Monday, October 3, 2016

Is Commenting Back Still a Thing?

Any Questions?
Flickr Credit: Matthias Ripp
I started blogging because of the fad.

Blogs were cool—I think there were various articles suggesting they would be good for your business, maybe your life. I didn’t know about those until later. I just made one because my friends were making them, too. For a lot of people, the formula went something like, post twice, forget for a month, try again, and then delete the thing.

That didn’t happen to me. I think I thought it would be good blogging practice if I posted often, so despite the fact that I was doing this alone, I stuck to it. I didn’t understand why people thought it was fun, but I still did it anyway.

Then I found the book blogging community and realized the entertainment and social factor were not myths. I wanted to comment on other people’s blogs, and, surprisingly, they wanted to comment back on mine.

I know that at least some of my traffic came from a project created by Readers in WonderlandBloggers Commenting Back. It’s about as simple as it sounds. When someone comments on your blog, you go and comment on theirs. Personally, I never really participated. My general philosophy is if you don’t have anything [nice] to say, don’t say nothing at all. I have my mean commenter side, but if I feel stupid compared to other people commenting or have no opinion then I don’t force myself to force a comment. Those are pretty painful.

Anyway, back to the thing: commenting back. I remember seeing people displaying the banner and feeling very curious about it. Bloggers who wrote good comments seemed to make them popular and good at making new friends. They got themselves out there. From what I’ve observed, that seems less of a thing now. Why is that, I wonder?

Blogging is less big now. Many people have realized that blogs are not the next Facebook, and nobody blogs forever. To me, this suggests there are fewer people blogging than a couple years ago and fewer people making blogs. That would contribute to the commenting back downsize.

Also, new bloggers might not know. It is always great to see new faces in the blogosphere, but they might not come in with a working knowledge of what was going on three years ago. Which is fine—how would such people know? But, it also means that people aren’t necessarily jumping on the “commenting back” bandwagon anymore.

Finally, I bet it’s tiresome. I actually struggled to find a Bloggers Commenting Back banner on blogs where I knew I’d seen it before. Some people have taken it down. But I have no judgment. Blogging is hard, and commenting back is harder. People lose the time and ability to comment back as they once had, and especially since a lot of book bloggers are in this gig for free, commenting back is an even greater toll on their time. There isn’t always enough compensation to make commenting back worth it, and I think that’s okay to admit. Like I’ve said before, you as a person are more important than your blog.


I guess I’m curious, though—has the “Bloggers Commenting Back” movement ended for good? Have bloggers lost interest? Do they only comment on blogs they really enjoy? Do they still comment back, but without identifying themselves by the banner? I don’t know. Perhaps you do.

Is commenting back a priority on your blog?

16 comments :

  1. I kind of attribute "commenting back" to the reason I even have a big blog, actually! For me it's a huge thing! I never displayed the banner, though, because I haaaate displaying buttons/banners. I like clean looks on blogs *nods* But I do agree that it's become less of a thing. I'm not sure blogging is on the decline, but I know older bloggers leave and new bloggers come and It takes a while to build up relationships/connections again. I realised the other day that like HALF the people I used to chat with last year aren't even around anymore. *sad face* So I agree that commenting back doesn't seem like such a big thing for a lot of bloggers anymore, but it still is for me. bahha.😂

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    1. No, I get that. I like clean layouts, too. And it's too bad that you've lost track of some of the cool people out there. :/ Still, it's great that it's still a big thing for you!

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  2. Commenting back on every blog whose author commented on mine would completely exhaust me with everything else I have going on. BUT, I do make a point to respond to every. single. comment I get on my blog. I hate it when a comment I leave on somebody's blog seems to go unnoticed. It makes me feel invisible, because I took the time to reply to a conversation somebody started, and that's where it ended. That being said, I often find new blogs because of first time commenters, so I make an effort to visit where I can. :)

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    1. You say that and I reply to you a month later. XD Yeah... In this case, I am sorry I took so long to respond. But, school. Anyway, it's cool that you are able to find new blogs that way!

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  3. I basically have 15 or so blogs that I actively follow. Most of those blogs I've followed for a year or more (like yours!). I am loyal to them, because we've had conversations and seen each other around for a long time. I put time into keeping up with them because we've already built a kind of relationship, and we're interested in what the other has to say.

    For me, there is no connection with people I don't know who comment on my blog. The biggest problem (apart from time) is that so many of the comments I get are one or two off, and I never really get to know the person, let alone their blog. This makes it hard for me comment on their blogs when I finally get to them, because I don't feel like I have anything worthwhile to say?? There are only so many people that I can follow back without having too many blogs to keep up with. It's also hard to keep up with the different people who drop by. Mostly out of habit (the rest is shyness or something), I find it super hard to comment on a blog if I don't know the person.

    I always reply to comments I get (although this can sometimes take a while), because it's an important part of building a blogging community around me.

    Very thought provoking post, Heather!

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    1. Huh, that is a great way to do it. I imagine that sticking to that loyalty also makes it easier to keep track of people and also feel like you're getting a good deal out of your blogging experience.

      *nods* I feel that. Meeting and talking to new people can be difficult. I don't know if I operate with a "get to know you" vibe; I like to just thank people for stopping by, but I get that.

      And yeah. Haaaaa. Me too? *wince*

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  4. I definitely think blogging isn't as big of a thing now - it's something I was going to write a post on, actually. In my internship at the moment (which is in the PR field) promotions are definitely very geared to influencers (in particular Youtube/Instagram) rather than bloggers. A pretty huge shift in the past few years.

    I'm hopeful for blogging though, still, because I love it and I can't see myself stopping any time soon. I do try to comment back - I'm really appreciative that people take the time to visit my blog, so I feel like it's courtesy to repay that :)

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    1. *nods* That's interesting how your internship is responding to the demographic shifts out there! I'd totally be interested in reading what you have to say about that.

      It's great that you love it and that you do spend time commenting back. That's very nice of you! :)

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  5. Hmm...I try to comment back where I can, but you're right, it's frankly exhausting, especially if the comment was more of an advertisement than anything (though all comments are great). But there are a few blogs that I genuinely enjoy and keep up with (such as yours), and I either comment for the author or their post.

    Good points here. :)

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    1. I mean, I suppose there is a difference between real comments and spam, so I don't really know what to say about that. And it's great that you prioritize a few blogs you really care about. :)

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  6. Hmm, interesting thoughts. I try to comment back as often as possible, but I just don't have as much time to do it as I used to. *sighs* Also, like you said forcing a comment when you don't really have anything to say or don't know what to say is really painful for everyone involved. :p


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbosityreviews.com

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    1. Yeah, the time thing is definitely putting this blog on the decline, for one thing. XD And yeah, people can tell when you don't mean it, which is awkward.

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  7. Gotta love the honesty of your first sentence there, Heather. *thumbs-up*

    (I really think I need to keep up with what's going on in the real world because a) blogging was a big thing? and b) it isn't anymore? I get on these trends waaaay too late.)

    I always try to comment back, but like you basically said, we're all human and have time commitments and stuff. And we're doing this for free because we love it, we shouldn't have to feel pressure about what we're doing/not doing. Although I do always like it when someone comments back for me, so I try to do the same. But I try to not beat myself up about not doing it.

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    1. *tongue click and finger guns*

      (I mean it felt that way but I don't know if you're going to find that CNN said anything about it.)

      *nods* I think the biggest thing is that commenting back is a convention, and if you don't obey these conventions then it can be difficult to get anywhere in these areas.

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  8. I always try to comment back if someone posts a comment on my blog. I won't do it if I have absolutely nothing to say though. I'm a baby blogger (by which I mean I've been blogging for less than a year, not that I blog about babies) and I've heard a Bloggers Commenting Back. I just try to do it because, when I first started out, a lot of the blogs that I read did it, so I guess it just seemed to be blogging etiquette.

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    1. *nods* Well, in many ways, it is good manners, so I think it's admirable that you are doing that! Especially since you have a baby blog, it will help you meet new people and that might be nice. :)

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Check it out, comments and stuff. I love to hear from readers, and I always respond to commenters! Here's the fun part—if you leave a link to your blog I'll show up and comment back. I have just one rule down here: Don't Be a Problem. This spans the entire umbrella of rudeness and crudeness, so I reiterate: Don't Be a Problem. Thanks for stopping by!