Newsletter Signup


R is for Rules & Regs

Thank you for all the kind comments yesterday and the well-wishes for my wife. So far her reaction to the first chemo treatment has been on the mild side and we’re hoping things continue along that path.

I’m a military brat, a squid to be exact – the son of a naval officer. Although there was a lot of things I disliked about the military life (constant moving!), the one thing I embraced was the discipline. More specifically, I liked how there was always a manual somewhere to show you how things are expected to operate and the proper procedures. Since several of my blogging companions have discussed their own procedures for handling blog comments and reading other peoples blogs (during any month other than April), I thought I’d provide my own rules & regs on the subject.

Let me first begin by stating that everyone needs to develop their own methodology for how to manage this stuff. I do what works for me, what satisfies my own sense of fairness and time constraints, but it may not be the way that you feel comfortable with. I’m not pushing my way, I’m just letting you know how things work around here. :)

I very rarely return back to a blog I left a comment at to see if the blogger responded to my remarks, so when I answer my own comments I prefer to do it via email directly back to you. I also really enjoy the inter-connectivity that email correspondence sometimes creates. However, that works for about 75% of the time, the other 25% do not have their email address listed in their profile so I am unable to respond back to them. I could answer those few by leaving my own comment, but then I’m into using two systems and eating up more time. So I’m sorry to those of you who choose not to include an email address in your profile, I am reading your comments, but I can’t let you know that.

How do I choose which blogs to visit and when do I leave a comment? One common practice in the blogosphere is the tit for tat approach, where if you stop by a blog and comment, the owner will automatically do the same for you. I use a variation of that style. If you stop by my blog consistently (more than once or twice…or just when I’m running a contest), then I’ll add your blog to the favorites category in my RSS reader and I’ll stop by whenever you have a new post. That doesn’t mean I’ll comment every time I come by though. I still believe that comments need to be earned, so if you decide to post your favorite recipe for chili…you’ll probably not be hearing from me that day.

Those are the rules and regs I’ve developed over the years. What about you? Have any interesting guidelines that you follow?

Did you know I was holding a contest during the A-Z Challenge? You can read all about it HERE.


  1. We have the exact same rules.

    I'm so glad your wife did well on the first treatment. I'll be praying for you both.

  2. I've never answered comments via email, but I can see what you're saying about not coming back to see the reply. I always use the 'subscribe by email' link so I get emails whenever there's a new comment. The best thing about that is you sometimes see another visitor who has said "I agree with Annalisa - she makes a good point", and I always like it when people agree with me :-)

    1. PS. Best wishes to your wife (I just read your post again, properly).

  3. Pleased your wife did well, my thoughts and prayers are with you both.
    I try to say thank you to comments but not by email.
    Hope you enjoy your week-end.

  4. Good news for your wife and we hope and pray that continues.

    Our approaches are close to the same, though my approach does shift and vary as life kicks in.

    1. I probably should have mentioned that when I try an email response to your comments I get a no-reply address, so I haven't been able to reply to your comments with an email. I did finally get your email off your contact page. Maybe that will work.

  5. I'm glad your wife is doing well. Hope you have a relaxing weekend.

    About your post, I find myself following the rules about things, especially blogging. For instance, if someone comes to my blog, I like to visit theirs.

  6. It's great to hear about your wife's response to the first treatment. Sounds promising.
    When it comes to blog visits, I feel that it's only fair that if somebody leaves a comment on my blog, I should acknowledge it in some way. However, with time constraints, it's not always possible to continue with that practice.

    Writer In Transit

  7. I'm happy to hear that your wife responded well to her first treatment.

    I try really hard to respond to all comments on my blog. I switch between answering them via email and replying on the blog.

    Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

  8. I didn't come yesterday but I am glad to know your wife is doing well. I'll pray for her prompt recovery.
    I'm a mess with visits and comments. I am trying different methods but I still feel unsatisfied with all of them. But that's probably because in general, I'm quite a disorganized dragon.

  9. So glad to hear your wife is doing well after the first treatment. If someone sends an email, I always answer their comment. That way, they know I appreciate the fact that they stopped by and were kind enough to comment.

  10. I've never heard the term squid to refer specifically to a kid who grew up with the navy! Do all branches of the military have their own term for kids who grew up with parents in the military? It's so cute!

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  11. DL, I didn't really have any effects from my chemo until the halfway point of treatment. It's a cumulative effect thing, but I wish you and your wife well.

    I tend to do a relative tit for tat in reading and commenting on blogs. Now following, it has to have something special fairly consistently to follow. Mostly it's folks I've met other places. I believe I stumbled across your blog the same wasn't a contest, I just liked what you had to say.

    I usually reply to every comment left on my blog. I always answer emails. It work for right now.

  12. I never really thought much about this process, but I do try to visit everybody who visits me. I return comments on MY blog, opposed to the email approach, but I have to admit I enjoy getting emails from those of you who do it this way.

    Your wife and the entire family are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. This is just one of those things where you have to put your head down and plow on through. I promise, it does come to an end, and even though it takes a while and some days it feels as though this will never happen, things do return to some semblance of normal.

  13. So glad your wife is doing OK.
    I love to answer by email, because like you said, I rarely go back and read the comment chain to see what that person responded to me. Just not enough time to hit a blog twice, and my email is already practically impossible to keep up with, so subscribing to comments to find that response isn't really gonna work for me. When it's NOT Challenge time, I email and visit. Right now I've been kinda random...but if someone leaves me a link - I head over right away. I wish more people did that. SO much easier than the detective method...
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

  14. I'm so sorry to hear about your wife. What a huge pressure that must be on you and your family. I'm impressed you are managing to keep up with A-Z. My best wishes for your wife's good health.
    I do the tit for tat approach, too, although since I only post once a week, I don't comment on other blogs as often as others post. But I do try to hit as many as I can once or twice a week. No time to write back to anyone about comments though. I read comments on my blog, I smile with appreciation, and I'm done. :-)

  15. If someone started commenting on my blog on a regular basis, I will, at least, check out his/her blog. However, I've quit following them just as a matter of course. It has to be something I'm interested in reading, and, if it's not, I'm not gonna follow it. I don't want the clutter on my blog list. Also, if the blogger only posts every two months or so, I'm not likely to follow. I have pretty high standards, I suppose, in my interactions. However, I do follow comments when I make them so that I can respond, if needed, to the blogger, if that blogger responds to my comment. Except on blogs like yours where I learn that I'm going to get an email response. In those cases, I don't subscribe to the comments.

  16. I'd never heard the term squid before, lol. Can you tell no one in my family is in the military? We have a very similar system. But I don't get nearly as many comments as you do, so I'm guessing you have to read a bunch more blogs than me. Also, it kinda annoys me when people don't have their email attached. Just sayin'.

  17. So good to know they've got her chemo at a level she can manage. They've really improved this treatment so much and are able to target the individual's medical needs now. I've seen great results lately, so I'm very encouraged for anyone undergoing chemo.

    I like rules, too. They keep things sane and they help me make it through a lot of what seems impossible at times.

    Love the term, squid. Like Tiana, I'd never heard it before.

  18. Glad things going well for your wife with her treatment. I think I tend to change my rules depending on how busy I am but I always appreciate and read comments. Replies are mostly through my blog and I try and visit everyone who visits me.

  19. Glad it went well for your wife.
    I respond on my blog to comments, although I know a lot of people don't return to read them.
    I do have a similar system for those who continue to visit me on a regular basis - into the Blogger Buddies file in my Reader.
    And I was a military brat and can relate to the constant moving.

  20. At this point the volume of comments I receive means I can respond to each personally. I know people don't always come back to read but new commenters often do read the previous comments. Plus it means something to me when I see the blogger respond to comments. It's like them saying "Hey, I appreciate you took the time to leave a comment and I'm going to acknowledge that with a response." But, as you said, a blogger can show appreciation in many different ways - whether it's responding to some comments, emailing or reciprocating on the commenter's blog.

    For me, blogging is about making connections. They don't all have to follow the same formula.

    1. And one last thing. I'd prefer a blogger NOT respond to every comment if he/she only leaves a generic "Thanks for stopping by" response. IMO, if you don't have time to say something personal or worthwhile, you're just wasting words.

  21. I hope and pray that everything goes well with your wife and the chemo now and in the future.

    In regards to comments, I only comment when I have something to say on the actual post. I do like to return to see if my comment has been answered but I will only continue to do this to a certain point as some people don't respond to anything you comment on. In cases like that I just move on because it feels that the person is only writing for themselves and regardless to any questions you ask, they don't really care - they just keep writing and writing and writing.

    I also don't do 'tit for tat' at all or follow blogs just because they followed me. I follow blogs because I want to continue reading what they are writing about as I find them interesting.

    When I get a comment on my blog, I do like to reply as I'm always grateful that someone took the time to read my post and make a comment about it. The least I can do is to say 'thank you'.

  22. I knew that about not returning to a blog on which I've left a comment. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. There's no hard fast rule about that. Although I will do the very best I can to go to a blogger who left a comment at my place. It works for me (April, as you've alluded is an exception. The place is crazy all month).
    Speaking of discipline, I was a naval officer. It's amazing how certain ways of doing things stick with you. For instance, even though I've been retired eight years, I still avoid walking with my hands in my pockets or carrying anything in my right hand so I can salute.
    So far, I haven't needed to do so.

  23. There is much to be said for discipline and rules. I'm a rule follower and a self-disciplined person which carries over well into Blogland. I've found that MOST folks are as you say Tit-for-Tat commenters and followers especially if they enjoy what you have to say and a common interest is shared.

    And, since you asked...I like to think I follow the Rules of Etiquiette in commenting by remembering I am a guest, talk about their content in a positive manner, be not copy others comments, and invite them to visit or thank them for their visit by leaving an easy to follow link.

    I would not have expressed these guidelines if you had not asked. I'd have merely told you how much I enjoy your blog, and that your Squid training has served you well. Also, and most importantly, it is good to hear that the treatments are being tolerated...will pray it will continue to be so.

    My Letter 'R'...Rags to Riches
    Sue CollectInTexasGal
    AtoZ LoneStar Quilting Bee

  24. I used to respond via email but it seemed that the percentage to me was very low on who had their's attached to their profile so now I've just gotten in the habit of commenting a reply. I do bookmark pages that I've commented on and check back every few days to see if they've commented back. Follow me, I try to follow back and like you, if I get a regular commentor and mark them on my RSS feed in a folder called All-Stars that I try to check daily. I tend to get a week or so behind on my blog reading so I put blogs that I try to stay updated on in that folder and check it regularly.

  25. I missed yesterday's post and didn't know about your wife. I'm glad she is doing better.

    So are you saying I have not "earned" comments from you? What qualifies one to "earn" comments? As one who visits frequently but doesn't get a lot of comments back on my blog, I take offense to this post.

  26. Relieved your wife is doing better.

    I start out visiting a certain group of bloggers who visit me and manage to get to maybe 10-15 of them. When I come back later in the day, it's all I can do to play catch-up and visit those who left comments. It's a bit mass confusion right now.

  27. Darn. And I was planning to post my favorite chili recipe tomorrow.

    There are so many millions of blogs out there, we couldn't possibly visit them all. I reserve Mondays for blogging so that's when I try to visit as many blogs as I can, usually at least 20. But other days I'm busy writing or reading or spending time with family. Certain favorite blogs I'll sneak in an extra visit or two during the week. :)

  28. I haven't really given much thought to my "process" for commenting, replying to comments, etcetera. I don't usually get a lot of comments, so it's pretty easy to respond to almost all of them.

    I certainly will give this some thought and try to figure out what system might work for me. I can certainly understand, with as many comments as you seem to receive, the struggle in responding.

    Glad to hear your wife is doing okay so far!
    Lyre @ Lyre's Musings #atozchallenge

  29. That are so many blogs that I enjoy reading, but these days, I only have time to respond to those that comment on mine and a few extras. I try to visit a few new ones during the Challenge, but sometimes I just can't even find a minute.

  30. Glad to hear your wife is doing well!

    I don't have my e-mail address on my blog, after some abusive e-mails I got when I had my old Angelfire site. I no longer post about potentially hot-button issues like politics or social issues, but I'm still a little gunshy to make my address public again. Though so far, the only two comments I've gotten which were angry were in response to my negative opinion of Ernest Hemingway and the silent comedian Harry Langdon.

    Generally, I only personally respond to a comment if there's a question about something, or to thank someone for a compliment I really appreciated.

  31. Glad that your wife is doing well! My thoughts are with her and the rest of your family!

    I have gone through different methods when it comes to managing what blogs I visit/read. I used to rely on Google Reader, which worked nicely for a while, but not very long. It quickly got really overwhelming so nowadays I tend to either return comments that bloggers have left - by visiting their blogs in turn - or going by which blogs on my blogroll have been updated. I sometimes reply on my own blog but never expect to have a response, 'cause I sure don't return to most of the blogs I've left comments on to see if anyone has responded to my comment. :) I do occasionally, though, if I think of it or if I got an email response that makes me want to return.

  32. I'm glad to hear your wife is doing well.
    Great post, commenting and visiting can be a bit of a dilemma sometimes, but I like the idea of guidelines for your own movements. I didn't know about the email thing, great tip.
    I'm going to make sure mine's on my profile ...

  33. DL, I'm so pleased to hear that your wife continues to do well. Sending her my best this sunny Sunday morning.

    I was friends with a lot of army brats growing up. Their departures left massive voids. :(

  34. Seems like a wise approach to me. Most of the time, I try to respond to comments in the thread. This year's challenge has been quite the challenge to keep up, and I'm a bit behind in doing so right now. However, I do read my comments and try to visit those people who took the time to comment on my blogs. More importantly, however, is building relationships with people I've come to know and respect through their blogs. There's a lot of really neat people in Blog Land, each with their own special stories and unique ways of sharing them. That's the best part of blogging for me. I enjoyed reading this post a lot, DL. Thanks for sharing!

  35. So glad to hear your wife's reaction to chemo wasn't too overwhelming. May the mild response continue. Wishing you both the best!

    When we started A to Z, I was hoping to get around to everyone's blog at least once. Ha! I immediately got hooked on a series of blogs and now keep returning to the same ones over and over. So much for planning. I agree that it's frustrating if ID isn't linked to an email or a blog. I've run into several people who are linked to Gravatar profiles that go no where.

    As a rule (that's what we're talking about, right, rules?) I respond to comments on my blog, usually an acknowledgement. But if a question is posted. I'll answer—sometimes in far more detail than I should. Wordpress gives the option of whether commenters want followups sent via email, so I let each commenter make that decision for for him- or herself. I always try to reciprocate with a blog visit.

    If I ask a question in a comment I've made on another blog, I will return to that blog for an answer, otherwise... no. There's just not enough time.

    VR Barkowski

  36. I began by emailing responses, but found that more often than not, it was difficult to find an email address for the person. But I can see your point. I only occasionally go back and see if the person left a response, while on the other hand I always read my emails.

  37. Your blog etiquette is impeccable. Honestly, I don't see how you have time to e-mail personal responses and visit blogs consistently, but you do. I always visit the blog of someone who has taken the time to stop by and comment and/or follow. It's my favorite part of blogging! Good luck with your wife's chemo!

  38. Great to hear your wife is responding well to the chemo. Keeping you guys in my thoughts and wish only the best for you guys and a 100% recovery. As for replying to comments, I'm all over the place. I'll either reply back via e-mail or in my comment box or I'll just hop on over to their site and return the comment. It all depends on the type of reply and time. I usually reply to everyone in a grouped reply in my comment box, but due to time constraints during AZ, I haven't been able to do that. So in other words, I do what I can to reply depending on the situation. (:

  39. Hi D.L. I will add your wife to my prayer list. Appreciate you letting us know how it is going. And it is good to know the different ways people handle comments and commenting. I like your qualification suggesting that people take what works for them. So often people tend to takes the way one person does things and make it gospel. But it is good to have different approaches. God bless, Maria at Delight Directed Living

  40. I don't have any rules, per se (they're more like guidelines...) but I do try to comment back to folks who visit my blog and take the time to say something. I think we all have to do what works best for us.

    I hope your wife continues to do well, DL. Maybe you should get her a kitten. It will make her laugh and laughing is good for people. Or a puppy. A puppy would work, too :)

  41. I always comment back on my blog and make every attempt to comment back on the person's blog. I say I make every attempt because sometimes clicking on the person's name doesn't take me to their blog and I try Googling. I don't always find it though.

    On another note, I hope things continue to go well for your wife. I'm sending positive thoughts her way and yours.

  42. I'm so glad things went well for your wife, and I hop that continues.

    I love to create my own rules, and even rules for others. As long as I don't have to follow someone else's rules, I'm happy. :)

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog:

  43. I will keep your wife and you in my thoughts and prayers.

    I do my very best to visit anyone who has visited me. I feel like that's just plain common courtesy, good manners. However I RARELY return to blog where I've left a comment, nor do I often read the comments others have left. I too like to respond to comments on my blog by email. I've had some nice conversations with people that way.

  44. That's a good system. I haven't gone to email responses for a couple of reasons. When I brought it up on my blog way back when several of my responders mentioned they're inundated by emails and more would just annoy them. I also like the conversational tone of responding on the blog - althoug I like the personal emails too. Like you said, we all need to find what works for us. I think there are lots of good ways and it's the responding that's important :)

  45. Sending you and your wife hugs and good vibes. I love the possibilities of breaking rules. I love the email response route. It feels more personal. I'm often disappointed when I see a no-reply blogger address when I want to chat with someone.

  46. My thoughts are with you and your wife. Hoping all goes well. As for comments, I love to comment on blogs I follow. It's nice to have a dialogue with a blogger.

  47. Yep my method is pretty much the same. Way I see it, every comment on my blog deserves a return blog visit and comment. They're always first on my blog visit lists, and quite honestly, most of the time the only ones. It's all I can do to keep up with them. If I see a title in someone's blogroll that catches my eye, I'll visit, and if I stumble onto a new blog with great content, I'll become a regular visitor.

  48. Hi Don .. I'm so pleased the chemo seems to be affecting your wife relatively lightly - and long may that continue.

    I reply on my blog to everyone's comments - and sometimes email replies or notes ... but mostly the answer is on the blog ..

    The thing I have about not answering on the blog - it looks like the author isn't interested ...?

    During the A - Z .. I play catch up .. if someone comments I comment back (usually) and follow, and subscribe ... not always perhaps.

    I don't know how anyone else keeps up .. I had 1,000 posts at the weekend .. I'm on my way to 500 now .. some are my own reference ones, or other projects etc ..

    But I make friends and keep on running - and get a feel of other bloggers via their sites, or over on other friend's sites ...

    I just do what I do .. and attempt to keep up .. now it's just me - theoretically it is easier, but there are so many to visit etc .. It's great ... but if I struggle, I admire everyone else!

    Cheers and do look after yourself - your wife needs you ... Hilary




Blog Blitz

Design by: The Blog Decorator