Is the Comment Section for You or Your Commenters?

When I leave a comment on Ari Herzog‘s blog, I tend to receive a reply within a matter of hours. Yesterday I left a comment on Micah Baldwin‘s blog, and didn’t hear anything from him until this morning.

I don’t know; perhaps he was just busy yesterday. But suppose this is part of a strategy: you blog, then commenters get to have their say. Perhaps we may as a community decide to interpret things a certain way, apart from what the original writer intended. Then after some time, the blogger returns and responds. And a new round of conversation is stimulated.

I think it’s an interesting idea, giving the commenters some encouragement to express themselves without an immediate response from the original author. Micah can respond to a number of posts one after the other, which is likely more efficient for him, and it may bring back some people to the post now that there is a bit more overall discussion.

What to you think: this is a good approach?

6 thoughts on “Is the Comment Section for You or Your Commenters?

  • The most effective conversations, IMO, are the ones where authors can respond to comments — at least interesting ones — shortly after they’re posted. The time-sensitivity of responses is somewhat lower when comments are threaded, so authors can jump back to an interesting comment to start a new thread.

  • that was actually another consideration I had: do different types of comment threads encourage a different approach? For example: if you only get notified when your comment is responded to, rather than when anyone responds.

  • I go back and forth on this concept. Sometimes I respond individually to commenters within nested threads. Other times I respond to many in a bulk comment. As to how soon depends if I am seeing the comment in my WordPress dashboard or by email notification. (Because I moderate the first two comments someone makes, I tend to visit the WP dashboard twice or thrice daily if around, or less frequently if mobile, to approve the non-spam comments. Then once someone’s second comment is approved, subsequent comments appear in my email as a courtesy FYI.)

    All this to say it depends. I’d prefer the author respond to me if I ask a question or to ask me a question if I write something that inspires such. I also enjoy commenting on blogs when other people comment on my comments, as happened moments ago when Matt commented about my comment to John.

    The other question, Andrea, is whether you prefer to receive a comment response or an email response. Or both.

  • I’d say it depends on the topic as well as the preferences of those involved in the conversation. Some like to give forethought to their comments and replies, others like to respond immediately and then bounce ideas back and forth. It’s kind of like instant messaging vs email, or speed chess vs chess.

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