The Unspoken Rule of Comments for Comments

Friday, January 23, 2015

Over the year I have been contributing to the book blogging community, I have discovered an unspoken rule, especially to the younger bloggers (and by younger, I mean year-old blogs or less). 
Unspoken Rule: comment for comment. 
 It must have been a BIG faux pas of mine, because I have never really participated in this rule much. Some of your who comment all the time on my blog have probably noticed that I rarely comment on yours, I'm sorry. I most likely follow your blog, but I despise commenting just for the sake of commenting. I feel like when you comment you should have something to contribute to the discussion and not just "good review!". So unless I have something really good to say, I won't comment.

I guess that might be rude of me in some of your opinions, thinking that they have taken the time to comment on my blog, and I'm not really taking the time to prepare and write a quality comment on their blog, but I don't think there is time enough in the day to do everything. My comments, for the most part, are generally long like a paragraph or two... and sometimes four (you should ask Cait from PaperFury lol).

All this is not to say that I don't check out my commenter's blog. I generally like to follow them if I enjoy their comment or think that they had good insight to the topic discussed. So don't burn me at the stake just yet.

In following people, I get to see their content over a span of time, and I'm able to see what posts I would like to comment on and contribute to the discussion. We all love when there is a quality comment on our blog. It gives us little fuzzies and makes us smile, so I think I like being that person who, rather than leaving generic comments, leaves quality insight into a discussion.

It all comes full circle for what you (or your blog) want to be know for, in my opinion.

So what do you think about the comment for comment rule? Do you abide by it? Do you despise it? Why or why not?

49 comments:

  1. I actually tried to follow this rule but then ended up not being so good at it. It's like you said sometimes you have a witty comment to make and other times you draw up a blank.

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    1. Yeah! It's difficult to keep up sometimes, unless you're just starting out.

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  2. I don't care for the comment-for-a-comment rule. Yes, it's great if someone comments back on my blog, but I don't post comments with that intention. I truly love leaving comments around the blogosphere to let bloggers know I appreciate their hard work and posts :D I always try to leave a good comment, because I also dislike general comments.. To be honest, I used to visit every blog who commented, but lately I've been so busy I don't do that anymore.

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    1. And sometimes that totally happens! Our worlds get busy and there's nothing we can do. I always try to leave comments too, but sometimes we just can't get around to commenting on the posts we love let alone everyone's posts.

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  3. I always try to comment back, but like you said, if I don't have anything better to say than 'good review' or 'great post', I won't comment. I do always reply to comments on my blog though! :)

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  4. I feel like such a bad person, but I don't and very rarely comment back. It's not that I find the whole thing crazy, although I do a little, it's mainly because, like you, I have to have something to say, and damn, sometimes I don't comment on blogs all day, even those I follow, just because of my mood or because I've nothing to say, but I'm there, and sometimes, it really doesn't matter whether or not somebody comments, it's that somebody is reading it. Comments do make me happy, I admit that, it's nice to say something, but it's those ones that have taken the time that make me most happy, but this world isn't a tit for tat world, you speak when you want to, and not because you feel obliged. Fantastic post Amanda! :)

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    1. Great response, Amanda! (Hey! Look! We have the same name!) I agree! We should feel obligated to comment on other people's posts. Yep! Completely agree. :)

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  5. I tend to reply to comments on my blog rather than go to commenters' blogs to leave comments there. The one exception would be for something like Top Ten Tuesday, in which case I almost always have something to say about my commenters' posts.

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    1. I'm right there with you! I love replying to comments on my blog (maybe because it's easier). :)

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    2. I think that responding to comments is just as important as visiting another person's blog to find some thing to comment on. Interaction is the key here.

      When I chose a commenting system, I made sure I could respond back via email. People who regularly comment and interact with my blog get an email subscription from me. When I find something I want to comment on, I do so when I can.

      It's important for everyone to understand that most of us have lives outside of blogging. So one week I may comment a lot and other week's not at all. So in addition to make sure you engage with your visitors, you have to have some flexibility and understanding.

      Terri M., the Director
      Second Run Reviews

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  6. I think it's much nicer to have one meaningful comment than five or ten or a hundred vague, generic ones like "good review!" or "nice!".

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  7. To an extent I try to do this, but if I don't have time or like you said, nothing meaningful to contribute, I won't leave a comment. I follow people and enjoy their posts but don't always comment on them. It doesn't mean I don't like them. I do have some blogs that are my besties that I am always commenting on, but I think that is a little different. I do however always try to comment back to every single comment on my actual blog. I put aside time each week to do that.

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    1. I try to reply to comments as much as I can on my blog, and I've really tried to put forth good effort on other people's blogs. It's hard to find time sometimes though. I hate when life gets so busy.

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  8. I used to be so unaware of this "rule", but now that I am, I still don't always comment back! And it's for the exact same reasons as you - if I have nothing to say or just have a one word reply, then it's really kind of pointless and I'd feel awful being that short.

    If someone starts commenting repeatedly (like you!) then I kick myself and start checking out their posts more often; then I realize that OH WAIT why am I not following this person?? And then I go from there :D

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    1. HAHAH because that's totally what happened with us lol! But we also have valid things to say on each other's blogs. It's a generic, 'cool review' or 'cool post'. We really try to formulate a response. Yay for good readers who like commenting because they have something to say! :)

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  9. I try to always leave a comment when I visit just so they know I was there - even if its some crazy whackadoodle comment that doesn't mean much of anything. Most of the blogs I follow know that I do leave quality comments when I have something to say. When I don't have much to say it's very evident but I still like to let them know I was there. It's just a personal thing. I think a big part of the commenting unspoken rule is that if they don't ever see you comment back on their blog how do they personally know you are visiting and just as interested in them as they are in you. The comment reminds them that hey you were here you did drop by to check them out. But I totally understand where you are coming from as well. Obviously things are still working out for you so I think doing what you are most comfortable with is always the best bet.

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    1. That's very true!!! I guess I never thought about that! Thanks for participating in the discussion!

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  10. It is difficult to leave a quality comment on every blog you visit, but I do like to try and keep up with comment for a comment because I feel like, as long as you don't just say something completely generic like 'great review' and that's it, any comment is appreciated. I appreciate it if someone tries to comment back. But it's getting harder and harder to find the time to reply back on other blogs like that so it's understandable if one can only comment back on posts that you feel like you can say something meaningful on. I just have to work on finding the balance. Probably there will be times I'll be commenting like crazy, and other times when I'm barely around!

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    1. I'm with you! Sometimes I'm constantly commenting on people's blogs, especially when I find that I have more time on my hands, and other times, I'm the worst commenter ever!!!!

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  11. I try to comment back on people's blogs who have commented on mine. Sometimes I end up following the blog, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I don't comment at all, either because the blogger hasn't left me a way TO comment (I hate being 'forced' to sign into something in order to leave a comment, half the time I don't have any of the options, so I tend to skip over blogs who do that) or because I have nothing to say. I try to find something that I can actually leave a real comment on though.

    I figure that if they took the time to comment on my blog, and I have the time to comment on theirs, that I should. But that's just me. It doesn't bother me at all if I comment on a blog and that blogger doesn't go back to mine and leave a comment.

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    1. Yeah, definitely! I think we all need to be aware of other bloggers and try to be as understanding as we can whether they comment or not. We don't know exactly what they are dealing with in real life, and sometimes life just gets crazy. Thanks for dropping by and entering into the conversation!

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  12. I try to follow this rule, though I wasn't that great at it in the past. I really have no way of knowing if people have read my blog other than comments, so even a quick note lets me know that my blogging hasn't been in vain. I just assumed that most other bloggers felt the same way. Well, except for the ones who have comments disabled, obviously.

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    1. True! I just really need to get better at that!!

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  13. I love that you said this! I try to make what I say heart felt but now with 2 blogs I feel like im losing the battle of quantity vs. quality, I would rather visit your blog and comment then reply to my comments on my blog personally. I mean who even comes back to check what I have responded with. I rarely do unless it's a question. Anyhoo I get it. We try to show support to each other but i would rather you say one or two meaningful things a month rather than a quick generic something. Did it take you time yea but its not about the time its about the fact that you hopefully read what I wrote. I dont want to sound ungrateful or complainy but it's a constant battle in my head. Oh well love ya BEA!! whoop whoop!
    <3 Britt

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    1. ps i will be coming back to see your reply lol!!

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    2. Bahhahahaha! Here's your reply, Britt!!! ;)

      Most of the time, and you can correct me especially if my blog doesn't do this, but I always get email notifications when people reply to my comments, and that's how I keep up with the conversation. It can be really difficult though keeping up with everything!

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  14. I try to at least respond to a comment given to me but unless they leave a link to a related post I don't always go over to their blog and comment. But if I do take the time to read a blog post then I figure I can at least spend a few extra seconds to comment on it.
    If I go say something on a blog I don't expect a response in kind on my blog. If I get a follow, great. A comment: awesome. To me, when I go to another blog, I go there because I want to be there. I just believe that once I an reading a post I should take the 20 seconds to at least say something. It might not be EVERY post I read on a single blog but if I read 3 reviews, on the same site I will often comment on at least one of them. Otherwise I feel it is like walking into a small mom/pop type shop, browsing around and sampling products without so much as looking up at the person working there to simply say hi. But that is just me. When I go on my blog and see that 100 people open my post but only 1 person left a comment I am stuck wondering if I created a bad post or something and then begin to self-doubt. When I log on and see a few comments then it is can be a huge uplifter to my day.

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    1. Yeah, I think we as bloggers can get really self conscious, especially when we put in a lot of work into one of our posts, but it doesn't seem to get any conversations. My Tips & Tricks meme is a lot like that, but maybe that's because it only adheres to a small percentage of the book blogging community. Thanks for stopping by!

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  15. I've never followed this rule. It's the same reason I hate "commenting back" sites where you're assigned a blog and have to comment on it.

    I don't believe that anyone should comment out of obligation or requirement. You should comment because you actually feel like you have something to say and you WANT to share it.

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    1. I AGREE COMPLETELY! I feel like obligation can really bog down a lot of bloggers. Yes, getting noticed by comments from your readers is always really nice, but we do this kind of thing for different reasons, I think... or at least, I do! Thanks for stopping by, Ashley!

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  16. I wouldn't say it's a rule. If someone comments on my blog I will reply to their comment and visit their blog, then if they have something posted which interests me I'll comment. I am not the best of commenters anyway, I tend to only comment if I genuinely have something to say. I think I pretty much have the same commenting philosophy as you, if I like a blog I'll follow and then there is every chance I'll comment in future posts.

    I would hate to think I'm offending people, but I figure people should appreciate the genuine comments they get where thought and effort has been put in to think of something to say.

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    1. Yes to all of this!! I completely agree. I am very much a quality versus quantity type person. If I have something valid and important to say, then I will comment. If I don't, I won't. I guess that's also me in real life. I try not to open my mouth if I don't have anything valid or important to say. The world is already full of enough hot air, it doesn't need me adding to it.

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  17. I try to, but lately I've been bad at it. I'll only return a comment if I can say something meaningful though - so sometimes if someone comments I will visit their blog and read some posts, but I can't always think of something to say.

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    1. I agree! Sometimes we go through those phases too! And sometimes life gets in the way of things.

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  18. I don't follow this rule at all. I DO always try to reply to comments on my own blog and I do check out the blogs of people who comment on mine if I think it's something I'm interested in reading BUT if I have nothing to say to a post of theirs then I don't write anything. I hate it the 'great post!' type comments because they seem so pointless. I know it can be frustrating to get a lot of page views and no interation but some posts don't really warrant anything being said and I think that's okay. I don't write in to the newspaper to reply to every story they print!

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    1. YES! I love the newspaper analogy! It's very true! And some blog posts don't really require a response, and as bloggers, we need to be okay with that. Thanks for stopping by, Charlotte!

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  19. I'm generally pretty bad about this, too, and I know I've offended some people by not following unspoken rules. However, the reason I never followed the rule is because I don't have the same expectation. I feel like commenting should be driven by content, not by social obligation. Most of the time I have something to say to people who comment on my blog, but I don't always have time to visit theirs. But I think I'm going to try to be a little more purposeful about engagement outside of my blogging circle this year by visiting new bloggers and trying to find these new blogs by seeing who has visited my own. I may only have time a few days a week, but I'm going to see how that goes!

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    1. I agree with you! I don't expect people to comment on my blog if I've commented on theirs. I do realize that sometimes, that's their commenting philosophy, but it's not mine. I feel like if we have an overbearing obligation to comment on blogs, then we lose the joy in actually taking part in good conversation.
      Good for you! It can take a bit of energy actively moving outside of your circles. Thanks for stopping by, Tara!

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  20. No way! I never followed the comment-for-comment rule. The only thing worse than not receiving a comment is receiving a comment that doesn't seem genuine like "great post!" Ugh.

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    1. AMEN! :) it's seriously the worst. I would rather people not say anything if they don't have anything valid to say.

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  21. I pretty much always try to comment back (though there are definitely times when it gets harder). If I don't have anything to say to the first post that I look at, I usually scan a couple of other posts and find one that interests me. Actually, that's sort of how I got here - you commented on my blog, and I came over and saw your first post (which I did find interesting and commented on) and then I scanned through your other top posts to see what caught my eye! :-)

    I kind of like the feeling that I'm building a relationship with other bloggers, so I love the back and forth of commenting/commenting back. And I have to confess that if I NEVER see a blogger comment back on my blog I'm less apt to comment on theirs (especially if they also don't reply to their comments). It makes me feel like maybe that person just isn't really paying attention to my comments anyway, so why bother leaving them. I'll still lurk on their blog, but I won't put as much effort into keeping up with it, you know? But, here's the thing - we each do this blogging thing in our own way and we all have other things going on in our lives. While commenting back may be something that I do, not everyone's going to do that - and that's okay. You need to do what works for you - as long as you feel like you're getting a fulfilling experience out of your blogging and you feel like you're connecting with your readers, you must be doing something right! :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. Definitely! I feel like we have to be aware of the fact that we don't all blog the same. We have varied commenting, following, and visiting philosophies. It's natural that all of us are different, and I think that's what makes us such a cool community too!!! Thanks so much for stopping by, Nicole! I've really enjoyed following your blog, btw! :)

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  22. I love this post! I love to read blogs for people who comment on mine but I'm like you - I only want to comment when I actually have something to say. Even if that something has been said a dozen times by other commentors (whatever spellcheck, commentors should be a word).

    My unspoken rule of commenting is to reply. If someone does take the time to leave a comment on my blog I want to acknowledge that and further the conversation if possible. When people leave really generic comments like, "great post!" I am reduced to really generic responses like "thanks!" and then I feel totally lame.

    But, yeah, I enjoy discovering new blogs from comments on my site. I don't always comment back either...

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    1. Glad to know I'm not alone! Yeah, I generally try to reply to everyone's comments, but I just don't always get over to their site. Also, if they leave generic comments, I feel lame writing "thanks". so I don't generally reply to those comments. Thanks for dropping by!

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  23. I like the idea of comment for comment, but it's really hard to do. The pressure of always coming up with a meaningful comment is too much. I prefer to read lots and comment when I have something to say.

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    1. Right? Oh the pressure... It's a terrible feeling. It's a great idea in theory, but I don't think it works for most of us in the blogging community.

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  24. Honestly, I hate the comment for comment rule. I'm still a pretty new blogger (like six months), but it bothers the crap out of me. I like to comment on what I genuinely like - whether it be a review for a book I've already read, a meme with something I'm looking forward to, or even a review for a book that I want to read. I feel like commenting on posts I like is just better in general. I'll add something valuable to a discussion instead of something that I really don't mean. Now I reply to every comment that I get on my blog so that people know that I'm reading their comments. I feel like that's being more connected to my readers.

    But the one thing I can't stand about this stupid rule is when people leave me a link to a post that I don't want to read. I ask that people leave links to their meme posts on my meme posts so I can check them out, but I'll randomly get a comment on a review that's like, "Hey, check out my review of..." without even saying anything about my post.

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    1. Ahhhh... yes. That link that sometimes comes really close to spam. Those are SUPER annoying when you know they aren't commenting in order to leave a good discussion-worthy comment but rather just advertising for their blog. Thanks for dropping by, Erin!

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    2. OMG Right? I have one commenter who does it all of the time, and it just gets so old. I feel bad for not replying to her comments on my blog anymore, but I do consider it spam and I want it to stop. I even had to put up a comment rule, mostly just because of her, and she just keeps on link plugging. lol

      No problem, Amanda! :)

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