Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Deal With Courtesy Comments

One key thing I've learned during my one year and a half of blogging is to never be afraid to ask for help. Blogging can be a scary situation starting out when there are just so many things you don't know and are not sure about and it becomes so overwhelming. I had a lot of trouble figuring things out on my own when I started out and even though I hated asking others for help, it was the only way I could figure things out! (Luckily bloggers are very kind and eager to help another in distress.)

Blogging for a year and a bit already, I consider myself quite learned. I know all the Blogger shortcuts, I know what to include in my posts to attract readers and all sorts of other useful stuff. BUT I still have trouble with what to do in terms of courtesy comments.

(Before I continue though, I just want to flash a bright little disclaimer sign because I'm not sure if 'courtesy comments' are actually called courtesy comments. I have never heard these type of comments referred to with a particular name so I took it upon myself to tentatively title it for this post's sake. So...just so you know.)

A briefer in case you have no idea what I'm talking about: Courtesy comments are comments that bloggers leave on another blogger's blog who has previously commented on their blog. 

Still have no idea what I mean? Let me set up a scenario for you then: Say someone named Book comments on your blog. You read the comment and maybe type a reply. And then you can choose to check Book's blog and leave a comment on one of Book's posts, kind of like a thank you note. Something you do out of courtesy.

I know some bloggers do choose to comment back to bloggers who commented on their blog. I try to do it too - try, being the operative word. I like paying people back with comments because I know how much I love it when I get comments on my posts! It's a great feeling and plus, without comments, blogging wouldn't nearly be as great as it is. So while I do make an effort to comment back on everyone's blog who comments here, most of the time, I get lazy and just skip doing it. 

Sometimes, I have legitimate reasons for not doing so but I want your opinions. I want YOU to tell me what you do when you run into these situations. Ready? 

Scenario #1: Remember our character Book from earlier? Well, Book is back! And he/she (maybe I'll refer to Book as it) just commented on your blog. You type a reply and everything but now you also want to leave a courtesy comment. So you go to Book's blog and scroll through the posts to find something that you could leave a meaningful comment on but nothing appeals to you and you really don't want to leave a comment just for the sake of it. So what do you do?

Usually, I just tend to skip commenting back. I'm sure I could write a meaningful comment on any post if I had the mind to do so but since I have a basic rule regarding commenting and how I'm not going to force myself to leave a comment, I just don't comment back. I don't really feel bad about doing that but not good either. As I said, I do try to comment back on everyone who comments here to return the favour and ideally, I would return everyone's comment but it doesn't happen that way a lot of the time.

Scenario #2: Book leaves a comment on your blog but it's a simple 'Great post! I agree with everything! :)' or something of the sort. You don't have much to say in your reply and the comment itself doesn't really have any substance so what do you do? Do you still comment back?

Well, I know I wouldn't reply to the comment. I'm sorry if that came out a bit harsh but I would not. I know I said I would reply to every single comment I get here in my manifesto but I find that it's hard to do so when I get a comment that doesn't provide me much to reply to. I think it's great to hear that someone thinks my post is good and that they agree with me but there's just nothing in that comment that would push for a reply.

Having said that, I think I would most likely still comment back, or consider commenting back. I usually check a blogger's blog anyway if I don't remember seeing their name before and even if they left me a really simple comment, I would still be curious to see who they are and if I may potentially find a new favourite blog, which I'm always on the search for. And then it just depends on whether their posts strike an interest in me or not. If they do, I will totally comment back. If they don't, then it's scenario #1 all over again and you already know what I'd do in that situation! ;)

But of course, there are always exceptions. Because if you're commenting on my blog like ten thousand times a week, chances are 99.9999% likely that I will (finally) comment back on your blog. Even if I don't really have anything I want to say on any of your posts. I will still comment because you have commented and made me happy and now I want to show my appreciation for you by commenting back. (I hope that makes sense and doesn't sound as wrong and mean and like I have a superiority complex as it does to me right now.)

Scenario #3: You comment on one of Book's post and it comments back on your post. What do you do?

To be honest when this happens, I don't comment back ever. Or at least not for the sake of a courtesy comment. I figure that if I'm commenting on their blog without them commenting on mine first, I must really enjoy their posts so I'll get back to returning their comments anyway.

I feel like I'm probably reading too much into this and making these comments into something way bigger than they truly are but I just want to know: what do you do in these situations? Comment below and hopefully, I'll be able to sort out my brain and my total indecision.

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