Blogs — How Do You Interact With Them? Part 2

This post wraps up my surveys about how readers follow and interact with blogs. If you missed Part 1, you can catch up here. Once again we topped 30 respondents, so the results are statistically valid—at least in regard to the people who read my blog. The comments made it clear that many of us are busy people with busy lives who struggle to keep up with everything we do. I think we need a collective breather before the end of the year.

With that said, let’s dive into the poll results so you can move to the next item on your day’s to-do list.

Do You Respond To Blog Posts?

Do You Respond

I hoped that people who normally don’t respond would answer this question. But there were no “never” replies. Of course, such readers might have refused to answer on principle. That’s okay.

We’re conscientious folks in this corner of Blog Land, and most of us respond as often as possible to as many posts as we can. Based on the comments, sometimes we can’t reply because of time constraints. Also, if we don’t know what to say (such as in response to someone’s very personal experience) or feel we have nothing new to offer, we might leave only a “like” or not respond.

How Do You Respond To Blog Posts?

How Do You Respond

I’m glad to say we’re flexible in our responses. No one who took the poll leaves only likes or only comments. Most of us leave a like or comment or both, depending on our available time, comfort level with the blogger, and personal interests. There is a group of bloggers that thinks “likes” are too reminiscent of Facebook and doesn’t use them. But there’s another group at the other end of the spectrum that relies heavily on the “like” button.

I have to admit, I like the “like” button. Sometimes that’s the best way for me to respond. What I don’t like about the self-hosted blogs is that they don’t have like buttons. Sometimes I don’t have time for more, and at others I don’t feel comfortable commenting. Without the like button, I can’t let those bloggers know I stopped by.

When Do You Respond To Blog Posts?

When Do You Respond

As you see in this last graph, we try to respond! By far, we either respond to most posts by most bloggers we follow or at least more often on some blogs than others. I suspect there’s a correlation between these two replies and the number of blogs followed. I bet the more blogs we follow, the more likely we are to respond more to some than others.

In Sum

There you have the results. I hope you’ve enjoyed the chance to compare your blogging habits with those of other readers. In this hectic month jam-packed with various holidays, I’ll keep my posts shorter so as not to take up too much of your limited time. Now go enjoy your day!

51 thoughts on “Blogs — How Do You Interact With Them? Part 2

  1. JM, I like your polls… I agree that I like the “Like” button, because there are many times when I’ve read the post, want to let the blogger know I stopped by, but I don’t have anything meaningful to add.

    I will say that I am very thankful to the smart and funny bloggers who stop by and leave comments; they often make my day by how clever or humorous their words are. By that token, I make an effort to comment on blogs I follow the most closely… I hope my comments help that blogger realize that I enjoy the time he or she spent writing that post.

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    • Your thoughts on comments are much like mine. I’m amazed at those readers who consistently leave witty or insightful comments on a variety of blogs. I try to do that, but sometimes I’m at a complete loss as to what to say, especially on posts about personal difficulties.

      We’re heading into a month where it will be harder for me to leave more “in depth” comments as often as I’d like. This year is additionally stressful because we just found out this week that our company’s being sold to a larger one! All the talk is positive, but it’s hard not to worry just a bit….

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  2. I like the ‘like’ button, too and wish self-hosted or Blogger blogs had it. There are honestly sometimes where I just don’t know what to say, but I want to let the blogger know I stopped by. I suppose one can always say ‘Nice post,’ but that seems too trivial. Maybe we could just type the word ‘Like’ to represent our clicking on an invisible ‘like’ button? 😉

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    • Somehow, comments like “nice post” and “like” can come across as spammy-sounding. And that’s ironic since they take more effort than clicking a like button. There’s just no perfect solution, which means we’ll all continue to feel bad at times about not commenting on some posts. But then, that feeling bad suggests we’re nice people. And that’s a good thing. 🙂

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      • I’m having to bite the bullet and back down from my commenting. I’m finding I can’t keep up with bloggers who post daily, so I can only stop by a couple times a week. I hope they understand.

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        • I think they do. From those I follow, I get the impression they know we can’t all keep up. I also wonder what their “burnout” rate is compared with those of us who blog only a couple of times per week. I would bet higher. 😉

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          • I actually may go down to just once a week posts, at least for the month of December. I’ll have to see, but I have so many other social media sites to keep up with now for marketing, and I don’t want to take anymore time away from my WIP, which is slowly creeping towards a finished outline. 🙂

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            • Juggling the marketing with the writing is not something I’m looking forward to. If I have to expand into others, I’d probably cut back on the blogging, too. That wouldn’t be my first choice, though, because I do enjoy blogging more than any other social media!

              And the holidays just intensify everything. 😉 We’ll all understand if you cut back, even if we’ll miss those posts!

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  3. I must admit I have gone off the like button, because it doesn’t do justice, and seems a little lazy in some respects (although I do understand it is useful when there is no time to comment). I think the like button needs a new revised system, maybe with different levels along the lines of disagree, interesting post, great post. Or something like that. I’m sure wordpress would argue the rating system does that, but I don’t think many people use that.

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    • I would like that revised system. To me, there are two drawbacks to the rating system. One, how often do we even realize it’s there on a blog? It’s easy to miss on a lot of themes. And two, those ratings are very subjective. My four stars might be the same as someone else’s three, for example. But descriptors like “I disagree” or “This is fantastic” would give a better indication of what the reader thinks of the post.

      And with the “like” as it stands, sometimes I can’t click it because of the subject matter. I mean, if someone’s just posted about a traumatic event, it seems wrong to “like” the post. It can seem like we’re glad the traumatic event happened.

      I doubt we’ll ever have a perfect system for feedback, but I think these results show that most of us are putting thought into our responses, be they full comments or “likes.”

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  4. I like the ‘like’ button (now that mine is working). When it wasn’t I had to say the old ‘nice post’ kind of words because there was no other way I could get the message across that I liked the post. It’s interesting to find we are all so like minded from your poll. Great work 😉

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  5. It doesn’t surprise me that there were no “never” responses. Perhaps you would have gotten more in a larger sampling (although I know F all about stats, so I’m taking your word for everything, including ‘statistically valid.’ Use my trust responsibly!), but it seems to me that people who don’t respond to posts might also not respond to polls. I only vote in polls about half the time, but ONLY if I’ve also commented on that post. Which, now that I think about it, seems a little inconsistent, given that I will often “like” a post without commenting.

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    • Consistency isn’t a word that I apply to many humans—we’re seldom hobbled by it. That’s why I qualified the “statistically valid” to refer to readers of this blog. If I blogged about politics or religion or other hot-button issues, I think we’d find some very different responses. In the poll post, I did ask people who don’t respond to please answer the first question to say that—but yes, they may simply have refused. Or they just didn’t read the post. That’s even more likely. It’s not like I have as many readers as someone like Carrie at The Write Transition!

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  6. I try to always respond; I do very well; a lot of times I am behind a few days. I am learning that is pretty common. I even have started noticing that the views on my site are often several days behind. So, now I don’t worry. I read / answer when I can. I do try to catch up on them at least 1 time per week.
    I think my problem is that I follow too many. The other problem is that I enjoy all that I follow. lol 🙂
    Scott

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    • I’m noticing a time lag, too. Normally my posting days would see the most views, and the rest of the week would drop sharply. Now, it’s a smoother curve. With so many people using the Reader now, I can’t really compare my numbers today with those from before the summer. It still feels like I haven’t recovered from the normal summer drop, but that may just be my imagination….

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      • Oh, I think you will be fine. Your writing is top notch and I think it’s just a matter of people reading so much (like me) that they can’t do it in one sitting or even one day. I gain each day, get caught up, then fall sharply behind. It’s a pattern and I am learning to live with it.
        Scott

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  7. Pingback: Handbook for Bloggers and cyber- dissidents #mustshare « kracktivist

  8. Interesting to see the results, I’m clearly with the majority. I agree with a lot of the comments here, and don’t have anything much to add, but wanted to comment so that you would know I had read it and had something to say about it! Oh dear…

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    • Well, I’m very glad to see your comments because it feels like very few of my regular readers have been here!

      I’m in this odd Twilight Zone setting recently. I’m seeing “likes” from some new readers, but I’ve noticed a distinct downturn in my normal views,”likes,” and comments. In part, I know this is because too many readers are going through difficult periods just now, either with themselves or family members. But I’m also thinking my posts are not what they should be, and people might be moving to greener pastures.

      Add that to some upheavals in my own life just now (the company I work for was just sold), and I’m a basket case.

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      • You know, I’m going through some tough personal stuff too, so many people seem to be at the moment. I can’t blog about mine though. I always think that there must be something wrong with a post I’ve written if some of my regular commenters don’t comment, especially if I see them commenting on another blog that same day! But as we’ve all acknowledged, we can’t always comment on all the posts that we follow, even those that we regularly comment on. For the record, I don’t think your posts have gone down in quality! Remember, several of your regulars might have been doing NaNo in November (I, for instance haven’t yet read installment 2 of your story from last Tuesday, but I will!). And the holiday season has started and all that malarkey! Peaks and troughs…

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        • I hope I didn’t sound like I was whining or pouting—that’s really not what I meant! 🙂 I’m really more worried that everyone is really doing okay—some non-NaNo bloggers have been very quiet, and it seems that’s usually because of some difficulty arising in life. So I’m worried that things aren’t going well for them.

          Beginning with Superstorm Sandy in November, it seems like so many bloggers I follow are going through difficult times. And I wish that wasn’t the case.

          I hope your situation, and theirs, will improve in the coming days and weeks. Isn’t the world due for a decent year, at least, if not a good one?

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  9. I always respond to comments on my blog for two main reasons: I want to build relationships and because responding is courteous. Even for the simple one-word comments, I’ll say ‘thank you’.

    I like the “like” button, but I’m super careful with it. I try to remember who I use it with and to make sure I don’t do back-to-back likes for one blogger.

    As far as bloggers who post more than once or twice a week, I can’t keep up. It’s official. I wonder how they even do it? On top of writing their WIPs and following other blogs and LIFE, how do they post daily? I don’t get it.

    Fun polls, JM. I like seeing how we all stack up.

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    • I respond to every comment, too, so maybe it would be good not to be Freshly Pressed. I’d get finger cramps from responding to all the comments. 😉

      And I promise I won’t post more than twice a week. I don’t know how people with jobs or in school can manage it more than that. I would be burned out in a few months. Sometimes even twice a week is a struggle. The WIPs and the blog would both suffer if I tried to do anything more than that—especially at this time of year!

      I’m always glad to see in these polls that most of us stack up as very conscientious in our interactions with one another. 🙂

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  10. i respond politely, even when attacked, which isn’t often. i respond ASAP. i try to give back as much as i’m given. if someone writes a long compliment, i aim for a long thank you. and similarly for shorter comments. regardless of the type, i’m always appreciative of anyone taking time out of their busy lives to read a few words i’ve written.

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  11. I keep feeling like I’m behind on commenting, but then I just post once a week so I’m not on here as much as others. I’m trying not to feel too guilty about it but still do anyway. 🙂 It does take time away from our books and querying though and we need to get those published soon! 🙂

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    • Even with my cutback in posts last spring and trying to stay away from the blog during the day, I’m probably still on here too much. 😉 As you say, those WIPs should get finished and queried sooner rather than later! They’re supposed to be the reason I started blogging!

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    • Don’t you wish there was a magic “one size fits all” pill that would help us all balance everything in our lives? But I think it would have to do serious mischief with the space-time continuum to succeed! 🙂

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  12. As I am just a few days old in blogosphere, I used to be in dilemma about how to respond. You poll, analysis and comments thereon gave a concrete idea. Thanks 🙂
    Also, some people share tragic stories. Hitting a ‘like’ there appears oxymoronic to me.

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    • Hi, thank you for stopping by and joining the conversation! You are so right—the “like” button isn’t good when people share tragic stories or bad news. I’m glad you found the polls and results helpful!

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