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Monday, April 16, 2012

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?

DL

74 comments:

  1. Table for 1735 blogs...
    This is an awesome post, says so much without so many words!

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  2. I've set it up so I can reply back on the block, and the blogger gets an email if their email address is connected. But with A to Z, I'm not commenting much. I need to devote this time to visiting the commenters. Nearly daily posting is high pressure!

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  3. I set my mine up where I don't have to respond to the comments until the end of the month. Though I have stopped over and thanked those who made me laugh on their sites. At the start of May I will be highlighting the winners of my Theme "Versus" and making note of the best comments... and there might be a prize to the best one!

    Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
    A to Z Co-Host
    My New Book:
    Retro-Zombie: Art and Words

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  4. I reply by to every comment. By e-mail to those who allow, if it's no reply then i'll reply to their comment on my blog. My reasoning; I don't want to respond to one and not the other and I believe that's a fair compromise.

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  5. Typically I will respond to questions, etc. in my next blog post; however, during the Challenge, I am attempting to visit the blogs of new visitors and comment on their blog, thanking them for visiting, etc. :)

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  6. I respond within my own blog post. Some people like to see that a blogger interacts with those who leave comments.

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  7. I don't have too many commenters, and usually, I respond via email...but like you, I'm finding too many times I can't because of the no reply thing.

    When I reply in the comment section, I usually also shoot over an email, if I can.

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  8. Thanks! You just completely changed the way I respond to people. I had NO IDEA I could just reply to their email. That is so much easier. I will still comment on the blog too, but this is such a more personal way.

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  9. I am the worst. I usually don't comment back to my commenters at all. Instead, I take the time to visit the commenter's blog, read their post carefully, and leave a comment on their most recent blog post.

    It's hard to have a back and forth conversation. Most of the emails responses I get are a simple "Thank you!" which I don't need--I know they appreciate the blog visit. And the back and forth commenting on a blog doesn't help, but because most of the time I don't go back to look for them.

    Sigh. The commenting thing has tortured me!

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  10. Great idea, thanks for sharing :)

    do check out my letters at GAC a-z

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  11. I figure my responses are as much for the next person who reads the comment as for the person who made the comment...

    No, I don't respond to all comments. Though I do sometimes check for responses to comments I make, if I really want to know what the blogger thinks.

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  12. I usually comment within the chain of comments . . .but there are a few days when I struggle to reply to all of the comments.

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  13. When I first started blogging, a kind blogger wrote a note at the bottom of her post, something like, "You've commented here a lot but I can't write you back. Please enable the return email function." So I figured out how to change that setting, and pretty soon I was getting all kinds of responses! It was awesome. I really appreciated them taking the time to say thanks, or to continue the conversation. So that's the method I use now. I'm sad when I get a great comment and I can't do a return email. I do have that warning in my blurb before the comment box. I never go back and see if a blogger has responded in the comment section. I know many wonderful bloggers do that, but I have a hard time just visiting my "must reads" even once, so there's no way I'm going back to see if there was a response. Yes, I've tried subscribing to further comments, but then my inbox fills up with comments from strangers to my blog friend, and I have to wade through those.
    I will admit though, that during this challenge, I have not had the time to respond to every comment. I've done my best to reply to as many as I had time for.
    Also, I usually visit back, but with a chunk of the A-Z list to visit, I haven't been able to do that either.
    Now my reply is officially as long as a post. Sorry about that...just got me going I guess!
    Thanks for sharing the different viewpoints, DL. I think that will be helpful to a lot of folks.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

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  14. I like to reply within the thread on the post. That gives any reader the whole story. I don't like email notifications from blogs in my email; I'm overwhelmed with email as it is.
    Of course, you don't know if your original visitor will return to see an answer to their comment, but your regulars will, and in any case, your response is there, in the right place, for all visitors to see it.

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  15. 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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  16. I change tactics all the time :) If I think the conversation might continue one-on-one, I'll email. I just recently got the embedded comments, so I've started using that too (not for A-Z though, too much work!). If I don't think my reply will trigger another response I'll just use the system in the comments rather than email. On other occasions I don't reply at all. I just don't see the point if a commenter has just made a simple statement that doesn't trigger a response. It's pointless to me to reply "thank you" for instance to every single person. And to be honest, I don't think they'd care. I do make an effort to visit a commenter at their blog as much as possible, especially if they are a new follower.

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  17. I use a mix of responses based on my mood and my energy. If I start making up too many rules it feels onerous. I blog for pleasure and connection and find both in writing and responding, however I do.

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  18. I tend to comment on the page they did but I also like to visit the commentor's blog and leave a comment.

    I also tend to click the box allowing notification of follow up comments which would benefit you too from the sound of it.

    Cheers

    Dino

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  19. Back again.

    I followed the link and was going to allow my email address to be visible but realised that this would impact me well beyond Blogger, making it visible on my Google profile which would not be a good thing.

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  20. I just reply to comments in the comment box. That's a lovely idea about replying via email, but it sounds time consuming - I don't think I would do that.

    I set up an email just for my blog, but I forget to check it. A couple of months ago, I deleted a blog listed on my blogroll because of its negative content and checked that email account a few days later to find that that blogger had emailed to confront me about that. Sigh. I really just do this as a hobby and don't want negativity like that. I just added it back and read it sporadically.

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  21. I reply to the comments within the post, then try to visit the commenter's blog, and leave a comment!

    It's been a lot of fun getting to know new people through this challenge. :)

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  22. This the frequently asked question and oft-debated topic to which there is no absolute answer and may differ among blogger techniques. There's also a lack of consistency among blogs and blogging platforms so no one method always works.
    I tend to use an combination, and during the Challenge my responses sometimes fall by the wayside. I try, but it's hard to keep up sometimes.

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out
    Try my networking experiment

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  23. When blogger changed to threaded comments, I switched from Intense Debate, but I have no way of knowing whether these comments go to the commenter's email. I prefer the method you use where it goes to the person's email address.

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  24. Still a fan of Intense Debate. Works for people who aren't (Google) Bloggers, and if they have their e-mail set up that way, they get an e-mail response back. I always give a comment a thumbs up, reply to their thread, and TRY to visit their blog. If they haven't availed themselves of the CommentLuv feature, I will see if there is a web address embedded in the notification I get from I.D., and follow that.

    Also, although it has yet to happen often, Intense Debate allows several people to respond to someone who comments, which I think is a fun feature.

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  25. All of the above...

    We get an email with the comment which we read and appreciate. We will comment on our blog at times...then we will send an email if possible.

    There is no right or wrong way to handle this situation and we handle each comment individually as it comes into our blog.

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  26. I try to reply to comments, but sometimes I just don't get to it. Then I wonder if I really should respond so much later than when it was posted.

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  27. i used to respond to every comment, but now i only do so sporadically. it has a bit to do with lazy and a bit to do with busy.

    if there is a valid link to the blogger's page i will, most times, drop by as i did now, to *sorta* reply to your comment...

    the best is when there is a email address. i will respond to 99% of those...

    i have yet to figure out how to make sure my email is valid. some times my account says no-reply comment, but i know i have the email turned on...

    google is a fickle beast...

    i try not to rile her...

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  28. When my email alerts me to a comment I respond by going to my blog and responding! That way, while I'm there ,I can just click on their blog and everyone that responded without going back to my email.

    I like to read other peoples comments on all the blogs!

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  29. thank you for the link...

    i stopped by Nancy's blog and got the heads up...

    i think i corrected it...

    and thanks for stopping by my blog...you did actually stop by a couple times...

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  30. I have heard of this before. In every comment I leave, I will add a link back to my blog. I use a Google+ profile and have been trying to have my email address available but it doesn't seem to be. Does a link to the site help out?

    Blessings to you. Great post!

    visiting from Here to Find Him

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  31. A friend who follows my blog and reads every post said that she also loves to read my replies to the comments. I use that as a guideline to how I should do it. I post up the responses. If there's anything particularly personal then I sometimes email where possible.
    A to Z of Nostalgia

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  32. I respond to comments by hitting the reply button and leaving a comment to them directly under their original. I always check back through the day to see if there has been a reply to one of my comments.

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  33. I reply to all comments on my blog, as my blog is set up to allow individual replies. I believe this enhances the experience for all of us -- I try to make my comments "added value" not just a "thank you," although that isn't always possible. Future readers benefit in this way as well.

    I don't like receiving responses by email. That, to me, is going too far in connection with someone I do not know.

    In "normal life" -- i.e. in life other than in this challenge, I generally go back to see if there's been a response to my comment. Sometimes a dialog happens.

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  34. Every few comments, I try to interject my own comments as well. I just can't keep up enough to reply to everyone and I know not everyone stops back.

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  35. I try to reply on every comment on my post ....And my replies are usually relevant to there comments....not that I just reply them in order for formalities as it's easier for me to reply I don't have much followers so less comments but replying them is a must for me
    Anyway that was a greatly described :)

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  36. Gosh, the issue of commenting is quite a thorny one, isn't it? To comment or not to comment, that is the question?! I comment to every one on my blog as never thought about emailing - maybe I will check that out. Sometimes feel like it is a waste of my time though. I personally only look at responses to my comments on other blogs if I asked a question or the next time I visit I might see if they replied.

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  37. it is interesting to me to see how fellow bloggers think and respond...thank you for this post! I do not respond by email...i usually respond back with a comment on their post.
    I am your newest follower.pls follow back if you can.

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  38. I haven't mastered the art of reply-to-comment.

    In truth, I'm not sure I want to go down that road. As much as I enjoy comments on my blog, and getting to know new people, I don't know if I want to devote the time to responding to every comment.

    I'm also afraid of my email getting too full, and I don't want to set up a separate email box just for comments.

    A true puzzle. But for now, I'm responding to YOUR post on your blog, after you left a comment for me on mine! How ironic that it is below a post about commenting!

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  39. I thank as many people as I humanly can, but in the case of the challenge where you're commenting more it's sometimes impossible.

    Great post.

    Yvonne.

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  40. I respond to all comments on my blog. It allows for threaded conversations, lets others see my answer in case multiple people had the same question or thought, and also allows people to retain the illusion of privacy -- I'm not following them home to continue the conversation, after all!

    Erin

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  41. My bloggy-blog isn't (yet) so heavily traveled that I can't reply to all (or most) comments, so I do that, within the comments chain. I want folks to know I'm interested in what they have to say and grateful that they visited and then took the time to comment. I really value those efforts and want anyone/everyone reading to know it. I also go visit the blogs of the folks commenting, if they have blogs - gotta share the love, y'all! (Well, I suppose you don't "gotta" but it's more fun, for me, when I do - have found some really neat blogs that way!) :-)

    Some Dark Romantic

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  42. I'm new to blogging and this challenge so I'm still trying to find my way. I don't have many travellers so I reply from their comments. As time goes by and by next years challenge I should know more about what I'm doing. This is very informative and I will be checking out the links to see what else I can learn on this journey.

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  43. haha great post!! I was smiling the whole time!! I know it is not funny, but some how it hit my funny bone. Keep up the great posts!!

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  44. I reply to comments in the post itself! I try to respond to all comments, but sometimes I can't.

    Sonia Lal, A to Z challenge

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  45. Well to tell the truth I hate email and seldam check it. But the good think is I am very grumpy and no one likes my blog much anyway so I get very few comments.

    You have loads of them and that would scramble mt brain, so all I can say is good luck responding when it gets like this PHEW

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  46. I got into the habit of responding to comments more often than I did during my early blogging days. When I do respond, that response is posted on my own blog. I rarely email a reader unless it's one of my online friends or if I think that we need to exchange further dialogue with regards to the topic of the blog post or a topic that came to mind because of the blog post.

    My Blogger profile is among those who may have a "No Reply-comment" notification...I don't know but if it does, I'm not surprised. I didn't even make my profile public and thus, there isn't a way for bloggers to email me directly from the Blogger/Google profile anyway.

    Since my blog is hosted elsewhere, there is a simple way for readers and bloggers to contact me directly, via my "Contact" page. Also, when my blog was on Blogger, I had 2 email links on my blog so that people who wanted to contact me could do so without going through the Blogger profile nonsense. One link was in my sidebar and another link/form was on my contact page.

    Cheers!

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

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  47. Now then, I endeavour to reply back, via my blog, to every comment. It gives the personal touch and creates some wonderful and thoughtful banter on my site.
    I have it set up so that I have an email notification for every comment that somebody so kindly graces me with. That way, I can be aware of someone who may have commented on an archived posting and I duly comment back. I also subscribe to email comments on other sites to see what is transpiring. Okay, maybe not on the really popular blogs because then my email is so full of their comments that I think my email account will blow up! I learnt the hard way on that one.
    Of course, my commenting back to each person, doubles the comments on my shy, humble, poorly written, not worth reading blog.
    And thus, are you going to respond to my comment?
    Have fun with this 'challenge' that brings further awareness of the alphabet.
    Gary

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  48. i reply via email and then if i have time I will try to rely to those without email enabled but that's a little harder

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  49. I respond to EACH AND EVERY post directly on my blog (it doesn't matter if they never see it.) And THEN, I make sure I visit my visitor's blog and leave a comment.

    It's the only way I do it or will EVER do it.

    Jolie du Pre
    Precious Monsters

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  50. I also respond within my own post. I know I receive emails from some at that certainly is a more personal touch as well as assuring I will read their response. I may try that to see how it goes...I would like those who comment on my site to actually see my witty reparte!

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  51. I tend to respond on my blog, but I also then go and visit my visitors, if I can find them at least. :)

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  52. I usually reply with a comment of my own. I think after the frantic days of April are over I might try your way.

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  53. If you bothered to read all of the comments, you'll have seen the diversity in the way we all handle our comments. Such great feedback! Once again...there is no right or wrong way! Whatever works for you...is the right way.

    And to answer Gary's comment, no, I won't be responding to each of these comments via email because I can't. I am not the owner of this blog, so the comments aren't emailed to me, otherwise I would be responding.

    I do make sure to visit the blogs of my commentors who are faced with NO COMMENT-REPLY, and leave a comment there. They matter just as much to me!

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  54. I have the email notification for comments, but am embarrassed to admit that for months I was just hitting reply to the email and responding to every single comment...without realizing that some people had that no comment rely thingamajig, so for all of those months those people had no idea I was responding to them, and I didn't know it either. I felt like the worst hostess at a party ever!

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  55. I like responding to commenters. I figure that if they took the time to comment, then I want to respond. For those who don't have their email addresses displayed, I reply to their comment right on my blog, but as others have said, I don't think there are many of us who go back to look for responses. Peggy Eddlemen also explained how to set it up using Blogger on E day, which has been so useful for the A to Z.
    A2ZMommy and What’s In Between

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  56. I ended up spending hours sending replies to those 'non-return' emails - gutted when I discovered this... doh! I'll answer a direct question, but I mostly don't reply, I reciprocate as much as possible by return visits to their blogs
    Lx

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  57. i go to my blog and check and respond there--

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  58. I reply to every comment within the post. When I comment I make sure I enable to get emails of all comments made afterwards - lots of emails, yes, but easy to work out which ones I need to check.

    I've thought about replying by email, but when I'm reading other people's comments I like to see the replies they get too.

    In my head, that all sounded so simple!

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  59. I've gone back and forth on this one. I stopped emailing to comments because of the no reply issue and because although I like the emailed responses I even more like comments on my posts. So that's what I do, return the favor by visiting the blogger and commenting on their post as well. It's hard to know what's the best way to do it. You don't want to ignore people, though. That's the worst.

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  60. My comments system emails the commenter when I reply to their comment on my blog. Very true, I rarely return to a blog to see if anyone replied to my comment, so it is useful to have replies emailed to me.

    J.C. Martin
    A to Z Blogger

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  61. Okay - I heard you and I fixed it. Thanks for the tip! As for me? I comment directly on the post (both mine and others).

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  62. I do all of the above, but prefer to hop over to the commenter's blog when possible and leave a comment on his/her post -- since I'm pretty sure only a few folks return to check out responses, I feel they'll appreciate a comment they can see and that adds to their own blog's traffic.

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  63. Personally, I reply to comments within my blog. I like the idea of creating an open conversation about the blog post and try to encourage readers to comment. I also visit the commenter's blog and leave a comment on their blog if I am able to. Some blogs allow readers to subscribe to comments, which is a nice feature.

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  64. I use the reply button on my comment form, and answer each one...but, I will look into the link you sent us, DL. Thanks for the advice!


    MakingTheWriteConnections

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  65. No reply blogger ranks right up there in my list of pet peeves. I rarely go back to a blog to see if an author replied to my comment. I email commenters who ask questions directly as long as they are not the no-reply-blogger types : )

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  66. Oh I could not agree more about the word verification it drives me crazy! and really gets in the way of posting a comment. Visiting from a to z

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  67. Typically I try and respond to comments in the blog post. I haven't really considered responding via e-mail but now you have given me food for thought....
    Dawn

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  68. I've not thought of email, since my base is so small, but it's a good idea anyway as email could lead to a longer conversation.

    I always reply to comments and usually pop over to the bloggers site and add a "like" or two.

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  69. I hope I updated everything correctly. We shall see...thanks for this interesting post, DL:)

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  70. I email if an email is availble and then comment on my own post addressing those people who havent an email. Sometimes its a lot, sometimes not so many. I should imagine with more followers and comments it can be quite tricky adding it to the post though.

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  71. Though I am new to this whole blog thing, I feel like people should reply to comments by commenting. Like if they ask a question or something. But if you need to reply with a lengthy message you should probably email them.

    http://notingthemorningdew.blogspot.com/

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  72. Being an active blogger means being immersed in different blogs within your niche. Asking questions and learning from them is the best way for any blogger out there. I'm not sure how you want to implement the No-Reply Comment on our blogging age today.

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