Thursday, September 23, 2010

What Do You Think About Blog Comments?

I follow about 85 blogs on my Google Reader.  Rarely do I comment on a post on any of these blogs, in part because it is a pain from my reader to click through to the  blog (wow, this reeks of a 1st world problem, doesn't it?).  Other times I decline to post because I fear that my voice or perspective would not be welcome to the conversation.  Sometimes I actually write the entire comment and then delete it rather than hitting the submit button.

Yet I find I really, really appreciate and enjoy comments to my posts. Comments are interesting, informative, sometimes just plain fun.  But they are always affirmation that my writing is not only being read but actually reaching people. Very rarely do I find a comment from someone to be unwelcome enough that I would consider not publishing it.

Some of the blogs I follow host entire communities and life-changing conversations in their comments section (NakedWithSockOn takes the cake for this). On other blogs the comments section is turned off or seeming completely ignored by the writers.

What I can't figure out for my own blog is how to handle the comments section. Should I respond to every comment or is that over-involved? What prompts you to post or not to post your thoughts on the subject at hand? How do the bloggers you admire handle their comments? What do you wish I would do?


poobail said...

Hi Sara, of all the blogs I read (not as many as you, lol!), I like reading the comments, and don't think it's necessary for the author to respond every time. I comment when I have a positive note, or if, as you said, that posting meant something to me.

As to what you should do, do you mean the pre-approving all posts? I'm sure there are pros and cons to both methods, you'll have to figure that one out on your own. =-)

The Bug said...

Man this is tough for me. I LOVE it when other bloggers respond to my comments - either on their blog or by replying by email (I always have my email address attached to my profile). Do I do the same thing for folks who leave comments on MY blog? Nope. I'm lazy. I'll respond by email if I have something to say & they provide their address. If it's something several people have commented about, or if I think I need to clarify, I'll comment on my blog. I really need to come up with a strategy for this too!

Cerulean Bill said...

"would not be welcome to the conversation". I would find that hard to believe. No kidding. Calm, lucid voices are always welcome. Well, they SHOULD be, anyway.

As for responses to blog comments -- well, yes, I always like when I get a response to something I said, but, truth to tell, I only know if the person actually sends me a note via the link to my own blog. I use Grdr, too, and I can't tell when there are ANY responses, let alone ones to things I said. Sometimes, if I'm really interested, I checked the 'notify me' box, but usually not.

So the bottom line for me is, if you like what I say in a comment, and want to respond, it's appreciated -- but it's not expected. Kind of like my attitude in writing the blog, come to think of it.

librarytigger said...

Hmm--You're right that often whole conversations go on in the comments--I'm always interested in the comments part of the blogs I follow. I often "lurk", and comment occasionally. I don't think you need to respond to each one--that seems like it would take a LOT of time--just if you want/need to continue the thread or acknowledge the commenter in some way. I do think it's a good idea to pre-approve comments, though--I hate to say it, but there does seem to be a lack of civilized discourse today.

Kristin @ Intrepid Murmurings said...

I love comments as well! And try to comment on others for this reason, when I have something to say on the subject. I read way more blogs than I comment, though. Commenting takes time, which I need to balance with my reading and writing...

I don't respond to every comment on my own blog, usually only to the ones that ask specific questions to me. I sometimes think I should respond a bit more, but I will never respond to everything (even though I don't get a ton of comments anyway, ha ha!).

I don't moderate my comments, and have never once had a problem in the 6 years I've been blogging (other than some spam for awhile, that was gone once the spam prevention technology caught up). But, I totally understand doing it, and am not bothered by it in the least.

Naked With Socks On at said...

Depending on your comment traffic, it really is impossible to respond to every single comment. But I think the ones that address you directly and actually require some sort of feedback/response should be responded to. Otherwise, it's like the Wizard of Oz where the big bad Wiz sits on the top of the mountain (or whatever) and never acknowledges the people speaking to him/her.

Appreciate your mention of my site by the way. See, this was one I had to reply too :)

Sara said...

Wow, NWSO. Thanks for commenting. I really appreciate your perspective on this as I so deeply admire your blog and how you handle it.

(Whew. I'm all giddy now. NWSO commented on my blog. Wow.)