Claire Made Me Do It

I have a confession to make: I seldom leave comments on the blogs I visit. Mostly I don’t want to sound like an idiot (or a spammer) and say: Thanks for sharing, though sometimes that is exactly what I want to say — so many bloggers write fantastic and helpful articles.  Occasionally I don’t understand the repartee going on in the comments, so I skulk away without leaving my mark. And all too often I don’t have the time to come up with something witty, clever, or even passably intelligent to write. Every task on the Internet takes way more time than it should, so I always seem to be scurrying from one link to another, one discussion to another, one blog to another.

And I don’t always respond to comments left on my own blog, either. Some bloggers respond to every single remark. Some don’t respond to any. I fall in the middle. It’s a question of hospitality. As the host, do I let the guest have the last word? Or do I acknowledge their comment with one of my own?

Last night I was discussing blogging with a fellow author at Second Wind Publishing, LLC, one who has developed a blog following in a very short span of time. How did she do it? By finding humorous blogs she liked and leaving a trail of comments back to her own. Truth be told, she was a bit appalled when I told her that I don’t leave comments, and she strongly urged me to go through my blogroll and visit each blog. So I did. Read the articles I hadn’t yet taken a look at. Left a comment everywhere I went. 

If the comments aren’t intelligible, blame Claire. She made me do it.

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32 Responses to “Claire Made Me Do It”

  1. Claire Collins Says:

    Ha! ohhhh payback feels good doesn’t it Pat? Especially since you started it!
    http://clairecollins.wordpress.com/2009/07/21/i-blog-you-blog-we-all-blog-why/

    I’m guilty of responding to almost every comment on my blogs. Sometimes, I let the guest have the last word depending on the discussion. I will also go back to other blogs and respond to the authors comments about my comments. I like the “discussion” factor of blogging. I don’t spend nearly as much time in static sites where I glean some information and move on. I think that’s why you don’t respond as much – your articles are more information based and mine are just plain frivolous.

    I have noticed your name on some of the pages from Pamela Villars’ blog party: http://pamelavillars.wordpress.com/2009/07/24/wordpress-followfriday/

    Now, I have to sneak away from wordpress. I have a manuscript to edit and the author is such a perfectionist that I must devote my full concentration to the work! 😉

  2. uninvoked Says:

    I like discussion too. If the blogger doesn’t respond to anyone…it almost feels like that person isn’t even there. It’s a cyborg blogging all those posts. Run away!!

    On the other hand, I would seriously rather no comment at all then someone who comes to your blog, stamps their links all over your blog, and say nothing but “Thanks for the comment!” or worse a clearly form comment like: “This is a very informative site. Your articles are very helpful.”

    Uninvoked is a noveling blog. Those aren’t articles. Those are chapters. -.-

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      univoked: This is just to prove that I’m not a cyborg blogger. (Cyblogger? Cyborlogger? — I’ll have to add that to my list of blogger types.)

      One thing I like about wordpress is the ability to edit comments. If someone leaves too many links, I edit them out. Ah, the power!

  3. owlandsparrow Says:

    I love this post, and totally identify with your whole ‘do-I-respond?’ dilemma. Though I’d prefer to fall between all or nothing, I tend to err on the side of responding to all. A couple of my recent posts received a string of long comments. Everyone was so sincere in their answers, and they were fun to read. They put so much thought into their comments, I felt I needed – and wanted – to respond, even though it took a while.

    I’m writing my first novel right now, and one of the reasons I began my blog was to find a community of other people doing the same thing. Leaving comments has definitely helped that happen. Not only are people leaving their thoughts on questions I ask, their presence on my site leaves me a trail to their amazing blogs, too.

    Thanks for the post! 🙂

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      owlandsparrow, I started blogging for that same reason. I’ve found some good friends through my blogs.

      Best of luck on your novel! Stop by any time and chat. I love talking about writing.

  4. Adina Pelle Says:

    Thanks for sharing !..Nahhh, just kiddin’

    I am chuckling as I write this comment because I identify so much with your self blogger profile . I read so many blogs, most of them brilliant, and I’d like to comment, sometimes I do, but I am always afraid my comment won’t measure up and will end up being this cluster of trite words with a trace back at my own little place of the internet.
    On the other hand , I am overcome with joy every time I get comments on my blog…
    Double edged sward I guess,,,

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I have the opposite problem when it comes to my own blog. I tend come acorss as a bit pedantic? authoritarian? when I talk about writing, though I don’t mean to. And it stops the conversation.

  5. Pamela Villars Says:

    I know it’s hard, Pat, but I agree with your commenters. It’s hard to feel engaged if there’s no dialogue.

    Anyway, I’m happy you visited, and I hope you met some of the talented folks I read.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Okay. So I will respond to more comments and I will do a better job of repaying comments. Sounds fair.

      I had a great time at your party, met some interesting people, and found an idea to steal. So I’m happy, too.

  6. joylene Says:

    I have to admit, I’m thrilled when readers leave comments on my blog. It leaves me feeling justified for blogging up the airwaves. I guess that’s why I try to leave a blog, even if it’s full of air, like, “Great Blog”. I’m sure my mother is smiling down at me for all those years of trying to teach me some sort of manners.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I especially like it when I get to know the people, such as you, who stop by. I’ve always enjoyed your comments, and have been dreadfully remiss in leaving any for you. I’ll try to do better.

  7. lynn doiron Says:

    This is so spot on! My experience and habits online are very much like yours. [May I use Claire as a scapegoat, too?]

  8. Iapetus999 Says:

    Yes, I noticed you left a comment on my blog 🙂

    It definitely makes me feel I’m doing something right.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      It always struck me as presumptuous to comment on other peope’s blogs, but Claire made me do it. And I guess it’s the right thing to do.

      I know one thing you’re doing right — spelling “definitely” correctly. It seems to be the most misspelled word on the internet.

  9. Sia McKye Says:

    Lolol! Claire is like that.

    Pat, there are those I enjoy, but rarely do I read and not leave a footprint, even if it’s thank you for sharing this with us, I enjoyed it. It’s mostly knowing someone cared enough to comment. I figure, if I read it, the least I can do is comment. sometimes we lead others to a good blog just because we DID comment.

    Unlike others, I don’t get offended if someone just says thank you, etc. I don’t expect witty comments. What I want is your thoughts, if you have them, not necessarily in response to other’s comments. Just be you. Trust me, thats just fine. 🙂

  10. knightofswords Says:

    It’s nice to be able to blame Claire, isn’t it. If anything ever goes wrong in a string of comments, you can always say, Claire’s using mind control to make me say these things.

    That said, the comments are fun, though I try not to get carried away because then, suddenly, a 5-minute trip online turns into a 90-minute trip.

    Malcolm

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      There is that — the way time evaporates on the internet. I was going to spend an hour getting caught up on comments and, well, the whoe day has disappeared. And I haven’t been to visit you yet!

  11. Sheila Deeth Says:

    Okay, uninvoked made me do it. “This is a very informative site. Your articles are very helpful.” It’s true anyway.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Scapegoats are wonderful creatures to have around! Thank you for the compliment and the wonderful comments you always leave. And congratulations on winning the Second Wind short story contest!

  12. Ahmnodt Heare Says:

    I pretty much have the same philosophy as a blogger and as a reader when it comes to comments. I welcome anything that is relevant to the topic. I’ll even allow spam if it pertains to the topic. Any “celebrity NUDE” spam gets deleted because I don’t write about naked celebrities.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I never thought of allowing relevant spam, but now that I think of it, I seldom get any that’s relevant. Viagra doen’t have much to do with writing, and I get lots and lots and lots of ads for that. Oops. Maybe I shouldn’t have used the word. Now I’ll really get lots of spam!


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