured I would comment if a post really resonated with me and/or if I had something half-way intelligent to offer.

When I started blogging I figured any and every comment was a bonus so I don't think it's rude to not comment especially if you feel like you have nothing to say, or add, or that the post didn't really lend itself to comments.

I do revisit posts I've commented on because I like posts that spark a lot of discussion or turn into a conversation. On posts like that I do think the blogger needs to be active in the discussion/conversation if they want people to keep coming back.

I guess the bottom line for me is no one is going to offend me by visiting and not commenting, or being a regular reader and not commenting that often, or just commenting and not coming back to see my comment to their comment, or if they are too long or too short...oh, and I hope other writer-bloggers will forgive me if I ever commit a cardinal sin of bloggging :).

Great post Spy!

Kath Calarco 12/04/2008 05:48:00 PM  

Spy, when I first say your blog topic I assumed someone was cussing at blogs, lol, like I do at times.

I have only one pet peeve and it has to do with guest bloggers. We see them all over the joint, which is very cool, but getting to my peeve, some don't bother responding at all to comments. Now that's just rude.

CJ Harley 12/04/2008 06:01:00 PM  

I personally do not comment on my own posts. I prefer to comment on the visitor's blog. If someone asks a question I normally email that person directly. I think it is more personable that way.

Ello 12/04/2008 06:38:00 PM  

This is an interesting debate and one that I have talked about alot with other bloggers. I think that when you have a huge blogroll it becomes really hard to visit everyone, but I like to stay on top of everything by keeping them all in my googlereader and reading that way. It's much faster and easier. But that means that I only comment when a post makes me want to respond - like this one!

With regards to comments on my blog. I'm hit or miss. Sometimes I have time and I respond to everyone. Othertimes I don't have the time and I'll try to just hit everyone up the next time I go by their blog! But I definitely believe that ignoring your commenters is never a good idea!

Now that said. I've been to lots of blogs where I've left a comment and never received a comment back and never received a visit back. But they don't bother me and I'm totally ok with it if the blog has content I like and want to keep reading. So it does depend on the blog itself.

And I love long short or any comments! Except spam. I hates spam!!!

Melanie Avila 12/04/2008 06:47:00 PM  

I'm really bad about visiting new people's blogs. I have new commenters every now and then and it sometimes takes me MONTHS to realize I should go check out what they do. *smacks head*

I've used google reader a bit but I wish you could comment from there. Or can you? Maybe it's the blogger following thing where you can't. I find that annoying.

Stephen Parrish 12/04/2008 07:12:00 PM  

I don't always comment, but I read my blogroll every day. I subscribe to so many that it is next to impossible to comment on them all. I do the best I can and then I move on.

I'm with Heather. If I have something pertinent to say, I say it. Otherwise I save my breath.

I do NOT think it's rude to not comment, or to not respond to a comment, or to not reciprocate a comment. No comment is merely that: no comment. It doesn't imply anything.

writtenwyrdd 12/04/2008 07:44:00 PM  

I generally tend to post a brief comment, but I certainly don't mind if I don't get comments. I can see from feedjit that I get quite a few visitors who don't comment. Of course I'd like to get comments, it's sort of a measure of "success" if you get comments. But do I always comment? No.

I generally comment fairly regularly on my link list Places I Like to visit, but sometimes it's a while between visits. It's like calling your friends. You don't have to call them daily to remain friends!

writtenwyrdd 12/04/2008 07:46:00 PM  

Oh, and I will thank someone for linking to me if I discover they have done so. But I don't feel obligated to link in return unless I happen to like their blog.

McKoala 12/04/2008 08:41:00 PM  

I don't comment on everybody's blog every day. However, now I've got the hang of 'following' it's a lot easier to see what people are up to - all the updated blogs on one screen, all at once. So I'm getting to the right places faster, which gives me more time to comment. (This all depends on me remembering to add people to the followers list of course!)

As for my blog, I love it when people start discussing things in the comments.

McKoala 12/04/2008 08:42:00 PM  

Oh, and I will try and comment on the comments - sometimes I don't think it's necessary, if it's just a funny story and everybody says, 'that's funny', but if people give real input I try and respond.

spyscribbler 12/04/2008 08:43:00 PM  

Realmcovet, I love long comments, too! It's like getting an email, LOL! That angst is why I asked. I keep feeling like I'm behind, and then I post my next blog, but I worry that might offend, LOL...

I probably think too much. *blush*

spyscribbler 12/04/2008 08:45:00 PM  

Eric, I've never felt offended. Although I do feel extra special when you stop by, LOL. :-)

And I SO get that: I could add like twenty more blogs I'd love to read, but I fear I'd offend by not commenting on them. You guys are starting to make me feel less guilty, though!

spyscribbler 12/04/2008 08:47:00 PM  

Hey, Bill! Well, you've never visited here! :-) Just kidding... Between you and Eric, I feel extra special!

One thing I love about Word Press is that you can respond by email. Blogger doesn't allow you to do that. :-( It won't even give me a person's email!

spyscribbler 12/04/2008 08:48:00 PM  

Zoe, I hear you. That's why I have such a tough time. But for some reason, today it took me a long time to blog. I had all morning off because I wrote really early, but then I realized I spent three hours blogging! And I should be writing and reading with some of that... LOL!

Robin 12/04/2008 08:54:00 PM  

What makes me fall in love with blogs is not only the writer's voice, but the bloggish relationship that develops. It's cool to make friends with people from all over who do all sorts of diverse things.

So, since I'm all about the "relationship" (how incredibly queer that sounds), if a person doesn't comment back, I get bored, and don't usually go back. There are exceptions to that, and it usually involves the person coming to my blog and commenting, so I get to know them that way.

spyscribbler 12/04/2008 08:55:00 PM  

Susan, I love your method. Have you tried It is the EASIEST way to keep track. You click one button after you comment, and then it gathers all comments on that page into these neat little threads that update.

So you can check once that night, and see all the replies in one place!

spyscribbler 12/04/2008 08:58:00 PM  

Jenna, I love the way you think. Guilt-free blogging! That's what it's supposed to be. I enjoy reading over later comments, too, which is why I use (I feel like I'm working for them, LOL!)

And the cool thing is, you can enjoy more blogs that way.

Especially with two little ones!

spyscribbler 12/04/2008 08:59:00 PM  

Kath, that's true! It is a little odd. I loved when Edie guest-blogged here, because she responded to all the comments, and I felt like I had a free day to really visit everyone else's blogs!

spyscribbler 12/04/2008 09:00:00 PM  

C.J., I wish blogger let you do that email thing. I know when a blogger emails me a response, I DO feel special, LOL. You're definitely right, it is more personable.

spyscribbler 12/04/2008 09:04:00 PM  

Ello, my blogroll has been growing and growing, too, and I'm finding I'm running out of time at the end of the day. I wrote this post because I really wasn't sure whether I should post less and visit more, or comment less, or just be quicker, LOL.

And like Robin says below, I do like the relationship aspect to blogging, but there are about 20 blogs I just enjoy reading, but never comment on or receive comments. So it depends, for me, too.

spyscribbler 12/04/2008 09:14:00 PM  

Stephen, that's cool. I like yours and Heather's philosophy. I'm just a worrywart. :-)

Edie 12/04/2008 09:18:00 PM  

Thanks, Spy! I loved being here. You have the best commenters. So does Magical Musings!

It just feels polite to reply to comments. I always ask the guest bloggers at Magical to reply. Some don't, but I can't force them to reply.

Lately commenting on everyone's blog has started to feel like a job. I'm thinking of cutting down. Not yours, though, Spy! I always look forward to your blogs.

spyscribbler 12/04/2008 09:19:00 PM  

Writtenwyrdd, I think yours was the very first blog I read regularly in my feed reader, but rarely commented on. You send out such fascinating little tidbits! But then I never have much to add to them.

You know, I never notice whether or not someone links to me. Sometimes I'll follow commenters on other blogs to their blogs, but I rarely follow a blogroll, although I should check those out more, now that you mention it!

Michelle 12/04/2008 09:19:00 PM  

Hey Spy. Sorry I've been AWOL in the blog world for a little while. Great post! I don't find it rude if I post on someone's blog and they don't make the trip to mine to comment on something. However, I will say this is what I try to do:

If someone comments on my blog, I respond to the comment on my own blog.

Then I try to visit the commentor's blog or site and comment on something there. Kind of like, tit for tat. But it helps with networking and meeting new people.

Sometimes people don't do that when I comment on their blogs, but that's okay as well. I don't get upset about it, but I do enjoy getting new visitors to my site.

I guess I will also add that I'm not a fan of the one word responses. I know it's hard to find something to say, especially if the person's blog hasn't been updated in a while.

I know that it doesn't encourage me to blog when I look at comments on my topics that amount to: "Great job" or "LOL."

A comment, a question, a side topic, a related subject -- all of these are comments I enjoy getting and the kind that I try to give others.

Michelle Lauren
Dec. 8 -- Come party w/me & win FREE books!

Michelle 12/04/2008 09:22:00 PM  

For whatever reason, Blogger always hates my profile pic and refuses to show it. Anyway, I forgot to add that lately, I have found it overwhelming to visit all the interesting blogs out there. I try to do so regularly but real life intervenes (hence, my periods of going AWOL and reappearing to comment, like now :D ).

If someone posts a comment that I feel might be a personal question, I do reply to that individual via email.


spyscribbler 12/04/2008 09:30:00 PM  

McKoala, I use google reader to use the comments, but I use the "following" features because I like to see people's pictures, LOL! :-) I think that looks cool.

It definitely saves on time, for sure!

And I think your method of responding makes a lot of sense! :-)

spyscribbler 12/04/2008 09:32:00 PM  

Robin, that's it exactly! I do blog for the social value and relationship of it. I'm getting behind, though, so I wasn't sure what to do, you know? I don't want to lose those relationship, LOL!

But yeah, I definitely prefer the whole respond here, visit and comment there thing.

For myself. I'm not real picky what other people do.

spyscribbler 12/04/2008 09:35:00 PM  

Edie, that makes sense to me. I mostly add a feed when I think someone is interesting. But then after a while, if no "realish" commenting relationship develops, I tend to end up deleting the blog, simply because I'm doing it for social reasons, you know?

There are a few I keep for their blog content. And a few I only respond on once in a blue moon, like Murderati.

spyscribbler 12/04/2008 09:39:00 PM  

Michelle, I understand about the AWOL thing! I've actually tried going AWOL now and then, but I end up missing everybody.

I'm not offended by what anyone else does, either, although the "sucking void" makes me feel unwelcome, after awhile.

I do need to find a way to limit my blogging time a little more. I'm just a wee bit addicted, LOL!

Sarah Laurenson 12/04/2008 10:57:00 PM  

There's never enough time for it all. I can't see blogspot from work - which is just as well, I'd never get work done. I don't post regularly. And I comment when I can. I love the continuing commentary in the writer's blog's comments, but I also love it when they pay me a visit on my blog.

I think whatever works for you is best. Some people may drift away because they don't agree with what you're doing and some won't.

I comment on blogs of people who never visit me that I know of. And I'm sure I've missed a few blogs of the people who comment at my place. Mea culpa. Sorry guys.

Barbara Martin 12/05/2008 12:33:00 AM  

Until I read your post today, Spy, I was unaware there was comment etiquette.

I tend to read the new comments that have arrived, respond and then go to the visitor's blog to read their post. I will post a comment thanking them for their visit, but not necessarily adding something about the content of their blog post.

There are times a blogger will post something I find offensive, or inappropriate, and in that case, I do not comment at all. I just leave and return when there is another post I might be inspired to comment on. In retrospect, I am not offended in the least if someone comes to visit, reads the post and then leaves without posting a comment. If this same person continues to return, then eventually they will comment.

If I leave a comment on a blog I normally do not frequent, I am not concerned whether or not they visit me. It is their choice. Often they are curious, come, read, and most often leave without posting a comment. That's fine by me. I put no pressure on anyone coming to my blog to leave a comment. I have more important things to consider than this aspect.

Spy, I hope this satisfies your curiosity somewhat, at least where I am concerned.

Diesel 12/05/2008 12:40:00 AM  

I'm lousy about responding to comments on my blog. I'd rather comment on other people's blogs.

Rick 12/05/2008 12:42:00 AM  

Really, Spy, I'm just happy if anyone drops by to visit my blog at all. They're like neighbors dropping by to chat. Sometimes, as in the case of The Secret Dragons of Creative Writing, I'm exploring story or book possibilities. It really never occured to me that there was an etiquette to consider other than being mannerly. Except when I drop by to rib Stewart, of course.

You've really got me thinking about this, though. Thanks for bringing up the topic.

Robin Bielman 12/05/2008 01:43:00 AM  

Great topic, Spy! I really wish I had more hours in the day! I really enjoy blogging, but am not that quick about it. I think it's because I'm shy and even leaving a comment is sometimes hard for me. I want to say just the right thing. I do love getting comments on my blog, even if it's just a quick hello. And I always respond to everyone who leaves a comment and I try to visit everyone who visits me. Because like someone mentioned, it's a relationship and I want to foster that. I feel really lucky to have met so many wonderful people through blogging!

Pink Ink 12/05/2008 03:37:00 AM  

Hi Spy! Well, you know how I feel about this comment thing :-).

I usually visit a commenter's blog first, then later, like at the end of the day, I reply to comments in one huge swoop, because I do agree that it's nice when a blogger acknowledges them on their blog.

Sometimes, when I am pressed for time, I usually will visit blogs of only those who leave non-Spammy comments, ya know? And then maybe later, I'll catch the others.

Angie 12/05/2008 06:49:00 AM  

I do my best to respond to everyone who comments on one of my journals or blogs. I consider it kind of rude not to, actually -- it's like having a party and then ignoring your guests. I consider myself the host of any conversation I start by posting, whether it's my personal blog/journal or a post I make on a community (sort of like a group blog, on LJ), and I respond at least once to everyone who comments on my posts. Obviously the conversation has to end sometime :) so there'll come a point where I don't have anything more to say and don't respond again, or where the other person stops, but that first response-to-comment is important to me.

That said, in the general off-journals blogosphere, there are a number of blogs where there's no way to have the blog send you an e-mail saying that the journal owner (or anyone else) has responded to your comment. In that case, I might never know the person replied to me. For blogs I visit a lot, if there's no comment e-mailing then if I remember, next time I visit I'll go back and see if there are any comments to my previous comment. But I might not remember to do so, which sort of kills the conversation. That's one thing I really like about Blogger.

I'd feel weird going to someone else's blog to respond to their comment on my blog. It feels rude to me to respond on a post about Apples with a comment about Porcupines, you know? Like, what the heck is that comment doing here? It also prevents people who were participating in the original Porcupines discussion from seeing that comment and maybe responding to it, and if the Porcupine blogger always responds on commenters' blogs, it eliminates the possibility of getting an actual discussion going.

I like all kinds of comments. Long is great because there's more likely to be the seed of a longer conversation in it, but even a "Cool post!" or "I agree!" comment is fine. I like knowing that someone's read my post and thought enough of it to say something, even if they're disagreeing with me. Silence is the worst.

That said, though, I don't comment on every post I read, and only leave a comment if I think I have something to say. I don't mind getting "Cool post!" type comments, but I'll admit I hardly ever leave them. [duck] Usually if I leave a really short comment like that, it's a congratulations about something, or a happy birthday, that sort of thing.

On the other end of the spectrum, I leave teal deer comments more often than anyone else I know. :) If a post strikes me in some way, I'll babble on about it for ages. I love getting comments like that, and no one's ever griped about getting one from me, so....

If someone gets behind on answering comments, then they should do whatever they think is the highest priority. I don't post on any set schedule, so I don't have a sense of responding to comments or getting a post up on time. Someone who does have a schedule should decide for themself what's more important to them. I can wait another hour or day to get a comment response if the person has a topic they really want to blog about and they're busy writing and researching and whatever all else.

For myself, I try to answer people fairly quickly. On my Blogger blog, I'll sometimes let a few pile up and then answer all at once, in one post, but I won't deliberately let it go more than a day or two, and that only if I'm really busy or distracted by something. Occasionally I've found a comment that was weeks or months old [flail] usually when LJ's decided to sit on comments for a while, which it does once or twice a year just for fun. [mutter] When I finally get the comment notification, or notice it if I'm looking over an old post for whatever reason, I'll usually answer right then, starting with an apology for taking so long. It's sort of like thank-you notes -- you're supposed to do it and leaving it for a while doesn't absolve one of the responsibility. :P That's just me, though, and most people aren't quite as fanatical about it as I am.

I never really picked up on the practice of visiting someone's blog because they commented on mine. The first time, sure, but once I've looked over their blog or journal, I decide whether or not I want to read it regularly. If so, then I'll subscribe to it and it'll show up in my reader. If I decide not to, then I don't, and I don't go visit the person's blog over and over just because they comment on mine.

If a blog doesn't have an obvious way of subscribing but I want to read it anyway, then I bookmark it into a special folder, but I'll admit I don't check the blogs in that folder as often as I used to. It's not hard to set up with RSS or Atom or whatever, and I get sort of annoyed with people who don't bother. It's like, I shouldn't have to work that hard to read their blog. If they can't be bothered to make it available to my reader, then I can't be bothered to check their blog very often. [shrug] But my decision about whether or not I want to read their stuff is linked to what they post, not how often they comment.

I think that's everything I wanted to say. [laugh/squint]


lainey bancroft 12/05/2008 09:29:00 AM  

Oh, wow, Natasha. I guess I better extend that Christmas wish list to include a copy of "The Blog Etiquette Handbook"

I have very little rhyme or reason to my 'technique'. I read a lot more than I comment, partly because I am shy and also because I post sporadically to my blog, so I don't want anyone to feel compelled to follow me home when I know perfectly well I have nothing of interest posted there.

I do have regular buds I visit and almost always comment because they have a thought provoking post. Here for instance =) But if I have nothing to say, I say nothing. Maybe that's not the thing to do? I should make a little 'Lainey was here' siggy line, just so people know I popped in and was interested enough to read their thoughts. I do know I always love new visitors. It is like a gift when strangers give me a few moments of their time, and even better when an ongoing blogger relationship develops.

AnswerGirl 12/05/2008 10:22:00 AM  

Yikes. I love it when people comment on my blog, but don't feel the need to respond to every comment -- and I don't feel that every comment expects a response.

Lots of people visit my blog regularly and never comment, and that's fine. Sometimes, through my site meter, I can tell who these people are; sometimes I wish I knew who they were. (Who, for instance, is my regular visitor from Indonesia?)

And likewise, I lurk in lots of blogs, and rarely comment unless I really have something to say.

Melanie Avila 12/05/2008 10:23:00 AM  

Spy, I just wanted to let you know that I'm having a plate of mushrooms for lunch again. :)

LaDonna 12/05/2008 12:20:00 PM  

Hey Spy, what Lainey said! lol. I will add, I'm not a score-keeper so I never take offense if someone doesn't show, etc. I like to comment on my personal blog and at Magical, but I really understand the time thing also. I have a few of my favorites that I hit often, you'd be one. But it's all so subjective too. I just know I enjoy visiting my fav blogs, and seeing friends drop by mine. But, life and work do manage to get in the way at times. I think writers really get that one.

I think I keep my daily/weekly visit list short because it is time-consuming and I'm trying to wean myself of megga time online. Hey, we all need to write some too!

Loreth Anne White 12/05/2008 12:22:00 PM  

Cool discussion, Spy.

Blush--you're so much better than me about this, Natasha. My record is slapdash and inconsistent and I don't respond half as much as I should

I'm with (was it Bill?) here. *Hangs head in shame* I'm guilty as charged, and I'm inconsistent partly because I have my blog posts going up in several places and I end up following up on comments on one site, and not the other. You've made me re-think, though.

Aimless Writer 12/05/2008 12:48:00 PM  

I think a response would be nice but not necessary. Its always nice to hear someone stopped by even if they just say hi without giving an exact comment on your subject. But we do have to understand that people have work they have to get done, families to accomodate and stuff like that.
Do you think a book called the Blogger's Book of Etiquette?

Merry Monteleone 12/05/2008 01:30:00 PM  

I generally try to respond to all of my comments, but sometimes I get behind and don't get to it for awhile. And I do try to at least visit back... there are so many good blogs out there, though, it's hard to visit them all on a daily basis... hell, I only post on my own blog a few times a week.

I don't mind if people read and don't comment, either. I like to think of blogging as an extended conversation, so I love getting other people's takes on things and I love long comments... I especially love blogs that turn into extended discussions with different people responding to each others' comments.

I generally only comment if I have something to say. Sometimes it's something small, a compliment on the writing, or critique if they're asking for one... sometimes it's just a way to further the discussion.

Great discussion here, by the way.

spyscribbler 12/05/2008 05:25:00 PM  

Sarah, isn't that the truth? More time would be awesome! Your thoughts are very sensible.

R.J. Keller 12/06/2008 12:27:00 AM  

I'm a little late in replying to this. I hope that's not bad netiquette.

I do my best to reply to comments on my blog, and to comment on others' but it really does get more and more difficult the wider my blog buddy circle gets. I think you do a good job here of responding. MUCH better than I do, that's fer sure.

spyscribbler 12/06/2008 12:28:00 PM  

Barbara, I wasn't aware of a blogging etiquette, but I was increasingly worried there was a blogging etiquette and everyone knew it but me. You know? Those unwritten social rules make me nervous. I'm one of those people who like everything spelled out so I know for sure, LOL.

spyscribbler 12/06/2008 12:32:00 PM  

Diesel, I definitely relate to that feeling!

spyscribbler 12/06/2008 12:33:00 PM  

Rick, it was one of those things where I worried everyone knew a certain etiquette but me, LOL. Have I mentioned, lately, that I adore your Dragons of Creativity series??

spyscribbler 12/06/2008 12:34:00 PM  

Robin, I feel so lucky, too! And this latest "I Love Your Blog" meme was the best meme I've ever passed along: I found at least ten blogs I now love!

It takes me a little while to get over my shyness, too. :-)

spyscribbler 12/06/2008 12:35:00 PM  

Pink Ink, it was your blog on the subject that gave me the courage to post mine. I've been dying to know how people honestly felt about this for a long time! Years!

So thank you! :-)

Rick 12/06/2008 12:38:00 PM  

You are too sweet, Spy.

spyscribbler 12/06/2008 12:41:00 PM  

Angie, what is a "teal deer" comment? LOL... my mind is a complete blank: I can't even make up a definition!

I totally agree on the RSS thing. I feel the same way. If they REALLY don't want me to read their blog... well, okay, I won't. Same with the whole partial feed thing. There are two good friends who have partial feeds, and I deal because I adore them and am going to click over anyway.

But there are some people with partial feeds who make their first two or three sentences boring and their title nondescript. If you're going to have partial feeds, then you've got to work extra hard to entice people to click over.

Whereas full-feed people have an entire post to entice me to click over.

spyscribbler 12/06/2008 12:44:00 PM  

LOL, Lainey! That's hilarious! I would LOVE a "Blog Etiquette" book. That's why I asked. :-)

I like the way you comment just fine, no need to change. I just have come to treasure the people that pop by here, and I want to do the right thing to let them know how much I appreciate them and make them feel welcome, you know? So I wanted to know how you guys felt about the subject.

Sarah Laurenson 12/06/2008 12:44:00 PM  

Partial feed? Full feed? Um, help.

Someone said I needed to feed my blog, but I haven't been able to find anything on that. Got a clue I can buy?

spyscribbler 12/06/2008 12:48:00 PM  

AnswerGirl, I get that. :-) I like that everyone here has different styles. I do notice, that when there is a blogger with your philosophy, I feel much more comfortable not commenting when I have nothing interesting to say, LOL. And I like that easiness, too, the joy of just kicking back and reading and receiving a story. (Is that selfish of me?) *blush*

spyscribbler 12/06/2008 12:51:00 PM  

Melanie! I thought we discussed the whole mushroom thing before. I thought I'd convinced you they were the most terrible food man ever thought to eat. *shudder*


spyscribbler 12/06/2008 12:55:00 PM  

LaDonna, I like the way you put that! I'm not a score-keeper, either. And I totally get the whole time management thing. That's sorta why I brought it up. On Thursday, I wrote at 4am, so had my writing done by 8 or 9. Then I proceeded to bloghop for over six hours straight... and I still wanted to play more.

It usually doesn't take me so long, but it was a real wake-up call, LOL!

spyscribbler 12/06/2008 12:57:00 PM  

Loreth, it is difficult. I do think that some people just respond to comments differently, and when people see that you are just one of those people who don't do the whole respond thing or are consistently haphazard about it, they don't take it personally. You know?

So it's cool.

spyscribbler 12/06/2008 01:03:00 PM  

Aimless, YES, I would LOVE that book! That would be cool! I always worry about such things, that's why I love everything spelled out, you know?


spyscribbler 12/06/2008 01:05:00 PM  

Thanks for your thoughts, Merry! I do love it when a conversation develops in the comments. I also love how, on Stephen's blog, people engage in real discussion, commenting on each others comments, too.

spyscribbler 12/06/2008 01:14:00 PM  

That's reassuring, R.J.! Thanks! And that's all we all can do: our best. I try, but I've been feeling a little behind, lately.

spyscribbler 12/06/2008 01:15:00 PM  

Sarah, coming soon, to an email near you! :-)

Angie 12/06/2008 04:02:00 PM  

Sorry. [grin/duck] People started using tl;dr as an abbreviation for "Too Long; Didn't Read," and then later the "tl;dr" became known as a "teal deer." I think I've even seen things like "blue ruminant" occasionally, but that's getting kind of out there.

About the full vs. partial feed, I'm one of the people on a partial (at least, I think I set it up that way [squint/cogitate]) because my initial journal/blog community was LiveJournal. There, it's considered polite to cut your posts so that something long won't take up six screens on other people's friends list (which works on LJ the way a blog reader works out here in the wilder areas of the blogosphere) and I just assumed the same ettiquette.

Thinking about it, though, LJ's Flist doesn't have the J- and K-controls to skip up and down the list one post at a time. There, you just have to use the scroll bar, so it makes more sense that longer posts would be (and are, trust me) annoying. I hadn't even thought about J and K when I set up my feed on Angie's Desk. Maybe I'll go change it, if I can remember how, LOL!


Jill Wheeler 12/06/2008 06:32:00 PM  

I think you are an excellent commenter! I only comment if I have something to say. But I really like when comments turn into a back-and-forth exchange. It's more fun that way!

spyscribbler 12/07/2008 09:16:00 AM  

Angie, I never knew! Now you might just become my duck friend, LOL. ;-)

And no worries, you're on full feed!

spyscribbler 12/07/2008 09:18:00 AM  

Aw, thanks, Jill! You, too! I do like that back and forth, too. As I've thought about this the past couple days, I love the comments section most, so I'm thinking that if I have to slow my blogging down in order to pay proper attention to my comments section and my friends' blogs, I'm cool with that. :-)

writtenwyrdd 12/08/2008 09:55:00 AM  

"Writtenwyrdd, I think yours was the very first blog I read regularly in my feed reader, but rarely commented on."

Why thank you!