Blog Comments — Why Do We Reply?

 

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:

  1. It’s rude not to
  2. The whole point of a blog post is to generate conversation (i.e. comments) and you should keep that going
  3. If people take the time to comment, you should take the time to reply

These are all true. But so are these:

  1. Some people don’t care (or even notice) if you reply
  2. 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
  3. 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*

 

Sarah B Leave a Reply (2)

 

What say you, gentle readers? Do you reply to every comment? Do you just click “like”? Do you ignore and publish your next post?

 

Advertisements

To Thank or Not to Thank – That Is the Question

 

I am polite. Too polite. Is there such a thing? I’m not sure but I do have a friend who jokes that I would write a thank you note to someone who wrote me a thank you note. I don’t know where she got that idea. (I’ve done it.)

I always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. I’ve taught my children to do so as well. ThoughtBubble

Moving on to social media. When I tweet someone’s post, it’s nice to receive a “thanks”. But it’s okay if I don’t. Some people retweet the shout-out. Or reply. Or favorite. Or tweet something of mine.

There’s no “right” way to handle this. I’ve read contradictory advice on what to do (I’m sure you’re shocked). Some recommend thanking. Others, reciprocation. Others suggest it’s not necessary to do anything.

I will say that if I scroll through someone’s timeline and see nothing, nothing, but “thanks, @schmoopypoo!” “thanks, @pumpkinhead!” “thanks, @ilovechocolate!” and on and on and on, I have no idea who this person is or what he or she is interested in.

I think you should thank but, on Twitter, there are several ways of doing this. How do you decide when and how to thank?

 

Thanks

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

 

Common Courtesy & Calling People Out

 

The other day, I was walking into a building. (This is thrilling, I know!) It was a courthouse to be exact. I had jury duty. The man in front of me didn’t hold the door. Now, I don’t need a knight—I’m no damsel in distress. But I was directly behind him so, when he let that door go, it slammed right in my face.

I opened the door, stepped inside, and said something like, “Gee! That was nice. Thanks for holding the door! Much appreciated.” As I was taking off my watch to walk through the metal detectors, I heard a voice say to the man, “Oh! Good morning Judge Quincy.”

This was not good for me. And maybe I should keep my little comments to myself. However, just because you’re a judge or some other “important” person who wields power, does that mean you are excused from being considerate and civil? (Pun intended). Hell, no. Superman? Polite. Captain America? Polite. And they are way more powerful than any old judge.

Okay, so that’s a funny little anecdote that I simply had to share because… Well, imagine the look on my face. Anyway, it made me think about my intolerance for people who lack manners. Also, about my rage frustration when I see someone disrespect another person.

I’m one of those people who comments on others’ behavior or says something sarcastic—you know the type. Type me. Rude.

I’m also a stickler for common courtesy. (I know. It’s a conundrum.) I certainly could never be mistaken for Miss Manners, but if you can’t take 3 seconds out of your life to acknowledge others around you and act appropriately, I get a bit bitchy.

How difficult is it to say “please” and “thank you” or hold the door for someone or smile? Had a shitty day and don’t feel like smiling? Got it. Been there. Doesn’t mean you scream at a cashier because your coupon expired last week and she can’t give you the discount. Or whistle at your waitress and point to the fork you dropped. Dude. Really. That’s just wrong on so many levels.

I overtip a waitress who’s been mistreated and joke with a cashier who’s been yelled at. I’ve also been known to offer an irate customer the fifteen cents she would have saved with the coupon. That makes me giggle inside. Yes, I know. Rude.

I try to let my irritation out in small snippets. It may not be the best solution but it helps me feel like a boiling tea kettle rather than a bag of microwave popcorn. Those are perfectly apt analogies. Let’s move on.

When some kid pulls stuff off a shelf, throws it all over the floor, and the parent tells them to leave it – someone who works there will pick it up – I want to throw my bag of frozen peas at their head. But since I’m so nice, I say “Oops! Look at all those things you accidentally dropped! Do you need help picking them up?”

When someone elbows me out of the way to get ahead in line, I make it my mistake. “Oh, I’m sorry! Didn’t mean to bump you. Excuse me!” As I said, I’m one of those people.

Is my attitude just as bad as their behavior? Maybe. Maybe not. You can label me a trouble-maker. But I like to think of it as a form of meditation. I’m calming my inner Hulk.

What do you do in these situations? Do you feel more like the Hulk or Hello Kitty?

“Roar!” Meow.”