responding to comments

I recently posted a comment on a blog where the author said, “I blog mainly because I love getting comments, emails and feedback from other people in the world who make me smarter. It’s also rewarding to help others by sharing knowledge and ideas, but I know I love the feedback because I click on the comments with a great deal of anticipation every day.”

Since he enjoyed getting comments, I made one in the hopes of opening a dialogue, but I was disappointed to find that after 11 comments, some with questions for the author, there were no replies. I realize he’s a busy guy, but I don’t know anyone who likes one-sided conversations, and that’s what it feels like when you comment and get no response. Even a short reply acknowledging the comment is better than nothing.

In short, just like blog owners like getting comments, those who comment appreciate responses. By not replying, you’re less likely to get comments in the future.


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  1. Very well put Dan.

    Comment by Teja on June 9, 2005 @ 10:22 am
  2. Yes i completely agree with you – Conversations are satisfying only when they are two-sided. It also applies to conversations in the form of comments, which is hard in many blogging engines ( example the one used here ). The problem with most blogs is that, when somebody replies to your comments they dont send notification ( email would be the best ) to the original commentor, so he needs to come back to the original blog to realise that he has some comments waiting for his response. Unless blogs support notification on response to your comments i guess it would be hard to have active two way conversation. I guess that’s the power of all these community blogging sites like Livejournal and bloggers, they send notifications to the original poster on receiving response. This makes two-way conversation possible. I hope people realise the power of active comversations and this becomes a norm in all blogging engines.

    Comment by Thejaswi on June 9, 2005 @ 12:14 pm
  3. I’m currently using a blog engine that would automatically set up a notification for new comments on an entry you comment on. Unfortunately, it required making an account, and people can’t be bothered to do that on every blog they want to comment on. This could probably be gotten around without too much trouble, but maintaining individual comment notification lists for every entry starts to sound fishy as a general solution.

    I think the idea of trackback/pingback is a lot better for two-way blog conversation, since each party makes their response on their own blog and notifications get sent out as normal. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always fit very well if you don’t want to flesh out every response to another person’s entry into a front-page entry of your own. Maybe a sidebar or secondary page of entries that are responses to other people’s entries would be a good idea. Call it ‘conversations’ or something.

    Comment by Levi on June 10, 2005 @ 10:25 am
  4. Teja: Thanks.

    Thejaswi: I agree. There seems to be a big hole in the whole blogging comments area,because if you follow lots of blogs and comment frequently on them, it’s hard to know how long you should keep going back to check for comments.

    Levi: That’s a good idea for bloggers, but if someone doesn’t have a blog, trackback/pingback isn’t an option. There must be a better way to enable conversations to take place easily between bloggers and readers.

    Comment by dan on June 14, 2005 @ 12:05 pm

    Comment by fran on November 17, 2005 @ 1:51 pm
  6. I’m glad you agree Fran.

    Comment by dan on November 17, 2005 @ 6:46 pm

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