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I want to know too.

I was reading La Gringa’s Blogicito and this post struck a nerve. She asks ” why don’t bloggers answer comments?”. This has actually been festering in me for awhile. I understand that some blogs are big and get hundreds of comments. But even Dawn who writes the fabulously popular Because I said so with hundreds of comments, dedicates her Sunday Sound Out to comments and questions where she tries answer as many as she can. It’s obvious that her readers and comments are important to her.

Awhile ago, a member of one of the forums I frequent, posted her blog address and asked readers to check it out. I love reading blogs, especially ex-pat blogs, so I read hers. I found the first post and read her entire blog so far. I made comments because I so appreciate it when someone takes the time and makes the effort to comment on my blog. I take that as a gift from my readers, someone cares enough about what I write to comment about it. Since she is new to Mérida, I offered some advice and asked some questions. Maybe she didn’t like what I said or how I said it?

I noticed that even in a post where she solicited comments she has never bothered to answer any of them. My conclusion is that she simply is not interested in me as a reader. For whatever reason she wants people to read her blog but doesn’t want to engage in any sort of discourse.

Now, I am focusing on this blogger but she isn’t the only one. I don’t get it and in the end I think it’s rude.
I understand not wanting to email with a stranger, but if you don’t ever answer comments then say so, or if you aren’t interesting in having anyone but your family comment then make it a member only option. Or if you are very busy, then post that on your blog. Something to the effect that while you welcome comments, your life barely gives you the free time to blog, let alone answer comments. Sometimes life is like that.

There is a blogger community out there,and if you engage in reading other people’s blogs and commenting on them, you become part of that community. If you don’t, well, you lose out.

About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!

22 comments

  1. Hi Chris, I have been taking a vacation from my blog and so I am behind in answering comments. Your blog and Karen’s were the first ones that I ever read, and I remember that I was impressed that you answer all your comments. That may be one of the things that shaped my idea of how blogs and blog commenting “worked”. Thanks for stopping by.
    regards,
    Theresa

  2. I know I’m really late to this discussion, but I’m with you Theresa. I make a point of answering each comment I receive, for the reasons you cite.

    Also I never censor comments, unless it is obvious spam that rarely sneaks through the spam filter.

    Regards.

  3. Anooja, welcome! I hope you continue to come back. If you have time to check out my cooking blog, I would love some feedback on my Indian recipes, ways to make them tastier and more authentic.
    regards,
    Theresa

  4. hii
    I came across ur blog when browsing thro Dawn’s blog.
    Even i had an incident of this sort. There is a blog, where a person is writing about her troubled childhood, her broken family and so on..She too has a lot of hits / readers, from India. Initially lots of readers used to leave comments, but she never used to respond.Then the comments stopped. I guess people just read. Even i became very judgemental. I thought she wasnt interested. One day she posted that readers could ask her 1 question each, that was not too personal. So i asked her as to why she didnt reply to comments.. She replied that she was a single parent, with 2 kids going to school and one toddler, and that she ran the house as well as a catering service, that she had time only to blog and not reply to comments. I thought ‘ya OK ‘ , would not disturb her further and never wrote comments after that. But i guess she had a valid reason.

    Whatever,me as a blogger, love to read the comments. It makes me feel good.

    Went thro ur blog .. Its Nice

  5. gabachayucateca, I read your blog but often don’t have anything to add and sometimes I feel like the stuff I could write is inadequate to the situation.
    I think sometimes when I make a comment I am looking to make a connection because I feel like I know the writer but of course they don’t know me, so by commenting I am offering something. It’s like sticking your hand out to shake and having the person look at you as if you have cooties. But generally, that isn’t the issue, the lack of response also seems to go hand in hand with a type of blog that I don’t enjoy reading.
    regards,
    Theresa
    Heck, I read Fark for the off the wall news stories, some of them are quite interesting but I would never ever feel compelled to leave a comment.

  6. There are two blogs (wait, make that three) on which I’ve stopped commenting, and I don’t read them as much anymore. Why? Because I’d comment and never see them respond or even acknowledge it. And two of these bloggers would respond to other people’s comments, so I guess I think like you, Theresa, and wonder if what I said wasn’t interesting enough. I also wondered if they chose not to respond nor visit my own blog because I’m no longer an expat and out of the “cool club.”

    My, I sound like a bitter Betty, but this hit a nerve for me…as I’ve often wondered why my comments don’t warrant a response.

    There are other bloggers I read (and comment on) who don’t respond to my comments and it doesn’t bother me at all. Why? Because they also come by and comment and/or just read my blog. So I don’t sweat that!

  7. LaGringa,Michele,Jonna,Heather,Fned,and Debi, after reading all your fine comments,I decided that this subject needed a second post! I appreciate all the thoughtfulness that has gone into your comments and it has opened my eyes to other ways of thinking about things.Thanks for taking the time to comment.
    regards,
    Theresa

  8. So much of what I want to say has been said, so typically I wouldn’t respond, but since this is ABOUT responses I’ll just add this – I tend to respond when I feel I have something interesting or different to say. I try not to repeat too much what has already been posted.

    I will try to be more sensitive to replying to comments and making comments since even those that admit they don’t reply, still like to receive.

    Gracias T
    Debi

  9. Wow! It’s seems I’m late on commenting on this post because most of what I wanted to say is a mix of what Wayne, Jonna and Heather have already said.

    I too love receiving comments but I often don’t know what exactly to answer. Most of the times I feel I’m incapable of coming up with funny, witty replies that would match the funny and witty comments I get. The only thing that keeps popping up in my mind is “thank you for visiting, come back soon” and after a while it’s a bit insulting to those that take the time and effort to post something funny and witty in the first place….. 🙁

    But your post today has made me realize how important it is for this blog thing to be a two-way conversation!

    Thanks Theresa and I’ll try to be more creative and reply more often!
    Fned.

  10. This is something I think about often. Simply put, sometimes I respond to/answer comments and sometimes I do not. I feel it would be false and forced if I were to respond to EVERY comment, even if I didn’t have anything, really, to say. Then blogging becomes a big chore, and all about leaving comments on someone else’s blog just so they’ll leave comments on my blog.

    I leave a comment on someone’s blog when I feel I have something to add , but often I just lurk. Answering comments on my own blog is the same.

    As much as I like comments, it doesn’t upset me that not everyone leaves a comment, nor does it upset me when other bloggers don’t respond to comments I’ve made.

    I think we have to ask ourselves why we blog. Is it only to receive comments/reinforcement? For me, it is not. For me, it’s personal sanity. But the feedback, that’s gravy, and if I feel someone is a bit sensitive about it, I do try to be more aware of their feelings and leave and/or answer comments.

  11. I was going to answer this on your blog La Gringa but then I came on over here and so I’ll answer here. I kind of like the idea of our having these conversations that roll across cyber space from blog to blog.

    I’m sometimes good sometimes bad on answering comments, kind of like the rest of my life. I do try and respond to actual thoughts and questions, not so much to things that seem to be end comments, like Wayne was talking about.

    My other thought on this is that while I try to go and read everyone’s blog I get behind and I miss some posts and sometimes all I have the energy to say is Nice pics, or Great Post. I just want to let them know I was there, kind of a Kilroy comment. I don’t expect an answer to those. In fact, I don’t really expect an answer to any comment but then, I’m obviously not in tune with the blogosphere or something.

    I do agree that if I can subscribe to the comments and then I get an email when there are other comments, it makes it all more fun. It doesn’t always matter if it is the blogger answering or other readers, it’s the dialog.

    I do love getting comments so I’m going to try harder. I don’t want to make rules for myself though, if it gets too hard I’ll just fade away. I know how I am, I am the Queen of Procrastination!! There are none above me in this fine art.

  12. I too am guilty of this. But then again, when I post a comment on someone’s blog, unless it’s a direct question, I never go back to those comments to check for a reply. I guess I wrongly assume everyone is doing the same thing. I vow to try to make time to answer my comments from now on. Thank you T. for kicking us in the pompas.

  13. Hola, Theresa. Thanks for the mention of the blogicito. I’m enjoying reading your commenters and I think that I’m getting some insight from them. “Just never thought about it.”

    Well, that makes me feel much better!

    When I first starting blogging (and not knowing much of anything about it), it was just to communicate with and inform a few people. They usually emailed me if they had anything to say about it.

    Now, of course, it has evolved into much more of a two way communication with the readers, and I can’t tell you much I enjoy hearing from other expats in Honduras and other countries. I think that those who haven’t interacted with their readers will find that they enjoy blogging much more. For me, it is easier to write when I sorta know the people I’m writing for.

    Thanks for giving your opinion on the issue and I’m with you, girl!

  14. Hi Wayne, I just left a comment on your blog that said “nice photos”. LOL. You are an amazing photographer! There’s nothing wrong with waiting for the end of the day and answering all the comments at once. I have a little mail alert so I try to answer them as I get them. Thanks for the feedback.
    regards,
    Theresa

  15. Wow! That hit a nerve. Guilty as charged. I’m not sure why I don’t answer every comment. I certainly have the time most days. But I can also imagine it going like this:

    comment: nice pics!
    me: thank you
    comment: you’re welcome. liked what you said too.
    me: thank you
    comment: you’re welcome

    I could stay busy all day on just saying thank you. But, come to think of it, what’s wrong with that! I’ll try to take your message to heart. It’s a good one.

  16. Hi JJ, I think I have always gotten a response from you when I have commented. I don’t comment on every blog post that I read, but I do try to comment when something sparks my interest or I have an opinion. I don’t write on much that is controversial so I don’t expect the amount of commentary that a more political blog would receive. Thanks for the feedback.
    regards,
    Theresa

  17. Hey Steve! And to think that our generation corresponds less than our parent’s generations. I remember the postman coming in the morning and afternoon. I used to love to get mail and I think that has spilled over into receiving emails.
    regards,
    Theresa

  18. I’m with Malcolm in that as much as I want the comments, I haven’t really thought that answering the comments would matter – meaning I just assumed nobody would be looking for one. I sometimes answer comments, but not as often as I could. So I thank you for bringing this up, and will definitely be a bit more respectful of those that do take the time to comment. I love a good lesson! 🙂

  19. Theresa — You may have a good point. I can hear my grandmother over my shoulder every time I zip past an email or a blog comment and leave it unanswered. She believed that all correspondence should be answered on the day it was received. In her youth, mail in the city was delivered multiple times each day.

    And, yes, you are correct. I am a boomer — and very near the start of that generation.

  20. Hi Steve and Malcolm, do you think that our attitudes to blogger comments is due to our ages? I assume that Steve and I are baby boomers and so grew up with a different idea towards correspondence and such? I see comments like letters to the editor.
    I’m flattered that you take my words to heart, Malcolm.
    Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment.
    regards,
    Theresa

  21. This was definite food for thought. It is strange that, as a blogger, I hunger mightily for comments, and yeah very rarely respond to any of them. I’ve never really thought about why that is…I guess I have always looked at commenting as one-way communication, or communication between readers, rather than as reader-to-author. Your post shows that this thinking is utterly incorrect, and I need to make a greater effort to acknowledge those that take time out of their day to drop a comment on a post I’ve written. Thanks!

  22. Wow. I am with you on this one. If I was not writing on drugs — I mean, writing about the drug issue, I would have written a similar post. I love comments. I love chatting in comments. I like answers, and I like answering. It is one way I know someone is reacting to what I write. And I like hearing when people disagree with me. But, on this point, you will get no disagrement from me.

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