Tuesday, 16 March 2010

On Comments

Yay, the sun is back, and I have so many ideas as to what to write about! (Texas Board of Education, hello??! Or how about this article in today's New York Times about the odd genre of "female care" advertisements) However, I decided to write and ask you guys about blog commentary instead, mainly because it has troubled me for a while now.

Personally, I love comment sections, and I like leaving and receiving comments. Often than not though, I don't go back to see if the blog owner responded to my comment, unless I have asked a specific question. I do know that other bloggers really appreciate me leaving comments, and more often than not, people reciprocate rather than answer in the comment section. To me, this system seems logical. I don't know how you guys feel though. I try to visit my commentators' blogs as much as I can (not quite as much as I'd like to though), and love leaving comments there. However, I do know that not all of you have your own blogs, and perhaps those of you do go back to the comment box to see if I have replied to your comment.

As for you asking questions in the comment section, I have struggled with this too. Sometimes your questions have become topics for future blog posts, and I really like that. Other times specific questions can be buried in the comment box for a while, and shame on me, I forget about them. I just feel that as lovely as the comment box is, it is somehow impersonal, and it does not necessarily give people the equal opportunity to see how I might have responded to a question. I have been thinking of adding an occasional Q&A section in the actual posts where I'd respond to questions you guys have sent me either via e-mail or in the comment section. Something like this:

Q&A of the week:

Charlotte asked me recently what type of research I do on mental asylums: This is a long story, and I am working on writing a post about this in the near future.

Eline enquired about the story behind "The Waves": it is indeed a nod to my favourite book of all time, Virginia Woolf's The Waves. It was the one book that made me truly appreciate the beauty of the English language.

I give the floor to you: how would you like me to respond to the comments you leave - comment box or reciprocity? How does the idea of the Q&A sound to you?

See-through flower tunic: second hand Laura Ashley / Fida
Cardigan: Zara
Polka-dot skirt: second hand / Salvation Army
Tights: H&M
Shoes: Vagabond
Belt: second hand
Necklace: giveaway from Eyeliah


Sal said...

Another marvelous pattern mix!

I also respond to direct questions in comments, but I've seen that some bloggers respond to ALL comments. I would love to do that, but just don't have time.

I think the occasional Q&A post would be great.

Rad_in_Broolyn said...

I'd love to hear your thought on Texas the board of education. And I love your outfit.
I think you could respond to some direct questions (collectively) in a comment, but you certainly don't have to. I like how comments are this great way to engage with a blogger. I also love that the blog format allows for the author/reader interaction.

Jane W. said...

I like the idea of a Q & A. I also like the idea of you giving me that whole outfit (but I'd have to let out a few seams). Vintage Laura Ashley! That takes me back.

Oranges And Apples said...

Yeah, the comments thing, its a conundrum! I'll usually reply in the comments section (because it's nice for others to read the answer too), but send the person that asked the question an email to let them know I've done so

I actually find the replying to every comment thing Sal mentions a bit odd. If I leave a comment along the lines of 'looks great!', I really don't expect a reply. I can't see that being a good use of anyone's time, regardless how leisurely their life is!

Milla said...

Seriously, I was just thinking of this, because I'm writing a post and there was a question that begs to be answered in the comments of a previous post. I never check back on the comments I leave others. I feel that at least in my little blog circle everyone knows everyone well enough to flickr mail them, or email, if they really want to get ahold of them.

Often though, if I'm asked a question, I'll reply to it in the persons own blog. This gives me a great opportunity to read new blogs.

I think the occasional q&a would be very handy.

Sometimes if the question is something that I should have originally posted about, or would interest others I'll include it into the next post.

jesse.anne.o said...

I have the same issues - I usually respond to questions or comments on the same blog (i.e. if they posted it to mine, I answer there...if it's an exchange on theirs, I just try to keep tabs on it).

I have seen people pop over to the author's blog to answer but it just makes me feel like I'm disregarding someone's current post by using it as a catchall for communication.

I agree with Sal - the occasional Q&A post would be cool!

Eyeliah said...

I think you already know how I feel about commenting, lol. :-)

Modesty is Pretty said...

Well let me tell you, I appreciate the comment you left on my blog, I'm new with the blog thing but I've been following your blog for a long, long (before Chris) time. I've commented but since I didn't have an account I would do it as anonymous, so I was delighted to see your nice comment. Thank you for taking the time. Now in my opinion I think it would be best to have Q&A at the end of the posts like you did today. =) Some girls do big posts on q&a which I don't like much, I rather read something more meaninful first, like the posts you write and the the extras, it's like dessert (kind of) =)

Charlotte said...

Glad you asked that! First, that necklace is great--never seen one like it. Great with the happy print.
About questioning comments, sometimes I think they might provoke a whole post (what IS your research?) & other times a brief answer (where did you get that whatsis?) is enough.
About statement comments, it would depend upon what was being stated. I'd rather return the favor by commenting on the commentor's blog, unless to do so would be very weird.
As with most things, there's no one-size-fits-all answer.

SnapandPrint said...

I think that whatever works best for you is fine. Maybe have a monthly Q & A post incorporated into your blog if you feel it is needed?

mirattes said...

I think that the idea of Q&A is appropriate. Almost all bloggers have such a post time from time. Because you can ask more personal question you are interesting to :)

Angel said...

Firstly I love that dress!!!

Secondly, I find reciprocating is best, that way you're sure they will read your reply and see what you've said.

I've heard formspring is a good tool to help with that but personally I prefer just asking if anyone has any questions collecting them and putting them in a post.


Michele said...

I think you need to just do what works for you. I try to respond to all questions on my blog (this works well between Typepad bloggers since we get notifications about responses and can reply via email). But depending on my mood, I might respond to many more or none at all.

Regular readers of a blog know whether or not to expect a response, and will check back if they expect and care about getting one.

gina said...

A Q&A post or reciprocity sound good to me. Mainly because, if I ever leave a question, I'd get the answer through either of those methods.

If you comment back on you own blog, I would almost never come back to the post to check the comments. If I asked a specific question, maybe I would check back in a day or two, but not any longer than that. If you just responded to a comment through your own comment box, I'd never know, b/c I wouldn't ever check back.

Eline said...

I love the mix of these patterns, so great!

And yay about The Waves thing! Gah, Virginia Woolf is one of my greatest literary obsessions.

I personally reply to comments on my blog. There's an option to receive replies so I figure people will click that if they really want a reply or at least check back. But yeah, a Q&A sounds good too.