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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Survey Results Are In!

Your anxiously awaited survey results are in! Most of you know I'm a math nerd...mathematician by degree. Yes, weird for a writer. You've probably already noticed the weird part without me pointing it out...

There are lots of ways to present statistics to mislead. I shall not go into that here, because we have plenty of commercials from both sides giving us examples of that...

I'm going to give you “just the facts, ma'am”. I will probably not resist some comments along the way about what I found. I promised you MY answers, those will be in the comment section. I feel strongly about one of these questions, so you will get an earful about that one. You've been warned.  That will be on Monday, though.  This post is already too long...lost my brevity card.

Note to all readers, math-nerd or not: IF you bother to add up the percentages for each of the questions, the total will NOT come to a nice 100%. There are three reasons for this.

  1. Some people gave more than one answer to a question.
  2. Some people didn't answer all the questions.
  3. I rounded.

Question #1: AS A BLOGGER, how do you interact with your commenters?

3% : on my blog, if it's a question, by email

27.5% : visit back and comment (one person said but don't comment)

27.5% : reply in blocks in the comment chain

4% : reply in the reply box in my comments

1% : Twitter

1% : interact, um yes, that was the question, you missed the how part, but am acknowledging your answer ;-) Can't leave any stats out you know. Wouldn't be honest. We have some lovely parting gifts for you. (I'm teasing, by the way. I do that.)

14% email

1% : phone (proud to say this is one of MY readers, who answered at my blog, and he's an amazing supporter of all levels of writers and bloggers, BUT, I couldn't drag him to the A-Z, and I REALLY tried...)

Question #2: AS A COMMENTER, what is your preferred method of being noticed for taking the time to leave a comment?

23.5% : visit my blog

18.5% : I don't need to be noticed ( give, without expecting anything back, what great people hang out here)

29.4% : in the comments, but I don't always go back and check

6% : direct reply (don't know what this method is...but couldn't just assume so I included it)

11.8% : email

6% : varies, but I like email

6% : comment back

6% : respond (see how hard this is?)

6% : acknowledged (as I was saying...)

Question #3: Now here's the rub: are those answers the same? Why or why not?

(Note to survey writers, don't ask why or why not...give multiple choice questions. THEN the percents will add up. And the results post won't be War and Peace...)

64.7% : The Golden Rule – I respond the way I do, because that's how I want others to respond to me. Ah...we have such nice readers, don't we?

17.6% not the same way (with LOTS of explanations – go see the comments, or I'll be writing War and Peace AND The Brothers one post)

6% I'm more forgiving of others than myself – I work hard to interact, but it doesn't bother me when no one acknowledges me. (I just had to include this one. Quality blogger. Not that you're not...just sayin'...)

6% Everyone is different. I can't expect that what I do is what another does. Everyone gets to choose. (Very sensible and observant. Had to include this one too. This is a patient, caring person. Not that you're not...sheesh...gotta quit these side comments...)

6% Same but different (????)

6% I just try to visit as many people as possible, regardless of whether they comment or not (aw...I keep telling you we have great people around here!)

Question #4 :Do you tend to read blogs that are similar to yours, say a writer learning from another how to market well, or to get tips, etc?

53% no
35% yes
17.6% yes, but I don't limit it to that
6% yes and no (???)

Question #5 : Do you read a variety of blogs, and if so why?

79% yes

5% I read my blog roll

12% no, there's not enough time

Question #6 : How do you decide who goes in your blog roll in your side-bar? Is it ALL the blogs you follow?

26.3% those I've developed friendships with

5% I investigate, then decide

5% I choose 25, otherwise it would be ALL of them, and that would be ridiculous

20% the ones that I don't want to miss a post from

47% I don't have a blog roll

Question #7 : Do you return follow just based on unspoken etiquette principle, or is there more to your decision?

10% yes

21% no

16% I follow if I'm interested

16% I return follow unless the blog is objectionable, or they are just fishing for followers

10% I investigate their blog, and then make a decision

5% If I wouldn't hang out with them in real life, I don't follow their blog (gotta say, this was my favorite answer...)

5% a bit of both

5% I add them to my google reader, then make a decision after a while

10% I used to, but now I use the google reader instead

Question #8: To you have link back signature? If not, why? If yes, why?

40% no

18% yes

25% I don't know

This one I really want to discuss. REALLY want to discuss. So I'm going to write a separate post about it on Monday, August 20th. Come on back!

Did these results surprise you? Are you “normal”? Are you “unique”? Talk to me.


LA Nickers said...

I missed the survey, but I'd love to comment about commenting.

Readers who are also bloggers really miss an opportunity by not commenting on blogs they visit.

Here's why:

Boost your blog's readership by commenting

Short, relevant, non-spammy comments benefit both bloggers and readers. Why not?

Rob Z Tobor said...

Well done that looks like a lot of work to me. I think the results are what I would have expected. But then one thing I do know is never ask for advice from the public they are rubbish. I am a member of the public and I would never rely on anything I say.

And that last little question..... I am uniquely normal, well I hope so but then that is not really for me to say. I look forward to Mondays bit about signature, as someone whose own local bank said my signiture was not mine once I need all the help I can get.

Anonymous said...

You know...all this disection and reasons for commenting etc etc really takes all the fun out of blogging.

ToscaSac said...

The idea that people comment so a blogger would visit the commenters blog is...out there to me.

How did that get started?

When I blog I want people to comment to me via the blog or another place in social media.

Nothing more and not much less. If I fall in love with a person then I might want to see what more they have to say.

Ideally we are already connected via social media and I have an opportunity not connected to their visiting me to interact with their content.

I HATE the tit4tat, follow me I follow you, comment on mine I comment on yours, ideas.

Good content drives it's own reactions and is not interdependent on tag bags.

I want non bloggers to read my blog. Not everyone is a writer but the world needs to read.

Ghadeer said...

Interesting results. Looking forward to your post on signatures. And I'm really interested in further discussion on what the most appropriate way to interact with our commenters is!

Li said...

Wow, that was fascinating :-) It's good to see that a lot of people read blogs of different types than their own.

Torggil said...

When I started, the tit for tat thing was good. Now, however, I don't have time to follow everything on my blog roll. I comment on comments, I'll read the opening bits of a blog on my roll. If i'm interested, I'll read on, and possibly comment, otherwise I move on.

I believe content drives readership, and strive with my editorials mainly to provide that. The other stuff, well, I don't expect everyone to want to read everthing I post. And I don't have time to read everything they post. Thats life.

Anonymous said...

I didn't want to leave a link on your first post with the questions (SPAMMY!!!), but I posted some questions a while back that are kind of similar to the ones you offered. Mine were proposed mainly because I was feeling overwhelmed with trying to be the blogger I thought I should be. The comments that post got revealed that I was not alone, which always feels nice.

I'm posting the link now (Less spammy? Not sure.): Blog Fail

Arlee Bird said...

Nice comprehensive (and entertaining) analysis, Tina.

I think blog behavior depends on ones blogging goals and reflects ones real life persona.

Reciprocity in commenting is basically the same as networking or relationship building. This is my preferred mode of operating because it just makes sense.

I find bloggers who just post and sit back to reap comments a bit arrogant and delusional. Unless they are celebrity bloggers or stars of the blogging world who have super valuable information, I don't think they'll have much of an ongoing following in most cases.

The way I see it, the blogging that most of us are doing here is part of social media. It's called social for a reason.

Wrote By Rote

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Interesting results, and pretty close to what I would've expected. 'Course, the relevance of the results depends on how large the pool of participants is. (Um, yeah, I'm a nerd, too. HA!)

Tina said...

As promised, here are MY answers.

1) I send an email, if the address is available, and when I'm not on the A-Z road trip, I return the visit. I'm about done with the road trip, not that I'm DONE, but I'm tired and school has started and my kids need me at home, not on the open road. Sorry if I didn't make it to your place. I still love you.

2) I'd like an email and a visit, too. I know it's asking a lot, but it's my answer to the question. It's through the emails that I've built friendships and it's through friendships that I've met others, such as this A-Z gang, and that would never have happened otherwise. In case you don't already know it, this A-Z gig ROCKS.

3) They're the same. Golden Rule.

4) I read a huge variety of blogs because I support BLOGGERS not just writers. However, if I had to give a majority, it's writers, because they are the ones I tend to build the friendships with. My favorite non-writer blog is a photo blog called "Little Sealed Packages" and if google doesn't lead you there, it's in my sidebar.

5) Yes, answered that above. Who wrote this survey???

6) My blogroll has my best buds, my don't miss a post. Yes, you've all been terribly neglected. Two words: road trip. But I'm back now. I like to help promote those I find exceptional, and that's what a blogroll does, in my opinion. Of course, when I find myself in the blogroll at someone place and I hadn't noticed before, it's a golden star day for me. Thrills me to no end. Yes, I'm an attention hound. I believe I've admitted that before...

7) I follow blogs I want to find again. It's a long list, but there are a LOT of really good blogs out there. Don't want to lose the address.

8) YES. And tomorrow I'll tell you why I think it's essential. You are coming back tomorrow, right?

Tina @ Life is Good

Tracy MacDonald said...

Wow that was thorough. Tina, I always love your posts. Bummed I missed the actual survey but summer has been tough to keep up with my blog reading. Looking forward to Monday's post on blog signatures as I think it makes it easier to get back to a person's blog especially if they have multiple sites. A post on replying via email would be great as I think it also gives better comment stats. That's my type A kicking in as I'm the antithesis of a math nerd.

Erin M. Hartshorn said...

I didn't comment before because I didn't see that the survey was very useful. I'm unlikely to change my behaviors just because other people have different habits than I do, and I assume the same is true of those others. I do, however, have two comments:

1) If someone e-mailed me in response to a comment on a blog, other than for winning some sort of giveaway or violating a comment policy (not that I have, but it's possible), I would never visit that blog again. If you post on a blog and I respond on that post, in my mind, we have made a contract to converse there and in that fashion. If I wanted a personal e-mail, I'd use a contact form or posted e-mail address for the blogger. Reaching out like that isn't friendly; it's creepy.

2) I still don't understand what the last question is talking about. Even assuming the first word is supposed to be "Do" rather than "To," it doesn't define its terms -- e-mail signature? Signature tagline on the blog? And as far as I know, trackbacks are done automatically by blogging software -- at least on WordPress, which is what I use -- so if that's what you mean by trackback address, it seems unnecessary.

Heather Murphy said...

These are interesting answers. Not what I expected at all, especially how many ways bloggers respond to commenters

Jarm Del Boccio said...

The results are similar to mine in some areas. I do enjoy a variety of blogs, I try to answer each comment with a reply, but I would like commenters to visit my blog. I wish I could do the same, but there just isn't enough time. It's necessary to be picky.
I look forward to your advice about signatures...thanks

Melissa said...


Regarding getting emails: I've experienced that more and more lately. I don't mind it occasionally, especially if I asked a question. I do well to make it to the blogs the first time around. LOL I rarely get to go back and read responses. It would not make me refuse to go back, but I could see how it could become a problem if it became excessive.

And the 'blog reply vs email' to respond to comments brings up another issue... If you reply to a comment on your blog, the only people who usually see it are commenters who come after, not (likely) the OP. If you reply by email, then the only ones who know you acknowledged it are you and the OP. The commenters who come after might think you don't bother to reply to your blog visitors at all. Hmmm...

Arlee Bird said...

Melissa -- Your observations point to part of the great conundrum of blogging. If one subscribes to comments they will see any responses that might come about. This can lead to great discussion not only with the host blogger but with other commenters. I've seen it happen and when it does it can be a wonderfully interactive experience.

The problem is that doing this takes time. It can lead to deeper relationship building, but less visiting other blogs. Either way there is sacrifice and there are rewards.

I always subscribe to blog comments until I see the response I get or come to the conclusion that there will be no response. If I do receive a response then if appropriate I may go back and continue the discussion.

There are some wonderful blogs that I follow where this does happen. I like getting to as many blogs as I can, but I also like some depth in the commenting rather than the hasty fly by with "nice job bucko" and move on to the next.

Less commenting by me on other blogs means less comments on my own blog. The process can be a difficult one to tackle and still keep up a good blogging front.

Wrote By Rote

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina and Lee .. not sure why I haven't commented - probably to see what others are saying .. or just busy with life at this moment. Two things ..

1) I don't know how to email comment replies ... I have to check out of blog, link to theirs, hope there's an email address .. and on occasion go searching for a fellow blogger who can communicate with that commenter ... I can't always comment with embedded comment boxes - heaven knows why (I hope) .. I do email replies or note that I've replied comprehensively ..

Lee - I stopped getting email replies to comments on other blogs 15 months ago when blogger made life a misery ... but all the input was overwhelming .. I do subscribe individually now to a few ...

2) I don't know how to use the blogroll - I think I was born in another world .. but I work my own way through ... it sure isn't the most logical way ...

3) I guess another aspect - if I want to reply to all commenters (which I do) .. if I do it from their comment on my blog - it takes me away to their about page and then I click their link .. and then I can comment ....

just for one visit ... thre must be an easier way?

and I do RSS most people - not all .. sadly, too many sometimes ...

Cheers Hilary

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