Hello, all you commenters. This post is for you!
All the rest of you can read, too, if you choose.
But it’s the commenters I want to consult today.
How many of you return to the blog to read the comments about your comments?
Show of hands now, please!
I like to pretend that everyone who reads this blog is sitting in my living room. We’re sitting there looking out at the trees–OK, maybe we’re out on the deck if the weather feels warm–and we’re engaged in conversation. We’re getting to know each other better. We’re becoming friends.
So whenever you comment–whenever you say anything–I just babble back as if we’re in the middle of a conversation. As if you’re right here. As if you’re asking for some more tea or coffee or wine or water as we chat. As if we both see that hummingbird hovering by the feeder. As if we’re cycling through subjects, like neighbors come visiting.
Here’s why the show of hands is needed.
How many come back to read the second half of our exchange?
I ask this because–sometimes–I’m terrible at getting back to other blogs to read the author’s response. If you’re on WordPress it’s easy. You click the “Notify me of follow-up comments by email” and the follow-up replies appear as if by magic. If the number of replies gets too many in my email in-box (and if the author has already responded) I simply “unsubscribe”. Tis a cinch!
However, this RSS feed from other blogs–like Blogger–still has me stumped. It’s like a foreign language. Sometimes I will subscribe to a non-WordPress blog via RSS. The tab to retrieve the commentary replies sits patiently beside “Favorites” on the computer in a tab called “Feeds”. But I can never remember to check. Never, ever. It’s sad. It feels like our conversation somehow became one-sided. It feels like the Internet is a remote soul-less place without engagement. Alas.
Sometimes I remember and go trotting off to the blog to See. Sometimes.
Some blog authors never respond to their commenters. They probably started that policy on Day 1. Instead they go a’traveling to their commenter’s blog and the exchange continues there. Some bloggers email replies to comments.
I do cherish the living room atmosphere of replying to comments, but what do you think? Am I talking to air? Talking to myself? (Nothing new there, perhaps, but if 75% of the readers say they never come back to read the comments to the comments–sob, sob–maybe it’s time to toss out the living room format and try something new.)
Be honest, commenters. I will love you anyway, even if you admit to being a hit-and-run commenter (like myself at times).
P.S. Anyone want a cookie? Something else to drink?