Comment Etiquette

Terra emailed me with this question in light of my previous post, so here’s my 2 cents.

Stupid question for you…You should add a blog about
comment etiquette?  What is it…do you respond to the comment with a
comment?  Will the person ever come back to see your comment?  Do you email
people that comment?  Do you sit quietly back and enjoy them in silence?  I
have never quite known what the right thing to do is and based on the comments
on your comments blog I am willing to bet I am not the only one.

These are great questions that I’ve heard many times, and it’s always good to keep the conversation going about blog etiquette.  As a blogger, there are several options when you receive a comment.  Tara basically listed them all:

1) Sit back and enjoy in silence.  BAD idea.  At least if you want people to come back.  I’m not saying that I respond to every single comment, but I try to answer MOST of them.

2) Email the commenter.  With Typepad, everyone who comments is required to leave an email address, and I receive my comments via email, so it is very easy for me to hit Reply and respond via email.  This is what I do most often, especially when what I have to say wouldn’t be of interest to anyone but the commenter.

3) Respond in the comment section.  This is always a nice thing to do so.  This way your readers get a sense of community when they visit your blog.  My bet is that since I respond most often via email that people who don’t comment often probably don’t realize how interactive I really am with my readers.  The downside to this is that not everyone will come back and check comments on a post, so the person you respond to might miss your comment. Which brings me to #4.

4) Email AND respond in the comments.  I do this when what I have to say is something I want my readers to see.  I return the email so the person I’m responding to is sure to hear me.  And then I copy it and go to my blog and paste it in the comments so other readers get the benefit of the conversation as well.  Sometimes I alter it a bit to be more general, it just depends on the situation.

I’m working on moving my blog to WordPress, and one of the reasons I’M SO PSYCHED is that there is a plug-in that allows your email comment to also post in the comment section of the blog post.  WOOT!  When that happens, I expect you will see a lot more of my responses in the comment sections.

The other thing I try to do is visit the blog of new commenters.  I don’t always have time for this, but I try to check it out and leave a quick comment.  It’s always appropriate to return the visit when someone comments on your blog.

So that’s my 2 cents on comments.  If you have any bloggy questions, always feel free to ask!  I am more than happy to talk blogging until the cows come home.