Monday, January 31, 2011

How Do You Comment?

I spent some time strolling through the blogs I follow tonight commenting on posts. And it led me to ponder commenting in general.

As much as I would love to comment on each and every blog I follow, it is impossible. I follow hundreds of blogs. I just can't get to all of them without it taking over my life.

I don't have a set commenting regime. I try to comment as much as possible, aside from the Blog Hops, Waiting on Wednesday, and IMM comments, but I know I could do better. It's a hard thing to balance. Commenting takes away time that I otherwise would be reading or writing reviews (I have about 10 that I need to write after my vacation reading binge and other procrastinating) or writing my own fictional pieces. Blogging will only be fun for me when it's a hobby. If it turns into a chore or a task to complete, the magic will disappear. But I love getting comments - any blogger does. And I like interacting with other blogs. I get excited to read reviews. Comments that I intend to be short quips often turn into multi-line statements when some thought leaps into my head that I just have to share.

I have a group of blogs that I read and comment on pretty much every day. Other blogs I comment on when I can. I like to go through my Dashboard and randomly click on blogs and then comment on posts I find interesting. I wish that the Dashboard could be organized by the number of followers each blog has, because I like visiting smaller blogs. People who don't have as many followers logically don't get as many comments, and I know how much I appreciated anyone reading my blog when I was starting out (I still do).

I also think it's important to leave substantive comments. I'm not 100% perfect at this, but I like to say something other than "Great review." Not that there's anything really wrong with that - hey, a comment is a comment - but I like to show that I've actually read the post and thought about it at least a little bit. The problem with this is that it takes more time. It's easy to hit blog after blog with a quick "hi there" comment, but individualized comments just can't be pasted in. I prefer quality over quantity...but I still wish there was a way to easily get in both. :-)

How do you comment on blogs? Do you spend a set amount of time each day commenting? Do you try to comment on all the blogs you follow?


  1. Thanks for stopping by The Wormhole! I have that same problem with turkey roll - nasty! But yea - still eat hot dogs and bologna! Could it get worse? Happy reading!

  2. I'm pretty good about reading through all of the new posts that come in, but I only comment when I have something wholesome to say in response to their post. Like you said, quality over quantity. I feel the same way. I don't want to put a nonsensical comment like, "Nice job!" on something because that just feels really phony and I'm sure bloggers out there get similar responses like that all the time.

  3. I was on a roll over winter break, commenting on as many blogs as I could. That has since slowed to a crawl since I started school. So for me, it's really a function of how much time I have. I've also decided to make it a priority these past few weeks to comment on actual book reviews over memes (unless I'm taking part in the meme as well). Everyone loves getting comments but I feel people love getting comments on their reviews even more than their memes because they most likely spent a great deal more time putting it together. Of course, it also takes a great deal more time to comment meaningfully on a review than it does a meme but I'm willing to make that sacrifice for people who regularly leave meaningful comments back on my reviews!

  4. I'm like you. I have a set group that I know I will comment on every day. There's also a big group that I will read every day, but only comment if I have something to say or feel like saying hi. The rest I just don't have time for, especially ones that post several entries per day. I try to fill in gaps when I have extra time, but like you said, it's only fun if it's not a chore, so I try to keep it light.

  5. I try to comment during the hops, but end up doing most of it based off of my dashboard. Unfortunately, I've found it hard on Blogger to comment equally on all the blogs I follow! It's pretty much luck of the draw-- if you're on the top of my dashboard and have an interesting post, I'll typically comment.

    I wish blogger had an option to comment back on comments, like LJ or WP. I hate when people ask questions about a post and not being able to answer on their comment.

  6. Great question...

    I have a few blogs that I visit everytime I'm on the computer. Others that I visit sometimes.

    But I like the dashboard blog roulette because I don't like visiting the same blogs all of the time. When I do visit blogs in this way I try to go back through some older posts that I missed to see if I have anything intriguing to add to their comments.

    I have a timer set up so I visit so many blogs within an allotted time. I know it seems harsh but I have dishes, reading, laundry, reading, homework, blog reviews, reading, blog reviews, kids... you know the list. Blogging is fun but it takes time out of my reading. There has to be a balance somewhere.

    I do love comments, I put a great amount of effort into making my blog great, into commenting on other blogs and reading so I have new info posted as often as I can.

    I always try to comment back on blogs of people who stop by to visit me.

    Please do stop by for a spot of tea or to browse over my new Steampunkery review up... Clockworks and Corsets.

    Mad Scientist
    Steampunkery & Book Reviews
    Forbidden Steam  Adult- even the Mad Scientist gets naughty!

  7. Dooood, believe me when I say I feel ya. I'd love to comment on every blog I follow, but it is impossible without it turning into a full time job. Problem is I have a full time job that actually keeps me pretty busy during the day, and since I don't twitter much, I always feel like I'm trying to play catch up.

    I do try to leaving meaningful comments, but in order to do that I have to read the posts carefully and that takes time.

    My biggest grip, word verification or other hazards that make it hard to comment. Yes, you are right, everyone loves comments, so why not make it as easy for people to comment as possible?

    This post definitely gives you some food for thought. Thanks Alison.

  8. I figured this post deserved a comment, given the subject matter :D You raise some good points here. I definitely prefer to leave quality comments where possible, but like you say, those take more time and thought. Usually I'll comment the most on posts that catch my eye as I go through my Google Reader or on the blogs I visit frequently. I definitely appreciated comments so much when I was first starting out, and that hasn't changed at all, I still do! It really is a balancing act, though, because like you I follow so many blogs and simply can't comment on all of them. Totally agree with you - blogging needs to remain fun, and that includes commenting.

  9. I follow a group of blogs, but I randomly visit other ones for various memes. I feel like you...there's so many that it's so hard to follow everyone! But I love comments. I do the hops and other memes during the week. I really wish more people would comment on my reviews. I work really hard on these and sometimes only get a couple of comments. However, on other people's reviews, I am guilty of saying "great review" because I mean it. I want to give praise! Yes, it does take time to read posts, but I'm willing to make an effort on blogs who follow me and make meaningful comments. I like returning the favor :) Blogging still needs to remain fun -- even if it's just for yourself!

  10. I try to comment on as many posts as I visit.

    I do know what you mean about taking us away from reading or reviewing, but sometimes I feel compelled to comment on a post I have enjoyed or would like to join in.

    I have a habit of sometimes letting comments get too long and in the back of my mind thinking, "this comment would be a great post on my own blog." Doesn't get to my blog, though.

    I love to comment to let my fellow bloggers know I enjoy their blogs.


  11. I don't really plan anything because that's not what it's about. I pretty much follow blogs which I love and stay dedicated to. If I see a post that catches my eye in my dashboard then I'll hop on over and comment, I get around to the blogs I follow within the week either way.

  12. Such a good question! I agree that interacting with other blogs is a big part of the fun of having a blog... I try and click through as many posts from my dashboard that seem feasible each time I check my blog, and then comment on every post that I feel I can contribute to. I don't post on everything I read, but I do my best.

  13. I have a list of blogs that I visit every day, and I just wake up a little earlier and try to run through that list before I start work. I like to leave comments with more substance as well, it would take maybe 15 minutes to just visit all the blogs, look at the rating and write "nice job" but I know how much time I put into writing my reviews and I imagine others do the same, and I love getting comments where it's clear the person read the review so I try to take the extra time and return the favor.

    I follow hundreds of blogs as well, so I certainly don't comment on all of them, but there's a core group of about 50 blogs that I visit every day or every time they post, and then I add in some random ones like you do when I see a post I find interesting on the dashboard:)

  14. I could never comment on all of the blogs I follow, but I do work to comment on about 60 a day. My job is at a computer, so in the down time, I comment on a lot of reviews, and there is a set few of blogs I commit to reading every day. If they stop posting, however, I switch them out.

    I want to leave comments more than just "great review," because I feel it shows I actually read what the blogger wrote, and that means a lot to me. Also, if someone writes a comment on my blog, I ALWAYS do my best to return the comments because they took the time out of their day to do so for me :)

  15. I comment if I have something to say. If I have an addition to a post, or if I particularly like a description or comment about a book. I comment if I had never considered reading a book, and then this review made me put it on my TBR. I use google reader to read all the (hundreds) of blogs I follow. I don't comment on every post, of course, but rest assured, I keep up in my reader. I might not read every word of every post, but I know what you are posting about. That's the best I can do.

  16. I go through my dashboard and look through all the new posts in the small screen. I then visit blogs with the posts i would most be interested in, then every one i actually visit i leave a comment on. I agree it is hard to do more than a 'great review' comment, but do try to put a couple more minutes in and try to reflect on soehting they wrote.

    This way i visit some blogs regularly as they are more into the same things as me, and other blogs still get visits too, and comments are given.
    i think everyone loves a coment no matter what, i know i do:D

  17. I have a list of my favourite blogs added to my blogroll so it's easy for me to keep track of when they update. I pretty much comment on these blogs daily, or whenever they update. Then if I have extra time I'll go to my google reader and see if there's anything of interest there to comment on.

    Sometimes I have to wait until the weekend to catch up. I prefer leaving comments on reviews rather than memes, as I don't really participate in memes these days, apart from WoW once in a while.

  18. I check my dashboard and comment on the posts that look interesting to me. But my blog is fairly new, so I find myself needing to work on my own posts and stuff instead of commenting as much as I should =\

  19. I love to comment if I think the review convinced me to read a book I wouldn't have or if the review is really special. If I'm already following a blog, I usually make comments to as many posts as I can. I don't follow very many blogs because I just want the one I do follow to be ones I love to read and comment on.

    My favorite blogs are ones in which the blogger actually comes back to the post and re-comments on the feed. This interaction means a lot to me.

  20. I comment on books I'm really exicted to read or those books I've already read and I want to give my opinion to the blogger of my review.
    I just started blogging 2 mths ago so I dont have hundreds of blogs I follow but I try to follow blogs that I know I will go back to and check up on. Some blogs I can't relate to the books they read (for example a blog on Shakespeare or poetry) so if I happen to leave them a comment I don't hit the "follow" bottom. I try to follow only those that I truly want to. Again, i'm new to the blogging world and in time I am sure my list will grow to tons of great blogs but for now it helps with the commenting! I almost always comment a sentence or two but not on each post (since that's obviously too overwhelming)

  21. I think its interesting that several people have a few blogs that they always visit and then hop around to others. I will comment if the post has spoken to me and I have something to add to the conversation. This can be in the form of a book that I want to read or maybe they've asked a question that I want to answer.

    I have been visiting and commenting on everyone's links to the Audio Book Challenge which has helped me to discover some great new blogs.

  22. Great post! I don't comment nearly as often as I would like to. On Sundays, I try to comment on between 5 to 10 blogs for IMM, but for me, that gets boring after a while, because I feel like I say the same thing on all the blogs. It gets tedious. I always try to find blogs through IMM that I'm not familiar with, but that doesn't always work.

    Otherwise, what I do is go though each blog on m dashboard, and try to comment on recent posts (I try not to comment on things that are more than a week old, because then it doesn't seem relevant anymore) that interest me. But I don't do this very often, as I work full time, and after spending 8 hours a day in front of a computer, I usually don't want to spend another hour or two just commenting on blogs. As a result, a lot of my blogging gets done on weekends, but it's usually posting reviews or IMM instead of commenting on other blogs. I wish I were better about it, but I agree that if blogging becomes a chore for me instead of a hobby, then I'll lose interest in it completely.

  23. Like you, I follow a lot of blogs so I'm not able to comment on every one. But, also like you, I want to encourage people because I know how much I want to be encouraged. I don't really have a rule of thumb, other than I comment on the memes that I follow and I try to comment back on people's blogs for the hop who comment on mine.

    With other comments, I just comment on the posts that I find interesting enough to add to it. I also comment on discussion posts like this one because it asks for my opinion.

    I'm like you, though, if I feel like I have to comment on everyone's blog, I won't want to comment at all. But, with the time I have, I try to show as much love as I can.

  24. I comment when I have something to say. Mostly though I just read the blogs. I keep notes of blog posts that inspire me to read a book. Then when I do read the book and write the review I can give credit there instead of leaving tons of "I'm going to read this book because of your post!" comments.

  25. I follow a ton of blogs, so I really don't have time to comment on all of them. I do try to comment whenever I feel like I have something to say.

    I'm pretty shy and not a very talkative person, so sometimes I just don't know what to say even if I enjoyed reading the post. There are a few blogs I love reading, but I feel a little intimidated about posting comments.

    I also have a bunch of blogs I enjoy the most. These blogs are the ones I tend to comment on the most, but my comments may come a few days after they've posted. I need to find a block of time to be able to really read their posts and write thoughtful comments.

  26. I follow a ton of blogs too. So, there's a couple of blogs that I usually check daily and will leave comments on those. Then, I try to comment or email back everybody who's left a comment on my blog. Finally, I'll go through Dashboard and comment on posts where I feel I have something to say. It usually takes about 1-1.5 hours which does take time away from other things but I always appreciate it when someone leaves me a comment and so try to do the same.

  27. I really go in phases... when I have time, I'll visit a bunch of blogs on my blogroll (yours is there!) and comment on anything I find interesting. I barely have enough time to keep up with my own blog and reviews, though, so I don't go hopping around nearly as much as I'd like!

  28. I usually comment on posts that are familiar to me or on posts that seem interesting. If the only comment that pops into my head is "Great post" or "Great review" I don't comment. I think it's not fair to the person who wrote the post.

  29. I try to return all comments I get with a comment. But in terms of going through my Reader and picking blogs to comment on, I honestly comment on content I find interesting! If it's a book I was considering reading, I usually leave a comment or if it's a fun discussion type post like this one, I try to leave my two cents :)

    I do spend a lot of time commenting, but I've found it's pretty worth it because usually blog hopping gives me ideas for posts and is just inspirational in general!

  30. I have the same problem as you do. I'm not real organized with how I comment though. I always make sure to visit and comment to anyone who comments to something of mine. While I'm reading my blog feeds, if someone's post catches my attention, or they mention or review a book I love, am looking forward to, etc...I always comment.

    I'm thinking I might try your method too though. I like that.

  31. Before I started working I of course had lots of free time so blog reading would be like reading the newspaper for me. After I made my post I would go through the blogs that had been updated on blogger and then I would go through the blogs I followed on livejournal, I had them organized too so I would look at my friends blog and then author blogs and I would comment on them. But now like you said its impossible to comment on every single blog I follow because that would be all I was doing and I don't get livejournal at work so I can't even go on there anymore in the day. On blogger though I scroll through my blog roll and on dashboard and read posts that look interesting. I don't comment regularly anymore though unless its on the Wednesday or Friday memes or if my friend's have posted something which I kind of feel bad about because I want people to comment on my blog too but you have to give to get even if giving is a bit time consuming.

  32. I have about 130 on my reading list and I tend to flick through new posts using a reader during the week (which still takes over an hour) but at weekend I do try to comment on all the blogs I follow and hop around a few blogs I don't follow too. It takes a lot out of my free reading time though and I've noticed a big drop in the amount of books I get through since I started blogging.

    Heading back up the page now to read what your other commenters have written.

  33. I always try to do a follow-up comment to those who comment on my blogs. I have several favourites that I follow and it would be impossible to comment on all of them. If I have something to say that I believe is profound (ha ha), supportive, answers a query, etc. I will make a special effort to leave a comment. I have a few that I almost always leave a comment with because I enjoy their blogs immensely such as Three Dog Blog.

    I love to read comments on my blog. It makes my day to know someone out there in this virtual world reads and appreciates what I have to say. :)

  34. I actually posted about this on my blog recently. I would love to go through everybody's posts and read them all thoroughly and write detailed comments. However like you said, that takes out of my own reading/reviewing/blogging time and unfortunately there are only so many hours in a day. So I will only read a post if it is interesting to me, and I comment on all posts I read fully because there is always something beneficial to say otherwise I wouldn't take the time to read the post in the first place.


  35. I have blogs I comment on as much as possible, these blogs are the on my "top commentator" list. About the firs 50 or so that are on it.

    Then I have a blogs I like to visit that I skim through everyday and comment when I see something I like. (About 100 blogs)

    Occasionally I'll go through the rest.

  36. Like you, my blog roll is enormous. I tend to fly through the posts in my reader, and only comment on a few. Sometimes only 1 or 2 posts out of 100. I do try to make a point to visit and go through blogs when I first follow them, and try to find a few posts to comment on. That way people know I do read their blogs, and I'm not just blowing through.

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    I think its interesting that several people have a few blogs that they always visit and then hop around to others. I will comment if the post has spoken to me and I have something to add to the conversation.

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