Sunday, January 07, 2007

A comment about comments on comments

I'm still getting to know my way around my blog neighborhood, as Dirk affectionately calls it, and I've come upon an interesting question or two. And those questions all have to do with comments.

We all get them. It seems we all enjoy getting them. My questions relate to the idea of...what do we do with them when you get them???

I suppose we all read them. I know I do! Though a few blogs seem to get so many comments that is must be very time-consuming to read each and every one.

But some bloggers seem to be very conscientious about responding to comments on their blogs by leaving comments of their own. Bardouble at My Crazy Life is good about that. So is Chucky and May. And Jonathan down in his basement. Winston does it. And so does Baron, the professor of all that is unnecessary. And those are just a few.

Others read...but don't respond or add to the conversation. They move on to the next post and share something new with their visitors.

My question is...do you care? I sometimes respond, sometimes not. Does it matter? I mean, if you leave a comment on a blog, do you go back to see if the blogger responded?

I don't think there is a 'right' or 'wrong' way to do it. Both seem fine. I guess I'm just curious what people like. What do you like to do with the comments you receive? And what do you like to be done with the comments that you leave all through your neighborhood?

29 comments:

bardouble29 said...

To me part of our blogging community is writing, reading and responding...I enjoy getting feedback and questions. It makes me truly feel like I am part of a neighborhood. I too sometimes respond and sometimes dont. If I do leave a comment I often check back to see if there are further questions or information. I can honestly tell you that I do care and look forward to responding back and forth.

Kati said...

Found ya via Meander's blog.

I read, of course, but I don't always respond. Depends on what is said. Sometimes it doesn't require a response. Sometimes the response is in the next post. Other times I'll visit the person on THEIR blog & respond, or email (if I'm also an emailing buddy).... Really depends.

Anyway, nice to meet ya!

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I treasure every comment. I have saved the e-mail notification of every one I have ever gotten.

It's very strange because I have been thinking about my non-responsiveness lately. I don't know why but I never respond to comments left on my blog. Well, maybe once or twice to clear things up. Sometimes I feel like a snob for not responding but I just don't feel like I have much to add (or if I do I say it in my next post).

Oddly enough I do go back and see if my comments are responded to when I leave them. Granted at this point I know most of the blogs I frequent well enough to know who responds and who doesn't. I do not feel bad if there is no response to a comment I leave though.

Chucky said...

well lets see here.

If I leave someone a comment, yeah I'd take a look at who left a comment after I did.

Or something I'll just comment-n-run.

There there are weekends like this where I haven't read any one elses blog. well almost.

Dirk_Star said...

Okay, there are a number of different answers to your question. I’ll try to be brief.

1. Some people surf blogs and never leave a comment. Sometimes they don’t even have a blog of their own. Sometimes they only have a profile. These people are known as lurkers. They are kind of like peeping Toms; they like looking in our windows but are not interested in having us look into theirs.

2. Then there are the scouts. They will read your blog for awhile as a lurker before signing on as anonymous. If they receive a favorable response to their comment they will eventually uncloak themselves to reveal who they really are and join the community.

3. Sometimes active bloggers become emotionally dependent on comments. They are the comment junkies. They feel unloved if they aren’t receiving what they believe is a “fair” amount of comments. You can spot them by their posts. They will usually ask questions attempting to trap the unsuspecting into posting a response comment. Or they ask readers to talk about their activities or ups and downs. You can always spot the comment junkies because they never really say anything about themselves, they always ask you to talk about yourself on their blog and they won’t visit you to do the same.

4. Every once in awhile you’ll find the flamers. There are two types of flaming, one is between two folks who clash as personalities and they will trade insults until they tire of it and go back to blogging as usual. This is called a flame war. The other type of flamer is only interested in inflicting pain and attempting to establish intellectual superiority. I never respond to these people. Ignore them and delete their comments.

5. Friends. These are the bloggers who enjoy the sense of community and truly make blogging the joy it can be. Their comments are the links that form the backbone of the blogosphere. They are the next place to visit as we surf the net. Good souls with good blogs seem to attract good people to their comment boards. Those are the places I go to find new folks to play with on the web.


I am a people person who believes in the inherent goodness of the human species. It is always a joy for me to discover someone I’d have never met if not for blogging. I am however a realist.

At one time or another we will all fall into a blend of the above types. Sometimes we lurk because we just want to see what is going on without getting involved. Other times we scout out a blog and see what it is about for awhile before getting involved. Not everyone gets along with everyone all of the time. Sooner or later we all clash with someone. Flame on, dude. Throughout it all, you will make friends. Those are the comments that you turn into links that you enjoy visiting on a regular basis.

Comment junkies are the only type I really stay away from. Like all junkies, they are only interested in their own needs. They are selfish and share nothing of substance with anyone else. They tease, they lure, complain and whine and they promise, but in the end they are always asking for attention. The only people they respond to are the enablers. And then only to thank them for meeting their own selfish need.

I prefer folks who share with each other. They are the people I visit on a regular basis and consider to be my blogger friends.

Dorky Dad said...

I personally am quite thankful for every comment I get. I wish I could respond to them more often than I do (mostly because I don't like doing that at work).

Personally, I think that it's real good to comment in response to comments. It's like a discussion with friends.

bardouble29 said...

wow, after reading Dirks comment, I didn't realize there were so many categories that bloggers fall into...I hope that I fall mostly into # 5, as a friend and neighbor.

One of my personal friends who blogs got me into this when I knew no one and hardly anyone responded, I wrote for the joy of writing. I even enjoy it more now that I get to have a community to share with.

Winston said...

When people comment on my blog, I definitely read them. If time permits and if it is a thread of continuing interest, I may respond. Sometimes that may be with a commment on my post. Sometimes with a more private email. For new commenters, I always try to thank them by email and encourage them to come back again.

If I comment on your blog, I may or may not ever go back to see other comments, or to see if you responded. Depends on the topic, the thread, and whether it is of continuing interest.

I have run across a couple of folks who reply by email to every comment, repeating the comment and then offering a remark of their own. Sometimes it is as terse as "Ha." If I had that much time on my hands, seems I could find better use of it.

Comments tell me there is someone out there reading, thinking, caring. I agree with some of your other commenters here that all of the give and take helps shape the neighborhood and bolsters the relationships we develop here. Comments and comments on comments, in whatever form they come, are an important part of that give and take.

Jazz said...

I usually comment on comments people leave me. But then, I don't get that many comments so it's no biggie. In some blogs I read, the comments number in the hundreds - I seriously don't know how the bloggers manage to answer every comment, but they do... the mind boggles.

When I start reading a blog regularly, I tend to also read all the comments - I've discovered lots of other good blogs that way.

Jazz said...

P.S. As to whether I like the comments I leave to be commented on by the blogger - I don't really mind one way or another.

Julius Seizer said...

When your blog is new - as mine is - the commenters are also new so manners dictate you acknowledge a commenter's contribution.

After a while I guess you respond where a response is useful.

I've read blogs where the owner has tried to respond to everybody - which is commendable - but where the responses seem perfunctory because, in truth, there was no intelligent response that could be given.

In the end, respond where useful and respond where necessary. And recognise that it's not always useful and it's not always necessary.

That Chick Over There said...

I've only been blogging since November and I do often respond back to my commenters, if they've asked specific questions or whatnot. It makes it seem like we're having a conversation and more of a friendship than just some random people on the internet. I'm very thankful for all my comments. I started my blog so I could write. I love writing. Knowing that people are reading my writing makes me very happy and encourages me to keep on writing.


By the way, this is the first time I've ever looked at your blog, I'm a first time commenter too!

Em said...

Okay...wow! LOL I never expected to get such great response. And I really did NOT ask a question just to get comments. Pinky swear! But Dirk knows me well enough already to know that! LOL

I do enjoy the give-and-take of the conversation. Not that I respond to every comment, but I do respond to the general thread quiet often. And if I leave a little friendly comment somewhere, I don't check for a response. But sometimes I will go back when I've left a longer comment on a topic.

I think all of you guys are like me...either new...or doing it cause you enjoy it. Getting comments and giving them does enhance our community. And I'm really enjoying our community!

So bardouble29, you are definitely 'friend and neighbor'...as are whimsical and Dirk and Winston and Jazz and Chucky and Julius and dorky dad...cause I see you here every week...and I visit you to learn about your life.

And for the couple of you - kati and 'that chick' - who visited for the first time, thanks for joining our conversation! I'll be over to visit you soon!

Dirk_Star said...

Isn't blogging just the coolest thang? I always enjoy starting the day with a box full of comments.

My momma always said,"Life is like a box of comments,you never know what you're going to get."

I liked momma...

Helen said...

I just read my comments, and only respond if I really feel I have to!
Thanks for the comment on my blog, by the way, while we're on the subject!
You said "Just found your blog this morning and really enjoy it!" Thanks! Yours is very good, too! Speak to you soon,
Helen

Chelle said...

I dotn always comment...it depends on what the post is and if I have somtehing to say. If I do comment, I dont usually come back to see if my comment was commented on. Nor do I necesesarily comment on commenters who comment on MY posts. Well, depending onthe post topic....lol Did that make ANY sense??

Meander said...

wow...you have generated a great discussion here! now what was the original question? lol i find that i am such a scatterbrain that i sometimes forget where i am or what i am doing. is this kansas? seriously...yes comments are great and so are conversations and threads that continue from the comments. what i love is when someone comments on something i have written and then others begin talking to one another. a blog can be like that corner bar or cafe where friends come to unwind and shoot the breeze a bit.

i think some people are more prone to read and some are more prone to write. depending upon my mood i try to have some balance for doing each.

anyway...thank YOU for always coming by my blog. you don't always have to comment...i am happy to see you when i do!

Meander said...

wanted to say one more thing. you know it is interesting how comments are handled differently depending upon the blog site. i know on Xanga, for example, when you want to continue the conversation following someone commenting on your blog...you then go to their blog and preface your comment about their comment with RYC which stands for regarding your comment. kinda weird but it does get people to stop being hermits and go and visit the people who comment.

Em said...

Winston, I like that you respond to a new person via e-mail. What nice, welcoming approach!

And I discover new blogs exactly like Jazz...by reading the comments that other people leave on your blogs.

And Meander, I'm confused by Xanga. I found a couple of good blogs there, but I guess I have to actually have an account on Xanga to comment?

Chelle...you are making sense!

And Dirk, I love opening by box of comments every day!

Dirk_Star said...

Woe...

Sigh...

Why, why...

Rene said...

I read all my comments but I don't always respond to them unless there is a specific question. If there is, I will either email the commentor or respond in my return comment to their post. That way I know they will read it. Once I post to a blog and read the comments, I rarely go back. As for my own blog, if there is a theme to the comments, I will post with regards to it.

Fermus said...

interesting that this post is getting so many comments :) I basically leave messages when something interests me. I never go back to look-I figure if anyone wants to make a comment to me they'll take the time to visit my blog. Bearing in mind that I have more time on a computer when I'm at work but really shouldn't be looking at blogs :)

Dirk_Star said...

Yes, I’m running a bit late today.

I spent the better part of this morning dressed in sackcloth, my face covered in ashes as I beat myself about the head and shoulders with reeds in mourning for the Buckeyes...

I’m better now that the doctors have given me the shot.

Em said...

Thanks for such a great conversation and variety of opinion. I've surely learned a lot about the folks in my neighborhood...and met a few new neighbors, too. That's very cool.

And Dirk, I'm so happy the doctors responded quickly. Perhaps they got the medications ready in the second quarter...right after that failed 4th down attempt at their own 29!

Rose said...

I respond to comments. It gets interaction on your blog.

skeet said...

Aloha Em. I wandered into this conversation via a link from Whim's post. I met Whim though Dirk. I met Dirk when he was cruising through strange neighborhoods late one night and left a comment on my blog.

I respond to comments on my blog, though not to every one. I leave comments on some of the blogs I read, though not on every one every time. I go back to check on the developments following my comments on other blogs, but not evey time. I guess it's an organic thing, though I don't really have a grip on the way we're using that word these days. :0D

What I get from your post and the comments that follow is that comments are important to all of us, in different ways and at different levels.

And now I'm itching to do my own post on this because there are other directions and depths to be explored and expounded on here.

Cindy-Lou said...

Your comments have definitely blown up lately, huh?

I respond to comments about half the time, depends on how much time I have. But I don'tget offended if someone doesn't reply to mine.

Oh, The Joys said...

I read all my comments, but don't respond in comments. Sometimes I e-mail another blogger in response to their comment. I guess I figure no one would be checking back a second time in my comments... I just can't imagine anyone would have the time. I'm amazed anyone reads it the first time, you know?

Starrlight said...

LOL! Great thing to read as I sit here looking at the 28 comments I have gotten on various post in the last 24 hours. I try to answer, but sometimes it is a choice between writing a new post and commenting on comments!

Thanks for stopping by and my impression of Axl Rose will be up on YouTube when pigs fly from various orifices. Oh wait, my kid has a digital record and she is evil...

EEP!