Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Art of Commenting (Discussion Post)

Thursday, October 17, 2013 8:06 AM with 70 comments


I think most bloggers would agree that the role of comments in our community is an extremely important one. We want to know that we are being heard. We want to connect. We want to feel validated after spending (sometimes way too long) on a particular blog post. In this new world of social media, which I'm especially sensitive to since I'm teaching a modern media class this semester, we want to see that our picture has been "liked" and know that our opinion matters.

I love comments. I do. Especially on reviews, which take so much more time to write than throwing together a Waiting on Wednesday or Stacking the Shelves post. A good review takes work. You have to find a way to be interesting and entertaining while explaining your thoughts on somebody else's work. The book blogging community has exploded and people can go anywhere to read a review. That's what makes it so amazing when somebody reads yours AND takes the time to comment about it. I will never take that for granted.

I feel so lucky to have made some wonderful blogger friends. There are a few people who take the time to comment on almost, if not all, of the blog posts I put up. These people are awesome and I love them. Because these people are awesome, I make a point to return the favor, like any good friend would. No matter how busy I get, I always try to make my way over to the blogs of those who've taken the time to comment on mine. Not out of obligation, but because I want to know what my friends are up to. What did they just finish reading? What are they thinking about today? That's the community I want to be a part of, but it isn't always the one that exists.

Sorry, but it is going to get a bit rant-y from here on out...

First, there are few things I hate more than disingenuous comments. Comments that bloggers leave for the sole purpose of getting you to come to their blog and follow. Case in point, this was left on a review of a book that I didn't like very much. At all. Where I went in to great detail the issues I had with it:

          This looks really intriguing, gonna have to read this for sure! Anyways I just wanted to say that your blog is so cute! I have been reading your reviews and now have like 5 book in my TBR shelve on goodreads so thank you for that! Im a new blogger and would love for you to check out my blog @ ____________
I would really appreciate the followers!




Ok, so she obviously didn't read the review, which isn't a horrible crime (although, seriously, read the review if you're going to comment--don't be a dick), but I've seen this comment from said blogger on NO LIE at least 50 blogs. You probably know exactly who I'm talking about because she probably left this exact comment on your blog. I'm sure she is a lovely person, but it's the most disingenuous thing ever. 

I like to see my follower numbers go up as much as the next blogger, but that isn't why I'm a blogger. I started this blog because I like writing reviews and connecting with other awesome readers, NOT to gain as many followers as possible like some deranged cult leader. That isn't to say I haven't left messages, especially when I first started out, saying: hey, I followed your blog and I'd love it if you'd follow back, because I have. What I've never done and will never do is leave some mass comment that I copy and paste on every blog I visit. I don't want to "connect" with bloggers who are only concerned about their numbers. I don't care. 

On the flip-side, I can't help but sometimes feel completely shafted when I bloggers don't respond to my comments. If a blogger doesn't respond to any comments, it doesn't bother me, but there have been a couple of incidents where I've swung back by a blog after leaving a real comment only to see that the blogger has responded to other comments, but not mine.

For example, I left a comment on a blog where the author is a teacher. She had posted pictures of her room and was talking about gearing up for the first day of school. I left a comment about how cute her decorations were and how about I was about to embark on my student teaching semester, blah, blah, blah. I went back a couple of days later to see if that had started a conversation and she had commented on the one other comment about her decorations, but hadn't responded to my comment. Seriously, WTF is that?! It gave me flashbacks to 6th grade when I wasn't "cool enough" for the mean girls to talk to.


It's the reason my favorite blogs are some of the (relatively) smaller ones. I understand that it is hard to visit every person who visits you when you have a million followers and get 50 comments for every post. I do. And I understand that you may respond to people differently. Some of the people who comment are going to be people you really like and are truly friends with while others are just random people who drop by in an attempt to get you to come over to their blog, but I do think that people will stop following you or reading your posts if you don't ever respond to what they have to say and/or you don't ever come over to see what they are writing about.

If I comment on any comments of a post, I comment on them all (the exception to this is WoW posts--because really what is there to say? I'm glad you're excited to read this, too. Thanks for saying I've picked a great book). It's just rude not to.  That is why I tend not to comment on meme posts: it can be tedious, especially when the comments are super bland, but I want my little space to be a friendly one. Because I'm a friendly girl. I can't even imagine wanting to hurt another blogger's feelings--and I'm sure it's not even about wanting to hurt feelings, but again, it's just common courtesy.

Alright, rant over. I want to hear what you think! Do you respond to comments? Do you ever just respond to select comments or do you respond to all of them? Do you go back and look to see if a blogger has responded to your comment?

I promise to respond if you leave a comment. :)

70 comments:

  1. While I haven't run into the "stock-commenter" who leaves comments for the sole purpose of gaining followers, I had a run-in with someone on Instagram. Which pretty much said the same thing: "I'll like your first 7 pictures if you like mine. I'll follow you and would appreciate if you follow me back." Sorry. I follow who I want and like the pictures that I like. grrr.

    This is a great post, Natalie. I have been blogging for two years now and have only just realized what it would take for someone to read my posts. I need to scratch someone else's back first. And I'm not whining by any stretch. I've found some bloggers (such as yourself) whose reviews and opinions I actually love.

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    1. Like I said, I've certainly left a I've followed and I love it if you'd follow back message before, but only on the blogs I actually want to follow. Even as a brand new blogger I didn't follow every single blog I came across in hopes of growing my numbers, I followed the bloggers with whom it seemed I had books in common.

      While it can certainly seem like "back-scratching", I do sometimes feel like we all just need to remind each other that we are here. I know that we all live such busy lives and so I love it when I see comments so I can say, "oh yeah, Joy! I wonder what she is up to."

      Thank you for the compliment. I love coming to your blog and seeing what you are doing, too. I'm so glad that we've connected through our blogs! :)

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  2. I've not gotten a lot of stock comments (yet). I try very hard to reply to all the comments on my posts but sometimes I can't get to them all and then I forget and come back a few weeks later and see I didn't finish replying. I always feel so bad when this happens.

    As for commenting in general...I love it when people actually read my reviews. That's why I started blogging to begin with. I only imagined writing reviews...I didn't have any idea Memes and all that existed. Sometimes I get a tad sad when I spend forever on a review and it's not looked at much (esp compared to the meme posts). But, it does take a lot to read a review and a lot of people don't read reviews of books they've not read yet...so makes sense.

    Great discussion post :-) I've been thinking on this lately too.

    My Friends Are Fiction

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    1. Ugh. Stock comments are the worst. I'm glad you haven't had to deal with them. I know that people are busy and life can get in the way. My complaint is when bloggers choose to respond to select comments. I just think it is rude. Maybe I'm being too sensitive, but I can't help the way I feel.

      You bring up a great point about people not reading reviews of books they haven't read yet. I'm one of those people. If I plan to read a book, I avoid reviews until I've read it. I don't won't my opinion to be swayed or tainted and I don't want to accidentally absorb somebody else's thoughts when it comes time to write my own review. I think a lot of bloggers feel this way.

      It is a bummer that memes get the most looks. It is certainly that way on my blog as well. They are just so easy to read and so easy to respond to. I love WoW and StS and enjoy taking part in them, but don't want those posts to be the only ones people pay attention, too.

      I'm glad I'm not the only one with comments on my mind. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. :)

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  3. I love this post! I think that it's important to comment on the blogs who take the time to comment on yours. Of course we get busy and what not and sometimes don't get around to it, but blogging is about interaction. Even if you don't respond to an exact comment left on your blog, it's still cool to check out what those people have to say on their own blogs!

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    1. Thanks, Chris! Blogging is about interaction. I love the relationships I've been able to form with other bloggers who have the same interests as me. I agree that bloggers don't have to respond to the comments left on their blogs, but it is nice if they check out what you are doing.

      Actually, you were one of the people I had in mind when I was talking about awesome people. You consistently comment on everything I post, and I cannot even tell you how much I appreciate it. You're wonderful and I love coming over to your neck of the woods to see what is going on with you, too. *hugs*

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  4. It's funny that you posted this this week as I was just discussing this with another blogger a few days ago and I love to hear others' thoughts on the topic. I do what I can in terms of commenting. I'm still learning how to balance blogging with my senior year of college (it's been by far my busiest year), which means that at the moment I haven't been the greatest commenter. There's a bunch of blogs I try to comment on consistently, either because they're my friend or I really do appreciate what they have to say. I used to visit everyone who commented on my posts, and while I'm not doing that at the moment, that's my intention when I get everything in my life under control. I used to be really weird about getting comments on my blog, like if I didn't get any that meant that nobody liked my post or something, but now I don't really care anymore. If you take the time to comment on my blog, that's awesome. I love it. But if I don't get comments, that's ok too.

    I've known a few bloggers that ONLY visit your blog if you comment on theirs regularly, which meant that in the past I would make sure I commented consistently, but now I've realized that if they're just using me to get comments or whatever, it's not worth it.

    Seriously though, great post!

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    1. Thanks, Rachel! Commenting can be so time-consuming and it can be hard to get to everybody's blog. I definitely understand that and I'm sure everyone else does, too. I'm currently the busiest I've ever been, too, and it's been a major struggle keeping up with this blog. I don't want it to be all memes, but I'm definitely not reading as much as I used to and finding the time to write anything worth while has been a struggle (this took, like, 3 days). I definitely didn't want this post to sound judgmental. I get it, I truly do, but I'm talking about those people who consistently ignore comments and/or never come to your site.

      I'm with you on the users. I've come to a point that I pretty much just ignore them, too. Again, the community I want to be a part of is on of mutual enjoyment.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and comment! I really do appreciate it!

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  5. 3> your hermione gif!! I'm totally stealing that for later ;)

    Comments are great feedback and I love them. It's one of the reasons I joined Readers in Wonderland's commenting back linky. Some people take advantage of that promise to comment back, and I do get very bland comments. I would rather have 4 well thought out comments that are a couple sentences, than 8 one sentence quick responses. I've seen a lot of discussion posts about commenting recently. A lot of people love comments, but often say they don't have the time to reply or comment back. It's an epic battle of the comments.

    I'm actually falling in love with twitter to find blog posts to comment on. It's how I stumbled upon this one =)

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    1. I meant for that to be a heart at the beginning haha ♥

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    2. I've gotten so bad at posting on twitter. I'm so glad I remembered today!

      Hermione's the best. I don't use a lot of gifs, but that one summed up my feelings so perfectly. I'm so with you, I'd rather get just a couple of real comments from people who truly have something to say than a dozen one-off comments. Again, I understand that people are super busy--I'm super busy--but it is my opinion that if you consistently skip people when responding to comments or never comment back, you'll probably lose their interest. BECAUSE I'm so busy, I don't even bother going to certain blogs any more, because I don't feel like my opinion matters to them, so what's the point?

      Thanks for stopping by, Steph! I appreciate it!! <3

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  6. I haven't run into that particular stock commenter, but TTT/WoW comments that are "great list, here's mine" bother me. Maybe it's because I won't/can't comment if I don't actually have anything to say...which is I guess not the greatest way to play the blogging game since that means I don't leave tons of comments.

    I'm trying to be a better commenter, because I SO appreciate all the comments I get - especially on reviews - but it doesn't always work out.

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    1. I think we all love comments on reviews/discussion posts. I like comments on memes, too, and I understand there is only so much to say...but, yeah, I least comment on one particular thing. On Top Ten days there has to be at least one book you have something to say about and same on Stacking the Shelves. The I was here so come see me is LAME.

      I appreciate that you've commented on this post if you don't usually comment. It makes me feel special! Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. I have a very, very small blog (perhaps even microscopic) compared to most of those that I follow so I don't really get many comments. My sister and I started blogging at the same time whilst on holiday (don't judge - there was a hurricane). She focused on fashion, I focused on books. Within a few weeks she had dozens of followers and loads of comments and I had zero. Obviously, this was really disheartening to begin with but I kept on with it because I enjoyed blogging and gradually found a few friends. All of this means that when I do get a comment (especially on a review) I'm usually over the moon! I've also found that these comments are often well thought out and can be replied to. After all, it's quite hard to reply to 'great list, here's mine'.

    When it comes to commenting on other blogs there are a few factors for me. Firstly, I still consider myself a newbie and so I'm quite shy about commenting. Secondly, I'll only comment if I can say something worthwhile (well, the blogger is the judge of that but you know what I mean). Anyway, I'll stop rambling now. Thank you for this interesting post!

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    1. Turning to blogging because of a hurricane is pretty funny--but no judgement! It can be disheartening when you first start out. You spend all this time putting together a post and you don't know if anybody has bothered to even read it. I do think it is about just finding your niche and making a few solid connections.

      You shouldn't be shy about commenting. I love this comment you've written, and I know that other bloggers are thrilled whenever somebody new comes along and has something substantial to say. The blogging community truly is filled with some amazing people and I love the connections I've been able to make. I don't think you have to worry about judgement at all!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  8. I can totally understand all that you have said Natalie. When I first started blogging, I had absolutely no comments, and it was a bit sad :( Lol. Then I did some WOW and IMM ect and I would get a few comments, and now some bloggers are awesome (like you) and check my reviews time to time which is such a nice feeling. :)

    As far as commenting, I love checking out others bloggers reviews and leaving a comment, and it really doesn't matter if I've read the book, or if it's on my tbr, I just love and appreciate other peoples reviews and love finding out about new books. I'm still working on the art of commenting back on my blog, I tend to like going to others sites and talking there. But, I so appreciate others comments.

    Thanks for such and open topic and your thoughts Natalie!

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    1. Thanks, Kim! I think most of us start to build a "following" by participating in meme posts. It's an easy way to get your name out there and start connecting with other bloggers.

      I love going to other people's blogs, too. I rarely read reviews of books I haven't read yet, but plan on reading, but I will sometimes. I just don't like for my opinion to be colored before I pick up a book. I don't struggle with responding to comments, my struggle is definitely finding the time to visit my friends, but I do my best.

      Thanks for stopping by!!

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  9. I've read a few posts recently on commenting and I completely understand what you're saying. Obviously it's great to get comments on reviews because I agree with you, those take the most time to write (not to mention the time to read but I would be doing that anyway). I always try and reply and also visit that person's blog, but sometimes I do wonder about replying and it's nice to know that people do come back and specifically look back at that post because sometimes when I'm replying I wonder, is this person ever going to read this? I don't use Disqus so the only way people are going to read my replies is by going back to my blog and I really am curious how many people actually do that. I try to do that when I comment on posts like this because I'm really hoping it's more of a conversation and dialogue, but no pressure! :) and I sometimes check back when I've asked a question, but sometimes I don't check back, especially on memes.

    As far as memes go, I'm starting to feel like you feel. For Stacking the Shelves, if someone says "Great haul, I read that book and it was great!" or "Great haul! I really want to read that book, I've heard great things about it!" I actually am grateful they left a comment because it shows they read that post, but I'm a little unsure about whether I should reply back. And this goes for WoW posts too. I don't mind the generic posts on those because it's hard to think of something unique and substantive to say but you also want the person to know you read that post so I find myself doing that (but I have to admit, I don't do that for book reviews). Anyway, I'm rambling, but I appreciate your post and getting people to think about commenting, replying back, etc. ~Pam

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    1. I wonder how many people bother coming back to look at responses, too. I definitely don't bother on meme posts, but the blogs I do visit are the ones I tend to visit, so whenever I'm there, I'll think, "oh I wonder if she responded to my last comment" and will check.

      Agreed on WoW posts. It's not like I'm some savant when it comes to leaving comments on memes, but I never say: great pick, here's mine. I always try to comment on the book itself (pretty cover, I loved the author's last book, etc). And I always try to read the blogger's thoughts on the meme. I've started using my Stacking the Shelves post as a sort of update on my life (which tends to be: my life is out-of-control busy right now), and I know other bloggers use meme days to give quick updates, too.

      I want you to know that you are one of the awesome people I had in mind when I wrote the non-rant-y part of this post. You consistently stop by my blog and leave comments and I truly appreciate you for that. You are awesome and I'm glad we've connected through our blogs. *hugs*

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  10. I do the absolute best I can to both a) respond to comments on my blog and b) visit back. When I'm busier than usual, I try to focus on b) because I figure that most people don't check my blog to see if I responded to their comment. If they said something that really requires a response, I try to email them back directly -- if their Blogger account has an email attached.

    I agree with the comment above on Disqus -- I think it sort of forces you to have to respond and I really don't think most of my comments on other blogs need an emailed response….

    Jen @ YA Romantics


    I'm pretty understanding about other people's commenting back because I'm not perfect in this regard. However, if I start to notice that a blogger never responds to comments and never visits my blog back, I often move them off of my "favorites" Bloglovin list.

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    1. I have no doubt that you do your best. You've consistently stopped by my blog whenever I've left a comment on yours and I know that you get some serious traffic over there, so I always appreciate it when I see you've stopped over.

      Without Discus, it really is hard to know if people ever read responses. Like I've said to other comments on this post, I tend to comment on the same blogs, so when I'm there I'll check to see--or I know the people who do consistently respond to comments, so I'll make a point to come back to see how they've responded.

      That's really my point. If it happens every once in awhile, it doesn't bother me. People have lives outside of their blogs and I completely understand that, but I'm with you, when a blogger NEVER responds, I stop trying to interact with them.

      Thanks for stopping by!!

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  11. I commend you, Natalie, for being so brave and honest and for saying EXACTLY what the rest of us were thinking. So for starters, THANK YOU for saying so. I get that for some of the more popular/established bloggers it may be hard to respond to every single comment, however, it's hard not to feel shafted when everyone gets a little something but you. It makes me (personally) feel like I'm not hip enough to be a part of that particular bookish clique. And let's be honest, there ARE bookish cliques.

    As for me, I try to reply to each and every comment left on my blog. I mean, that's a good part of the reason I keep doing it --- because I thrive on the discussion. I live off of the friendships cultivated by a similar passion of reading/blogging. Sure, I have moments where I get super busy and can't always comment on other people's blogs, but I try to do so when I can. And when I do comment, I always make sure it's something thoughtful and/or honest. It's not solely about the pageviews I may get from people who decide to comment back. At the end of the day it's about connecting with people. I think it's safe to say, that's why a lot of us are still doing it.

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    1. Aw, thanks, Nikki! I have to admit I was a bit hesitant to write what I was feeling (it seriously took me, like, 3 days to write this), but in the end I just thought: screw it. This is my blog and I'm going to be honest about how I feel. I absolutely agree that there are bookish cliques and that you can feel left out (like jr high all over again) when the more established bloggers consistently ignore your comments and never come to check out your blog. Like I said, that's why my favorite blogs and bloggers tend to be the smaller ones.

      I thrive on the discussion, too. I'm so happy that so many people had something to say on this topic! I love the connections and friendships I've made with other readers. I cannot even begin to explain how busy my life is at the moment, and most of my followers understand that it may be a day or two before I make it over to their blogs, but I WILL eventually. Everybody gets busy. We all have lives outside of our blogs, but people will stop coming by your blog if you don't try to reach out to them occasionally, too.

      Agreed. At the end of the day, it is about the connections you make. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

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  12. Wow! What an insightful post! Now, come to my blog and check out all of my insightful posts. Hehe. :)

    First, I have to confess that I'm someone who does not reply to every comment on a particular post of mine. And when I'm doing this, it has absolutely occurred to me that that may seem rude, but then I think, "Nah, you're just being paranoid." But to hear you confirm this...hurts, because I would never want anyone who takes the time to comment on my blog to think that I value one comment over another. (Well, that's not exactly true, because I get my share of stock comments, too, and they irritate me as much as they do you.)

    So why don't I always reply to a comment? Usually, it's because I'm stumped for something thoughtful to say, and as much as I hate stock comments, I certainly don't want to be leaving them on my own blog! So, I just won't reply rather than type something that sounds insincere. But clearly, I need to rethink that.

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    1. That's funny. You've always made a point to come over whenever I've commented on your blog. I know that you have a pretty big following, so I really do appreciate it when you take the time to stop by.

      This post is only my opinion. Other people may not care at all whether or not you reply to a comment. Sometimes it is really hard to think of something insightful to say to a comment, but I do think even a simple: thanks for taking the time to comment is better than not saying anything at all...especially if you've replied to other comments on that post. Again, that is only my opinion.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment on this post. I really do appreciate it!

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  13. I love this topic. I have a lot of feelings on comments:

    1. When I first started blogging I made a rule for myself. If I comment on someone's blog roughly 5 times or so and they NEVER visit my blog or respond to something I've said via Twitter or email I don't continue to comment on their blog. Maybe the first day I leave a comment the blogger is really busy and the second day they have nothing to say about what I posted, but at some point I think it's just common courtesy for them to acknowledge my repeated comments or me in some way. And I'm not talking about some bigger bloggers who get hundreds of hits a day and have lots and lots of comments (although I tend not to comment on their blogs because like you I appreciate the discussion aspect of commenting).

    2. Comments on memes are tough. I usually try to answer everyone back because, even when someone says something that doesn't leave me with an especially thoughtful reply, I feel bad leaving one or two comments unanswered.

    3. I also try to visit every commenter's blog and leave them a comment. This is hard though, especially with memes. Sometimes I go to someone's Top 10 Tuesday post or Waiting on Wednesday post and I just think "Jesus christ these books all sound AWFUL" and in some cases I just won't comment but usually I try to think of something nice to say.

    4. I try to leave only thoughtful replies on blogs. You're in my RSS reader so I see all of your posts, but if you review a book I have no interest in I'm not one to leave a comment like "glad you enjoyed it" or "great review." I'll say both of those things as part of a larger comment, but I prefer to only leave a comment when I have something thoughtful to say (which, since I only read blogs I like, I often do have thoughtful things to say).

    Those are my thoughts. Like everyone else I love comments and I love seeing my page views go up, but I'd take 5 really thoughtful, engaged readers (who, if they have blogs, I'm returning the thoughtfulness and engagement to) over 500 page views any day.

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    1. I don't think I even give 5 times. There's some blogs I've stopped going to because the past couple of times I've stopped by my comments were ignored AND they didn't bother to come this way. You're right, we all do deserve some recognition, no matter the size of our blog. Yes, the bigger blogs get way more traffic than I do, and I'm sure it is much harder to keep up, but eventually people are just going to think you're a jerk and stop visiting your site if you don't acknowledge them. Period.

      Meme comments are tough. I never respond to WoW--or only if the person said something personal to me--like ask how student teaching is going :)--but the past couple of weeks, I've been giving updates along with my StS posts and so have been taking the time to reply to those comments. Everybody who has posted a comment on this post seems to be in agreement that meme posts don't matter to them as far as whether people respond to their comment. I think it's fair to say that just a return visit is awesome.

      Haha. There are definitely times when I go to TTT posts especially and am just, like, wtf are these books. I do still comment if it's a reciprocal visit, but, yeah, that's hilarious.

      I only read the review posts I'm interested in, too. I'd rather get a few meaningful comments on a review than a dozen: awesome, glad you liked it comments.

      Thanks for stopping by as always. I'm so glad we've connected through our blogs. You're definitely one of my favorite new friends.

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  14. Okay so I have been blogging just about 6 months and I have to say that the most comments I get are on my Stacking The Shelves posts. While I'm thrilled to see the comments showing up, it frustrates me to realize that all the reviews I write and post, I may get 2 total comments on them. And that's on a good day.More often than not, I don't get a single comment. Then it makes me think "Is anyone reading this?" Since my page numbers are increasing, I know the reviews are being read, nobody wants to comment on them. It can be really disheartening.

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    1. I feel you, it can be really disheartening. I don't get a ton of comments on my reviews either. Sometimes I'll get quite a few, and sometimes I'll only get one or two. I've been fortunate to connect to a couple of wonderful bloggers who always stop by my blog...but I always stop by theirs, too. Those kind of friendships is what makes blogging fun. The thing to think about is why you are blogging. Do you enjoy putting together posts even if nobody comments? Your blog is your space. Don't get frustrated! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  15. I love this post. I really do. I have a lot to say. So let's start with the comments that are meaningless. I hate those. It is so obvious when someone comments just to get you to visit their blog. And I never do. Those types of comments make me more annoyed than any other. I have never had a copy-paste commenter swing by, but I would not hesitate to run my mouth if it happened. Because I never stay quiet, like ever. :D

    As for going back to a blog you left a comment on to see if they responded...I suck at this. I try to respond to as many comments as I can, but these days I am so behind that I basically just take a few comments on each post I write and respond to those. I swear it is not personal. It's just that I choose the ones where it is easiest to formulate a response. So if I have ever done this to you, Nat, I apologize. I would love to get to a place where I can respond to every comment again. It's just really hard right now. So when you see that on other blogs, that might be the reason. If someone NEVER responds to their comments, well then screw them. That is just shitty.

    Also, you might get more comments if you turn off CAPTCHA and remove anonymous commenting. Blogger's spam filter is actually pretty good, and I know many people HATE leaving comments on blogs that use CAPTCHA.

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    1. For the longest time, I did go visit everybody's blog who visited me on meme days, but now I ignore the people who don't say something specifically about the post, because it is lame to just say: great list, here's mine.

      I'm not always great and going to look to see if my comment got a response either, but because I tend to visit the same blogs it is easy to say: oh yeah, I think I left a comment a couple of days ago, did they respond?

      Just so you know, I didn't have you in mind at all when I wrote this post. At all. I know that you have a very busy blog, but you've always been so nice to me and I think you're awesome. I know and appreciate that people get busy. This is the busiest I've ever been in my life and my blog has definitely suffered because of it.

      I don't believe I have CAPTCHA. Do I? I'll have to check. Is that something you have to turn off because I've never turned it on. I do hate CAPTCHA and if I do have it, it will be something I'll get rid of.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I truly appreciate it.

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    2. Yup! And it is super easy to turn off in your dashboard settings. If you need any help, just tweet me and I will guide you.

      I was pretty sure you didn't have me in mind, but I know I have a habit of responding to comments the way you wrote about, so I did want to give you a perspective of why it might not be personal at all if you happens to you. I completely value your comment and every comment I receive (except the meaningless ones) even if I get swamped and delete it all from frustration sometimes. LOL.

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  16. You know what's funny? While reading this, my first thought was 'Is she talking about me?' :( I /know/ I don't copy/paste comments, and when I comment on meme's I will write a legit comment that I've taken to heart before dropping my own link. However, I know that commenting on 40,60,100+ stacking the shelves posts comes off as blog-hopping to find followers. I will admit that I'm also a culprit.

    I feel it can be disheartening for new bloggers and difficult to feel like they are worthy, if they can't get comments. My blog has been slow, yet in the past two weeks I've had a surge of followers and comments. If I had let the first three months 'get' to me, I would have quit then.

    My annoyance tends to fall with big-name bloggers who can't be bothered to comment back, or even seem to care about other blogs. I've come across a few 'holier-than-thou' bloggers who always post on twitter, their blog, anywhere... and if someone replies from a not-so-big blog name, they never reply. There have been times, like you mentioned, where I felt like I was not 'good enough' because they will start a conversation with others, and not mine. In one instance, a blogger was on twitter ranting about a book order. I had asked her about her order, and commiserated with her. When she replied, it was with the name of the book only. I felt like she was just answering my question, and didn't even bother to write out a sentence reply. I felt shut-out and shut down.

    Like you, I also tend to prefer smaller bloggers, for the reason of making friendships. Everyone talks about how positive the book blogging community is, but I've yet to find someone who is really willing to start a friendship.

    I know my thoughts are jumbled, but basically I feel the same way. It's hard NOT to focus on comments and numbers, but I keep telling myself that my blog is more for ME than anyone else.

    Jenni

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    1. Hi Jenni, as one blogger to another, let me just say that this comment is a perfect example of why I love visiting other people's blogs! I went through the whole feeling unworthy thing a lot when I first got started, and although I don't let it get to me as much now, I still have days when the lack of a response can really get me down! I think Natalie's post really touches a nerve, doesn't it? Anyway, I'm off to check out your blog now... :)

      Lisa

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    2. Jenni, I wasn't in any way talking about you. Back when I worked in an office and sat in front of computer all day, I would make it to at least 50 blogs on TTT and WoW days and I would leave my link on each and every one, but like you, I would try to say something meaningful in each comment. I didn't have one comment that I copied and pasted to them all. AND there is nothing wrong with trying to drum up followers. I've done that, too. We all have. My issue is that people need to be genuine. You have to genuinely be interested in the blogger you are trying to get over to your blog. It is obvious when you are not.

      I know exactly what you are saying about some of the big-name bloggers. There is certainly a holier-than-thou feeling, whether they believe it to be the case or not. I've completely stopped visiting most of them. I know that it can be hard to keep up when so many people are commenting on every post you put up, but, again, to never respond will eventually make people just think you're a jerk and stop trying.

      Don't give up! You will find friends if you continue to put yourself out there. Again, the smaller blogs are where it's at. They are in the same boat as you and so are, usually, more likely to respond so that a genuine friendship can develop. For the most part, I do think the community is positive. Again, you just have to keep putting yourself out there. Don't get frustrated!

      In the end, you're right, your blog is yours and you need to write for yourself. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  17. Fantastic discussion post! You make some great points about commenting. I made it a personal goal last year to try to respond to comments more often, especially on reviews. I think I have accomplished that this year, especially b/c I don't get that many. Ha. I stink at responding to all the comments on meme posts. I know I could do better commenting on reviews that I read, because a lot of the time, I read reviews, but don't always comment. And yes, I always try to make it a point to go back and see if a blogger has responded to my question/comment, especially if it's a good one. I've noticed there's a lot of mean girls in the book blogging world and it's rather like high school at times. I try to stay out of it; in fact, I always do, because I never know what's going on until a week later. haha. Love discussion posts---you should write a some more! Would you believe I have never written one? I should get on that. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

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    1. Thanks, Chris! I completely stay out of the mean girl shit, too. I just don't care. I only want to connect with the people who want to connect with me. I work in a high school, I don't need to deal with that in my real life, too. I don't always make it back to see if my comment got a response, but I do make it a point if I know I wrote something that was "worthy" of a reply or if I asked a direct question.

      I love the responses I've received on this post. I will definitely be writing more discussion posts and would love to hear your thoughts...on anything really.

      You're awesome and I'm so glad we've connected through our blogs! *hugs*

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  18. OMG, look at how long people's comments are on this! This is seriously one of the best discussion posts I've seen. And I'm being completely serious. I'm 100% like you and love getting comments. It takes a lot of work to run a blog and nothing is more exciting than seeing someone leave a heartfelt, non-cookie cutter, comment about what you've written, especially on reviews. Reviews are some of the most frustrating and time consuming things ever! I could literally spend days on just one review, trying to make my thought coherent and interesting and if it was a good book, trying to convince someone else to give it a shot. It's fun participating in a meme to see what other people have posted but you're right, it's not really for the thoughtful comments. I'm from the mind set that if someone has left a comment on a review or discussion/random life post, it's because they care. And I want to reciprocate that. I want to show that I am grateful for the comment and want to discuss it further with you. I know lots of bloggers are way too busy to respond to everything but it does sting a bit when you've taken all this time out to write something meaningful about their post and they just ignore it, or don't even bother taking the time to visit your blog and leave a meaningful comment. I always comment and try to visit back. I used to get emails when people commented on my posts so I always knew when someone did, especially on an older post that I haven't looked at in awhile, but for some reason, it won't send them anymore. If someone has commented on an old post, I miss it most times. I'm so guilty because I always forget to go back and check. So if I'm one of the blogs that you've commented on and see that I've responded to everyone expect you, I'm sorry!! It's not because I hate you or think lesser of you--I don't! You're my favorite blog, I <3 you!!--it's just because I had no idea you left a comment. I probably should have divided this into paragraphs, my apologies! These comment boxes are too small so I can't tell when it's time for a break. RE: that comment a particular blogger left, I CAN'T. She left the same one on mine but a little modified because it was a STS post. I didn't realize it was a cut and paste thing until a couple of days later when I noticed on lots of other people's posts. I thought it was so touching only to be disgusted. That's not how the book blogging community works. You don't beg for followers. You earn them. And only the ones who are a steady presence on your blog matter. Ugh.

    So now, I will create a new paragraph to tell you this: thank you so much for being a) awesome and b) being the best blogger friend out there! I know I get behind on catching up sometimes but I love your blog and love hearing how your semester of teaching and class is going. Thank you for taking the time out of your extremely busy schedule to stop by my little corner of the blogging world and sharing your thoughts with me. I'm so glad you're still around and having given up on blogging yet! I would miss your posts terribly if you left!

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    1. I'm now guilty of the extremely long comment. Whoops! I told you you can't tell how long these things are in the tiny comment box whilst typing :)

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    2. I know! It's freaking insane, right?!

      You are my favorite. You are. I totally <3 you, too! I love your ridiculously long comments :) and the fact that you leave thoughtful replies to the comments people leave and your blog and the fact that you always go to their blogs and leave thoughtful comments there, too.

      I can't even imagine if I stopped getting emails when people left a comment. I would NEVER know if someone left a comment on anything besides my last post. How would you know? There has to be a way to remedy that!

      About "the commenter" I did see the message on your blog and just shook my head. It does seem like such a thoughtful comment. Too bad it really isn't.

      I have to admit that it is so hard to stay up on blogging while this busy, but I'm glad that I've been able to keep with it, if on a smaller scale. I would miss it too much and all the wonderful people like yourself if I gave it up.

      So let me tell you: a) you are, too, b) you are, too, c) thank you. High fives and hugs all around.

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  19. Gah, those stock comments! It's pretty much why I don't even bother commenting back on meme posts...they're all the same. For those, I go to my favorites and leave a meaningful comment, but I don't expect anything back. I don't think that's what this is all about. We're giving voice to our feelings about books and movies and music and whatever else we feel like discussing...not trying to be the best or have the most followers. Yeah, it's nice to get followers, but that's not why we do this...not most of us anyway.

    I don't always have time to visit or comment back. That's life. And I understand when others haven't been by in awhile either. This is a hobby, and our lives can't revolve around it. I seriously envy SAHMs, though I know their lives aren't all gravy and blogging either. :)

    If I can't respond to all of my comments, rather than replying to one or two, I'll respond via email to that commenter. Is that rude? I'm so behind on visiting people lately, I'm trying to catch back up, but if I reply to every comment, I'll never get to it. :( And if I ever go back to check to see if a blogger responded to MY comment, it's only because I asked a question or something. I don't expect a response. And most of my friends will respond via email to make sure I got it, anyway.

    Really great post. Seems like we've all been feeling the pinch lately, one way or another.

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    1. I should have just said, "Amen!" to this comment instead of leaving my own. Totally agree with everything you said (esp. that SAHM-ing isn't all gravy and blogging - it's not), starryeyedjen!

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    2. Jen, you are one of my favorites. I always laugh when I get, like, 10 emails that you've commented on my last 10 posts. I love it. I don't think it's at all rude to respond to somebody via email or Twitter. It isn't about showing everyone you've responded, it is about making a connection with somebody who has tried to connect with you.

      I'm not at all in this for the followers or to get free books. I just like books and movies and I like writing reviews. I love the friendships that I've been able to make and I'm sure if this blog ever got really big (which I know it won't) that they are the ones I would continue to connect with.

      In the end, you're right: this is a hobby. My life is crazy busy right now and I know it is the same for a lot of my blogger friends. As long as we can all continue to reach out whenever possible, that is all that matters.

      Thanks for stopping by! It's always so nice to hear from you!!

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  20. When I first started book blogging (back in the Dark Ages when there weren't nearly as many book blogs as there are now), I was guilty of leaving those exact kinds of comments. I wasn't trying to be obnoxious, I just wanted to let people know that my blog existed and I would love it if they came to visit. I honestly didn't realize I was basically spamming them! Luckily, everyone was really nice about it, very forgiving and welcoming, so I try to be the same way to stock commenters (not that I follow them back, of course). I look at it as a new blogger who just hasn't quite learned blogging etiquette yet. FYI: You might suggest to this stock commenter that he or she participate in memes like Top Ten Tuesday or Follow Me Friday, where asking for a follow-back isn't considered rude or inappropriate.

    My policy is that I always try to leave genuine, substance-filled comments on other people's blogs. Truthfully, though, I don't always have more to say than, "That book looks amazing. I'm going to add it to my TBR list." Personally, I appreciate those kinds of comments on my own blog as it means I've convinced someone to read a good book (which is one of the main purposes of my blog). I assume others appreciate it as well. Also, if someone visits my blog a lot and leaves sincere comments, I ALWAYS return the favor. If it's a blog I love and want to keep track of, I'll add it to my Reader and/or Follow via GFC.

    As far as replying to every comment, I'm pretty wishy-washy. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. It's not because I don't WANT to reply to everything, I just don't always have the time. If someone asks me a question or leaves a particularly stirring comment, than I definitely do reply. Other than that, I sometimes do, sometimes don't. I don't expect anything more from the blogs I visit -- if the blogger responds to my comment, that's awesome; if they don't, it's okay.

    At any rate, this is an interesting topic with lots of great comments. Definitely food for thought for any blogger!

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    1. I think we are all guilty of that! When I first started this blog, I absolutely left messages of: I followed and I would love it if you'd follow back BUT I wrote a new comment on every blog that pertained to the post I was leaving the comment on. I never did a copy/paste job and I always read the post I was commenting on. It's about sincerity (or lack thereof) that annoyed me in this particular case. I still get comments of I followed...and I always follow back. It's so awesome to see your follower numbers climb when you are first starting out and I'm happy to be a part of that.

      I just would feel so guilty if I picked and chose comments to respond to. I mean, I'll only respond to a couple of meme responses--and only to those who asked direct questions, but on review posts, I HAVE to respond to them all. To each her own, but I personally would just feel like I was basically giving the other commenters the finger if I ignored their comments but replied to others.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and comment! I appreciate it!

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  21. This is a great post (and I'm not just saying this to get a comment back! LOL). I do really try to comment on the blogs I visit, sometimes because I have something of substance (I think) to say, and sometimes just to give the blogger the acknowledgement that another human being has read what they had to say. "Likes" are great, but comments are way better!

    I do try to comment back, although as you said regarding memes like WoW, it's hard to have something to say in response to a "great choice!" comment. And since we're all in the same boat, I assume folks will understand the lack of a comment back.

    But yes, if someone has left a thoughtful comment on any of my posts, I make sure to try to be thoughtful with a response, and will usually go visit their blog too if they've made themselves easy to find.

    As a "smaller" blogger, I so very much appreciate knowing that people have read something that I've written! It doesn't have to be much, but getting a comment is such terrific validation that the time spent is appreciate. And I do feel that I've met so many wonderful people through the exchange of comments, so it's never a waste of time!

    Thanks for bringing this up! It's something I was completely clueless about when I was first starting out, but over time I've come to realize how important comments and return comments are to all of us.

    Lisa

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    1. Lol. I will be by! Comments are definitely important to the blogger community. I think we all want to believe that Somebody out there is paying attention to us and comments are a great way to reach out to somebody to let them know that you've read what they've written.

      Obviously, I agree that all comments (again besides meme posts) deserve a thoughtful comment in return. Smaller blogs and their bloggers are the best. They truly are my favorite blogs and people.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! This was all just my opinion, but judging by the responses I've received it is definitely the way others feel, too.

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  22. Great post Natalie, that comment on your book review made me splutter my coffee! I have never had one that gave away the fact that they didn't bother to read the post as blatantly as that one! I have had a ton of "great post, see mine here" and I'm too nice to ignore them! I wish I could but I just can't, I always answer even just a 'thanks for visiting'. I try to answer all my comments as much as I can and if I comment the next time I'm on that blog, I'll usually look for a reply. I'm not impressed if the blogger never takes the time to say something back to me on either their blog or mine, it just seems rude. I don't mind if they never visit me (but it would be nice) however being ignored just sucks and I'll probably just give up unless I love the blog.
    I love commenting systems that email a reply to you as it does get hard to keep track of what you said and where.

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    1. Right!? I didn't respond for days because I didn't even know where to start and doubted that she would ever be back to check if I responded anyway and then I saw the exact same comment on literally DOZENS of other blogs when I was hopping around on a WoW day. I did eventually respond to her about how I'm sure she was a lovely girl, but how disingenuous this was, but I can't imagine she's ever seen it. Obviously, I didn't follow back.

      Agreed. I'm never impressed by the bloggers who don't bother to acknowledge you one way or another and will completely stop going to their blogs. Even if I do like them. There are plenty of blogs where the people AND the content are awesome and I'd rather spend my precious time with them instead. I don't have DISQUS, but see the value.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. You're a lovely lady and I really enjoy your blog. :)

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  23. I love comments. I've only been blogging for a couple of months. I still go yay when I get a follower but when I get a comment I get even more excited. Because anyone can sign up to follow your blog but when someone comments it is just more rewarding. They took the time to read my post and want to comment or give feedback and that just makes me happy.
    I do respond back to every comment. It could be a simple thank you for stopping by if they visited my blog from following a link on a meme. I always visit someone if they visited my blog not because I feel like I have to but I want to know what they are reading too.
    I have found some of my favorite blogs to read that way.

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    1. Comments are so rewarding. I love seeing that somebody has taken the time to read what I've written. It's such simple validation, but I love it. I love to visit the blogs of those who've taken the time to drop by mine. I will definitely be by soon to check out your corner of the internet.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

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  24. I feel your pain, sometimes I wish you couldn't even comment on blogs, because then I might care a little less if people are reading my blog or not.

    I agree it is very frustrating when people don't respond to your comment, but have others, I try and respond to each one I get. Granted I don't get a lot, but I feel awful if I realise I've left out a response to someone, especially if they've put time into writing a relevant comment.

    Got to admit I've not had anyone write a comment like 'please check out my blog', but I think it would cause me to actively avoid their blog.

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    1. Ha! That's a good point. We could all live in blissful ignorance that hundreds of people are hanging on our every word.

      Yeah, it just feels kind of malicious to me...which I know is overly sensitive. I just can't imagine picking and choosing which comments to respond. I'd feel like a total jerk if I did that.

      Again, it really isn't the: come check out my blog aspect of this that bothered me. It was the whole copy and paste thing. If you're going to beg for followers you should be gracious enough to tailor the request to me, personally.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

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  25. I've never been a fan of the whole, you comment/follow me and I'll do the same for you. I comment when I have something to say, and follow the blogs with content I enjoy. When I do comment, I would like to receive a reply acknowledging that, but that's just me. I try to do the same on my own blog. I think it comes down to the whole "people putting time and effort into blogging" thing.

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    1. It can get a bit old, but I do understand that newbies need to find a way to get their blogs noticed. It's just the way some people go about it.

      Seriously, blogs take way more effort than I could ever have imagined. I'm currently student teaching high school English and working part-time and am just insanely busy. Because of this, my blog has seriously suffered. I used to post 5-6 times a week and now I'm posting 3 times--if I'm lucky. Just a couple of days ago my husband asked why I was still trying to keep up with my comments, posts, etc and the answer is simply: because I like it. But it does take work to keep up on comments and visiting.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

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  26. "deranged cult leader" *giggles* Curses, you've found out my plan! But anyway, I definitely try to respond to all comments on my posts, even the ones that are pretty generic, the one exception being for the two giveaways I'm currently running, since I give an entry for answering a question in the comments, there are so many comments and I just can't take responding to them all D:

    I'm really bad at visiting back and commenting since if I don't see something that grabs my interest on the first page, I don't want to leave a generic comment back just have commented back ya know? D:

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    1. Thanks. Doesn't it seem that way sometimes? Yeah, there is no way you can respond to giveaway comments. That would be insane!

      I do know. People have different tastes and it's sometimes hard to find something you want to comment on. I have to admit that I usually give it the ole college try regardless.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing! I've always admired your adorable blog!

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  27. I'm actually the opposite when it comes to if the blogger responds to comments. I would rather see them replying to some comments, even if mine isn't one of them, than none. If they never reply to comments, it makes me feel like they aren't acknowledging their readers at all. So, while it does sting a bit to put thought into a comment that doesn't get a reply when others do, it's not going to put me off the blog as much as if they aren't interacting at all.

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    1. You make a great point. It can be nice to see just a couple of responses just to know the blogger does acknowledge readers, but I have to say I'm still of the mind that if you respond to one, you should should respond to them all.

      Thanks for sharing! I love to hearing others' opinions!

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  28. Wowowowow! Can I just say that I'm really impressed by your post? The one thing that went through my head after reading this was: brutally honest.
    And really, brutally. We don't get that much honesty a lot around the blogosphere, but it's an interesting topic to talk about.
    I will admit, comments have lost a lot of my initial attention for them. When I first started blogging, I got SO excited about every single comment I got. This time around, I get very excited about two kinds of comments:
    1) the deep and long ones
    2) comments from people I "know"
    I think one of the things you mentioned is really true: those comments on WoW or even TTT posts - no matter how hard you try, they usually tend to be pretty shallow. I don't mind - i love that people take the time and comment on a list of books I created or that one sequel I am dying to read.
    But the kinds of comments that make me think and that usually bring a smile to my face are the ones where people really care about the topic I wrote about, or the book I reviewed, and then just type ahead. All their opinions and thoughts on it in one comment. Those are the ones I want to reply to. That's what I want to discuss on Twitter. That's what makes me want to be friends with those people.
    Oh, yeah, and then there are the comments from people I know - and you are one of those people,actually. Because you comment on my blog so often and I found especially your last comment on my Miley post really nice and interesting!
    I do understand what you mean by your rant-y post here. I used to care about why people leave comments on my blog. Now, I just honestly don't really care about the follow me-commenters. I do publish their comments, because they're not really spam and I usually reply, too.
    Okay,this comment is SO all over the place! What is wrong with me???
    I think what I wanted to say was this: I generally don't mind follow-me commenters. I just get very overly excited about any of the comments that I talked about earlier. Those are what really makes me happy - and the rest doesn't really matter.
    I will just stop typing now.
    And sort my brain out.
    I clearly lost my line of thought here...

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    1. Well, thank you! I was a little skeptical about how my opinion was going to be received and am so happy that it's been pretty positive. I did lose a couple of followers, but what do you do? This is my little corner and I'm going to say what I want here.

      Agreed. It's always so nice to get both meaningful comments and ones from your friends. I've been able to forge some pretty fun friendships through my blog and those are the people I'm always happy to "see."

      I'm happy just to see meme comments, too; I'm just not going to bother replying to them.

      Thanks! I thought your Miley post was really interesting. Again, because I'm so much older *sob*, she was never a role model to me, but it is so interesting to hear from younger girls who looked up to her during her Hannah days.

      I've followed you the whole way. :) Thanks for taking the time to leave a meaningful comment. I'm glad we've connected through our blogs!

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  29. I totally see how annoying this can be. Like on my Stacking The Shelves posts, I'll clearly say, I've already read all these books. Then I read the comments, and they're all "Omg, I hope you like them!" Like come on, all you have to do is read the first sentence and you'll see that I already have. But either way, I can understand why new bloggers would feel like this is the only way to get their blog around. :)

    Laura @ Music Plus Books

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    1. Me, too. I understand it and I did it when I was brand-new. My problem is what you just said. Do not leave me a comment asking me to come to your blog to follow if you are not even going to bother reading the post that you are commenting on! Just read it! It's so rude not, too. Ugh!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  30. I think I ran into the stock commenter once or twice, and yeah, it's pretty frustrating, especially when it's OBVIOUS they haven't read the books. I'm not against leaving links, heck, they make my life easier, but asking me to give you a follow is just.. pretentious. Following shouldn't be asked for. If I like your blog, I'll follow you.

    I should also add that long comments look more thoughtful, and are more appreciated (obviously), but I can't ask every follower to do that. It's not my place, and frankly, I'm thankful for any comments I get. Although if you're a new blogger who wants to get noticed, the more thoughtful and friendly you are, the better :D

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    1. Exactly! It's about being genuine. Why would I chose to follow somebody who hasn't even made an effort to read what I've written? What I'm looking for in the bloggers I connect with is common ground and respect. The bloggers who I've forged friendships with are all so funny and awesome. They understand that sometimes my real life is going to get in the way and that I'm not always going to make it over to their blogs. But they do know that I'm going to make it there eventually and when I do I'm going to actually read what they've written, not just post a quick comment of: I was here, now come back and see me!

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  31. Lately, I've been sharing your dislike of comments that seem to be made with the intent of just getting you back to the commentor's blog. Since I've started putting in the effort to visit the blog of everyone who comments, it really bothers me to feel like the commentor put no thought into their comment. So far, I generally comment back anyway, but I will put in more effort to find a post I can leave a meaningful comment on if the person I'm responding too said more than just "great post! Here's my related post".

    In terms of responding to comments, I do reply to all of mine, since I get few enough that it's manageable. Unlike you, I'm actually more bothered by a blogger who doesn't answer comments at all than one who answers selectively. If a blogger only responds to a few, maybe they don't have the time to respond to all of their comments and are only replying where they have something meaningful to say. I can understand that. If a blogger doesn't respond to any of their comments, I wonder why they're even blogging if they can't be bothered to interact with the people who were considerate enough to comment on their blog.

    Thanks for the interesting discussion!

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    1. Thanks, Dewey. Sorry for the late response! I agree that I'll definitely take more time commenting on someone's blog if they took the time to leave something truly thoughtful on mine.

      You are not the first one to say that a blogger who doesn't respond to any comments bothers you more than one who responds selectively and I completely understand your point. It is kind of weird when a blogger doesn't ever respond to their readers. I can definitely understand not replying to all comments if you don't necessarily have anything to say.

      Thanks for stopping by!!

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  32. I really, really try to always respond because I appreciate when someone A) takes the time to read my book reviews/rants/thoughts/etc and B) because it feels a bit like not saying hello back in any other physical (non-internet) scenario in my life. Sometimes it takes be awhile, but I really do value my online interactions with fellow book-nerd people and I want them to know that. And I do notice the people that stop by often and comment sincerely and I a little bit love them all.

    And it does make me feel eye-rolly as well when I can tell someone didn't read a word of the post they are commenting on and are merely fishing for a visit/follow. The insincerity actually turns me off visiting/following when ordinarily I automatically check out anyone who leaves me a link in their signature. I think there is a lot of pressure to have 'numbers' but it really is so much more enjoyable for those 'numbers' to be fun connections with like-minded people. And I so appreciate our interactions!

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    1. Agreed. It is like walking right by somebody who has said hello to you without acknowledging them. Great analogy! I'm so freaking swamped right now that it is taking me so much longer than I'd like to make it to everyone's blog who has stopped by mine, but I definitely have my favorites that I go to more often than those I've never interacted with before.

      I just really don't care about my numbers. I love getting new followers, but I'm not trying to get a ton of physical ARCS, so it's really not a big motivator for me. I would much rather have 50 people who I sincerely enjoy talking to than 500 people I don't interact with at all. My favorite aspect of blogging is definitely the connections I've made with like-minded readers. I love our interactions, too. You're awesome!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  33. Every time I receive a comment, I always inwardly (and sometimes outwardly) squeal in joy! I think it's really wonderful that someone actually took the time to read something I wrote and to want to talk to me about it. It's a great feeling and I always reply to all comments dropped on my blog :D

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Hello, there! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I read each and every one and will do my best to respond--usually on your blog instead of on mine. I will, however, always answer direct questions. Due to serious time restraints, this blog is now an award free zone, but I appreciate the thought!