For readers who comment on my posts

Dear Readers:
I love reading your comments. I read each and every one of them and enjoy thinking about them. Sometimes I revisit your comments multiple times and think about the new perspective you’ve brought to my idea in the blog post.

Since the primary audience for your comments is me, I have a question for you, reader, about how you would like me to respond. The question is very simple and comes at the very end of this post. I’d be very grateful if some of you would comment expressing your opinion about how you’d like me to respond to comments.

My reaction to comments

My first reaction on reading a comment is happiness. You liked the post enough to bother writing a comment yourself. I wish  comments had “like” buttons where I could express the fact that I read them and liked them. But unfortunately, comments don’t have “like” buttons.

Now, beyond this, comments are subjective pieces of writing. So any reaction I have after this initial feeling of happiness totally depends on the comment.

You can only imagine how glad I feel when I get a comment such as this:”your posts are very insightful. I love reading them! Please keep up the good work 🙂 )” [On the Solitary and the Social Scholar by lisarmorina]

My possible response to such a comment is a “Thank you” or a smiley face. But this platform does not let you smile too many times nor say “Thank you” more than once. You get a stern warning saying “Duplicate comment detected.” And being identified as duplicate each time I smile takes a long time after which I’m taken back to a different spot on the original page so  I have to scroll around to find the person I was responding to again.

You will have noticed that if a comment brings up a point to which I can respond by extending, refuting, clarifying or explaining something I write a lot. My response to these comments come naturally. The length of my response does not correspond to the length of the comment. Sometimes, even a one line comment might strike a chord about something I wanted to say and I write a long response.

Sometimes, there are great comments, long or short, that say it all. They are complete, they express their ideas well and I feel I have nothing to add. I am always grateful for such comments and proud that the commenter chose my page to put his/her insightful ideas on. I have sometimes thought about just doing a post on these great comments.

To such comments, I sometimes respond by simply saying “Great points!” “Thank you” :), pleasure to read etc. But I realized from the joking reaction of a commenter in my last post On the solitary and the social scholar [ I said “Good thoughts!” in response to his comment to which he replied “Do you have a two word response-limit or something? :P”] that some people might be misunderstanding by brevity as terseness or unwillingness to engage.

That made me think. Would it have been best for me to not have responded back at all? Or would commenters like a short response such as “Good points” or “Thank you” as acknowledgement of me having read their comment?

In addition to this, I realize that too many of my one-word or two-word comments might be cluttering people’s feeds. A WordPress post recently advised that it wasn’t, in fact, a good idea to respond to all comments:

But don’t reply to every comment. If you have quite a lot of comments and you reply to each with a simple ‘thanks,’ your comment thread isn’t going to be as interesting to readers. Think of your replies as a way to add something substantial that will build on the discussion..

So far, I was thinking that acknowledgement is better in a word or two than no response, but perhaps commenters would rather not get such one or two word responses?

The questions

So here are my questions for you:

If a comment has already made its point really well and I have nothing to add(if I even have the slightest bit to add, rest assured I will. You all know how garrulous I am!)

  • A. Would you like to see a thank you or a smiley as acknowledgement?
  • B. Would you rather I did not respond at all and clutter the comments section?

You can just comment by saying “A” or “B.”

I’d also be very curious to know why you would prefer one or the other so do tell me if you have time. I’ve been commenting on other people’s posts and I know what I’d like myself but don’t want to influence  people with my own likes :)!! And of course, it pleases me no end to see readers in conversation with one another in the comments section.

Thanks for all your support. It’s been great reading you all.
BW

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