Monday, October 01, 2007

How Do You Ensure to Reply Them Back ?

You create a blog. You start writing posts.
People come, read and sometimes leave comments.
You reply to those comments. Slowly your posts increase in number and so do your readers and their comments. Some readers go through your archived posts and comment on them as well.

You add one or two more blogs under your belt; also start writing for some community blogs.
Now the question is, how do you keep track of all the comments or how do you ensure that you reply to all those comments coming from different sources to your different posts ?

Well for me, on an average I get approximately (ok, minimum) 12-15 comments per day including comments on my archived posts. At times, it is very difficult to reply to all of them (Oh, I wish I could say just a ‘thank you’). Do I loose track of unreplied comments ? No.

My five point procedure is as follows:-

. I have comments linked to my mail-id, so I get an intimation about a new comment’s arrival on my ‘xyz’ post.
. I have also used filters to segregate them blog-wise and from other normal mails coming to my inbox.
. I normally pick up one post (starting from the latest one) and if possible, reply to all the comments in sequence.
. If time permits, proceed to another post/blog.
. I don’t delete those comment-mails till I reply them.

I would like to know how do you handle this ? Do you cater to comments on daily basis or get them accumulated and reply over the weekend ? Do you leave some comments unreplied ?

I know of a blogger friend who uses comment moderation for this purpose. What’s your take ?

I am trying to know the best method to use.
Thanks.

Current Song:- Piya Tose Naina Lage Re, Jane Kya Ho Ab Aage Re – Lata Mangeshkar
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62 comments:

Catmoves said...

When you find out cuckoo, please let me know.
I use gmail to find comments on posts. It used to notify me when someone first posted, but recently it only sends me an email after I've read and commented on the comments. Big help that is.
I use Blogger's feature that allows me to see and ok the comments for publication to keep abreast of new things.
Failing that, I use my own listings of blogs to check out the sites.

GMG said...

It seems I'm the first here, and I'm so happy that you're not posting on Tombstones and Graveyards, the DP October Theme... ;))
Actually, I do exactly the way you do. Les beaux esprits... The only point is that I usually answer during the weekend. Impossible to make it daily or better nightly...
Have a great week!

GMG said...

Oh, catmoves moved earlier...

ashes said...

:) That is one responsibility that comes with a huge readership.

Well, I do not get many comments, for the simple reason I do not have many posts :). But the approach you follow is what I would have done, a pretty organized one I must say. Using filters is a good idea, and getting comment emails is the best way to avoid leaving out unreplied comments.

I believe you should not restrict yourself to answering the comments daily or on the weekend. Generally people blog/comment as a leisure activity, so they can wait. Similarly, you can use reply at your leisure, depending upon how tied up you are with other important things. But yes, I would not leave unreplied comments.

Using comment moderation with a purpose to reply to a comment as soon as you approve it might pressurize a bit. Also, that would mean you would not approve the comment until you have the time to reply to it, thereby depriving other readers from it.

Pijush said...

I track and reply comments almost the same way you do(except I do not use filters). But I get few comments per day, so it’s an easy job for me.
I can suggest one thing. You can keep a recent comments box in your blog which reflects last N comments (depends on how many comments you want to show) irrespective of the posts. The links will take you directly to the comment and you can save some time. :-)

ozlady said...

Cuckoo - I had too much to say on this to put here, so please see my comments and link back to you on Comment Management.

Thanks for addressing this - it made me finally action the tool that I used in this post.

Cuckoo said...

Catmoves,
My post is to find out the best method used. Let us have some more comments and see what is the best !!

Oh, I also have faced that problem when I had linked the comments with my hotmail account but now after linking them with gmail, I am getting regular notification.
I use Blogger's feature that allows me to see and ok the comments for publication to keep abreast of new things… That’s called moderation but I am not in favour of that. It denies the commenters to see their comments till I do an ‘OK’. Many times in my absence they participate in a discussion by reading each others comments which I think is a healthy sign. They don’t feel left out. ;)

Cuckoo said...

Gil,
Ha Ha.. Did you really want me to do one ? ;)

I do exactly the way you do. Les beaux esprits... Hmmm.. One more like me. Aah if possible, I try to reply on daily basis, don’t like to keep things pending unless I am very busy/out of town. Keeping comments for the weekends would be dangerous to my health. ;)

bEAST said...

Oh buoy! This is a difficult task indeed, but as a dedicated blogger you are supposed to do it :)

I dont receive much comments and thus find it easy to reply to them. However, I have found that not many people are aware of the RSS feeds for comments. Yes the coments have an RSS feed too. The following are the RSS feed links for comments
1. For blogger http://REPLACE_WITH_YOUR_BLOG_NAME.blogspot.com/feeds/comments/default

2.For Wordpress
http://REPLACE_WITH_YOUR_BLOG_NAME.wordpress.com/feed/

Add these links to your Google reader or whatever RSS reader you use. Do not read the feeds unless and until you want to reply to the comments. So all your unread feed items are teh comments you havn't answered yet :)
Simple easy and effective :)

bEAST said...

Whoops! The Wordpress RSS feed for comments is

http://BLOG_NAME.wordpress.com/comments/feed/

Cuckoo said...

Ashes,
:)
Yes, being an organized person, I think this is the best what I am doing unless someone else comes up with something even more interesting. Waiting for more comments.

Well, first, I don’t want to keep things pending, so try to finish off them daily/alternate days, be it very late in the night. Of course, it also depends on how tied up I am & how many pending comments I have. :(

I use comment moderation only in cases of quizzes. :-)

that would mean you would not approve the comment until you have the time to reply to it, thereby depriving other readers from it. .. Spot on ! That’s the foremost reason for me not to enable comment moderation. I want my readers to interact/discuss with each other in my absence. They should not feel left out. ;)

Have you read the comments on my previous post ? Heated discussions (read accusations).

Cuckoo said...

Pijush,
:) One more person who uses my method.

You can keep a recent comments box in your blog… I also thought so but then comments on my blog are fairly long ones, they’ll occupy a lot of space & and keeping only 4-5 comments won’t serve the purpose. I can utilize that space for something else. :-)

Cuckoo said...

Ozlady,
Checked your post & commented as well. I knew about comment management plugins. :-) . When I shift to WordPress, I’ll definitely use that tool.

Thanks for the mention.

Beast,
FYI, I am aware of those RSS feeds for comments. :-)
Never used though. I thought they are more useful to the readers, not to me. I think they are for the readers to check if their comments have been replied to or not.

Are you using it ?

bEAST said...

Yes the comments feed is for readers, but it does make an effective tool for the purpose nywayz. The proposed method is just an adaptation to suit the needs :)
Ya, I do use Comments feed, but not for keeping an eye on my own blogs ;)

Cuckoo said...

Beast,
Yes, I agree. :-)

I do use Comments feed, but not for keeping an eye on my own blogs .. Lolz.. obviously not !

So, how're you doing ?

bEAST said...

Hey! Kindly restrict your offtrack comments to the chatbox on the blog. Lolz hehehe
Me fine. You must be sad about India loosing to the aussies yest :)

shooting star said...

hmm..i got three blogs...one is my personal blog...which i write about whatever i feel like...i never repl,y back on that...coz its like people can leave comments on my feelings and thougths...but am not answerable to any.....the other two blogs...since they are co-blogs and they are quite different in content ...and me and my co-blogger write on very diffrent themes.....we have put blog owner approval..so everytime..someone comments we know.....and sometimes we do reply back...

Craver Vii said...

Email notification is a handy feature, eh? It's funny that you would be asking these questions, because in my opinion, you are a leader in the blogosphere, and more people would probably want to learn from you than can teach you.

We need to respect the notion that your blog is not a full-time job, and you have the freedom to respond whenever you want. Even if it's only on the weekend. Even if it's never.

Um... Hello? ...Hello?

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

I have a very simple system, but it usually works for me - I always read my emails before checking in with my blog - and don't delete any until I am sure I have replied. I also make sure to visit each blog I've replied to at the same time. If I miss a day, I sometimes find it difficult to catch up on the backlog that accumulates - but I usually can, as long as I don't skip any more days. We all have our special friends, they know we love them, and don't mind if we can't always immediately publicly repy - I am in constant email touch with several friends who comment my site. It does take quite an up=keep, one of the reasons I have had to sometimes "t ake a break from the blog" when other commitments call me - I think this is a better option than to neglect those who are good enough to visit with you in good faith. Everyone has a real life to lead, and those who care about you realise that, and do not mind if you need to "step out" occassionally..

Fleiger said...

Apart from the fact that I don't like keeping unread mail in mailbox (which defeats any tracking mechanism), having a different blogger login than your google account to which your comment notifications go is hard.

Moderation helps as I can publish comemnts whenever I am ready to reply. Also, I don't need to reply to individual comments (and bloat comment number artificially) or lose track of old comments.

ashes said...

Oh yeah! There was quite a heat on your last post after I had stopped following comments. Think I should subscribe to RSS feeds on comments too on all your posts...

Pijush said...

comments on my blog are fairly long ones, they’ll occupy a lot of space - no you can specify word limits (I kept 100 letters).

Kalyan said...

Yeah, it does get difficult to answering all the comments especially if you are involved in 2-3 blogs. I generally answer the queries only, if someone has, and if someone has posted a really long comment with lots of analysis related to the post. Initially I have also tried answering in weekends only but then the Comments just accumulate & its difficult tracking all of them....Have a nice time!

Ashu said...

My first visit to your blog gurl and its really cool. I hope I visit here frequently.

I have enabled comments moderation and linked them to my gmail id. Any comment, i get them on the mail and then i decide if to publish or reject.

its tough to handle the daily inflow of comments, but thats what we hv got to do when the blog frequency improves.

Great to be here. Do drop in by mine :)

Keshi said...

Cuckoo u know I hv a very busy blog :) well how I handle it? I just find time somehow...also now I hv become slower with posting new posts...that means I take abt 3-4 days to post a new post. That gives me ample time to comment-reply as well as visit other blogs. besides my typing speed is one of the highest :)


Keshi.

Aditi said...

well for me comments arent so much of a problem anymore cuz my blog has slowed down and gets a lot less visitors partly due to my fewer posts.. My problems are trying to keep up with everyone's posts and making sure i read everyone and all the new ppl who visit as well...and then going back to reading the responses to the comments i made on their posts..

hpy said...

The more comments you get the harder it gets. I usually reply the next morning, but all comments do not need a reply. Usually I reply on my own blog, sometimes I give the answer directly to the person who's made a particular comment.
Sometimes I reply upon reception of the comment, ie if I have the time then and there.
So there's not one method but several.
Will you give a reply to this comment?

Abhijit said...

Cuckoo, you are doing it the way it should be done. I don't find a better way.

Reply should be given the same day. Sending reply on week-end is a crime:-)

I myself don't postpone sending a reply.

Cuckoo said...

Beast,
Ha Ha… Meri billi mujhe hee meow ??

Kindly see the chatbox for your reply. :P

Shooting Star,
Welcome to my blog !! May I ask from where have you stumbled on my blog ?

but am not answerable to any..... Even if they ask any questions ? One straight question here. Please don’t get offended. Then why don’t you make your blog private or disable the comments altogether ? No one will comment or expect a reply.

the other two blogs... and sometimes we do reply back... Here also only 'sometimes' ?? I must learn something from you.

Thanks for your visit here. Keep coming.

Cuckoo said...

Craver,
Oh thanks for being so generous about me. :-)

more people would probably want to learn from you than can teach you…. Ok then, you can assume that I wanted to share what I do for comments. :) Actually, I just wanted to know what people are doing & what is the best method to adopt and from the comments I think what I am doing is THE best.

We need to respect the notion that your blog is not a full-time job, and you have the freedom to respond whenever you want…. Thank you so much Craver for your so kind words. Even I need to respect the comments coming on my blog by replying them. :-)

Cheers!

Cuckoo said...

Carol,
Visiting at the time of replying doesn’t serve my purpose as many a times many of them don’t have anything new on their blog and if I reply to them very late they would probably have 3-4 new posts !!
I check for new updates in my Google reader.

Yes, I too believe that if I take a break for other commitments, my readers will understand it.

Cuckoo said...

Fleiger,
Well, I told you what I do.

Moderation helps as I can publish comments whenever I am ready to reply…. But then are you not denying your readers to participate in discussions in your absence ? What about the people who come again to see if you’ve replied to their comments or not ? At least their comments gets published.

bloat comment number artificially… Hmmm.. was that an allegation ?

Ashes,
I should subscribe to RSS feeds on comments too on all your posts... Do, what you want to. :-)

Cuckoo said...

Pijush,
Oh, I didn’t know that. Probably I’ll try it sometime. Could you please provide me the link ?

Kalyan,
Yes, unless there is some real commitments during the week, I avoid replying only on weekends as it is hazardous to my health. :-)

Cuckoo said...

Ashu,
Welcome to my nest !! Thanks for liking the blog.

then i decide if to publish or reject… Oh, so you like only the goody-goody comments on your blog ? I think I take criticisms in my stride… to grow with them.
My blog is 14 months & 105 posts old. Fortunately till now, I never had to ‘reject’ any comment. Also, I give freedom to my readers to comment as anonymous also (though I don’t like it personally) as some of my posts are on some delicate issues & they don’t like to reveal their identity (again, I must mention here that my readers inform me about it privately).

Thanks for your visit here. As you said, I should see now more of you. Keep coming.

Cuckoo said...

Keshi,
You’ve become slower ?? Ha Ha… What should I say to myself then ?

Yes, I know your typing speed. Sometimes I wonder whether you work as a typist. ;)

Aditi,
Yes, I know you have reduced your writing. Also you have only one blog to cater to.

Good that you are able to keep track of all the new posts of your readers. I am obliged. :-)

Cuckoo said...

Hpy,
Of course, I reply to your comment. Don't worry on that part. I reply to each & every comment in sequence. :-)

Abhijit,
Thank you for letting me know that my method is the best one.

Sending reply on week-end is a crime… Oh Oh, let me take a break now ! Will reply to you after a month. :P

alpine path said...

Looks like everyone's covered all bases already :) I just use mail to check for comments and reply to them then and there. That way, I would be sure not to miss any. But sadly, I would not be commenting frequently as I don't check my mail all the time. Do put the best method as a post :) Now, I'm off to read your prev posts :)

Fleiger said...

Discussions? Well, just goes to show for how long you've been away from my blog.

Beerspitnight said...

that is way too much work...I have nowhere near that amount of dedication...

Rauf said...

Cuckoo ji, its the bloggers responsibility to respond to all the commnets. But the trend is unhealthy. Most of us like to receive only showers of praise and appreciation. There is hardly any blog which works as a forum for a debate and discussion.

Since i travel a lot, all the mail and comments pile up giving me a heart attack. but first things first. i sleep over them. Yes, i sleep for 2 days. then i start replying one by one slowly. i need gaps as i have to respond very carefully to the discussion. i do that mostly early in the mornings.
response from the readers makes the blog richer. i treat them individually with respect. A blog is useless without readers contribution. My readers have helped me change my views on many issues. In between my depressive posts i add some humour at regular intervals providing some relief.

AJEYA RAO said...

Hello Cuckoo,

I answer the comments once in two days and reply in one comment to all that I have recieved in those 2 days. It might work well with less comments but as they increase, they might be a issue to answer all at a time.

Anyway, I had a question for you....I am traveling to Mumbai during first week of Nov....I wish to visit Nasik and Shirdi. Is there any other places around that may not be very famous but worth seeing? Please advise.

Also planning to go to Khandala, i know of the caves but is there anymore such places around?

Pijush said...

Cuckoo,
Here goes the link for Recent Comments Widget .
You can have a look in my blog how it looks. I am playing with templates and widgets these days. Take care mate.

AV said...

wow ! thats a lot of work.. I am not so popular today (and neither are my posts) so I dont face an issue like that :-) but someday if I blog closer to this much and if I get so many comments.. well.. i have added this post to my favourites so I know where to refer to for finer details and opinions ;-) BTW, you neednt reply to this comment individually. lol.

AJEYA RAO said...

Forgot to mention earlier....Left a note to Mr Adnan at his post on 20-20. Check it out pls. I think i have answered his entire post in just one line.:-)

hpy said...

Thank you!

Maverick said...

I too used to subscribe comments thru mail, but then comments are like surprises to me. So I'd like to open my blog with the enthusiasm to see if anyone have commented or not. An e-mail would spoil the whole purpose. So now i dont subscribe to them via email. But by the amount of comments u get, I know this is not quite a good idea for you.

As someone above say, I keep a Recent comments widget, which keep tracks of the lates comments. I usually check comments only on my lates post, so if someone left a comment on an archived post, it would be left unseen if I didnt have this Recent comments widget. And also this widget doesn't show up the whole comment, it only shows up the name of the commentator and the the first few words of a comment. So you dont have to worry abot it occupying more space. ha if 5-10 recent comments dont serve ur purpose, its another thing.

I usually go about replying the comments when I'm at leisure, i dont really wait for them to line-up or anything. And yes, do you knw tht wordpress has this great feature of tracking the replies to ur comments on other wordpress blogs. Its great. n btw ur requested post blogger vs wordpress is in the making :)

Iceman said...

with the readership I have, its easy 2 manage just about 4-5 commenting readers...

besides they won't mind me not replyin :P....

so its not a problem 4 me.... :P

ashishsoni said...

Instead of several blogs...its better to have one........where you post all the stuffs...in this way you have only one thing to post...

...different blogs have different themes..so how can one club all those in one???..

The bottomline is that people should read and enjoy....and to segregate the stuffs....tagging is there to help you... [:)]

ashishsoni said...

**tagging

Read that as Labelling....

Dust Unsettled said...

I hardly get any comments on my blog... Only a few lost souls from Pluto visit me once in a while... And whoever visits once determines to never come back so I am least worried about this... :)

Ash said...

I believe its fairly easier for me, because I have just one blog.

Everyday after posting a new photo - I visit all my "regular" photo blogs and post comments. Finding time to do this everyday is the most difficult part :)

adi said...

comment moderation helps, and when i have replied on my blog, i go to their respective blogs too. that way i stay in touch regularly.
and moral of the story for u being, 'do keep commenting regularly on delhidreams'
;)

desh said...

hola
no one mentioned coComment here!!!

http://www.cocomment.com/

best way to track comments, quite crappy at times byut much easier than the method u follow

rss feeds second best

anyway if u use firefox use this
http://the-enginerd.blogspot.com/2006/02/firefox-extension-for-cocomment.html

this is plugin for cocomment by one of my frnd...

start using this along with the cocomment service and hope it becomes much easier.

~nm said...

I guess comments and replying to them is an issue for bloggers like you who get comments on their blogs in loads! not for us though who rarely get 4-5 oin our posts :)

I wonder if this will be an issue for me ever!!

IdeaSmith said...

Switch to Wordpress. Besides the comments-in-email, you also get to track all comments you've received, sort them by reader, post, keyword etc and yeah, there's a widget for sidebar display of recent comments as well that I find really convenient.

mathew said...

I know its bad..but I do get sometimes lazy with replying to comments..:-(

But I guess with a popular blog like yours..its tough to reply for each comments..isnt.

Cuckoo said...

Alpine,
Oh your method is so simple. And this post is good enough, not going to post another one on this. :-)

Thanks for your visit. Keep coming.

Fleiger,
Hmmm… no comments.

BeerSpitNight,
that is way too much work...I have nowhere near that amount of dedication... Good. Keep it up !

Keep coming.

Rauf,
Glad to know about your views on comments. :-) I too take gaps while replying & it does take a lot of my precious time. And like you, I also try to bring in a humour factor while replying to my comments. :-)

Ajeya,
Yes, your method is ok if one has less no. of comments but not in my case. :) Look at the time of replying. :(

As for your question, can you leave your mail-id anywhere on this blog, even in my very old post ? It’ll reach me & then if you want I’ll delete that comment.

And I saw your comments on Adnan’s blog. Well said !!

Pijush,
Thanks for the link. Will definitely check it. Yes, I know you have this widget up on your blog !! :-)

Have a nice weekend.

Pijush said...

I was trying to comment in your latest touchy post, but the option is not there. :-(

I feel sorry for you, seems you are hurt, but it has a positive part too. I am not going to say who is right or wrong, but criticism is always helpful. It helps in introspecting and opens the door for flexibility.
Just take it easy and try to think why it happened. Sometime I am biased too, I feel my logics are correct, but it may not be the case. Thus I take the criticism sportingly.

Regarding visiting the sites/blogs, its ok for me :-)
Like the way you write and posts. Have a nice weekend Cuckoo.

Cuckoo said...

Amol,
I pray and wish that you become extremely popular very soon. :-)
Thank you for adding this post.

Have a nice weekend !!

Hpy,
You are most welcome. :-)

Maverick,
Well, I know WP has better ways to track comments. When I shift to that, I am coming to you for all the help. Be ready. :P

Recent comment widget seems helpful. Let me explore it.

btw ur requested post blogger vs wordpress is in the making…. Looking forward to it. Thanks.

Iceman,
Very good. :P
I wish that you get 40-50 comments everyday. :-) Ouch ! Don’t hit me now. :P

sAg_NiK said...

In comment section of the LAST post....
New comments have been disabled for this post by a blog administrator.

Hahah....Lolzz ,Cuckoo...

U r really a dorpuk!! :-))
I understand ur fear ...Cuckoo-the lil'-girl ;-)) .

Well,turn-off ur comment mod....NOT gonna increase ur BP ...but,frm next time try to b lil' flexible n confess ur mistakes ....

sAg_NiK said...

ALSO, U may know, there's a LOTTT of difference btwn "is" & "will be" :-)

Only,all don take care abt it!...

P.S.- It may b not long that, ur fantacy-man ,Dhoni will sacked/replaced frm Captaincy and Sachin n Yubi wud b the TEST n ODI captains,respectively .....may b after the Paki-series itself!!!

So,u chilax 1st
AND, now delet it!

Lolzzzz

Sigma said...

I use email notification, and mail filters, too. I reply to them as and when I find time. Since I do not have too many comments, tracking is not difficult. However, I use a simple mechanism - I reply to all the unanswered comments in a single comment, so in my mail, my own comment should be the last one on any particular subject.