I haven’t replied to the comments on my last few posts. Egads! So I’m not allowed to post another one. I mean, it’s an unwritten rule, right? Wrong. It’s a written rule. You must reply. Also, there’s a written rule that says you don’t need to reply. There is disagreement in the blogosphere. And so it goes. I feel I’ve danced this dance before.
You simply must reply to comments on your blog because:
- It’s rude not to
- The whole point of a blog post is to generate conversation (i.e. comments) and you should keep that going
- If people take the time to comment, you should take the time to reply
These are all true. But so are these:
- Some people don’t care (or even notice) if you reply
- The whole point of a blog post is whatever the person who wrote it wants it to be – regardless of whether or not it generates conversation
- If people take the time to comment, it’s because they wanted to and you shouldn’t feel pressured to reply
I attempt to reply to every single comment on my blog. And not just a string of “thanks” but thought-out responses (with the occasional “thanks”). There are times, especially with my shorter posts or my flash fiction over at the Reef, it takes longer to reply than it takes me to write the piece. Also, as I’ve mentioned, I feel I can’t publish my next post until I’ve responded to each comment.
In this way, blog comments stress me out. But I love them. I love my readers and appreciate their comments. So much. I also love the conversation that can emerge from a simple Thought Bubble. I try to reply to all of them and 90% of the time, I do. Because. Love.
But sometimes it takes me a little while or I miss one. And I need to be okay with that. I suppose I’m writing this in part because I hope you’ll be okay with that. (And to ask you to continue commenting because, if you don’t, I will cry.)
When I publish a post, some readers return to “like” my reply. (“Hey! Saw that you wrote back. Cool.”) Others reply to my reply. (“I like what you said and have something to add.”) Others comment and move on their merry way, never returning to said post. (“I didn’t notice you replied.” Or “I’m up to my earlobes in work and writing and reading blogs and composing my own replies to comments and I don’t have time to come back.”)
It’s all good.
When I read another blogger’s post, some reply to my comment within minutes. Some reply days or weeks later. Some never do.
I’m not offended if they don’t reply or if it takes weeks. I’m not annoyed if they do reply and I’m alerted via email 30 seconds later. It’s. All. Good. See? Things are good. This is serious stuff, this blogging business. But, really, in the grand scheme of your local ice cream parlor, it’s just plain vanilla. Not a chocolate sundae with whipped cream, colored sprinkles, and hot fudge with a cherry on top, you know?
If you miss a post or two or a comment or two, forgive yourself. Your readers will. Hell, if they don’t, you don’t need them.
Anyway, I forgive you. So, there’s that. *hands you a cookie*
What say you, gentle readers? Do you reply to every comment? Do you just click “like”? Do you ignore and publish your next post?