Wednesday, February 01, 2012

POLL: How do you respond to comments on your blog?

I'm sure I'm not the first person to wonder what is the best or most effective way of responding to the comments I receive on my blogs.

Which is why the Making A Mark Poll for February 2012 focuses on How do you respond to comments on your blog?

I've seen the topic discussed a number of times in the last six years on various blogs - mainly in response to the problem of the antagonistic commenter.  I endeavoured to head off this particular problem right back at the beginning of this blog with the introduction of my Comments Policy in 2006.

This was then followed by Notes on blogging etiquette for artists in 2008.

Both can be found in my "For Your Information"  section in the column.  They both guide the tenor of my response to the jolly nice people who read this blog - and the queer fish who sometimes pop up out of the blue!  For example, if they offend against the rules of my comments policy then they don't get published - period.

However I have a confession to make!

My actual response to comments which are left and published  is generally very much determined by how much spare time I have and what time of day I'm reading and moderating the comments.  I'm much more well disposed to the ones left overnight which I read while eating my breakfast when compared to those which arrive when I'm very busy.  It's not that I like the latter any less - it's much more to do with how many minutes there are in a day!

So this is my Poll.  It's multi-option - so tick all those that apply to you. I know I use a variety of responses.

How do you respond to comments on your blog?
  • I respond to every comment
  • One response to all comments
  • One response to similar comments
  • I respond if I have the time
  • Respond on commenter's blog
  • No response unless good point 
  • No response unless question asked
  • Provide answers to questions via email
  • I don't usually respond 
  • I never respond to comments

Do please feel free to comment on:
  • your preference for leaving comments
  • your preference for how other people should leave comments
  • what's the best way of keeping track of what people say and/or how they respond
  • where you've seen a good discussion of this topic.
Where is the poll? You'll find the poll in the right hand column in the usual place - just below the Blogger Followers widget.

Deadline for responses: The poll closes early on 29th February and the analysis of results will be posted later the same day. 

You can read the Poll results for January's blog here - What makes you leave an artist's website? POLL RESULTS


  1. Over the past 4-6 months I have started responding to every comment. I'm not perfect at it but getting better.

    I appreciate the time it takes for someone to stop and respond and I think responding back helps keep the conversation going and readers engaged.

    I respond on my blog and then have a plugin (on wordpres) that takes my comment and emails it to the person that commented.

  2. I am happy that people take the time to visit my blog - it started as more of a personal journal and I was surprised at how many people are interested in botanical art.

    I feel if they have taken the time to not only read it - but also post a comment, then I should acknowledge with a response.

    It's not a paid website - the charm of blogs to me is the interactive process - a great way to network and meet like minded people. Makes the process less isolating too - and the world seem a lot smaller.

  3. I'm with Lisa.
    It also depends on how much time I have so it varies but I try to shoot an email back to each commenter and I also try to visit their site.
    When I can spend a block of time, I go back to previuos posts and check out the comments for people I may be missing which is kind of the way it is on the blogs, people drop off including myself, Then revisit them just to show my appreciation and to keep them coming to visit me.
    It's very time consuming but it's part of keeping a blog. I think I owe my viewers an acknowledgement.

  4. I checked "I respond to every comment". At least for now.
    This is easy since I don't have more than a couple per post usually.
    If that changes then I will respond to some (similar ones) as a group which is a common practice and acceptable in my view.

    Blogs like yours, Gurney Journey, Lines and Colors, Stapelton Kearns etc. I don't expect a personal response to every post comment. It's a lot of work (time) to put together blogs of this sort so should we expect it? No.

    I know how busy I can get, so conversely, I sometimes want to weigh in and comment on a blog I follow but just don't have the time.

    The real mistake is ignoring the same commenter all the time or as I have experienced more than once, not publishing ANY comments ever, by anyone or publishing some but being inexplicably selective (no names, but there is at least one out there who invites comments then does not publish them or most of them, but with no explanation as to why).
    And I am not one to leave, to quote you Katherine... "Happy Clappy" comments, Mine are usually sincere and thought out.

    As Lisa said
    "I appreciate the time it takes for someone to stop and respond and I think responding back helps keep the conversation going and readers engaged."

    I agree with Lisa, appreciate your viewers, their time and remember comments are there for the viewers/readers as well as the blog author for both the ongoing conversation and keeping readers engaged.

  5. Interesting poll!

    I would like to know if there is a good way to keep track of replies to my comments on blogs - I can subscribe to further comments via email but then often get unwanted emails. I love the way in flickr you can scroll through ‘recent activity’ and see if someone responds to one of your comments. So I am more likely to respond to a comment in flickr than I would on my blog as it is more trackable

    I wish I replied to comments more than I do! I take the easy way out and do a general ” thankyou for visiting my blog/flickr and all your comments – which I appreciate very much” type comment in a post every few months as I am sure that everyone will read it.

  6. I always appreciate when people read my blog, as well as a good comment, but I don't always respond back. If it's something like people keep commenting to say 'Good job!' or, 'That looks great!', I say thanks, but only do it once, after that it starts to look slightly needy to keep the comments coming.

    I'm more likely to talk if people respond with questions for me, but I do always pay the compliment by leaving a comment whenever my peers update their blogs, and try to go into questions about their process etc.

    Also, like some of you, time management is also an issue for me, I'm not always around to see what's being said.

  7. Good timing, Katherine!
    I've just re-started my blog last year and was wondering about this question: to reply or not, in the blog or by email?

    For the time being I've checked the box 'One response to similar comments'. Part of the comments on my blog are from friends and fellow artists that I keep in touch with through email. I sometimes respond to 'all' comments by thanking them for the feedback and time spent. If my reply will probably start a converstation, I take it off-line and respond to the individual comment by email.

    Looking forward to reading what other people think about this question - and of course the poll result.

  8. I respond if I have time, if the comment has a specific question or suchlike in it I will go to the commenter's blog and leave them a comment to make sure they see :)

  9. I really appreciate the support, encouragement and friendship of the people who read my blog. WordPress makes it easy to respond to comments with their "threaded comments" feature. You simply reply to the email alert WordPress sends for each comment and your answer appears indented below the original comment on the blog AND is also emailed to the commenter.

    I respond to most comments using that system, unless the comment is very brief and a repeat of others. When I can spare the time I also click over to a commenter's blog if they've left a URL and occasional

  10. When time allows I usually put a comment to everyone at the bottom, but regardless I try to visit them in return for taking the time to see me.

    I normally reply to questions by email, if there is one, or in a comment.

  11. I've just found out Blogger has changed comments so you can leave replies to people's comments, like Wordpress. I think I will be responding more using this.

  12. It's so easy to miss those little enhancements that Blogger keeps introducing. It's now very far from the basic blogging software that it was when first introduced.

    My one big rule is that if the person is new and I don't know them to make sure I go and take a look at their blog and then see if I can find a post to comment on.

  13. I respond to every comment I get by email.


COMMENTS HAVE BEEN CLOSED AGAIN because of the amount of spam and copying of my blog posts which is taking place. Removing them is taking too much time.
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