Should I comment or should I reciprocate?


Are you a blogger? Then, you may have asked yourself this question a few times:

Which do you prefer?

A) Responses to your comments on another’s blog

B) Reciprocation from the blogger via a visit/ comments on your own posts


I asked this question on my Facebook page about a week ago and although only a few people answered it, what was interesting was the responseΒ that I received.

poll results



As a rule, I try and reply to comments left on my blog, but there are days when it just becomes too overwhelming and I satisfy myself with saying a general ‘Thank You’ in response.

If you notice, 75 % of respondents in the poll preferred it when the blogger returned the courtesy of their visit. That just makes sense, obviously.

What it essentially tells me is that many of us think alike. We are very happy to read another’s blog and leave meaningful comments on their posts. Trust me, this goes beyond the perfunctory comments that people generally leave on posts, such as ‘Nice post’, ‘Brilliant!’ or (my personal favourite) ‘Awesome!’ πŸ˜‰

I must confess, though, that I have left similar comments myself, especially when I was rushed for time and blog hopping my way across a grid that contained over 40 entries! But, by and large, I try and leave a comment that says something which the writer will appreciate.

Then, I am faced with a bigger challenge. What if I do not understand what the writer has written?! Yes, that happens. A lot! Sometimes, I stare at a post, every which way and cannot for the life of me figure out what it means. It was either too abstract in expression or was on a subject that I could not relate to at all. So, I do the worst thing possible. I quietly slink away, without leaving a comment. I know that I should be punished severely for that, since it violates basic blogging etiquette. But, honestly, what do I say if I did not understand the post at all in the first place?

Here’s the thing about me: I am honest to a fault. In the past, as a teacher, I have been known to be brutally frank with my students when it came to critiquing their work. For the most part, it went down well, however, I am sure I’ve earned a few choice curses in my day. Most people cannot take criticism, if it was served to them on a silver platter with bells on, for good measure. It took me a long while to get used to it myself.

So, as a rule of thumb now, I do the following, if I find an error/ something wrong in a post:

I message the blogger privately, on Twitter or Facebook, and let them know of it, constructively. So far, it hasn’t backfired.

Oh, and I welcome you to do the same for my posts. Find something you don’t like, feel free to let me know. I just ask that you do it nicely πŸ˜‰

For the posts I do not comprehend, the battle Β rages on. Yes, I am still beating the retreat.


What about you?

Do you prefer responses to your comments or visits from the bloggers in return?

{That poll is still open for votes, by the way, so hop over and tell me what you feel here.}


Linking this to Day 2-Β Answer a QuestionΒ over at Write Tribe

We are Rediscovering our Blogging Groove this week!

Head there to read more Questions and AnswersΒ πŸ™‚

36 thoughts on “Should I comment or should I reciprocate?

  1. After having been away from blogging over the summer, I am still trying to figure out where I really stand right now on commenting policies for myself, or how I want to consistently respond to other people commenting on my blog.
    Replies and comments would be nice, but both can also be overwhelming, especially when connecting via blog hops, and trying to make the rounds to as many blogs as possible. Maybe that is just because I am feeling a little overwhelmed getting back into things though. Nice blog!

  2. “”Sometimes, I stare at a post, every which way and cannot for the life of me figure out what it means.””
    SO much I could relate to, and as you said..I keep mum, maybe thinking it would offend the writer and may question the sense of creativity !!
    But yes, its against blogging ethics and I really don’t know how to respond to any post of that sort..!!
    And about perfunctory comments, yes I admit; even I do it sometimes!!

  3. Here is what I feel! When comment on your blog, and that comment is a question or any kind of interrogative sentence, I want a reply. I won’t ask if I did not want to know, right?
    I think it is important to comment on other blogs because I love reading comments on mine as well!
    The only challenge I face is to have nothing to comment. Like for this blog of yours, I love reading your posts, but most times there is nothing I can really say, I just really like it. In that case a comment like Love it, Awesome etc work and so does the LIKE button.

    To be honest I stalk your other blog like a hawk!

  4. I do the same. I comment on each post that I get and appreciate with my honest feedback. If I find something disagreeable, I provide a constructive feedback as politely as possible.

    And for the ones which I don’t get, I feel it’s okay to not leave a comment. Perspectives have a lot of shades in the spectrum and we cannot expect everyone’s to match πŸ™‚

  5. I have some kind people around me (you included!) who have pointed out few grammatical errors in my post! So thank you! πŸ™‚
    To answer your question, I think yes to both. Although I get late in replying to the comments on my blog, I get around to it. And I think it is important to visit back the peer blogs for it helps in the interaction and building of the community!

  6. I have had this internal debate a thousand times. And I too think that commenting on reader’s blog takes priority than replying in the post.
    If I donot understand a post, I usually refrain from leaving a comment. πŸ™‚ take the safe way out.

  7. I’d really like it if folks did what I do. Visit. When another blogger visits mine, I generally hop over to check out a few posts and even follow it if it’s something that really interests me.

    Reciprocate. When someone leaves a comment at my blog, I always, always, always reply to that comment, even if it’s only to let them know I’ve seen it. Way too often I leave comments on blogs and wonder whether the blogger even bothered to read it because there’s no reciprocation. I reckon my life is as busy as anyone else’s and if I can do it, so can other bloggers.

    Well, you asked for it; there’s my two cents.

  8. I usually reply to comments left on my blog and reciprocate. But what’s my preference is a tough one to answer. So in true Libran style I’ll just sit on the fence and say both πŸ˜€

  9. I like both too Shailaja if there were such an option as I think it’s only courteous for a response, even a brief acknowledgement if need be at times. However, I think it’s also courteous to reciprocate on each others blog postings, though I have discovered that can be time-consuming especially when writing every day. For the posts I sometimes do not understand and/or relate to much, I post something positive about it in an authentic way, whether the use of the words/language/imagery/photos etc. πŸ™‚ <3

  10. I try and reply to every comment that I get. And I try and leave a comment on every post I read. If I don’t understand it at all, I have actually messaged the author to let them know. Of course not many have taken it in good light. But I try not to leave generic comments. πŸ™‚

  11. I like the comments as I know the person read it and liked it at some level. but, ‘all the above’ is what I will prefer. Pls pls, do point out improvements to me.

  12. I too have faced similar situations when I just couldn’t connect with some of the blog posts I read. I have at times done what Shilpa suggests in her comment here – went to some other post on the writer’s blog, and at other times have simply left the blog without commenting on any post. Personally I try to reply to each comment left on my blog, even if it is a quick thank you, but sometimes I am also quite late in replying. As far as reciprocating by visits, I try to do it as much as possible, but I am sure I also miss it at times. I just hope those who read/comment on my blog aren’t discouraged by that πŸ™‚

  13. I love when peopke comment. I do welcone private emails, when appropriate or warranted. I especially appreciate visitors in response to my visits. I think it is courteous.
    When I comment, I try to find something positive to say, even if I don’t “get it” or appreciate the topic/genre. Perhaps they used good detail, imagery, or dialogue. Very seldom do I say nothing.
    This was a good, relatable post. Thanks!

  14. Why isn’t there a both of the above option given? But if I must choose then it would be the second one. In the beginning of the blogging days there were times I quietly come and read the post and go without commenting, only because I was shy. Now I try to comment as much as my time permits. I make sure to reply to all the comments in my posts in one or two days time atleast and I do visit the regular commentors minimum. But there are times when a perplexed post makes me speachless and I leave quietly. If you ever got puzzled with my writings I would like to know right away. Do not hesitate to put that in the comment, shailaja.

  15. I’m grateful for every comment left on my blog, and am committed to responding to all of them to keep the conversation going. I so wish I had time to reciprocate with a visit to everyone’s blog, but there are only so many hours in the day (especially when one is away from home on vacation)!

  16. Any sort of criticism by well-wishers I take it into consideration and errors or grammar mistakes – I correct immediately.

    I have also walked away without commenting on plenty of posts because I just didn’t understand it or couldn’t relate to it..

    I would prefer a return visit to be frank. It kind of seems rude when I keep coming around and the other person doesn’t.
    I also would like to see a reply to my comment..
    So, I guess its both.

  17. For me, it would be both. And yes, when some posts are too cryptic, I do the vanishing act from that post and move to read some other post on that blog. And not everyone is as receptive to critique. I am thankful for two friends who give me the feedback on some posts though I wish they could do that for all posts! πŸ˜€

  18. To me I’d much rather see a reply to the comment. I don’t comment on blogs specifically for traffic. It’s nice when people hop over and read, sure, but it’s more about connecting with people than hoping for reciprocation.

    1. And a reply you will get, Amanda πŸ™‚ I actually love that about blogging. The connection, the link that we feel with fellow writers, is something that is so intangible, but present. Thank you for being honest. I adore that! πŸ™‚

  19. Why isn’t there all the above option? πŸ˜€ I quietly read comments and try to read the post again and if still is way beyond my level, I run away surreptitiously πŸ˜‰
    (P.S. you’re free to send me the criticisms directly on blog posts too as long as it reaches me πŸ™‚ )

  20. I am one beneficiary of your ‘error pointing’ ways. I’ve been saved many a typo thanks to your eagle eye. So thanks. And I want both.. a reply and a comment. I promise not to write cryptic posts and not too many either.

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