The One Where I Beg For Your Feedback.

Or The One My Husband Won’t Read Because He Feels Blogging About Blogging Is Really Lame

Wow. Where to begin? I have so many blogging issues swirling around in my head right now I’m not sure where to begin. So – lets start chronologically.

SITUATION I
About a month or so ago – a blogger responded to another blogger in my comments section negatively. Unfortunately, she didn’t address that person and I just got emailed her comment so I assumed it was directed at me. I felt awful and apologized in an upset way (because I wasn’t sure how I deserved the negativity because I didn’t realize she wasn’t talking to me) and too quick to the punch (if I had let it sit, I might have sorted it out) and that upset her. So she blogged about it. She didn’t link to me directly, but when I read the blog entry I knew it was directed to me. SHE WAS UPSET because, of course in her mind, I overreacted and in her mind, I should chill out because it wasn’t directed at me. She emailed me back and we all feel much better now. I apologized for automatically assuming she hated me with that comment and not my commenter. It’s all good now, but the situation still haunts me because I felt like there was a way I could have avoided it. So – here are the lessons from that one –

Lesson for Zoot: If a comment seems too angry to be logical, step back and reevaluate. It might not be directed at you. And also – DON’T BE SO SENSITIVE.
Lesson for Zoot’s Commenters: Zoot is really sensitive, so be sure to address the person you’re talking to because even if it’s obvious to you (like being the next commenter) she will probably assume you’re talking to her.

SITUATION II
I wrote an entry about buying two pastries at Panera bread instead of one (one for the fetus!) and someone left a comment about how I’m obviously not trying too hard to save money after getting laid off. There may have even been an emoticon eye-roll or something. I was terrified the rest of the world would think similar crappy thoughts so I simply deleted the entry. Gone. Which is not at all the way to handle the situation as a mature adult, I’m guessing. I realized that later.

Lesson for Zoot: DON’T BE SO SENSITIVE. But also – don’t delete your words. It’s your story and you shouldn’t feel like that’s ever a good solution.
Lesson for Zoot’s Commenters: Zoot’s really sensitive. Let’s try to be nice, okay? A comment that you think isn’t that bad will honestly make her cry. She is embarrassed about this – but it’s true.

SITUATION III
Someone wrote an entry this week about how they think I hate them. They linked to me directly but that’s not how I found it because I’m bad about not checking my referral stats. A mutual reader sent it to me because they knew I didn’t hate the person and thought I may want to contact her to clear things up. Their reasons were some of the following: 1) I responded to a request for help incorrectly and they felt awkward. 2) I never brought a comment of theirs out of moderation. 3) I suck at commenting, responding to comments, emailing, and visiting blogs. Of course – she didn’t say those things specifically but that’s the general feel. And in reality? She’s right. I do suck. And it does make me look like I hate her. I don’t, though, I promise. And I emailed her and told her that and explained myself. But – my feelings were hurt and being the third forced-self-evaluation incident in the last month, I decided it was time to do some bloggy soul-searching.

I did the first thing I always do with a blog dilemma, I email my blogging support group. RancidRaves, RunningStitch, and Slackermama have been my go-to group for all things blog-related (and not – since sometimes my emails are more along the lines of, “My husband forgot Valentine’s Day!!!”) for almost three years now, I guess. We all use each other and I highly recommend you build yourself a good group like that. They come in handy for talking you down from the ledge when you send out emails that say,”I’M TAKING DOWN MY BLOG!” Here are some conclusions I’ve come to.

Acknowledging Commenters Is More Important Than I Realized
After many back-and-forths and link sharing and thought sharing, I came to a conclusion. I am a really sucky blogger. REALLY SUCKY. It first hit me when Brit mentioned that she feels crappy if she’s new to a blog and they don’t respond to her comment. Everyone echoed that and I can honestly say to you: THIS SURPRISED ME. I comment on a handful of blogs a day and don’t ever think about why they didn’t respond back. Obviously – I’m in the minority with that one. Maybe it’s because I don’t comment often, or maybe it’s because I’m a moron, but I never realized that people might get their feelings hurt if I didn’t recognize their comments.

Too Much Time Reading And Not Enough Communicating is a Bad Balance
RancidRaves sent me this link as a good resource and I about crapped my pants. Do you see that pie-chart? She spends 20% of her blogging time emailing/responding to comments. 50% writing and only 5% reading. If I did that same type of chart it would say 70% writing, 25% reading and 5% emailing/commenting. Obviously – this is where my error is. Maybe I have too many things in my feed-reader. Maybe I’m really sucky at communicating. Maybe it’s a little of both. Either way – my blogging priorities are not normal.

I Don’t Deserve A Pedestal of Any Kind, Which Means I Have No Good Excuses
I think the weird thing about this – is that a lot of people seem to think of me as a “popular” blogger. Many have said, “Well – you get gobs of comments so you can’t respond to them all.” I mean – I know I get more comments than a beginner – but I do some entries that don’t even get 5 comments. It’s true – I can’t respond to them all – especially now that I’m getting so little computer time a day. But – I obviously need to be better. I’m not an a-lister blogger by any means. I get decent traffic, but it’s not going to allow me to let my husband quit his job the second I put ads on it. I don’t even pay attention to my stats, to be honest, because I sometimes build them up to be higher in my head and get depressed when I see the actual numbers. So – I don’t have a good excuse. I’m just lame.

I’m Very Insecure About Commenting
I only comment on a handful of sites a day. Like, 2-5 total. I read over 100, but I comment rarely. This is mainly because I am very insecure about commenting. I don’t like to comment unless I really feel like I can add something. And usually then, afterward, I realize it’s a really lame addition and wish I hadn’t commented. Evidence: Linda wrote a good entry about beginning the post-baby weight loss challenge with non-existent free time. Yet, what did I comment about? Her one-sentence reference to the hotness of Captain Jack Harkness. WHAT THE HELL? I wish I could delete my comment because several others commiserated or gave their own stories. I’m all like, “OMG. DROOL. JACK IS SEXY.” That is the WORST comment EVER and exactly why I don’t like to comment other places. It took me about 45 minutes to write a comment at Julie’s and it was just a simple question. So – this is obviously something I need to get over. But – I don’t want to be a one-word commenter. I want to actually contribute somehow. I think it’s because I assume that bloggers would rather have an actual comment or none at all. It looks like that may be wrong.

BUT – To Me – Writing is the Most Important Part of it All
Here is where I think the inherent problem lies. If I have some free time at the computer, and I can either respond to comments or write another entry, I write another entry. I like to provide content to blog and if I have an entry idea, that is my first step. So, with limited computer time, the emails/comments get pushed aside. I am fairly certain I have just as many readers out there who are NOT bloggers as I do bloggers, and I feel like I think about them more than the bloggers. I want to give them something new to read, if I have something new to talk about. I set aside time to blog, I don’t set aside time to email. And I think that is the root of my issues. I assume everyone else is the same way. That they would rather write than respond if they are limited, but I don’t think that’s the case now.

THE POINT OF IT ALL
So – there are going to be some changes in my blogging style/methods. But – before I make a new Blogging Creed for myself – I’d really like to hear your thoughts/feedback. If you don’t have a blog, I’d really like your feedback as well because I think of my non-blogging readers often and would love to hear their opinions. Here are some questions I’d like to hear your response to.

My Questions To You:
1. As a blog reader – how offended are you when I (or any other blogger) don’t respond to your comments? Are you like me and you don’t even think about it? Or are you like the rest of the world and it hurts your feelings? On a scale from 1-10 with “not offended” being a 1 and “seriously offended probably won’t comment again” being a 10.

2. As a blogger – what percentage of time blogging do you spend commenting on other people’s blogs? How about responding to emails or comments? How about writing?

3. Do you rate the comments on your blog? Do you think about whether someone is contributing to conversation or are you just happy to get the comment? For example – if someone just says, “Funny!” – are you fine with that? Just to get the comment? Or would you rather them not comment at all if they don’t really have much to say?

BEFORE YOU ANSWER:
Please make sure you read the entry before you answer the questions – it’s frustrating when it’s obvious someone didn’t read that paragraphs before the questions.

Don’t say anything negative about any of the bloggers mentioned in the three situations above. You all like to jump to my defense and I love that but my feelings were hurt in all three situations, I don’t want someone in my comments section to reciprocate that.

Edited to Add: Michelle wrote a great blogging entry yesterday that is much better than this one. I had to link to it. I don’t normally like the blogworld = high school analogy, but she brings up some funny points.

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171 Responses

  1. Secha says:

    1) It honestly does bother me a bit, when I comment somewhere and the person replies to EVERYONE except for my comment. Granted, that is normally through comments when the blogger replies through comments, so you can see them replying to everyone. I feel like a baby about this, but… it brings back memories of high school for me, when someone would invite EVERYONE in the class to a party, but leave me out on purpose. I feel like the blogger doesn’t like me. But I’ll still comment from time to time, if I feel as though what I’m saying is sort of important.

    2) I don’t comment on other peoples sites too often ~ but I am on livejournal, and a member of a lot of communities. So there are a LOT of posts daily… I probably comment on less than 5% of them. Yes, some days I’ll comment more, but other days… I just kind of sit back and don’t do anything.

    3) I like getting comments. Mainly because it makes me feel good, to know that *someone* is reading what I wrote. I don’t care so much as to what they say, as to know that they care about me.

  2. zoot says:

    @ Secha – OMG. I think you put into words EXACTLY why I don’t like responding to comments IN the comment section, because I’ve noticed that too! If everyone gets a response but me – I feel lame. I’d rather assume no one was getting one.

    Of course, I’m leaving this comment in the comment section to make you feel better, but I’ll email it too b/c I prefer it that way. (grin)

  3. SarahK says:

    I’m horrible at commenting and I blame it all on Google! They need to add a function of “ADD COMMENT” to their reader, because I am simply too lazy to click the LINK TO THE POST. :)

    If I do comment though, I rarely ever go back and read the comment section. I have never really thought about the Blogger responding to me. So I guess I didn’t realize I was missing anything.

    I love your blog, I identify w/ you and secretly can’t wait for you to come back to Atlanta so I can meet you. So just call me a quiet fan ;)

  4. Dude, this post is wonderful as I’ve been wondering the same thing…and it bleeds into Flickr. I feel like I have to comment back on some comments when really, who has time for that?
    So…
    1. I’m a number 1, seriously not offended if someone doesn’t reply to my comments. It’s a personal preference, to me, as to how a blogger likes their comments. For me, I’ll comment if I have something to say but more importantly, if I have to time to say it. Rarely do I have time to say something in response to what I read so I understand if a blogger doesn’t have time to respond back to my comment on their writing.

    2. I try to spend my time reading other’s blogs and writing on my own. Comments I make are a low priority on my list. I will respond to emails though and to comments I think are begging for a comment. Sometimes I cop out and begin my next entry with a blanket “Thanks for all your comments…” statement. It’s what I have time for.

    3. I like comments. I don’t feel like “Oh I agree!” or “Funny!” or whatever are lame or anything like that. In fact, sometimes my thoughts go in the other direction when I’m commenting – do they really want to hear my side? Or would they rather hear an “Amen!”? Obviously this issue is confusing.

    Just a great topic. And you’re making me totally re-evaluate my blog and Flickring as well.

  5. Janssen says:

    I’m not deeply offended when someone doesn’t respond to my comments, but I am surprisingly gratified when they do.

    I comment quite a lot – probably 35%.

    And I enjoy pretty much any comment on my blog because I, like Secha, feel like it means somebody is reading and cares enough to comment.

  6. Tiffany says:

    I used to blog, I no longer have one. I used to be upset with no comments. But I do believe I am like the rest of the world and I kind of upset if I don’t get a response to a comment or request I have made. More so on the bigger bloggers (the famous ones). I do agree though since I don’t blog it is more interesting reading new stuff and you especially because you will most time update more than once a day and when I get bored…… well. If for some reason I put something just like funny on someone’s comments I wouldn’t be upset if it wasn’t acknowledged, but a question or and insite yeah. So rating the comments no, I was excited just to get a comment they were all up there.

  7. Shala says:

    1. As a blog reader –

    I think I am indifferent. I have been reading your site for years. I comment when I feel the need to comment and when I feel like I have something to add. There are times when I feel silly about commenting because somehow I feel like I am invading your personal life and I think you would think I was stupid for my comment. So 90% of the time I don’t say anything. I don’t really care either way if you respond to me. I LIKE when you do… but it doesn’t make me feel bad either. I guess I figure if you have something related to what I said or had something to say about it you would tell me.

    And you have in the past. Thank you for responding to me! Sometimes its like that false hope of a new bff though you know. I guess I don’t know what to do when people reply to me. Do I reply back? Will they get their feelings hurt if I don’t or really feel like I am stalking them if I do.

    2. As a blogger –

    I only have a very small blog about my kids and for family. Its not nearly as cool as a normal blog so I don’t get commenter’s and really I am ok with that. I don’t like to be noticed. LOL I got one comment from a non family person once and it scared me and I didn’t reply to her because I didn’t know what to do! And who is lame-o now?

    3. Do you rate the comments on your blog?

    I rate commenter’s on other peoples blogs if that counts. I usually skip over all the ‘firsts’ and one word comments and read the ones that have substance to them. I have no idea if that would pertain to my blog.

    i am sorry you got your feelings hurt though. I think that happens in so much of the online world where you cannot see what the tone of the message is. Parenting boards, blogs, groups…. its all there. I love your blog and whether you reply to me or not I will be a daily reader! Thank you for sharing your life with us zoot!

  8. alli says:

    I’m not offended that you don’t reply to comments, but I do find I come back to see if you added anything else in the comment section.

    I get so few comments on my blogs that I feel it is important to respond to them. I installed an email comment responder plugin that posts my response on the blog and emails the commenter. It isn’t perfect but suits me right now. And even if the comment is one word, I think it is golden. People comment so rarely on blogs lately (in general) I know it took something for that person to leave a comment.

    I do try to leave comments on blogs I read and recently found I am getting referral traffic from them, so bonus! Someone I know said she tries to leave 10 comments a day on 10 different blogs relevant to her blogs. I might be lucky if I leave 5.

    I used to be timid about leaving comments on “popular” blogs (I don’t bother when Dooce opens her comments) and I tend to not leave a comment if the comment number is over 100 by the time I get to the entry (unless I feel very strongly about the subject). I also worry about leaving a comment on every single entry a person posts in a day. Is that brown nosing? Or do I really have something to contribute to every post?

    And as for percentage of time I spend writing, I guess I don’t think of it as time as a post goal. How many entries do I want to write today? Am I doing any paid posts is part of my equation (recently, not many) and I try not to beat myself up if I can’t come up with anything interesting today. (Hello, flu!)

    Problogger.net has some interesting info about spending time writing/ reading/ commenting if you check out his archives. (Um, and I don’t usually comment there either. Total lurker, LOL.)

    Hope this is helpful.

  9. Heather says:

    1. I absolutely love when people respond to my comments, because I feel like it’s so much more of a community that way. But especially on the “big” blogs like you and Amalah for instance, I know that you’ve got so many to deal with and I don’t take offense.

    2. I don’t write very often – I’m all about the reading and occasional comment. I’m a worse commenter since Reader though. Funnily enough, your “Monthly MVPs” thing totally motivates me – even when I just say something inane :P

    3. I love getting comments – probably because it’s so rare ;-) I don’t rate them, I’m happy to know that someone’s reading, and especially to know who they are. Though I’m less likely to respond to a one word comment, because then I don’t know what to say! I try to email back when I can though. I don’t respond in the comments because that assumes someone’s going to come back and read through the comments – and I know I have a hard enough time clicking through the first time!

  10. Michele says:

    1. I am not offended when someone doesn’t respond to a comment I’ve made. Possibly because I don’t respond to all of my comments.
    2. I spend most of my time reading blogs (on a feed reader) There are a few blogs I comment on only when I really have something to add to the conversation. Mostly I comment on my friends’ blogs. My little internet circle of friends- most of my comments come from them as well. Writing is probably my lowest priority. (This probably makes me a bad blogger.)
    3. I like comments, and don’t mind just a comment to see that someone is reading. Actually, what bothers me most is knowing that people are reading and not commenting. I want to know what they are thinking!

  11. Little Dutch Girl says:

    Zoot,
    I am not a blogger, and I read three blogs on a regular basis, yours most often, and then amalah and dooce.
    I comment occasionally, mostly on yours and I do not mind one bit that you do not reply to me. I figure that is what is to be expected since I am not a blogger and you have no idea who I am anyway. I just want to let you know that I am reading and enjoying your posts, so that is why I comment. But I hardly ever have anything substantial to contribute.
    And if it were up to me, I would prefer you keep spending the majority of your time on the actual writing, because that I what I come here for.

  12. Frank says:

    1. I wouldn’t say I’m offended when a bloger doesn’t respond to my comment, but it makes me less likely to comment on their blog in the future. I assume they have comments enabled for a reason, to get some feedback. If they don’t respond to my comment, I assume they’re not that interested in their readers or what they have to say. That being said, if it’s a popular blog and the blogger is getting 50 or more comments per entry, I understand if they don’t respond given the time commitment that would take although it would still be nice.

    2. I don’t leave a lot of comments. I’m more a reader than a commenter. If something strikes me, I will leave a comment, if not I just take pleasure from reading what the blogger has to say. I don’t get a lot of traffic to my own blog and even less comments so I don’t spend much time responding to comments. Over time I hope that changes.

    3. I like receiving comments. I don’t get many so I’m grateful for whatever I get. I’ve tried to respond to every one I receive, usually in the comments section since I can’t see their e-maill address in most cases.

  13. Monica says:

    1. I think I would only be offended if the comment I left was very personal. And even then, I don’t think it would bother me that much.
    2. I spend a lot of time reading other blogs, but since I’ve started reading them in Google Reader, I’ve become very lazy about commenting. But, I don’t even write on my own blog that often… I try really hard to respond to the emails/comments I receive but I’m often checking email right before picking my son up from school or feeding my daughter, etc.. and I don’t have the time to write a thoughtful response. I always think I’ll get around to it but then it’s a few days later and I feel lame so I don’t do it at all.
    3. I don’t mind quick comments. It’s nice to know someone thought enough about what I wrote to say anything!

  14. Alana says:

    1.I don’t comment to get commented on I comment toward the blog I wrote…

    2. I have a blog that I use on the internet when i really want to (linked on myspace) that you need to request me to be a friend to read so um wait what was the question?? Oh commenting if you are a blog person… I comment about once a week on just 3 blogs.

    3. Don’t rate don’t care what the comments are or if they comment.

    Zoot one more thing about your sensativity instead of crying when I read something that is mean or seems mean towards me (comment or email) I react by being even meaner back so crying is probably better. Although it would be best to aviod any negativity at all especially from strangers.

  15. Stacey says:

    Before I get started….Alli and Heather that comment? You guys look totally alike!! Are you guys related or is it just some look-a-like twin thing?

    okay now down to business.

    1. I don’t really get offended if someone doesn’t comment back or email back to me. I would put me at a 1.5 on the scale. In fact someone just emailed me this weekend in response to a comment I made and it suprised me and made me laugh because it was really funny. If I ask a question in the comments and it gets answered? fantastic. If it doesn’t? I am not going to go all balistic about it. But that is just me. If I had a choice between more comment responses and reading another entry? I am all about another entry.

    2. I spend about an even amount of time commenting on other blogs as I do to writing. I don’t read that many blogs in fact the ones I read on a regular basis I could count on 2 hands. I have more that I read on a weekly basis. I don’t get many emails or comments so that is low on the totem pole for me. Although apparently mentioning T@ylor H!cks and you get people coming out of the woodworks. I didn’t really respond to much of those because I know it was people who must have a google alert and have never read my blog before and just wanted info.

    3. I don’t rate my comments. Sure it would be really nice if the comments were more than just one word, and actually pertained to the entry. On the other hand? It is nice when I get more than 3 comments on a post and if one of those just says “funny!” I will gladly take it.

    I think you are a rare breed Zoot, you really take other people’s feelings in to consideration. In the end it is YOUR blog and you should do what YOU feel is right….if people don’t like it? There is one thing to do, for those people and that is not to read. It is that simple.

  16. Lisa says:

    Awww, don’t be so hard on yourself! I think that people who get upset because a blogger doesn’t respond to their comment are too sensitive….I don’t comment too often on blogs but I don’t expect the blogger to respond to any of my comments either. When they do it’s a nice surprise. I enjoy reading blogs because people are funny or insightful writers or i”ve been reading them for so long they feel like part of my life and I care about what happens to them. I think those sites that give percentages of what time you should spend blogging/reading whatever are silly. Every individual should be able to decide how they want to spend their time.

  17. 01. I do not really get offended. I try to understand that people have their hands full most of the time just like I do! I am not a big comment responder – sometimes I do and a lot of times I don’t and it is not because I do not want to, or do not like someone… I am just busy ALL THE TIME.

    02. Like you, I have a small circle that I have become really close with over the years, so I comment on their sites daily. The rest of the people I read through my reader, I try to comment weekly. But there are a handful that I truly enjoy reading daily but do not feel comfortable commenting on a regular basis – which sounds really really dumb… but oh well!

    03. I love comments. I love when they add to the conversation and make me laugh. BUT I also just like someone letting me know every once and a while that they are reading. I suck at checking all the stats and seeing who is reading and not and I have know clue how to find out who all reads me through a reader.

  18. Jennifer says:

    First, yours is the only comment I remember from Linda’s post yesterday. It was hilarious.
    If I comment on a new blog, say 10 times and never receive a reply, I am less likely to come back unless the blogger gets hundreds of comments because really that’s a lot to ask. I don’t care about replies to comments. But I think you may have replied on my very first comment here.
    I comment on about 5 different blogs a day.
    I have a hell of a time thinking what to say sometimes and do settle for stupid things like “How funny.” a lot of the time.

  19. Bev says:

    1. I do get offended if NONE of my comments are ever responded to by the same blogger. I can think of about 4, just off the top of my head that I’ve commented on periodically over many years, and never ONCE have they responded. You eventually get, that they think they’re better than you and can’t be bothered, because you’re not in the “loop”. Personally I don’t like when the responses are in the comment section because I rarely go back to them, unless it’s a really great topic. I figure… been there, done that! (BTW, you have emailed responses to me over the years…. thank you)

    2. I think I spend 75% reading, 15% blogging, and 5% commenting. I do respond to most of my comments via email, but I don’t blog near often enough to keep up my readers. Since I read through Google Reader, I too find it much less convenient to comment.

    3. I don’t rate comments at all! I’m just glad to get them, because then you know someone bothered to read, and took the time to comment.

  20. Kate says:

    Taking your lead and commenting even though I don’t usually.

    1) 1, not offended at all. I think it’s a treat when someone responds to a comment I made.

    2) I’m too shy to comment a lot of the time, and like you I really like feeling like I have something to say, so probably <5%.

    3) Happy to get comments! Yay comments!

  21. zoot says:

    Okay – I got like a million comments just while taking my son to school! NOW WHAT?

    But seriously – I hope to respond to most of you but I want you to know I’m reading EVERY ONE OF THEM. Some of them twice because I find this so interesting. I can not BELIEVE how many of you don’t mind the “How Funny!” comments because I honestly thought everyone would hate that.

    KEEP ‘EM COMING.

  22. Michelle says:

    1. I was REALLY slow to pick up on the responding to new commenters thing on my blog. It took a couple of other people doing it when I commented to realize that perhaps I should respond to new commenters. As for when I comment on a blog, I am usually surprised when I get a response. If it is a Big Blogger, I am shocked. I actually feel a little guilty because I usually comment to let them know I enjoyed the post or what I thought – I didn’t mean for it to make them take time out of their day to respond to me.

    2. I probably spend less time writing than I do reading which is skewed. I try to keep up with a lot of people and try to comment with some regularity to let them know I am thinking of them. I don’t get that many comments that need to be responded to (sadly, once I think of them as a regular or a friend, I only respond if I have something to say) so I don’t have to spend much time emailing.

    3. We all like comments. And I don’t mind the occasional “funny” or “so true” from someone who just wants to let me know they stopped by but if that is all they ever have to say and they never seem to contribute to the conversation? I find that lame. I leave those quick comments when I haven’t commented in awhile but I also try to leave a thoughtful comment here and there.

  23. Fraulein N says:

    1. I’m not offended if someone doesn’t respond to my comments, especially if it’s a “popular” blogger. Then again, I’m always excited when Chris at Rude Cactus takes the time to email me back — even if it’s just to say “Thanks” — even if he’s gotten like 50 comments. And I know I always love to see a response from Miss Zoot in my inbox. ;-)

    2. I think I spend the most time reading, then commenting, and then writing on my own blog. I’m more likely to have something to say in response to someone else than I am to be able to organize my own thoughts on an original subject. I make every effort to respond to every single comment on my blog, because really I don’t get that many and I’d feel lame if I didn’t. I respond in the comments section because it’s easier that way; I didn’t realize some people prefer to get an emailed response.

    3. I love comments. I’ll admit it: I am a comment whore. Every comment, no matter how simple or short or goofy, makes me happy. Unless, you know, they say something like “you’re an asshole and you smell funny.” Not that that ever happened to me, but it wouldn’t be very nice.

  24. SarahJ says:

    I don’t really get offended if I am not responded to, though sometimes, if I have been particularly heartfelt or empathetic to a blogger who doesn’t have a huge stack of comments–either in general, or to a particular entry–it surprises me. Sometimes it makes me feel a little bad, too, I guess, but other times, honestly, it makes me feel like the blogger blogs because she needs to be heard and needs or wants the attention more than she wants the full expanse of the blogging/blogger relationship.

    But all that sounds really overstated when I type it, because I truly think most readers need to take a damn chill and I am just grateful you provide so much new content, which I love! I also think it makes perfect sense you would think an angry comment was directed to you. I for one had no idea that bloggers don’t just come and click on their own comments and read them right in a row like the rest of us. I think you feel maybe TOO bad about all this.

  25. carrisablog says:

    1. I don’t get offended when a blogger doesn’t respond to my comment unless I’m asking them a specific question. So I guess a 2. And I will admit Zoot, I also used to think you didn’t like me. Or that maybe you were too cool to be my friend or something. But then I met you in person and realized I was totally wrong. You are so humble and sweet and just how I had hoped you would be.

    2. I probably spend 50% reading, 25% writing and 25% commenting/responding. When you subscribe to as many blogs as I do, how can you not spend the most time reading? And since I discovered google reader… well it just makes me lazy.

    3. I don’t really think I rate the comments on my blog. Although sometimes I get upset when I think some of my better posts get little or no comments and then I go and post about moisturizer and get lots of comments from people I didn’t even know read my blog. It makes me nervous to blog about the other stuff.

  26. 1) I actually DON”T expect to be answered or addressed. I used to, but through experience, I’ve realized that I won’t be. BUT. I love it when I am acknowledged, either in the comments (although, unless I know that the blogger regularly does that, I don’t keep checking back for comments) or email.

    2) I TRY to comment. I tend to favor regular commenters on my site. Even if I don’t have much to add. Usually, new commenters will get an email. They’ll get a comment if I have something to add, or after they’ve been around for a couple posts or so.

    3) I’m grateful for all my comments. Because sometimes you post a picture of your kid, and it’s nice to hear “Cute”.

    PS- I’m glad you wrote this. Because awhile back, you were supposed to “spotlight” me, and you didn’t. Now I know you just forgot. :-)

  27. Heather says:

    1. I am not offended {1} , I am barely a hobbiest blogger myself and when I comment on big blogs I assume the writer is negotiating awesome book contracts or playing with the kids or whatever. With smaller blogs I have higher hopes of responses of some sort, so for them I might be dissapointed at about a {3}

    2. In order- I read, I write, I comment. I’m a big chicken about commenting, because I like to say something of substance and I rarely have anything to say. At the moment my blog is grossly Emo and so I’m almost not doing this comment for fear you’ll go look at my site and think horrible things about me.

    3. I’m just tickled that someone commented, not enough people do to have a conversation yet.

  28. Sarah says:

    1. Maybe it is because my site gets very little traffic and honestly only has people who actually know me leaving me comments, but I would never even think to be offended if you didn’t leave me a comment. In all honesty, if you did come to my site and leave something, I would totally just die. I am going to go ahead and give this a 1…if I get a comment back, big score, but I would NEVER expect it.

    2. I would say I spend about 1% of the time commenting. I am very uncomfortable with leaving strangers comments, adn even when I read blogs and feel like I know people, can realate to situations and might even have some decent insight, I will not comment. I am the queen Lurker. I spend about 40% of the time blogging…and then I guess that leave 59% for reading!

    3. I don’t get many comments, so this doenst really apply to me. Anything I get, even if it is just a “I stopped by” gives me joy…

    **On a seperate note, I am also a very emotional person, take everything personally and commonly cannot control tears coming, even when I know they are not even remotely called for. People who leave mean comments are just terrible. There is no need to be rude when people put themselves outthere like bloggers do!

  29. Sonia says:

    I did this kind of informal survey a couple months back. Almost everyone wants to be responded to in some way, either in the comment thread or with an email response. Not every day but occasionally, so that the blogger gives a shit that they’re alive and the blog is more about a relationship formed with the readers than some kind of pep rally with the comments merely an affirmation of how awesome the writer is and no attempt at reciprocation.
    It is impossible from day to day to respond to 20-25 commenters. But I try to at least with semi-regularity email or comment back so the readers know I AM reading their comments and appreciate the time they spent at my blog.
    If I read a blog with regularity for quite some time and I never get any hint that they have acknowledged my existence, I will stop visiting there. Blogging is a two-way relationship, writer to reader.
    Here’s a completely idiotic analogy:
    Your favorite author writes a book, has a book signing, but after waiting in line, the author makes no eye contact with you, doesn’t care that you bought several copies, and refuses to autograph them.
    I think most of your readers know you don’t comment back because you write more content, but I also think you’re right and you’re in the minority in not doing so. It’s OK, I’ve been reading you the whole time I’ve been a blogger and you emailed me on a comment once and I still read. But when you did email me, it was better than curing a disease and getting Miss America, all in one day! :)

  30. tasha says:

    1) I couldn’t care less if someone responds to my comment. On the rare occasion that I leave one, it is simply because I feel that what I have to say NEEDS to be said (even if it is just YUM Captain Jack) and I don’t need someone responding.
    2) not a blogger, not a clue
    3) not a blogger not a clue

    lots of hugs for all the sogginess over there, keep your head up and eyes forward, you have a lot of supporters out here.

  31. Steff says:

    I have a blog that I rarely update because I prefer to read other blogs and “sometimes” comment.

    It does not bother me if bloggers do not respond to my comments. I would rather they spend time creating their next post which usually a) make me laugh b) reflect on my own life or c) teach me something I didn’t know. Sometimes I can tell in their next post they read my comment.

  32. Item one, I LOVE IT when bloggers (especially “popular” ones) reply to comments I make. However, if they don’t, I don’t mind so much.

    Item two, I should lurk less and comment more. I am trying to comment more. And I should reply to comments more often. After reading this, I think I’ll make it a point to reply to all comments instead of like the half that I currently reply to.

    That being said, onto item three. ALL COMMENTS ARE GOOD COMMENTS, even OMG HE IS HOTT after I just blogged about my dead sister or something and happened to mention Brad Pitt in the same post.

    This is a big one for me. I am not a new blogger, but I’m only recently trying to take it seriously. I get maybe 1 or 2 comments per post. Yet 40+ people are subscribed. If everyone who read my blog commented? It would do amazing wonders for my self esteem. I would even take negative comments, I just want feedback and want to know that people are reading. The content of the comment itself isn’t important.

    And finally, I love this blog. Keep on keepin’ on Zoot. You are a superstar.

  33. BJaxon62 says:

    Personally, I never expect any of my comments on any blogs to receive a response from the blogger.
    I assume the blogger is responsible for writing the blog, not acknowledging my 2 cents. I don’t look on any blogger as a source of wisdom, confidant, or Ann Landers substitute.
    I just assumed that bloggers did their blogging for their own enjoyment, as a hobby, and had pretty busy lives already of their own.
    I also write letters to the editors of newspapers & to some magazines. I don’t expect those to get a reply or an acknowledgement. That’s the same way I look at commenting on a blog.
    To anyone who feels put out that Zoot doesn’t reply to thier post, I say, “Get over it. She’s a full-time Mom with 2 kids & one on the way. She’s got way more important stuff to deal with than responding to anyone who comments on her blog.”
    To Zoot I say, “You keep up the good work. Take care of yourself, your kids, & your husband (in that order). Blog when you can. Your real fans don’t need replys.” :)

  34. Amy W says:

    1. I am not offended when bloggers don’t respond to my comments. I understand that we all are busy with whatever parts of our lives, and if you respond, great, if not, no biggie. And I am like you, most of my comments are completely lame anyways.

    2. I spend about 30 minutes writing a day (working, part time school, and two kids aged 4 and 2 seriously cut into my blogging time). I take at least one day a week to comment on all the blogs in my reader. Otherwise, I just have time to read.

    3. I don’t rate the comments, although I do love them! I have gotten so much help, found new blogs to read, and made friends through people who have left comments.

  35. I’m a fairly new blogger and don’t have much traffic at all, but I will answer the questions that you have posted.

    1. As a blog reader to many blogs, I would have to say that I am not offended at all if I comment and don’t get a response back. A lot of times I’m not even expecting a response.

    2. I probably spend most of my time reading other peoples blogs. I rarely comment on other blogs unless I feel like I have a worthy comment. Most times it seems as if other commenter’s have said what I would have said anyways. It would be hard for me to do the percentage breakdown.

    3. I don’t rate comments on my blog because 1) I rarely get them and 2) I don’t think that would be fair to the commenter.

    I really enjoy reading your blog Zoot!!!!

  36. ferd says:

    I am not a blogger. Please take it easy on yourself. Try to be less critical of yourself. I am amazed when anyone takes the time to respond to a comment of mine. I don’t comment expecting a response. Thank you for your wonderful blog.

  37. Sils says:

    1. I think I’m probably a 5 on this, and only because it goes one way or the other. Either I don’t care at all or I think, “I was totally insightful there! Why aren’t you responding to me!?” Most of the time I understand that people are too busy to respond to every, sginle comment received.

    2. I don’t know that I’m technically a blogger, I have a livejournal that I’ve had for 7+ years that I update regularly but lately it’s been sporadic. Most of my commentors are friends and they don’t always comment. It’s an even split for me.

    3. I don’t rate them because I have a big thing with validation. It doesn’t matter if the comment is big or small, has proper spelling, or is just an emoticon — the person responded to me for a reason and that’s cool, no matter what they say.

  38. Audrey says:

    1. I’m not really offended when you don’t respond to comments. I know that you are super busy, and I know you’ve blogged before about not always having time to email everyone back, so I don’t stress about it too much. It doesn’t keep me from commenting or make me enjoy your blog any less. On the other hand, I do LOVE getting responses to my comments (if my comments are something meriting a response — I don’t think a “Funny!” comment really needs a response, because, really, what are you going to say to that? With my own comments I’m all about emailing back if 1) I have something to say to further the conversation or 2) it’s a first-time commenter and I want to show my appreciation for their taking the time to read and comment. but I think I’m getting ahead of myself here). Um, where was i? Oh, yeah. I love getting responses to my comments and I also was overjoyed this one time when you left a comment on my blog. I was all “Holy Crap! Zoot read this!” It was like a blogging milestone to me, because I think you’re really cool and stuff. :)

    2. I have a folder of blogs in my feed reader that I try to read and comment on (if I have something to say) daily, and then I have a ton of other blogs that I enjoy reading but the un-read posts stack up because stupid things like “work” take priority. (What? Crazy!) I probably spend 50% of my blogging time reading, 20% writing and 30% emailing. (See my comment responding philosophy above.)

    3. I am mostly just happy to get the comments, even if they are just “That’s so funny!” I don’t get a ton of comments every day, so every comment is exciting. The only ones I don’t love are the ones that seem to completely miss the point of the post. However, I’d also like to say that I love your comment on Linda’s post. Sometimes as a writer I throw in little references to hotties like that for fun, and I love it when people pick up on that in the comments.

    In conclusion, have you read Schnozz’s recent posts about how everyone is crazy? As a person with low-ish self esteem, those posts have really got me thinking about how to not be so damn self conscious all the time. They’re great posts; if you haven’t read them and are interested, let me know and I’ll send you the link.

  39. Audrey says:

    p.s. Holy longest comment ever! Sorry about that!

  40. confiance says:

    1. I really don’t expect a reply. If I get one, that’s great and I’m thankful that the blogger took the time to respond, but when bloggers get 40+ comments on an entry, I don’t expect that they realize I’m a new reader. So, on the scale, a 1.

    2. I spend most of my time reading other blogs. I comment if I have something to say or a question to ask. If someone leaves a comment, and I don’t know them, I check their blog out, should they have one or write a quick e-mail. But then, I get comments on about 10% of my entries and half the time it is spam.

    3. That said, I don’t mind the short n’ sweet comments. It lets me know people are there and they actually took the time to READ, rather than skimming and deciding I’m boring and a waste of their time. I’m still building a reading base, so that’s exciting. Also, given that I so rarely comment – how can I expect so much of others? I love when people add to the topic, or answer MY questions, but I don’t expect it. I write for me, but I share with the whole Internets as well.

    Also, would like to add that I sometimes comment on other blogs because I know gets more people reading my blog, comming from comments sections of huge blogs. But I don’t leave a comment that says “HI! I like this. I BLOG HERE. COME VISIT ME.” Treat the blog as the blogger’s living room – if you wouldn’t say it to her face, don’t say it at all.

    Sorry for the thesis, but I’m an English major who is about to be late for class and yet, can’t stop typing.

  41. grace says:

    I don’t ever comment (Ok, I really really rarely comment) because I don’t usually have anything to add. I don’t think bloggers have a responsibility to answer comments, really.

    If this stuff bothers you, why don’t you do something like Robyn (bitchypoo) and make a comment-question answering post every so often. (Maybe she would be offended to be copied but you could always ask her).

    I like bloggers who say upfront in the “about” that they don’t answer comments and rarely answer emails, and that it doesn’t mean anything except they are busy, blah blah blah.

  42. Sarah says:

    Wow. You’ve already gotten a lot of feedback regarding this, so feel free to toss my two cents out.. which may answer more than one question before I begin the numbers. :)

    1) I don’t comment to garner a response. I comment because something I’ve read has elicited some emotional response on my end. Admittedly, some of the blogs I read have responded to my comments (via email, which was new to me), and we’ve developed friendships because of that. But in general, I don’t expect a response. It’s kinda like giving a gift in anticipation of a thank-you note, imho.

    2) I comment pretty regularly, to be honest. But again, it’s because I type fast and don’t really care about receiving any response. I know that I like comments, so I assume other people do too. Even if it’s just a “OMG” or a “NOM NOM NOM”. :)

    3) I love any and all attention and feel honored to get it, even if it’s just a “LOL”. So I rate any comment as “HOORAY, SOMEONE READS ME!”

  43. Hmmm…I have to say that I rate not commenting about a 4. Not super, super important but an occasional comment is nice for the old blogger ego. I spend more time reading other blogs than I do writing on my own because I am a new blogger and I have so much to learn. I also prefer reading to writing so its a personality thing. If someone leaves me a comment I try to at least go visit their blog and check out their last few entries. I try to comment at least 2 times a week on people’s blogs just so they know that I am reading and supporting what they have to say. If I ever get a larger following it would get harder and my commenting would suffer so I understand that you have to prioritize.

  44. zoot says:

    I’m currently letting my daughter play with a lighter and some thumbtacks so that I can respond to comments. Do you think I’ve now hit the other end of the spectrum?

  45. NG says:

    Zoot, I think I’m on your end of the spectrum.

    1. 1. I am seriously not offended when others don’t respond to my comments. Maybe I’m just a big ol’ egotist, but my first thought is “they probably don’t have time” and not “they probably hate me.” I seldom go back to blogs to see if someone responded to my comment anyway and some people get entirely too many comments to use that “notify me of follow up comments box”. I’d never see the end of my inbox!

    2. Again, I would much rather spend time writing (and reading!) than commenting because I have so little time. The blog is first and foremost for me to record stuff I want to remember so if I spend all my time commenting and no time writing, I miss that main goal of journaling which was the reason I started blogging in the first place. But I’ve come to acknowledge that most folks really want more comments. So I really try to comment more lately. The problem is I hate being the “me too” commenter. If I think of something to say and it’s already been said by some other witty person, then I’ll generally let their comment stand on its own. I want to contribute, dammit!

    3. I think everyone wants comment love. I’m as happy getting to “me too” comments as I am getting the really insightful/funny comments. I just don’t like BEING the “me too” commenter. It’s a double standard, I know. I’ve got issues.

  46. Liana says:

    1. Most of the time I am absolutely NOT offended if a blogger doesn’t respond to my comment- I don’t even expect it UNLESS the blogger has responded to most of or all the comments. Then I might feel a little left out, but not offended.
    Honestly, when a blogger DOES respond to my comment, it is a hugely nice surprise and makes me really happy, BECAUSE I didn’t expect it or assume they should.
    I assume people have a lot going on and don’t have the time to respond to every comment.
    AND, I don’t even usually check back to see if there was a response (except on a few site)- I often only know I got a response if I get an e-mail notification.

    2. I don’t know my percentages, but right now I definitely read the most, comment sometimes, and am trying to write more….to me, my biggest failing is NOT writing enough. Plus I don’t get enough comments to count time spent responding as much time spent at all.

    3. I admit that while I LOVE comments, I would kinda prefer that the comment be on what I wrote in the entry…this is partly because I don’t get a lot of comments- I get excited when I get one but then it’s a little bit of a let-down when it’s maybe just a word or two or not very relevant to my entry.
    All that being said, a greeting or an “i like this” is still nice and makes me happy, just on a different level. ANY comment lets me know someone came by and was reading and took the time to post something, which at my small-scale blog stage is a very encouraging thing.

    Love your blog!! :)

  47. Kathy says:

    I’m not offended at all if a blogger doesn’t respond to my comment. Who has time for all that? I’d much rather read a new post of yours than having you waste time saying thank you or hello to my comment. I never expect a response from any site when I comment, in fact I’m usually pretty shocked when I get a response (which has happened very rarely).
    I’m only a blog reader for now, so I really don’t have a response for the other questions. I read a lot of blogs almost daily but hardly ever, ever comment — maybe only a couple times a year? This is actually my first blog comment for the entire year. I guess I don’t comment much because I don’t feel I have enough to add or I don’t think the comments are read.

  48. Aardvark says:

    1. if you don’t start commenting on my blog…I won’t let you bring us cupcakes anymore ;)

    2. probably 50/50. But I only have about 3 readers…so I comment on everything to help drive traffic (i am a total comment whore)

    3. Any comment makes me happy (see “comment whore” above)

  49. Kathy says:

    I’m horrible about responding to comments. And I get few, so it’s entirely possible for me to acknowledge each one. (I have a disclaimer somewhere on my blog that literally says I rarely respond to comments, but that doesn’t mean I don’t read them. To be honest, sometimes the comments are smarter than anything I could have written myself, and I don’t know how to respond.)

    As far as commenting on other blogs, if leaving comments on 2-5 blogs a day is slacking, then call me a slacker. (I think that’s a pretty good average, actually.)

  50. SpaceCase says:

    1. I never assume anyone will respond to a comment I leave, unless I specifcally ask a direct question. So I’m not offended if I don’t hear back. Sometimes when I do hear back, I feel pressured to continue the conversation via e-mail! Weird, huh?

    2. I probably spend 50% writing, 45% reading and 5% commenting/responding to comments. I admit it – I’m a anti-social lurker.

    3. I don’t think I rate the comments on my blog. I read them all, of course, and enjoy it when anyone leaves a comment of any nature. No matter what the comment, it’s a gateway for me to see who is reading, and if they have a blog I can read.

    As for responding to the comments on my posts, I usually just don’t have time. I read them all, and I enjoy them, but for me it’s more about the post-writing communication than the back and forth communication after the post is written (unless, of course, the post itself is a solicitation for advice or ideas). I never would have known until reading this post today that it would offend anyone to have not have their comments replied to via e-mail! I’m just out of the loop on that, I guess!

  51. E! says:

    My Questions To You:
    1. I’m not OFFENDED per say…though I almost pee myself anytime a blogger responds back to me…I do think about it though. In my head, even if the comments are stupid, look at how many people take the time out to comment on your blog? We’re all just little peon bloggers hoping for a response back. You have, however, responded when I had specific technical questions and once wrote me a nice email response to an email I sent you a few years ago, which was nice. So, I’ll rank as a 5 I guess. I’m a fence-rider. I DO appreciate the massive amounts of content, but also enjoy communication in the blog-o-sphere.

    2. I only get about 2-3 comments per my posts because I have very few people who actually read I suppose…but I ALWAYS reply. I have created several good commenting/email relationships with bloggers across the country as a result. I guess it breaks down to 20% writing, 40% reading, 40% spreadin’ the comment love.

    3. I don’t rate. I just appreciate the readership and the fact someone was willing to say something to me about something I wrote, even if it’s “dumb”. If you just say “funny” that’s fine with me! At least I know I’m witty once in a great while!

    Hope this helps!

  52. Busy Mom says:

    Food for thought.

    While I love to get responses, I’m not offended if someone doesn’t respond. Life is busy, it’s OK.

    I am a terrible responder, I go through phases. Sometimes I’m good at it, other times not so much.

    I love any and all comments, I don’t really think about them in terms of “quality”, though I will on occasion think to myself “wtf?” if I get an off the wall one.

    The feed reader (and, OK this pesky job thing I have) has made me a lazy commenter, I need to get better at it.

  53. Troy says:

    Referring to the angry comments: I know how that feels. Writing a sports blog over the past year, I’ve received several mean-spirited comments to petty thoughts that I depicted on my blog. In all the 30 apples, there’s going to be one that equals a bad one. (The previous sentence may be the worst analogy ever devised.)

  54. cagey says:

    1. As a blog reader, I do not expect a response to my comment. When I get one, I am very touched because I understand the time it takes to do that. Cool! But I do not expect a response.

    2. I probably spent more time reading and commenting on other blogs than I actually spend on my own blog. This varies depending if there is anything going on in my life worth writing about (um, not usually!) and also depends if I have hit a writing block (lately? a lot!). Honestly? I comment a lot because I think it is FUN. I am pretty opinionated and love spouting off. I only reply if I feel I have something to add – I rarely do the “Love you, love your blog” comments.

    3. Most of my comments are from RL friends or blog friends. It doesn’t matter to me what sort of comments they leave, quite frankly. I am frequently commenting on their blogs, so it sorta feels like a conversation to us.

  55. Laura says:

    I’m not offended if I don’t get a response and don’t expect one from folks who get a lot of comments. I am secretly thrilled and do a little happy dance when I do get a response.

    I respond to most of my comments because I’m a newish blogger and appreciate each and every comment so very much.

    I only comment when I feel I have something to really add to a discussion, or if I really think something’s well written.

  56. misty says:

    Well, I’m a crappy commenter but I figured I’d let you know my thoughts. First of all, I’m a reader only not a blogger. It does not bother me at all when I leave a comment on someones blog and it’s not responded to. That would take alot of time, and I personally would prefer to read more of your entries than have you personally answer my comments.

    With that being said, I think you are doing a great job and you are by far my favorite blogger.

  57. 1. I am not offended one single little bit if someone doesn’t respond to a comment I’ve left. I am impressed by the people who do take the time to respond to comments regularly, but I honestly don’t see the ponit of doing it as a habit unless there is actually something to say. So I’d say I’m a 1.

    2. I feel the same way about leaving a comment. I try to leave comments because I know people love them, but if I have nothing to add, I don’t feel bad about not commenting. I’d rather not comment than fret about my comment being seen as “stupid” because sometimes I like to overthink things a bit. To answer your question, I probably spend 40% of my blogging time reading other blogs, and 10% commenting and responding to comments/emails. That leaves 50% for writing, which isn’t that much, but when I’m not feeling inspired to write something myself it’s a lot easier to just go to my feed reader.

    3. I don’t mind comments like “Funny!” at all, but I hope people aren’t leaving comments like that just because they think I’ll cry if I don’t get enough comments.

    I don’t know how you would have time to write as much as you do, read blogs, have a life AND respond to every comment you get. You may not think you’re one of the “popular” blogs, but YOU ARE. And the only reason you have entries with a small number of comments is because the rest of us mere mortals can’t keep up with you!

  58. birdgal says:

    I’m not a blogger, but I read about 50 to 60 sites–I get the content through my feed-reeder but I usually click through. I comment probably 10% of the time (I try not to be a serial lurker) and have gotten actual direct responses from a very small handful (maybe three or four?). It doesn’t offend me in the slightest, really. Though when I do get a response, it makes me happy :).

  59. Isabel says:

    What a great post. I love ones like this…even if MrZ doesn’t!

    1- I admit that as a fresh new blogger (years ago!) I would get offended. But then I realized it’s almost impossible, as a blogger, to spend all your time responding to comments. That being said, if I do leave a question comment, or something like that, I would appreciate a response. But dude, it’s not required and I wouldn’t get offended if I didn’t get one…I’d just appreciate one.

    2- I totally spent the majority of my “blogging time” writing on my own blog. A small amount of time is spent responding to comments (I used to respond to EVERY SINGLE COMMENT, but can’t do that anymore). I spend most of my internet time just e-mailing with my online friends!

    3- I would never have even thought about rating my comments. Mostly I’m just glad that someone is interested enough to leave a comment. So yeah, comment!

    (I don’t like bloggers responding to comments in the comments as I NEVER go back to read comments.)

  60. Monica says:

    I don’t care at all if people don’t reply to my comment. To me that seems like sending a thank you for a thank you card.

    I would much rather they spend their time reading MY blog and commenting there!

  61. D'Rae says:

    1. Does not offend me unless I ask a specific question. But when I am asked a question I do try to respond back to that person.
    2. I only coment on others blogs when I feel like. I don’t make a point to routinely do it. I try and post to my blog about once a day.
    3. I like all the comments I get, but I don’t really rate them. I just enjoy them.

  62. Marthamydear says:

    Dear zoot,

    Delurking to comment on your question. I’m a non-blogger and for me, new content is more interesting than comments. I only read about 7 different blogs and I follow them like some people follow soap operas on TV. I only read through the comments if the responses are to a question asked in the entry and I’m interested in the answers. So I would rate question 1 as a 1- not offended. However, there have been two occasions where I have emailed the blogger directly (instead of posing a question in comments) in anticipation of a response. I got a response to one of them and really appreciated the effort.
    I really enjoy your stories and I can always count on you to have new entries. The Blog More month (I can’t rememebr the acronym) was great because there was always something new to read! I guess you just have a different blogging philosophy than others – more entry focused than response focus. It shows you have a different motivation for blogging, which is update driven for family and friends. I like it, which is why I keep coming back. Keep up the good work!

  63. Pocklock says:

    1) I’d say it depends. Is the blogger I left a comment for responding to other people’s comments in the comment stream? If so, then, yes. I’d feel unworthy of a response.

    2) 50% writing, 35% commenting, 15% responding. Does that even add up to 100%? I suck at math.

    3) I don’t think of myself as someone who just wants comments no matter what they say, but I don’t rate what people comment because I know it took an effort to click out the reader and put some sort of thought together. I’m glad they took this time to show me they cared enough to say something.

    Overall, it really depends on the situation. Blogs that get over 200 comments per post I’m less likely to comment on (unless it’s big news like an engagement, pregnancy, or birth) because I know I wouldn’t be getting anything back. No one has that kind of time. However, it really makes me smile when I do get something back — from anyone — even if it is just a ‘Thank you’. So I try to do that for my commenters.

  64. Michelle says:

    1) It would kind of depend. If I were going to be offended, I’d have to take things into consideration, like – am I the only person not receiving a response? If so, why? Is it because my comment was lame? Maybe because I’m new to this person’s blog? Maybe because I smell funny?

    I often find myself trying to leave something witty or funny and then go back five minutes later, find out that my comment was the mark of a total doofus, and unable to delete it. So, no, I’m not easily offended if my comments are not replied to. Then again, I don’t leave as many as I probably should, judging by your post.

    So, the numerical response being maybe a 2.5.

    2) Um…darn it, I have no pie graph thingamy. I don’t spend a whole lot of time commenting on other people’s blogs, because as I mentioned above, I have Teh Fear of Teh Lame. When a reply is easy, like a sincere “Congratulations!” or replying to direct questions such as with this entry, then I can spend all day commenting if I’ve got the time.

    Replying to emails and comments on my own blog doesn’t take much time because I don’t get very much of either, but I do reply to everything that isn’t spam.

    Writing my blog absolutely takes up the most time.

    3) I don’t rate the comments on my blog, I’m happy to get what I get. Maybe someone who leaves a one word reply, like “Funny!” or “LOL” wants to make their presense/response known, but, like me, has Teh Fear of Teh Lame. On the other hand, I have deleted one or two comments like that because it seemed obvious to me that they were just doing it for the linkback to their own spamblog/advertising thingy/whatever. If the link went back to a legitimate blog then I would leave it, though.

  65. Juls says:

    1. In my early days of blogging, I commented a lot. I was searching for some recognition of belonging to the blogosphere. It thrilled me when I got a comment back on my blog from the blogger or an email response. After the initial contact, I did not expect anything more from the contact. It was more of an introduction and I felt that if I liked what I read, I’d be back and likewise.

    2. It is hard to put percentages on the time that I spend on each activity. It all depends upon what responses I get. I don’t have nearly as many readers/comments as you so it is easy to respond to the new faces in the crowd. I do try to click over and see their blog. I will either email back or post a comment on their blog as a way of recognizing them reaching out (de-lurking). As for my regular reader/comments, I generally read them on bloglines, and rarely post a comment (as I often read from work). I do respond to a lot of the email notifications of comments though.

    3. I don’t consciously “rate” my comments, but I guess I do take them with a grain of salt. I tend to expose a lot of my deep thoughts on my blog and so I am sensitive about the feedback. There are a few of my regular readers that have had a similar loss (my husband died last year) whose comments tend to speak to me better than others. In that sense, I suppose I rank them up at the top of the others. I have only felt the need to delete one comment (that was really rude and uncalled for) in the couple of years that I have been blogging.

    * I have also deleted blog entries, or written them and not posted until I knew they’d only be discovered by my serious readers (who usually see it by subscribing to my feed).

  66. Z says:

    1. I’m not offended at all to not get a response to a comment. I don’t ever expect it – I’m happily surprised when people do respond, but it’s certainly not something I ever expect or look for. Most of the time, for most of the blogs I comment on, there is no response to the comment. And that’s A-OK with me – I’m commenting one something they wrote because it struck a chord with me and I want to let them know that, not because I expect anything in return… Oh… You want a number… That would be a 1 (or maybe even a 0) for me. I read and comment based on what people write, not on their response(s) to comments.

    2. My percentages are something like yours… I’d estimate: 50% writing, 45% reading, 5% commenting… And I rarely respond to comments on my blog, unless something about that comment seems to really deserve a response or it’s someone I’ve developed a relationship/have an IRL relationship with…
    The truth is, I started my blog to write more, so that’s what is most important to me. I opened it up to the public because I felt like a voyeur reading people without them knowing who I was in return, but really – I write for myself, and if I had no readers whatsoever I would continue to do it. I read because I’m interested in other people’s lives, either because they have become friends or because I want to escape my own for a little bit ;) And I comment? Only when I feel a comment is due – when someone has written something that really strikes a chord with me, either saying exactly how I feel or going through something I have already (or want to in the future). Or when there is a really fantastic picture that I just want to gush about (even if sometimes my gushing is only a word or two)…

    3. Nope, no rating of comments. Whatever anyone feels like saying (unless it’s really inappropriate) is fine by me, whether it’s one word or a paragraph or a novel…

  67. Marilyn says:

    You’ve heard all about what I think but I’m just obnoxious enough to share my thoughts again here:

    1. I give that a big ol’ *1*. Totally not offended. Like I told you, I have gotten to where I really don’t expect people to respond to anything I write so I don’t give it another thought when a blogger doesn’t respond to my comment. THAT SAID, I am more likely to comment again and sooner if I do get a response because I feel a greater connection then. So no, not offended. But it does give me warm fuzzies when they do reply. :)

    2. Oh god, my percentages are pretty awful. I think my actual blogging is about 10%, Reading blogs is about 70% and email is 20%. I should spend more time writing. That said, I use email as a break from the other two activities. I sometimes have a hard time coming up with something to post about and when that happens, I turn to email. If there’s no email, then there’s ALWAYS something in my feed reader to read. But, like you, there’s so much that I don’t actually comment on other blogs all that much. I’m a shy lurker type anyhow.

    3. HECK no. I do not rate comments. I love all my comments. EVERY SINGLE ONE. They are precious to me, probably because I don’t get a whole lot to begin with. So adding to the convo or just saying “cool post” or “I agree”.. it’s all good to me.

    So there you have it. :) DO NOT FEEL BAD, I urge you. There are no rules to this and you just do what works best for you, kay?

  68. kobri says:

    1) Doesn’t bother me a bit. I never expected to get responses to my comments and the first time it happened it freaked me out a bit when I saw the email in my list because I thought OMG what did I say, did I really offened someone so much that they felt the need to email me? But it was all good and you just thought what I said was funny and that lifted me up a bit cause I think that you are funny. But I never post a comment expecting a response.
    2) Not a blogger
    3) Not a blogger although I usually save commenting for when I have something to say, but I would think just adding “funny” would still be a contribution to the positive energy so would still be a valuable statement I guess. The only one that bugs me, as a reader is “first” or I guess stuff that sounds childish and insulting to either the blogger or other commenters because why waste your time?

  69. Tasha says:

    1st a few things. I am so sorry that your feelings were hurt. As a reader of about 2 years, I know you can be sensitive sometimes and this is just blogging…mostly for fun.
    2nd, I hardly if ever comment back to people who comment on my site..Some are no replys when I try and I am to lazy to try and find their email address. others, I really have nothing to say back when they comment…I think its okay.

    Anyways
    #1. Its okay you don’t comment back to me, I never thought twice about it..If you have something to add then feel free to comment back, but really the comments back and forth could go on forever :)
    #2. I read maybe about 50 blogs and really only comment on about 3 or 4 daily, and thats because I know them personally. Sometimes if I feel compelled to comment on others, but not much..I just commented on Amalahs because of her good news, but I haven’t commented for maybe 6 months before that..
    #3. I do not rate my comments…all 3 of them I get a day. Someone may have more to say than others, or some may say the witty 1 word comment and all that is fine with me.

    And may I add, Zoot, you may not think of your self as a popular blog or whatever, but you are one of my favs and I have to run to the computer each morning to read you. I read you 1st because I can always count on the update so early in the morning..LOL. You make me laugh, and cry and smile and feel good inside all in 1 post and for that you are #1 in my book :)

    Have a great day!

  70. WonderSpot says:

    1. I don’t care if my comments get responded to; I tend to feel that the bloggers have alread done their bit by writing the post, right?

    2. I’m pretty self concious about commenting, too. I try to only do it when I have something to add to the conversation. But also, I’m so new at blogging that I try to comment on a few blogs a day so that people will have the idea that I exist on this here InterWeb.

    3. I don’t rate comments, but I have deleted some that were either just plain mean or obviously spam that the filter didn’t catch. Even if someone just writes “hi” I get excited beacuse I like to know that someone is reading what I wrote.

  71. rai says:

    1. I don’t think about it a whole lot, but if I comment a dozen or so times and never get a comment back I stop commenting. Unless it’s someone with a huge following and I know that they can’t respond back to a couple hundred people a day. For the record, I don’t worry about getting a comment back from you. Of course out of the two comments I’ve left you’ve responded to 50% of them. =]

    2. 10%? Provided they’re not people I know in real life. I have to be really motivated to comment about someone’s life that I’m not remotely involved in.

    3. I’m a LJer and don’t have a fanbase outside of my friend list. I also don’t deal with anything terribly serious, so a conversation in the comments is a rare thing.

  72. Jules says:

    1. I like to hear back from bloggers if I comment on their blogs. The dialogue and connection with another person that can start up from that is part of why I got into the whole blogging thing to begin with. That said I am not at all offended, it doesn’t tick me off. Usually I just stop commenting.

    2. Lately I’ve been spending most of my time reading. Very little writing (I’m so uninspiring) and only commenting on my favorite blogs. I respond in the comments of my blog instead of an individual email because I like to keep the conversation going. Sometimes people will post 3 or 4 comments and to me that’s kinda fun and it allows other people to get involved in the conversation too. I have to admit though I never thought about what would happen if I didn’t acknowledge all of the commenters – I definitely don’t want to make anyone feel excluded.

    I think if you have to choose it’s definitely worth it to focus on the writing because that’s what keeps people coming back. That compulsive need to see what’s next.

    3. I’m fine with people just posting “Funny” or something like that but I guess I rate them in terms of what really needs or requires a response or not. Does “funny” really need me to write back or is that enough said? I don’t know.

  73. Nette says:

    I rarely comment because usually someone has already said what I wanted to say, but better. Also, I would NEVER expect someone to respond to my comments and I’m really surprised when it happens. I know that blogger doesn’t know me from adam and probably doesn’t notice whether I comment or not. (Although if I see you on the street one day if you ever visit California don’t be surprised if you hear someone screaming Zoot! four blocks away. Just go with it.)

    As far as people attacking what you have to say, the extra pastry for example, I have 2 thoughts on that. One, you are redecorating rooms, have gas for 80 mile trips, etc. It’s not like you’re counting change for gas money yet buying venti frappuccinos at starbucks. Someone who has the nerve to comment on your decision to buy an EXTRA PIECE OF BREAD??? has their own issues they need to deal with.

    Secondly, you blog here and give us the privilege of being voyeurs into your world. Even when we disagree with something you blog about, it makes no sense to be nasty to you or any other blogger. Especially nasty enough to make someone consider taking their blog down altogether. That’s just ridiculous. Once again, their own issues they are putting off on you.

    Even if you get 20 good, supportive, shiny comments, that one ugly one will do you in. It’s a tough thing to overlook, but it’s your blog and you can say what you want in it. Yours is a kind one, and does nothing to criticize others. If someone comes here and doesn’t like what you have to say, it’s just like a tv channel they can turn off. They can just not visit here anymore. Just keep doing your thing. You have lots of support out here.

  74. Amber says:

    1. As a blog reader – how offended are you when I (or any other blogger) don’t respond to your comments?

    To be completely honest, I don’t generally expect to get a response to my comments, especially on blogs like yours, where each entry normally already has loads of comments by the time I get round to adding mine. In fact, a lot of the time I’d be surprised if you even found time to read my comment when it’s burried away at the bottom of the pile, so absolutely no offence is taken :)

    2. As a blogger – what percentage of time blogging do you spend commenting on other people’s blogs? How about responding to emails or comments? How about writing?

    I have to admit to being very crappy about responding to comments and commenting myself. I just don’t get a lot of time, so, like you, I prefer to spend the time I do have writing…

    3. Do you rate the comments on your blog? Do you think about whether someone is contributing to conversation or are you just happy to get the comment?

    I’m just thrilled to get the comment :) So many people who read my blog have told me that they “just don’t know what to say” or that they feel awkward about leaving a comment for some reason, that I’m just pleased to get any comments at all most of the time. Except the ones telling me I deserve to be shot in the head because I like certain handbags, obviously. Those ones I can live without!

  75. Average Jane says:

    1. I am not at all offended when I don’t hear back from a blogger after I comment. It’s a pleasant surprise when I do, but I really don’t think anything of it when I don’t.

    2. As a blogger, my highest percentage of time is spent reading. I do a peppering of commenting as I scroll through my feeds. I’ve gotten really bad about not responding to comments, but I’m with you as far as not knowing just how important that might be. When someone new comments I always add them to my feed reader, but that might be the only interaction that takes place.

    3. I enjoy getting comments no matter what they say. However, I’ll immediately delete a trollish comment and block the commenter without hesitation or mention. That doesn’t apply to my regular commenters who sometimes say something weird or questionable – then I’ll humorously call them out within the comments.

  76. Jenera says:

    This is my first time here at your blog but I thought I’d help you out here.

    1. It doesn’t bother me if my comments don’t get answered unless I’m a faithful reader of a certain blog. But even then, I understand. I think it really depends on each person and how they handle comments on their blogs and I do not hold anything against anybody.

    2. I used to hardly comment on anyone’s blog mainly because I hated repeating everything that everyone else has already said. Or many times, I don’t have anything valuable to add to a topic because at times I have never been in their shoes.

    But I am getting better. I can’t expect people to visit me unless I visit them and let them know I was there. Plus it has also helped to establish some friendships online as well.

    I try to comment on any blog that comments on mine. I also try to comment on blogs that get very little, sometimes no, comments as well. I know how it feels to be the blog with no commenters. Also, I will comment on about 50% of the blogs I visit everyday-which are all the blogs on my favorite list plus some others I subscribe to their feed.

    3. I don’t really rate comments mostly because even if it is one word, they took the time to comment. I also try to answer each and every comment with a comment but hey, I’m pretty much a newbie so I only get a couple a day :o)

    Basically, try not to let others’ blogs dictate how you run yours. Yes, it sounds like you have learned a bit from some mistakes or what not, but changing to match to status quo of blog etiquette is not always necessary.

    Jenera

  77. Cara says:

    First and foremost, once again I’m thinking noone could ever be as hard on you as you are on yourself. You aren’t ever going to make everyone happy, so I just have to say that I hope any changes you make are really a reflection of changes you want. That said, you wanted to know about specific things…
    (1) I honestly don’t mind whether I get a response or not. Its kind of cool when I do, but I don’t even notice when I don’t. I definitely don’t get my feelings hurt or decide they don’t like me. Chances are they don’t even know me!
    (2) I’m a pretty wimpy blogger, so I don’t know that I’m a good judge for what you’re getting at here. But, I spend most of my time reading and I’m making an effort to comment at least once a week on the blogs I regularly read. It takes an effort not because of the RSS feed, but because I’m really self-conscious about my comments. Pretty much what you described, and that feels ridiculous but there it is.
    (3) Again, I have a little blog that gets comments routinely from two people and once in a blue moon from others. (I haven’t bothered to learn how to check my stats, but I suspect those are the only people reading it.) So when I got a comment that just said “hi, from italy” it didn’t even occur to me to judge it. I did wonder, how on the earth did you get here or is this spam? I can’t get blogger to give up the emails of the few people who do comment on my blog whose email I don’t already know, so I can’t quite figure out how to respond to comments. And unless I’m really, really interested in the discussion going on I rarely go back to the comments after me (and only skim the ones before) so I don’t assume that my comment back to them within the comments makes any difference.

    And once again I’m wondering if I’m saying anything worthwhile or should just delete this, but in light of your entry I’ll hit submit quickly.

  78. Janet says:

    1. I’m not offended if you don’t respond to my comments, as long as I’m not asking you a question. However, I do get offended when I comment on someone’s blog and they never comment on mine. Doesn’t mean I stop reading them…just means I rarely comment on them.

    2. I comment about 65% of the time…even if it’s to say something like “he’s hot” or “congrats”. I think people would like to know their blog is being read, even if it’s just a one word comment. I respond to any email that asks me a question, occasionally, I respond to emails if I have something to say to what they said. I’d say…20% of the time I respond to an emailed comment. I don’t spend much time writing…I write what pops into my head, or what I feel like saying, maybe add a picture and post, say 15%

    3. LOL no, I don’t rate my comments :-) I enjoy them for what they are. Well…wait…sometimes I do, if it’s BLATANTLY obvious they’re just saying something for the sake of having to say something in order to get me to visit their blog (and I’m thinking specifically in the case of some of the T13 folks)…but generally, no.

  79. Stacey says:

    I’m fairly new to the whole blogging world–I’ve been reading blogs for about a year, and the ones that I do read has been growing steadily. I’m thinking of starting a blog, but haven’t committed yet. I comment on maybe 7 blogs a week, I have hardly ever had a comment responded too…it’s happened maybe 5 times total. It doesn’t bother me when I don’t get a response, but, I must admit, it’s really nice when I do. Honestly, I think lots of people don’t seem to respond. I would say you should forget the stats and do what works for you…after all, you are the reason people come here and read your blog. Good luck resolving this.

  80. WHY ARE YA’LL MAKING A PREGNANT WOMAN FEEL BAD?!?!?!?!?!?!!? (not for the people who’ve commented today, cuz you seem to be on my thought path).

    1. 1- not offended at all. It’s nice to be acknowledged and all that, but really… I guess I’m not all that hung up on it.

    2. I spend 80% of my online time reading, 15% writing, and 2% responding. The other 3%, I like to look at the naughty stuff- Hehe. Seriously, I am a lurker of the worst kind. I read through feed-reader, about 50 blogs a day, and I don’t expect anything of those people that I stalk. Just to have pretty babies and tell good tales.

    3. I like getting comments, but again, I read so much more than I write and I hardly ever comment, so why should I expect the same? The little ‘Funny’ every once in a while is OK with me. Do they get a response? Um, no. Probably not.

    My silly little analysis of all this:

    People write blogs.
    Some people are more popular than others for what they write, mostly because they spend the time getting their blog out in the world or just because they write well.
    Some people even get paid to write blogs.
    So when you don’t acknowledge someone, you are not ‘promoting’ them. Then you get the whole- “Zoot!
    I’ve been a fan for 32 years, why don’t you respond and make my blog popular (or make me feel good because I don’t get enough happiness from my world outside of my monitor; or link to me so my ad-sense from your link will pay for my car this month)????”

    And Poor Zoot. It’s not your JOB to make people popular, to acknowledge them, nor to make them feel good. You write. You make people happy in that way.

    That’s all. Love you. Love your writing. Love your family’s pics. Love that you are entirely too sensitive, because it shows what a good person you are. Gosh, I’ve written a lot- I don’t think I can comment again for a year. Hope it doesn’t offend you. :)

  81. Miss S says:

    Wow. Lots to think about. I need to think and comment again later, but first need to say, Thanks. Thanks for bringing such a sensitive subject out into the open.

    It’s interesting, I never really thought much about this, I am not used to getting responses to ANY of my comments, and yes, that saddens me a little sometimes because I adore many of the blogs I read and I look up to others for support and friendship and advice and I do often feel left out of the some of the great friendships I have seen develop among bloggers — but, that said — when i started blogging and leaving comments, I never got responses so I just assumed that is how it is.

    But, I think maybe we should all respond to a few more comments here and there. You make good points Zoot. No one in particular has ever made me feel left out, I just assumed comments didn’t get responses, and also, many bloggers get, like, a few hundred comments a day – how the hell can they respond to each one?

    And finally, there really is only so much time in the day … I definitely don’t have an answer but I’m glad you made me think.

    I will vow to respond to every comment I get for the rest of the week.
    (this isn’t too hard, I’m not popular enough to get more than like, five comments a week. but! maybe I’ll post pictures with visibly pinch-able baby fat … that’ll get ‘em chasing me down!)

  82. Kris says:

    I have a hard time responding to my commenters. Always have. Even made a resolution one year to respond more. It never happened. Ok, well, it did, but then I failed anyhow. Was just yelled at, in a nice way, about my lack of responding. So I’m trying harder too.

    Most of my time is spent reading, then writing, then responding, then commenting.

    I had to take my whole blog private for a while to take myself off the jump of the ledge about deleting because of a negative comment. Then I came back, because I had to get a tough skin and realize that not everyone is like that. And once my readers saw what it was that I went away from, they understood.

  83. cursingmama says:

    For the most part I can ditto what BusyMom said; I am streaky when it comes to all aspects of the commenting. One thing I’ve really been coming to grips with is commenting only when I really have something worthwhile to add ~ or a snarky as hell kind of comment to make.
    I only respond to comments under the same circumstances – and that all changes based on how well I know the commenter.
    All of it is subject to change. And I never feel slighted if I leave a comment & you don’t respond – you do have a life beyond the blog after all.

  84. Karin says:

    As a reader, I do like to be responded to now and then in some way – whether it’s a reply or even just a reciprocal comment on my blog, but I certainly don’t expect it to be on a regular basis. There are just not enough hours in the day – especially if you have kiddos to deal with! If I get feedback, I’m probably more likely to comment more often, but if I don’t, I’m not at all offended, I just probably won’t make as much effort to actually leave a comment. I don’t usually go back and read comments on a post unless I know that is how a blogger usually responds or I am really interested in what other people had to say.

    As a blogger, if someone new comments, I try to always respond in some way. Either by replying directly to their comment in email or by visiting their blog and leaving a comment. I don’t usually respond in my comments unless a question or comment seems to require an explanation that everyone might be interested in. I don’t respond to comments directly nearly as often as I should, but I do try really hard to comment on my regular commenters blogs as often as I can, but if someone asks me a question I do my best to respond to those in email at the very least.

    I don’t get a ton of comments, so I love all comments. I get a lot more comments on my photo blog than my regular blog, but I love comments no matter what. I don’t mind the one word comments at all, however I think the “first” comments are stupid. Half the time, they’re not first and who cares anyway? lol! Other than that, one or two word comments are just fine with me! A comment is a comment! :) I’m the same way as you, though, I often don’t leave a comment just because I can’t think of anything witty to say. Or I’ll have a comment all written and ready to publish and then I reread it and think it’s horrible and erase it.

  85. Jenny says:

    I don’t have a blog so I will just answer #1:

    I don’t expect bloggers to respond to my comments but think it’s a cool treat when they do. Like you, I only comment when I feel I can add something or would like more info. I figure bloggers would only respond using the same criteria.

    I really don’t get why some folks feel it’s okay say nasty things to each other or make judgements regarding someone’s parenting, money management, etc. on other people’s sites. If I don’t agree with someone’s entry or comment, I just keep quiet (unless it’s about Wendy’s Frosty Float, still good) or go somewhere else. Maybe that’s why I don’t have a blog. I would be crying everytime someone got negative.

    I like your site and have always been amazed that you are able to do such a great job AND do a fantastic job of taking care or your family. You inspire me.

  86. Catherine says:

    1. 1
    2. I spend more time reading & commenting on other people’s blogs than I spend on my own.
    3. I like to know that people are reading me. For example, Susan Wagner linked me once and I called people to tell them that. Or the time I got an email reply from Dooce, I thought I would pee my pants. But those are isolated incidents. Whatever people write – well there ya go. I would delete trolls if I was so fortunate to have some.

    All this does remind me that I few months ago I saw a trackback to a site I didn’t know. I went there and read what he had to say about a post I had done. Nothing very interesting. At first I was all, how dare he take my post and use it as fodder for his anti-argument! And then my dear husband reminded me that’s how the internets go ’round. I reread his post and once I took my bruised feelings out of it, he had an interesting point. Wrong, but interesting :)

  87. courtney says:

    1. I really don’t get offended. When I get responses emailed to me, oh that is a pleasant surprise! It’s fun to converse because even though you feel as if you know the person whose blog you read, real interaction like that makes it feel more so. Still, I usually just forget about it. Probably because I don’t ever respond and when I do it’s in the comments section–I’m on Blogger and I can’t email responses and THAT BOTHERS ME. I guess I’m a bad blogger too…

    2. As a blogger – 40% reading 40% writing 20% commenting. Maybe. Depends on how full my feed reader is that day. Definitely much less commenting.

    3. Any comment is a comment. Everybody loves comments. But if the whole jist of the post is one thing, and I mention something little in passing and that’s all the commenters are able to pick up on, I’m not likely going to respond. If you want to comment about the real subject at hand, I will definitely respond, and if you do that, I don’t mind so much if also mention your love of the fact that I mentioned Milo Ventimiglia’s hotness on the way to discovering world peace.

  88. Carmen says:

    I’m not a blogger, just a reader. I mostly lurk, but leave comments only when I think they really relate to what’s been said, or if I think I can contribute with an answer to a question. As for getting an answer, what can I say? It’s nice, sure, but I certainly don’t expect it. And it definitely does not hurt my feelings in any way to not get a reply. On your scale, I’m a 1.

    One of the things that I enjoy about your blog is that you update so frequently. It makes it fun – makes me feel like I have a unique little insight into your world – and makes me really look forward to reading your entries. If I had to choose (solely on my prefs) then I’d say: leave things as they are. Write lots, read lots, comment a little, reply never. :)

  89. angie says:

    1. Honest to goodness, it does not bother me. So, I guess it’s a 1 for me. What reason in the world is there to be offended?

    2. I always feel guilty about not responding to comments. I’m just really bad at that. I strive to be better but I fail miserably. I spend a LOT of time reading blogs so that is the biggest percentage for me. 2nd in line would be commenting on other blogs. My posts lately have been so crappy that writing posts would have to be 5% of my time.

    3. I am happy with ANY comment on my blog. I don’t care if it is one word, one letter or a smiley face. It doesn’t matter. Just knowing that person is out there and has read what I had to say is enough. However, if I don’t get any comments at all on a post, I don’t sweat it. I don’t have lots of regular readers so I just know that those readers just didn’t have anything to say to me.

    With all that said, I just want to say thanks, Zoot because you HAVE responded to my comments a time or two in the past. I did notice and I appreciated it. Just know, I don’t ever expect it unless I ask a direct question, which I rarely do.

    In the end, I am a very laid back blogger. I’m easy. Comment or don’t, it’s all good.

  90. Sadie says:

    1) If the blogger routinely responds in the comment section to comments, and skips mine, it might sting a little, but only if I said something that I thought was particularly worthy of a response, or asked a question. If the blogger does NOT respond in the comment section, I appreciate an email response if I asked a specific question, but even if not, I don’t get offended.

    2) I am bad, bad, bad about commenting. I read a lot of my blogs in my reader (like, ahem, yours) and I only come over here to comment on a rare occasion. There are certain bloggers that ALWAYS comment on my blog, so I try to return the favor for them, but for others I’m not very good about it.

    3) I would rather a silly comment than none at all. The only time it bugs me is if I’m doing Thursday Thirteen or something and the only comment is “Great TT!” cause then I wonder if they even read it. For any other blog posts, I’m just glad to know someone’s out there.

  91. mdv says:

    I don’t blog so I can only respond to #1.

    It takes me a long time to comment on a blog too because most of the time I can’t think of anything clever to say. I read lots of blogs but only comment on a few.

    If the blogger consistently responds to all other commenters and not to me, it might hurt my feelings. If a blogger only periodically responded to a handful of comments and not to me, I wouldn’t be offended because my comments aren’t always clever/engaging. I do get the warm fuzzies whenever a blogger responds to my comments, but I don’t expect responses since (as someone already mentioned) the blogger already wrote the post. Narrowing it down I’m a 1 1/2 on a scale of 1-10.

  92. ShortyMom says:

    1. I can’t say that I’m offended when someone doesn’t respond to my comment. I usually assume they are too busy with their day to day lives to reply to a comment, but I have never asked a question to which I would like a response either. I guess about a 1 or 2.

    2. I spend about 60% reading, 35% writing and 5% commenting. I don’t leave a lot of comments usually because someone else has already said what I was thinking. I also don’t leave comments because when I finish and read back over it, I think of how lame it sounds and delete it. I don’t do as much writing as I’d like because I run out of blog material that I think will be interesting.

    3. I don’t rate comments on my blog, mainly because I am new at blogging and receive very few comments. Any comment is a plus regardless of what it is.

    I am also a crier and sensitive person. I have commented on one of your other blogs and when other comments were coming up and mine was still in moderation I almost went into panic that I had offended you. I sent you an email when it wasn’t approved to be sure that I hadn’t offended (I believe it was probably in the great email dump you did a few weeks back). What I should have done was stopped and breathed and waited for you to approve your comments. I love reading your blog and think that whatever is best for you is the right thing to do.

  93. Ang says:

    I’m not a particularly high maintenance commenter. I’ve spent somewhere around four years hardly getting comments on one of my blogs, so I’ve more or less given that one up and now primarily concentrate on the new one. Even though that hasn’t gotten hardly any comments either. Mostly cause I haven’t had time to blog there much. (I’m busy with the secret blog). The gist of that, though, is that I don’t expect comments, nor do I expect responses to comments. I actually tend to have a HOLY CRAP ON A STICK response if I DO get a comment or response, so I suppose it’s good to keep those for special occasions?

    I do have one thing to mention, though, and it’s not really a complaint, more a wonderment – I’m not sure if your spam filter for your email is extra special hardcore or what, and I’m sure you get a huge amount of email, but when an email (or three) go unanswered it makes me worry. You know, since I’m all insecure and stuff.

  94. Michelle says:

    As a non-blogger, I have to say that I rarely comment at any of the sites I read for many of the same reasons you mention. When I do comment I don’t expect the blogger to acknowledge my comment. Of course it is cool if they do (makes me feel like I actually added something of value to the discussion). On a scale of 1 to 10, this for me is a 1. I would never stop reading a blog for this reason. Also, as a non-blogger, I like that you spend more time providing new entries. I generally don’t go through and read all the comments on each entry anyway. And, finally, the one time I emailed you to ask a question about an art easel you emailed me back right away and I thought that was very nice of you – especially since you don’t even know me! We bought an easel and love it, by the way, so thanks!

  95. Amy says:

    1. I am not that offended frankly. While I do fall into the category of the fact that I love to get replies…because it makes me feel like someone listened to me…I figure that bloggers tend to have “real” stuff that dominates their life like family, jobs, hobbies, and they might not have time…at least that is what I like to take it as. Am I kidding myself? (just kidding)

    2. It depends…I honestly don’t think I comment as much as I should. I read blogs that I have never commented on ever. Why don’t I comment? Because either I don’t feel I have something important to say or I am slightly intimidated…Yeah you read that right…bloggers intimidate me. (or ones I consider “real” bloggers. And I don’t consider myself a “real” blogger. I don’t know why…but I don’t. On the otherhand…with some of the bloggers I know…I feel comfortable leaving silly comments with…and I know they probably won’t reply but I don’t feel so bad leaving them silly comments because I KNOW them…ya know?

    3. I love and cherish every comment because it means someone had the time to read my drivel. Granted I am not a very popular blogger so that is probably way. I get maybe 3 comments a day ON AN AWESOME COMMENT day….so that is why. They could comment and say they hate me and I probably would be all….well at least they took the time to tell me.

  96. Aunt Becky says:

    I try like hell to comment when I read, if for no other reason than to say “Howdy, I’m here” and I try to ensure that I write a little email or something to the new commentors on my blog. It just seems friendly. But hey, you got to do what you have time to do :)

  97. Erin says:

    I’m not a blogger. I currently read 30-40 on a daily basis. One of the best things about yours is the frequency of posts and lack of bloggy politics. I’ve quit reading a few because the main topic became blogging itself. Even dooce gets boring when an actual post is so rare. One woman I read is awesome about answering comments. It really makes my day to see that she took the time to respond to something insignificant I said. Of all the blogs I comment regularly on she is the only one who ever answered me directly. I think it’s ridiculous to EXPECT a response to a comment. Be yourself. Some people prefer to express what is on their own mind in their blog without having to chime in on what every other blogger has to say.

  98. Sandy says:

    1. It does not bother me when the blogger doesn’t respond to my comment. Especially with blogs like yours Zoot where there usually is a lot of comments.

    3. I will admit though that wasn’t the same way I felt about people leaving comments for me when I had a blog. I used to have a blog through one of the free blogging services where you could leave a tag that just said hi-hope you’re having a great day, etc. I would look at the stats of how many had come by and then there would be hardly any comments or tags. It’s one of the reasons I quit blogging.

  99. 1. 1 I am not offended if I just make a statement like “OMG HOT!”
    about a 5 if I ask a question

    2. As a blogger I spend about 5% commenting, 75% reading and 20% writing… wait, does that add up?

    3. Absolutely not, if someone wants to say something, anything, that’s awesome…… good or bad.. I inspired a reaction

  100. chris says:

    1. I never expect my comment to get a comment in return from the blogger. And most of the time I never think about it again. Rarely do I email someone who has left me a comment. I do answer in the comment section or comment back once in awhile. But I never knew people felt so strongly about it. Now I am feeling rather like a loser.

    All of my comments are moderated because of a troll or two, so I do read and appreciate them all.

    2. I probably comment on a couple blogs a day, I don’t know that I have ever really thought about it. Some days I don’t even have time to read other blogs.

    3. I never thought of any comments as being better or worse than any others. I am frankly still surprised that people show up to my blog every day.

    And I did read your entire post. Will there be a quiz? ;-)

  101. sarah says:

    I have a very small following.

    I like when people comment but I don’t have time to always respond. I try to make comments on other blogs but don’t always have time.

    Sometimes I feel like throwing in the towel because who has that much time on their hands to be constantly checking their blog for comments and keeping up with other blogs.

    Seriously, blogging to me is starting to become a wierd social experiment that is sucking the life out of us.

    But, I am in a bad mood today.

  102. Colleen says:

    1. I don’t really expect to get responses to comments. When I do get a response it’s nice… but I don’t get upset or offended if I don’t hear from the writer. Honestly… 1/2 the time I make a comment and then forget. I feel like the comments are for the writer and what they do with them is up to them.

    2. I’m horrible with figuring percentages. I can say that I only spend time writing when I have something to share. Some weeks it’s a lot…. some weeks I’m lucky to do Best Shot Monday and Wordless Wednesday! I read ALOT. I don’t even keep track of how many blogs are in my reader anymore. I just click through for as long as Zoe sleeps or sits quietly with her TV friends (haha). And commenting… it all depends on what people are writing. I don’t comment much… not as much as I think I should.

    3. I like getting any type of comment. Short or long. It’s just really nice to know people are out there reading. So I’m fine with one word comments…. or novels. (I can say I haven’t EVER responded to a one word comment though).

    I would like to respond to my commenters more than I do. I don’t like responding in the comments section though (mainly because I personally don’t think to check back in people’s comments for responses to my comments). A lot of the time I WANT to respond to someone’s comment on my post… but it comes through as “noreply@whatever” and if I can’t easily find an e-mail address I give up. I kind of feel like if people wanted to get replies to their comments they should make it easier to e-mail them.

    I hope that all makes sense. My pregnant brain seems to lose more and more brain cells every day.

  103. Kaite says:

    1. It never occured to me that the blogger should comment to my comment. I never, never, never expect it. You did email me once, when I commented and my jaw hit the desk when I saw you in my in box.
    2. I only comment when I feel I have something different to say then what everyone else has said. MAYBE one comment a week (I read daily).
    3. Any comment is better than no comments, if they are nice.
    4. People would answer the questions with out reading the entry? That is so strange. Why would they do that?

  104. Elaine C. says:

    1) On a scale of 1-10, I am definitely a 1. It doesn’t offend me for a blogger to not comment back. I don’t typically think of commenting as a dialogue, more as an aside or a p.s. On the other hand, I tend to lurk and not comment, because I sometimes feel (especially as a non-blogger) that I’m just eavesdropping on bloggers’ lives and that to comment makes me seem stalkerish. I KNOW most bloggers appreciate comments, but usually I don’t feel I have too much to add. I think I’d get a kick if a Real! Live! Blogger! actually responded to my comments, but it’s not something I expect. Now, if I sent an e-mail and didn’t get a response, that would kind of hurt my feelings. Except for advice-type blogs, or cases where a reader wants to say something confidentially, I think the purpose of comments and e-mail/contact information are completely different. I’d e-mail to start a dialog.

    2 and 3) Don’t really apply to me. I keep a LiveJournal, but nobody reads it and it’s more for me than anything.

    Now I’m going to go read all the comments above me and see if anybody else feels the same way. :) Thanks for your blog; I love starting my day hearing about the Zoots!

  105. Elizabeth says:

    It doesn’t really bother me when someone doesn’t write back to one comment I’ve left, but when I leave regular comments and never hear back from them, I find it hurtful, yes. I think it’s because of what you said about being insecure about commenting. I try to think of something funny to say or something that adds to the conversation, and when you never hear back, you assume that the person didn’t like your comment or doesn’t care at all that you’re reading their blog.
    On the other hand,I struggle with responding to all my comments on my blog, and I have about a million less than you do. I TRY to make myself write back to my comments as I read them, but only if it’s something I actually have a response to, if that makes sense.
    I don’t rate comments, but I sometimes have comments I really have nothing to say back to, so I just let those go. Example:I post something about how I’m voting for Barack, someone writes, “Oh, not me, I’m voting for Huckabee all the way!” then I probably wouldn’t write back to that.
    I do try to always write back to someone if I know it’s the first time they’ve commented on my blog.
    And I try to have specific times during the week just for returning emai, but a lot of times this means I am up late returning emaill.
    It’s really hard to balance reading blogs, writing my own, commenting on others, and returning emails. Not to mention non blog related emails. Oh, and being a mom.

  106. Cassie says:

    I don’t have a lot of good to add. However, I wanted to throw in my 2 cents about responding to comments.

    I personally don’t expect people to respond to me if they have on average more than 5 comments on any given entry. I mean, if you’re getting 25 – 50 comments on an entry? Yeah right! You’d spend 8 hours a day responding to them. I especially don’t expect the people who obviously blog daily about their insanely crazy lives to respond back. But, when they do? I feel special.

    But, the flip side of that coin is that I’m really bad at checking back on comments that I’ve left. A lot of bloggers respond only on the blog but don’t actually email it to you. (Probably a result of 50 + comments a day. Again, with that many to respond to, I don’t expect it)

    Also? I love comments. I find that my readers tend to be really nice people, and I’ve developed some amazing friendships with these inspiring women as a result.

    And, that’s the end of my 2 cents.

  107. Liza says:

    Aiee! I must be abnormal in the same way you are. First of all, I just couldn’t even read all 104 comments on this entry. But second, I only sometimes respond to comments, and usually when I do, it’s in the comments on the same entry.

    Having said that, when I write something really interesting in the comments, I do get disappointed not to get some kind of response. But 80-90% of the time, it’s not a big deal to me.

    Interesting to see how differently others experience it!!!

  108. monkey says:

    1) I don’t get upset. People are busy. People have kids and jobs. It’s just not that big a deal to me. Some of my readers, who also have blogs, have become my friends, some of the bloggers I read were friends beforehand. I don’t read into their actions, basically because I know they are good people. For random bloggers, I don’t read into the lack of response simply because I don’t care. I don’t think bloggers owe everyone responses, although I can see why acknowledging comments tends to help promote a better image. But like I said, I simply don’t care.

    2) I have an anonymous email addy and I can be bad about checking it and responding. I’ll link and comment on the blog of people that read me.

    3) No, I don’t rate comments. I just think “wow, they left me a comment.”

  109. Grandmere says:

    1. I, personally, am not offended if a blogger doesn’t respond to my comment. like it when they do, but I read so many busy bloggers, I understand when they do not comment.
    2. I comment regularly on several blogs, never comment on others I read. I spend a lot of time reading, I write when I feel like it. I try to respond to emails because that is an extra effort to communicate.
    3. One word comments don’t upset me. Sometimes they are all that is needed.

    I am new to your blog and I enjoy it. Don’t let negative people affect your writing. Some people are just negative about almost everything…can’t please them regardless.

  110. Lindsey says:

    Zoot,

    1. Not offended. I never check back on comments I’ve made. I think of blogs as conversations where you write an entry, I respond if necessary in the comments. If you want to say something further, write another entry or email me personally. I’ve never gotten an email response from a comment, though. I don’t have time to keep up a conversation in comments. That’s what a forum is for, IMHO.

    2. Not a blogger.

    3. Not a blogger.

    And, if I can add…I read your blog, not just because I like your stories and your writing, but also because you update the most frequently. Your blog is the answer to my fix when I need a quick break. So I would MUCH prefer that you used your time to write rather than email. Don’t leave me stranded without my next Zoot episode!

  111. Natalie says:

    This is my first time visiting, but I don’t think your blogging practices are abnormal at all. I didn’t initially start a blog so that I could read and comment on everybody else’s blog, I started it so I could get my thoughts and feelings out. Obviously that changed once I found out people would visit! And comment! And make me feel really good! but I still spend more time working on my own blog than I do reading and commenting on others. Of course if I’m at work the tables are a bit turned because I don’t work on my own blog from work.

    Also, I rarely respond to comments in my comment section. I figure most people don’t actually come back to read the comments after they have left theirs, unless I’ve stirred up a particularly thought provoking conversation; and uh, that’s never happened anyway. I will occasionally email that person directly, but it is not a standard practice of mine.

    Also, I’ve heard the actor that plays [swoon] Captain Jack Harkness (oh my gosh, he is HAWT HAWT HAWT), is [ahem] unavailable to women. *sigh*

  112. mrsgryphon says:

    Wow, look at all the comments! ;)

    1. I am not offended when I comment and don’t receive a direct response – my assumption is that the blogger has read my comment, and that I have somehow contributed to the discussion in the comments section. On my own blog, I respond to every comment, but I get maybe 1 or 2 at the MOST on each post, and they are from my sister or my aunt or my best friend, so it’s totally natural to respond. On the other hand, if the blogger has committed to responding to every comment, and has publicized that fact, and then DOESN’T respond to mine, I might be a little miffed. In general, though, my comment is a response to your post and that’s the 2-way communication. It doesn’t need to come back to me, unless you (the blogger) feel you want to continue the conversation.

    2. I probably spend more time reading than anything – I don’t comment often, only when I feel like I can add to the discussion or when I have something “unique” to say (being the 18th person to say “haha that’s a cute story”! isn’t contributing to the quality of the conversation, in my mind). I tend to comment to encourage the blogger (like on your marathon posts!), to celebrate a big moment or to answer a direct question or plea for help (like right now!)

    3. I don’t get many comments on my blog, so I’m happy whatever they are… admittedly, though, I do look forward to the ones that show the reader actually read my post, and thought about their response.

  113. -R- says:

    This is totally surprising me! I am a 1 on the issue of caring whether someone responds to my comment. It is nice if they do, but I don’t expect it or care if they don’t. I don’t respond to 95% of my comments; I wonder if I have been offending people! I’m not worried about it, but I do wonder.

    I probably spend 60% of my time reading/commenting and 40% writing. I don’t have that much to say, I guess.

    I don’t rate my comments, but of course I love comments that make me laugh or are very sincere. If someone comments every once in a while with “Yeah,” or “Funny,” but also has substantive comments from time to time, I think that is fine, and I appreciate the short comment. But if the person ONLY ever comments with one word, I would think that the person was just trying to get others to click on their link.

  114. *pixie* says:

    First off, 111 comments! Holy Cow.

    1. I like to get a comment back and will check back to see if I’ve received one. I don’t comment a lot here (but I always read) and I never check back when I do because I know (from observation) that you don’t usually comment back. So…I guess it really isn’t awful if you don’t comment back, but if you plan on starting let us know.

    2.
    Reading: 50%
    Writing: 40%
    Commenting on other blogs: 10%

    I try to ALWAYS comment back to people on my blog. I love the back and forth banter of the comments section. You learn who comments back and who doesn’t, so I tend to leave comments on blogs of those I know will comment back (see answer #1).

    3. Any comment is fine with me. The more meat, the better, but I like just getting any comment. I know people are reading that way.

  115. lisa-marie says:

    1. (1) Seriously I couldn’t care less if you respond to my comments or not. I can plainly see the double (or in this case triple) digit number of comments to your post, and know you can’t possibly respond to them all.

    2. I would say I spend most of my time reading other people’s blogs, commenting occasionally, then writing. Wow, I really need to change that up!

    3. No, I don’t rate the comments on my blog, and since I rarely have comments, if someone wants to make a one word comment (so long as it’s not obscene) I’m fine with it.

  116. stace says:

    Exactly what Little Dutch Girl said…. ;)

    Annnnnnnnnnd you better respond to me or I will make you come help me clean the house!!

  117. Belinda says:

    1.) If I comment on a someone’s blog (and I don’t do that very often) I’m never offended if the blogger doesn’t respond to my particular comment. I just felt to need to say something or maybe answer the question of the blogger as you’ve put out there today.

    2.) Honestly I would say I spend very little time commenting on other people’s blogs. I probably lurk more than anything else, I’m a happy lurker. Doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy readin’ them, just that I have nothing particular to add. I figure me coming back is some form of acknowledgement even though I’m respresenting the mysterious vapour that is cyberspace.

    As for writing, I also just enjoy the little bit of therapy I get when I blog. I’m not involved in any blog community or anything. I just treat it like a diary that my family and friends read for the most part. Anyone else who stops by and stays a while great, if not that’s just fine too. I get hits on stuff I wrote about my Son’s oral surgery a lot (which hopefully helps those who have a kid going through that and want to know what to expect) and my pink dell inspiron who I affectionately call Dita. Go figure there must be a lot of people who like pink out there.

    3.) I don’t seek out comments, nor do I particpate much in the blog world commenting so like I said people who come back generally are just as much of a lurker as me and that is cool. If someone says something to me I respond and I always go and check out their site to see what they are all about if they have one and if I like em they join the others in my feed reader.

    Mind you I’m not exactly drowning in volume nor am I caring for a little one like you with another one on the way, my kiddies are grown up for the most part. I admire you for keeping up the volume of posts that you do and you’re always entertaining!

  118. On #1 I’m a 1. I think of blog posts as general commentary to the readership, and the comments as a response. If the blogger wants to respond to specifics in another post, that makes time-sense to me. Otherwise, you’re potentially having 1 on 1 conversations with however many people comment. I certainly don’t take it personally if my comments aren’t responded to. However, it does tickle me if a blogger whose site I visit and comment on regularly does pop on over to me and “prove” they read me with a comment here and there. But you can’t force that stuff.

    On #2, It never occured to me that each comment would deserve a personal EMAIL response. A few people have reached out to me via email and I’ve done in the same, but I see that as a pretty special situation. Anyway, I’d say I spend 60% of my time writing posts, 30% reading other blogs, and 10% commenting (when I’m struck to do so).

    #3: For me, a gal without TONS and tons of readers, any comments make me feel good–but I’m fairly new out here and my blogging ego is, well, fragile.

  119. Layla says:

    It really doesn’t worry me. I prefer regular content :0)

  120. Lynn says:

    I think the simplest way to solve this dilema is to consider the Golden Rule. How would you like people to treat your blog? If someone leaves you a comment, even a one-word-wonder, doesn’t it make you feel good to know you got noticed? It does me. So what if it seems lame? You never know, that one word could be the difference in perspective that sends another person thinking in a whole new direction. Also, if you (I) put only five comments out there in a month, there’s likely going to be a lot more pressure (self-inflicted) to write some perfectly eloquent and witty remark. Writing comments, I think, is a lot like writing out thank-you notes: it’s utterly selfless drudge work, to do these on a regular basis. So, in short, if you like to get comments, then it’s a fair guess that other folks like to get comments.

  121. Miuzi says:

    Well, all I have to add is that yours is the only blog of the tons i read that I sometimes (very sometimes) comment on, because you seem to be the same kind of way (that makes no sense but I don’t know how to put it) and this post just proves it. I don’t care if you never answer my comments, because dude, it’s just so f’in cool that you let us all share in your life, or part of it, and allow us to even comment on it… So not really helpful here, but just thought I’d let you know.

  122. margalit says:

    First, thanks for linking to Michele. She’s a new blog to me, but I loved her blogging post. It was BRILLIANT. So right on! And of course, I left a comment! :-)

    Now, on to your question:

    1. I’m almost NEVER offended that you don’t respond to every comment I make on your blog. I mean, you DO have a life, right? And you get plenty of comments. What does worry me is when you (and other bloggers) are sick and we all scream “Go to the Doctor” and then you don’t update us to tell us if you did go or what the doctor said. Ahem! :-) But I don’t expect that my every word is so respected and loved that I deserve a comment back. And you do send email sometimes and I always like that.

    What does bother me is that with google reader and bloglines, so few people comment anymore. I have a post up just today that was picked up by a aggregator and I’ve got thousands of hits on it, and one freaking comment. THAT bothers me. If you’re gonna read something ranty, please either tell me to shut up or high five me. But don’t ignore me .

    2. I spend the least time writing, the most time reading, and I’d say that at least 25% of my time is dealing with email and commenting. But then again, I’m the queen of verbose and I can’t just say “thanks” without telling you my life story. Writing at least one post per day on my blog, and at least a post per day on another blog takes me maybe 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the subject. Reading my 300+ blogs on bloglines takes significantly more time, and I do comment a lot. Not on every blog, but there isn’t a blog that I read that I haven’t left at least one comment on.

    3. Are you kidding? I’m so happy to get a freaking comment, I don’t care what they say. And I don’t respond to every comment, but I do try to respond to every thread. I rarely have enough comments to rate them. My read to comment ratio is ridiculously high. So leave a freaking comment!

  123. Jem says:

    1. I’m probably a 2 when it comes to responding…I really really don’t expect anyone to respond, ’cause the blogs I read are the popular ones that get heaps of comments, normally. If its a close friend’s blog though, I’d expect a reply. I’m definately not offended when people don’t reply, getting a response is a thrill for me and not expected at all!

    2. I don’t really think of myself as a “blogger”, I have a website and I don’t write on it as much as I used to, partly ’cause I don’t think anyone really reads it. Haha. So 0% replying to emails and comments, ’cause I don’t get any. 20% writing, 80% commenting on other peoples! If I wrote as much as I read, my website would be PACKED!

    3. If someone wrote a comment “Funny”, I’d be thrilled. I remember once someone sent me a myspace message (the girlfriend of one of my real life friend’s) saying she’d read my website and was a huge fan of me…I’d never had anyone say anything like that before, so I was kinda shocked. She said she couldn’t wait to meet me in real life if I was anywhere as cool as i sound on my website, which was stressful ’cause I am a huge dork. haha. But yeah, ANY comment is good for me! Assuming its a positive one :)

    I agree though…sometimes I feel bad about posting on Sundry’s site when I have absolutely nothing to add to the childhood topics (especially since my keyboard screws up on her comments section for some reason and letters keep missing out when I type lik ths). I guess I don’t really comment unless something comes to mind that I really want to say.

  124. Marilyn says:

    Zoot, you better not respond to ALL these comments, your family would never see you again. ;)

    And would you look at this outpouring? This should tell you all you need to know: Whatever you do is just fabulous. And thank you for starting this discussion, I think it’s an important one.

  125. zoot says:

    I HAVE been trying to respond to them all!!! CAn you believe it? I’m afraid I missed a few because I lost track somewhere and I might have missed a chunk, which bugs the OCD side of me, but I think I’ve responded to at least 90 comments today – if not more!

  126. Cori says:

    I’m not a blogger and seldom comment on blogs. Unless I have something that I think is unique to what’s already been said or will add to the discussion, I don’t comment. But it doesn’t bother me a bit not to get a response; I never expect one!

    That being said, I once asked you a question in a comment (quite a while ago) and you never responded. That hurt my feelings.

  127. Lisa says:

    Hi Miss Zoot
    Not a blogger, so I can only say to your first question…I seriously had no idea there was an “etiquette” to commenting or that people would get upset about it (crazy, I know) . I don’t comment on blogs very often and have never gone back to see if one of my comments has been replied to. So, just to say, I do love to read your blog and about your family (LilZ reminds me a lot of my son) and really like that you update so often.

  128. Grammacello says:

    As a former and now non-blogger who only reads, I would say that I never did expect a response to my comments, but when I did get one I was really pleased. Now that you put the question, however, I think that I have stopped commenting anywhere because when I didn’t get any replies, it felt pointless and I guess, vaguely hurtful-as if there were an in-crowd that I was not a part of. Maybe a 5 or 6 out of 10. As a reader I love blogs that are up-dated frequently however, and yours is one that is.

  129. KARA! says:

    Zoot, this is my favorite blog!. I would be disappointed if you wrote less posts (that’s one of the reasons, I love your blog because you have so much to say!). But ultimately, it is your decision on how you spend the time you have available. I think you should spend your blogging time doing what you enjoy the most. If that is writing, then you should write. If you enjoy responding to comments, e-mails, and/or reading blogs, then that is how you should spend the majority of your time. This activity is for your enjoyment–not really for anyone else…. right?

    It is a nice to have to get a response to a comment, but I definitely would not be offended if someone didn’t respond to my comments. So, on that scale of 1-10, I would say 2.

    I’m not brave enough to be a blogger, so I can’t answer the rest of the questions. I’m just an avid blog reader. And, I’m not much of a commenter.

  130. Sarah says:

    1. I rate it a 2. *nods* I read a lot of popular blogs, and I used to get hurt feelings (like Zoot, Sarah is sensitive … and randomly talks in the third person), but then I realized that my comment was sometimes in the midst of 100+ other comments saying exactly the same thing … and even if I didn’t say the same thing, it was still in the middle of all those other gabby people. I read over 100 blogs, too, and I get replies to comments 5% of the time. The same 5 people respond to my comments. Now, does that encourage me to comment on their blogs? You bet … but the other people get enough comments that my one probably doesn’t matter.

    2. I spend probably 10% of my time commenting on blogs. I read a lot, I write a lot, I comment (what I think is) a lot. That’s just me. I rarely get emails, but when I do I respond, and have even been known to jump on Yahoo! chat to continue a blog conversation.

    3. I like comments. I don’t really care whether someone has something “constructive” to add to it … sometimes people just feel like saying “funny!” and leaving it at that. I like the comments as acknowledgment that someone is really reading my rambling.

    I am *really* sensitive, too … and read into a lot of things that aren’t really there … so I feel your pain. BTW – the Portlander who sat on your page “viewing” it for an hour? That was me … you hung out in the living room while I took a shower. I just didn’t want to forget to comment since you asked for it. :)

  131. danelle says:

    1. I’ve been irritated by folks not acknowledging my comments, especially when they are requesting opinions or help or feedback – and especially with child issues because I have a lot of experience there. (mom of 3 grown ones + being a nanny for a hundred years) I leave very few comments here because I don’t feel they’re read. (Not trying to be mean, just honest). It also irritates me when I comment 5, 6, 7 times on someone’s blog and they don’t even bother a reciprocal visit. (That applies here at zoot too..sorry!)

    2. I read about 40 bogs per day and comment on at least a third of them. The ones I comment on the most are the ones who I know will acknowledge with an email or a return comment.

    3. I’m not sure hat you mean by “rating”comments, I’m just glad to get some even if they just said “funny!”

  132. wwbd says:

    1. It depends on the comment. If I ask a question then I am more disappointed than if my comment is just that a comment. I wouldn’t say that I ever get my feelings hurt, but sometimes it is a let down when something you write isn’t acknowledged. So I guess my rating would be 4ish.
    2. I spend about 5% at most writing, 5-10% commenting and the rest 85-90% reading.
    3. I enjoy all comments, but the more thoughtful ones the better.

  133. Lisa says:

    1 – Not usually, but sometimes. It really depends. If it’s someone new, I usually say hi and thank them for reading. If it’s someone who’s a friend I will either write back or chat them on G’chat. If it’s a random other comment, there’s usually no real need to reply to it – IMO. So I guess that makes me a 1.

    2 – Hmm… I read a LOT of blogs and LJs. I comment on probably a small portion of them. I try to keep up with my email because I get antsy when it’s cluttered. :D I write more on LJ than I do on my blog, but I try not to leave either place neglected.

    3 – I’m happy to see someone contribute, even if it’s a “me too” kind of thing. When I first started blogging, there were a few women who I felt very close to. We’d read and comment (and email) regularly and I miss them. But then again, my life is busier now so it would be harder to keep up with everyone if they were all uber-interactive like that. So I dunno. I do miss the conversations in my comments, but I don’t have as much free time as I used to.

  134. Lauren says:

    I never expect a response from a comment. I recently went to a panel on blogging and this issue came up. One of the panelists suggested the comments section be left to the readers and let them continue the conversation. They suggested the writer pop in every now and then to thank their reads or to add to the discussion. I thought that was an interesting take on it.

    And also, please know that I have never considered you a blogger who doesn’t care about her readers or appreciate them. When I e-mailed you for a question, you responded quickly and were so kind. Please don’t worry about the way you run the blog-you do an amazing job, just take a look at all your comments above! :)

  135. Thanks for the linkage, always nice to hear someone else’s take on the subject–

    What I find interesting to is that everyone blogs for different reasons and how you deal with commentators really will be based on what your goals are.

    Also, EVERYONE gets a rancid comment here and there, it’s the side effects of blogging–my gut reaction whenever I get one of those is to bite back but I’ve found that every time I do I regret it. I always feel better when I just delete the comment and forget it (if it should be deleted, as you suggest) or just let it stand and forget it. I don’t want people on my blog to fear disagreeing with me and that if they do they’ll get their head bit off so I tend to be pretty open with what I’ll let stay in the comments. I remember one blog I used to like about a year ago and she had a commentator who criticized her–I think for swearing, but I can’t really remember and she laid into the woman and left her bleeding on the floor. Very brutal. I didn’t agree with the comment, it wasn’t polite, but the reaction of the blogger to seek and destroy was worse and showed pretty poor form. I never really had a stomach for her posts after that.

    She put that person’s head on a pike and I took it as a pretty big warning to watch what you say and that’s not the environment I’d like to foster. But then that’s me.

    Sorry for the ENORMOUS comment, thanks again for the link and glad to hear you two are fine now. :)

  136. Kathy says:

    1. 1- not offended. I don’t expect a response to my comment. Some blog entries feel just like conversations, which at times just end. Move on to the next subject.

    2. I’m more in your camp. First write. Then read with any time left. I try to comment, but only in support or when I have something to add. Probably about 60/40 between writing and reading.

    3. I don’t “rate” comments on my own blog. I get so few, I’m just happy to know someone’s reading.

    You also said MrZ thinks it’s lame to blog about blogging, but for a writer, the process or method is at times as important as the content. Without the process, the words don’t get put on the page.

    Love your blog and read it every day. I choose not comment very often because you have so many readers. You could spend a lot of time reading the fan mail. :)

  137. tiffany says:

    now i feel bad for giving you another comment to respond to, so: YOU DON”T HAVE TO RESPOND TO ME, OK?

    i don’t think you’re bad at communicating…i’ve sent you emails with specific questions about blogging/blogher/etc and i think you responded to all but one of them. you’ve emailed me responses to my comments a couple of times, and once you even favorited one of my flicker pictures. (SCORE!)

    anyway, to answer your questions:
    1) i’m not offended at all when bloggers don’t respond to my comments. there are bloggers who i’ve read every day (or every time they post) for years, and i leave comments most of the time, and they’ve never acknowledged my presence at all. i guess maybe there was a time when i was slightly insecure about it…like, maybe i should go away or something…but, i got over it. of course, i would be excited if they did say something to me, but at the end of the day i read them because i like what they write. the books i read don’t talk back to me, so the blogs i read don’t have to, either. i guess i’d rate my level of offended-ness at a 2. i notice when people don’t recognize my presence, but it doesn’t keep me from reading and commenting.

    2) i’ve never responded to any of my comments in an email…although i have been considering it lately. in the past, i’ve recognized new readers/commenters by going to their blog and leaving a comment. now that my readership is growing a bit, that’s getting a little harder to do. i think maybe i should email i person who’s left a comment for the first time, but after that, i don’t think i would feel obligated to respond each and every time. it seems like trying too hard, if that makes sense…like when you said that you don’t like to comment unless you really have something to contribute. communicating for the sake of communicating seems like just begging for readers or something. i do have a bit of a ‘blogging circle’ though, and i try to make a thoughtful comment on each of their sites at least once a week. that circle is about 9 blogs big.

    3) i have to admit, i still get excited about every comment, even if it’s not all that thoughtful.

    i hope you don’t change your style too much…i love that there’s almost always something new when i stop by here. but i do totally hear you about the being too sensitive thing. i have that problem too, and it reared it’s ugly head at my site 2 weeks ago. i’m still trying to figure out what to do about it, because i realize that i haven’t written as much lately because i’m scared to write the things i feel like writing.

    i guess i have some thinking to do, too.

  138. maryjo says:

    1. As a reader I understand that someone may be too busy to respond. Like some people have mentioned though, when you have a blogger you have read for YEARS, and have commented… to never get a response is sometimes hurtful. Maybe I’m just too emotional, but I honestly feel like maybe I should stop commenting, because obviously my little comment doesn’t mean anything. One blogger I read sent me a reply after almost 2 years of reading her blog… I almost cried. It just felt nice that she responded to me, even if it was just once.

    2. I don’t blog enough so this doesn’t really count for me. I comment maybe 10% of the blogs I read on a daily basis. I always respond to my readers usually when they leave me a reply… I’d say 99% of the time. But again I don’t blog daily so it’s easier.

    3. I’m always happy to get comments, even the ones that just say “Funny!”

  139. maryjo says:

    Oh and I forgot to mention… Captain Jack Harkness… so HOT!

  140. Rachel says:

    1. I’m totally not offended. I rarely respond to the few comments I get on my blog. Which could be why I get so few comments.

    2. I spend waaaaaaayyyyyyyy more time reading. This is probably the first blog I’ve commented on in a week. I read all the blogs through Google Reader and would actually have to move my finger and click through to the actual blog to comment and who has that kind of time? I’d like to spend more time writing, but I’m so busy reading that it gets left behind.

    3. I’m so darn happy to get comments that rating them hasn’t occured to me.

    I’d also like to ad that I did email you once and while it may have taken you a couple of days, possibly a week to respond, you did and you were very nice and non-offending. I just figured you have a life and weren’t actually sitting around waiting for my email.

  141. MC says:

    I don’t get a lot of traffic on my blog, so I hold every single comment near and dear to my heart, and I am happy to see the proof that people are reading. However, I am really bad about commenting on other people’s blogs, so I can’t complain too much when people don’t comment on mine (Although, last time I posted for National De-Lurking Day? I got NO responses, and I was little bit crushed.).

    That said, when I comment on someone else’s blog, I hardly ever go back to see if they comment back. I actually know that you read all your comments because you have responded to a few of mine, and on one great day, you even commented on one of my posts, which was a little thrilling.

    Where was I going with this? Oh, yeah. I don’t care if you comment back to me when I comment to you. And if you ever do come to my blog, I would love a comment once in a while! However, I know that I am busy, and I assume that you are too, and we have been out of high school for MANY YEARS NOW. So you don’t have to worry about offending me!!!

  142. phancy says:

    1. I never expect comments to be replied to, and see any replies as little bonuses. So, 1–not offended.

    2. I don’t comment much. I also don’t want to write anything that isn’t profound. I spend my time reading 90%. (Case in point–I’ve been reading your blog since last summer, and I think this is the first or second comment I’ve made.)

    3. I don’t get many comments. So if I get one, I’m just happy about that.

  143. Jenn Bo says:

    1) If I comment, I do not expect a response. That said, I am extremely flattered when I have received a response (to be honest this is rare, and can only think of four bloggers that have responded to a comment of mine and only one is a regular responder). And by respond, this requires the blogger to send me an email; I do not go back to the comments. I completely understand how long it takes to respond to a comment and “medium-to-high-traffic” bloggers could spend 24/7 corresponding with readers. I’d rather have more content.

    I read about 30 blogs a day and may comment on one of them about once a week. I think this is because I have limited time to read blogs and it takes me a long time to construct a response. (And I still have grammatical errors.) If I were a regular commenter and a blogger, I do wonder if I would have different expectations. For some reason, as a “non-blogger” I generally feel like I’m on the outside of a different world.

    2) & 3) I cannot respond because I don’t blog =)

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I love that you update so frequently.

  144. Cassie says:

    Zoot-
    I wanted to slightly change my approach up there somewhere. I said earlier that I love comments. That’s kindof a lie. I don’t like comments from mean people that are designed to make me feel bad about myself. I keep my own blog to document my life, with its ups and downs. I don’t like it when people create downs for me by writing me mean things (that cause me to stoop to their level and write mean things back).

  145. Missy says:

    Jeez 143 comments. Hope you make it through!

    1. I am not offended by no response. The blogger has said their piece, commenters can then say theirs. On the other hand, if a blogger usually responds and then doesn’t, I might wonder why.

    2. I spend wayyy more time reading than commenting. I don’t like commenting for the sake of it, so I end up reading a lot more blogs than I comment on.

    3. Sometimes “You’re really funny” is such a good thing to read. Sometimes I would prefer that I wrote something that caused someone to think. I’m not going to knock back a comment, but I do like ones that encourage conversation.

    I really don’t think you need to change a style that is working for you. As far as I’m concerned, it’s your blog and you (by which I mean ‘a blogger’) can run it as you like. Unless you have a specific aim in mind as a reason for change, then there’s no need.

  146. bad penguin says:

    I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who gets commenting anxiety. Half the time I don’t say anything because I can’t think of anything clever to say.

    I do try to respond to my commenters, which isn’t hard because I don’t have that many, but even I get busy with stuff and don’t get to it. And then four days have gone by, and it just seems like it has been too long. So I don’t get offended if someone doesn’t reply to my comment.

    I spend way more time reading than I do commenting. I don’t always have a lot of spare time, so zipping through and reading lets me get to more blogs. Also, see commenting anxiety above!

    And as for rating comments, no, not really. I suppose it is easier to respond to someone who has left a comment that is more in depth than just “Funny!” but it is always nice to know people are reading.

  147. Monica says:

    I am not offended at all if someone doesn’t respond to a comment I make on their blog. I didn’t even know bloggers were expected to do that. Anytime I have asked you a question you have responded immediately and I have been thrilled! I tell my husband “Zoot answered my comment!” or “Zoot said we should get a TiVo.” I get so excited by hearing from a famous blogger. Yes, I am a dork. But still…

    I rarely comment because I am like you and feel very insecure about it. Lots of times I’ll start a comment and end up deleting it because I think it just sounds stupid.

    You are by far my favorite blogger. As a matter of fact, yours is one of the few blogs I read daily now. So even though I don’t comment, I am a huge fan. See, now I am feeling insecure about my comment and want to delete it. Better submit it, quick!

  148. Jodie says:

    I hardly ever comment. Anywhere. And when I do and get a response I think its great. But I don’t feel at all offended or hurt when I don’t get a response. I think you are you. Your a mom and a blogger. If people feel like their toes are being stepped on for some imagined dis just because you didnt respond to their comment, then they need to get over themselves and move on. WOW! That sounded way more hateful and mean then I ment it to sound. Zoot, you rock any which ways about it and if you never get around to responding to my comments I’ll still think you rock. Now go find a snack and munch away content with the knowledge the blogespere loves you.

  149. supertiff says:

    i commented in depth above (but i am a jackass, and i signed in as ‘tiffany,’ even though i usually sign in as ‘supertiff.’ forgive me, i was quite sleepy. and there were a lot of questions to answer!

    anyway, i forgot to mention that it’s not like you ignore your readers comments. i remember when you first starting doing the monthy mvps thing: didn’t you say it was meant to reward commenters, since you don’t have a lot of time to respond individually to everyone? i thought it was a considerate thing to do, and as such should alleviate some of this guilt that you’ve been feeling.

  150. Michelle says:

    Hi Zoot. I no longer have a blog and haven’t for a long time now. I read them every day though and when I do comment, I never expect a reply. I know the bloggers are busy with their lives and unless I said something of great importance, I don’t expect them to take the time to write back to me or all the others who didn’t say anything ground-breaking. Also, I don’t read comments. I know that a lot of readers also read the comments but I don’t. That’s just not why I visit blogs. So, the whole comments situation couldn’t be less important to me. I know this didn’t help, but since you asked for feedback I thought I’d give my opinion.
    Keep on bloggin’ Zoot. We all love you and your family and look forward to reading your blog every day!

  151. NicolefromAZ says:

    I am not often a commenter on blogs. I am often excited to get any response at all or even an acknowledgement of my existance. So I don’t often get offended so I would say I am a 1.

    I try to read blogs when I can and usually spend about 4 hours a day reading and checking them. I generally spend more time on Yahoo IM or MSN chatting with my friends. I would say I do that more along the lines of 6 or more hours a day. My comments are usually responses to questions or to offer advice or congratulations for whatever the blogger is going through.

    I have not yet decided on a blog name or design and am not sure how to even get started. I am interested in blogging I think.

    I used to chat with you on yahoo IM, when we both were pregnant last year. I think I said something to you and upset you and we stopped talking. I just stopped by to check on you and wish you well. I do really miss chatting with you. Your an incrediably witty person and our love of all things Harry was a great bonding tool!

    God Bless you and your family and good luck with the baby.

  152. Nancy says:

    1. When there are a lot of other comments, I typically don’t get offended if the blog owner doesn’t respond to me personally. I do get offended though if I’ve mentioned in my comment that it’s my first time commenting and I get no response. On the 1 to 10 scale, overall I think I’m a 5.

    2. I think I spend more time writing and reading than commenting. Probably 60% reading, 50% writing, and 10% commenting. I tend not to comment often because, like you, I feel I don’t have anything of substance to add. I’m trying to get over that and comment more often.

    3. I am happy with any comment I get. That someone took the time to come to my blog, read it and comment at all makes me feel good.

    Right now I’m looking to change my blogging habits as well. I need to comment more and read a little less, I have hundreds of subscriptions in my reader, some I never get to. There are more than a few though, like this blog, that I am devoted to and read every single day if I can. I need to get over my fear of sounding stupid in the comments and just comment. Thank you for this post Zoot. It gives us all a lot to think about. :)

  153. Cobwebs says:

    1. As a blog reader – how offended are you when I (or any other blogger) don’t respond to your comments?

    I’m a 1 on this scale. I’m pleased when someone responds, but I don’t feel as though I’m owed a response. And with popular blogs, I sort of assume they don’t have time to respond.

    2. As a blogger – what percentage of time blogging do you spend commenting on other people’s blogs? How about responding to emails or comments? How about writing?

    Like you, I prefer to only comment when I think I actually have something to add. But I read a lot of blogs, so maybe 10% of my total bloggy time is spent commenting. The amount of time spent on responding to emails or comments is less than 1%, simply because I don’t have that many. I spend maybe 25-30% writing, and all the rest reading.

    3. Do you rate the comments on your blog? Do you think about whether someone is contributing to conversation or are you just happy to get the comment? For example – if someone just says, “Funny!” – are you fine with that?

    If someone just said “Funny!” the first thing I’d do would be to check their URL and make sure it just wasn’t spam. I’d prefer that they said something a little more meaningful, but it pleases me whenever someone takes the time to comment at all. Then again, I’m a very niche blogger, so my readers are much sparser.

  154. Nancy says:

    OMG! On my last post I totally skewed my percentages. I split up 120% instead of 100%. Maybe because I feel like I give 120% everyday, ha. Change that to 50% reading, 40% writing and 10% commenting, lol.

  155. Michele says:

    1. As a blog reader – how offended are you when I (or any other blogger) don’t respond to your comments?
    I’m usually not offended at all (1). I assume they are busy. And also? I don’t go back and read the comments AFTER I may comment. So if the person did respond IN the comments, it’s likely I never saw it.

    2. As a blogger – what percentage of time blogging do you spend commenting on other people’s blogs?
    Not much… I only comment if I really have something to say, an answer to a question they asked, or something really struck a cord with me. I’m not going to struggle to say *something.* How about responding to emails or comments? Not much – I don’t get many comments and emails. How about writing? a couple of hours a day – at least with research thrown in – as I have 3, soon to be 4, blogs.

    3. Do you rate the comments on your blog?
    No.
    Do you think about whether someone is contributing to conversation or are you just happy to get the comment?
    If they chose to comment, fine – but I don’t think about it. As long as it’s not blatant spam, then I’ll leave it. I’m glad that they bothered to take the time. Then again – if they wrote something that doesn’t really merit conversation… I’m not writing them back either. I only have so much time for this in a day.

  156. dee says:

    1. I’m not at all offended if I don’t get a response (unless I ask a direct question in the comment). I love getting e-mail responses, but rarely ever check back on the site to see if the author has responded to my comment.

    2. I would say probably 10% of my blogging time is spent commenting and replying to comments and/or e-mail. I’m the type of person who talks when I have something to say and otherwise keeps my mouth shut. I think that transfers over to my blogging style as well. The rest of my time is probably split about 30% writing and 60% reading.

    3. As a blogger who doesn’t get many comments, I’m happy to get any kind of comment. Comments that contribute to the topic are great and are more likely to earn a response, but any comment is appreciated.

  157. Sara says:

    I’m with you on this one, Zoot. If I leave a comment, it is because I have something I want you to read. I don’t need a response back. Why should you be expected to reply to comments? That seems just seems a bit narcissistic on the part of the commenters who expect that.

    By the by, I’ve been one of those darn lurkers for months. Your family is adorable, and I love your stories about NikkiZ. Toddlers really do say/do the darndest things…

  158. DBN says:

    I am amazed at the response! I don’t get offended if I don’t get an email back as half the time I don’t remember if I commented. I am more likely to get offended if I have been reading or commenting at a blog for a significant period of time and never get any response… or I figure its time for me to quit wasting my time.
    I probably spend the majority of time reading and writing. Sometimes I am very good about responding and sometimes not. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the number of emails and links to passworded sites and shut down mentally.
    Sometimes I hate blogging and sometimes I love it and sometimes I just don’t care.
    To be honest with you, I have read your site for years now and you have consistently commented back or responded and/or visited my site in return, so I don’t think you should worry about it one bit. Also, I emailed you once for advice about a blogger design and you responded within minutes, without even really knowing me, so thanks!
    I understand being sensitive about these things, I think the written word has a lot of power and a lot of people forget that there is often a living, breathing person on the other side of the computer.

  159. Christy says:

    I don’t comment often but I visit your site (and my other fav bloggers) several times a week. But I don’t want you to feel bad & hopefully this will be helpful. To respond to your questions:

    1. As a blog reader – I am quite surprised when someone responds to a comment from me. In fact, the first time it caused some confusion – ‘should I email them back? does this mean they want be friends? what is proper etticuit?’ I’ve only had my comments responded to by 2 bloggers. One of the more mainstream blogs I read typically has 1000 comments – how in the world would she ever respond to even half of them?

    2. As a blogger – I’m not a ‘serious’ blogger – mine is just for family & friend updates. But even as a reader, I spend about 1% of the time commenting. Like you, I don’t like to comment unless I have something new to add. And my non-work computer time is severely limited.

    Speaking of, my ride is waiting. I just want to say that as a reader, I appreciate you sharing your life with us. I’d rather you were telling me stories about the cuteness of Nikki & Lil Z instead of responding to individual comments. :)

  160. canape says:

    Humbly submitting this to the fray:

    I don’t expect a response to a comment. In fact, I’m usually surprised when I get one. I don’t respond to many comments – unless they are a first time commenter, or if they share something personal that I feel like needs a nod or a hug back.

    I do think commenting is an important part of blogging. There is a danger in not commenting on blogs you read. It leaves the writer to assume that you aren’t there. That you aren’t a part of that blog’s community. It’s nice to know who is in your community when you are writing.

    If I were to write a manifesto, I would include that I would stay the hell away from the computer the week I’m due to give birth. I wrote so many stupid things that week. So many stupid things.

    And I agree with Christy – I would rather read your posts than have you have to spend a lot of time answering individual comments.

  161. kimblahg says:

    wow- 160 comments! look at you popular blogger!
    Question 1: I am not offended if a blogger doesn’t acknowlege single comments but I do get a little indignant about bloggers that never, ever respond to repeated comments. It makes me feel like I’m stupid for even commenting or I start the “Oh, so and so thinks she (or he!)’s too fucking cool to respond to the little people that pay the bills by coming to this stupid site. Grumble, grumble”. I mean, there are some “famous” bloggers out there known who are notorious for never interacting with readers and I think that is either pretentious, lazy or rude. You have never struck me as any of those things.
    2) I spend 75% of the time reading, 20% writing/editing and 5% of the time commenting. I often make comments late at night and end up saying really dumb, poorly constructed comments. 4 Realz Yo!
    3) No, I don’t rate comments on my blog. I don’t get that many and am usually just happy to get feedback. That said, if someone is bitchy? I get all weird and nervous.
    Good questions!

  162. kimblahg says:

    See what I mean? I can’t write/type/construct a sentence after 10 pm. bloggers out there known who are notorious for i knows english real good.

  163. Shawna says:

    This topic came up on Slackermama.com and I said something similar to this: Seriously? People get offended when they don’t get responses to comments? I never expect a response and I rarely respond to comments. I will always respond to email (unless it’s of the drive-by nature and I don’t want to engage the person), but unless someone asks me a question I don’t respond to comments. It never occurred to me that anyone would think this rude. I comment on only a handful of blogs in any given week – I’m more likely to comment the first couple of times, just to avoid being a lurker – and rarely get a response.

    I try to write 3 page-long entries a week, so I spend way more time reading than I do writing. As for your third question, I am thrilled when anyone comments on my blog (so long as it’s positive, or even neutral), no matter how brief their comment may be. Of course, my readership is… shall we say, on the small side? So I almost never get comments. An entry with two comments is rare for me. Hm. I wonder if I’d get more if I responded?

  164. Shawna says:

    Oh wait, I feel like I should add something: if I do get a comment, I may not respond to it, but it’s very likely I’ll reciprocate and comment on that person’s blog. I don’t respond to what they said on mine though – that’d be weird – I comment on what one of their latest entries says.

    Does that make me sound like less of an ass?

  165. Bethiclaus says:

    I almost never comment (here or anywhere else) and am therefore completely un-bothered by people seemingly ignoring my comments. I don’t think of it as ignoring. I know you read the comment – if you really want to respond, I figure you will.

    Like you, I don’t spend a significant amount of time commenting or responding to comments. And right now, my blog is busted, so I’m not writing either. I read blogs selfishly, because I enjoy the writing. I can get more in if I don’t comment. I try to comment when a direct question is asked (like this time) and I feel like I can contribute something to the conversation. But that’s not my common feeling.

  166. Swistle says:

    I think it totally depends on what you’re DOING with a blog. Is it an online diary, which you are allowing others to read? Then I see your post as your unevenly-large share of the deal, and the comments are the commenters’ unevenly-small side. No need to respond, unless it’s a question, because you’ve already done your part by posting.

    Is it a networking device, where you owe people and they owe you, and the currency is obligation visits/comments? Then I guess you have to comment on their blogs, and respond to all the comments you get.

    My feeling about it is that I write because I want to, I read because I want to, and I comment because I want to. I don’t think anybody owes anybody. If people comment on my blog, I love that—but I don’t feel like I need to sit at my computer all day typing “Thanx for commenting!!!” in response to each one. And when I comment on someone else’s blog, I NEVER expect any kind of response at all: I leave my comment and I never come back to check. If I have something I really want a response to, I email the blogger.

    I don’t see blogging as job, where I must do certain obligatory blogger things. My job as a blogger is to create blog posts. That’s it.

  167. Swistle says:

    Also, I love comments that just say “Funny!” or “This was great!” or “Ha ha!” or whatever. I don’t think the comment has to add anything more than that—not because I’m racking up comments, but because it’s the equivalent of having someone say, “I read this and liked it!” and that’s pleasing.

  168. Swistle says:

    I went back and skimmed your comments after I commented. I was expecting to see a TON of “bloggers should respond to every comment” and “bloggers should put in their blog rolls everyone who links to them” and “bloggers should allow readers to come into their homes and criticize them” and so forth, because that’s what I’ve seen when other people have blogged on the topic, and so I was sort of pre-defensive on your behalf. But then I read the comments, and it was this huge happy relief.

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