Monday, November 7, 2016

Discussion Post; Let's Be Honest, When We Comment On Blogs, Do We Expect Something in Return?

So I've been thinking a lot about this lately with the disappearance of blogs and bloggers around the blogsphere and even as I've noticed in myself that I've been more burnt out lately, are we as bloggers getting lacked in our blogging and commenting? And what does this mean as bloggers, commentors, and readers if so?

Let me explain myself a bit more before I go into the discussion part of this post, just so I'm more clear on what exactly I'm asking here.

When we as bloggers visit other blogs and comment do we expect something in return? Whether that be a response to our comment on their blog or a return visit to ours because we commented on theirs?

Let's be brutally honest here, how many of you are willing to spend time visiting other blogs, reading their thoughts and reviews, taking the time to comment and not have said blogger either respond back to your comment or even, let's say, visit your blog in return? Are we expecting too much when this doesn't happen? Is it selfish to think that sometimes we might only comment on other's blog so that they in return will visit and comment on ours?


I'm not saying there is a right or wrong answer here so let's get that out there first but truly, what are our expectations when it comes to visiting other blogs? 

Are we always doing it out of the kindness of our hearts and because we really just think that blog is amazing or do we have ulterior motives?

My brutally honest answer to this is, I think I do both and I don't think I necessarily like that about myself. I didn't start visiting other blogs just so they would visit mine, in fact, I visited them simply because I enjoyed their reviews, recommendations and their opinions about other things that they may have discussed on their blogs. I commented not expecting anything in return because who was I but a lowly commentor after all. But I think somewhere along the way, maybe when I started my own blog, things changed a bit. 

I won't lie, I love when people comment on my blog. It means someone out there is actually reading what I say and cares enough to stop by and say so. It's a great feeling and because I appreciate it, I reply back to them, because I really DO appreciate that they took the time to read what I wrote and say something about it, even if they don't agree with what I had to say, that's okay, they are still reading it and visiting anyways. for me, it's respectful for me to acknowledge that they took the time to stop by and yes, if I see that they too have a blog, I will visit theirs  in return. Why? Because I also believe in paying back their kindness and seeing what they have to say about certain books and things as well. Do I have to do this? No but I do anyways. 

But somewhere along the way of doing this, did I start expecting others to do the same?

Do we as bloggers expect others to do the same as well?

I guess, this is what I want to discuss. If you visit a blog and take the time to read the content and then comment on it, do you expect the blogger to at the very least, respond back to your comment? Do you even care if they do? And if you do comment, do you want them to stop by and visit your blog as well and leave a comment on yours because you did on theirs?

Is it right to expect that? Is it common courtesy or selfishness on our part?

And the biggest question of all is this, if your do visit blogs, comment and then never get a response back from them on your comment or have them visit your blog in return, do you keep visiting them? Do you take the time to comment when it seems like they could care less that you did?

Truly there are no right or wrong answers here, I'm just super curious what your thoughts are about this. What is the protocol? Is there one?

I certainly don't want to cause any hard feelings or negativity of any kind, that isn't what this post is suppose to be about it truly is me, picking your brain here and wanting to know what you think about it too. Have you ever thought about it? Do you have an opinion on it?



70 comments:

  1. I'm going to be honest here, Ali and say, hell yes. I do expect a return comment. Does that make me sound like a bad blogger? So be it. Now, don't get me wrong, there are blogs (like yours) who are on my regular stops when I have the moment to read. But commenting on blogs that don't return the comments gets to be tiresome so easily. I've always said that commenting is a two way street. The back and forth is how you develop relationships with other book bloggers. Comments are also fuel to keep us writing our blog posts. And if you're not going to give me the time of day, why should I give you mine? You know what I mean?

    I've written a similar post before about my Bloglovin' habits and have touched on my commenting as well. I feel like I should just add the link because it expresses exactly how I feel about commenting.

    Here's the link, anyway:

    http://joyousreads.net/2016/03/18/confessions-of-an-addict-45-my-bloglovin-habits.html

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    1. I remember your post Joy and I really couldn't agree more. I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels this way, especially as my time has gotten to be more scarce lately.

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  2. I'm also with, Joy. Now obviously I don't expect them to return a comment ALL the time, because I get it. Blogging isn't all people have to do and they have other priorities. I mean my own commenting has been on the decline because of school. But if they never do, then I take it as meaning that they don't want to interact with me. Harsh, maybe, but like Joy said, I don't just want to be a passive commenter you know? I want to befriend them and build a relationship.
    I think this is why I keep of blogs I read/comment on small. It's manageable and I know I've gotten to know some amazing friends! :)

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    1. I know what you mean Nick and yes I agree. We all get busy and I would never expect a comment on everything I say of course but to know that they are reading them and appreciate it, is definitely nice. I have stopped commenting on a few blogs that I noticed never comment back now, I feel bad about it but at the same time I kind of think that if they don't have the time for me maybe I should spend my time elsewhere as well.

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  3. Love this discussion so much. I try and respond to every comment left even if it takes me a while. I also try and comment back with every commenter. I mean it doesn't always happen but I try my best. I do not expect people to always visit my blog if I comment on theirs but there has been blogs I stopped commenting on because they never visited and commented at all. I don't know I just wanted some interaction I guess.

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    1. Yeah I know what you mean, I think sometimes even something little is better than nothing at all. I'm so glad that I'm not the only one that has struggled with this issue as far as, is it wrong on me to feel that way or is it normal in a way to want that interaction.

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  4. I"m not ashamed to say that if I take the time to visit your blog I HOPE you'll visit mine but if I take the time to comment on your blog I DO expect you to have the decency to reply to my comment.

    I like you started viewing other blogs not for followers/commenters/etc but because I enjoy other people's views and book recommendations.

    But in the same token I also work hard creating my posts and being acknowledged by visitors and comments really makes me feel like I'm not wasting my time.

    I also have to admit that I've more than once visited random blogs (from comments I've seen here and on other blogs) and made comments on that blog and then waited for perhaps a return comment. Yeah crickets LOL

    I cherish the fact that you not only reply to my post but that you are usually the first one to comment on a new post of mine and I treasure you as one of my best blogger friends too. <3

    Great post!!

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    1. Awww thanks so much Debbie and right back at you!! <3

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  5. This is such a great post, Al! I try to always visit back, even if it may take a few days, if someone leaves me some comment love. I appreciate it an know how wonderful it makes me feel. Like Nick mentioned, if they never comment back or even acknowledge me, say on twitter, blog, or goodreads - them I assume they are not into my blog nor me. I thinks it the kind thing to do to comment back and you are such an amazing blogger that I'm always eager to stop by and see what you reading!! :)

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    1. Thank you so much Kim, I feel the same way!!

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  6. I SO get how you feel Ali!! And when I first started I has no idea what I was doing, nor that people even "commented back" I was just trying to get myself out there and let people know that I even had a blog. But as I've grown as a blogger I find that I do expect others to comment back (not all the time, of course because LIFE) But every now and again it's nice. I don't want to go on someone's blog and be ignored and not have them come back to mine EVER. Blogging is all about building relationships so if I'm the only one having the conversation it's not that much fun AND you get burnt out quicker and easier.

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    1. I definitely think I started out that way too, just excited to see what others liked and had and wanting to get my love of reading and books out there.

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  7. I confess that I'm the same as well. I do some without expecting but it's true that I don't visit as much... It's nice when you vist a blog to see that you have a comment back

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    1. I think maybe we all expect it to some extent then? I don't know but it's nice to read everyone else's views on it as well.

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  8. A few years ago I did a post titled Blogging Etiquette and one of the things I pointed out was that it's nice when a blogger reciprocates and leaves a comment on your blog if you have left a comment on theirs. I stopped visiting many blogs over time that either never visited mine or never responded to comments left on their own blogs.

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks about these things and yes, I have found that over time, those blogs that have never shown any interest in my blog or comments, are ones that I've stopped visiting as well.

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  9. Great post!

    I like to comment on other blogs but I try not to expect anything. Of course, I completely agree, it's always nice to get a lot of comments. It can also sometimes be frustrating when you constantly comment on a person's blog and they never ever comment back. But I just go by commenting on what I want to comment on and don't worry about receiving comments. I figure karma will work itself out :)

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    1. That is a nice way to look at it as well Eva. ;)

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  10. Expect? No. However, if you stop commenting on my blog I will eventually stop commenting on theirs. Why? Because I like the interaction and it is hard to have a one sided conversation. However, time constraints usually prevent people from commenting every day. I cannot but if I have a blog post up that means I will make every effort to support blogs I like. Also, I think the whole blog slump things goes in cycles. It will probably pick up again or go in a whole different direction. Time will tell...

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    1. I'm hoping the slumps will go away soon, I miss a lot of bloggers that we use to see more but at the same time, I completely understand them as well.

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  11. For me, as an author, I don't expect anyone to come to my blog. But I really appreciate it. I don't post reviews because I never want to post a negative review, so I choose to post none. I do however, post things promoting other authors. I rarely comment back because I don't know what to say. That's the awkwardness in me, I guess.
    I visit blogs that I enjoy. In fact, my core group of bloggers I follow are bloggers at met at BEA13. You're one of those bloggers. I am always interested in the reviews and I love being introduced to a new title or author. It's also so helpful to see what's trending. I'm thankful for your blog, but when you need time off, I totally get it. Blogging should be fun, not a chore. :)

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    1. Thanks for your insight Tyler! I love knowing how authors view blogs as well and I completely understand about your blog, it's different from a reviews blog so I get it. ;) And thank you for the kind words, I love having you here!!!

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  12. What a thoughtful post. I have noticed that many of us five year bloggers have been struggling as of late, and I was so sad to lose Jenny. It feels like my blog is getting less and less traffic, and at first I thought it was because I took a long break but then I realized that blog traffic has gone down as a whole. I don't know what it is. I know how time consuming blogging is and some days I really struggle keeping up and sometimes I just can't read and comment. In the beginning, I visited blogs because I wanted to be a part of the group, but now days, I hope that bloggers will take time to return my comments and if they don't, I don't visit their blogs. Sometimes, I only have time to reply and visit the bloggers that visited me first and that is okay. I know there isn't an easy answer and we will all like to be altruistic, but the bottom line is that if we are finding time to visit someone's blog and they cant' return the favor then it starts to feel like a waste of time.

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    1. I couldn't agree more on all counts Heidi, I've noticed the lull in posts too and was wondering as well if it was because I don't always post every day anymore but I don't think so, I think something else is happening. It is sad to see long time bloggers go, I already miss Jenny and it hasn't even been a week yet! It is sad but maybe there is a five year itch in blogging? It seems like a lot of us are feeling pretty burnt out right now, I know I have more and more lately.

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  13. I will make it more of a priority to visit other blogs who do comment on mine. But that is out of respect for their support. There are a number of blogs I visit that don't comment back. My lists are based off bloggers I've grown close to online, blogs I like, blogs that inform me and random ones I enjoy. You don't have to comment back. But if you do I do make visiting my readers a priority.

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    1. I like that you do that Sheena, very nice of you really!!

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  14. I'm not ashamed to say it's tit for tat for me too. But after a while you develop a relationship with fellow bloggers and I would visit unconditionally or would still visit and leave comments even if I know that the other blogger is busy or going through some life stuff. But for new blogs that I follow, if they don't comment back after a few visits then I cease. Lol

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    1. I couldn't agree more, I have those blogging friends that it would take a lot for me to stop visiting them. ;)

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  15. I've thought about this a lot. I comment way more than I post, and I don't expect anything in return. It does hurt my feelings when I comment on someone's blog a lot and they've never been to mine. This summer I got in a blogging slump, where I wondered if anyone actually cared to read my posts or if it was just they felt they should comment back. I've still been reading and commenting though because I like doing it. Sometimes it is hard when someone comments on my blog and I check theirs out, but I'm not really interested in the kind of things they post. I guess that's why I worry about mine. (And I basically worry about everything anyway lol) I'm glad that you started this discussion. I'm interested in what people have to say.

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    1. I worry about that all the time as well Molly. I'm so glad you are back though, I've missed seeing you and reading your posts!!

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  16. Fantastic discussion Ali. I think when I look at thi question I see a number of things. Like you I visit blogs to discover new books, but also to engage and to make bookish friends..so naturally I would love if they visited me and we built a friendship. My favorite blogs are the ones who visit with me and I with them on the daily. I know their names, I know when they are facing a reading slump or obsessed with a new author. So yes, I do expect some interaction. While I still visit other blogs I am more likely to visit if they reciprocate. That begin said, I do not expect regular visitors to comment every day, and try to visit them regardless.

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    1. I think that is a great way to see it Kim and I would have to agree. I know we all get busy and while I do have my favorite blogs, I do try to visit everyone as much as I can but some days that just doesn't happen.

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  17. I don't really expect them to comment to what I wrote on THEIR blog, unless I asked a question, because unless I get an email notifying me, I don't tend to see what they commented because I don't remember to check back later and see! As for commenting on my blog when I comment on theirs, I don't expect it, but I do think it's a good idea to do it most of the time and it means a lot when I get comments. Plus, if I keep a back and forth with a blogger, I'm more likely to follow them and read their posts - even if they can't comment back all the time. If I comment on a blog and hear nothing, I might not remember to visit back unless I'm already following, because I follow a lot of blogs, etc.

    -Lauren

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    1. I never check back either unless I get a notification but like you said, if you ask a question, it is nice to know they respond back.

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  18. I know I have slacked off commenting and visiting blogs especially lately. The month of October has been bad for me after two eye surgeries. I think we all go through periods where things in life causes us to not have as much time to comment. And it's true some blogs are easier for me to relate to and it makes it hard to comment over and over about books I will never read. Being honest here. Others I try to read most of what they review-yours really is a favorite of mine. There is just so many that I wonder how people find the time to visit all that they do. I have a few that fall by the wayside for different reasons(it won't send the emails I signed up for, etc)but I do like to visit when I remember. I feel so guilty sometimes! It really is nice to get comments and you actually reminded me I need to answer some. Great post Ali!

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    1. Thanks so much Lorna and I had no idea you had surgeries, I hope you are recovering well from them both!! I appreciate all your comments even though I know we sometimes don't read the same type of books. ;)

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    2. I will say that I was in no way referring to you about the types of books. I have bought many a book after reading your review actually :) And probably reviewed it on Pure Textuality unless it was paranormal. There's only about 3(maybe 2)that i don't read the same books :) And thanks-it was cataracts two weeks apart and while I can see great now-now I am farsighted instead of nearsighted so I needed readers to read. And right now I can just barely see the computer, but will be getting glasses for that as soon as he releases me on Nov. 17th-hopefully!

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    3. So glad to hear you are doing well with it, hopefully you will be released on the 17th, so strange about your prescription changing, I've heard of that happening though. And no worries, I know what you meant. ;)

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  19. I know I definitely enjoy having comments on my post, but I do understand when I leave a comment and theirs no follow up. I have a few consistent readers and that's ok for me. It can be really time consuming to run a blog and promote yourself on all of the social media platforms, so I'm more forgiving. Awesome Discussion post, I've thought alot about! Tori @ In Tori Lex

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    1. It can be which is why I gave up on Twitter and FB for the most part, just too time consuming!

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  20. Oh wow...you are calling us all out! LOL

    Seriously though, I think we all hope that most of our comments will be returned because we all want to feel like we are part of a like minded community. What is the point of a one sided communication? I don't expect that all of my comments will be returned but if I ask a question on a blog, I hope that will be replied to (and that they have a comment system that will notify me of the reply - on a side note that is a seriously frustrating thing...when they don't...especially if they have responded and you don't know until you check back...if you check back).

    And to be honest if I visit a blog frequently and never get return visits and comments, I probably will eventually stop following and commenting (unless it's a blog I am totally in love with or get great tips/info from) because I have such limited time and I want to try to develop some sort of rapport with other bloggers...not just send comments into the ether.

    And obviously, I understand that we all have limited time and that it seems that book blogging in general is slowing down so there's certainly no expectation that every comment or visit be returned.

    As Heidi mentioned...it seems like a lot of us that have recently hit that five year mark are either slumping or quitting...makes one think...

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    1. I am wondering about that five year mark LOL, seriously, there is something to it. ;)
      And I didn't necessarily want to call anyone out but I have been thinking a lot about it, especially as I mentioned, my time seems to have become more valuable to me. It's definitely something to think about and ponder. ;)

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  21. I'll tell you. I don't visit blogs that don't visit me at least now and again. I'm not saying it has to be a post for post exchange. That's not a big deal to me. But I do want to SEE you somehow at some point and not feel like I'm talking to a brick wall or to myself, ya know?

    I used to be really free with my comments and would visit everyone every day but this year that's just not been possible this year. I try to get around to my normal blogs at least every few days and kinda binge comment on yalls blogs. I wish I had a better schedule for visiting but life has just been crazy this year.

    I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with either way people blog. If commenting and socializing with other bloggers isn't something you care about that's okay. If you like the community aspect and want that give and take with others...find your people. lol

    Alright. I'm gonna stop. lol It's nearly 230am and I've got no idea if I'm making any sense to what you asked. Ha!

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    1. Get some sleep! :P I do agree with you, the more I thought about it after writing this post the more that I've come to the conclusion that I do like it when people interact back in some way but it isn't necessary but at the same time, I'm more likely to be a repeat visitor is there is that interaction versus none at all. ;)

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  22. I think the reason a lot of people are disappearing is because they aren't feeling appreciated anymore as reviewers. We don't get paid to do this, and lately what I been seeing is that reviewers are feeling jilted and taken for granted. Take for example HarperC, who by rumors had said that they might stop giving arc's to bloggers and instead focuses on booktubers and bookstagrammers. That has put the spirits in the book bloggers down and they feel like it's not worth the time anymore, because it does in fact take a lot of time.
    I love commenting on the blogs that comment on mine, I think it's awesome way to spread the love, support and meet more people and we need that.
    I am one of those that I feel guilty about not commenting back on the post tho because I am crunched for time most days and much rather return the favor on the blog instead of on the post. I also noticed that at times it really does not matter if I comment back on the post, because the conversation does not go beyond that anyway, if it makes sense?

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    1. That does make sense about commenting back, you're right it isn't always needed for some posts. ;)

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  23. I'm a little late to this conversation. Work has been busy so I haven't been posting or commenting often. This is a tricky question, because on one hand I think bloggers started because of their own interest, but the format of a blog is such that it requires a two way communication if you want to become a successful one. I comment on blogs on books that interest me and while I do hope they will comment back it's not a requirement for me.

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    1. You are right I think about hwy we all started blogging and about the way the platform works with communication going both ways, it really is a fine line sometimes.

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  24. I understand exactly where you're coming from with this post. I think when I first started blogging I was hoping people would come back to my blog and comment. However now I just comment and if people don't comment back that's okay and I still visit if they have an intriguing post. That being said I do feel like I have people that comment often on my blog and I on theirs. I think this is more about friendship than expecting anything in return though and when I'm super busy those are the blogs I try to make time to read because I want to know what my friends are reading and talk to them. Great discussion post! 😀

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    1. I do love how friendly this community can be and how easy it is to make friends. ;)

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  25. Oooh, truth time: So, I love getting comments. I prefer comments more than page views and followers and if I didn't get comments, I wouldn't be blogging. It sounds bad but that's the truth...

    I can't always comment daily, sometimes I can't even comment weekly but I do love to comment and I make sure that I do. I comment on blogs that I follow only though, but I do reply to all comments on my blog, even if I don't follow them. If I see someone that has been commenting a lot then I check out their blog to see if I like the books they read/their personality. (That's how I found you)

    I do not like when people never reply to comments OR comment on their own. I know we are all busy and have lives. I'm busy, you're busy but I still think commenting is important.

    Bottom line: I don't comment just because someone commented on my blog and I don't comment on someone's blog because I expect a comment in return (on my blog). But it sure is nice. I feel bad when people comment on my blog and I can't comment back so I always make sure I do so that they can know 'I'm reading you're posts and I care' :)

    Nereyda│ Nick & Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist

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    1. I'm glad we feel very similar about it and I've loved getting to know you over the past year or so. ;)

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  26. I expect a reply on their blog when my comment calls for one. There is nothing worse than asking a question and receive no reply. I have seen blogs with strings of unanswered comments. I just think that you should turn off comments if your not into have a conversation.
    As far as expecting a return visit and comment on my blog? Absolutely not. It's nice if I connect with a like minded reader and we enjoy each other's posts, but I have finally gotten to the point where I follow only blogs that I am really interested in reading, which makes visiting them a pleasure, not a chore that makes me want something in return.

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    1. Thanks so much for your thoughts and insight, it's nice to see where we all stand sometimes. ;)

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  27. At first I didn't visit blogs at all, but I did hope they would come to mine. I do feel a bit ashamed as I hardly ever commented back then, if someone commented I might check out their blog, but rarely comment. I was new to blogging then and only later realized the fun part of blogging is the community, but I will admit I often commented for the reply or comment back then. I wanted my blog to grow and have people visit my posts.

    Nowadays most of my comments are comments back as I want to thank those who stopped by my blog, as I get quite some comments most of my commenting time is spent commenting back. Besides that I mostly comment because I want to or find the post interesting. But I sure would appreciate a reply and or comment back, I think that's normal as the social aspect is part of what makes blogging fun. There are definitely blogs that i would keep visiting even if they never visit back in return, but I also think that if another visits my blog in return I am more likely to feel like I know that blogger and more likely to visit their blog again. Great topic and post!

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    1. I agree, it is nice to at least know they are reading your comments and taking the time to answer them back and the back and forth can be fun too. ;)

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  28. Awesome post.

    I think like many, I'm in two camps here, because I have a set group of blogs that I tend to visit whenever I can and I don't expect anything back... But the thing is these people do indeed take the time to respond to me and they visit my blog regularly and comment. It's how the relationship has been built in the first place. If someone doesn't respond or visit me back and I really enjoy their blog, I'll still keep visiting however it becomes easier and easier not to bother leaving a comment and as my time becomes less and less it becomes harder and harder to keep visiting their blogs.

    There's no set rule here, but personally I make it a rule to always visit back and to leave a little comment. It helps keep my horizons open and also sometimes has me reading and thinking about thoughtful comments on posts I may never have read in the first place. I just like to spread the comment love. However when I comment on someone else's blog I don't have any expectations of reciprocation other than a polite response. Even a 'Thanks' is fine - you're opening up your posts to comments so you are surely willing to take the time to read and continue the conversation, right?

    Love this post. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment, it is so nice to see a new face and to get different perspectives on it. :D

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  29. I am new to the blogosphere this year (as both a reader and blogger), and I love reading discussion posts. I would read them no matter what. But in the spirit of honesty, I would probably comment only rarely if I weren't hoping to establish a mutual relationship.

    When I first started out, I did a lot of commenting just to try and get visits. And I commented on a lot of sites that weren't really a good fit (meaning that it would be difficult for the blogger to find something of interest to them on my site).

    How I comment:
    -If I feel like I have a legitimate answer to the question or can offer support to someone who needs it.
    -If I like the blog and think the blogger might like mine.

    I don't expect someone to respond or comment back, but I am more inclined to keep commenting if they do.

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    1. Definitely it is important to have those blogs that you have something in common with, otherwise it really is awkward trying to comment back and form any kind of friendship from it. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting, I really appreciate it and your insight and thoughts about it!

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  30. After years of blogging, I don't 'expect it'. I know that I don't reply on my own blog as I don't have that extra time. Instead I spend that time visiting other blogs. Generally I like to comment on a review as well as memes. It does take time to visit so it is certainly nice to have a return visit.
    Over time you find blog friends who are more consistent to visit while others only visit if you visit them. Thanks for the good discussion.
    Have a good week.

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    1. That is very true and I couldn't agree more. I love getting to know other bloggers and actually feeling like they become friends. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this!

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  31. This is a really good question, and something I've struggled with myself. I don't necessarily expect a reply from a blogger if my comment doesn't invite discussion, but it's always nice to know that they read and appreciated my comment. There are bloggers I've come to know and count as friends through our exchanges, as they comment on my blog and I reply, then I comment on theirs and they reply, and sometimes one of those exchanges goes into several replies and becomes a longer conversation. Those friendships matter to me, especially because I don't have many people I can discuss books with face-to-face now that my daughter is away at college.

    As for the expectation of having the "favor" returned, I try not to expect visits from bloggers whose blogs I've visited and commented on. Reading or even commenting on someone's blog shouldn't put them under any obligation to do the same. I also realize that for blogs with a lot of followers and commenters, it's impossible for the bloggers to respond to everyone. So I don't take it personally when someone doesn't respond. (If it's a friend who has usually responded before, I worry that something is wrong in their life rather than taking it personally.)

    On the other hand, I do try to visit everyone who comments on my blog. Not as a quid pro quo, but as a courtesy or kindness (though I admit that I sometimes feel obligated out of politeness), and also to see if theirs is a blog I would like to follow. That means that I'm holding myself to a standard I don't expect of most other bloggers, and I'm not sure that's a good idea. I don't always comment when I visit someone's blog, though, especially if we have very little in common in terms of what we read.

    One problem I keep running into is that since I've been doing this for 7 years now, I've "followed" a lot more blogs than I can possibly keep up with, given my time constraints. I just don't have time to read all the posts I'd like to, nor visit all the blogs I'd like to. And I've recently realized that I've almost stopped reading some of the blogs not I loved when I first started blogging, not because they don't visit in turn or reply to my comments (which is true in some cases), but because *I* am so busy running around on return visits that I don't have time to read them. And a lot of those visits are to people I consider friends; I don't want to give that up.

    I don't know what the best the solution is. I want to go on returning visits and responding to comments, both because it's kind and because, as I said, it's how I've "met" some of my favorite bloggers and made friends. I'm not sure which would be better -- to comment on fewer blogs, or to spend less time on replying to comments on my own blog, to free up time for reading other blogs. But I worry that I can't go on doing both at the rate I've been doing.

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    1. Thank you for all your thoughts! I really do think it is a very fine line and a very real struggle to have time for "everything" that blogging, commenting, and everything else requires. And it is a hard decision to make sometimes and I do try to find a balance but again, that is harder some weeks than others.

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  32. I try to answer when someone leave a comment on my blog and visit their blog in return. Sometimes real life gets in the way, but I do my best.

    When it comes to visiting other bookish blogs there are two kinds of blogs for me. Firstly, there are blogs that I read and don’t comment (I’m interested in their contents for different reasons, but I’m not interested in conversation or they are not interested in it). In this group I don’t expect bloggers to acknowledge me in any way. Secondly, there are blogs that I visit and comment regularly. I consider the owners of this second group of blogs my friends or at least I hope we would became friends. I cherish these relationships. Usually bloggers in this second group answer my comments or visit my blog in return. We all have real life and I don’t expect them comment on all my posts, this is not about it. I just hope they are interested in me and want to interact with me. I agree with everyone above that comments are a great way to start a dialog, to build a relationship.

    From time to time I find myself in search of new interesting blogs. I admit when I visit a new blog I expect that the blogger would acknowledge me in some way: answer my comment or visit my blog. I usually visit and comment several times, then if the blogger doesn’t interested in communication with me and I’m still interested in their content I put this blog in the first group (I read their posts, but don’t comment).

    Also there are very few blogs that I visit and comment despite its owner doesn’t answer my comments and doesn’t visit my blog. Well I guess I still hope that they would interact with me someday. Though it’s somewhat disheartening to never be acknowledged.

    Great discussion post, Ali! I hope to see more of this kind of posts on your blog in the future.

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    1. Thank you so much and I loved all your thoughts and I agree, I do have some of those blogs that I visit and never comment as well but it really is more personal feeling when you do have that interaction with each other.

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  33. First off...I love the topic of this post, because it really is making you think!! So for me, most of the time I do expect a comment back sometime. It doesn't have to be all the time or most of the time. I like to build relationships with other bloggers and I feel that commenting is the best way to go about it. There are a couple of blogs out there, that I comment on quite frequently and hardly ever get anything back. But I know their lives are crazy and we have been friends for a long time. I hope that doesn't make me a bad person to want interaction back. I have never looked at it as being selfish, and maybe it is on some level. But when I do visit blogs, I do it because I like what they write or the books they enjoy or just love the content they have on their sites. It can be hard though when you visit blogs all the time and never get any interaction in return.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading it and sharing your thoughts as well! I really appreciate it and you have some very good points!

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  34. I was always a lurker until I started Quest Reviews. Then, I made an effort to comment... BECAUSE I wanted to get traffic to my blog! (Kind of selfish, of me.) But then, after a while, I got to forging connections and relationships with the people I commented back and forth with, which made the process seem less about scratching backs, and more communal.

    This was a thoughtful post and really made me ponder. Thanks for your thoughts, Ali!

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    1. Thanks so much for being so honest and for commenting!!

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