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Do You Hate Your Own Blog Posts Or The People Who Comment?

Posted by on Sep 19, 2012
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I’ve noticed an interesting trend with many blogs that have some popularity. It’s actually not something new, but it’s the first time I’ve had it bother me in some fashion.

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I’ve noticed that there are many bloggers who will respond to some blog comments… at least initially. If you catch them really early they might be good at responding. They may even respond to some comments for a couple of days. Yet at a certain point they’ll stop responding to comments, no matter how many time and no matter who it is that’s commenting.

I’m not going to call anyone specific out, but I’m betting you’ve seen the same thing happening. You get to a blog, see there are some comments on a particular post, sometimes a lot of comments on it, and you see that the blog owner responded to some of them. So you leave your comment, think it’s pretty good, then wait to see if you get a response.

Nope, nada, nothing. Now, it’s not all that often that I’ll go back to see if someone responded to my comment, but here and there I’ll do it. However, if I get to a post and see there’s a lot of comments, I look to see if the author has responded to them, and how many of them. And if I see they haven’t responded to anyone after the first few comments, I’m not wasting my time.

So what is it that makes these folks decide to ignore your comments? Are they bored with their own posts? Have they decided you’re not worth their time? Are they just too busy once their post has gone life to worry about it anymore? In essence, have they moved onto the next post, the next challenge, with no regard to their past?

How do you, the writer, justify this kind of treatment to your visitors? For that matter, how do you, the visitor, feel knowing that your great comment is going to be ignored because you weren’t fast enough to be one of the first to cross the finish line?

This particular blog keeps posts open for 2 years. Any comment I get during that two year period that I approve, I comment on. How many of these other bloggers are writing more than me? Some write as much, but are they more special than I am and verifying that by not replying to your comments? Are they busier than I am and thus can’t reply to your comments? Do you feel like they’re just mailing it in?

Am I being melodramatic? What’s your overall belief on this one? Go ahead, share your thoughts, or write an article about it on your blog because you know it’s true. Let’s hear it. :-)
 

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66 Comments »

My thought is that people who only reply to the first few comments are actually just responding to people they know as usually, as you have probably found yourself, the regulars are the ones who usually comment first (whoops, that’s me for this post then, lol!)

What this makes me think of are the Freshly Pressed posts on WordPress.com in which one or two editors choose a certain number of blog posts from different people’s blogs (not very many – a dozen or two at most) to feature on the homepage. Then the blogger who’s been featured gets inundated with comments. Some (like Charles of Mostly Bright Ideas who’s been Freshly Pressed several times now) gradually answer all or most. But the majority of people who get FP’d just do what you’ve said in your post here, they respond to the first few and then leave the rest. And my guess is that those first few are their own subscribers, people who’ve been with them for a while.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Val, I think it’s a disgraceful way to behave in general. I respond to almost every comment, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a new or old one. As long as it’s a legitimate comment and not something simple that I’ve let go through then I’ll respond. I feel that’s my duty to thank people who comment on what I’ve written. You do as well.

val Reply:

I agree with you except for one case and that is if the blogger is ill or handicapped in some way and can’t – absolutely can’t – respond to a ton of comments. That said, how many bloggers who receive a ton of comments aren’t fit enough to blog in the first place? So, yes, you’re quite right.

And, yep, I’m like you and I respond to all or nearly all comments.
val recently posted…Comments that touch peopleMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Val, what you’ll see is someone will have in some fashion mentioned the issues they have if they have any and thus you the visitor have some kind of idea of what to expect. And you’re right, how often is that type of thing going to be happening?

And batches works, since none of us are sitting at our blogs 24/7 ready to respond to everything as soon as it comes in.

val Reply:

PS. I’m taking my time these days answering comments and I do them mostly in batches. I find it easier on my health. But I do answer them within a couple or three days.

September 19th, 2012 | 6:54 PM

I’ve been guilty of not answering every single comment Mitch and prior to your post I’d had it in the back of my mind niggling, but your post brought it home to me, you have to respond to every one, it’s just good communication and if a comment is worth publishing then it’s worth an acknowledgement of some sort. Thanks… really.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Glad to give you a reminder Roz. Actually, sometimes a comment just doesn’t leave you anything to say, even if it passes muster barely, and thus I don’t feel so bad when I don’t respond to those. But overall I will write back to everyone.

Roz Bennetts Reply:

True, some of those I just give a ‘thanks for taking the time to leave a comment’ acknowledgement. Anyway, I’m taking a leaf out of your book Mitch – and I’m going to take a bit longer on my replies too.
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September 19th, 2012 | 7:26 PM
Dave Michaud:

Looks like I’m up towards the top of the comment pile.

I read your blog from time to time; I found it through Holly Jahangiri’s blog a couple years ago. I enjoy the content as a contrast to predictable articles about similar subjects. I seldom comment on blogs anymore, maybe I should. When a person takes the time to write something thoughtful and I enjoy their thoughts as penned even if I don’t agree with everything, do I owe them a comment? Ya, I do.

I understand exactly what you mean. I’ve taken the time to post comments on blogs in the past and most writers don’t answer, if they do it’s the obligatory “get lost” comment “Thanks for posting.”

I still visit their blog if it remains interesting but I seldom comment when discussion is obviously not important to the writer and their motive. I don’t blog. I enjoy reading another’s take on subjects of interest.

Mitch, your blog is generally tasty :)

Dave

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks Dave, and I’m glad to meet you and say something worthy enough to get a comment from you. :-) I think when bloggers get to feeling a sense of entitlement or a belief that their time is better spent elsewhere then they should just get out of the game. I always figure you teach people how to treat you and if we’re not all that demanding in forcing people to respond to what we have to say and just stop going then we get what we deserve.

September 19th, 2012 | 7:56 PM

Hey Mitch just like your other blog posts, this one too strikes a common chord among us. We all are facing this everyday but don’t do anything about it. I believe these writers don’t write to express their views or to know what others feel like, they just want to make money by blogging and that is why they blog. This may be the reason why they ignore their reader’s comments at a later stage as they have some other project in hand. As a reader I would say that we should stop commenting on these posts so that they get to know our worth.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

That’s what I do Alex. Some blogs I still follow, and if I’m one of the first 10 then I’ll leave a comment. Most I just stop visiting and move on with life. To me, blogging is supposed to be a conversation, not a seminar.

September 19th, 2012 | 10:07 PM

This is something I don’t totally get and something I’ve written about as well. I try to respond to all my comments even though most people never see my responses. There are those few that are aware that I do it and sometimes even come back to continue the conversation. But, yes, I think it’s problematic when comments don’t get acknowledged and displays a certain arrogance or, perhaps, ignorance on behalf of that blogger.

Lee
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

You’re absolutely correct Lee. It is arrogance or ignorance or just boredom if you ask me. Almost like it’s not new anymore after it first publishes so it’s on to the next big thing, which is the next post. So sad; people keep forgetting that to build a community you must continue to interact with the community.

September 20th, 2012 | 12:04 AM

Yeah that is correct Mitch. I go the extra mile and visit their blog to comment.

There are a few well known bloggers that not only ignore your comment they just do not even give you the common courtesy by visiting your blog every now2 and then.

I am not sure if it is too busy or they just do not care about the little guy.

I am slowly weening myself off their blog.
Michael Belk recently posted…Did I handle this situation ethically?My Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Michael, it’s rare for the big name bloggers to visit other blogs unless you mention their name & they’re tracking it in some fashion, as I track my name. I’ve had a couple big names visit here but not all that often. However, it’s responding to comments that I want to see on their blogs, and when I don’t see it, then I’m out of there.

September 20th, 2012 | 12:46 AM
anshul:

Hi Mitch!
i agree with you.the people who reply to the firs few comment only respond to their blog.so perhaps they will not take a interest in your blog in future.and it would be happen almost of all bloggers.so i agree with your ideas.
thanks to sharing this blog.
anshul recently posted…Small Business Inventory SoftwareMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks anshul; I’ll keep writing. lol

September 20th, 2012 | 3:01 AM
Puck:

Hey Mitch
You are right!And I think you are a good blogger and writer,just keep your spirit.:)
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September 20th, 2012 | 3:07 AM

Yeah, I have seen some blogs where the writer responds to every little comment (sometimes writing the whole paragraph as an answer to a one sentence comment), and blogs with only few replies from the author of the post. I think the more popular the blog is, the more replies we should expect from the writer as it is in his business to keep the blog flowing. I simply don’t expect a replay to every of my comment, but sometimes it is really appreciated to hear what other people have to say against my words.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Martin, I see more where authors just stop responding to comments after awhile. Goodness, I’ve responded to comments that are on posts almost 2 years old if they’re legitimate. Of course, one thing everyone also has to learn is when to let someone else have the last word.
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September 20th, 2012 | 8:58 AM

Mitch, the authors of all the blogs that I visit respond to my comments, just as you do and I do over at my blog. If I find that my comments are not being responded to, I simply stop visiting those blogs. I would call this basic blog courtesy.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Same here Rummuser, and I have to say that in general my community responds quickly and regularly. It’s how one builds a community, and you’ve found a very active group I must say.

September 20th, 2012 | 12:46 PM

Some people just feel to superior to respond, while others as you pointed out will eventually see those past posts as the…past, not worth bothering with anymore.
I do believe many people don’t have actually the time or the pleasure to remember some discussions/opinions they had 6 months ago because somebody new found their article and submitted a new comment.
Yet again, maybe bloggers aren’t all nice people.lol.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

That’s funny Cristian, and so true. Still, I think some people just don’t understand blogging etiquette; I know a lot of people like that and when I tell them, I get the “I don’t have that kind of time”. It’s not intelligent thinking, but what can you do?

September 20th, 2012 | 3:27 PM
Felix:

Gosh no, I don’t think you’re being melodramatic at all, my opinion on this is that there’s far too much out there in the unternet world and it’s sooooo easy to get distracted and go off in different directions. I do think time has a lot to do with it too, we all are sooo busy these days.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

It could be Felix, but the way I see it is if someone doesn’t take the time to take care of something they started, then what else will they forget or skimp on if you hired them to do some work for you? Following through on an obligation is important in my eyes, and if people honor you by leaving a comment, at least acknowledge them if the content was worth anything and in some fashion contributed to the article.

September 20th, 2012 | 6:53 PM
Keith:

Hi Mitch, I agree to whatever you said in the previous comment. If time is a factor then what is the point of starting anything which you can’t look after. In that case it would be better to write one blog and to continue with the conversation. There is no need of writing several blogs and leaving all of them unattended after sometime, it does not make sense to me.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks for your comment Keith. I hate when blogs are abandoned but I also don’t like when people who share are ignored. There’s really no excuse for it.

September 20th, 2012 | 10:04 PM

It isn’t a new trend, many bloggers and especially guest bloggers rarely reply or just reply on first comment. It is not only my opinion, but this definitely is wrong approach. Actually real bloggers and real commentors reply to every message.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

I know it’s not a new trend Carl, since it’s kind of a theme I’ve talked about often with bloggers not responding to people’s comments in general, but I never touched upon those folks who only respond to the first few comments and then totally disappear before. It’s somewhat irritating, as you’ve noticed.

Carl Reply:

It is a small paradox, but most SEOs or freelance writers are not typical blogger or not bloggers at all. Most likely blog posts that writer replies just to first comment are guest posts submitted by writer or SEO, that doesn’t have experience as blogger.
Carl recently posted…HubShout ReviewsMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

That’s actually true Carl, and it’s a shame because they’re the ones supposedly teaching people how to have a better presence online and they’re missing this major issue.

September 21st, 2012 | 9:09 AM

I do understand your point, Mitch (And I have to admit, I am not that great with replying to comments. I do reply to them, but only after 2-4 days – mostly due to my time as I have to devote a lot of that into studies).

I think I can understand if a blogger takes time to reply, but not replying at all. Now, that’s something I don’t agree with.

People take their time to comment on our blogs, don’t they? Then, why can’t we spend some time replying back to them and engaging with them?

Some people say they can’t find time (I don’t agree with that. I have lot of things to do, especially in college. But, I still do reply to my comments). Others, they just don’t care (they think that comments will keep on coming in, even if they don’t reply back).
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks for your comment Jeevan. I don’t buy the “time” argument myself because they had the time to write the post right? But why ignore people because they’ve shown up late to the discussion? Now, on this blog I only keep posts open 720 days, but if someone gets in before time’s up I’ll respond; that’s what I feel should be done.

September 21st, 2012 | 5:43 PM

Hey Mitch, you know I posted about this a few weeks ago and now you see what I mean. I feel like they are too busy and are only responding to those who are “IN”. It’s like if you don’t have 20k plus subscribers your comment is relevant. And forget about them going back to your blog and checking it out.

I understand we all have busy lives. But if someone read your (usually) 800+ word blog post and commented, thoughtfully, you should respond. It’s just awesome blogging practices! You’re ahead of the curve bud!
Mys Palmer recently posted…Introduction: Do This, Don’t Do that…yet-9 Steps to Official entrepreneurshipMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Mys, I’ve been ahead of the curve for years. lol I will admit that with my very first blog, which still exists, I didn’t get it initially, but I was also traveling a lot back then and tired as anything and thus I was missing it. But I figured it out soon enough and with this blog, I’ve responded to all “good” comments from day one. If the blog post is available to comment on, since I have a 720 day limit, and someone comments, I’m there.

September 21st, 2012 | 6:22 PM

I get people who comment but I would say only about 5% of my visitors do. Out of those, 95% are spam so is does gets frustating … thanks for the write-up!
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Jessica, there are ways to reduce spam, and I’ve written about it on this blog. And I probably have less than 5% of people who read comment. But for those who do, I respond because that’s the courteous thing to do.

September 21st, 2012 | 7:24 PM

Mitch,I think your reasoning is sound. Perhaps people get burned out. Perhaps they lose their passion and their compassion. Either way, it is discouraging when comments are not acknowledged. I agree. Suzanne

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks Suzanne. Maybe people get burned out but then maybe they should just write and eliminate comments instead of making it seem like they’re dismissing those people who do take the time to comment. Of course, I’d probably stop following if I couldn’t comment but I’m not following people who stop responding to comments anyway.

September 21st, 2012 | 8:08 PM

Hi Mitch,
Interesting blog topic. I have to admit that I sometimes get behind on comments due to life! I am not a full time blogger, so there are times when my other responsibilities come before blogging. I usually want to consider each comment and respond thoughtfully. If I am exhausted, it is tough to do that. So there are times that I get behind and may be slower than I should. But, after a few weeks or so I try to catch up and get to them all. The good news is that I have caught up now, so all comments on my blog should be answered!
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

If that’s a pattern you’ve established Kristen and your regular visitors are fine with it, then it’s all good. Some folks might not like it because they might think you’ve forgotten them, but you’re trying.

September 21st, 2012 | 10:21 PM

If you take the time to leave a comment I will respond to it. I have multiple blogs and sometimes this means it takes a bit longer for me to get there, but I do.

It is rare that I don’t reply and it is usually because there were 50+ comments and I just flat out missed it. But that is the exception.

I suppose if your blog averages a 100+ comments per post I can see why you might not respond to all, but those are the exception.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Josh, I’ve probably missed some comments here and there, and that’s just being human. What I see are people responding to early commenters and then ignoring everyone else; that’s not fair. But even I would make allowances for people who gets tons of comments in not responding to all of them but at least get many of them, even newer comments.

September 21st, 2012 | 10:40 PM

Yes, Mitch, I have noticed it too. And there seem to be so many blogs now where the author does not respond to comments at all! I think that’s bad manners. I don’t know who taught them to blog but they didn’t teach them properly! If I go to a blog and comments are not answered I don’t leave one.

Enjoy the journey.

Mandy
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

We’re of the same thought Mandy because I’m the same way. I always look through comments quickly to see if it’s worth my time.

September 22nd, 2012 | 7:47 AM

Both yes and no Mitch. There are a couple of people who posts often resonate with me, and I leave a comment. They never respond on their blog, but come by mine and either continue the conversation there, or by email. So from an outsiders perspective it could look like they’re being rude. I would be disappointed if you thought they were arrogant bloggers, because they’re not. However, that said, it’s different to when the first few commenters are acknowledged and the remainder aren’t. In that case I’m with you all the way.

A couple of times I’ve been away from internet for a few weeks and haven’t been able to catch up with ‘serial’ commenters, but have emailed to let them know I appreciate their time and effort. I know I’m a scatty person, and really hope that those I’ve missed are forgiving when I botch up my replies.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

That’s interesting Sue. I probably wouldn’t ever visit those blogs again I have to admit. I figure they wouldn’t miss me or my comments, and truthfully, that’s not my fault, or the fault of anyone else who might see it that way and isn’t in your particular community. See, that’s a big part of it. When people join your blogging community, if you will, then you know them better and you’ll allow things like one line comments because you know they’re normally very good. Without that though, perception is what it is.

September 22nd, 2012 | 7:53 PM

Mitch, I believe one should always respond to genuine comments – after all it’s just courtesy to thank folks – in any instance – That’s how I was brought up!!
Your Posts totally amaze and make me smile – You get so many comments, that when I’ve read the post and read down the stream of comments and conversations going on – I’ve totally got absorbed in the comment threads and lost the plot!! So I have to go back to re-read!!!
Love it Mitch – Keep it up :)
Jacs
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks Jacs, and I absolutely agree with you. I was taught courtesy by example and I feel it’s not something you stop doing because you don’t feel up to it or it doesn’t quite figure in one’s business model. As for the people who comment here, I love that as well and I thank everyone who comments for being interested enough to do so, including you. :-)

September 23rd, 2012 | 7:12 PM

As a blogger I guess we really have to give credit to those people who sincerely gives comment to our post, No matter how busy we are, It would really be good to leave even a single thank you. It’s one way of bringing more new readers!
Well, that’s just my idea,I hope no one’s offended!
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Marnie, if anyone is offended they’re offended by my post and not your comment. And even if they are, so what? Honesty is always valued, and as long as you don’t go out with the intention of offending anyone then all is good. After all, who can defend bad behavior, right?

September 23rd, 2012 | 10:27 PM

I know what you are trying to convey. It is really annoying when you see the writer has taken effort to reply to all other visitors but just stopped to the person above you and ignored you and the people after you. Either they reply to all or to no one at all. I mean, I know you cant reply to all but at least try to reply to people who have a genuine doubts or people who have written a great a comment.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

You got it James. I mean, there’s probably not all that many individual bloggers that have as many posts as I’ve written on one blog, yet I make sure to get to pretty much everyone that comments on this blog. I feel it’s the right thing to do.

September 24th, 2012 | 3:00 AM

I think its important that writers reply to the comments left on their posts by their readers. It shows respect and means that the readers are not wasting their time. Sometimes it might be a bit difficult to reply immediately due to a busy schedule or being away for a while. If the writer is no longer interested in replying or accepting comments, the best thing to do would be to close the comments option. That way people can still read but won’t be able to leave comments.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks for your comment Yetunde. I think if people know you’re going to respond to comments eventually they won’t get upset if you’re not immediately responding. And shutting off comments might be a way to go, but don’t do it too often because that will irritate and frustrate people who really want to comment on that post. Overall though, treating every person who comments like a valued visitor is just common courtesy as well as common sense.

September 25th, 2012 | 5:12 AM

Hey Buddy.

Good post, and does make me think about my own responses sometimes.

I do make every effort to go and reply to every single comment I’ve received; however I am not as responsive as I wish I was. i.e. It usually takes me longer nowadays as my business is growing and other tasks are taking up my time. However I usually spend 10-20 minutes on my mini breaks to go back, and get back to people accordingly.

Sometimes you get comments that there isn’t really even much to say to; like other day I had a post that pretty much just said “Good post”; so I didn’t have anything to say besides “Thanks for coming by.”

I would like for people to maybe become more responsive on discussions, as opposed to always looking for a backlink…..

Take care. Enjoying your Blog, looks like you’ve done well!

Joey

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks for your great comment Joey. If I get a comment that says “great post” or something similar, I delete it as spam. Any comment that doesn’t address what I’ve written and it’s by someone I don’t know, who hasn’t participated on the blog before, I delete. I do recognize that sometimes I write a post that won’t get a lot of comments, and thus I really made sure I respond then.

September 25th, 2012 | 12:04 PM

I could probably just say I know exactly what you mean and you would know how I feel about this subject Mitch.

I know that everyone has their own agendas. We’re not all here for the same reasons. But, if you have comments open then you should have the common courtesy to reply to them ALL. I don’t care who you are or how much money you make, you should reply.

Personally, if I visit a blog and that’s how they treat their commenters you can bet I won’t be one of them.

You brought up a great point here Mitch and I hope a great reminder to everyone that they should respond to their comments. If they aren’t worthy of a response then they probably should just delete the comment altogether.

~Adrienne
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Great stuff Adrienne, and I knew you’d understand where I was on this topic. It’s just so strange to me that some blog owners will respond to some and then leave everything else alone. Having said this, I don’t think it’s the responsibility of the blog owner to respond to comments left on guest posts on their blogs, but they certainly need to take a second look at those people who don’t respond to comments & remove any links to them.

September 27th, 2012 | 2:16 PM

It’s hard to generalize, Mitch, but I have a feeling the bloggers you’re talking about are the same people who don’t return phone calls or answer emails. I’m finding that more and more, too. We seem to be approaching the day when people don’t have time for basic courtesy, and that’s going to be a bad day. Thank you for setting such a great example for how to do it the right way.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks Charles. I’ve had some people say I must not have enough to do and that’s possible, but I doubt it. I think it’s just a dodge and bad planning. I get things done, obviously a lot more these days because I’m planning my time, and that includes the time to get to comments. I may not get to everything when it’s first written because that would truly mean I had no life. But I get to it all.

September 28th, 2012 | 9:48 AM

By the way, this is an example of what I’m talking about. Great post and I wanted to write a comment, but she only responded to the first person that commented and hasn’t responded to anyone else since then in the past 2 weeks. That’s a shame; I had something really nice to say but I’m not doing it now.

http://growwithstacy.com/2012/09/12/2-things-you-need-to-live-your-dreams/
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September 30th, 2012 | 2:08 AM

I have seen hundreds of such bloggers who don’t even bother to reply to their readers. I mean if you can spend five hours to write and post one article then I think you can easily spare more one hour trying to know and understand your readers view. Believe me it is a healthy exercise and it is also very helpful for you to become a better writer.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Absolutely Jeo. I’ve also written about those people who won’t even approve most comments, especially from people whose views might not be the same or who are in the same business as themselves. Just wrong.

October 1st, 2012 | 6:08 AM