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Monday, March 2, 2009

Answering Comments...Protocol?

I would really like to know about answering comments. Some people do, some people don't. If I visit a blog and have a question I ask it and then I go back and check to see if it was answered, sometimes that leads to a more informative conversation and getting to know my blogger friends better. I have learned more since I started blogging in August of 2008 than I could have in any book! I really haven't given this much thought until I received a comment from http://flowergardengirl.wordpress.com and I thank you. How many of you ask a question when you are commenting and come back to check the answer? How many of you ask a question that just popped out because of something you saw on a blog and don't really care if you get an answer? Please be honest. I want to answer all questions and reply to comments....ONLY... if you are going to revisit to see the answer. It's getting closer to serious gardening time and who wants to spend all that time answering questions that no one really cares about?

37 comments:

Leedra said...

That is a gorgeous little flower. As for me, from my blog. In most cases if I want you to see the answer I post the answer on the blog, and use reply in email with the same answer. That way it does not appear that I am not answering. But you don't have to come back to my blog post to see. I don't always remember when I have asked a question and I personally do not have time to go back and revisit post.

Leedra’s Photos For Fun

Leedra’s Greeting Cards

Photography By Leedra

Darla said...

Thanks for your honest answer Leedra. I remember the questions I ask, not always were I asked them though..LOL

Gardeness said...

I have a question and I will be back for the answer! What is that gorgeous flower?

It's so true that outside duties are picking up. I really try to respond to all comments, especially questions. There are some days when time gets away from me, though, and it may be awhile before I can get to all of them. I do come back for answers to questions I leave on other blogs. I figure if they take the time to answer it I should look for it!

Mildred said...

Hi, Like Leedra, I try to answer with email and on the post. If I ask a questions, I usually go back to the post later to see if I got an answer. Hope this helps.

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

I try to reply to comments and answer questions. Some days I don't realize someone has left a comment on an earlier post and by then I figure they probably aren't coming back to check. Occasionally I go to Blotanical and leave a message on someone's plot. I've kind of figured out who answers comments and who doesn't. I go back to check on those blogs. I think either way is fine. I know everyone appreciates getting comments, but may not have the time to respond. I've been thinking too about how much time I'll have soon, but for now I will try to at least reply to the current days comments or questions.

Sue said...

If I have a detailed comment that I think the poster may comment further on, or if I ask a question, I click on the link for subscribing to follow-up comments that is in different places, depending on how the comments are set up, and where the blog is from. Then, I get all the comments in my email that others leave as well as those the original poster makes to anyone. If I'm interested in what others say, like when your son was injured, I let them keep coming. Otherwise, I unsubscribe after my comment is addressed.

I quit subscribing to follow-up comments on SkyWatch posts, and am very selective for GBBD, because it takes awhile to get through all those emails.

What I struggle with is whether I should address each comment individually. I try to sometimes, and other times, just address everyone. I get so behind, and with gardening season, will have to figure a way to be very efficient with blogging.

Sue, who is subscribing to the follow-ups on this post ;o)

perennialgardener said...

I always try to stop back by to see the response to a question I left on a post. Same with responding to comments left on my post. Sometimes if I have alot going on at the moment I can't so I leave a response directed to everyone.

Darla said...

Gardenss: the flower is a Dahlia, haven't been able to find another one like it. Although it was only purchased and planted summer 2008, don't think it will be coming back as I have re -done that area of the flower bed. And you are one of the ones that are really good at answering comments.

Mildred: Any info will help a lot. Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions.

Catherine: Like me, so many bloggers are happy to get comments they don't think about responding. The whole blotanical thing is still mind boggling to me. I don't think a response to a comment is as important as an answer to question. Especially about a plant, LOL!

Sue: I have never used or know anything about follow up comments. Thank you for remembering about my son's injury. Other than a few bouts of hate towards a certain race, (scares me, because he is the one that convinced us that skin color doesn't matter) he is doing very well! I think general comments can be addressed as a group or not at all, serious questions about learning gardening stuff is important. Thanks.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I'm glad you asked this question, Darla. It's hard... At first I posted comments back to EVERYONE who commented on my blog. That was alot of work --and I realized that people don't go BACK. I know that because I don't ever go back--even when I ask a question.. I just don't have time.

I WISH everyone would make their emails available --but many don't. That makes it harder. IF I have someone's email--I will answer questions that way. AND--I find that those I email with become better friends.

IF I don't have someone's email--the only thing I can do is to go to their blog and try to remember to answer their question there. But--that is hard also since I am answering so many blogs.

I still think the best answer is EMAIL--but then again, you have to get their email addresses. Do people not understand that you can set up blogger to use your email?????

I'm interested in what others do and say--so I will check back, Darla. Thanks for posting this one.
Hugs,
Betsy

Shellmo said...

I'd like a bouquet of those flowers! If I ask a question or leave a comment - I click the box to "notify" me of follow up comments.

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

At first I tried to reply to every comment. But I also like to visit blogs. I was getting so busy that I now answer questions directly on my blog...but don't reply to comments directly. I just go to visit each blogger at some point. It gets hard to do everything.

Rosemarie said...

OK - if I ask a question I check back for an answer. But sometimes people leave me the answer on my blog or send me an email - so I check those, too.

Darla said...

Betsy: This has been bugging me for a while now. We just need a general consensus and most everyone will be happy. I can't access your last post, your sidebar comes up and your header but that's all. Will check back in the morning. If my husband didn't have a 9 o'clock softball game tonight I would be sound asleep. My friggin' elbow hurts from that cortisone shot too. I don't think commenting on comments are as important as answering questions. Email is something I haven't thought alot about. I get quite a few answers that way though. That's how I got yours. Thank you for taking the time to give your ideas on this subject.

Tootsie said...

yea baby!!!! I couldn't have said it better myself!
I do however post the answer to the questions in a new post in time. I try to reply to all the comments I get when I can.
which brings me to my visit. I am so sorry I have been so quiet. Just not able to goof off right now as much as normal. I can't wait for normal to come back!
until then, I will visit when I can!

Darla said...

Shellmo: That ain't happening, I think I dug those Dahlia's up by accident, will be looking for more though. Apparently I need to learn about the notify me for follow up comments. Thank you!!

Thanks4today: I was going back to the blogs to answer questions left on my blog too. This does get hectic doesn't it?

Rosemarie: Exactly what I have been doing!!

Darla said...

Tootsie: What the hell is normal?
You are good at dedicating posts to just answering questions....we appreciate it too. Just trying to figure out what in the world is the most blog friendly way!! Your visits are always welcome and I do enjoy your blog.

O.I.M said...

ah yes, comment protocol. I've often thought about this myself. for a while i tried responding to every comment but that is a huge commitment and I eventually abandoned my efforts. if I get a very specific question I'll answer it in the comments section but I'll also visit the reader's blog and leave a comment there. as for checking back for responses to my comments on other blogs, sometimes yes, sometimes no. I sort of have an idea about everyone's comment response style and know where there is the potential for some back and forth chat.
irena

Darla said...

O.I.M.: I too, am learning paticular personalities for answering questions. I need to do better. That's one of the reasons for this post........Does anyone really care? Thank you for your time here.

Twisted Fencepost said...

I read so many blogs, that when I aska question, I have usually forgotten it by the time I'm finished reading the others. Occasionally, I'll remember and go back to see if it has been answered. But only if I remember.
If someone asks a question on mine, I usually send them an email with the answer. It doesn't take any longer than answering on my own blog.

Darla said...

Twisted Fencepost: That's what I'm talking about, a question that jumps out of your head for a second and poof it's gone. Maybe if the person knew we were serious and were coming back for an answer...thank you for your honesty!

tina said...

I normally subscribe to every post I leave comments on, so I am sure to read the response. Sometimes I even respond again and there starts a little conversation. I hope bloggers like this but you never really know on the other end because most folks don't follow up with another comment. I like it when folks come back and talk to me on my blog so I know several either check back or subscribe like I do and do follow up. But more and more lately I've just had to cut back. I'd easily have 20-30 email messages in my inbox, and each one of them could have more than one comment on the post! It was too much. Now I try to keep up with my blog and even that is difficult at times. I always thought I could do it all but talking with bloggers on their blog and on mine took all of my time and something had to give:( I don't usually ever expect a blogger to answer a question I ask though. I figure they are pretty busy too:) But if they do, all the better. You can bet I'll be subscribing to this posts comments!

The Conservative Gardener said...

I would say we just used text book protocol on my site. You made a comment, I answered & added a question and you came back and answered.......that's how I always try to do it as well!

Now I'm going to transfer the conversation from my site to yours.......You know all the scientific names for every flower in you yard, but you don't know what kind of apple tree you have in your yard! I mean there's probably 4 apple trees in Florida and you have one of them! And you don't know!? lol. That's awesome.

Alan said...

Hey Darla,
If I ask a question in the comments, I always come back for the answer. Sometimes I will put a check in the box “Email follow-up comments to” and then enter my email so any comments left from that point forward will be emailed to me (that wouldn’t require me to come back to the site).

When someone asks me a question I always try to answer it. Sometimes I’m a little slow in getting to it and I may occasionally miss one but I’m trying to do better about that. I hope I answered your question.

Valerie said...

I have never left answers on my comments but I like reading them. I hope your elbow is healing. Wonder if I could make you a elbow pillow?? Ha! As usual, the pictures are beautiful.

marmee said...

i reply to all the comments and questions on my blog. but i have limited myself to the amount of blogs i visit. i like to think it is an ongoing conversation with my blog friends. i always go back to see an answer or comment back once i've left something to someone. not everyone says something back, ur, i think you know about that.
hope your elbow and toe feels better.

DirtDigger (Tessa) said...

Well, when I comment, I am responding to a post as if someone was standing in front of me telling me about their day- sometimes I return to see how a conversation is going even if I don't ask a question- depending on how busy I am. If I ask a question, it is because I really want an answer- I just subscribe to that posts comments, if I can, and I'm notified when a new comment has been posted, so I'm sure to get my answer...simple. The comment section of a blog, to me, should be used to get to know a blogger better- ask questions, share how you can relate, and leave uplifting, and supportive responses to a blogger's post. I've always assumed that everyone thought of it this way :). I respond to comments as I can- if a question is asked I sometimes answer on my blog, or sometimes on the commenter's email, or blog. I try to respond to everyone- even if it is one big comment to everyone. Although, I don't have a ton of comments, like some do- I don't know what I'd do then! :)

Happy gardening- and thanks for the food for thought!

DirtDigger (Tessa) said...

I forgot one thing- I did put a tweak on my blog that allows me to notify a commenter that their question has been answered- the problem is a lot of bloggers don't put their email on their profiles- I personally set a separate gmail up just for my blog, it is available on my blog, and in my profile. I wish more bloggers would do this- and then everyone could use the notify tweak!

Darla said...

Tina: great honesty. I don't know how the subscribe thingy works myself. It is time consumming that's why I am just thinking about a general thanks for the comments and answering questions from those that am I pretty sure want an answer.

Jake said...

I always check back to the blog, however I have wondered, should I answer your questions for me on my blog or on your blog where it looks out of place?

Jake

Sylvia (England) said...

Darla, I always go back when I leave a comment to see if there is a follow-up. I am more likely to leave a comment on blogs where I get a reply. But I do appreciate that it all takes time and totally understand why people don't reply to comments. Some people explain their policy in the bit above the comment box "Leave you comment" above. The thing to remember is that it is your blog and you should do what you feel happiest with.

Best wishes Sylvia (England)

Deb said...

I usually try to answer with an e-mail, some people don't post their e-mail, so I just answer in the comment section

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I personally don't like to think that there is a set way or certain protocol to do things. Because that sets up expectations for bloggers to do things a certain way, somebody else's way.

We all have different time restraints and I just try to accept that fact and place no expectations on others. I hope I am offered that same courtesy.

I've read other people say they stop commenting when people don't answer. I personally think that is sad. I try to answer, usually I go to the other persons blog to do it.

I barely have time to read all of the blogs I enjoy, much less go back a second time just to make sure they acknowledged my comment.

Sorry for the long comment, but I personally think this is an area where we extend grace to everyone and say, "to each his own".

Betsy from Tennessee said...

MORE THOUGHTS: Darla, I have no idea why my blog comes up that way. I do know that I've had that happen when I try to visit other blogs. I usually go out and then back in --and it's fine. I don't think there's anything wrong with my blog. At least I hope not. Leedra said that she has encountered it on other's blogs but not mine... Who knows???? I'm sorry!!!!

Another thought about blogging which works for me: I tend to go back to other's blogs IF they comment on mine. IF I comment on theirs several times and they don't come to mine, I eventually take them off my list. I think blogging needs to be a two-way street--and that is what works for me. I love IT--and I've met so many wonderful people...

I tried checking that box asking for follow-up comments sent to me ---but you get everyone's comments, NOT just one back to you. I would have 100 emails in my inbox if I checked that box. I don't like that option at all.

I still like the email option the best for ME... BUT---I agree that everyone needs to do what works for them. And I totally agree that nobody needs to answer a comment with another comment just for the heck of it.

Hugs,
Betsy
Take care of that elbow!!!!

catmint said...

Hi Darla, I am so pleased you raised this issue. It's really hard to keep up with your own blogging and visiting other blogs and commenting and answering and gardening and everything else important in life. Like Betsy from Tennessee I originally ticked the box to get emailed comments from blogs I commented in but it just got too much. So now I don't answer for the sake of it, but try always to visit the commenters' blogs and comment to maintain a two way relationship. Specific questions I would answer, probably in their blog or email if I have it because that way I am sure they would get it.

Kate and Crew said...

Okay, I'm a little (lot) late in the game on this one, but I agree with what catmint said... it's hard to keep up with everything. Some people leave questions in my blog comments section and I fully intend to go back and respond, but then life gets in the way and I forget. I try to repond to as many as I can, but I need blogging to be easy and fun and not feel like a job. I think if you have a hugely popular blog with tons of comments it would be really tough to get back to everyone. I've found that the bloggers who respond back to comments usually have a smaller audience. I mean if you get 300 comments, who would have time to respond to all those?

I felt bad because one time I left a question on someone's blog once and really wanted the answer, and then forgot which blog and which post I wrote it on... so I never went back and checked :(

catmint said...

Kate and Crew, I appreciate your comment. Since I wrote my comment I have got more and more behind in answering questions even, let alone comments. As you say, it should be fun, not a forum to make us feel bad or guilty or selfish. I intend to write about this in my blog some time. This question is occupying my mind which is usually full of gardening. Cheers to you, Darla and the rest of the commenters on this really important issue, catmint

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