Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday Musings - Comments, Comments, Comments

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about blog comments

How do you respond to the comments on your blog?

Do you try to email individually or comment on post yourself answering the comments above?

What do you think is the best way to respond to comments and do you respond to all of them?

Do you feel slighted if you don't receive a response back from the blog owner?

This question is well timed. I've been giving this a lot of thought lately - thanks to the Pro-blogger 31 day Blog improvement challenge and Sophisticated Dorkiness Blog Improvement project. I love reading the blogs, but don't always find the time to comment. So, thanks to Reader found it easy to read a jillion blogs and zip through, look and move on. Was this satisfying? No.

When I first starting blogging, I was nervous about commenting on other people's blogs. Especially since I was just dropping in out of the blue. However, from my point of view, I really appreciated it when folks dropped by on me and commented. It's kind of like being an introvert at a party, sitting on an out of the way couch, people watching. No involvement and I could tell you every excuse in the book why: too busy, didn’t have anything to say, etc.

So, I starting commenting and have made some interesting ‘virtual’ friends. I did however overextend myself and found myself ‘following’ over 120 blogs and merely scanning the posts in the reader. I wasn't taking the time to respond to blogs and engage in conversation. It was not only dissatisfying, but overwhelming. I ruthlessly culled it down to 50 and made it more manageable. Now I have time to concentrate on posts and comment. If you noticed a follower suddenly disappear, that was probably me.

An interesting thought came to mind yesterday. A blog is like someone's home. When someone comes to your home, invited or uninvited, you welcome them with open arms and talk. Do they drop in, look around and leave again without saying a word. Do they come in, sit there quietly or explore your house without engaging with you. No. You engage in a conversation and get to know each other, then thank them for coming.

I'd rather be part of the the party, rather than sit on the sidelines watching. I'd rather engage in and encourage conversation, instead of just drop in and be a lookie lou. Problogger had some wonderful tips and I am going to start utilizing them.

My Personal Blog Rules of Etiquette

Answer every comment: To encourage conversation I've started answering all comments within the comment section. In the past, I've just visiting their blog in return and left a comment. From now on though, if you leave a comment, I will respond within the comments section. I really do appreciate it when people take not only the time to read my blog, but comment to. If you want to lurk, I understand perfectly. Just say Hi once in a while to let me know you are there.

Email new readers to thank them for visiting. Darren of Probloggers suggested this as a way to thank readers and encourage them to come back. I think that is an excellent idea and will do so in the future.

Visit commentors blog and leave a comment in return. I appreciate your time and love returning visits. I usually will subscribe to the post to follow up on responses.

The rules are a work in progress and will probably be adding more to it. What rules of etiquette do you have for your blog?