February 21, 2013

(You Drive Me) Crazy

This is both a confession, a discussion and a serious cry for help. I had a conversation with Asheley recently about my blog reading habits, and that made me want to just have a big chat on here about following blogs, leaving comments and getting comments in return.

So, let's start with following blogs. Is there a normal number of blogs to follow? Because I think I've far surpassed that number. I find new blogs in a variety of ways. Whether it's a conversation that starts on Twitter or a comment left here that leads me somewhere new, I'm constantly adding blogs to my reader. And on one hand, I love it. There are new voices, fresh perspectives and exciting people to talk books with in all corners of the Internet. I think it's amazing!

But, on the other hand, that means I open my reader after two days and then this...

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I'm legitimately horrified by the number of unread posts. Where did they all come from and how the heck does everyone have so much to say?! Listen, I'm not complaining. But I feel like I need some help.

How do you choose what blogs to follow, and how do you make reading their posts and commenting a manageable process? I need help figuring out how to get it all done. Instead of offering tips, I want your advice. Desperately!
If someone often comments (thoughtfully) on your blog, do you always go check out their blog and leave comments in return? 
If you find a new blog to love and comment often, but never see a comment on your own blog in return, does that diminish your enjoyment of the blog you found? 
Do you constantly add new blogs to your reader or do you have a pretty select number of blogs that you follow? 
Do you regularly or rarely "clean out" your reader and unfollow blogs? 
Do you comment on most blogs that you follow? Or only certain ones? 
Do you comment on most posts or only a handful? 
How do you go through your reader: do you read everything? only things that immediately appeal to you? automatically mark certain things as read? 
Do you sort blogs in any way or are they all just grouped together in your reader?
For example, I know that I can be a post hoarder. For blogs that really love and typically comment on almost all posts, I will save up those posts in my reader. I may actually go check out the blog, but if I don't have time to leave the kind of comment I want to, I'll mark the post as unread in my reader. It's kind of a terrible way to read blogs because the next thing I know a some of my favorite blogs will have 35 unread posts just hanging out. Oops!

And I'm also curious about your commenting habits. We all know what it's like to get a comment that's basically just promoting a blog...

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And what's it's like to get a thoughtful comment that actually creates a dialogue...

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But do you go back and check to see if the blogger responds? I almost always do, but I'm wondering if that's just me or if it's typical of most blog readers. I don't comment on everything I read - I try to only comment if I have something of value to add. Not that I don't think people appreciate all comments, I just don't want to spend a ton of time leaving meaningless ones. That also means I like to go back and see if there's a reply. And this is where I'm curious.

Do you check back for replies? I actually try to reply to every single comment I get on my blog, even the ones that don't always say a whole lot, because at the end of the time I appreciate someone taking the time to read my blog. However, that sometimes means that it takes a week or so before I've replied to everyone. And then I wonder, do people often check for replies or am I one of the few? And is there a time frame within which it's just pointless to reply because you won't be checking back anyway?

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want to know if it's worth my time to reply to all the comments I get here. Should I stick to just replying to the ones that are more meaningful? Do you even care about seeing a reply?

I know that I do! In fact, I'm WAY less likely to comment on a blog if I notice that I've never gotten a reply to a comment I've left. It just find it discouraging and frustrating. Like if I take the time to write a three paragraph comment with a question or a specific response to something someone said, dadgum it I want to feel like it's a conversation that goes both ways! I hate that feeling where I go back to check and.... nothing. 

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I don't always expect replies. Gosh, I know there are a million things to do and it's hard to make time for everything. You're reading books, writing posts, reading blogs, leaving comments AND replying to comments you've received! Not to mention the million other life things that happen. I get that. But I do like to see a reply now and then because it makes me feel like it was worth it to leave the comment in the first.

So, this post is a plea for you to help me find a good balance in my blogging life. I hate that certain things can start to feel like a task - comment on these posts, reply to these comments, visit these three new blogs - so I want to know how you prioritize and what matters most to you!

78 comments:

  1. This is what I do - and I'm sure everyone is different. I'm subscribed to hundreds of blogs, and I never feel overwhelmed. I don't separate into "favorite blogs" - I put blogs in folders according to the topic of the blog - books, fashion, lifestyle, fitness etc. I go through in the morning and evenings and I look at the headlines and comment on the posts that interests me. When I'm done, I mark all as read.

    If I miss a day or days and the posts pile up, I'll mark as read items older than a day, and then look through only the posts left over.

    People that comment on my blog (whether their comments are "thoughtful" or not), I always go to theirs and leave a comment on a post. I never check back to see if a blogger has replied to my comment.

    And yes - if I comment a lot on a particular blog, and they never comment on mine - then I stop leaving comments on their blogs.

    Tanya Patrice
    Girlxoxo.com

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    1. I love that you're subscribed to hundreds of blogs and never feel overwhelmed! That's so awesome, and it shows that you've definitely found a system that works for you. I like that you just click on posts that interest you and then mark as read. I think my problem is that I'll let days worth of posts pile up and then freak out when I open my reader. I need to get better at just marking posts as read instead of trying to come back to them later.

      I like that you always go and leave a comment in return - that's such a nice practice and a great way to show people that you appreciate them taking the time to leave a comment. And I'm interested to know you stop leaving comments if you never receive a comment in return.

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  2. I usually comment on two to five blogs every day, even though I follow many more. I don't read all the new posts, either. I tend to skim through what doesn't interest me. It's a time thing. If I read everything, I'd never have time to do anything else.

    Replying to comments on my blog is a must, and I have a comment reply notification plugin that emails people my response. Since I only comment on a few blogs every day, my comments are because I actually want to interact, so if I don't get responses, I tend to avoid commenting on those blogs in the future. It's like a time investment? I want to see the time I spend commenting count for something. I'm really terrible about going to other blogs after they've commented on mine, though. I need to work on that.

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    1. I LOVE hearing that you only comment on two to five blogs a day because that seems really manageable. And what a great way to just pick the posts that you have the most to say about and stick with those. It's definitely a time thing, and I think that's a huge reason why I wanted to write this post. I really needed to know how everyone handled commenting/following so I could start to find a system that works for me. Commenting, reading and replying can definitely be a time suck!

      Love that you have a comment reply notification plugin. That's one thing I wish I could do with Blogger, but I don't know if there's a way. I wish I could make sure people knew I'd replied since I DO take the time to reply to all comments. Since it's sometimes a week later, I wish I could send people a notification so they'd know I had replied. Glad to hear you check for replies! I've definitely found that I won't comment as often (or at all) on blogs that never reply.

      I need to get better at visiting blogs that have commented here! There's just so much to do!

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  3. I use to be comment queen.
    I commented everywhere.
    Now that I have less time, I usually comment when I can and like an occasional comment in return.

    If someone doesn't comment on mine, I don't take it personal. But I may stop commenting and if the blog isn't something I love, stop following. No hard feelings. It's just a time balance thing for me.

    I am always deleting and adding blogs. Adding blogs I can't get enough of and deleting blogs where the dynamic between us may be dwindling.

    When I go through my reader, I only comment on what I really want to read about. Again a balance thing.

    I do sort in my reader. Usually by close friends and regular. If I say, "great review" I don't expect a response. If I say more, than yes I like to see a response. But it's not a make or break. What means more to me is if that blogger and I build a repoire/friendship.

    I comment on most of my commentors and I think they really like it. :)

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    1. I agree on the time balance thing. It really does take a lot of effort to manage it all, so I think it's important to just cut certain things out sometimes.

      Glad to hear I'm not the only one constantly changing the blogs I follow! Sometimes I'll add a bunch in a spree and will then end up unfollowing if I never feel like commenting and realize that their content isn't that appealing to me.

      Like that you sort your reader - I think I need to do this too! Especially for blogs I almost always read every post versus ones where I'll typically only read a post or two.

      I love that you respond to comments! I've noticed that you do, even when you get a bunch of comments, and I love that about your blog :)

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  4. I have a tendency to quickly add blogs to my google reader, but I also clean it every couple of weeks. I unfollow blogs if they have their feed post shortened unless I REALLY love their content, because it's annoying to always have to click through to the blog itself. I normally look at the post title to see if it interest me or not. I almost always read and comment on discussion post, but if it's a book review, I normally only read/comment if: a)I've read the book before b)I've heard a lot about the book/want to read the book, or c)I like the way the post is structure/normally trust that blogger's opinion because they have a similar taste in books to my own. If I notice the same person is commenting on my blog I normally go to their blog and follow/comment. There's a few blogs that I almost always comment on, and it doesn't bother me so much when they don't comment on my stuff, but what does bug me is if they NEVER reply to my comments. Especially with discussion post, I tend to write fairly lengthy comments that (in my opinion) have substance and could start a great dialogue. Like you said, not that I expect a reply to EVERY comment, but some level of engagement would be nice. As for those blogs, I have noticed I've subconsciously started commenting less on them(though still fairly frequently), so my habits are like yours in that respect.

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    1. Yeah, I go through sprees of adding a bunch of blogs and then going back through every few weeks and having to unfollow them. It's usually because I'm initially intrigued by a blog but then find that I never want to read or comment on any of their content. I have to ask myself if I really need that blog in my feed, or if I just maybe just click on their posts from Twitter when I think they sound interesting.

      I agree with you on being frustrated about never getting a reply! I personally don't care if someone comes back and visits my blog since that's not why I'm leaving the comment, but I DO want to see that they've replied. I don't expect a reply for everything, but it's really frustrating if they never do. Why would I leave a thoughtful comment if there's no response to show that it was valued?

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  5. I follow a lot of blogs through bloglovin and separate them into categories: books, fashion, interior design, lifestyle. But I don't comment on any of those, really, except book blogs. The others tend to be enormous blogs, and I know my comment doesn't really add anything.

    As for book blogs, I went through and deleted a bunch recently because it was overwhelming. I've also "marked all as read" a time or two. But mostly, I save posts like you do. Sometimes I need just to have an afternoon of blog reading. If I feel I have something to add, I leave a comment. I don't check back, but I love the option to have any replies emailed to me. That's partially why I love my comment provider, disqus. I can tweet comments, but I can also always see when I receive a comment in return. Then, if there's a conversation to be had, I can go back.

    Book reviews, unless I'm blown away and/or have read the book, are the least likely posts for me to comment on. But I definitely do try to visit blogs that visit me. It's a nice way to find new blogs.

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    1. I separate mine into general categories in Bloglovin, too. I'm with you - I generally only comment on the book blogs I follow. Glad I'm not the only one who saves posts! I do think I need to follow your lead and unfollow some soon. Just to get my following list back down to a more manageable state.

      I do wish there was a way to notify people that you've replied to a comment with Blogger. I really don't know if there's any way to do that currently, but I would love that option. Sometimes replying to comments feels pointless since I know a lot of people don't come back and check.

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    2. Well, with blogger it's really up the the individual commenter -- if you click "subscribe by email" you get email notifications of any responses on the post. Of course this sometimes leads to a massive influx of emails, but if that happens, I just delete them all and click through to the post to check for a comment to what I wrote or to browse interesting comments in general. I'm kind of getting the feeling that a lot of people don't use this feature though. Clearly I do since I just got notification of a new comment and came back to add my two cents!

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  6. If someone often comments (thoughtfully) on your blog, do you always go check out their blog and leave comments in return?

    I am working VERY hard at being better at this. If I can't make time to go find their blog though, I definitely at least reply to their comment on my blog.

    If you find a new blog to love and comment often, but never see a comment on your own blog in return, does that diminish your enjoyment of the blog you found?

    If they don't comment on my blog, not so much. But if they never reply to my comment, then yea. I mean, what's the point in leaving something meaningful if it feels like it's not even being read?

    Do you constantly add new blogs to your reader or do you have a pretty select number of blogs that you follow?

    I used to add everyone - but that got overwhelming, quickly. I now add blogs who post the type of content I love, on a regular basis. Like your blog; I love discussions! I think I've got around 50 or so in my reader right now.

    Do you regularly or rarely "clean out" your reader and unfollow blogs?

    Yes. If I notice a blog has started posting mostly promo pieces, or memes, they generally get unfollowed. I loved a good meme as much as anyone else, but I don't follow blogs for memes.

    Do you comment on most blogs that you follow? Or only certain ones?

    I comment on posts that interest me - whether it's a book review for a book that I haven't heard of, or a discussion piece that I'm passionate about, or whether it's just something that made me laugh! Generally, that means I'm commenting on lots of different blogs, since they all seem to post things that interest me at different times. But I also have a handful that I comment on regularly, because everything they post seems to turn to gold.

    Do you comment on most posts or only a handful?

    Generally, only a handful. I try my best to comment often, but I also don't want to leave something generic; I want the blogger to know that I did read their post and have thought about a response.

    How do you go through your reader: do you read everything? only things that immediately appeal to you? automatically mark certain things as read?

    I browse for titles/content that catch my attention. I also make a point to try and comment on blogs that I know have commented on mine in the past.

    Do you sort blogs in any way or are they all just grouped together in your reader?

    Ha, sorting would imply some kind of organization! They're all just grouped together :(

    As for commenting:

    This is exactly why I wish everyone had a commenting system that notified people who commented, when there is a response to their comment. I don't always remember when I've commented on a blog (because I can comment on many some days), so I don't always remember to check back - which can mean that I'm getting lots of thoughtful replies, but not seeing them.

    I have a comment system in place that let's people know when they've been replied to - so I definitely make sure to reply to every comment on my blog (except for memes - I try to visit every blogger's meme who visited my meme, since that's the point) so that they know that I read it. Because I know how much I appreciate when someone replies to one of my comments.

    Phew, I think I have gone on long enough!

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    1. I love that you went through and answered a lot of my specific questions. Thank you!

      I'm with you on visiting commenters blogs and leaving a comment in return - it's something I want to do, but it's definitely time consuming.

      I'm a lot like you on finding a new blog - I don't care if they come and leave a comment on mine, but I do get frustrated if they never reply. You're right about it feeling like a waste of time if you don't feel like it's being read.

      I think 50 or so seems like a reasonable number. I also started out following a ton of blogs, but I've been narrowing it down a little over time. I do think I need to do a little more cleaning out and really just stick to the blogs that consistently post content that I want to read (rather than just occasionally).

      I agree on your reasons for unfollowing - memes, promo pieces, blog tours, etc. I hate when a blog starts to feel like it's more promotional than anything else!

      I love that you typically stick to commenting on things that interest, aside from the few blogs that you comment on regularly. I have a few like that too! I need to get better at just allowing myself to comment on a handful of posts and stop feeling like I need to read and comment on everything I read. I need to stick to comments on just the stuff I have the most to say about.

      Haha like that the blogs you follow are just grouped together! That's how mine are now, but I do think I should try to get more of an organized system.

      I wish it was possible to notify everyone when I reply to their comments. I know that I'm replying but I also know that a lot of bloggers aren't seeing my replies. I need to figure out a way to make this happen with Blogger.

      Thanks for leaving such an awesome comment - AND for including my post on your weekly round-up post!

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  7. I honestly can only handle following a select few blogs otherwise I get overwhelmed. As for commenting, I always try to comment on the blogs I follow at least once a week. I know how sad I feel when no one comments on mine so I try hard to make sure no one on my feed feels sad.

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    1. Yeah, I know what you mean about getting overwhelmed! Especially since that feeling is what prompted this post :) Love that you make it a point to comment at least once a week on the blogs you follow. That's an awesome way to make sure you're interacting but also not get stressed feeling like you need to comment on everything.

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  8. HAHAHA. This is so WONDERFUL! I think we've briefly talked about some of my habits. I think I should elaborate a little more. I will make sure that I do that at the proper time and place.

    What I *will* say here is this:
    I clean out my google reader every few months. And by clean out I mean DELETE THE ENTIRE THING and re-add the ones that I follow like death-and-taxes - because somehow or another, I PROMISE YOU extra blogs just leap onto that thing. And before I know it, I have all of the blogs that may or may not be fantastic but GOOD GOLLY they all add up and get overwhelming. So it's kind of like spring cleaning. But it's good for my soul to see it completely empty for a few minutes. Then I go back and add everyone again. That seems tedious, but I NEVER CLAIMED to be the more normal at how I do things. I just do them the way they make sense to ME.

    Also, I try hard to respond to all of my comments. It gets hard on the TTT posts, but I *NEED NEED NEED* to get better about that. That's usually the day I'm away from home during the day so I have a hard time keeping up. But still, perhaps me saying it in public will light a fire under my rear end.

    And YES YES YES, I find myself not gravitating toward the blogs that don't respond, which saddens me because I find that I have some of the best bookish friendships and conversations on Twitter or email with these people. It warms my heart like the red-dress Britney picture with her hair up when people respond meaningfully to me, doggone it. Even though I know that people are busy and all that jazz. I will admit that as blogs grow, it does become harder, but that is one of the things that I have tried harder to maintain - which is why people notice that even though I do frequent their blogs LESS OFTEN (*looks around sheepishly*) I do tend to comment blast when I get there. I want people to know that I'm reading what they work hard to write and that their time spent isn't wasted and that I appreciate it.

    Gosh, I really meant that I would totally analyze this post in another format where I could break it down and write a novel about it, Asheley-style. I almost did that here. I have thoughts, gal, thoughts. I'm bookmarking this one. HAHAHA you'll hear from me.

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    1. Haha I'm so glad you enjoyed this lady! And yes, I totally first mentioned this to you and then figured it needed to be a blog post so I could get lots of feedback.

      I LOVE that you clean out your entire reader every few months. WOW LADY! What a great way to make sure you're really only following the blogs that you really care about and regularly read! I love that you do things so differently and yet it still makes perfect sense to me.

      Your blog is one of my favorites to comment (aka the reason I hoard your posts) because I know that I'll be able to come back and read all of your replies. You consistently engage in your comments - and that's also a reason I often read the comments section on your posts.

      I'm SO GLAD I'm not the only one who sort of slacks off on commenting on blogs where the blogger never replies. I really hate it because I often still love those blogs, I just know that I don't need to take the time to really engage in a leaving a thoughtful comment because I won't see a response.

      I do think I'm a lot like you in the comment blasting. I will have days worth of posts saved up, and then love being able to go through them all and leave lots of comments! Plus I think of how happy there email is when they get like 10 comment notifications in a row from me :)

      CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR FROM YOU :)

      Also, so glad you love Britney & the gifs gave you belly laughs!

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    2. HAHA, I still need to leave this email. I think about it EVERY DAY, no kidding. And actually yesterday I was listening to my iPod on random and Brit Brit came on and I was like OH SNAP HANNAH.

      See what you've gone and done??

      That really had nothing to do with following, commenting, or blogging, but this seemed like a great place to talk about it AND ALSO to let you know that I am going back and reading your thoughtful replies to my comments. SEEEE???

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  9. Hmm... fun discussion post, Hannah! My system works something like this:

    - find a blog I like via twitter, a friend's recommendation, notice that there's a new frequent commenter on the blog
    - add said blog to one of three folders on my google reader, "favorite blogs" -- people that read very similar things to me, that I am pretty sure I will love what they're reading, etc., "blogs on trial" -- these are the ones I find and add very quickly after maybe just reading one post of theirs. If I become a frequent commenter on their site, I move them up to "favorite blogs". (Recently I went through this folder and looked at how many blogs I was subscribed to that hadn't posted since September 2012 or something.) I do to through these and unsubscribe if I notice they're only posting memes or if they read things that are just night and day different than myself. And finally, the third one is "our commenters" - I have a section for people who frequently stop by and leave really thoughtful comments. Sure these people could maybe fall into one of my other two folders, but I try to highlight them because they're so thoughtful and nice to take time to revisit our blog. I want to remember to do the same.

    I do try to make it through at least my book blogs every day, but my GR gets overwhelming because of all the *other* things I also follow - design blogs, fashion blogs, photography blogs. It's a lot. So if I, too, am feeling overwhelmed, I will mark all as read and move on.

    As for the commenting back on posts. I really try to on our blog. I'm behind right now, but it was a goal for myself this year. What I hate about our comments (and we can't change til there's an update on something we have installed on our blog) is that the comments aren't threaded. So unless I reply right away, all of my comments appear at the very bottom. Bah!

    And no, I don't always go back to check and see if someone replied to me. I really enjoy when people respond and bring the conversation to twitter or gchat. Hannah, I have to say that all the work you're doing to comment back on your blog and go to check for responses is so, so admirable, but I would be so overwhelmed. I don't expect you to keep the conversation going on our blog or want you to feel like you have to respond again or anything like that. That's so much pressure! Sure, I can totally see going back, like you said, if you asked a specific question or something.

    Okay, this is getting super duper long. Hope this wasn't just a ridiculous comment. Haha!

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    1. I love that you have different folders - favorites, on trial, commenters. WOMAN! I am totally going to steal this system! That makes so much sense to me, AND it helps me accomplish my goal of returning comments to those who often comment on my blog without feeling like they're all mixed in on my reader with posts I regularly read. I also like that you go back and clean out occasionally blogs that haven't posted in a while or are mostly doing memes.

      I SO need to give myself the freedom to just mark all as read and move on :)

      Love knowing that you don't always check for replies AND that you like when the conversation is extended to Twitter or gchat. That's a great suggestion!

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  10. The blogs I follow are all either book or food blogs. I use GFC/Google Reader to follow ones I'm interested in and I've been really careful to not feel obligated to follow anyone and everyone who follows me -- if someone follows or comments, I go and check out their blog and leave a meaningful comment, but I only follow back if it appears their content will interest me. I'm still very small though, so I have followed back quite a lot of my own blog's followers. It's usually pretty obvious if we have reading interests in common vs. if they are the kind of blogger that hits "join with GFC" on every single blog they set their eyes on in the hopes of getting more followers for themselves. (sorry if that sounds a little cynical!)

    When I first follow a blog, it's kind of like a trial period -- I see what kind of posts come through and if I'm regularly interested. If I find myself constantly skipping over their posts, I give it a few weeks, but then I will most likely unfollow.

    I'm still a very small blog so I have time to go scope out any new commenter or follower. I wouldn't expect every blogger to necessarily come check out my blog in return, but I do want to see replies to my comments, at least some of the time. I almost always subscribe to a post's comments by email if I have commented so I can follow the discussion. If there is no discussion, why comment at all? And if my inbox is blowing up with notifications for a particular post, I just delete them all and click through to the post to read the reply comments there.

    When it comes to actually reading posts, I don't like to read them in Google Reader, so I use the "Next post" bookmarklet they have. Whenever I have a few minutes, I click the button and the next available post pops up on the actual blog. If I'm interested in the post, I'll either read and comment right then, or I'll bookmark it for later. Sometimes I'll just flip through using the bookmarklet in the morning to clean out the queue and have a few posts bookmarked for later in the day when I have some more time.

    I'm sure everyone does things differently, but this works for me!

    P.S. something tells me you're going to get a LOT of comments on this post about commenting!

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    1. I like that you don't feel obligated to follow everyone who follows you, but that you also make time to visit and comment on blogs that have left you a comment. That's a great strategy! And I know exactly what you mean about people who hit GFC just to get more followers. It's only recently that I've started feeling more overwhelmed about following/commenting/replying/etc. Starting out, I was better able to manage the whole process. The more people who visit my blog, the more blogs I'm finding that I'm actually interested in. I liked one commenter's suggestion to have different folders - favorites, on trial, commenters - and such so that I can navigate all the different blogs I follow and know which ones to prioritize and which ones to visit when I get a chance.

      It's similar to what you mentioned about the trial period. I just add blogs to my feed without separating them, so sometimes it's harder to figure out which ones I'm not reading that often. I love this suggestion though, and I'm definitely going to implement the idea of a blog trial. Thanks for the idea! I honestly hadn't even considered it.

      And I know you just mentioned this above, but I actually did not realize that you could subscribe to comments by email. That's so good to know! I don't think a ton of people realize it either, but it's nice that there's at least some way to be notified of a reply. I like that it keeps you in the loop on the whole discussion, and you can easily to delete the emails if there are too many comments and just read the response to your specific comment. Totally agree on there being no reason to leave a comment if there isn't going to be some back-and-forth discussion.

      UMMM HELLO YOU ARE TEACHING ME SO MANY NEW THINGS. The "Next post" bookmarklet sounds like a great way to read through blogs. I love that it just pops up with the next available post and you can either comment, bookmark it and come back later, or just move on to the next post. That's a great system, Christine!

      I love that you gave me so many great ideas! Also, you're an AWESOME commenter and have loved seeing all of you comments lately. Thanks for always taking the time to leave some thoughtful feedback :)

      P.S. - Holy cow! I am shocked by just how comments there are on this post. My fingers are getting tired haha!

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    2. I'm still so new at blogging & constantly learning from everyone else, so it's nice to be able to teach someone else something! I had kind of forgotten that I had already mentioned about subscribing by email, but it seemed to really bug you that you couldn't, so I wanted to let you know. Of course, the ball is still in the commenter's court with Blogger!

      I think if I were you on this post I would have had to cop out and and write a nice long "thank you everyone for your amazing feedback, I've read all your comments and appreciate your ideas" kind of response because there are just so many!

      And you're most welcome -- I found your blog through GirlXOXO recently and I've really been enjoying your posts -- but please don't feel you have to respond to this comment too!

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  11. I am so interested in seeing responses to your post. Since I just kinda entered the whole YA blogosphere I am still trying to figure out proper etiquette when it comes to all this stuff. I always feel pressured to follow back on twitter.... or follow a blog if they follow mine... etc. Then I feel bad if I don't really connect with a blog and want to unsubscribe... I can't really do that bc it could hurt their feelings if they noticed. Also, I am a bit timid about commenting on blogs bc of the whole 'blog promotion' ordeal, but I like doing it because I think people should know that what they write matters and that someone is reading it. Plus, it's a way to genuinely connect with other bloggers. Even if it's just a sentence... I know I appreciate that. I also question whether or not it is necessary to respond to every comment. I do it because like I said before, I want people to know I value them taking the time to do so, meaningful or not. At the same time, I am new to this and don't have a ton of viewers, so...... in the shoes of a bigger blog.... not sure it would even be realistic or possible to comment back to everyone. I don't read every post from every blog I follow, thats for sure. I usually skim most, but only thoroughly read if it's something that really interests me. I do read a lot of blogs, but do not subscribe. I usually rely on tweets for new posts. By the way, I've loved getting to know you as we work on our secret project. ASSEMBLE! xoxo

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    1. HELLO SWEET FRIEND THAT I LOVE! Aren't the responses so fascinating? I'm learning so much about people's preferences and blogging habits, and it's really helping me figure out how I want to handle things moving forward.

      I started off a lot like you - I felt like I needed to follow everyone back and then felt bad when I didn't necessarily connect with their content. I've been able to get past that now and just follow back if I genuinely am interested in their content. BUT I do try to visit the blogs that frequently comment here and find a few posts to comment on.

      Haha love that you're a timid commenter! I was TOTALLY a blog stalker for forever AKA I just read a bazillion posts but never commented. I've since started to interact more, and that's mostly because I've realized just how much you appreciate a good comment that lets you know your post was read and sparked some thought :)

      I definitely think commenting back to everyone would be impossible on a bigger blog. I'm still able to do it now since most of my posts get a handful of comments, and I'm able to manage responding. This post made me think about how unmanageable that would be if I was getting more comments.

      Love that you rely on tweets for posts - that's a fun way to only click and visit stuff you're somewhat interested in.

      I have LOVED getting to know you, am excited about our secret project AND can't wait to leave you a big ole comment dump on your blog soon :)

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  12. This post is just excellent.

    This is something that I have been thinking about for a while...I have some blogger friends who really don't think that commenting (or even starting convos on Twitter) count toward blogging. For me, blogging is a lifestyle and a hobby. I almost completely do it for me, if it stopped being fun, I would stop doing it. Therefore I don't do things because I "should," or obsess over followers, etc. HOWEVER, commenting is HUUUGEEE for me. If I come across a blog (even if it is one of the "popular" ones) that has reviews that are just a tiny blurb and in my opinion, not really insightful or with no FEELING (if that makes sense), I don't comment! I am not going to pull a comment out just to make a point of commenting and regardless of how many comments I have on my blog, I loathe when they are like "nice review." or the such. Ummm listen, reader, we all know you skimmed my review and just wanted me to link back to your blog..run along now.

    Now with THAT being said, I definitely have a few blogs that I follow because I LOVE their reviews or features and they have never commented on my blog once! I am guilty of following certain blogs and commenting and having some in my reader that I "want to check out" but forget to!! I have an issue with google reader vs. wordpress...I used to have blogger so many of those blogs are in that reader and I always forget to read it!!

    To answer your questions, though...

    I am always looking for new blogs to follow and I recently added a few from some of the features I have been a part of. After a few weeks, however, of reading their reviews and commenting if I find that I am not "following" their reviews (aka skipping them on my reader) or they aren't commenting back I do delete them from my reader. I try as hard as I can to comment on all of the blogs I follow and I pick out posts that are of most interest to me. I usually have one or two days a week where I can sit down for a few hours and just COMMENT GALORE so usually I go through and find posts that stuck out and since I am really only following book blogs at this time I don't really have them sorted in any way.

    I try VERY hard to check back for replies (which makes it soo much easier when I follow a blog through WP) and in response to your comment about always replying I have to say that I commented a few weeks ago about possibly joining your readalong and I obsessively checked to see if you would reply because I didn't know you yet and wanted to see if you were nice enough to let me join/reply!! You did, of course, and set my mind at ease! (I unfortunately had too many obligations and couldn't join which gives me the sads) I also used to reply to all comments left on my blog but if I find I am just writing "thanks!" because someone was like "nice post" I get a little frustrated...

    I am so eager to see what others think about this post, as you can see I had a lot to say!! (and I hope my jumbled thoughts made sense)

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    1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the posts and hope you've been reading the comments. There have been some awesome responses and suggestions!

      I completely agree that commenting is huge. I'm not too stressed about number of followers or similar stats, and I know what you mean about reviews that don't give you much to comment on. I have definitely gotten over the feeling like I "should" leave a comment, especially on posts that don't really say very much.

      I need to be better at deleting blogs whose posts I regularly skip over. I like that you try to keep track of how often you're skipping posts completely so that you have an idea of what blog you're not really interacting with. And I definitely comment in spurts too! Mostly because I'll finally have time to go through my reader so I'll just do a big comment dump :)

      Haha I love that you came back to check for a reply on the read-along post! The one thing I need to get better about is replying to comments on my blog in a timely manner. Once a certain amount of time has passed, I think people may assume I'm not going to reply (even though that usually just means that I've gotten a little behind). I totally understand on too many obligations to join. But I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on the books if you end up reading them at some point.

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  13. I just started my book blog after finally getting comfortable with my regular blog for a while. (Actually I had too many book posts over there and I knew they needed their own place.) But I'm STILL nervous to comment on blogs for that particular reason, I'm never 100% sure what's expected! If I just want to let the blogger know I liked the post is it okay to leave a short comment? Do they get offended if I hijack the post by starting a discussion with them about it? So much pressure!

    I usually keep my book blogs on GFC and use Bloglovin' for my regular blog posts. I've found that I tend to skip more book reviews when I have no interest in reading the book being discussed. I ALWAYS love to read posts that are about reading/blogging/books/characters/authors but not necessarily reviews. I comment on those things usually since they've already caught my eye.

    As for responses, I only expect a response if I've said something meaningful. I do follow one blog that sends back a form email thank you with no additional email that is starting to annoy me, but we're all bloggers I think we all understand that sometimes you just can't get to every comment left. Sometimes it takes a few days or a week to come up with what you want to say.

    My rule of thumb really is just to act genuinely. Assume everyone else has the best intentions and treat people just as you would if you were talking to them in person! Good luck with the balancing!

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    1. Haha I know what you mean about being nervous to comment! I was a total blog stalker for a long time before I ever left my first comment :) And I can't speak for everyone, but I do know that I appreciate anyone taking the time to let me know they enjoyed a post. Even a short comment means a lot if you genuinely enjoyed the post! And I love when discussions start in the comments - it's great that a post can spark further discussion!

      I tend to skip reviews of books that I'm not interested in, too. But I also LOVE posts about reading/blogging and the like, so I'm trying to get better about writing posts like that since those are the ones I love to read and comment on.

      Love your kind words! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave such a nice comment and give me your feedback!

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  14. Yeah, so I follow WAY too many blogs, but I do try to clean up every so often. If I have noticed they haven't posted in awhile or if I just no longer really read any of their posts then they have to go. Although I feel like I add new blogs to my list every week.

    As for comments I comment when I feel inspired to say something. Sometimes that is a lot and sometimes nothing really strikes my fancy. I actually hardly ever remember where I commented so I don't check back and subscribing to comments is obnoxious. I always make a point to connect in some way with whoever left a comment on my blog. I really like to reach out via twitter if they have a username listed on their blog. Other times I'll comment on one of their posts and reference their comment and which post it was. I still find myself replying on my blog too just in case. I think if someone takes the time to say something relevant that isn't spam then they deserve to be acknowledged in some way.

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    1. Haha yeah I'm constantly adding blogs to my reader! If only I was unsubscribing for others at the same rate... then I might be less overwhelmed!

      I like your suggestion to reach out on a Twitter. That's a great way to reply in a more immediate and interactive way!

      I agree that about replying to comments on your own blog, even if you don't know that people will come back. Acknowledging it is really important to me, too.

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    1. Yeah, I'm having a similar problem! I'm following a bunch of blogs, but I've realized recently that I don't necessarily read them all. It's usually because they've started posting more promotional content (giveaways, blog tours, etc) or because we don't really have similar reading tastes. I need to get better about unfollowing some of them!

      It seriously means so much that you'd consider my blog thoughtful and original! I really appreciate those. And I love that feeling of finding a new blog that has so many post I want to comment on. I get really excited to see what they'll write next!

      Totally agree on having certain blogs that you frequently read and comment on because of your relationship with the blogger. I'm trying to figure out some of the in-between blogs - I like them but maybe don't feel completely invested in their content. Don't you love how you can engage on Twitter? It's so awesome! And yes, I lose all motivation to comment when I never see a response to any of my comments.

      I love that you have a comment reply plug-in! I wish there were so great ways to notify people that you've commented. I just learned you can subscribe by email to blogger comments if you specifically want to know you got a reply, but I know that's not a perfect solution since you also see the reply to everyone else, too.

      I know what you mean about feeling bad about unfollowing blogs, but I've realized recently that it happens. There are so many blogs and readers out there - not every one will be for me!

      Aren't the answers awesome? That's totally the best part about this post!

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  16. Oh my goodness, THIS POST. I'm so glad that you wrote this, Hannah, and that you're so open about your commenting/following habits. We share a few qualities in this vein, and it's always nice to know that I'm not the only person who checks back to see if someone replied to my comment (even though I am sadly guilty of not replying to comments myself).
    As far as my practices go, I don't organize the blogs I follow into any categories in my reader. I'm kind of a slob that way. They're all just lumped together. Granted, I don't follow an obscene amount of blogs either. I often find that I will bookmark a blog in my browser before I subscribe to it in my reader, and they don't always make the jump. I don't clean it out very often, but like I said, I don't add people in large quantities.
    Commenting is the one area of blogging that I feel the most like a failure at. It's so hard for me to find time when I get home from work (in fact, likely the only reason that I'm able to comment right now on your blog is because I'm home sick today!) that it comes down to a priorities contest: dinner, then I can either read, write a post for the next day, or spend time commenting/tweeting/answering emails/responding to comments. I made it one of my goals this year to respond to all of the comments on as many posts as possible, but I feel myself already slacking. And responding to a comment on my blog doesn't always mean that I'll have a chance to return the favor, and I can't decide which irks me more about myself.
    When I comment, I HATE leaving those non-thoughts that some people leave, so writing something thoughtful after reading a post is important to me, and I find that I need to make more of an effort to make the time to do it., and sometimes I drop the ball. I will say, though, that even out of the blogs in my reader, I find that there are a smaller handful of blogs that I visit and comment on more regularly than others, and I make it a point to comment on at least the two most recent posts when I'm there, or the two newest posts that interest me. If I'm returning the favor on someone's blog, I always comment on whatever it was they posted the day they commented on my blog (I comment return most often on my memes, so I'm usually commenting on someone's TTT or Stacking the Shelf), and the most recent post (or maybe two). I don't mind AT ALL if people comment on old posts of mine, so I always hope that it doesn't bother them that I sometimes get backlogged!
    This is very super long so I'll stop talking now. But great post, Hannah. AS USUAL. It's important to think about being a "good neighbor" blogger of sorts!

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    1. Thanks Amy! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post and that it gave you something to think about. I'm SO GLAD to know you also check back for replies. I don't necessarily check every single post for a reply, but when I'm leaving a bunch of new comments I'll often go back and check a few older post for replies.

      Love the idea of bookmarking a blog first and then seeing if it makes the jump to your reader! SMART GIRL! I don't always have the time to do everything, and I'm still trying to figure how to balance it all. Part of why I wrote this post is because I can't figure out what should take priority - replying to comments or commenting on other blogs. I think leaving comments is great and what people really want, but I also hate not acknowledging the comments I get on my blog.

      And I love that you try to pick a few posts to comment on for some of your favorite blogs! I try to do similar things, too. Thanks for such an awesome comment, Amy!

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  17. So many questions! But good ones!

    If someone often comments (thoughtfully) on your blog, do you always go check out their blog and leave comments in return?
    If it is a particularly long and thoughtful comment, I will go check out their blog because it seems likely they also write awesomely thoughtful blog posts. Otherwise, I tend to go check out a blog if I notice the same person has commented a few times on my posts. In that case, they seem to think we have stuff in common, so it's worth visiting!

    If you find a new blog to love and comment often, but never see a comment on your own blog in return, does that diminish your enjoyment of the blog you found?

    I like when bloggers respond to me in some way. If I comment routinely on a blog, I appreciate if the blogger at least responds to my comments on their blog. They don't have to visit mine, but I do like to feel as if I am talking to someone who appreciates what I'm saying, instead of unwelcomingly talking at someone.

    Do you constantly add new blogs to your reader or do you have a pretty select number of blogs that you follow?
    I don't have a set number of blogs to follow, but I try to be fairly selective so that I am not overwhelmed.

    Do you regularly or rarely "clean out" your reader and unfollow blogs?
    I haven't unfollowed too many blogs yet. Mainly I've done so because the bloggers have gotten very negative (every post, every tweet is a sarcastic comment about how a book is horrible). If I notice I've been following a blog for months and haven't checked out a singly post because the titles haven't caught my attention, I might unfollow.

    Do you comment on most blogs that you follow? Or only certain ones?
    I definitely comment on some blogs more than others. But if I'm following a blog and find a post I have something to say about, I try to comment.

    Do you comment on most posts or only a handful?
    Probably a handful. I try to post relatively meaningful comments, so if I haven't read a book being reviewed, for example, I might not comment.

    How do you go through your reader: do you read everything? only things that immediately appeal to you? automatically mark certain things as read?
    I read only posts that immediately appeal to be: books I've heard of, books that look interesting from the cover and title, discussion posts, etc.

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    1. I hadn't really thought of your point about thoughtful commenters being thoughtful bloggers but HELLO that is such a great point. I hadn't really thought about that before, but I am totally going to keep that in mind as I get new comments. AND I agree on visiting blogs of people who comment frequently since you're right about them usually have similar blogs/book taste.

      Love that you like for a blogger to response! Mostly because I do too so I like that I'm not the only one :) And I don't care if they come comment on my blog in return - I just want to see them interacting with my comments so I know they're reading my comments!

      I need to be more selective about following new blogs! And I've unfollowed blogs for the exact same reasons before. It's usually only for attitude, dissimilar reading taste or too much promotional content. Otherwise, I like to keep them in my feed, even if I don't read every post.

      I really like that you only read posts that immediately appeal to you! I need to do something like that, too, and just mark posts as read if they don't grab me from the get-go.

      Thanks for such great feedback!

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  18. This post raises a lot of excellent questions about proper etiquette in blogging. I think that the Internet can make interactions such as commenting seem very impersonal. However, I look at it this way: someone who leaves a comment is talking to me. Would I ignore them if they walked up to me and addressed me in real life? Of course not. I try to respond to every comment someone leaves, even if that comment is something as simple as "Great post!" or even if that comment is obviously just an advertisement for someone else's blog. I do understand, however, that many bloggers get tons of comments and they can't always respond to every one. I also understand if a blogger chooses not to respond to a comment like "Great post!" since there doesn't seem much to say except for "Thanks!"

    I don't feel obligated to follow back people who follow me. I will check out a person's blog if they regularly comment on mine. If I'm not interested in what I see, however, I don't think there's any point in my clicking the follow button just to seem polite. It doesn't seem right to me to make someone believe their follower count is higher than it is. After all, my disinterest isn't personal. My time is limited and I think any blogger can relate. ;)

    Because everyone's time is of value, I try to leave thoughtful comments whenever possible. If it's been some time since I've commented, however, I might leave what I think of as a "friendly" comment--nothing deep, just something to let the blogger know I'm still reading their posts.

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    1. I love how you compare commenting to being approached in real life. That's so true - you wouldn't ignore them if they said something to you on the street - and that's probably why I get frustrated if I never seen a blogger reply. I know you can't reply to EVERYTHING, but I definitely appreciate a solid effort to reply to as many comments as possible.

      I felt more obligated to follow people who followed me when I first started blogging. Now, if they regularly comment, I'm just trying to stop by and at least leave one thoughtful comment to just let them know I've visited and appreciate that they take the time to comment on mine. But I still don't do it consistently - just trying something I'm currently working on.

      And I like your idea of "friendly" comments that basically just say hello and that you're still reading! I know how challenging it is to find the time to do everything, but I also love when someone lets me know they're still hanging around and reading :) I just love that people would take the time to read my posts, whether or not they comment.

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  19. What a great post, Hannah! I'm not even sure where to start with my answer!

    I guess when it comes to following blogs, I try to follow blogs where I "know" the blogger ... like, if we've actually chatted on Twitter and I feel that I can call that person a blogging comrade. I much prefer to recognize the person whose blog I'm commenting on!

    I'm terrible with my Reader ... well, some weeks I'm really good and other weeks I really suck. Though, I try to comment on the really, really important blogs where I really love the blogger. But I also think that if I get really bogged down and can't get around to commenting that the other blogger will understand, since I'm SURE they get what it is to be busy!

    As far as going back to check comments, I really, really prefer it when I can get notification from a blog about replies. Honestly, I comment on a LOT of blogs that it's hard to go back and continue a dialogue! BUT some bloggers can't have plug-ins on their blog, so I get that, too. It can be very difficult!

    And, lastly, when I comment on blogs, I try as hard as I can to leave a meaningful comment. It can be difficult, but I would hate to be that person who just says, "Great post! Visit my blog!" Those can be so irritating!

    Thanks for posting this! :)

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    1. Thanks Kristilyn!

      I really love that you try to follow blogs where you "know" the blogger. It definitely makes you feel more invested in the posts and give you even more of a reason to comment.

      I'm becoming more terrible with my Reader! I think I may be following too many blogs haha! I need to try and follow your example and narrow it down to blogs where I feel connected to the bloggers. And yes, I think everyone can totally understand the feeling of getting bogged down.

      Yeah, I wish everyone could have a plug-in that sent an email notification when you reply to a comment! That would be so much easier!

      Thanks for the feedback :)

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  20. LOVE this post because you totally hit it on the head with so many things I think and worry about! I have to confess too that I am HORRIBLE at replying back to my comments. I used to be so good but then I realized people don't get notified of my response, which isn't an excuse at ALL but when I comment on posts, I don't go back and check for a response usually. I figure if I wanted to talk to that person more about it, I will stalk then on Twitter. Case in point, me tweeting you about your site and this post, haha.

    And I feel like I do the same for people that leave really interesting comments on mine. I'll check out their site and see if I can find them on Twitter for something a bit more immediate in regards to responses.

    And it is SO funny that you asked about how many blogs you follow because I JUST went through and cleaned house a little bit. I just figure I'll be so much more likely to actually look at my reader if I know I am following blogs that have similar reading interests to me.

    Fantastic points and I LOVED the Britney faces...oh my gosh. It makes me wanna 'Scream and Shout', please 'Gimme More'. But wait, maybe not too much more, otherwise it might feel like a 'Circus' which would be way 'Toxic'...in a good way. That too much? The song references? 'Oops, I Did It Again'...I seem to do that 'Everytime'...ok I'm done now :)

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    1. OHMYGOODNESS, I know exactly what you mean about losing the motivation to comment when you realize how few people see that you've replied or check back. I still do it just because replies are important to me, but I know that they aren't to everyone. And I don't unfollow blogs that don't reply - I just sometimes comment less or leave shorter comments since I don't necessarily feel like there's a reason to leave a longer one. But a lot of people have also suggesting following up via Twitter, and that's a really great idea! I hadn't thought about it before, but it's a fast and easy way to let them know that you've read and appreciated their comment.

      Love that you just cleaned house on your reader :) I definitely need to narrow it down to blogs who have reading tastes that are similar to mine OR that have consistently great content that have engaging content.

      I LOVE YOUR BRITNEY REFERENCES. COMMENT FOR THE WINNNNN!!!!!!

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  21. 1. I love this blog post to the ends of the blogosphere. AND I love the Brit .gifs!
    2. If someone often comments with things that make me think or laugh or seem sincerely awesome, I will indeed go and check out their blog in return to see if our styles are the same and if they're someone I want to follow back. Sometimes yay, sometimes nay. But I never feel obligated!
    3. If I'm being totally honest - yes, I will get bummed out if I follow a blog and they never interact with me EVER. I don't know why, but it does. Maybe because I feel like I'm trying to find a sense of community?
    4. I cannot let myself add too many blogs to the reader, but I don't have a set number either. Eventually I'll unfollow if I find myself skipping someone's content regularly so that helps keep things contained.
    5. I comment on about 1/2 of the blogs I follow each day. I don't comment on every blog every day, but I do try to comment on each blog I follow at least once a week.
    6. All of my YA blogs are grouped together, and sometimes that can be an issue. Especially when there are a bunch of like posts that same day (the Marcus Finch stuff, for example) so I just skipped through basically everything!
    7. Sometimes I'm just overwhelmed and decide to mark all as read and move on. It's so much better than trying to cope with the guilt or even feel guilt at all! Blogging is supposed to be fun. It's not fun for me or the blogger if I'm commenting out of obligation verses sincere interest in their post.
    8. I love this. I know I said that but I'm saying it AGAIN.

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    1. 1. The end of the blogosphere? SO FARRRR! And who doesn't love Brit Brit?!
      2. I'm glad to hear that you often go check bloggers who leave interesting comments BUT that you don't feel obligated to do so. Great advice lady!
      3. YES to the feeling of community! That's a great way to phrase it :)
      4. Like that you try not to add too many blogs to your reader and that you try and unfollow ones where you're regularly skipping content. I need to look at my reader with a critical eye!
      5. Comment on each blog at least once a week = TOTALLY MANAGEABLE. Um, this totally might be my new goal/benchmark.
      6. Oh my goodness, I totally skip comment that it all over everyone's blog (like the Marcus Finch stuff).
      7. I need to give myself the freedom to just mark all as read and move on.
      8. AND I LOVE YOUUU! <3

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  22. Stellar gif use, friend. And I say this as someone who is anti-gifs outside of Tumblr at least 85% of the time.

    I'm pretty picky about who I follow via Google Reader, mostly because I will compulsively read, or at least skim, nearly every post that comes through. The only ones I routinely skip are reviews of books 2, 3, etc. in series that I haven't read yet, and obviously promotional "blog tour + giveaway!" etc. nonsense. I know those types of promo posts have their place, but they're never very interesting to me, plus Rafflecopter apparently hates my login information, so entering giveaways rarely works. (So frustrating.)

    For blogs I'm on the fence about reading regularly, but whose authors I like, I follow via Twitter so that I can click through on posts that sound interesting.

    I generally only comment when I have something substantive to say, though sometimes I feel bad about this because without comments, how do we really know that someone took the time to read our posts? This is one of the reasons I really like that Wordpress lets me "like" posts on other Wordpress blogs.

    But yeah, at the end of the day, if I haven't checked my reader for however long and the number of posts seems totally overwhelming, I'll just mark them all as read (and probably check in on a few of my favorite bloggers anyway).

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    1. THANK YOU for your approval of my gif-usage :)

      Hello kindred spirit - I totally understand the need to read/skim everything in your Reader! That's probably why I feel so overwhelmed by my Reader right now. TOO MANY BLOGS! I also skip later books in a series reviews if I haven't read the first, blog tours, giveaways, interviews, certain memes... Haha! So, basically, I just read reviews and discussion type posts. Haha!

      Love the idea of following via Twitter! Then you aren't being taunted with unread posts but still get to stay semi-updated on their posts. Smart lady!

      I like that you can "like" posts on Wordpress! I haven't done that before, but I like the idea that you can show someone you read their post without leaving a comment. And sometimes I feel like I SHOULD leave a comment if I enjoy a post, just to let the blogger know I read it.

      I need to give myself the freedom to mark all as read! EEEKKK!

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    2. FYI, I thought of this post and comment thread tonight, even before I saw that you'd replied to everyone (Side Note: BAD. ASS.) because it'd been ~a week since I last checked my reader, and with nearly 300 unread posts, I gave in and marked all as read. Ahhhhhhhhhh.

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  23. Oh goodness, I just read this and thought: I can't comment fully right now, so I will have to come back! So I do the same as you. I am really disorganized about blog following in general. I have a few that I follow and comment on religiously, and many that I check through fairly regularly and only comment if it is a post that I'm interested in. Or I'll see a post on twitter or fb and click on it anyway. I wish I had a better method. There are SO MANY great blogs out there that it's hard to keep up with them all! I'm a fairly new blogger and still trying to manage reading/blogging/visiting time so it's tough to maintain it all. But I DO try to visit the blogs of people who comment on mine. This is a fantastic discussion and there is a lot more I could say, but I'm going to leave off now. Happy Friday!

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    1. Haha yeah for another "I'll come back later" commenter! I am SO that person :) Especially when I love a post and have a lot to say but don't feel like I have the time to say it all. I need a better system, too, but some commenters here have left so great suggestions and ideas on how I could better organize the blogs I follow. I like the Twitter idea, too, but I also miss a lot on Twitter since I can't always check it throughout the day. Finding the reading/blogging/visiting balance is definitely hard to do! It's been really interesting for me to read about how other bloggers do it. I have some great ideas on things I could do to lessen the stress and develop a system that works for me! Glad you enjoyed the discussion :)

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  24. What a fabulous post! You bring up some really amazing points here, Hannah.

    For myself, if I get a meaningful comment on my blog, I will always reply to it on my own site, and if that person is a new commenter, I'll usually check them out and do some stalking (er...). If they have posts I'm genuinely interested in on their first page, I comment on those and maybe subscribe to their feed. But if it's a busy season for me I may not have time to even do that. It depends really.

    Mmm, as to blogs I follow religiously without getting return traffic: yes and no. I'll probably keep commenting, though I may get discouraged after a while. But honestly, the only time I stop commenting on a blog is if the admin never interacts with me (via Twitter, comment replies, etc.) It's awful, but I don't like spending the time leaving thoughtful and lengthy comments if I don't feel that they're being read. I'm greedy! ;)

    I do definitely clean out my reader fairly regularly. When I first joined the blogosphere I participated in the Follow Friday meme, which was great initially but then left me with a ton of junk in my reader that I didn't care about. So I spent months purging my reader and getting it clear of posts I don't care to read. Except now I'm on the hunt for fantastic and wonderful new bloggers so I don't feel lonely (side note: this search led me to you, so yippee!).

    Anyway. Thanks for such a wonderful and thought-provoking post!

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    1. Thanks Renae! Glad you enjoyed the post - AND I hope you got to read through some of the awesome comments. Everyone is sharing some really great information!

      I like that you always reply - that's so important to me. Even if it means I reply a week later haha! I also like that you try to figure out if you like multiple posts on a blog's first page as your way of judging if you want to subscribe. That's a great method!

      Totally agree on not commenting if the blogger never interacts with you - whether it's on their blog or on Twitter. There is no way I'm going to leave thoughtful and long comments if there isn't any evidence that they've read it or care about those comments.

      YAYYYY for the new blog search leading you to me :) Love to hear that so thanks for the sweet words! And I totally need to do a clean out soon so that I can clear out blogs I'm not regularly reading or commenting on.

      Glad you enjoyed the post and that it's sparked such awesome comments!

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  25. When someone often comments on my blog, I definitely go and check out their blogs and try commenting in return and if I find a blog that I like and leave comments but never see a comment back, I do feel somewhat (only at times) disappointed but I don't stop commenting or reading their blog.

    I keep adding blogs to my reader because I like to have diversity in the blogs that I do follow but I've never cleaned out my reader. I'm pretty much following about a 1000 blogs right now but I only read or comment on the ones that I really like. Sometimes not even that 'cause I get lazy or forget to. I've been wanting to sort out the blogs I follow but I just found it easier to add the ones I like on my own blog and visit from there. I don't like to be this disorganized though.

    This is definitely a very insightful post, Hannah. Good work. =)

    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile

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    1. P.S. I loved how you used Britney Spears' song as the title of your post and the gifs. =D

      Delete
    2. Yay for the Britney love! I like that you make an effort to check out the blogs that frequently comment on yours. That's really cool and something I want to try and do more often! BUT I also like that it's not an obligation - just something that you try do if you can. And yeah, I don't unfollow or stop commenting if people don't visit my blog. I do comment less though if they never reply.

      Oh my! 1000 blogs?! DANG! I don't think my heart could take it - I'd be so stressed! But that's mostly because I'd end up not reading most of it and then I'd keep thinking "but what if I miss something!" haha! That's why I love when blogs do "around the blogosphere" type posts - I find so many posts to read without necessarily having to follow the blog myself!

      Glad you enjoyed the post, Sana! And thanks for the feedback!

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  26. I was 99% positive that I commented on this post. Did I even talk to you about it? I'm not even sure anymore. But I do want to say that this is a BRILLIANT post. "Brilliant" as in: I can relate to it oh so well. Let me answer your questions first:

    1. If someone often comments (thoughtfully) on your blog, do you always go check out their blog and leave comments in return? - I like to think that I do this. I want to do it too. But sometimes I'm so overwhelmed by the amount of comments that I just can't keep up, and yes, I might miss a few. But in general: YES! I try to get back to everyone that takes the time to comment on my posts.

    2. If you find a new blog to love and comment often, but never see a comment on your own blog in return, does that diminish your enjoyment of the blog you found? - Honestly, kind of. I know that these people don't HAVE to get back to me and that I wouldn't want their comments to be forced or anything, but yeah. It still makes me feel a little bad, no matter how selfish that may seem.

    3. Do you constantly add new blogs to your reader or do you have a pretty select number of blogs that you follow? - I have my favorites, but I love finding new blogs to add to my list too. But where I used to follow pretty much anyone who ever commented on my blog, I'm definitely more picky now. I only follow blogs I actually WANT to follow.

    4. Do you regularly or rarely "clean out" your reader and unfollow blogs? - I actually just did that! I had a crazy amount of blogs from Follow Friday things, and though I think that is great, I never great their posts. So why follow them anymore?

    5. Do you comment on most blogs that you follow? Or only certain ones? - I always comment on my favorites, but I definitely need to step it up a notch and comment on more blogs that I follow. When I don't have that much time, I will read posts without commenting on them, even though I definitely want to say something about it. Not cool.

    6. Do you comment on most posts or only a handful? - I don't comment on posts I have nothing to say about. I don't see the point in that, to be honest. Sure, I love spreading the love, but if I have to choose between saying "I know, lol" on every post or writing a LONG comment to a post I actually have something to say about, I choose the last one.

    7. How do you go through your reader: do you read everything? only things that immediately appeal to you? automatically mark certain things as read? - That depends on who wrote the post :) I'm more likely to read everything written by my favorite bloggers, even if I don't have much to say about it. When it comes to bloggers I don't follow as ..... (Thoroughly? I can't come up with the right word, hahaha. You fill in the blanks! :P) I will be more picky when it comes to the posts I read.

    8. Do you sort blogs in any way or are they all just grouped together in your reader? - I have a folder with all my favorite blogs and then I have all of the blogs I follow in my Google Reader.

    Dang it, this is a LONG answer. All I have to add now is that I used to comment so much more than I do now. But recently I've been having so much trouble keeping up with reading and writing posts, and then commenting sort of gets lost along the way. I do WANT to comment more. I just need a little more time. That's why yesterday's Love-A-Thon was such a great thing haha :)

    Lovely post, Hannah. I hope you enjoyed my novel HAHA.

    <3

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    1. Maybe we chatted about this on Twitter? I hate the feeling when I'm SURE I left a comment or discussed a post but then can't remember if I actually did or just thought I did.

      1. Yeah, I definitely don't visit every blog that comments on mine. But, like you, I do try to do this occasionally!

      2. I don't think that sounds selfish! I think it's natural to be a little disappointed when you find a blog you LOVE but then never see them come and visit yours :(

      3. I think I need to learn from you and be more picky! There are just TOO many blogs in my Reader! And I know I'll enjoy blogging and reading blogs more if I just follow those that I really WANT to follow and care about their content.

      4. Yay for cleaning up your Reader! I need to do this soon.

      5. I always comment on my favorites too - but I often save up a bunch of their posts so that I can leave a giant comment dump. :)

      6. I agree on commenting only on posts where you actually have something to say! I'd rather leave fewer, but more meaningful, comments rather than just short ones that don't say anything on every post.

      7. I follow blogs similarly - I read almost everything written by my favorite bloggers and then just a handful of posts from the blogs I like but maybe don't hardcore love.

      8. I agree that commenting is often the first thing to go in the whole blogging cycle. Reading books and writing my own posts is a priority - and commenting is the first thing lost in the shuffle. NEED MORE TIME!

      LOVED YOUR NOVEL! <3

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  27. Yep I try to comment on all blogs I read. I really just read the blogs that interest me in my reader. It is kind of bad, but I try to stay away from book reviews sometimes because I already have way too many books to read.

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    1. Haha I know what you mean about already having way too many books to read! Sometimes I want to avoid reviews for the same reason :) That's one reason I feel NO guilt about skipping reviews for books that don't interest me to begin with. Love that you make commenting a priority!

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  28. I'm a new follower, btw! :D

    1. If someone often comments (thoughtfully) on your blog, do you always go check out their blog and leave comments in return?
    Honestly, no. I try to, but I don't always have the time to visit everyone. I'm more likely to if they leave a link to a similar post though.

    2. If you find a new blog to love and comment often, but never see a comment on your own blog in return, does that diminish your enjoyment of the blog you found?
    Nope. I'm following them because I like their post, not because they like mine.

    3. Do you constantly add new blogs to your reader or do you have a pretty select number of blogs that you follow?
    I try to keep the blogs I follow at a manageable number, but I don't have a set number. I don't follow new blogs often, but every now and then I hunt for new ones. Like today. :)

    4. Do you regularly or rarely "clean out" your reader and unfollow blogs?
    I actually do. Every couple of months, I scroll through the blogs I'm following and if I notice that I haven't found their last few weeks of posts interesting, I unfollow.

    5. Do you comment on most blogs that you follow? Or only certain ones?
    Only a few. I'm more likely to comment on posts in my "Favorite Blogs" folder, but if another blogger has a post that catches my eye I'll leave a comment.

    6. Do you comment on most posts or only a handful?
    It depends. On some blogs I comment on most posts, but I mostly just comment on a few posts here and there.

    7. How do you go through your reader: do you read everything? only things that immediately appeal to you? automatically mark certain things as read?
    I just scroll through until I see a post title or image that catches my attention. Then I'll click on it and read, maybe leave a comment. I definitely don't read everything.

    8. Do you sort blogs in any way or are they all just grouped together in your reader?
    My blogs are sorted. I have a generic "Blog" folder, which is where the majority of blogs I follow are. I need to figure something else out because there's too many in that one folder. Then I have "Favorite Blogs" which is small, and I go through it more carefully. I also have a folder for "Non-Book Blogs" and "Feature and Follow" which is for blogs I found from the Feature & Follow meme.

    To answer your commenting question: sometimes I do go check back to see if I got a reply. That's pretty rare though since I can't remember every single post I've commented on. It's not a huge deal if I don't get a reply though, since I know that I don't even reply to every single comment, although I'd like to.

    Angie @ Pinkindle Reads & Reviews

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    1. Thanks for following! I've noticed you commenting recently - thank you SO much!

      1. I wish I had more time to visit blogs that comment here! There just isn't enough time to do it all. AHHH!!

      2. I agree with you here! I do like to have some interaction with them (with replies or on Twitter), but I don't care if they come back to visit my blog. I follow their blog because I like it - whether or not my blog is to their taste.

      3. I need to keep my blogs I follow to a more manageable number. But I also love seeking out new blogs! It's so exciting to find someone with similar reading taste and great posts. Thanks for including me here! :)

      4. Ooohh good to hear you do this every few months! I need to do this, too. Because why keep following the blog if I'm not reading it or ever commenting?

      5. I like that you focus on commenting on your favorite blogs and then just on individual posts that catch your eye. That seems like a really manageable system!

      6. This depends on the blog for me, too.

      7. I think my problem is that I'm trying to read too much. I need to focus on stuff that catches my eye or grabs my attention instead of trying to read/skim it all!

      8. Again, totally love the idea of a favorite blogs folder! I totally need to do that, too, so I know what posts to prioritize if I only have a certain amount of time to read/comment.

      Thanks for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment! I so appreciate it.

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  29. What I do is this:
    1. Find an interesting blog. Usually through Twitter, links in other bloggers' posts, or because they commented on my blog.
    2. Add it to my Feedreader. I keep things sorted by days, so if I found a blog on a Tuesday I add it to my Tuesday folder. Then I just read whatever's in that folder on that day! Easy-peasy.
    3. Every once in a while go to the stats thing on Google Reader. It'll tell you how often you read posts from a certain RSS feed. If I haven't read a blog for more than a month? I delete it from my reader.
    4. If I DO read a post, I try my hardest to comment on it. If I can't figure out a good comment, I try to "like" it somehow, or share it through Twitter.

    As for my blog-- I try to respond to every comment I get, but it's hard. Sometimes I don't have anything else to say but "thanks for visiting/commenting/etc." and that seems like a waste of time and space. Y'know? I want to continue the conversation, not just run it into a dead end. But it's hard to continue something that's already half dead, which is why I like open-ended comments more. Like, "hey I liked this book here's why. What did you think about [something]?" instead of "lol yeah this book sucked."

    It's nice to get ANY comment, of course! But it's weirdly stressful trying to come up with responses sometimes.

    I DO know that I, personally, pay attention to how much someone responds to comments on their blog, and I do definitely check back for replies. I like knowing that the blog owner is paying attention to her audience, and that she's interested in interacting with them. It's more friendly, I guess? And since *I* like seeing that on other blogs, I figure I need to do the same on mine. Which is where the semi-stress comes in.

    Great post, btw!

    - Anastasia @ Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog

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    1. UMM HELLO GREAT SUGGESTIONS! I like that you have "day" folders. That's such a cool idea, and I haven't seen anyone else suggest this idea. But I love the idea of just reading certain blogs on certain days. I follow blogs through Bloglovin, but I'm reconsidering using Google Reader now that I hear they give you stats on how you're reading posts from a blog. That's so helpful, and I would totally use it to help me figure out what blogs to unfollow. I also love the idea of either commenting or spreading the love in another way (liking/sharing) - that's a great idea!

      AND YES, sometimes it is stressful to try and reply to certain comments! I don't want to ignore certain comments and reply to others, but there are definitely some comments that are hard to reply to and don't give you a lot to say in response.

      Haha yes I definitely think the fact that I check for replies makes me more stressed about replying to comments on my own blog! I know how much I appreciate it, so I always try to do it (even if I know not everyone will come back to check on whether or not I did).

      Thanks for the awesome comment!

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  30. Oh, I love this post!

    If someone often comments (thoughtfully) on your blog, do you always go check out their blog and leave comments in return?
    I try to, yes, but I've been really, really awful at it lately--taking days upon days to even give a comment back, and some days I just forget. I've been using my week off this week to try and comment on other blogs and reply to comments on my own blog, but I've been bogged down with so much blogoversary planning that I've been too busy to do even that lately. But I'm trying to fix that!

    If you find a new blog to love and comment often, but never see a comment on your own blog in return, does that diminish your enjoyment of the blog you found?
    I wouldn't say it would diminish my enjoyment in the blog I found--if the blog has good content, odds are my enjoyment will be the same--but my motivation to continue to comment on their blog will likely decrease.

    Do you constantly add new blogs to your reader or do you have a pretty select number of blogs that you follow?
    I used to have a pretty select number of blogs that I follow, but I've been reaching out, visiting othe rblogs and clicking on the commenter's blogs, etc. lately, because come on, who doesn't like finding awesome new blogs.

    Do you regularly or rarely "clean out" your reader and unfollow blogs?
    I don't unfollow blogs unless the blogger gives me a very good reason to. If I don't see them posting for a few weeks, and when they do post it's only memes, yes, odds are I will unfollow.

    Do you comment on most blogs that you follow? Or only certain ones?
    I try! Right now I'm trying to broaden my blog reading/commenting horizons and comment on more diverse blogs than the ones I've been commenting for months now.

    Do you comment on most posts or only a handful?
    Somewhere in the middle of 'most' and 'handful.' This answer ties into your next question, but I comment on posts that interest me, and, like you said, posts where I have something of value to add. If the most I can muster up about a post is a one or two sentence comment, odds are I won't end up publishing the comment at all, though I do try to say the most I possibly can about posts, so not saying much isn't often a problem for me.

    How do you go through your reader: do you read everything? only things that immediately appeal to you? automatically mark certain things as read?
    I unfortunately really don't have the time to read everything in my reader, so I'm guilty of skimming my reader until I find something of interest to me.

    Do you sort blogs in any way or are they all just grouped together in your reader?
    They're all grouped together. I didn't know you could sort them, actually! I'll definitely have to try that.

    And I don't *always* check back for replies, but when I do and I see that there is none (after a few days or a week), I am a bit disappointed, especially if it is a thought-provoking and discussion-starting comment. Anyways, I feel this comment is getting far too long and Blogger will cut me off soon, so great post! Sorry for the super long comment. *new follower* :)

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    1. Thanks Blythe! I am loving all the great feedback on this post, including yours :)

      I definitely think it really depends on what is going on in life as to whether or not I will visit blogs of people who comment on mine. Like you, I've been trying to stay on top of commenting on blogs I follow and replying to comments on my own blog. I haven't had a ton of time to go and "investigate" new-to-me blogs. But I hope that I do have more time at some point!

      I like that you pointed out that you'll likely still enjoy the blog, but may comment less, if they never comment on yours. I agree that you don't necessarily like a blog less if they don't visit yours, but it does make you more motivated to interact with them if you know they're also responding and interacting with you.

      I agree - who doesn't like finding awesome new blogs?! I think my problem is that I've added too many to my Reader lately haha! And now I'm overwhelmed with posts.

      I like that you're trying to find more diverse blogs to comment on! I know what you mean. I certainly have "favorite" blogs that I'm most likely to visit/comment on, but I do love finding new ones that post different content and things that are really unique to them.

      You're not the first person to mention that you kind of skim your Reader for posts that jump out at you. I need to get better at doing this and not feeling like I need to read/skim them all. It can be exhausting trying to check out every post! And I agree on your commenting habits - I don't usually leave a comment if I can't think of anything beyond a sentence to say (unless that sentence packs a punch haha!)

      I have loved some of the suggestions on how people sort blogs. One commenter suggested favorites, on trial, and commenters (so you can occasionally check in on blogs that maybe you don't love but that take a lot of time to comment on your blog).

      I agree on not seeing a comment within like a week! I usually try to reply within that time, although I'm obviously late on this post. But that's mostly because I had SO much to say to each commenter and wanted to have the time to legit reply to every comment. And now my fingers and brain are getting so tired! Haha!

      Thanks for following lady :) I recently found & followed your blog, too. YAYYY for new blogs to love!

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  31. If someone often comments (thoughtfully) on your blog, do you always go check out their blog and leave comments in return?
    Yes, if it's a person who comments thoughtfully, I usually end up subscribing to their blog and I actually have a folder in google reader called commenters and those are people who I make an effort to comment back.

    If you find a new blog to love and comment often, but never see a comment on your own blog in return, does that diminish your enjoyment of the blog you found?

    Yes. Ugh, so annoying. BUT there are some blogs that never comment back that I still love and will still enjoy, ya know?

    Do you constantly add new blogs to your reader or do you have a pretty select number of blogs that you follow?
    I constantly add, ha ha.

    Do you regularly or rarely "clean out" your reader and unfollow blogs?
    Rarely. I end up feeling bad, but sometimes if I notice I never click through and always skip that person's post, I unfollow.

    Do you comment on most blogs that you follow? Or only certain ones?
    Most, but I am much more inclined to comment if that person responds to their comments. Lately though, I have been really slacking on my commenting.

    Do you comment on most posts or only a handful?
    From my google reader, a handful. Usually I visit the blogs of my favorites and go through and comment on a lot of posts at a time.

    How do you go through your reader: do you read everything? only things that immediately appeal to you? automatically mark certain things as read?
    I usually click through everything, you know using the next button. I rarely mark automatically as read. Granted, I skip all the WoWs and book blast promo things and giveaways.

    Do you sort blogs in any way or are they all just grouped together in your reader?
    I have different folders - Book Blogs, If I Have Time, Commenters, Favorites, Self Help, Authors, Blogging.

    ALSO, I have to admit to being a post hoarder. I usually go through my If I Have Time folder first because it's usually posts that don't matter that much to me, and I go through favorites last and usually click the leave this post unread button so I can remember to go back and comment. Once I've marked the post read it has basically disappeared from the face of the earth.

    ALSO! I totally do come back to look and see if people reply to my comments. It's one of the most important things to me. And I like responding to comments as well -- but from next week until the second week of April it won't quite be so immediate for me as I go back to working a few 12 hour shifts per week (by the end of the day I just want to kick back with a book and a glass of wine, not look at my blog).

    Fantastic food for thought as always!

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    1. Magan mentioned having a "commenters" folder, and I love that suggestion. I love that if it's not a blog I really connect with I don't have to read everything but I can still subscribe and can occasionally leave a comment on a post that catches my eye.

      I totally know what you mean about still loving certain blogs, even if they never visit yours. Some blogs you love regardless! And then sometimes you're like, WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME TOO?! Haha!

      Haha yay for constantly adding!

      I've felt bad about unfollowing, too, but then I remind myself that it's not worth following them if I never read anything. What's the point if I'm always skipping their posts! I also liked several commenter's suggestions to have like an "on trial" folder that I can stick blogs in when I first follow them. If I haven't read any posts for a week or two, I can unfollow. And if I do, I can bump them up into my regular reader feed.

      WOMAN! You are a totally amazing commenter. I love when you go on commenting sprees :) But I also totally understand how there are phases where commenting just gets to be too much. And like you, I'm way more likely to comment if I know the blogger responds.

      I skip all of those type of posts, too, but skim over everything else. I don't comment on it all, but I do try to glance at every post because sometimes a book that doesn't immediately appeal for it (like because of it's cover) can end up being interesting to me if the review is awesome.

      I need an "If I Have Time" folder! Awesome suggestion! I basically go through my reader the same way (if I have time first and favorites last) but I don't have the if I have time blogs separated out. I'm totally going to do that now! And yay for post hoarders! Welcome to the club :) I click "mark as unread" all the time - I can't mark it as read if I have legit thoughts on it that I want to share. Read posts disappear forever and rarely cross my mind again haha!

      Love that you come back and look for replies! Glad I'm not the only one. BOOO to 12 hour shifts! That sucks :( And yes, at the end of those kind of days, you just want to read and not worry about commetning and the like.

      Thanks for such awesome feedback as always! I ALWAYS look forward to your comments and can't tell you how much I'm impressed by how manage to do it all. Totally admire you, lady!

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  32. I just found this post through Radiant Shadows' weekly roundup. Anyway, hilarious timing, because I wrote a post on the exact same topic this past week too. Great minds!

    Anyway, my policy on commenting back is that I try to if I get one of those "Thank you, sweetie" comments, but if it seems like shameless fishing for blog traffic, I don't visit. If someone leaves a good comment, but none of their last ten or so posts call to me, I probably won't comment back, either, because I strive to leave more meaningful comments.

    Doing all the commenting does take a lot of time. I'm trying only to comment when I have THINGS TO SAY and not just because I feel like I should to make the blogger feel better or to get a comment in return or whatever. So I may be skimming more posts, but I'm getting through more and trying to leave only quality comments.

    Oh, I don't go back and check on the comments I leave all of the time, but I do sometimes. If I check on two or three separate posts and the blogger never responds in any way (either there or on Twitter or on my blog or whatever), I'll probably stop commenting, and, depending on how much I like their blog, following.

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    1. Haha! Love that you found me through the roundup post AND that you wrote about the exact same topic! GREAT MINDS :) I'm totally going to be checking out your post, too. I'm really curious to find out if you got similar responses and feedback.

      I like that you don't feel obligated to comment back if you're not interested in the ten most recents posts or so. I have had that happen - where someone comments frequently but I can't find a ton to say on their blog. Mostly because we have different reading taste!

      I love that you focus on leaving quality comments. I totally agree on this one! It can take a lot of time, but I think I need to get better about just skimming more posts. I need to go through my Reader faster so that I get through more posts, even if I'm leaving fewer comments. I think leaving one long, meaningful comment is often more valuable than ten short comments that don't really say anything.

      I'm glad you think replying is important! I agree that I'm more likely to stop commenting if I never see a reply. If I love their content, I won't unfollow even if they never reply. But I will comment less!

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  33. To go point by point:
    - I look at the blog of every person who comments on my blog and will try to do so as long as its feasible. I try to find something to like or comment on. However, there have been a couple of blogs that I just can't bring myself to participate in - fashion blogs that post nothing but photos they don't own without even commentary, or political misguidedness.
    - Does not getting a return comment lessen my enjoyment? In some cases. This is partially why I am more excited about finding blogs I like that aren't hugely well known.. if you expect me to one-sidedly follow your life, it had better be damn good writing, original, and photographed well.
    - I'd love to find more to follow, but I am somewhat picky.
    - I need to clean a few blogs off of my follow list. I've recently dropped a couple - one for habitual meanness, one because she rarely does anything but outfit posts and her style isn't that varied so it bores me, one because instead of telling her interesting personal story (which I know she has) she regurgitates pictures found on the internet. I have been considering a post on why I've unfollowed people, but am not sure I can do it without actually really calling people out and I don't want to be ungraceful. At the same time, I think it would be interesting (maybe even helpful?) to some people.
    - I try to return comment everytime I get a comment, but only if I can say something genuine when I comment.
    - I try to comment only when I can say something unique/that adds value. So I'm more likely to comment on a smaller blog I follow more often; my two cents means more to them, and on a bigger blog, someone's prob already said what I would say.
    - I don't treat the reader as a list of things I HAVE to read, just a list of offerings. So if it doesn't look interesting, I don't read it. I let the "new posts" section get really backed up and messy.
    - Mine are basically sorted between Wordpress blogs, and ones that aren't that are on my Bloglovin'.

    And my last thought... I don't need a lot of interaction with every single blog I follow.. but I really really like finding bloggers who provoke me to have something thoughful to say, and who then have something thoughtful to say back. I like blogs that get me thinking to the point that it causes me to write my own post after I comment.

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    1. Love that you look at the blog of everyone who comments! It's gone in phases for me - sometimes I have more time to do it and sometimes that's the thing that I have to drop.

      I agree about finding blogs where I'm able to build a relationship with the blogger! That totally changes my reading experience and makes following so much more fun!

      Interesting to hear your reasons for unfollowing people! I have unfollowed people who seemed mean or incredibly snarky/negative, but mainly I unfollow if we don't have similar reading taste or they've started posting mostly promotional content (blog tours, giveaways and such).

      I like the idea that you feel like you often have more to say on a smaller blog because it hasn't already been said by someone else. That's a good point! I haven't even though about that before, but now that you mention it I know what you mean :)

      And I really LOVE the idea of bloggers provoking you to write your own posts! I love when that happens. When you can't even express all of your thoughts in a comment because you just need to write a big long post of your own to get it all out!

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  34. This post really got me thinking about my blog reading and commenting habits. I'm sure each of us bloggers has our own style of reading and commenting on other blogs, so I guess I'll just share my thoughts.

    1. I'm notorious for taking forever to read through the comments on my blog. But when I do, especially if I don't recognize the person, I do try to click through and check out their blog for myself. I tend to leave a comment or two on posts I find interesting.

    2. I never expect a comment for a follow/comment. I follow blogs out of the pure joy that they bring me. I love finding new blogs with awesome posts!

    3. I have various folders in my Google Reader that basically list my priorities when it comes to blog reading. First, it's divided into topics (Books/Fashion/Lifestyle), and then we have divisions within those (Favorites/Good/Test Run). Obviously, I go for the favorites first, and then sometimes rifle through the good ones. In the case of test runs, they're usually there for two weeks and if I end up not consistently enjoying their posts, I just weed them out.

    4. I go through Google Reader about once a month and try to clean it out. If blogs are inactive or if I don't love the direction they're taking, I tend to unfollow them.

    5. I'm a commenter, and I LOVE commenting on posts! I find, in general, that I always have something to say in response to a post, and I try to let that shine through comments. It leaves me joy to leave them!

    6. I usually skip memes in my Reader if I don't feel like checking them out. But I usually try to read through everything, and then click through to the ones I want to comment on.

    Hope that helps you!

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    1. If there is one thing I have learned from this post, it's definitely that everyone has their own reading and commenting habits. And I love that everyone has been willing to share so much about how they do it!

      1. I like that you try to visit commenters when you get a chance. And I especially like that it's when you can, not that you feel like you MUST.

      2. I agree with you on this one! I never expect a comment in return, but I've been interested in how many people do or would prefer that. I follow and comment on a blog because I love it (not because I want them to visit mine) - but I DO appreciate some interaction from those bloggers. Even if it's just on Twitter or in a reply!

      3. Love your various folders and priorities! A few people have suggested a similar system, and I'll definitely be trying it out. I especially like the idea of creating a "test run" folder to help me weed out blogs that initially interest me but then I don't really end up loving.

      4. Once a month! Love that idea. I feel like I'd be less overwhelmed if I frequently went through and weeded some blogs out.

      5. YOU DEFINITELY ARE AN AWESOME COMMENTER! I seriously get so excited when I see emails with your name in them because I know that means I'm going to get a little of your sunshine on my blog and it makes me SO happy!

      6. I skip memes, too. And I read through almost everything, but I do think I need to start giving myself more permission to skim posts on blogs that I like but maybe aren't my favorite. I want to spend more time on my favorites!

      SO HELPFUL! Thanks sweet lady :)

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  35. When I first started my blog I visited pretty much everyone who commented on mine. As time went on, though, I got more comments and had less time to visit. If we seem to have something in common or your comment is super fantastic, though, I'll probably still click over. I've met a few really good blogs this way :]

    I don't feel any less love for a blog if I never hear from them because I know it's impossible to comment back or visit everyone and I started following the blog because I liked it, not because I expected anything.

    It's actually pretty rare for me to follow new blogs. I like to keep my reader manageable so I'm actually reading posts and finding time to comment. There's no point if I just sit there and scroll past everything simply because there's just so much. If I find I'm usually skipping past a lot of posts by the same blog then I'll unfollow them and that usually leads to me pruning my whole reader.

    I only leave comments when I have something to say. I always want to leave more comments, but if all I can think of is "Great review, I liked this one too!" then I won't leave one. It doesn't feel very genuine and I know that I'd personally rather have 2 genuine comments on a post than 25 "Great reviews!"s.

    I usually only read a post if it interests me. If I've already seen a milliondy reviews for a book then I'll kind of just scroll down and skim enough to find out if they liked it or not and move on.

    I don't usually check back for replies because sometimes I can't even remember what posts I've commented on (sad, I know) and I'm kind of terrible about replying to people's comments. A lot of times I have something I'd like to say, but just figure people aren't really going to see it. Honestly, I'd prefer someone reply to me on Twitter because I know I'll get it then and it makes it easier to have a conversation. I don't do that myself either, though so..... Maybe I should just start doing it and not worry about being a weird :P

    Great post, by the way!
    P.S. I totally read a post, decide I want to comment on it, but not right now, then mark it as unread too :P

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    1. I definitely have less time to visit commenters, but I'm trying to make the effort as I have time. I like that you make it a point to check one out if it seems like you have things in common or the comment is really above and beyond awesome. I've also found great new blogs through comments, so that's why I want to continue to do it as I can now :)

      Love that you follow and comment with no expectations! That's seriously so awesome. I think expectations can totally be a killer in life and in blogging haha!

      Yeah, I definitely agree that there's no point if you're scrolling past everything. I need to spend a little time really going through everything in my Reader and making sure I really care about the blogs I'm following.

      I do the same thing with commenting, and I totally agree. I'd rather leave one meaningful, long comment that actually says something than ten comments that just say "Good job!" or the like. Not that I don't appreciate both. I just know that I try to pick and choose what I comment on, although I'm more likely to comment on everything for certain blogs.

      You're not the first person to suggest replying on Twitter, and I think that's a great idea. It's so much more immediate and you know that the person is going to see it. I think I need to start trying to do this more often! And I don't think it's weird to do that at all - though I know what you mean about not always making the jump and tweeting about something comment-related.

      Glad you enjoyed the post, and thank you so much for leaving such a great comment! And aren't you so thankful for the mark as unread button? So helpful haha!

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  36. I definitely organize my blogs (which is why a reader that allowed me to move them around was so important after the Google Reader announcement) and put the blogs of my frequent commenters and friends at the top right under the comics and Cute Overload (gotta get my cute fix!). That way when I am sleepily scrolling in the morning, I will start at the top at the blogs I most want to comment on. I pretty much never get through all my subscribed blogs, but that's okay. The ones at the bottom are backups for when I do want more to read. I also prioritize blogs that have awesome discussion posts :D since I really like to read and respond to discussion posts.

    As for commenting, oof I need to get better both on responding to my own blog's comments (I always do, just sometimes a week late....) and commenting on other people's blogs. It's a process ;-)

    Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings

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    1. I love that you separate blogs into frequent commenters, friends, etc. I've started doing that based on the feedback I got on this post, and I've really liked it. Helps me prioritize what I want to read/comment on next!

      I totally agree with you on discussion posts! I almost always read them and typically try to comment on them. I'm most likely to totally skip on certain memes, blog tours, etc. type posts (more promotional things).

      I need to get better at responding in a timely manner, too. I always reply, but it's not always within the week. Struggle!

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