N is for No Reply-Comment


N is for No Reply-Comment


I find that bloggers handle responding to comments in one of four ways.  1) They simply don’t, or they do so very sparingly.  2) They answer the comment by leaving a comment of their own on the same post, or they utilize an augmented system that allows replies within the comment screen.  3) They email their reply directly to the commenter. 4) Use a combination of the above.  There is no right way, or wrong way, just the way that best suits what the blogger is most comfortable doing.

After years of experimenting and trying the different methods, I settled into using the third one – emailing my responses.  As with each of these techniques, it has its pluses and minuses.   As an incessant blog-reader, I RARELY return back to a blog to see if the author has responded directly to my comment, so believing that most people operate similarly I chose a method that would ensure they heard my reply.  I also find it more personal and a way to create an open dialogue that extends beyond the post/comment.

I have my blog setup so that I receive an email notification for every comment (remember the smiles?) and I merely reply to that.  Here’s where the main drawback comes in, and this is a big one, a lot of readers still do not have their email address visible through their profile, so when I receive the notification it shows up as No Reply-Comment.  That means I cannot reply back to them as I would like.  Some prefer it this way for security reasons, others simply are unaware.  For those of you who would like to change that, instead of me going through a tutorial (and making this post much longer than I intended), here’s a link to Nancy Olivia’s blog where she explains what to do.

Tell me, how do you handle responding to comments?

44 comments

  1. This is a great "N" topic. Me? I comment but don't expect a comment on my comment. So when I get an email response, I usually don't see it for days. Love it when I do, but feel bad that I didn't email a comment back. I usually have only one block of time to read and comment on other's blogs, and it's early in the morning. Not many people post by 4:30 so I miss a lot.

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  2. Great post. At the moment I reply to comments on the post because I'm a bit shy and haven't worked up the courage to reply by email yet lol. Plus I like that people visiting can see that I do reply and care about my readers. I'll probably do a mixture of both at some point in the future :)

    Universal Gibberish

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  3. I reply within my comments using the REPLY function. I don't email unless I am answering a direct question and then I'll do both. That way the commenter and others see the answer.

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  4. That's so interesting. You're right about not going back to a blog to see if the author responded. I do get email messages and I appreciate them. It makes the blog-author more memorable somehow. I'll see if I can set my blog up for it...

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  5. I was thinking "No Reply" more in the lines of publishers who opt for that kind of "professionalism," either responding with a form letter or simply acting as if they never received your submission, which I think is rude. If you're a publisher accepting submissions, you've already made the commitment. If you're incapable of responding to every submission, then you shouldn't accept so many submissions.

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  6. Like you, I email. Well, I try to if I'm not too busy! I agree with your reasoning on why to email. I think for me it make the most sense. But man, I hate those no reply-commnet. Especially when the poster says something way awesome! Or makes me laugh!

    ~JD

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  7. Great post! I'm so glad you touched upon this subject. I only recently began returning to my blog to respond to comments, but only a few. I try to respond to every comment via email, but if the blogger doesn't leave their addy I can't. *sad face

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  8. I usually comment on the post. Some people enjoy reading the comments(me being one of those people) and I like seeing how the author responds. But, I have also sent emails.

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  9. I email back if I can. I don't bother to respond as a comment on my post because most people don't read all the previous comments or go back to check if you've commented on what they said. Most leave a comment an move on.

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  10. I always reply on the comment page. And when I leave a comment on someone else's blog, I do try to go back and revisit the comment page the next day to see if there's a reply, especially if it's a blog in my follow list that I read regularly.

    J.W. Alden

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  11. I am hate to say I am not good at the replying back. It is what I am trying to work on. You have given me some good ideas on how with this post :)

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  12. When I saw the title of your post, I HAD to read it. Thanks for spreading the word because I wish more people knew this! It's so disappointing to WANT to send back an email reply and not be able to.

    I'm eclectic. I tend to do a bit of all; probably should just pick one. And I've recently added the REPLY feature to my comments to experiment with that because I think they get a notification and link to the reply in their email. That remains to be seen...
    Catherine Denton

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  13. I use email, except when someone has a nopreply, and then I leave a comment.

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  14. Thought I was seeing double as I just came from the A to Z Blog!
    I reply on my post. I find a lot of people like to see that the blogger interacts with those who comment.

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  15. I try to respond to each comment on my blog itself, but I don't always succeed. I know folks don't come and check back to see if there is a reply, but it's all I can handle at the moment.
    Karen

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  16. I do the same as you, DL and like Matt. I like emailing because I can have "conversations" with people. Over the years I've developed what I hope are lasting relationships with some of my followers.

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  17. I have to admit, I'm a #1. I won't reply to the comments unless I'm asked a direct question and then I will answer the question with another comment and also leave the response at the person's blog. I only expect a reply to my comments if I ask a question and I will usually go back and wait for the response on the blog. Personally, I don't like receiving email responses unless I ask a question because then my email notification goes off all day long.

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  18. I'm with you. I don't want to have to remember all the blogs that I went to, left a comment at, and then return to them and read if the blogger replied. It's much easier if the just e-mail me. I also prefer to just e-mail people back, but if they have a no reply I leave a reply after their comment.

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  19. Add me in as an email replier who is frustrated when no email address is used.

    With the A-Z Challenge, I finally added the new Blogger reply feature (which means I did a redesign that used a stock template as the base) and am using that. I don't know if that helps folks see their replies but there is too much email going on right now for me to keep up. LOL!

    I am trying to keep blogs I have commented on marked as unread so I go back to see if there is a reply to me...this again is due to the networking of the A-Z challenge.

    Great post!

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  20. I do both. Email those with emails and reply to those via comment thread with the no-reply thingy. I like to respond to everyone, but I know I rarely go back to the host's blog to see if they responded unless I know they are a comment thread responder. (ahem... Alex.) There's also that awesome button that says email follow up comments to (your email) and there are a few blogs I'll click that. Only downside to that is if they are someone who gets a ton of comments (ahem... Alex) then your email gets bombarded!

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  21. I email when I can. Sometimes, I leave comments on the blog but I do figure most readers won't see them.

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  22. I try to remember to leave a comment or two on my own blog. If someone asks a question I'll go to his or her blog and leave an answer. But I don't email because I get around 300 emails a day and don't want to be responsible for flooding anyone else's inbox.

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  23. Yep, I'm the same as you. I get sad when someone has their settings such that I can't email them. In that case, I'll reply on my blog. Or, I'll also reply on my blog if I think it's an answer that other people will get something out of.

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  24. I'm sorry, but my comment is that I have no reply to this...

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  25. I get all my comments from my blog by email notification, and I comment there, but I have no idea if I'm a no reply comment. I'll have to check it out.

    Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

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  26. I am not sure how mine is set up. I guess I need to check it. Some bloggers feel responding back in email makes blogging too "social network"

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  27. I respond directly to the comments on my blog. I figure if they are really hoping for a reply from me, they can just come back and find it :)

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  28. Great topic. I'm like you, where if I have something to say, I always email back a comment. And I always respond the comment with a comment on their blog ;)

    It works for me!

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  29. I use your method but sometimes I don't have time to respond to all of them or it takes me a few days. But biggest pet peeve is not being able to because of no email address!!!!!

    And I have a lot less comments to reply to than you so this also makes me feel like a slacker.ha

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  30. I respond in the post thread. I've thought about switching to emailing commenters in response, but I'm worried people who haven't linked an email address to their account would think I've stopped replying.


    The Golden Eagle
    The Eagle's Aerial Perspective

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  31. My way of replying is to pay a visit to the commenter's blog. If there's a direct question that requires answers I'll e-mail. Last Saturday I got to reply by having dinner with the person - that was totally fun!!!

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  32. I usually type a thank you comment after posting my next post and then address any questions at that time too. I also reciprocate by commenting on blogs.

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  33. I've also switched over to the email comment system. It's just so much easier and quicker.

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  34. I respond to comments in a variety of ways but usually on my own blog. Other times, I also respond via email to extend the conversation or on Twitter.

    Since I didn't want a public Blogger/Google profile, I kept mine private including my email address to prevent spam. So yes, the spammers have messed things up for everyone else. The good news is, I'm fairly easy to contact via email since my blog has a visible contact form.


    Cheers :)

    ~Nicole
    Blog: The Madlab Post
    *Rockin' the A to Z Challenge! - My recent posts include M for Matrimony; N for Neighbors from Hell*
    @MadlabPost on Twitter

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  35. Interesting post. I reply to comments on my blog. Sometimes I'll comment on each individual post and other times I comment as a group. Depends on how many comments there are.

    Susanne
    PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER

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  36. Good post! I hate when I can't contact people back too.

    I haven't gone to email comments because I've had too many of my readers tell me they get too many emails as is and they don't want any more.

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  37. It depends. Some times I go to ther person's blog and leave a comment of my own. If it's a question, I try to answer it via email

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  38. It is difficult to reply when they say No-Reply comment. That seems to happen more than not so I try to visit their blog and comment there if possible.

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  39. This is so great, especially for new bloggers that probably have no idea. I do the same thing and am always bummed when I can't reply that way. :-)Awesome informational post!

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  40. I reply directly to the post where the original comment appeared...but you're right, as a blog commenter, I rarely return to check it. :)

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  41. Sometimes I will expect and subscribe to a blogger's comments (mostly though to see what others said), but I try to be good about commenting back! Not always all that quick though, but I do try.

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  42. Hello.
    I'm a flirt & love to interact with my readers. I have always responded to comments directly on my blog. Now that blogger has implemented threaded comments, this makes it so much easier. I actually have a couple of regulars who check back & respond to my responses and I do the same too. I usually only use email if it's for a personal response that I don't want everyone to see. Thanks for sharing.

    Neglected

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  43. Good N post. I respond directly in the comments on my blog with the handy dandy reply button.

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