Monday, September 6, 2010

On Commenting Part 1

Good Monday morning. I'd like to discuss my commenting of late. Or lack thereof. I know this topic gets hashed and rehashed around the blogosphere every couple of months. I guess it's my turn now.

When I was a freshman ('newbie') blogger I waited in great anticipation for comments to be found on my blog. I didn't know the 'rules' to blogging or commenting or following or anything. So I waited. And then I found some rules, and began to follow them and wah-la - comments appeared.

For a long time, I wrote my blog posts and waited for comments, and then wrote responses to those comments and followed other blogs and left comments and went back to check those blogs to see if the poster had left me a comment and on and on and on. I was happy and it was fun and I was talking to other people in the writing world and everything was wonderful.

But what I really wanted most in the world was more followers. I ached for them, I longed for them, I envied those who had 100, 200 and wept when I thought "How glorious would it be to have 300 or more people who read what you had to say every single day."

What I didn't realize back then was just how time consuming blogging is. Right now, I have 205 followers. I also follow 15 agents blogs and 10 other misc. blogs. So in the course of the morning, depending on who posts, I have a tendency to read between 50 - 60 blog posts. Now, some of them are short and sweet and to the point, some of them are very informative and on the longer side, some of them are hysterical, some are full of woe and anxiety, some are full of pride and exhultation. And I read them all. Generally it takes me 2 full hours to read everything in the mornings.

The problem is - commenting. I can't comment on all of them. If I did, I would never get any of my own writing work done (or my housework, or my lawn work, or take care of Monster Baby, or my parents.)

I know some of you bloggers only write posts and don't comment at all. Some of you e-mail comments, some of you comment to the poster who commented on yours that day, and some of you comment in your comments. We all have our own way of commenting. No one is right, and no one is wrong. It's just the way we are. Some of you have families, and husbands and work and write and how you can blog at all is just beyond me.

So what I'm trying to say is - forgive me for not commenting. I read you, all of you, each and every day. I find you fascinating and brilliant and silly and fun and informative and engaging. I share in your heartaches and your triumphs, your anxieties and your fortitude. I miss you when you're gone and feel relieved when you return. What I'm asking is -- don't hold it against me if you don't see my little face in your comment box. It's not that I don't love you enough, it's just that there are only 24 measly hours in every day and some of that time is allocated to other things. I promise I'll try and do better.

Any comments?

36 comments:

Jessica Carmen Bell said...

Amen! :o)

The Words Crafter said...

I understand EXACTLY how you feel! I used to wish for more followers but it seems that the more I get, the less time I have. I've gone down to maybe three posts a week. Except lately, I've been lucky to post at all-computer issues.

I've come to think that it isn't the amount of followers but the people. Some comment every day. Others once in a while. Some respond to the comments I make, others-once in a while. And it doesn't bother me. I know how busy I am and I figure it's the same for them.

Some people have so many followers that I think they rotate their commenting. It's the only way I can imagine they get to comment at all!

So don't worry! And have a relaxing Labor Day!

Crystal Cook said...

I completely get this! I have realized that I just don't have the time to blog as much as I would like. I love your blog and will keep reading, and I will never hold it against you for not commenting :)

Larry Hyatt said...

My question is what's the etiquette on commenting on a comment? No really?

Dominique said...

I totally get it. There's only so many hours in the day, and somethings things like sleeping, eating, and maintaining sanity need to take priority over blogging. (Actually, I'd say that food should always take precedence, but that's just me.) There's nothing wrong with that.

Piedmont Writer said...

Jessica -- Can I get an Allejuliah?

Becky -- It's the quality of the responses I think, not the quantity.

Crystal -- Thank you, you're so sweet. and I will always read yours.

Wendy Marcus said...

It's so easy to get caught up in blogging. But as writers, above all, we need to make time to write!

Jen said...

Anne everyone loves you and whether you have time to comment or not I still really enjoy stopping by. It's funny, this week Elana, Alex and I are having a blog trifecta... which is the makings of a better blogger and today it's about following (tomorrow is about comments).

I follow you because I really enjoy reading your stuff, and when I have I really enjoy commenting, just to let you know I'm listening and still enjoy what I'm reading. You're an awesome blogger and I'll always stop by for a visit :)

Ted Cross said...

I feel the same. It's amazing how much time I spend every day on blogging. I simply don't write anymore, and I need to find a way to get back at it.

Bish Denham said...

I hear you loud and clear Anne. Elana Johnson has posted about getting followers and the importance of leaving comments if you want followers. But at the end she said, basically, just do what you can. Read the blogs, you can and comment when you can and don't feel guilty. I had to make a decision in that department; read blogs and comment on them all day or write and have a life. I chose the latter.

Falen (Sarah) said...

oh yeah. i think we all have this problem. I just have a separate folder in my google reader of "Must reads" (which really means, "try really hard to comment") The blogs in that folder are the people who typically comment on my blog so i try really hard to comment on as many of their posts as possible

Piedmont Writer said...

Larry -- if you came back to find your answer then this is proper etiquette. I try and answer all my comments. If, however, you say something in the comments that I feel warrants a longer or more complex answer, then I'll email you.

Dominique -- Food and potty. Sleeping is good too, I like me some naps.

Wendy -- which is where I am right now.

Jen -- I saw that. I read them all. And I read all of you too. But I may not comment.

Ted -- hard isn't it. Maybe we should follow Matt on his Blogaholic tour.

Bish -- I'm hoping that now Monster Baby is in school full time I'll be able to do both.

Piedmont Writer said...

Sarah -- I have stars on mine. It's crazy now with so much to read and what you have to know about the trends. It sucks we're so busy.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Funny, in my joint posting with Elana and Jen this week, Wednesday's post is on comments!
With almost 300 followers, it's difficult to keep up, although I try to comment on close to 100 a day. But as you pointed out, only so many hours - and I do have a real life, too!

Piedmont Writer said...

Alex -- And what will it be like when you do get your book out? Only a few more weeks.

Guinevere said...

I know what you mean! I can't keep up on blogging, and especially commenting on other's blogs, as much as I want. There are literally a few hundred writing blogs I'd like to read and comment on every single day.

By the way, I have a post up for today about the summer writing challenge, if you'd like to stop by and share how things went with your novel! :)

Clarissa Draper said...

I totally understand. I spend many hours reading blogs. I try to comment on each but it's hard. Especially with all the captchas.

CD

Melody said...

Awww, this kind of brought a smile to my face just to know someone is reading! :)
I don't slight you for not commenting every day!

My method? If it interests me/if I have an answer to a question asked/if I have an opinion, then I comment. If I don't, I read it and let it go by without commenting. I figure that I'll comment on that blog eventually and everyone will get fair time that way. I hope. :)

Tess said...

We all do what we can...no guilt allowed :D

lotusgirl said...

Exactly. We can only do as much as we can do. FYI: I'm back from my summer break.

Shalet Jimmy said...

I can really understand because I am a new blogger and I really do not know the etiquettes of blogging. I am learning. I really like your blog.

Anne R. Allen said...

This sure is a universal blogger problem. I started trying to comment on everybody's blog, but that only lasted a couple of weeks, after I realized I wasn't working on my serious writing at all. Now I run through blogs when I can and comment on one or two if I feel I have something to add to the discussion. Sometimes the best posts don't seem to need comments. I also don't comment if there are already 30 plus comments. I figure what I was going to say has probably already been said.

Christine said...

I love my blogger world and my new friends, but I don't always have time to comment on every post I read. I do try to respond to the people who comment on mine.

My writing has to come first--but blogging is still a fun way to stay connected when I am ready for a break.

Elana Johnson said...

Everyone has their own method, and each person can only do what they can do. Nothing more. So you do what you can, and that's it. Don't feel guilty about it, ever. For me, I comment on every blog I read. If I don't comment, it's because I didn't read. I can't get to every blog out there every day. I try to get to as many as I can.

Shelley Sly said...

No worries, Anne. I don't think anyone here holds it against you. Life gets so busy that sometimes I don't have time to even post, never mind read, never mind comment. Today I'm playing catch up, but with my new job, I may be gone from the internet for days at a time. We all understand. Just keep being you, and as long as you post, I'll still read. :)

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

I've been there, Anne. I know how you feel, and I just want to tell you that when blogging becomes a burden and gives you grief and guilt it's not worth it and you should take a break and we all know you'll be back when you can make it back. I didn't blog awhile back - for about 3 - 4 months as I was working on Cinders. I read blogs, but didn't comment on many. Now I'm reading and commenting avidly because I've been networking and immersing myself in this writing world due to the release of my book. It's cycles. We do what we can, and I do feel another break coming on as we speak...I always read a few blogs, though, even during my breaks. Yours is one of them. :)

Terry Towery said...

Like you, I've cut back on blogging AND commenting because it's hard for me to find the time to do that and write and spend time with my family.

But also like you, I'm still reading blogs each and every day. I wish I could comment on them all, but of course, then I wouldn't actually get any WRITING done! :)

Donna Hole said...

No comment (LOL)

.........dhole

February Grace said...

This is a great post Anne, I certainly understand where you're at.

For me it's really difficult because I have very limited use of my sight these days. It seems that I can read and or write for shorter and shorter periods of time before I really suffer for it and risk damaging my fragile eyes. So it's something I've thought a lot about while forced into this three week hiatus from reading or blogging at all (due to other health issues) and right now I'm torn, frankly. There were blogs (yours for one) that I really missed and I know I'd want to read whether I keep blogging or not myself.

Debating it in my head, the answer I've come to thus far is always the same- I will do the best I can. I want to blog because I can say things I want to say and I can participate when people have fun things to be a part of. But I can't worry anymore about the fact it is physically impossible to follow and comment on everyone's blogs all the time.

We're all just doing the best we can- and real 'bloggy' buddies- not just folks who want followers and fans- will keep reading you and care what's happening in your life writing and otherwise whether you can always comment back or not.

Hope this makes sense- I really shouldn't be trying to do that yet.

~bru

Al said...

No apology necessary. Blogging and commenting could easily become a full time obsession.
But we all have lives in the real world too. I am sure pretty much everyone understands that.

Alison Stevens said...

You just put into words exactly how I feel. Thanks.

I love the interaction, I love reading posts and commenting, but I easily lose 2 hours when I get sucked into the blogosphere. And I do have a family, and work, and writing. Sadly, I also require sleep. So I don't always comment.

Summer said...

It took me about two months to realize that I didn't have the stamina for intensive blogging, so I unfollowed a ton of blogs that I never read anyway and streamlined to just the people I cared about, ones with whom I feel I have a connection, or ones who make me laugh. I like to laugh.

I only take the time to comment if I feel like I have a connection with that person, or if the post really gave me something to say (which doesn't happen often).

So don't worry about it, as far as my blog goes. I have an analytics counter that tells me how many page views I get, and it's significantly higher than my comments, believe me.

Wendy Ramer said...

I've read your post but am not going to comment. Oops, I just commented ;-D

Ed Pilolla said...

it's fascinating to hear about other people's reading and commenting habits. the sorts of traffic on and among blogs is so diverse, it's amazing.

Wendy aka Quillfeather said...

Couldn't agree more.

E. Elle said...

I wish I could click "follow" again to give you 208 followers. But, alas, there is only one of me.

Such truth in this post. Thanks for it. :)