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?