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Are You Sometimes Feeling Ignored?

Posted by on Sep 1, 2010

I tend to visit a lot of blogs. I’ve talked about it before on this blog, how I used to subscribe to nearly 250 other blogs, but at some point I got it down to around 104. Of course me being me I have added some more blogs to my reader since that time, and I’m given some of those an opportunity to show that they at least have something interesting to say on a consistent basis before I start whittling my list down again.

Save the Back Yard Dog
by Beverly & Pack

One thing that helps me determine I’m going to eliminate a blog from my reader is whether or not I ever get any responses from those blogs that I tend to leave comments on. Those of you who have seen me leave a comment on your blog know that I’m not one of those people who often leaves just one line responses. Sure, sometimes it may only be two lines, but you know those two lines are going to mean something and have something to do with the topic, and sometimes those lines are kind of long.

Sometimes you get the feeling you’re being ignored, and nobody likes that. I certainly don’t, especially if I’ve taken time to make a comment on your post. After all, as I’ve written many times on this blog, and many of you have written on your blogs, what’s the point in accepting comments if you’re never going to respond to anybody? If you’re going to do that you might as well just turn off comments, become Seth Godin, and move on with your life.

It’s not just blogging that sometimes leaves me feeling ignored. There many times on Twitter where I reach out to both people I know and people I don’t know and comment on some of the things they share. Most of the time you never hear anything back from those people, which once again leaves me wondering why I’m even bothering to try. At this point I pretty much know that almost nobody who’s using Twitter on a consistent basis is going to the website to post their comments or to read posts from other people. Everybody is using some kind of platform to check out their Twitter messages, which means pretty much everyone has created some kind of filter so that they see messages from people who write comments to them. If they haven’t done that then they’re idiots, and I doubt that people who are participating a lot on Twitter are idiots.

In my mind, people who do the two things I mentioned above are missing the point of social media networking. They don’t call it social “seminaring” or social “sharing whatever I have to say because I’m important and you’re not”. If they did then the word “social” wouldn’t be a part of it at all. I don’t like it when it’s people I don’t know, and I certainly don’t like it when it’s people I do know. There are a few people I have eliminated from my Twitter stream because I felt ignored, even if I’ve talked to them in the past. I don’t expect people to respond to everything I say to them, because sometimes there’s just nothing to say in response to a previous message. But I do expect some give and take every once in a while, and if I’m the only one giving then I’m getting out.

The one thing almost everyone knows if they visit this blog is that I’m going to respond to their comments as long as they’re more than one line. Of course, if we’re doing a back and forth at some point one of us has to end, and it could be me. Beyond that, I get to everybody at some point, and even if I don’t always respond to your comments, I always respond to a comment made by a new visitor, in hopes that they will return again and again. If anybody ever feels ignored by comments they leave on this blog, just let me know; but I don’t see it happening.

Are you feeling ignored by some of the blogs you visit? Are you taking care not to ignore people who visit your blog?

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26 Comments »

Val:

I use RSS to add posts to which I comment, to my reader. I keep them in a separate folder just for comments I’ve posted to other blogs. Everytime that feed updates I look at whether there’s been a response to my comment. If there’s been nothing for several days or a week or so (after all, not everyone blogs daily), or if lots of other people have commented and also not received any replies, and if this seems to be a trend with that blogger, then I don’t bother commenting there again. I can’t see the point. To me blogging is not just about expressing myself, but is about getting to know other people. If people don’t respond, it’s impossible to get to know them, or for them to get to know me.

As for responding to people who comment in my blog, it’s rare for me not to respond to a comment there. Sometimes I can’t think of something to say and will just post a ‘thank you’, and sometimes I’ll just not respond, but normally I like to add to the input.

To my mind the comments below a post are a conversation, they’re not an ego-massage.

I recently deleted a lot of blogs from my feed reader. Some of them were bloggers who do respond to their commenters, but I found that I was just not getting anywhere with them – either something in their posts wasn’t holding my attention or their personalities didn’t shine through as being particularly different from other bloggers. Yours does. Even amongst other blogs of this ilk (which, I must admit, I’m reading less and less now) yours has its own style. And I like YOU as a person (as much as I can tell what sort of a person you are solely from posts and comments as the whole person can never really ‘come through’ online, I don’t think, nor would it be advisable to reveal a whole self!)

September 1st, 2010 | 9:24 AM
Mitch:

Thanks Val, and it seems we do kind of the same thing, only I’ve never thought about subscribing to comments like you do; I might have to think about that one a bit more. I fully agree, comments helps drive not only traffic but a sense of community. We love seeing comments on our blog posts, and we love knowing that the owner of the blog has at least acknowledged that we gave our time in commenting, whether we agree or not. Great stuff!

September 1st, 2010 | 11:33 AM

Now, you have scared me Mitch. My first impulse was to just say, No and Yes. Now what will you do to me?

September 1st, 2010 | 10:14 AM
Mitch:

Rummuser, you are a character of the highest rank, so what’s to be done with you except be happy that you’ve shown up in my life so that we can share missives like this. πŸ™‚

September 1st, 2010 | 11:34 AM

I try to be consistent but it’s tough sometimes as work and other stuff come up. Twitter is great to connect and converse. It is also great at sucking up time. I tend to not be on Twitter at night as I am doing other things. Fatigue plays a factor, too. Great post!

September 1st, 2010 | 11:48 AM
Mitch:

You do well with your blog & connections. There are just some folks who never respond to anything, though, and that’s what I don’t like.

September 1st, 2010 | 1:28 PM

Hi Mitch, very good post.I do a lot of blog commenting as well and I think it is very common by bloggers not to respond and participate in the discussions on their blogs. I donΒ΄t like that either.If someone spends time reading the post and then leaving a useful comment, they do deserve a reply even if it is just a short “thanks for commenting”.

September 1st, 2010 | 3:03 PM
Mitch:

Good stuff Tom. I think we all want at least a little bit of acknowledgment every once in awhile.

September 1st, 2010 | 9:57 PM

I admit it. I’ve been slacking on my responses. I do try, but sometimes I drop the ball. What’s worse, I’ve been slacking on my commenting on other blogs. {for shame!}

September 1st, 2010 | 4:43 PM
Mitch:

You did just get married Anne, so take some time with your new husband and family, and Im sure you’ll be back in stride in no time.

September 1st, 2010 | 9:58 PM
Rose:

When you receive a lot of comments on your blog it can be hard to reply to everyone.

I do try to make an effort to reply to all comments, but sometimes I miss a few. Not intentionally.

Also my most humble apologies for missing your comment on my blog. I had seen it there and meant to get back to it and Roger’s comment, but forgot to.

Anyhow, Like Anne, I’ve been slacking, but that is because I have a lot of commitments.

As for your feelings of Twitter, I can relate to how you feel. You and I have had conversations on Twitter. I appreciate you reply.

September 2nd, 2010 | 12:50 AM
Mitch:

In the past I missed comments on my business blog when I was traveling a lot, and I felt bad once I discovered them. I don’t mind not getting something every time, but there are times when I believe a reply of some sort is appropriate, like when I notice someone has stolen my content & I’m giving them a chance to fix it.

September 2nd, 2010 | 9:42 AM
Rose:

I agree that there are times when a comment is appropriate, but sometimes when you get busy they are easy to miss. One shouldn’t assume it was done intentionally. πŸ™‚

September 2nd, 2010 | 1:36 PM

I don’t believe every blog comment left deserves a response. That is not, in my opinion, the sole purpose of writing a blog. I don’t write blogs to generate comments all the time. I write from a journalist point of view. I want the reader to receive information. If they are compelled to respond, that’s great and depending on what they say, I may, or may not, respond back. I never feel like my blogs are being ignored because if one person sees it, I have made a difference. But that’s just me.

September 2nd, 2010 | 10:06 PM
Mitch:

It’s not the point of people necessarily commenting on your blogs, although you have to admit that if no one ever commented on a single blog posts you made that you’d start wondering about it. But say you commented on this blog 10 times and I never responded to any of them. Would you feel like you might be wasting your time, or would you continue coming and leaving comments just because you kept feeling like you had something to say? That’s kind of my point; all of social media is supposed to at least be somewhat social. If people leave comments here, I’m going to acknowledge when I can. It doesn’t necessarily mean I have to follow back to someone else’s blog and leave a comment there, though I do check out most blog links to see what those people are all about.

September 4th, 2010 | 11:24 AM
Patricia:

Hi Mitch
I have seen you on other sites and thought I would come and check out your site. Glad I did. You sound like you strive to connect to visitors to your site and the blogging community. I am relatively new to blogging but already I have noticed those bloggers who seem to take the time to comment on others blogs even though they might be very busy themselves.
Aussie Sire came across to my site and commented even helped me with some techie stuff I found difficult. Sure we are fellow Aussies but I had only visited his site a couple of times and he was across to mine encouraging me.
I make a point of answering comments and then visiting that person’s blog to share the luv. I know I am only starting up so I am not getting the traffic of the bigger bloggers but want to connect as much as I can.
Patricia Perth Australia

September 3rd, 2010 | 7:59 AM
Mitch:

Patricia, I try my best, and I hope I’m at least mildly successful. I’ve visited your blog, and one of these days I figure I’ll find something I can make a legitimate comment about. Since I love the scent of lavender, though it’s sometimes over-powering, I’m sure it’s going to happen one day.

September 4th, 2010 | 11:29 AM

I used to write essays for newspapers and rarely heard any kind of feedback. The silence was deafening. I don’t write to get praise, but rather to be part of a conversation. If I can get someone thinking about something and then they can get me to look at it in a different way, or connect it with something I hadn’t thought of, that’s what it’s all about; we all come away with something. I’ve gotten more feedback in four months of blogging than I have in thirty years of writing elsewhere. Mitch, you’re the gold standard in that regard (and in others, as well). I always appreciate your candor and balance. I have felt ignored by a few other bloggers, but I guess not all connections are meant to happen. I’m glad this one did.

September 3rd, 2010 | 9:04 AM
Mitch:

Good stuff, Charles. I’m surprised you didn’t get much feedback for your newspaper essays. Locally we all know the two major columnists for the newspaper, and I can guarantee that both of those guys get a lot of attention. As for blogging, I think we all want to see at least a bit of participation by the creator of the blog, and if not then why bother leaving comments at all? Doesn’t mean some people won’t still read it, but like I mentioned about Problogger, it’s rare that I ever think about leaving a comment because there will literally be hundreds, especially if he wrote the article, and at that point it’s just a thought lost in the wind.

September 4th, 2010 | 11:33 AM
Rose:

I still leave comments on Problogger. Even if Darren can’t reply to all comments it is still adding to the discussion and other people are reading those comments. One way to look at it Mitch.

September 6th, 2010 | 3:15 AM

It is common that you don’t get any response from the comments you leave sometimes, but I guess there are reasons – mostly I guess they’re plain busy. I appreciate those who leave “thank you” as replies to my comments. Yes, sometimes I feel bad if my comments get approved but then there was no corresponding comment (especially if I have a question). This is a good post, Mitch. πŸ™‚

September 17th, 2010 | 6:41 AM
Mitch:

Thanks Emily. I don’t think every comment has to be acknowledged, and sometimes just a “thank you” might be appropriate. Still, until one gets to a certain level, it doesn’t take all that much effort to respond to those people who help make your blog successful.

September 17th, 2010 | 2:18 PM

I always reply to twitter and especially blog posts. I get excited when it’s a real comment and not just spammers. I did a big delete again on twitter a couple months ago and those that never reciprocated or even acknowledge conversations went in the mix. Just not enough time for extra aggrevation.

November 1st, 2010 | 2:16 AM
Mitch:

Val, I have to admit that I’ve deleted people or moved some around who didn’t seem to ever respond to my posts directly to them; I mean, why bother right? But not often; my vetting process works pretty well in not even hooking up with people who don’t write anyone at all. And, as you can see, I respond to lots of stuff as well.

November 1st, 2010 | 9:17 AM