This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Monday, March 12, 2012

It's Not All About You: Self-Centered Blogging

        The biggest problem with this post is that it probably won't be read by the bloggers that it's directed toward.  And if in the improbable circumstance that one of these bloggers does read this post, they probably won't recognize the fact that I'm talking about them.

        If you're visiting my blog today, and especially if you're leaving a comment, you are a participant in an interaction, the kind of exchange that builds blog relationships and establishes a line of communication from which we could potentially learn something.  And if I know that you have stopped by to visit--that is by leaving a comment--I will more than likely be by your blog eventually and leave my comment there.  If I don't then shame on me and I apologize.

       The way I see it blogging is a two way street--an exchange of ideas.  You show me your support and I'll make an effort to support you.  If I come visit your online space then I'd like for you to show me some attention too.   Reciprocity is the name of the blogging game and most of my readers know that already.

       You probably know who I'm talking about.

       It's not the blogging superstars who have valuable content that can't be missed.  Everybody is visiting them and those big time bloggers not only might not be able to make reciprocal visits to bloggers who leave comments on their sites, but they might not even be able to respond to all of the comments they receive.

       And I'm not talking the mega-best-selling authors or celebrity bloggers who will get adulation from their fans no matter what.  It's unlikely that I would leave a comment to get lost in the hundreds of comments they receive and those who do probably aren't expecting any acknowledgement to any comment they might leave.

      Who I'm talking about is the bloggers with relatively small followings.  These bloggers might be posting excerpts of their works or expounding ideas from behind their bloggy podiums thinking they have tons of readers waiting for their next words.  I say to those bloggers:  Look at your comment section.  Do you have any?  And if so are you responding to them?

       Many times I have come upon a blogger who seems interesting and who has decent content on a blog that seems to be consistently published.  I will often leave a comment in order to engage with that blogger and receive either no response or a fairly inadequate brush-off.  Then I'll note that they often have very little in the way of followers or comments on any posts.  I understand why.

        Some bloggers have busy schedules--I realize that.  But still that's a rather lame excuse since many interactive bloggers also are busy.   Some may be shy or may not understand how blog operation works.  I would imagine there are bloggers with that handicap and I hope they are working on that.  I'll be glad to offer help if they would like.

       However, there remain those bloggers who maintain an arrogance that suggests that they think they are more important than other bloggers.  Well, I'm here to tell you that you are not a center of the blogosphere.  It's not all about you.   You most likely have very few adulating fans, if any at all, who anxiously await your next utterance of pure genius.

       That's what I want to tell you.   But I'm sure you're not listening.

Have you come upon any self-centered bloggers?   Do you ever try to offer suggestions in comments to help bloggers who may not know how to blog properly?   Why do you think some bloggers consistently offer fairly decent content, but have no interactions with others?

And now for something lighter.  Another video entry came in before closing.  This one is from Jocelyn Rish.
Thank you Jocelyn and all of the other entrants.  Be watching for the voting poll in the next few days.

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  1. Well said Lee, If I put my picture to follow someone I try and always leave a comment, but I am amazed at the number of people who follow me I don't get a comment I write to thank them for being a follower and find the majority have no blog and no way to contact them.....I'm confused,


  2. I understand what you mean and maybe I'm one of the bloggers you are talking about, but I will say I stop by and read as many blogs as I have followers. Most of the time I don't leave comments, & I put my hand up to that, but I do leave a comment if I feel I have something to add or it hasn't already been said.

    Best wishes Arlee,

  3. Certainly interaction is important, but sincere comments that create meaningful interaction far outweigh the 'love the look, love your words, look at me, buy my stuff,' type of comments.

    Is blogging supposed to be about 'head hunting' or something more meaningful? I'll go for the meaningful relationship every time. Then I'm probably not a very good blogger and certainly never intend to be a 'super blogger'.

  4. Entirely agree on comments being the start of a conversation, but I do wish there was a way of disabling the "Prove you're not a robot" thing. It's very off-putting.

    I respond to comments as soon as I can, but suspect that general technophobia is making it harder than it should be as I often don't get notified about them.

    Mind you, I'm a newish blogger and still finding my way through the Google minefield.

  5. Like Yvonne, I get those followers who have no blog or anything to follow, which is fine I guess, but what gets me are those who would follow a few times, and I want to repay the favour and start reading their blogs, make comments... then nothing back. I don't get it, so I move on.

    The doggies are so cute.

  6. Hi Lee .. interaction is the name of the game - blogging can't be a one sided process (unless major illness or disaster causes us to opt out occasionally). I do take into account peoples' situations if I know them - and that makes me more inclined to leave a comment.

    Not being able to leave comments is a nuisance - as it appears one sided .. or might do;

    while the other thing is other bloggers perhaps think you're no longer visiting that site ..

    But nothing is just not on! Another good post - Cheers Hilary

  7. I agree - it is a continuous juggling act - trying to spend as much time reading and commenting on others blogs as working on my own. As one who has miniscule numbers following..I feel sad when the blog is clearly NOT about engaging in dialogue. They are missing a trick here I think.

  8. I have to agree with this Lee but the thing is that in my eyes, the people who don't interact and who are very selfish, self-centred Bloggers, just like you say are the ones who don't benefit because then the good ones just move on and ignore them, so they are the ones who fail to benefit, not us!

    I fear ever becoming big, like as big you are on here and struggling to keep up with all of my followers because I struggle already and I have quite a narrow base of the same people who visit. I seriously fear that day when it comes haha!

  9. First of all, I've been enjoying the videos but today's is my fave...I DO love dogs!!

    I do have a few followers who, in a year's time, have left zero comments. I have some who comment on every post. Some reply when I leave a comment, some don't. Most fall in between somewhere. I don't take it personally either way - I interact/comment/blog when I can, and go about my life and try not to think about it too much...otherwise, I'd lose my mind.

  10. I know exactly what you're talking about. I always make it a point to follow-up with those who leave comments on my blog. Returning the favour can lead to good friendships!

  11. I think some comments are conversation starters, but most are comments not really requiring a direct response? It is polite to visit people's blog if they have been to yours and I always try to do that. I've noticed that sometimes I receive an email when I've been on someone's blog and I'm not sure how they do that (if there's a short-cut to responding via email, I do think it's a nice, personal touch).
    Blogging is to me more about connecting with people rather than speaking at them, otherwise it's a very short-lived win.
    Looking forward (and slightly fearfully) to the A-Z challenge - love adds with dogs!

  12. Hi Lee, You've done it. Over 1000 signed up for the A-Z. Yay!

    Heavens! I hope I don't appear as a self centred-blogger category :O0!
    Sometimes I seem to spend all day blogging and don't get anything done. I really don't know how you keep up Lee with all your followers. I always try to reciprocate visits for those who comment on my blog, though sometimes health and life and computer viruses/glitches get in the way.

    BTW I have a blogfest for the letter P if anyone is stuck for a topic.

  13. I love the advert.
    Thanks for the chuckle, Lee. Pawsitively marvellous!

  14. I actually just stopped following what used to be one of my favourite blogs. She had a dedicated group of followers and had much interaction with them but nobody else. When she was hard up for money, I sent her some. I bought her merchandise, trying to help. Still, I felt like an outcast and definitely felt that self-centeredness you're talking about. Finally I realized she just wasn't worth my time or energy.

  15. Back again:
    I love psychology so this topic intrigues me.
    I know someone exactly as you describe who actualy owns 16 blogs and has about 3 followers to share between them. He told me that 'if the writing is good enough it should stand on its own merits',that he should not need to follow/reciprocate/comment on others blogs. He wasn't interested in blogs that shared the daily activities only those that shared writing excerpts and tips and usually follows them privately...
    I gave him my take on the psychology of blogging and he ignored me. (I've know him since high school)

  16. Good, positive criticism. I need to increase visits to other bloggers. I know time is limited, but it's no excuse.

    Well said, Lee.


  17. Gee, I don't know what to say or maybe I do, but I won't.

    Except, I think we all do the best we can.


  18. I know a few bloggers who write really informative and interesting posts on a regular basis, but they don't often visit other bloggers. And I wonder - who are you writing for? Why are you blogging?

  19. Good topic, and I can relate to a lot of the other comments left.

    I'll sometimes see I've got a new follower, cool!:

    "Great blog, check mine out" you go over and they've got tons followers and you never hear from them again.

    It also is disappointing when you continually visit someone's place (because you enjoy their content) and they never once visit. I wonder why.

  20. It's so true. Blogging = interaction. At least in my opinion. And I have run across a few bloggers who seem to live behind a wall and just toss a post over once every three days without ever coming out to say hello.

  21. My problem is that I'm a computer klutz and haven't figured out how to respond to comments.I'd love to chat with you, but the technical facility is missing.

  22. Interestingly, I agree and disagree with you.

    First of all - I know who you are talking about. And I know I'm one of them, sort of. When I started blogging back in 2008, I was all about the comments and the followers, and back then I had the time, the energy and the desire to visit many blogs and leave comments. I gained followers, and I felt the love of the blogosphere.

    At some point, though, this became too much of a full time job in a daily life that already included work and studies and friends and family. I couldn't keep up. In addition I felt an increasing quesiness towards the part of the blogosphere "love" that felt less like love and more like "if you rub my back I'll rub yours". The idea that I was somehow obliged to leave comments on blogs just because they had left a "cool post" on mine, felt wrong and fake.

    Obviously I could have given up on blogging altogether. Instead I chose to give up on the reciprocity part of it. I still read and appreciate the comments visitors leave on my blog, and occasionally I reply. I don't read as many blogs as I'd like anymore, and when I do I only sometimes leave a comment. If I do, though, it is *always* because I feel like it, and never because I feel obliged.

    Do I have fewer readers and comments? Of course. Do I mind? Not so much. I don't blog to get massive amounts of readers - that was never the point to me. And unlike some of the other commenters here, I also don't blog to form relationships. I have, in some cases, and I'm grateful for that, but I don't spend time or energy grieving those who disappeared because I changed my blogging philosophy.

    So - to sum up. If you want a large readership and if you want to form relationship through blogging, reciprocity is the name of the game. You are absolutely right in that.

    But some of us just want to write. To answer Alex' question above - I am writing for myself. And the only reason I do it on a blog rather than in private, is that I know I wouldn't write at all if there wasn't at least a chance that someone might read it. I don't need anyone to read, and I don't mind, but it's not the main point for me.

    Lee, I hope that even though we have completely different blogging philosophies you know that I have utmost respect for what you do. The A-Z-challenges, for instance, have been amazing networking events for so many bloggers over several years now. For some of us they have also been excellent incentives for regular writing. For that I thank you.

  23. Thanks for boldly putting this message out into the blogosphere, Lee.

    Some bloggers just might not know any better. When I first started blogging, I didn't. :(

    Everybody was saying, "Build your platform. Build your platform." So I assumed that was what blogging was for. But this last time I started blogging (a little over a week ago), I studied blogs first. And I noticed that the blogs I favored were the ones where the blogger seemed to take a genuine interest in the followers rather than expecting the followers to take an interest in them. So I learned. And now I know that blogging is a way to offer something to the writing community and not just to build a platform. :)

    I do respond to all comments, but I respond on the blog rather than email--which is also how I prefer bloggers to respond to me. But to each his own.

    Again, thanks for boldly telling it like it is.

  24. there are bloggers who write only for themselves, and they don't expect comments nor followers. I don't quite get them, because they might as well write in their own diary not on the internet. But as you said everybody can do what they want with their blogs, but everybody must be prepared to face the results as well, the results of their behaviour in the blogosphere.
    I'm more bothered by hundreds of bloggers who visit you every day and leave comments such as GREAT ONE, SUPER, COOL, LOVE THE POST, only so that you would visit them too and possibly click on the adds they have in their place :) I always return the visit, but such kind of business can be really pointless and exhausting.

  25. This is very interesting. I know I'm a self-absorbed blogger at times. :P In my defense, though, I feel that commenting is tedious on many people's blogs with the captchas, etc. Places such as FB make commenting very easy, and tagging people to know you've responded to them. With blogger, I often lose track of comments I've posted.

  26. When someone leaves a comment on my blog, I usually respond to that comment right there on my blog. (I moderate comments so it might not appear automatically but it will later that day or the next.) I do it because it feels like a conversation of sorts, recognition of someone who took the time to give their thoughts or opinions.

    I read a lot of blogs but I don't comment on all of them every time. It depends on the post, it depends on how much time I have etc. I figure the same thing goes for the people who visit my blog.

  27. ah, back to the confusion. In the beginning, I thought it was impolite to respond to comments on my blog. Now I have a different issue. I respond, but do they KNOW I responded? If it's really important, I just send them an email. Each one of us is at a different level here, some of us know to subscribe to comments, some of us leave a comment, even a good one, and walk away and forget about it. I am an artist and part of why I blog is to get my message out there. Unless someone else's blog is AMAZING, I will start to feel insulted if they never comment on my blog. I think it pays to be a little chatty in the blog world.

    Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors

  28. I can understand why bloggers sometimes don't respond to comments. I know that I get into "droughts" where I'm writing content for my blog, but just run out of time to go through and reply to all the comments, or I let my feed reader get a few days behind. I don't think I've seen the "arrogance" you mentioned, but maybe I'm just not visiting those blogs that are guilty of this. Most of the time it seems to me that bloggers just get busy. I know most of us are splitting our time between work, family, etc. To me, blogging is a hobby (and though it goes hand in hand with my hobby of reading, reading does trump blogging if I'm running low on time), not a necessity.
    That said, I think most bloggers do try to respond to comments and visit the blogs of others when they have time.
    You've definitely introduced an interesting discussion - I'm looking forward to monitoring it further!

  29. Yeah, it is rare that I don't respond to someone's comment on my blog. Unfortunately, I realize that I should comment back on their blog letting them know that I saw their comment because I know that not all bloggers go back to a blog to see if the author responded.

  30. I follow a lot of blogs that don't follow me and, as far as I know, have never even visited. I don't mind this at all, I follow them because I like what they write. What does annoy me a bit is when post after post, I leave them a comment, sometimes I'm the only one, and they never ever respond. I still read them because I like their stuff, but it makes me wonder if they even read my comments.

    As far as people who comment on my blog, I always respond to them (although sometimes it takes a few days), and I visit their blogs if they have them. I'll read a few posts to see if I like the content. If It's not for me, then I'm afraid I don't follow them. I follow so many blogs that I cannot read ones I don't enjoy. Often it means they don't come back to mine, and that's completely understandable.

    One thing, if you're a new reader to my blog. Leaving a comment that says only 'I followed you, now be a good blogger and follow me' is guaranteed to make me not want to follow you. (Even though I will check you out, because you may be a new blogger).

  31. I totally agree! And I do know several of these folks. For me blogging is about getting to know lots of fun people :)

  32. I need to better at leaving comments on other peoples blogs. I read them but I'm more of a lurker..but I will work on that good read!

  33. Thank you! I thought I'd turned my captcha off! :)

  34. Well said, Lee, well said! I try to visit at least five blogs a day and post comments when I see something interesting. The lack of response from the blogger is discouraging. My oldest blog has a tremendous (for me) number of hits from more than 200 countries, but I rarely get comments. When I do, I always respond. Even if they don't say anything to which I can reply, I at least thank them for stopping by my place, tell them I appreciate the fact they took time to read my words and look at my pictures, and invite them to come again. It takes time, but it's time well spent. Thanks for this post!

  35. My life has been enriched by interaction with fellow bloggers. I think to each their own but I do think bloggers miss out on so much if they are not getting involved. It is hard to keep up and we can only do the best we can each day. I know I have missed some followers at moments when I have been overwhelmed. Unless someone's blog is very interesting and if I comment a bunch of times with no comments back. I usually move on. Just like in life...I don't want to put energy into things or people that don't want to support me back.

    Great video, Jocelyn!!! Love it!

  36. Whoa! This has been much more of a response than I had expected. To dispel any concerns that I was talking about any of you, don't worry you are not included and like I said in the post I would be very surprised if some of those bloggers showed up here.

    I really didn't expect such fantastic well thought-out comments as I have received today. As I mentioned the other day, I am in a quandary about how to address comments now. I am trying to reply to each one directly where possible and may try to get to individual responses in this comment section later on.

    If you are reading this message and have left a previous comment and will come back, please let me know and I will be sure to respond to your comment here.

    Thanks to all for the great response to today's piece.


  37. I'll admit, sometimes I'm a bit slow to respond to comments. But I try, and its good to keep all this in mind.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  38. Great post! I have seen comments on my blog and have been followed (and who I have followed, because I like their blog) by bloggers who have never commented again...its obvious that they wanted the ol' "I'll follow you if you'll follow me" I always thought that to be silly. why follow if you have no intentions of reading the blog? I follow blogs that I want to read. and I do. I may not be able to get around to getting there everyday...that takes hours! But I do comment. It's every Bloggers dream to see that people are reading and enjoying their work. And If I enjoy comments then others do too. As in Everyday life I find that there are takers and givers. The takers take and take but eventually find themselves alone. Givers might get frustrated and feel taken advantaged of, but in the long run they are the one who reap the most rewards in the end by being so giving. You are a great example of that. A to Z has opened the doors to many. So try not to let selfishness get you down. Keep being you and just let them be them...eventually you will see who comes out on top....One guess as to who that will be! :0)
    Have a great day.
    Blessings, Joanne

  39. Thought-provoking topic and post, Lee. I go back and forth on this one. Occasionally I'll respond to comments on my blog via email, or on the post itself, but my favorite type of reciprocity is to return the favor by visiting the commenter's blog and commenting regularly. I'd rather have someone come to my blog and leave a comment than to respond to my comment via email. So that's what I try to do as well. I'm not always 100% with it, but it's a work in progress.

  40. I don't have time for a long comment, but I do want to say this:
    The ones that bother me are the ones that are really "good" bloggers while they're struggling. But they get a good agent or a publishing deal and, suddenly, they stop responding to comments on their own blogs, they stop leaving comments on other blogs, that whole thing. Basically, it's like, "goal achieved; I can quit pretending now." There's at least one person with a book coming out that I no longer intend to buy because I feel like I was used on his way to a publishing deal.

  41. Interesting points, Lee! I can understand why some people would be bothered by "selfish" bloggers, but it doesn't bother me. We have no idea what's going on in other people's lives, and I think it's ignorant to assume someone is selfish just because he or she doesn't comment on other blogs. If I comment on someone's blog or follow him and he doesn't reciprocate, it doesn't matter. If I like your blog, I'm going to follow you whether you follow back or not. If I've got something to say, I'm going to comment whether you comment on mine or not. I blog because I like to and I leave the pettiness out of it!

    First of all, I want to say that was a wonderfully inventive video ad for the 'A To Z Blogfest'. You can't never miss with dogs, but Jocelyn Rish went well beyond canines and displayed her extraordinary capacity for creativity. Big time kudos to her.

    As far as the bulk of today's 'Tossing It Out' blog bit is concerned...

    Well, we have discussed this topic numerous times over the years, so I won't go into a lot of detail (again). Suffice to say that, for me personally, my biggest issue is with bloggers who NEVER or VERY RARELY acknowledge comments left for them on their blogs.

    As you know already, I never wanted anyone "Following" my blogs out of any sort of misplaced sense of "obligation" - I NEVER wanted someone "Following" my blog just because I was "Following" theirs. I only wanted people who really liked what I posted to "Follow" my blogs.

    I was always willing to "Follow" another person's blog regardless of whether or not they "Followed" mine. And even now, I still am "Following" some bloggers who do not "Follow" me. I am perfectly fine with that.

    But where I draw the line is with bloggers who seldom acknowledge a comment I've left on their blog installments. I don't need them to reply to every comment I leave - that's asking too much - but they damn sure had better respond once in awhile or I will eventually discontinue "Following" their blog.

    If I'm going to take the time and trouble to leave a comment for you, (Unknown Blogger), the least you can do is acknowledge it occasionally. If not, be sure I will drop you when my patience with your silent rudeness runs out.

    One last thing I want to say (which is slightly off-topic but still relevant here) is that, in my opinion (which might not be common), Bloggers who post a new blog installment every single day might want to rethink that.

    There are a few bloggers out there right now who I am aware of, and who frequently post blog bits that interest me, but I don't officially "Follow" their blogs ONLY because they post TOO OFTEN!

    I don't like seeing the blog bits of others I am "Following" get quickly buried under an avalanche of daily blog bits by one or two "Every-Day-Bloggers".

    In the past, I found that by "Following" those folks, I often missed seeing postings by other bloggers I enjoy reading, because the Dashboard notifications got piled on so quickly. And I don't have time to click on each blogger's name in my Dashboard to make sure I haven't missed any of their recent postings. So instead, I decided to discontinue "Following" those bloggers who publish something new every single day.

    I realize I probably hold a minority opinion about this, but regardless, it IS the opinion I hold and have held for quite some time.

    So... even if I enjoy much of what you write, dear bloggers, if you compose and publish something new just about every single day, I'm not going to be "Following" your blog, and that's too bad because in a couple of cases that I can think of right off the top of my head, I would LIKE to "Follow" those bloggers, but they clobber my Dashboard with quantity and bury everyone else's blog bit notifications.

    ~ Stephen

  43. Hi Lee,
    Your posting looks very familiar to numerous postings I have submitted on this very subject. Coincidentally, my last posting alluded to this. Madeleine Maddocks informed me of your posting about the very same subject.
    Lee, my blog is over five years old and I have done my utmost to be proactive within the great blogging community. All different, all equal.
    You may realise that a number of self-obsessed, self-centred, self-promoting bloggers, are very insecure folks who crave attention. I have received numerous emails from such people who have opened up to me about their insecurities.
    Now Lee, I spend several hours commenting back on my blog and commenting back to other blogs. Yet, despite this, I have nowhere near the awareness of my site that you do. Of course, that doesn't matter. The main thing is that we are all here for each other in a sharing, caring blogging community.
    Through the tireless work on my unassuming, non-promoting site, I have had the most arrogant of bloggers, open up to me and thus the community at large.
    Anyway, my very similar posting will not get the recognition of yours. Then again, that's perfectly fine.
    With respect within this all different, all equal blogging community, Gary

  44. I am so happy that you posted this. There is a certain protocol that should be followed.

    My current post is along the same lines, offering some insight into what I have learned from the A-Z challenge. Its not ALL about you and your blog!

  45. Good for you! I hope I'm not one of the people you are talking about :) If I am, I'll do better, because I so hear what you are saying. If someone visits me, I will do my best to visit and follow them. I like getting to know bloggers on a more personal level and actually know that if I need to, I can reach out and my blog community is there for me...I appreciate that so much! I truly beleive these are my friends...Sorry something happened where you felt you needed to write this but nonetheless, thank you!

  46. I think I've met a few, but I've also found that while they begin as self-centered many discover the rewards of being inclusive bloggers. There is definitely a learning curve in this blogging business. I'm coming around the bend more every day.

    Love that A to Z is going to the DOGS!

  47. But look loads of comments to your post. I would never be able to cope so tend to keep my head down and respond to those who stay with me long term and regularly comment. It is hard enough to post every day + working + producing the odd Cardboard arty thing + home family and stuff.

  48. Oh sigh. I know what you mean, Lee. It can be so disappointing. I've found several blogs with nice content that are updated regularly, but when the blogger doesn't interact, what's the point? I think the best thing that happened to me as a blogger is that the first time someone I didn't know commented on a post, I emailed her and asked her how she found my blog, and we exchanged a few emails. Then I got the hang of basic blog-etiquette!

    I do take advice from the super-star bloggers, most of whom say "respond to comments!" So I always try to respond to every one. It's easy to be generous, and it gets the interaction that is, I think, the whole POINT of blogging! haha

  49. I love comments and I love dogs. :) *happy reader*

  50. First of all, Lee, thank you so much for posting my doggie video on your site. And thank you to everyone who's mentioned how much they enjoyed it. I love showing off my babies. :-)

    I'm pretty new to this whole blogging thing and still trying to figure out everything. Like others have mentioned, I sometimes get weary of the "scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" pall that hangs over the blogosphere. But at the same time, I've bet some truly incredible people from all over the world that I'd have never met without blogging. People I truly consider friends, not just internet acquaintances. So I guess it's like most things in life - you have to take the good with the bad. Enjoy the benefits you get from it, and try not to let the other stuff bring you down.

    Thanks again, Lee!

  51. I don't know. There are times when I am really good at responding to comments and other times when I'm just not, whether it be business or laziness or just not having anything to say.

    I love the dogs by the way.

  52. I write because I would write even if no one ever read it.

  53. Thank you for commenting on my blog. Wish I could figure a way to respond to you directly. I'm not exactly slow - but it's not like I'm fast, either. I'm more like - half-fasst.

  54. I like the point you made, it certainly makes me think about a few things.

  55. I think people tend to find it quite difficult to visit loads of blogs and comment every week, you really need to work at it some days (I find it quite hard to comment on cake recipes or pet photos).

    It's always great to get comments though.

    Moody Writing
    The Funnily Enough

  56. I can not believe the response to this post. I essentially sloughed off a post on a topic that doesn't really bother me like it did in the first few months of my blogging experience, yet it is something I wonder about sometimes. It looks like I've struck a chord of common experience and thought.

    I assure you that I'm not angry with any bloggers out there or crying in my blog over any lack of attention. Like Gary (Klahanie) indicated, the topic of commenting is a frequent one on many blogs including my own and this topic does tend to generate an enthusiastic response. I probably should have guessed, but I thought my approach would come across more like a whiny complaint.

    Thank you again for the fantastic feedback.


  57. I agree to an extent, but I am one of those busy people. At the moment, my nieces are taking a nap, which allows me to comment you. Soon, they will wake up, and I will have to juggle work and taking care of them. Young children are a full-time job. By the time they fall asleep, I am knackered. I don't always have time to comment back.

  58. I try to only blog on days I know I'm going to be able to read other people's blogs. If I don't have time, or think won't get to it, I won't blog. I feel bad if I blog and then don't read everyone else's blogs.

    I agree with the reciprocity thing, but I also think sometimes I only get comments on my blog if I seek out and comment on someone else's blog. My close blogger friends seek out my blog to comment mostly, but it's not much (and I do the same). Like someone else said, sometimes it seems to be too much of a "I'll comment on yours if you comment on mine". Like, I won't get any comments unless I comment on theirs.

    What I do on my blog days, is just go up my list of blogs on google reader and click on the people I know as well as the interesting blogs etc. Then I'll comment back to people who have left a comment on mine (if I hadn't already commented on theirs.). (but sometimes it seems like a race for myself all day- how many blogs can I get to so I can get them to read mine? And I shouldn't feel that way- I don't think it should be like that...but I still feel the pressure occasionally)

    Anyway, blogging and commenting seem to be a touchy subject and there is a whole range of how people do it. I try to do the best I can with the time I have, and be conscientious about fellow bloggers. But I do stick to my one rule- I don't blog if I don't think I'll make it to anyone else's blog that day.

  59. I definitely see your point, Lee. Unfortunately, the people who should see this post probably aren't the ones who visit other people's blogs.

    I do understand being overwhelmed by everything and not getting around as many people's blogs as a person might have in their early blogging days. As a generally shy person, it can be hard to think of what to say.

    But I agree that the interactions between other bloggers is so important. For me, it wouldn't be as much fun blogging without them. :)

  60. I used to be one of those, but mainly because I didn't want to be the guy who'd post and go "Hey! Check out my blog!" and be all spammy, so in the early days I kept myself to myself. Now I'm glad I've broken out of that and (where I can) contribute to the discussion.

  61. Dogs and kids steal the show!

    You are correct. If a blogger wants to create a following, he/she has to follow other bloggers. There are some awesome writers out there.

    Looking forward to the A to Z. Busy typing...

  62. Sure, I think we've all encountered this kind of blogger. Some of them are excellent bloggers, and may have gotten a lot of comments at one time, but after long periods of failing to acknowledge any of those comments, and never bothering to visit other blogs, the number of comments made on their blogs has gone down the tubes. With so many excellent blogs available, who has time to bother with one with zero interaction?

  63. I hear you and I am always thankful when you and others stop by to comment. I try to always respond either on the blog or by email

  64. I know what you're talking about. I try not to take things too personally, keeping in mind that sometimes bloggers just aren't aware of the etiquette. And I'm happy there are many bloggers out there who do know how to engage and respond to their readers and those tend to be the blogs I end up visiting regularly.

  65. This is something I have always struggled with. I try to respond to comments by email when I can. But I don't always get a chance to respond right away, and after a couple of days have gone by, I figure the commenter probably does care anymore anyway. With blogger's new commenting threads, I'm trying to do better. But I think this is something I will always have a hard time keeping up with.

  66. Great post. I don't always do as good of a job as I'd like in getting to all the blogs I follow. I'm really trying to do a better job of that. I still struggle with a time management problem.

    I'm somewhat curious about the blog followers who never come back to comment once they follow a blog. Or the ones who don't have blogs or any way to be contacted. Chalk it up to one of the great mysteries of blogging?

    Have a great week!


  67. I used to comment on every post I read -- I don't have the luxury of the time to do that now that I'm following many more blogs, trying to work seriously at my writing, and involved in other groups as well.

    I comment on every comment that is left on my blog, and I usually click over to check out that person's blog, if they have left a link. If it's something that I want to follow, I follow, but I see no point in following out of obligation.

    I do feel some frustration when I comment faithfully on a blog, but rarely see that person commenting on mine.

    I admit now that I read through things on a reader or in my email, and only click through when I truly have something to say. I think valuable comments are worth much more than "Great post, thanks!" -- what's the point of a comment like that?

    Another thing that frustrates me is when I try to respond thoughtfully to the comments on my blog, but realize that for the most part people aren't going to come back to read what I've said.

    A few people mentioned responding to people's comments by emailing them directly. I would find that too invasive unless I knew the person. I would not want that done to me, nor would I do it to anyone else.

    P.S. I really appreciate blogs where I can leave my name and url. Some blogger blogs, like this one, only let me leave my google account. Likewise, I far prefer to have a name and url left on my own blog for comments. It is much easier to simply click a link and get to someone else's blog than to have to go through their google account, which perhaps has several blogs, and try to figure out which one to look at.

    Nuff said.

  68. Hi Lee,

    Interesting post today. I certainly know what you're talking about, but I feel as if those bloggers who do not reciprocate the insight and passion that you share with them are not worth the time of your anguish or frustration. Though I have a small following, I try my best to keep in touch and build those relationships. It's another one of the "quality over quantity" ideas, and I firmly believe that the quality of relationships in blogging is what truly matters! It seems that you have a great pack of followers here, so you are certainly in good company!

    Hope you're doing well.
    Keep Smiling,
    Vanessa from Optimal Optimist :D

  69. I've visited some bloggers that never seem to visit me in return. I eventually stop going there too. I don't offer advice to anyone unless that ask and then I admit to being a far from expert.

  70. This is a good one Lee. I know I have times where I can barely get around to the blogs I like to read the most...and those times sometimes mean less commenting. No excuse, just a fact I face up to every time I DON'T leave a comment.

    I don't ever try to come across as self-centered but seeing as how I have no control over any readers opinions, their thoughts are their own. Although on occassion I can be rather smug. :)

    I appreciate the comments I do receive. I am well aware some of my "followers" may never have commented beyond the first time they clicked the Follow button. I am also aware that I am somewhat "outside" the group that follows most of the blogs I follow. The vast majority are writers of some genre and while I enjoy reading many of their sites, I can see how my content my not fit the general theme of most site they visit.

    Now that I have rambled enough to make this comment a post of its own, I will stop. Thanks for putting this out there and I promise I will comment more often when I visit here.

    Take care and ready for the Challenge to begin!

  71. This subject always leaves me pondering. I have mainly writers, poets and artists that come to my blog. Writers go the extra mile, poets tweeter on the fence and artist usually comment on one post.
    It bothers me...
    I have had some moments lately of being lame and haven't gotten back to my bloggers. I try to make up for it and play catch up on their posts. Sometimes I think I just need to pick a team and stick with it. I tried but didn't like it...
    Writers are the best bloggers! It is my opinion and I'm sticking to it!

  72. Wow, you got a lot of feedback on this one. Could it be that people are afraid of being 'that blogger'?
    I comment when I feel I have something to add. I try not to just agree with everything and be peachy, peachy. I also try not to be a complainer and add comments that are not constructive.
    I find that I often don't have anything to say for you because I am not into challenges and that type of thing. However, I like your blog because I don't read many men and you do have a quirky unique way of saying things.
    I talk too much irl, so I try to make my blog comments worthwhile! :)

  73. Usually I comment when I read a post. I respond when I get comments on my blog and if someone checks my blog out, I check theirs out.
    Right now, I am trying to get through the A-Z challenge list and I am not commenting on all of them. I followed many and will get back to them when I have more time. Last year I didn't even get to half the blogs and I am trying to do better this year.

  74. I try to make it through my list of blogging pals at least twice a week. Most post three times a week so if I hit two out of three of their blogs then I think I'm doing pretty good. Some weeks are better than others.

  75. I'm sorry Lee, I've been busy, just kidding. Awesome post! You must have been reading my mind. Only you were brave enough to put it out there. Hopefully "they" get the hint. Thanks!

  76. Hey Lee, Quite the windstorm over here! I wanted to share another post on the subject over at Beth Grace's blog - I think she perhaps did an A to Z at one time or another - that put four questions to readers about commenting and responding to comments. It also spurred up quite the conversation, and I thought you might like to read it too!

    Hope all is well :)

  77. I feel like I am in 1st grade and just got my hand gently slapped with a ruler. (yes I am that old that we used to have corporal punishment) I LOVE getting comments and read them, but don't always respond to them. I did just discover the reply to each comment option which makes it easier, but I tend not to. Somebody indicated that was improper because it would artificially inflate the comment numbers. I guess I need to take time to figure it out. Thanks for the love tap.

  78. I agree and it can sometimes feel as though some people are just collecting followers. I think that there can sometimes be a clash between what you write about and what your follower writes about. If you receive a comment from someone blogging about something you don't understand or can't relate to, I guess you feel less motivated to reply. But it really is a two way street and I love commenting, it's half the fun of blogging for me!

  79. I understand if peeps are busy but a lil thank you every now and then or a visit only takes a few minutes. I have silly anxiety problems and it took me a while before I had the guts to comment, even now with 78 already here it's freaking me out and I almost didn't do it. But the lovely Alex, I'm sure you know who I'm on about, left a nice comment on my blog a couple of weeks ago saying I shouldn't be afraid to comment, so now I've started stalking people lol, but it gets easier the more I do it! Thanks for a great post :)

  80. Arlee, commenting is an art form like good conversation. Some have the skills and some don't. I don't but am willing to learn.
    @Yvonne It's strange when you have a follower, but no way to recipricate. What do you do?

    The GeekTwins

  81. Hey Lee,
    Thanks for the post - this was interesting for me. I am just now moving from using my blog to update friends and family to trying to gain a wider audience, so I will definitely keep the commenting advice in mind :)
    And.. do you actually juggle objects, or just ideas and words?

  82. Great post Lee! I came back to watch the A-Z video entry. I couldn't view it on my IPAD. Jocelyn did a terrific job!
    oops, I meant teeter, like totter.
    There are exceptions to the rule! I provide poetry prompts on two sites. On one site, over 50 poems were linked. I commented on over 50+ poems and only 15 of those poets commented back. It is what it is...

  83. You make such good points. There are times I don't make my visiting rounds, but I try my best to reciprocate a visit. When people have huge followings and lots of comments I don't expect a return visit and I'm always surprised when they do make it.

    I have just come across the situation you speak of (in the Platform Crusade no less!)

  84. I came back Lee. BTW I have ditched the word verification on my blog and got rid of the anonymous option, so that should reduce the spam.

  85. Well, I have to admit I'm one of those who doesn't respond much to comments, so I have to weigh in. My brother is always telling me I have to respond more to comments to my posts, so this is nothing new. The problem isn't so much being self-centered. It's just most of the time I don't know what to say. If I write a post about "Futurama" and someone responds with, "I love Futurama," I feel like I can't think of anything to write beyond "Me, too," which sounds empty. But I'll try harder.

  86. I am absolutely flabbergasted by the response to this. I've been trying to respond to as many comments individually as I can, but I may not make it. If I don't get to yours (and even if I do), please come back tomorrow as I'm going to address some of the primary issues that you all have raised in these comments.

    I thank all of you for this amazing response.


  87. You talkin to me Arlee? You talkin to me?
    I try, god knows I try, to visit every blogger that leaves a comment on a post or follows my blog, but once in a while, I can't follow them home. Usually the way is clear. Sometimes a bio pops up, but not a link.
    And I do answer every comment ... eventually ... you see, I'm too cheap to buy internet access in hotels and sometimes my hands hurt, but I always get there ... eventually. NIce blog.

  88. I frequently don't comment because I don't have anything to say. I confess that my comments are frequently really non-comments, just "great post" or since most of the blogs I follow are about quilting, they are "beautiful" and "I love it". However, there are the bloggers with many followers who respond no matter what and occasionally check out my blog. Then there are those who never respond to me regardless of what the comment. I just stop commenting on those .. or if there are already 400 comments I don't bother.

    My blog isn't particularly witty or smart. It's just a place for me to write and show pictures of what I'm doing. I have made a few new friends and that's enough for me. I wish some of my other followers would comment from time to time just so I know they are really following -- and honestly I'm pretty sure they aren't. But as long as I have my few new friends, I'm okay.

    I hope I've never been rude and turned someone off, but chances are I have.

  89. Well I know you're not talking about me, Lee-

    My brush-offs are more than adequate!

    I agree you get out what you put in. I did try a push for more comments last year, but it did not pan out, and I spend too much time in front of a computer at my day job (lately days, nights and weekends) to want to spend a whole lot of time in front of one at home.

    But to any of your readers who happen upon this comment and are on the fence, I can attest that almost all of my followers came from participating in the A2Z challenge last year.


  90. You've definitely got people talking and thinking. for me that's what blogging's about.

    I've only had a personal computer for under 2 years (In my 50's!) and whilst I've spent that time reading I didn't know how to comment or how to blog. I've been blogging under 3 months and find it easier to comment now.

    Blogging from A-z seemed like a great teacher. After I joined up, you read a post, left a comment which meant a lot to me as such a novice and I responded.

    I'm very happy with my little blog and blog world just now. It will develop as I develop as a blogger. My guess is that there are many, like I was last year, wondering how to join the 'club'. I still am somewhat. They are wandering around the edge of the party, observing, enjoying the chatter, there's nothing wrong with that. Whilst you have your etiquette and following sorted why not leave them there awhile, they'll either come again and gradually get to know you or wander off to a party they feel more comfortable with.

  91. Adding my tuppence-worth - even though there are 90+ comments ahead of this!

    I try to drop into various blogs on a regular basis and always leave a comment - how else does the blog-owner know if I've called in?

    Sadly, not all if them reciprocate - one in particular is constantly self-promoting and even when I called him on it he says it's awful that people don't comment - but then he never does on my blog lately! :-(

    Sadly, I think the time has come to drop him from my blog-roll (&no, it's NOT you, Lee!) - life's too short to be expending energy on people who won't play fair.

    To be honest - I don't think he'll notice. Some people can be accused of 'blowing their own trumpet - he could be the entire wind section!

  92. Lee,

    I strongly agree with you. People take the time to comment on your blog so the least you could do is make a nice reply. It only takes a minute or two to put a smile on someone's face.

    Thanks again for your words of wisdom :)


    P.S. I really appreciate it when you go over to my blog and comment :) Thanks again!

  93. If I visit and comment on a blog I've recently discovered 5 days in a row, and get no response at all, I generally don't come back.

  94. I reply to mine more often than not. I will post a reply beneath the comment the visitor has made on my little blah-g and that's usually the extent of it. More often than not I have already been to that blog and left a comment and that person is returning the favor, as in a blog hop. I understand what you mean with the post. I saw it come up on my facebook feed:) Jill

  95. So many great comments and so little time to respond to them all! My best advice is do what you are capable of doing. If someone is making a obvious effort to engage in something specific then prioritize those comments, but otherwise most of the commenters are probably not overly concerned if they don't get a response so long you're at least an occasional visitor to their blogs and leave them a few decent comments.

    A lot of us have a lot of things going on and can only do so much.

    Thanks again not just for the comments, but for the high quality of those comments.


  96. I agree. I've always thought one of the keys to successful blogging was to reciprocate as best you could. Like you said, we're all busy, but if someone stops by my blog, I try and hop over to theirs. Sowing and reaping - good principle to apply.

  97. Good blog and amazing response. I've been blogging personally since 2006. I followed a couple dozen blogs and was religious in commenting on them.

    Fast forward to 2012, I have half dozen blogs and follow (not so religiously) hundreds. I also have to squeeze in time for daily life, writing & my motorcycle. ;-)

    I use a stand alone blog reader so in order to comment, I have to follow the link to my browser and them comment. I find I only comment when the topic is something that really interest me or I feel I have something to contribute.

    On my blogs, I tend to reply to comments via direct email. If that isn't available, then I usually only post a comment back if I feel others will benefit from my reply.

    Guess I need to think twice about that...oh, and I almost NEVER go back to see if there is a response to a comment I have made.

  98. I've been pondering this quite a bit lately but I never thought about actually doing a blog post on it! Your blog is a far better place to do it, though, as way more people will stop by and see it

    It took me a little bit of time when I started blogging to realize that there's a certain "protocol" - someone comments on your blog, and you go and visit and comment on theirs. It's kind of like good manners, I guess! And I'm cool with that. So it is a little disappointing when I spend an evening "visiting" a whole lot blogs and commenting on what's going on, and I get hardly anyone "visiting" in return.

    But there are only a handful of bloggers I visit that have NEVER, EVERY bothered to reply to me (no matter how many comments I leave), either by email or by visiting my blog. It's clear that they do interact with some bloggers, but they obviously feel themselves to important to interact with others!

  99. Thanks! I needed to hear this. I've always been a little shy about replying to comments, but I've been trying to get better at it. Thanks for the reminder.

    Lauren @ Word Art

  100. Cute video!

    I love it when folks leave comments and I enjoy responding back. I don't take it personally if folks don't weigh in, but that's me.

  101. I've been blogging to an empty room for a long time. I've absolutely been a self-centered blogger. The reason? I didn't know I wasn't supposed to be one! It wasn't until I started reading the (amazing) book "The Essential Guide to Getting Published" that I had an aha moment - the authors, the lovely duo known as the Book Doctors, gently pointed out that many first-timers to to the world of the internet have an if-I-build-it-they-will-come mentality. Oops. Guilty as charged! I thought all I had to do was write great content and interaction would overwhelm me! It was kind of wonderful, not mention enlightening, to have them explain that the key to social networking & blogging is, well, the SOCIAL part. Their advice? be a giver of gifts! Comment, follow, stop in, appreciate, take the time to loudly and actively enjoy OTHER PEOPLE'S work. That. they said, is the point - not you all on your own writing for nobody.

    This was a pretty big revelation for me. Navigating social media has always seemed very daunting. That advice - be a giver of praise & appreciation - seemed so solid and so obvious once I read it, but before I encountered it, it honestly hadn't occurred to me. Not because I'm a terrible ungracious person (I'm pretty sure, anyway), but because it's very easy to forget to be friendly and outgoing when you're not actually seeing the faces behind the work you're enjoying.

    And as soon as I started looking for blogs to follow, enjoy, and praise, I found the A to Z challenge! See, non-self-centered blogging is immediately and infinitely more rewarding. Now I just feel bad for folks who are still writing in a vacuum. Why sit in the corner (even if everyone else in the room is looking at you) when there's so many nifty interactions to be had?

  102. I cannot tell you how happy I am that I stumbled upon this blog! I just decided yesterday to start my own blog and I know I have a lot to learn about blogging etiquette, the rules of the game, and so on. I learned so much in just your one short blog that I feel confident in my new venture! I promise to balance my giving and receiving and be conscious of my reader and my fellow bloggers! Thank you Lee!


  103. Hmmm...I do follow this one particularly self-centered blogger from overseas, but she does say flat out, and quite often, that she IS self-centered and that she created the blog to talk about herself. Fair enough, lol. I read her blog for its entertainment value.

    As for me, I blog mostly because my blog is a time capsule of sort for me. It features mostly recipes, so it's also a virtual cookbook for my family as well. I'm always pleasantly surprised to receive a comment here and there; mostly my response is, "Honey, I got a comment! Someone actually found this recipe helpful, yay!"


  104. Tammy -- Just ran across your comment in my moderation folder. I don't mind so much if the blog content is self-centered. In fact I often expect it and hope for it. I'm often self-centered in my writing--I write what I know. What I'm talking about here though are the bloggers who never respond to comments or visit those who leave comments or acknowledge their audience in any way. If people are there merely to receive adulation then I start having some problem with that.



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