Sunday, September 07, 2008

Thoughts on blog comments

Okay, I know this is a touchy subject among bloggers - it leads to all sorts of questions about why we actually blog. Do we blog simply for affirmation via comments left? Or do we blog to have an outlet for our writing and sometimes to let off a little steam?

Personally, for me it's a bit of both. I started off blogging because I love to write, at that point, had I never received a single comment I would have been happy with that. But I must confess that having "been around the blog" a couple of times, I started getting a little thrill every time I got a comment on one of my posts. Nowdays I still blog because I love to write, but I also really enjoy getting feedback from my readers and have come to love the comments that appear at the bottom of a post and the emails I receive saying that a reader has enjoyed a particular post.

Which brings me to the point of this post (there is a point, honest!)

I read a number of blogs on an almost daily basis and I definitely don't leave comments on each and every blog every single day (geez, it would be a full time occupation...) but I do make a point of leaving a comment on each blog I read on a fairly regular basis. I feel that if you are enjoying the posts on a blog and getting regular entertainment from it, it is a matter of good manners to at least sometimes reciprocate by leaving a comment.

I also make a point of visiting the blogs of those who leave comments and leaving a comment in return. Again, to my way of thinking this is a matter of good manners.

Now some of the blogs I read are extremely popular and I fully realise that if you are getting in excess of 50-100 comments a day it is practically impossible to run around and visit all those blogs and leave comments. It's perfectly fine by me if those particular bloggers never visit my blog ever. But I have to confess that I get just a little bit bugged by the fact that there are bloggers who are not that popular who never take the time to visit the blogs of those who comment. Frankly I think it's a bit rude.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is a very popular blog I visit and I have left comments on a couple of occasions, never for a moment expecting a response and yet each time this blogger has sent me a personal email, thanking me for visiting her blog and replying to my comment. I am in awe of this blogger - unfortunately anyone who has commented on my blog will know that I am not as gracious (blush, blush!)
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this - do you think it's fine to get comments regularly from a particular reader of your blog and to never take the time to visit their blog and leave a comment of your own? Am I being overly sensitive?

14 comments:

Marsha said...

I started the exact same way Gill... until I got my first comment I never even thought about it. When I got a visit and a mention from a blogger I highly respect, and who is widely read, it created more traffic in one day than I had experienced in the entire time I had been blogging. I think that's when comments took on a new meaning. I saw the power that just plain old people who did blogging well held in influencing others actions. That's why advertising on blogs is such a big deal these days.

Which leads to the question... do you or have you considered advertising on yours?

Marsha

Simply-Mel said...

Hey! Interesting post girl....we have all mulled this one I think.

I began blogging as a means to record snippets of our daily lives. I love to scrapbook but dont have the time/money required to do it as regularly as I would like to.

I turned to blogging as a form of cyber-scrapping. Capturing photos (sometimes) and text online. My first blog was called Five-Browns and it was pretty personal etc. I closed it down after a year because I got too many hits and not many comments! I was a bit insecure as I had put quite a bit out there, not expecting the readership it gained.

Simply-Mel is exactly the same type/style of blog but I retain a bit more anonymity with this one. I thoroughly enjoy receiving comments - and I do take the time to reciprocate when possible. However I do still blog for me/my family.

Every year I collate and print my blog entries into a book. This gets added to my "paper scrapbooks". Something a bit different but everyone enjoys them!

I also dont comment on the hugely popular blogs. But I do feel it courteous to respond to all those who pop by mine!

Lucy said...

oh Gill! I just adore you! I could have written this verbatim. Like you, I TRY to reciprocate 'cause it's just nice manners, right!! Sometimes I try but as often as I try (thinking of one particular blog), I just don't care for this blog ! I TRY to make an effort to begin reading it,again-kindness, but I just can't. So that blogger must think I am awful!
what i think, is we must blog and expect Nothing in return. We must read other blogs for pleasure and expect nothing in return, and if we get comments on ours or return visits from others than that's just a bonus of blogging! How's that answer?? haha
hope u know I LoVe your blog! xo

Elinor Dashwood said...

Oh, I totally love this post! I used to be the type of blogger who would simply write and post just for my own pleasure, but in all honesty, I look forward to the comments I get. I certainly don't 'expect' them, but when they come in - yipee! When you get 2 or 3 on one single post, it's time for the dance of joy, isn't it? ha ha My only question is this...how come some blogs which seem boring get so many comments? Go figure. I know I don't get many because mine IS boring to most people...but there are some popular blogs out there that aren't even pretty to look at and what they write is a big yawner! ha ha

I do enjoy your blog as I'm sure others do as well. Keep up what you're doing and the comments will fly in - even if they come one at a time like mine do. = )

Elinor

Addie said...

I enjoy blogging but love getting comments more. No comments have never made me wanna stop, but it does hurt my feelings when a post had 20 views but only two comments.

A while back I posted an entry especially for the LURKERS and learnt something from the comments I got - maybe it's not that bad after all.

But, yes comments are important to me.

Tamara said...

I'm so with you on this. Unless a blogger has gazillions of comments or is going through a really busy patch, I think it's rude nt to comment back on a regular reader's blog. Then again, I can't resist checking out everyone who visits my blog just out of curiosity!

Jeanne said...

I blog for a bit of both - I love the writing part, I love having a record of my recipes accessible wherever I am ( with an internet connection!!), but I also love comments and have met some great people through my comments.

I try to respond to comments left on my blog (on the blog, that is, not via personal e-mail - I just don't have the time!), but I will definitely also go and check out somebody's blog once they have left two or three comments on my blog, and leave them a comment in return. THe problem is that even though some bloggers like you and comment a lot on your blog, you may simply not care for ther blogs. In that case it is very hard (and not a great use of your time) to visit their blogs and comment manically every day. I like to think I comment on pretty much all the posts in my favourite blogs, and at least once a week or so on various others. It's a community, after all, so I try to have some community spirit!

allie said...

Hi Gill.
Simply Mel told me I was up on your side bar . . . .
so I came to see if it is really true.

Let me say that I am thrilled when some one leaves a comment - but to be put up on someone's SIDE BAR!!

Omihat - thats like a cyber hug from an unknown friend.

So thanks, Gill - I will be dropping by for sure.

About why we blog:

When I write, in my head I am chatting about stuff to unseen people.

It feels for all the world as though I am having coffee with friends just mulling over whatever.
Kinda bizarre maybe - but that's how it is for me.

So comments say to me that the chat is engaging enough to evoke a response.

It makes the sense of being in a dialogue more real.
And you feel that you "meet" new people - and in a way, we do, don't we?

Hsien Lei said...

HI Gill! I always mean to leave a comment but often get interrupted by the baby or preschooler. :P In general, I've dropped all expectations regarding readership or comments because I know people are busy.

Nemo - Daily-dabble.com said...

Hi there!

Fellow South African here - expat, I live in Italy now!

I totally agree with you! I also try to return all comments, especially to those bloggers who return to my blog a few times. I don't think you're being over sensitive at all.

Hope you're having a super Friday!!

Simone said...

Part of the reason I have enjoyed Wordless Wednesday is that it almost guarenteed at least one comment.

I personally always try to visit a commentor and return the gesture.

Caz said...

hehe i think we are all addicted to receiving comments. it's like a mini christmas each time, BUT that being said, a lot of bloggers are blogging on the sly at work (*nods guiltily*) and so for the most part we speed read our way around.

It's amazing tho that comments or not, writing is so therapeutic. When my gran died recently all i wanted to do was blog about it. get my thoughts and feelings out to an audience who don't know me or her. I don't have to be tough. I don't have to say what's expected. I can just be me. And they can choose to read me or not. (type of vibe) :)

Anyway, that's my 2c worth!!

Caz said...

hehe i think we are all addicted to receiving comments. it's like a mini christmas each time, BUT that being said, a lot of bloggers are blogging on the sly at work (*nods guiltily*) and so for the most part we speed read our way around.

It's amazing tho that comments or not, writing is so therapeutic. When my gran died recently all i wanted to do was blog about it. get my thoughts and feelings out to an audience who don't know me or her. I don't have to be tough. I don't have to say what's expected. I can just be me. And they can choose to read me or not. (type of vibe) :)

Anyway, that's my 2c worth!!

baby~amore' said...

Great post.
All of the above ...I blog for affirmation and for the sake of clearing my head space.
I try to respond to all who comment on my blog but a few slip through on the big memes Wordless Wednesday.

"But I have to confess that I get just a little bit bugged by the fact that there are bloggers who are not that popular who never take the time to visit the blogs of those who comment. Frankly I think it's a bit rude."

I hope I don't do this.

I am busy ruminating on an updated bucket list - it's a lot more difficult than one would think!  The last time I created a bucket...