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Question Time XV – Comments

question time 15

First of all, I hope you are having a nice Easter weekend! For this weeks question, I want to get back to you and your blogs. I’m not here to beg for more comments. Oh no. I’m here today to ask how you approach comments on your blog.

Do you reply to each and every comment left for you? Or do you reply to some and not others? I know a few of you are like myself, and reply to each and every comment. I always feel that if someone has gone to the effort of saying something, the least I can do is to reply. This can lead to mini conversations, either with that one person in a back and forth, or with other people replying to that comment thread. On the other hand, I know there are bloggers out there that don’t reply to any or all comments.

I’m not here to be judgemental, and say what is right or wrong. However in my opinion if I comment somewhere and don’t get a notification to say they have replied, I assume they haven’t replied. There are anomalies to this, as a few of us were chatting about on twitter recently when WordPress notifications weren’t working. That aside, normally I would maybe give a site a couple of chances, but if they don’t reply to my comments a couple of times in a row, I’m pretty inclined to move on and not waste my time commenting there any longer.

As I have a few projects here that require either guest writers for the IMDB project, or individual Desert Island choices, I always tell the writers to treat that post as their own site. If they want to reply to each and every comment, great and I guess I’d love them too. But it’s up to them, and some guest contributors don’t reply to any of the comments. I do find the more popular pieces are the ones where the guest gets interactive. Take Shah’s Toy Story 3 post, one of my most popular reviews and it got a great response. He replied to every comment and I really appreciated that. It showed he cared more than anything. But I would never tell anyone they had to reply, as I say the post is theirs to do as they please with.

So what are your thoughts, and how do you approach comments on your site? Do you take the time to reply to everyone, and why do you do that? Or do you just reply to a few, or none at all? And please feel free to explain your choices, after all, these questions are all about getting to know you as a person and as a blogger! Thanks for reading. πŸ™‚

If you would like to see all the other questions from this series, please clickΒ HEREΒ and check them out!

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  1. I always reply. Even if I don’t have much to say in response, I at least thank the person for visiting/commenting. To me, it would feel rude to ignore them, but I know some bloggers get too many to reply to directly or have some other reason for their decision not to respond.

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    • That’s it, even a simple thank you would suffice sometimes, and I try and do that at least. Shah replied to about 25 comments yesterday bless him πŸ™‚

      Thanks Lindsey!

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  2. I have two blogsites, and I love receiving comments on both, rare as that is. When I do, I respond to each and every one, and like you said Tyson, if they’ve gone to the effort, the least I can do is reply, especially since they’re responding to something I’ve written or created, which to me is an extreme compliment. I also enjoy the mini conversations that are started, whether they concern movies or ’70s baseball, but I have yet to experience multiple visitors discussing one topic amongst each other and myself…maybe someday!

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    • Exactly, its a nice compliment when people take the time to comment, and glad you see it how I do Todd. I will try and get a conversation going on your site! πŸ™‚

      Thanks for sharing buddy.

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  3. I’m the same. I reply to all comments as I really appreciate it if people are taking the time to chip in. I also tend to stop commenting on sites if no-one replies to mine. I will still look at the site and “like” posts but I don’t see the point in commenting into a void!

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    • Yeah, I will still visit them but there are so many blogs out there I love, I feel my time is better on those that maybe appreciate the visit more. Glad you reply though, surely its the nicest thing to do right!? Thanks for joining in my friend πŸ™‚

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      • No problem! It’s definitely the nicest thing to do. And knowing that your comments are appreciated is certainly more likely to encourage return visits. It’s the main reason I do it too, to meet and get chatting with like-minded music/movie buffs.

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        • Again, totally agree. If I see someone putting quality comments on a site I read, Im then inclined to check out their blog. Same as a new commenter on my site, I love meeting new people this way. Being appreciated is the best part of what we do πŸ™‚

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  4. Great topic, Tyson. My stance is this:
    – I reply to every comment, if I can all help it — naturally, spammers can take a flying leap…
    – If someone was generous enough to read what I wrote and leave a comment, it’s the least I can do.
    – I realize there are some who frown upon lengthy comments, but I don’t.
    – If someone feels either the content or the subject was one to generate that length, I’m more than comfortable to respond. Hopefully in kind.
    – If I’ve missed a comment to reply to, it’s my fault. Not theirs.
    – if it leads to a discourse, that stays on point, I’m happy with that
    – And I don’t need to have the last word, in a conversation (credit mom’s for that ;-)).

    (Knock wood) This policy of mine has not lead, as yet, to any incendiary discussions. I look forward to the comments your post will generate, my friend. Thanks.

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    • Yes, spammers dont even make it to the board here! I love comments of all sizes, never have a problem with long comments. This is a really great and thoughtful reply Michael, thanks very much my friend. Very insightful and I agree 100% πŸ™‚

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  5. I reply to most of the comments on my site. The few times where I don’t are when I see a regular commenter make a brief “nice post” comment. I’m fully in agreement that if someone takes the time to comment on my post, I’ll happily leave them a reply, even if it’s a guest post I make on someone else’s site.

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    • Yeah, I also try and reply to posts I make as a guest (which reminds me to keep checking my post on your site lol). Thanks for commenting Bubba, much appreciated πŸ™‚

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  6. Wordschat

     /  March 30, 2013

    Never write a comment or posting while on the john. I hit the wrong key and lost the post. So in brief; yes I now to try to respond to every comment. I started doing this after I started to moderate them. I can look at them and spread comments amongst those received. Sometimes I purposely do NOT put everything in a review or article so it can prompt people to add to it. I want comments to serve as an extension of the discussion not the end of it. Gives people a chance to change my mind or others or just let off steam. Good topic Tyson.

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    • LOL!!

      Thanks for making the effort to type this out again buddy. Thats a good plan for getting people to interact, I like it!! Cheers πŸ™‚

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  7. theipc

     /  March 30, 2013

    Captain,

    I try and reply to any and all comments I get on my blog or anytime I partner with someone, like you or Chris or Austin or Issy. If someone is nice enough to say something to me I feel they DESERVE a response. If I’ve ever missed a comment it’s because I’m a tool and no other reason.

    I also feel like (if I follow someone I actually read what they write – I don’t skim) if I keep going out there and liking and commenting and there’s never any response, then I tend to kind of “forget” about this or that blog since they don’t seem to care what I think – and I don’t want the reverse to happen to me. It makes me extremely happy that even ONE person reads my shit much less the little “core” group of friends like you and a few others that we’ve become. I wish I could take you all out for a nice dinner and cocktails.

    I also love it when I get into conversations on blog comment boards.

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    • I’m the same, there have been times I have missed a comment and replied later, normally to MIKE but he laughs and accepts my apologies (I hope!). Always my fault.

      I only skim if its a film I want to avoid spoilers and desperate to see, but I normally say that in the comment below, so they know Ive read it.

      I love the ‘core’ group, and you are one of the best for joining me in conversations, so thank you! I look forward to our steak and cocktails night πŸ™‚

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    • theipc

       /  March 30, 2013

      Captain,

      If we could hang one time (in person! – tease for your readers) that would be the Tits : )

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  8. angryscholar

     /  March 30, 2013

    I only have a handful of folks who follow the blog, so there are seldom a whole lot of comments. But when there are, I respond to each one (as long as those WP notifications are working, that is).

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    • I need to make more effort to comment on your site, I’m trying to up my activity and visit more and more blogs. I like that you reply to everyone though. And yes, it doesn’t help us when the notifications stop working, I can never remember all the places Ive commented and just hope no one asked me a question anywhere!!

      Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

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  9. Yeah I always reply, it’s part of being a blogger as far as I’m concerned. I want people to keep coming back and commenting but I doubt they’ll do that if I just ignore them. The only time I don’t reply is if I’m having a conversation with that person through the comments and on of their comments marks a natural end to the conversation.

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    • Exactly!! πŸ™‚

      Yeah, whilst I do normally finish most conversations, sometimes if someone adds a LOL on the end, I’ll leave it there and assume they won’t be mad if I dont reply πŸ˜‰

      Cheers Chris!

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  10. I’m like you. I feel it’s discourteous to fail to acknowlege a comment, but I do miss a few sometimes when a bunch come in at the same time. Mostly, though, I’m pretty good about responsding, even if it’s just a “thank you.” But not everyone does this and some people really don’t have the time to answer every post.

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    • I do a lot of replying on the WordPress app when Im on my phone at work, so there are times when a few come in at once, like you mention, that I miss replying to until I get home and see the whole post on my site. Pretty sure I get them all though!

      I hear what you’re saying about some people not having the time. I guess if a site gets 1000’s of comments they could be forgiven for not replying to them all, but the majority of us get nowhere near that, and as you say even just a ‘thank you’ would suffice most of the time.

      Thanks Marilyn πŸ™‚

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  11. I think of it like a conversation. You wouldn’t ignore someone that said something to you? And when someone says something really nice it makes writing all the worthwhile!

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    • Very true! Great way to look at it, and after all, we aim to have conversations here and something nice said about our work really does make it worthwhile! Thanks for commenting πŸ™‚

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  12. I try hard to respond to each and every comment, provided they’re not from someone who is just out to be insulting for no good reason. I always try to be respectful and appreciative, because I know there are tons of other blogs he / she could be reading. My background is partly in customer service, so I guess it’s partly instinct at this point.
    Cheers,
    Bill

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    • I’m all for people disagreeing with my posts (they are always wrong!) but as long as it’s done in a friendly way. Luckily I haven’t had any trouble so far……..

      That’s it, we are in competition with so many blogs already, we want to give people a reason to keep checking us out. A simple reply could be the difference, that’s why I make the effort to do it. Glad we are on the same wave length Bill.

      Cheers for sharing πŸ™‚

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  13. I try to reply to everyone who comments (especially the regulars like yourself) but sometimes you’ll get a comment that just doesn’t need a response. I’ve never been a big fan of bloggers who dont respond to any comments, it’s kind of douchey in my opinion. It’s one thing to ignore commenters when your running a huge website that gets a ton of traffic, but if you only get a handful of people coming to your blog the least you can do is send a friendly response their way. Just my 2 cents!

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    • Yeah, obviously I’m trying to be polite and impartial but I don’t stick around long if people don’t reply. Takes a few seconds……..

      Cheers Ryan, always appreciate your thoughts πŸ™‚

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    • theipc

       /  March 30, 2013

      See – I agree with this – I actually don’t want my movie blog to get zillions of hits (i feel differently for the bloggers cut site : ) I want my “personal” blog to be nice and slow and easy and we all sit around having a beer and taking it easy. Me and my friends just having a good time.

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  14. jmount43

     /  March 30, 2013

    I try to reply to each and every comment; even if it’s only a thank you. Fortunately, I have only had two comments that were downright rude and insulting. If you want to complain about a review I wrote or something I said, then it can be done politely and diplomatically. I don’t take kindly to rudeness and will delete any such comments automatically. I also like to cuddle by the fireplace, take bubble baths and I enjoy long walks on the beach. πŸ˜€

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    • Exactly, people disagreeing is one thing, but to be rude about it is out of order. You do right deleting them!! My next question was going to be asking if people like bubble baths and long walks so you’ve already answered! πŸ˜‰

      Cheers John πŸ™‚

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  15. I hate it. Every time someone compliments me I die inside!
    Ask me a question and I unfollow you.

    Joking aside I really like conversing with me blogging buddies πŸ˜€

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  16. I reply to every initial comment I get. But if someone replies to my reply, I dont necessarily answer back unless I have something to say… I dont feel I always need to “have the last word” if the comments wind up developing into an exchange.

    That said, it should go without saying that people should answer commenters back!

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    • I try to put a smiley face there even when the conversation is over, my OCD cant bear odd numbers of comments πŸ˜‰

      People should answer back! I started this post quite diplomatically but inside I’m definitely feeling I want people to always reply if I comment on their site! Cheers Fogs πŸ™‚

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  17. As of now, since I don’t get dozens of comments per post, I reply to everyone who leaves their thoughts on something I posted. Like you said, it helps build a ‘friendship’ with the people who took the time to read and comment on something you spent writing. However, the few times I don’t reply is when someone is primarily plugging their own blog, or saying something rude (which rarely ever happens). And even then, most of the time they get some kind of response. πŸ™‚

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    • Even something as little as a ‘nice post’ makes me happy and Ill always say thank you. As you say, it builds a friendship and mutual respect.

      Plugging of blogs is a pet hate of mine, I do delete most links people leave, unless its relevant to the post and they are frequent visitors.

      Cheers buddy πŸ™‚

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  18. I reply to every single comment. Its the right thing to do. You have to show love to your readers and thats a way to keep readers coming back.

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    • I agree, it is the right thing to do. Also the most respectful thing to do. It might take me a few hours if Im asleep but I’ll always reply as I want to give people a reason to come back again. Cheers Issy πŸ™‚

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  19. It’s each and every comment for me. I’ve always thought it was rude when certain bloggers don’t reply to any. Like someone else said, it’s just part of being a blogger. Of course, it isn’t a chore. It’s fun to strike up conversations with readers.

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    • Oh for sure, never a chore! Or it shouldnt be for people anyway. I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets put off by people not replying! Cheers Garrett πŸ™‚

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  20. Comments validate me as a person. So damn right I’m going to reply to all of ’em.

    Besides, I comment on others’ sites expecting a reply, so I oblige assuming others expect the same. Mad love for my readers. *gang sign*

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    • I loved that you replied on WhatCulture too (did you reply to me, I havent checked) especially against the idiots who were just rude. Shows who is the bigger man!

      Your readers love you too Shah πŸ˜‰

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  21. Oh and Thanks for the shout out again. πŸ˜‰

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  22. I try to always respond, if only to say “thanks”. I try to give a meaningful response whenever possible, though if all the commenter has said is “great post”, then “Thanks” is about all I can say. I’ll maintain a conversation as long as there’s something interesting to say; I won’t insist on having “the last word” by replying if there’s nothing more to say, but I’m not going to cut someone off if we’re still going back-and-forth.

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    • Yeah, sometimes ‘thanks’ is all that’s needed or can be said. Still better than nothing I always feel. Thanks for sharing how you work Morgan, much appreciated πŸ™‚

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  23. I always try to respond, even if it takes me a while to do so. It’s the least I can do if someone takes the time to leave a comment.

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  24. Abbi

     /  April 1, 2013

    I reply if it feels like there’s a conversation to be had. It doesn’t bother me if I don’t get a reply to one of my comments if I’m not asking a question. I also mostly don’t bother replying to the weird/negative ones.

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    • So you dont mind eh? Not even just a thankyou from them? At least you still post the weird ones. I do and then reply to them, but I mostly get normal (ish) ones here. Cheers Abbi πŸ™‚

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      • Abbi

         /  April 1, 2013

        I often get angry ones when I do gig reviews and I’m negative. I also had a psychotic ex of my husband who left really weird comments. I had to spam those eventually. They were scary.

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        • Makes sense, people don’t like criticism of something they love! You’re not the first person Ive met on here who has had issues with real life people causing issues. Sounds annoying!!

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  25. Well, if you’ve left comments on my blog, you’ll know that I do answer to every single one of them. It may take me a day or two but I always go back and respond. It’s just my way of saying I appreciate them for taking the time.

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    • Yep, I notice you always reply, as I do here. Like you though, they arent always instant replies but I do them as fast as possible! Thanks Ruth πŸ™‚

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  26. I’m with you man, I reply to each and every comment. Though sometimes I am really slow getting back to people. And I’m not sure how I would go if my site had as many comments as yours. I think it is a nice polite thing to do. Plus, I find that I am more likely to take the time to read what someone has written if they interact with me and bounce ideas off each other. So hopefully when I do that with my site, people are similarly more likely to keep coming back.

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    • Just like this, took a while to reply but I got there eventually! I agree with everything you said, it’s just the right thing to do, replying, in my opinion. Thanks for the insightful comment as always mate πŸ™‚

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  27. I always try to reply. Writing a comment on a blog is like starting a conversation, and I feel it’s necessary to answer back.

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    • That’s it, great when comments lead to conversations too. You always reply which is why I always visit! Cheers πŸ™‚

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  28. I always reply and as soon as I possibly can. Let’s see how long it takes you to reply to this Tyson…..clock starts now!

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  29. I try to reply to everyone, unless they’re Irish.

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  30. Well Tyson, I think we’re both terribly British! I reply to every comment! The comments and interaction with other bloggers/readers is something that’s really great about the blogging process. I a blogger doesn’t want to reply to comments, I don’t know why they wouldn’t just disable the comment function entirely… but that’s just me. lol.

    Now, to go and check out Shah’s reply to my comment! I don’t click the ’email me with comments’ button as too much traffic occurs on my email address. I go back and check comments whenever that drop down menu is working on my profile! πŸ˜‰

    Great post, as always! πŸ™‚

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    • Our need to reply and apologise makes us stereotypical Brits!

      As always you speak perfect sense, people should disable the comment option!

      I’m with you, I rely on the orange box on our status to let me know when people reply. Inbox is full enough!!

      Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

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  31. I reply to each and every comment. It seems only polite after someone has taken the time to not only read but leave something about your post. Plus part of the reason I blog is the interaction amongst people. πŸ™‚

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    • I never actually read your stuff. I just comment to tell you how good Drive is then I’m on my way πŸ˜‰

      I kid of course. Thanks Misty πŸ™‚

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  32. I try to reply to comments now, after having been lazy in the past. I feel how it feeds not only the discussion and traffic, but also my enjoyment of writing, to know that somebody is investing enough of their time and interest in my material that they want to talk about it. This all sounds terribly self-centered, but I really think I can learn from people who give me feedback on my stuff, and also from people who are great at initiating and sustaining conversations on blogs.

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    • I dont think its self centred at all mate, you speak sense! Totally agree, always appreciate people investing their time and getting involved here. Like you just have, so thanks very much πŸ™‚

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  33. Always reply back, even if it is a simple thanks. If you take the time then I should as well.

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  34. I always reply unless I don’t understand the comment – i swear sometimes people write stuff that makes me wonder if they are high. I always respond to the reply to my comment on other blogs too, Well, unless the owner of the blog never reciprocates, then I’m not very likely to return there.

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    • Haha, yeah I get some crazy replies. All good fun.

      I try and subscribe to the non WordPress blogs (like yours) and visit when I can, but it’s tricky without the little WordPress reader/reminder. Something I need to make more effort with I apologise. But I will up my game and always reply to your comments. Thanks for joining in Sati πŸ™‚

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  35. I myself use comment section as a blogroll, I know a lot of people like e-mail notifications when there is new post but it would drive me insane πŸ™‚ I set up my blogroll to show new posts of the majority of people I follow and when they posted it and it’s quite useful. Blogger and WordPress should just unite, they have so many mistakes on their own perhaps when joined, they would work some of those out.

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    • Would definitely be easier if they joined!! I like your blogroll, I’ve seen a few people use similar methods and always thought it was a cool thing to do. I need to be notified as otherwise I get sidetracked πŸ™‚

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  36. kloipy

     /  April 4, 2013

    I try to respond to every comment on my site when I get them, even if it is a simple ‘thanks for reading’, if they took the time to write a comment the least I can do is respond.

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    • As a lot of people have said here, sometimes a simple thanks is all thats needed, but can mean so much. Always nice to get any response in return.

      Cheers Kloipy πŸ™‚

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  37. kloipy

     /  April 4, 2013

    Also, I make it a rule on my blog to not censor or delete any comment I get (unless it is spam). I haven’t gotten many negative comments, but when I do, I leave them on the site and try and respond as politely as possible. I could always use more comments, so good or bad, I welcome it

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  38. I always reply on my site (it’s the least you can do to give thanks). I also try to comment on guest posts but don’t want to overstay my welcome on someone else’s site and sometimes that can be harder to keep track of, as the notifications aren’t as easy going. I used to to always click the “notify me of responses” button but that just floods your email account to I stick to popping back in on occasion.

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    • I always encourage my guest contributors to treat their post like their own site, and reply as much as they can/want to. But yeah, the email notification can flood you a little, especially for the popular reviews.

      Thanks as always Mark πŸ™‚

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  1. Question Time XVII – Community Building | Head In A Vice

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