Thursday, 23 June 2011

Blog commenting - do you have a system?

Image from here
I think I have confessed once or twice that I am a disorganised person. Our household functions because I know this and I have developed systems. Days for the washing (and times too now that we are all frugal and have a budget). Folding washing in front of the TV the two nights a week I have programs I like. A beginning of the day routine. An end of day list of jobs. A cleaner once a fortnight. You know the drill.

Until fairly recently, my 'systems' for blogging have been fairly simple.

I write each day (at various times of the day) and usually schedule the posts to be released early in the morning.

I read the blogs on my blog roll most days (and comment when I can).

I read the blogs of people who comment on my posts each day (and leave a comment on their blog).

I occasionally follow a meme (usually my sister's Weekend Rewind) where I comment on at least two or three other blogs I haven't come across before (and a few favourites too). This is a great way to 'discover' new blogs to read.

And I usually try to visit the blogs of new 'followers' (provided they are contactable via their GFC) and say 'hi' and welcome them to the fold and check out their lives a bit (I am nosy like that).

I try to read and sort through my Google Reader once a week or so.

I wouldn't say that I am the friendliest of bloggers. I am dreadful at finding the time to go on forums. I am hopeless at 'popping in'  to blogs I read when they haven't popped into mine first. But I do try to do my 'bit' for building the community and sharing the love. It is hard when you have to ration your time.

My systems give me the opportunity to read a variety of blogs. I have made some great connections with people and their comments and support truly make my blogging world go around. But I know there is a whole lot more I should, would like to be, could, ought can do to support others and to get even more out of the blogging caper.

Recently, I haven't had as much time for blogging. My 'real' life has been getting in the way (dreadful I know) which means that I haven't managed to keep reading, commenting and welcoming people the way I might have liked (thanks to all of you for sticking by me!). My disorganisation is letting me down. Again.

So my confessional ends with a few questions to all of you.

Do you have a system to blog commenting? (Please share!)  
How do you keep up with all the connections you have made through blogging without spending hours each day at the computer?
What do you like best? An email or a comment on your blog if you take the time to comment on mine?

I am really looking forward to reading your responses so please, don't be shy. 

* Submitted to Weekend Rewind 22/07/2011. To read more posts about blogging, click here.


A Farmer's Wife said...

I think you do well commenting. I find it hard to keep up and my system is a bit ad hoc I am afraid.

Alice Becomes said...

I think we are alike in our organisation (lack of) skills! I have had trouble keeping up with blogging lately too. I want to, but sometimes there are so many other things to do that I can't quite find the time. But that shouldn't be an excuse, I see plenty of others doing a much better job of commenting and connecting and they are probably as busy, maybe busier, than I am. So I haven't much advice for you, but I will be popping back later to read your comments. I used to prefer comments to emails but I have made some great connections with people in this way, purely because they do email replies. Felicity@Gifts of Serendipity, and Karen@The Rhythm Method, for instance. I am not sure if I would have been able to make such great connections with them if it hadn't been for email exchanges. Gill xo

Jodie Ansted said...

No. No system. I probably should have one!

Back in the old days (like, a year ago, that is) I would try and read blogs every day. But to be honest, I couldn't sustain it. Especially once I started following more blogs.

I list on my homepage all the blogs I follow. Although, there are some blogs that don't have the Google thingy so I read them via email or the like. I tend to scroll through them when I can and read here and there.

This year seems to be busier, and I just haven't had as much chance to read and like you....I'm barely on forums! I wish I had more time. :(

Perhaps next year when the 4yo is at school, I'll be able to allocate time to do certain things. This parenting thing is rather demanding! ;)

A Christy Production said...

Hahaha you're doing waaaay better then me all round. I am a lazy blogger in all aspects. I have the desire, but lack outcome. I complain that my blog is going nowhere, so then I set myself a goal to be better, to read more blogs, to follow more and to leave lovely comments and to respond to comments and all of the above... then I get sick (which happens about twice a month with my annoying health issues) and it breaks the cycle and I get lazy again and then I have to re-commit in another week or two. So don't stress. I think you're doing awesome!

Felicity said...

My system used to go something like this:

* All comments are sent to my blog email account

* I reply to them via email if they don't have an email attached I [might] chase them up through their blog

* I read new posts through Google Reader except when it's a fave, then I pop it open and leave a comment

* I limit my memes to your lovley sisters' as it can get a bit much otherwise, and like you try to comment on two or three newies

* I get a thrill out of receiving comments on my blog AND email replies so fire away!

This last fortnight the whole thing has gone to pieces and I'm only popping on occasional comments and sporadic email replies - but you get that in the big city no?

Suzi said...

I don't really have much of a system either.I try to comment as much as I can when I read a blog but at the moment blogger only let's my comments go through half the time anyway!

Photographer Mum said...

I love getting comments on my blog. I have to say I am a bit on the slack side with posting though. I try to comment on the blogs I follow as much as I can but I don't have a system at all. I feel a tad on the uncommitted side at the moment - just not so sure what to blog about sometimes. I might have to keep up a diary of blog post ideas to get me going.
I reckon you do a pretty good job :)

Cate said...

My system involves going through my reader either while the kiddos are in the bath, or once they've gone to bed; opening up like a gazzion windows of posts with snappy titles and then reading (and usually commenting - unless I really disagree). And that's about it.
I like comments on my blog rather than an email - just because I'm planning on printing out my blog once my 365 day challenge is complete and comments are a permanent component of each post.
And yes, I spend waaaaay too much time surfing around looking at blogs (hence the washing pile that is laughing merrily at me as we speak! arrrrggghhh!!)

Mrs BC said...

All comments pop up as an email, where I reply to them directly. If the reply email is noreply@blogger then I can't reply, which is annoying, because I would like to! I read other blogs through the dashboard reading list, & if I have a genuine comment to make, I make it. If I had any sort of system it would become a chore (& therefore I wouldn't do it) so I just try to be authentic about comments & stuff.

Tricia said...

Blog commenting is something I'm failing at dismally at the moment. Like you, real life gets in the way. We try to go screen free (tv and computers) at home every second day. And most days after sitting in front of a computer all day at work, the last thing I feel like doing in the evening is sitting on the computer more.

I nearly gave up blogging because I felt guilty about not having the time to comment on other blogs. But then I decided that’s silly. So now I restrict my blog reading to a Friday night blog reading binge (and sneak the odd peak at my fav blogs at work –like now).

I’m learning to feel OK about not commenting as much as I would like on other blogs. I know it costs me readers, but I’m OK with that. It's either that or give up blogging all together. And I don't want to do that.

Anonymous said...

There is where I'm going to sound like an a-hole. I'm frugal with who I follow. If they don't have a voice that pops out at me, I don't follow them. This makes keeping up to date a whole lot easier.
I comment on things that catch and hold my attention, always visit and comment on my favourite blogs, and if someone has visited my blog, I pop over to theirs to reciprocate the love. If I haven't read everything in my reader by the weekend, I do a big clear out and start again the next week. I hate feeling behind in my reading.
The thing about blogging - you get what you put in. I know if I'm not putting in, I won't get much love back. My blog is there to work my writing muscles, and the comments and the community are an added bonus. I'm not out there to be big in blogland. It's just not me.

Miss Pink said...

I am cutthroat. While I am quick to follow a blog, I am often cleaning up who I follow. Every couple of months I go through my list of blogs i follow and if I don't recognise a name, or their page when I go to it I stop following. It sounds mean, but it's something I *have* to do because I am very much a person who likes to comment on each entry (or near as many) and when i'm having to read through 50+ blogs a day, well I have other things to do in my day and I simply do not have the time to read AND comment, and I do feel like commenting is an important part to following as you can't see me actively listening to what you're saying I need to do a shout out and say "Hey, I agree/disagree, i'm hearing what you're saying, offer support or encouragement".

Then, I have a little rule. Some days I am really very busy (today is one of those days) and so my time is super minimal. I always read a few selected blogs (I should edit my layout and put up all the blogs I always read's buttons huh?) but I like to comment on an entry if I haven't their last, or whatever. Idk, I just feel like I NEED to comment, and so I need to keep my list short because of that. After all there is no point in following a blog if you never read it, right?

Diminishing Lucy said...

I try for 6 posts a week - which includes a Drab to Fab post and also some kind of review/giveaway.

(I am shaped at the moment on our internet - we are on dial up speed of 56 kbps so this may be the first week in about 3 years when I don't post to that routine!)

I read my blog roll daily when I can, over the space of a day. And comment if if appeals to me. (Yours always does, BTW.)

I do read & comment on my Drab to Fab contributors. And I do try to get some some of the Rewind posts.

That is my own "minimum expectation" of myself.

If I have additional time, i'll go scouring for more posts to read.

If i have time, I get to Twitter and Digital Parents and Farcebook. (Not often.)


Lizeylou said...

I love to comment on my favourite blogs and do my best to visit the blogs of people who are kind enough to leave me a comment on mine.
If I am lucky enough to have some spare time I really enjoy looking at the other people who follow my fav blogs and see what new interesting blogs I can find.
No system as such but now you have me thinking - maybe I should??

alliecat said...

Absolutely no system here. I always read through (or skim read, oops) new posts on my google reader and try to take the time to comment if the post speaks to me, or if I feel I have something decent or useful to say. And IF I have time, which lately has not been much. I try to follow up comments on my own blog either by email, or if unable through a follow up comment on my own. I prefer an email response to my comments if someone wants to as I forget to go back and check for later responses on posts. I think you have a great system going there!

Mum2Five said...

System? Yeah right. I'm lucky if I get around to checking Twitter once a day and Google Reader once a week. Not enough hours in the day really. By the time I notice a tweet or post, I usually feel it's too late to respond.

River said...

I'll comment if something in the post has caught my interest, but sometimes what I want to say has already been said by a dozen othrs, so I don't bother. I try to read through my blogroll every day but it's getting harder as housework and real books call to me more and more loudly.

ClaireyH said...

I use my reader, I allow about an hour or so while I am watching TV, an iPad makes it much easier to sit here and watch tv and read and comment. But really I read a lot of posts without commenting.

I find it odd when people email me to my account directly, we all have so many emails to get through and then i get all these emails saying, "yes, I agree" or thanks for your would be much nicer if they visited my blog and we started to have a two way engagement. I tend to wean off these ones as it becomes so one sided, talking about them all the time.

Tat said...

I used to have a system, but now my real life is starting to get in the way, too, plus my Google reader has grown beyond a manageable amount of subscriptions. Ideally, I should go through it and organise it to make it manageable again, but that task alone would take at least 4-5 hours, so I keep postponing it.

So my system is similar to yours. I'll visit back everyone who has commented on my blog. Visit a few blogs from a meme. Visit my 'must-read' folder (and only comment if I feel compelled to do so). And if I have any spare time, I'd just follow comments from the blogs I read and read random blogs (but I rarely get to that these days).

Mama of 2 boys said...

This post is just so sweet of you. To be honest, I feel pretty honoured to receive any comments, let alone comments from bloggers such as yourself, who have really big families and work etc etc...
I really like to comment (you may have noticed!) so I usually comment on all my fave blogs or if the post particularly grabs me. I also like to check out new blogs as much as possible. I try to click on a few links through comments on the blogs I read or recommendations given by other bloggers. I also like finding good blogs in the link up's. Then I just scroll through the posts each day. I read a couple during the day, when I can. But mostly late at night, when bubs are in bed and hubby's asleep. I need to cull my blogging significantly once I return to work, as I'm going to need the sleep so badly. But I'll be catching up on the days I don't work, so I won't be stopping altogether... I couldn't if I wanted to :o) xo

Jen said...

Wow, interesting to see what others do. Whilst I have been reading blogs for almost two years, it has only been recently that I have felt like commenting. I guess I wasn't brave enough to leave say something before, I know that sounds silly!! I think it is lovely that you take the time to share some comment love. I tend to only comment when I feel engaged in the topic of the post.

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

Ha, every time I think I have a system going 'real life' steps up and has a stomping tantrum on my system.
I think you are awesome for doing all the blogging you do.

Looking for Blue Sky said...

I'm finding this discussion really interesting. It does read as though many bloggers almost see blogging as a 'job', or at least approach it the way they would their employment. I just fell into blogging without a plan, and as I got more confident, so it has grown, but due to my particular circumstances, real life gets in the way all the time, so I dip in and out of the blogosphere and twitter when I can x

InkPaperPen said...

I had a feeling this post would be big! Interesting to read all these different methods. Would love to know: do you think this post will lead to a new system for you?

Gill xo

Cathy said...

Miss Pink, I agree totally with everything you wrote about commenting and why you comment. I'm exactly the same - feel that I have to comment (unless there is absolutely nothing to say).

But like a lot of people here I don't have a system - so it's all a bit chaotic and I'm reading posts on my reader and posts on networking sites and posts that appear on my email and posts that pop up on Fb! It's crazy. There are simply not enough hours in the day, but to me it's an indulgence - my indulgence - so I try to read and comment on as many as I can.

For the record, I love comments and sometimes when friends comment on FB about a post, I transfer their comments to the blog because I figure that 'one day' when my boys read it, they can then read the comments as well.

So if you're a serial commenter, visit my blog and comment away. It's sure to put a smile on my face :)

Naturally Carol said...

I must admit mine is similar to yours..comment on the blogroll first..then I go to Dashboard and see if there is anything that catches my eye to comment on and then to people I haven't seen in a while who are followers and add a dash of new people whom I haven't met before..that's if I don't run out of time! I do feel like a mother hen sometimes..a little bit responsible for seeing how 'my followers' are going..hehe!

Maxabella said...

Food for thought!

I used to comment on most posts that I read, now it's about 50% as I don't have the same amount of time (at work!) that I used to plus I had typing on my iphone whereas the blackberry used to do me fine.

I try to read my blog roll most days and I visit commenters sporadically. I don't even know what a Google Reader is, so no go there, but I guess it's much the same as the Blogger Dashboard and I visit there a couple of times a day, time depending!

I have never purposely visited someone who follows me... isn't that dreadful, but I think most of the time you find them anyway!


Susan @ Reading Upside Down said...

I really need to get a system organised. I love to get comments on my blog, but I'm so disorganised and I don't comment on other blogs as much as I should or would like to.

I try to visit the blogs of people who comment on mine and leave a comment in return. I like the idea of emails, but i wonder whether it would just turn into yet another task that i feel guilty about not getting to.

•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Trish.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• said...

I cannot honestly keep up anymore.
Total chaos.
I have no system except I click through twitter links, through other peoples sidebar links and all my Wordless Wednesday mostly.
Then a few in the memes above and below me or random topics that jump out at me.
I love that image.
I feel so guilty for the ones I miss that really need comments on great posts...that no one has seen.

FlyFshrGrl said...

I read every evening at bedtime. I choose reading/writing blogs, reading books, or a little of each, but that's my time.

I don't wait for the "if you comment on mine, I'll comment on yours," because it's a cycle of no one making the first move.

Sometimes, I click on Blogger's "Next Blog" button, and if I find something that sparks a thought because of that person's blog, I'll comment. If not, they get a hit from me to add to their Stats, so it's a bonus for them either way. I don't feel that I have to follow them, though. It's like smiling or saying "Hi" to someone you pass on the street. You briefly brightened their day, but you don't seek them out every day.

I have no idea how I found the Weekend Rewind, but I'm glad I did, because it exposed me to new ideas, new stories, new vocabulary (never heard of a Fibro before, but I know now what it is and looks like, and have even heard it in conversation, twice, in Texas!) The blogs I want to read whenever they have a new post, I let everyone who visits my blog see the ones I follow. Those are the ones I follow consistently and will read during my regular reading time, because their writings continue to spark something within me. Comments are fun, but I don't think most bloggers are writing to receive a comment. I think most bloggers are writing because they have good ideas and thoughts to share, and you know, there are more people who read your ideas than those who choose to comment. Job done well!

Penny said...

I treat my blog comments the same way I treat my friends. I comment / catch up when I can, share a cup of tea, love that when we catch up it feels like we've never been apart and they won't hang me out to dry for it. ;-)

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

My system is ad hoc and unsatisfactory. Needs work.

Visiting from the REwind.

Shelly - Tropical Mum said...

I tried to have a system, but it was just too hard. Now, I just do what I can, when I can. My following is all over the place as a result. But I have to remember that this is my hobby and I do it because I enjoy it. Once it stops being enjoyable it is no longer a hobby, it is work.

Popping in from the Rewind. Have a great weekend!

Kellie said...

I reply to all the comments on my blog and try my best to comment on their blog as well.
From there, it's ad hoc. Some memes I'll comment on every single blog post (Wordless Wednesday is an easy one to do this), some a large amount and others just a handful. Then there are blogs which I'm a regular visitor too, because we've built up a system of supporting each other.
Yep, no system here really. It's whatever I can manage!!

life without mathematics said...

Rewinding the Weekend to find you. A system. What a good idea (though you 'know' me and that I'm not a natural at systems.) I am finding it quite tangly wandering around, and the number of tabs I have up sometimes astonishes and bewilders me. Then life happens with the children and I leave for a few hours, then return and am even more overwhelmed with what's open and I wonder what I had planned to do. Then it all becomes a very random, organic wander. Maybe being more deliberate would be good. Do you think I have it in me?!

Hayley said...

I don't have a system, but read/comment when I get a chance- sometimes more than others. At the moment I have a lot cause I'm breastfeeding :) Love comments on a page, even if it just lets you know its been read by ur mum :)

justin bartholomew said...

Interesting and important information. It is really beneficial for us. Thanks

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