Comments: The Best and Worst of Times

I like blogging.  I like my blog.  I like readers, even those sneaky ones who haven’t introduced themselves (I know you’re out there!).  I like you all, unless I don’t (but you would know if I didn’t like you—trust me).

Since I’m such a fan of all y’all, I feel the need to acknowledge when you leave comments on my blog.  When I first started blogging, I never even considered replying to comments—I didn’t know that was a standard thing to do.  And anyway, the main commenters, at first, were family and close friends who I’d usually talk to on the phone before the day was through, so I didn’t need to address their comments online.

Later, however, when strangers started finding my blog, I felt compelled to acknowledge their comments—it seemed only right.  Usually, I’d just visit their own blogs, read about their lives, and comment myself.

But one day a while later, I had the crazy idea of  replying to every single comment anyone left on my blog.   I’d go through and write a response to all the comments, and post them IN the comment section, so anyone interested could be privy to the “conversations.”  I deemed it “Reader Appreciation Day,” and by the end of it, I swore I’d never do it again—how exhausting, I thought back then.  I’d never before taken on a blogging project of such colossal proportions.  Unfortunately, I was a little hooked.  Despite taking all day, I felt like I had given back to my readers—like I had dished out some of the respect they deserved.  And when I responded to comments, I could actually get some interesting dialogues going on. My blog became more of a forum in the comment section, and it was fun.  So I kept it up.  It started out as a one-day extravaganza, but I found myself getting in on the comment action more frequently, ’til the point where it seemed like I never spent more than five minutes away from a computer screen.  (Yikes.)

Lately, though, I’ve come to a different way of thinking.  Only the very most exceedingly faithful of readers actually check my blog more than once a day—I know I never check peoples’ blogs twice, unless there is a particularly hot debate going on in the comment section.  And of those very most exceedingly faithful readers, probably an even smaller percentage actually look at the comments.  I bet a bunch of you have made comments on my blog and never realised I left a response to you.  And it made me sad to think of all that effort I put into my responses, when most people would likely never see them.

So I started emailing my responses (because heaven forbid I write even one word that goes unread in its lifetime—good heavens, I’m vain).  And I have been ever since.  In fact, I try very hard to reply to every comment I get (save those comments left with anonymous email addresses, or the very short comments like, “Sweet!,” which I acknowledge for their support of my blog, but I realise aren’t necessarily expecting anything in response).  I still maintain a lovely dialogue with a lot of readers, and I still feel like I’m letting people know I appreciate their support.  It works for me.

But does it work for you, readers?  That’s what I want to know.  In fact, if you could answer a few short questions, I’d be much obliged.

1.  Did you ever realise I used to reply to comments in the comment section?

2.  If so, did you care?

3.  If so, do you miss that?

4.  If not, are you glad I email responses instead?

5.  If not, is it because you feel too much pressure?

6.  If so, do you think I should do away with the comment section altogether, leaving only the most diligent of readers to go to all that effort of (gasp!) emailing me if they have something to say?

7.  If you hate this questionnaire, do you also hate me?  Just say so.

These are just some thoughts I’ve had kicking around in my mind lately.  I want this blog to be a happy place, not a high-pressure car dealership place (though I should offer free hot dogs on my next blogiversary—that could be a fun party!).

One thing I’d like to add is that, when emailing my responses, I tend to get a little more personal with my readers.  This may or may not be a good thing, depending on how intimate you prefer to be with random blog strangers.  Sorry if it bugs you.  Yay if it doesn’t.

Also, sometimes my responses are kind of funny, and I do hate that I don’t get to share these bits of wit with the rest of the world.  Like how, in my last post, Lindsay commented, saying, “And you look lovely with your hair all one color! You’re one of those annoying girls who can pull off both spectrums of the hair color world.”

And my response was, “Lindsay, I know that you only get annoyed with the best of the best girls (and I don’t blame you—I’m the same way!), so I will of course take your comment as a supreme compliment.  Thank you for being annoyed with me.”

So please, do pipe in.  For these matters are weighing heavily on my mind today, and I’d like someone else to tell me what to do, please.

***No ‘Poo Update:

Day One No 'Poo 3

Day One of the Great No ‘Poo Experiment has gone swimmingly. [If you have no idea what I’m talking about, feel free to catch up here and here—or just get the jist of it, which is that I’m not using shampoo anymore.  Ever.]   This morning, I took a shower and used only water to clean my hair.  I scrubbed the roots thoroughly with my fingertips, and rinsed with hot, then cold water.  The one thing I noticed is that, where I would normally use conditioner to pre-detangle my hair while in the shower, instead I used just water.  It was a little more tangly upon first exiting the shower, but a wide-tooth comb made quick work of the tangles.  It was a minor—not major—inconvenience.

After showering, I blow-dried my hair (on warm, not hot {baby steps!}) and I did use a tiny squirt of hair spray to set my bangs.  (But don’t worry—I’m working on a formula for homemade hair spray, made with honey, egg yolks, sugar, and tears from baby birds who live in the nests outside my house.  Results tomorrow.)

My hair was not as shiny as usual, but that’s because usually I finish it off with BioSilk™ Silk Therapy, which is nothing but oil anyway.  Soon enough, my hair will be producing the right amount of oil, and I suspect shine will be abundant.  (Vain, remember?)

The Verdict: So far, so awesome.  And here are pictures from every angle to prove it. (Again with the vanity.)  But seriously, I want to document this for those of you out there who are using me as a lab rat.  So views from every angle are necessary.

Day One No 'Poo

Day One No 'Poo 2

Day One No 'Poo 4

Of course, this is only day one.  What do I know?

About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at facebook.com/archivesofourlives, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
This entry was posted in Book Reports, what I'm about and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Comments: The Best and Worst of Times

  1. 1. Yes

    2. I thought it was a nice gesture, however I knew I was missing out because I didn’t go back a lot to look.

    3. Neutral

    4. Yes, I think that is nice :o)

    5. I’m sure EXACTLY what this question is asking, but I think the answer is no.

    6. No, I think that’s a bit harsh.

    7. No, I do not hate you :o)

  2. 1. yes
    2. when it was a response to my comment i cared :)
    3. nah
    4. yes
    5. i always feel pressure, so that’s nothing new.
    6. no! lame!
    7. i like you and this questionnaire. and lists.

    But really, I don’t think you should feel obligated to respond to every single comment… I think we’d all like you even if you didn’t. Of course if you enjoy doing it, keep it up, I like it.

  3. anonymous says:

    cute new hair! i thought it was nice that you answered to the questions but felt bad you had to go to that effort!

  4. Chloe says:

    Okay, my answers:
    1) yes! And it made me happy to see your reply to my comment!!:D
    2) YES!
    3) No, because now I received a reply via e-mail! :)
    4) I love it!!
    5) I don’t feel any pressure. It means there is dialogue!! And that’s good! And it let me know you read my comments!
    6) Nooo, pleasee!
    7) I don’t hate this questionnaire, and I DON’T hate you!! You’re my friend!!

  5. chelsie says:

    Friend, sorry for the time without contact… however, i’ll have you know, I was looking over adams shoulder while he was on facebook and saw your picture and knew right away that you had done your hair dark. Of which caused me to run to your blog for the official update!!! it looks great and believe me, it does fade!!!!

  6. Deemarie says:

    I also posted comments at the beginning, until I realized no one came back to read them. I will occasionally check back to a site if I think I’ve left a good comment… but that’s rare.
    I enjoy getting email responses. It often starts a dialogue and eventually, HeatherPride and I were emailing daily, with or without posting (and did up until we were both no longer working and didn’t need a time-fill!)
    So do what works for you… and your followers will fall into place behind it!!

    I would think Day 1 will be much easier than Day 10… the hairspray sounds great. Market that, and send me a bottle, k? :)

  7. Jenn says:

    A few things before I answer the questionaire:
    – Your hair looks great!!
    – Free hot dogs would be awesome!!

    1. Did you ever realise I used to reply to comments in the comment section?
    I don’t think I read your blog when you did that. I got the link to your blog from Marriage Confessions when Katie profiled your blog. Oh, that was a fun week, perhaps I will do that soon!

    2. If so, did you care?
    NA

    3. If so, do you miss that?
    NA

    4. If not, are you glad I email responses instead?
    The first time I commented I got an email response from you, and come to think of it, I’ve gotten one every time since then! I think it’s great you respond, but you shouldn’t feel pressured to do so unless you have something you want to say :)

    5. If not, is it because you feel too much pressure?
    I don’t feel pressure – I really enjoy commenting. I love getting comments on my blog, so I like to give them out as well, when I have something to say.

    6. If so, do you think I should do away with the comment section altogether, leaving only the most diligent of readers to go to all that effort of (gasp!) emailing me if they have something to say?
    I think you should leave the comments – they are very often really funny to read. I think for the writer it’s also a very nice validation that people are reading!

    7. If you hate this questionnaire, do you also hate me? Just say so.
    I don’t hate the questionnaire, or you :)
    Keep up the good work!

  8. shalynna says:

    1) No, but maybe that was before I was introduced to your blog.
    4) Emails are fun. I am a fan of short emails because they are easier to respond to, so I always like getting short emails from friends. But, don’t feel obligated to comment back on every comment. We understand that it is time consuming!
    5) No way.
    6) No. Comments are fun.
    7) If any of us hated you, we would probably not read your blog!

    Surveys and questionnaires are fun. You should do they more often. :)

  9. Holly Decker says:

    oh i have so much to say!
    lets see if i can say it all before i have to nurse Charlie, go on my morning walk- which intails getting out the stroller and all sorts of things, and meet up with my friend…. lets be honest… i check your blog first thing in the morning.
    its my sweet escape.
    true story.
    i LOVE your blog… and i think one of the main reasons is the fact that you care- AND ADMIT THAT YOU CARE about comments, readers, and your blog… updating it. keepin’ it real.
    secondly, i would like to say that i am contemplating this no poo myself, but i am waiting to see what it does for you, first. i am a scaredy cat.
    but yes, you are right… getting a hair cut is a fabulous change… thanks for caring :)
    i love the pictures of you… dont you just love taking pictures of yourself- because i do. yesterday i took ten. black and white. and i fear that if i show them- people will think i am vain. which i must say, i dont like these pictures because i am IN them, but because i took them. i hate pictures of myself that other people take… i always look fat and double chin plagued. its true. that there is a confession.
    next on my list?
    well, before i answer your questionere… I LOVE this questionere. and, i am happy to admit that even though i know you post once a day on weekdays (usually) and never on weekends… (usually)… i ALWAYS check your blog more than once a day (well… except for a few times… like when i first became a mom and stuff like that… and then there was that time that i banned you… GOOD HEAVENS! atrocious of me. glad i repented of that.)
    k… on to better things:

    1. Did you ever realize I used to reply to comments in the comment section?
    yes. i sure nuff did. and i loved it. and i have always wondered the same thing you are wondering- because i want to reply to people and i dont know the best way!

    2. If so, did you care?
    yes. and i longed for and loved your answers

    3. If so, do you miss that?
    no… as long as i get noticed…
    but i know what you mean about your funny comments. and i used to read what you said to others and what they said to you. i LOVE how witty you are. so quick.

    4. If not, are you glad I email responses instead?
    like i said, i love any kind of communication… i am selfish like that.
    will i love you either way? yes. but i think you should notify us if you stop the email responses. like… at the end of each blog, you will have to start saying, “leave a comment and check back to hear my response…” kind of thing.

    5. If not, is it because you feel too much pressure?
    oh brother. pressure… the only pressure i feel in the blog world is to be more like you. or the pressure to update my blog- WHICH I CURRENTLY HAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    6. If so, do you think I should do away with the comment section altogether, leaving only the most diligent of readers to go to all that effort of (gasp!) emailing me if they have something to say?
    never ever. IT DRIVES ME CRAZY that i cannot comment on cjane or niediologues. only sometimes do i find myself getting enough guts to email them. and even then? i feel like i can only do it ONCE. and i always feel like they will just discard my email- they will never know how much i really love them or want to be their friend.
    so i say just keep ’em coming, and respond any way you like. DO WHAT YOU LIKE.

    7. If you hate this questionnaire, do you also hate me? Just say so.
    already said i liked it.
    and darling… i like you a lot and you grow more and more on me each day.

    the end.
    ( i felt that was necessary since this is a novel)

  10. Joel says:

    1. Of course.

    2. Of course.

    3. E-mailing is easier cause I don’t have to come back to the comments section and see if you replied to me and figure out where and all that.

    4. Yes. Sorry I tend to not reply to your replies thus far.

    5. No, I just run out of things to say, and I’m okay with ending conversations rather than drawing them out to nothingness.

    6. No, far easier to comment on a pre-made form.

    7. No. You rock.

  11. Cristin says:

    First of all, I am really starting to dig your hair that color. I didn’t really like it so much at first, but the new pictures look great. You might inspire me to go dark, maybe.

    Anyway, I don’t usually check back in the comment section, but I do love the emailing responses that you do. I know it is a lot of work, so I don’t expect it every time, but I do enjoy hearing what you think about what I think, etc.

  12. Debbie H says:

    It looks like your trying to get a handle on who secretly reads your blog. I’m a stay at home mom of 3 girls (9, 12 & 15) and a almost 1 year old boy, so i’ve baby proofed my office (kind of) so I can sit in here and read blogs while he plays on the floor. That’s my life right now. Thanks for the entertainment! BTW I found your blog from Cristin’s blog, which I found from her mother-in-law. I don’t ususally read comments.

  13. As a rule of thumb, I never check a blog twice during the day. I just have to set boundaries to my blogging. However, if the post was on a topic that had a heated debate in the comments, I often check back.

    I like your email responses. It’s nice to see your response….because let’s face it, I NEVER sign out of my email during the day. I am being serious.

  14. Sarah says:

    I basically agree with what everyone else has said. It’s awesome to get comments back. I never checked your blog for a comment back except for the one time you said to. I was surprised and happy to get email responses back from you. I don’t expect it everytime because I wouldn’t want to do that every single time, too time consuming and can become more of a chore than fun. No one hates you or like someone else said… they wouldn’t bother looking at your blog. :)

  15. DeAnna says:

    1. Yes, I would check back a post to see if you replied.

    2. Yes, I like how you have so many comments on this post..really shows that your readers really do care and pay attention.

    3. No, because of the next questions, email responses.

    4. Yes.

    5. I admit sometimes the decision to reply to your reply sometimes seems awkward…not pressure though, but if the topic is one that requires more discussion I don’t hesistate to reply.

    6. I actually love reading the comments to see what the results of your post are, it really brings in a ton of different view points on whatever the topic of the day may be.

    7. How can one hate someone they have never met in person & actually really gotten to know, so no I do not hate you. I find this questionnaire interesting, it definately would make your life easier to have commenters email you instead, but the discussion between commenters would be taken away by this. I do enjoy your blog and look forward to reading your posts, they really offer a fresh perspective on whatever your topic may be. Keep up the good work!!

  16. Irene says:

    Ihave been reading you for a while but it’s true I don’t usually come back to the comments :S But it was nice to see your email! I felt considered ^^ tomorrow I’m going to the local aquatic park but I’m certainly not washing my hair with shampoo (out of solidarity with you). I’ll tell you my impressions (therefore I’ll come back to comment!!)

  17. 1. Sometimes.
    2. It was so much work to go check to see if you responded. I would forget!
    3. Nope.
    4. No. I wish you would just comment back on my blog. I don’t check my email while I’m thinking about blogging. They are separate activities for me.
    5. No.
    6. No, because I like seeing what other people have to say. I already know how you feel about something because you blogged about it. I read other comments so I can know how other people in the world feel about a topic.
    7. No.

  18. ann marie says:

    Your hair still looks great!

    Ok.. Comments.
    I have been toying with having the comments left on my blog be e-mailed to me.. but I can barely make it to most of my readers during the week, and let alone e-mail them back… I wish I could.
    If they have a question I think needs to be addressed then I think it’s good to e-mail them.. but I don’t think you should feel like YOU HAVE to do it daily.
    I was grateful for some of your e-mails that gave me some back ground info.. but if it’s a stress.. I would still come here.

    I have friends who have done away with comments, and frankly.. I’m too lazy to e-mail them. I know.. I am a lzy pile when it comes to the computer… My husband does most everything, and besides e-mail and blogging, I am very computer illiterate. :0

    Do whatever you feel is best.
    I only go back to a blog if there is a heated debate too. :)

  19. Alex says:

    i did notice that you replied to comments, actually, because depending on my work schedule, i sometimes look at your blog later in the afternoon (after you had replied). i’m not a frequent commenter (sorry!) so it hasn’t really applied to me. i think replying by e-mail sounds nice & personal, though.

    on another note, i am super-excited to follow your no shampoo experiment. as someone who only washes her hair twice a week (t.m.i.? too late), i’m interested to know if i can cut back even more. full disclosure: my lack of hairwashing is motivated by my personal laziness & the texture of my hair when it’s dirtier. not as noble a purpose as yours, but thanks for being a guinea pig!

  20. Rachel says:

    I’m a sociologist so I’m all about surveys. (A master’s in the subject entitles me to call myself a sociologist, right?)

    1. Yes, I did notice.

    2. If there is a discussion going on something, I like being able to see your response to a comment. Otherwise, I think it would get cluttery.

    3. I would only miss it if I were dying to see your response to something.

    4. I appreciate the e-mailed response. I like getting something in my e-mail that isn’t spam.

    5. I don’t feel any pressure.

    6. I think the comments section is worthwhile. Sometimes it’s nice to see what others have to say on a particular topic.

    7. Certainly don’t hate you and like I said, I’m a sociology nerd so I’m all about surveys.

  21. Kat says:

    I think it’s nice to get an occasional email from you. Sometimes I think we all comment to let you know we were there and were thinking of you or following whatever amazing thing you are doing that day.

    I think it would be a shame to not allow people to comment. I HATE when I actually want to say something to someone and I can’t.

    I still think you might be crazy (I say this with love) to not wash your hair but I’ll be interested to see what your conclusion is.

  22. Julie says:

    I enjoyed that you e mailed me after I commented on your blog. I tend to not read the comment section of a blog to see if someone commented back to me. I like it when I comment to people and they visit my blog and if they see something they like they comment on my blog. We all love to give our comments and have people leave us comments too. Blogging is a fun way to keep in touch with friends and family but also a fun way to make new friends.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I like the e-mail responses better. When you did it in the comment section, I always had to scroll back up to see what so-and-so had said, and then scroll down to see your response. Oftentimes it was too much effort, and I just read what you wrote to me anyway.

    No ‘poo: I am very, very skeptical of this. I have to admit that I think it’s going to be a huge disaster. I am willing, however, to eat crow should you prove otherwise. In fact, should it work out for you, I may be willing to try it myself. Maybe. (The dark hair is growing on me, though. Perhaps it will even more in real life, not virtual life.)

  24. anna says:

    i kind of thought since i was always one of the last ones to comment that you never responded to mine. e-mail is way better.

    your hair looks great dark.

  25. 1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. No becuase sometimes I’d get jealous and bitter when other people would get a response and I wouldn’t. Tee hee, you’re vain, I’m petty.
    4. I LOVE the email strategy! It makes my day to get an email response from you!!

  26. Crissie says:

    Here are my answers:
    1. No…but I’m new here
    2. I would have
    3. See answer #1
    4. I love that you email responses.
    5. Who would not like that?
    6. Please keep the comments. Makes me feel like you really want to hear our ideas and thoughts.
    7. No hater here.

    And by the way, have you invested in a boar’s hair brush or another natural bristle brush? They are excellent for pulling the natural oils through the hair.

  27. Zella says:

    Maybe I’m not a very good blog-stalker, but if I’m reading someone’s blog, it’s because I care about what they have to say. I care less about the hundreds of screennamed, faceless commentors, because I don’t know anything about them and I’m not sure if I’d value their opinion(s). It’s celebrity status versus peanut gallery.

    Email is the great, because when a blog follower takes the time to send an email, they are genuinely interested about what you, the blogger, has to say, and it’s the best thing in the world when bloggers write back.
    (Although… I think it’s lovely that you take the time to respond to so many people. It’s a really sweet gesture!)

  28. Jethro says:

    um, yah.
    yah.
    ehh.
    totally.
    never.
    heaven’s to besty no.
    love questions here, not much for the hate, hurt’s my head.

  29. Jethro says:

    just got back to the nopoo part o’ the post, (i’m so impatient). NICE HAIR, you totally look like and have the luxuriant natural hair of the pretty lady CSI, on CSI. (vegas).

  30. Tierra C. says:

    Yowza! I feel like I’ve missed so much. Okay, the other day I was going through my spam mail and came across your name. It was your response back to my comment I made on the “brave” post. It made my little visit to spam a happy one lol—wow, that sounded REALLY Corny. Anywho, I like that you email the response but even if you didn’t, I would understand because blogging really does take up to much time sometimes and commenting back. That’s why I took it off mine. No pressure at all and my blogging feels so much more easier.

  31. Lindsay says:

    hahahaha, how has no one commented yet on the homemade hairspray with baby bird tears? i’m STILL laughing…

    and i vote for the emails. it made my day when i saw one from you in my inbox the other day, and felt even more special to see it was a response to my comment!

  32. I also have come to the realization that I am just not stopping by your blog enough, and that I still truly love it, like i did when I first found it. (you were still nannying abroad at the time).

    1. I definitely noticed you would reply to the comments, though admittedly have forgotten to com e back and look at the response from time to time in my hurried dither.

    2. I cared, and was excited to read especially the juicy debates…. though usually my comments or arguments were in response to other commenters who i felt were off base… *doot doo doo* comment patrol! jk..

    3. If so, do you miss that?
    I think that you have the right idea to post a new post, or include in your next post your “have to share with the world comment responses”. Then, nobody will miss your charming and witty-ful comments :)

    4. If not, are you glad I email responses instead?
    I felt honored to receive an email, however, my first response was shock that perhaps i had offended someone or crossed a line *gasp!* I was glad to see that it was just kind and wonderful words in my direction that made me smile.

    5. Pressure? What?!

    6. DEFINITELY do not do away with the comment section!!!! I hate not knowing what people think, and always feel like there is some sort of excess ARROGANCE coming from an author who DOESNT want to know what people think!

    7. I LOVE questionaires :P call me vain, call me wordy, I’ll say, “Thank you!’

  33. Carmen says:

    First I want to say that you look good in green.
    1. Yes, I did notice
    2. It was neat to read others comments and see you reply mmind you I didn’t/don’t read others comments very often because sometimes it hard to find the time to read blogs let alone read comments on them. If you did reply to my comments I seemed to always miss them and it was hard to remember to check back, which post it was exactly that I did comment on etc etc.
    3. See above
    4. I like that you email back. It is more personal, I actually read it because like I said above I would forget to check back, or miss it or whatever.
    5. Don’t do away with the comment section. I know my mother-in-law loves to read all the comments as well as your blog (she has time to do that sort of thing)
    So yes, keep the comments, email responses and amazing that you reply to the comments. You must not have kids….so time to do that sort of thing :)

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