Monday, 31 March 2008

Blog comments and responses

I have a dilemma and I'd seriously like to know what you think.

A number of people comment on my blog and I love reading every comment. Blogger is set up to forward these comments to my email address so I know who has left comments without having to open my blog. So far, so good.

Some of those who comment have email addresses and I answer them from my Hotmail account [most of the time; lately I've been a bit slack - sorry].

Others have emailed me personally and since Hotmail stores all incoming email addresses, I can forward replies where necessary.

The rest arrive at my inbox with the following: - I want to answer these so it seems I have two options:
  1. write a comment on my own post under their comments - since I rarely go back to posts on other's blogs which I've already read, if there is comment to my comment I'll probably never know about it! After all, I subscribe to 50 blogs; today I had 37 to read - I certainly don't have time to revisit posts I've previously read. I'm assuming that others also don't revisit posts about which they've commented!

  2. write a comment on their blog which is totally unrelated to their latest post - I imagine this is a bit frustrating for them

As readers who comment on my blog, what do you think? What works best for you? Do you mind if I don't answer your comment? What about when you ask me a question?

Please, help me solve this - since you are the people reading and commenting, I really value your input.

PS I'm making this a 'sticky' post - it will be here until the end of the month so I can get as many suggestions as possible.


  1. Lynne, I never expect comments to be replied to. It's nice if they get a reply but I personally never reply to every comment I get. Many comments don't warrant replies. But if someone has asked a specific question, I'll either write back to them (if I have an address to write to) or I'll make a comment in my next post, addressing that person specifically. I'll do this particularly if it's a question that might be of interest to a few readers.

  2. Oh, I was going to say exactly the same as Bells (see, we are twins!). It annoys me too, about blogger, because sometimes you get an email address and sometimes you don't, but yes, I usually do as Bells suggests, ie address any comments or questions which I can't reply to via email in my next post, or by commenting on their next (or current) post.

    You could also think about installing Haloscan for your comments, as it gives you email addresses. But be careful, because you can lose your blogger comments that way.

  3. Like Bells and Rose Red I don't think all comments must have responses.

    I like the suggestion for answering questions in the next post or if it is something specific to the person I would leave a comment on their latest blog post. I actually quite like that when people do that for me and when I do it I normally just say something about the current post as well.

  4. When I rule the world everyone will have an email address attached to their profile so I can respond at will. I think of it as a personal conversation rather than a group free-for-all.

    I don't like responding in the comments (although I do it) because it assumes that people read all the comments and come back for more and I'm not convinced they do.

    Sometimes I reply in the next post but there have been times when all I've done is spend a week posting about comments and frankly it's boring for all concerned.

    If someone asks a question in the comments they expect an answer to they should have the manners to have an email address attached to their profile to make it easier to respond.

  5. I wish Blogger made all comments have e-mail addresses attached, like TypePad and WordPress does. But until then, I do reply to all comments that have e-mails attached, and also to people who's e-mail addresses I have saved in my address book. If I don't have an e-mail for a person, I usually don't reply to their comment, but I do try to visit their blog soon and leave a comment on their latest post.

    If they have asked me a question, I answer it on their latest post (even if it's a few days old), along with a line about the content of their post. Hope this helps!!

  6. To be honest, I know I'm one of those people with the "no reply" thing, but I don't know how to put an email address on there???

  7. Hi Lynne,
    Thanks for the compliment on my sweater.
    I think everyone has to decide how they want to handle the comments they receive on their blog. I usually reply to the first comment a person leaves and any comment that has a question but beyond that I don't. But I do often comment on their blog (about their post not something they said on my blog usually) since once they comment on mine I add them to my regular reads.

  8. This is definitely one I've mulled over myself. I try to either send email or pop over to a person's blog to reply to them if I can, but there are times when I just can't. If I get a question or comment that comes up in a couple of comments, I try to say something about it in the next post. It is nice to get people's email addresses so that I can reply to them outside of comments, but that said, I don't mind if someone puts something in my comments that's a response to something I said on their blog, rather than to one of my posts. I don't tend to reply to people inside my own comments, though, since I never go back to see the comments on a post I've already read and commented on.

  9. What an interesting topic! I must admit that when I first started blogging I had the same quandary but then I reasoned that when I leave a comment on a blog I don't always expect a reply. If I get one it's always appreciated. I sometimes try and give a generic thank-you to my blog readers and just hope that will suffice.

  10. A comment usually stands alone-if you have a question to leave in the comment, it should be your responsibility to leave contact info. A reply to a comment is just a very nice bonus-it is the way we connect with cyber friends!

  11. Dear Lynne.

    I really don't know how to reply to your quandary, as you have always responded to me via email. And I appreciate it tremendously.

    I don't reply to post on my blog as I don't write things that people need to ask questions.

    But if a person would like a reply to a question, they should leave an email address for you. No email, no reply to question.

    You know me, practical and to the point... LOL....

    Best wishes

  12. I usually try to email if there is an address, but don't necessarily expect a response to my comments. It is just a bonus if I get one! I think responding in your next post is a good idea too!

  13. I had the situation a little while ago where a lady got very offended when I didn't reply to her email address but posted a comment on my blog under her comment - as I did with your question tonight -
    How do I know this? Because I ran into her in a yarn shop and she figured it was me from the conversation that I was having with the owner, and let me know how rude she thought I'd been.

    When I explained to her that Blogger wasn't set up to let us see email address she was genuinely surprised and now she knows to tick the little box that allows you to receive all subsequent comments.

  14. and to save you having to go back and look - no that wasn't David. That was Nadie's boyfriend Chris - but there's a photo of David on the post for March 19 :]


Hi. Thanks for dropping in. I look forward to reading your comment.
I like to answer comments; if you are "no-reply blogger" I will try my best to get back to you on your blog! I'm not on FaceBook so I can't contact you there!