3/01/2010

Weigh in on the Blog Commenting Controversy


I read a couple different posts recently (can't remember the blogs to save my life...) debating the need to reciprocate comments. It got me thinking about how I feel about the whole thing.

When I comment on somebody's blog, it's typically because whatever I'm read has caught my attention enough to say something about it, be it a compliment, a question, or a similar story. When I leave a comment, I do not expect that person to in turn leave a comment on my own blog.


It seems, however, that many bloggers will become upset and may even refuse to continue reading a blog if the comment 'favor' is never returned. I understand that many people simply do not have time to visit every single blog that leaves them a comment, especially if the blog gets upwards of 20 comments a day.


I want people to comment on my material because they have been inspired to say something, not because they feel like they have to pay me an obligatory visit. I often browse the blogs that leave me comments, but it's often during my few spare moments in between work and school and studying and whatnot. I read many blogs that I do not necessarily comment on, and I would hate to think that any of those authors would remove me from their favorites simply because I've not commented when they have.

via the dreamy giraffe collection

What do you guys think? When you comment on a blog, do you expect a comment on your own blog in return? Do you always reciprocate when somebody leave you a comment? If you do think people ought to comment back, I'd love to hear your reasoning behind that as well! : )

38 comments :

  1. Well I do not have a blog. However, if I did, I would NOT expect a return comment. What is this, elementary school? That type of behavior (I;m not going to look at your blog, you didn't comment on mine...) is so immature. I thought we were all adults, but I guess not.

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  2. I agree w you. I leave a comment b/c I want to contribute.
    I never expect that person to leave a comment with me out of a sense of duty.
    That defeats the whole purpose. That is my humble opinion.
    Keep up the good work! Lisa :)

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  3. No, I don't expect a comment when I leave one.... I read lots of blogs without commenting.

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  4. No, I'm with you. If somebody sees something on my blog they want to comment on? AWESOME! If they don't? That's fine. I hope they'll find it interesting enough to follow and keep checking back, but it's definitely not something I take personally.

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  5. I agree with you as well - I think there's way too much "making nice and expecting something back" rather than honest, sincere expression of opinions nowadays. Bravo for being out front about it!

    Karen (aka Mysticwynd)

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  6. I completely agree with you!
    And this issue is not exclusive to blogs either! I know there are people out there on twitter that if they follow you and you do not follow them back, they will stop following you! I find it very strange.

    Like you, I comment on a blog because something inspired me, something caught my eye, or maybe the blogger asked a question to the readers. So I comment. I don't expect the blogger to come to my page and comment back.

    My only big issue about commenting is that I appreciate when the author of the blog RESPONDS to my comment. Too many times I ask a question, or make a comment that I feel deserves a response and never receive one. Perhaps it's a completely different issue, I'm not really sure. But I try very hard to reply to every comment I get on my blog. Sometimes I get turned off from commenting on a blog when I notice that the author never responds. I have issues with replying to people I think, lol because I feel the same way about twitter, it's polite to reply and talk to people. Blogs, twitter, facebook should all be about conversation and getting to know each other but not necessarily "hey follow me I'll follow you" type of thing just so you get to follower 425 before your friends.

    Does waht I'm saying make sense? lol I think I've gone off on a tangent, but you bring up a very good point and I hope more people pay attention :)

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  7. I take things in a different way than most. Part of my marketing is to find 10 new blogs a day to comment on. These blogs have similar topics to mine. I don't expect a comment in return. However, I only follow the blogs that I REALLY love. I'm very picky in that way. So, while others follow everyone, I just comment on everyone's.

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  8. I really try to reciprocate blog comments, but since I started working three jobs (including my blog), I haven't had the time to really visit blogs and leave thoughtful comments as I used to... :(

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  9. Kendra - I agree about responding to actual questions. That's really important, and I'll sometimes send an e-mail if somebody's having trouble with a tutorial or something.

    D - I know what you mean. I used to be much better about visiting and commenting consistently until school, work, internship, and life really caught up - no bueno!!!

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  10. I don't always have the time to respond to someone's comment, though I do often visit people's blogs if they've commented on mine. It seems a bit sad, contrived and meaningless to comment simply because you've been commented on - I prefer the spontaneous and genuine approach you suggest in your post (which is why I feel inspired to leave this comment!)

    If I leave a question in my comment I don't always expect a reply either - I know people are busy because I am too!

    It's really nice however if someone does take the trouble to reply, and I'm always happy and grateful if someone comments on my posts.

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  11. I leave a comment because the post interest me, not so they visit my blog. I know a lot of blog owners are busy so I don't mind if they don't comment back and I don't stop following someone if they don't...I'm really trying to come out of my lurking status =)

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  12. I comment when blog interests me and generally become a weekly follower if a blog is well written and again, of interest. I appreciate comments on my own blog and try to comment back if possible. I think it's different for everyone but whatever your plan, consistency is a good recipe for a successful experience.

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  13. I completely agree with you. I get between 7-100 comments per post and I try to get back to the ones that are meaningful, or a question...I don't do the whole "one for me, one for you" comment thing-I want people to comment because they are inspired to, and if not, maybe next time. If you go into your blog only focused on the "numbers"- it's my opinion you'll burn out fast and grow to resent your blog.
    And scene.
    ahahaha
    I LOVE YOU.

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  14. If someone replies to your comment, either on your blog or their own, it does encourage me to carry on reading and participating in their blog because it gives you the impression that the person who writes the blog really cares about your input.

    Saying that, I wouldn't stop reading my favourite blogs just because they didn't respond to my comment! I might stop commenting though...

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  15. I certainly don't expect anyone to comment on my blog and would never stop following a blog because the person didn't respond to my comment with one of their own. Partly because I agree it's a bit petty, and partly because my blog is all for me and I'm not trying to advertise it or make money off of it. That said, I do appreciate when I have started following a blog and made a comment that the author has stopped by and left a comment of their own. Not that I expect them to do it for every post (or any for that matter), but just the one introductory comment makes it feel more of a big ole' blog community. "Hey, thanks for stopping by, good to see you, take care." It's not expected, but it is a nice surprise. :)

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  16. Personally, I prefer comments that say something that has to do with the post, not just "Hey, thanks for commenting on my blog... Here's what I think about your comment."If you want to tell me something about my comment, you can get my email from my profile thank you very much.

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  17. I think reciprocating just for the sake of reciprocating is kind of dumb. Yes, I love to receive comments but if someone is just doing it because I commented to them and not because they have something genuine to say, I would rather they didn't. If someone comments on my blog for the first time or is a new follower, I try to stop by their blog and say thanks. If I like what I see, I will become a follower. If it's not something that strikes my fancy, I jst say thanks to them and go on my way.

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  18. I'm really glad you wrote this and I agree with you. Oddly, I never expect other people to comment back to my comments but I put far too much pressure on myself to comment back when people leave comments on mine - however as my blog has got alot bigger now, finding the time is getting harder and sometimes I have nothing relevant to say. I do always try to look at the commentors blogs though.

    I think you have to find your own balance of what you feel comfortable with - I have started just to comment on posts where I feel I have something to say and there are alot more blogs I read without commenting than ones that I do comment on.

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  19. Looks like we all agree with you!
    I'm always pleasantly surprised when I get a comment on my blog, so I do like to go back and thank them for their comment, but it's not a tit-for-tat kind of thing.

    I like to browse random blogs and comment on things that I really like, but I'm not going to X you off the list if you don't reply. lol

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  20. As a blogger, I try to comment on the blogs of people who've commented on mine. But some days I have less time online, and I know I'm guilty of missing people here and there. When I leave comments, I really don't expect anything in return. I do like making blog friends though, so I'm always happy to get to know other bloggers and share comments back and forth with them. For me, it's more about friendship and connections than keeping a tally of comments and followers.

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  21. This is an interesting topic. I had no idea there was a culture of reciprocation revolving around blog comments. Though it shouldn't surprise me; I was asked the other day by someone who began following me on Twitter to return the favor and follow them back. I suppose I was to do so even though I didn't know them at all.

    I comment when I'm moved to and it's always genuine. I wouldn't want anyone to feel compelled to visit my blog, let alone leave a comment just for the sake of boosting my traffic or making it look like I have more readers/followers than I actually do.

    I understand the mentality behind it.. everyone wants traffic and it's a way to be seen and stir up interest in your blog. But, I'd rather have 2 interested readers that never leave comments at all, than 20 "fake" readers leaving bogus comments for the sake of appearances.

    If someone actually told me they'd stop reading my blog if I didn't participate in the comment backscratching, my goodness by all means stop visiting.

    It's amazing what people expect of each other.

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  22. I don't expect reciprocal comments either. And I simply don't have time to play the "I'll comment on yours if you comment on mine" game. I don't really see how that helps anyone out. :)
    Life is tricky enough without all these crazy made up rules.

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  23. It seems like we're pretty much all on the same page so far, but if you disagree, then I'd love to hear from you as well!!!

    Twitter is definitely the most blatant 'you scratch my back I'll scratch yours' scenario, where people will literally drop you if you don't reciprocate - bizarre!

    I do visit (just not always comment on) most blogs that comment on mine (though admittedly, some slip through the cracks), and I looove hearing from each and every one of you.

    It's nice to see some people coming out of the woodwork for sure!!!

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  24. Oh dear, that never even occured to me! I do the same, I leave a comment if I feel moved to do so. I expect no response, or acknowledgement. I do not expect people to visit my blog. On my own blog, I respond to a comment if I'm asked a question or there is something else I'd like to say. I try to read everything, and visit my visitors, but it's a busy busy life.

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  25. I comment when something MOVES me. I feel it would become awful cumbersome to reply to EVERY post...and is unnecessary. ~ Merrie Jo

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  26. Agree, agree, agree with everyone else. Blogs are good for marketing but I use them for connecting. That's way more enjoyable than a marketing strategy!

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  27. I never expect a comment. I only comment on blog that I find interesting, as you said. I would actually be insulted if someone commented on my blog as a "favor" or whatever.

    I want people to appreciate what I write (hopefully I stop neglecting my blog soon).
    If anything, If I comment it would be nice to browse my blog I guess but I don't want any comments that are not thought out or meaningful.

    Thanks for bringing this up. You always mention topics I feel I have to add to. Love it!

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  28. I comment on blogs that are interesting, catch my eye, or ask questions too.
    I don't expect someone to comment back.
    I have gotten a couple of comments back and appreciated it very much because it was about things that were similar to theirs ie. babies, sickness, tips, tricks, or just cause etc.
    I don't get a lot of comments, yet don't comment to every person that leaves one, it's hard for even those of us that have few followers/comments. I don't sit by my computer all day, but if someone leaves a meaningful comment or has a question I will email them.
    The other day a blogger was talking about cancer and how it has affected her life{via friends & family} in a negative way, and I simply stated how it has affected me and that my life has dramatically changed and I don't want the people around me to look at me or feel differently about me; how when people always say "if you need anything" instead of asking just do it, because I know I am not going to ask somebody for something{that's not me}- needless to say she emailed me and was glad to see it from my perspective{a person who has cancer} But it was nice to know that she did read my comment and understand that we aren't juging our friends/family for not wanting to come around because of how sick we look or because they don't know what to say, but we don't want to be treated any different than how we were before we got sick{we are the same person, just with cancer} and we need them to keep our minds off of treatments, hair loss, not feeling well, and others who don't want to be around us because they can't handle it.
    Any-hoo that was way off track.
    It is nice to know that your comments are being read but they DO NOT have to comment back- In my case;}

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  29. A lot of networking and "grow your blog" sites and tips will tell you to comment back on everyone you can, but I can't get with that. I don't want to just leave a generic "Hey like your blog" comment. I leave a comment because I want to add to the post, thank the blogger for the tip or idea or whatever. I wish I could comment on everyone who comments on my blog, but sometimes there just isn't anything worth commenting on so I'm not going to lie.

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  30. I comment on blogs if I have something to say, not because I'm attempting to get more comments on my blog. However, if you are feeling generous and want to comment on my blog, you can do so at... wait, kidding! Point being, we shouldn't just leave willy-nilly comments all over the place for purely selfish reasons. Only for semi-selfish reasons ;)

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  31. *thinking...* Great question!

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  32. I'm only going to leave this comment if you comment on mine, haha!

    I agree that genuine comments mean so much more but it is nice to know somehow that someone checked you out at least but not mandatory by any means.

    Sometimes when I've sent personal messages or questions through friend connect and I never seem to get any answers I start to wonder if they got through. Like when I had a giveaway and couldn't get addresses from folks.

    Kim

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  33. i'm with you on this. i do make an effort to visit the blogs that leave me comments, but i find it very difficult to manage with the time that i have for blogging. i appreciate the comments that i receive immensely.

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  34. Shrimp Salad, I'm totally with you! And those Etsy threads that say "I'll comment if you comment" etc. - when I post on those I always add "follow, comment, or link if you like what I have to say :)" I even include the winking emoticon to lighten it up.

    It seems like all this would be obvious, but I find it really helps to add the reminder!

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  35. Great post - I totally agree with you. I only comment if something strikes a chord with me. I don't expect them to comment back.

    Comments are the best when they are genuine. :D

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  36. I always avoid those etsy "comment" threads like the plague. It cheapens things I think. Same for those "follow you if you follow me" ones. I know some people with more than a thousand followers, there is no way they are going to "follow" them all and actually be able to read their blogs. Isn't that one of the main points of blogs, to read them?

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  37. Like you, I occasionally discover new blogs (such as yours) by comments left on mine. I don't comment on blogs much at all, however, and I certainly do not expect any reciprocation for comments I've made.

    I can't even keep up with emails received from readers, much less comments. It's juvenile to think of commenting as an "I scratch your back..." kind of scenario.

    PS, your blog is very sweet!

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  38. i actually subscribe to your thinking on this topic. i read a lot of blogs but i only comment when i really have something to say. but at the same time do get that other bloggers at least want you to check out their blogs (which i always do.)

    but sometimes my aesthetic is not the same as theirs and i don't like what i see. i'd rather say nothing than leave the cookie cutter 'nice blog!' comment or say something mean.

    i like words and i like using them... i you have content that really moves me that i'll say something to that effect. otherwise, tough.

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