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Is There Such a Thing as Blogging Snobbery?

How do you feel when you leave a comment on someone else’s blog, but never hear back from that person (either through a responding comment on their blog or a reciprocal visit to your blog)? What about when you sign up to follow someone’s blog, but they don’t follow yours?

Do you feel slighted? After all, you took the time to interact with them. It’s almost like saying “Hi, nice to meet you” but getting a nose turned up at you in return.

I have to admit, once upon a time, I might have felt snubbed. . . but now that I’ve been blogging for a while, my perspective has changed (and is still evolving). Blogging snobbery might exist in some blogging circles, but I think most of us are down-to-earth, friendly people.

So, if it’s not snobbery, what is it? What happens to prevent bloggers from responding to comments, repaying blog visits, or reciprocating a following?

I think there are quite a few factors that inhibit bloggers. Here are just a few of my thoughts:

1. We should NOT expect responses on agent/editor blogs. My agent, Rachelle Gardner, recently had someone criticize her (in this post) for not taking more time to respond to the comments people leave on her blog. This person obviously felt snubbed because of the absence of interaction.

What we all need to remember, however, is that agents and editors are providing a service to the writing community. They give us advice, insights into the industry, inspiration, etc. And they do it all for FREE. They may or may not be any busier than the rest of us in regards to having the time to interact. But because of the nature of their work, it’s probably best for them to keep some distance from the many people who want to ingratiate themselves into the favor of an agent.

2. Let’s face it, we’re all overwhelmingly busy. When we’re trying to fit concentrated writing time into a jam-packed life, it’s hard to figure out where blogging plays into that. Writing has to take top priority over blogging. If it doesn’t, blogging may become self-defeating.

Life happens, deadlines loom, we get tired and sick. We’ve all been there. So when we find bloggers who aren’t able to respond, we need to give them the benefit of the doubt. Show them some grace. Realize blogging isn’t life and that they probably would have responded if they could have.

3. As we gain more followers and more comments, it becomes even harder to keep up. We’ll have to prioritize at some point. Obviously, I can’t visit all 500 plus of my followers every week, or I’d have a new full time job. I keep a list of my most loyal blogging friends/commentors and I make an attempt to visit them on a somewhat regular basis. I try to repay visits or connect with first-time commentors (via Twitter or an email). If I’m having a particularly busy week, new visitors fall through the cracks. (Sorry if that’s happened to you. It wasn’t intentional!)

I also can’t give thoughtful responses to all your wonderful comments. I read them, try to answer questions, and chime in on the discussion from time to time. But when we start to get more than a couple handfuls of comments on each post, we may have to sacrifice responding individually.

4. Occasionally there are technical difficulties in connecting with others. I usually make an attempt to reciprocate blog followings. However, sometimes the follower doesn’t leave a link or they have too many blogs for me to figure out which one to follow back.

My suggestion for all of us is to make sure our main blog links are easily accessible in the follower gadgets, profile pages, and comments. None of us have time to fiddle around with tracking down fellow bloggers. Let’s make it easy for each other.

What about you? Have you experienced blogging snobbery—a time when you felt slighted? Do you think it was intentional? Or do you think there are times when bloggers may have valid reasons for not being able to respond?

96 comments:

  1. It doesn't bother me if a blogger doesn't respond to my comment, visit my blog, or follow me. I mean, I think replying to comments, especially, is thoughtful and personal. I appreciate when bloggers do that because it shows they value what their readers say. However, if you get 50+ comments on every post, it's obviously much more difficult to reply to every comment, so I definitely understand. Not many people have the time for that. I don't know... I guess I'm pretty laid back when it comes to blogging stuff ;)

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  2. I'm guilty of the busyness problem, Jody. I have two children, work a full-time job, write, and try to fit blogging in around that. The blogging had to take a backseat in the last few months, as the busy season really kicked in. I do feel that I let down my few, faithful readers when I don't read their blogs faithfully, but keeping my blog up and humming has to be lower priority for now. I trust in God's timing to show me when it needs to take a larger role.

    Have a great Wednesday!

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  3. Oh yes, I've wrestled with this dilemma. Some days I'm just too busy. I feel guilt, but I know there is just nothing for it. I can't do it all. I would hope there is grace in the blogging community that allows for such times. :)

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  4. Hmm... Perhaps because I had no preconceptions about what is or isn't done, I've tended to take things as they came in this blogging experience.

    I was momentarily surprised when I first met bloggers whose activity was entirely limited to their own blog. But as long they respond to comments, it's fine by me.

    I view blogging as a means of dialogue, so I tend to stay away from giant impersonal blogs unless they deliver important or useful information. There are often better sources of impersonal information.

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  5. Good post Jody! I don't feel slighted. I hope I don't make anyone else feel that way, esp. because I don't follow those who follow me, only those who comment on my blog.
    Having almost two hundred people in my dashboard might make me crazy! lol I'm anal/curious enough that I'd have a hard time ignoring posts.
    Very, very good post.

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  6. It's certainly a problem. There are some who may abuse the community for the sake of high numbers of followers. But this is why I try to do my best by always responding. Admitedly, it's not always possible. I've struggled this week because I've battled with the flu and I'm sure others have had similar problems.

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  7. Unfortunately, yes.

    I can tell when the person is commenting regularly and enthusiastically on larger, more important blogs authored by individuals who could help them in their "climb" through the publishing world. These individuals become groupies on the sites of authors whose success they admire, agents, publishers, and influential figures with larger blogs. But they don't respond to comments or questions from smaller, friendly folks. And they aren't working under deadlines like you are, Jody. They don't have any contracts. They just want to build a following.

    Sorry I to blow the whistle on some of these bloggers, but I have to be honest.

    It's evident that others are not snobs, just overwhelmed. I can feel the warmth and interest from them right on their blog pages. And once in a while, they communicate with me and I feel honored that they took the time to do that.

    I have the problem with time,too... especially in my situation. I can't get to everyone like I want to, but I treasure each reader, and I try to express that. I have never felt snubbed by you -- you are an awesome blogging friend. You've gone out of your way to make me feel like I matter.

    When I grow up, I want to be like you.

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  8. No I don't feel the blogging snobbery. Maybe I just ignore it, but since I know how hard it is to comment on everyone's blog and on my own, I'm kind of forgiving. Blogging is very time consuming. If it were exercise we would all be pretty fit. Don't get me wrong, I like to be followed and commented on, but it's just tricky to do it all.

    Teresa

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  9. Jody, you hit the nail on the head for me. Once you've been blogging a while, you understand how time-consuming and difficult it can be. Now I'm not trying to sing a swan song and get the violins playing, but it is not easy to get to SO many good blogs and leave meaningful comments regularly. It's all in having good intentions. Martina and I genuinely try to get to as many blogs as we can and contribute meaningful comments. Time is usually what we're short on, though.

    As for our own blog, we try to respond to as many comments as possible. That being said, we're no Rachelle Gardner or Nathan Bransford. Amidst their busy schedules, we consider it a privilege that they blog at all!

    In the end, the blog/follow thing is difficult. But if you trust people have good intentions, you won't go wrong. And after spending time out there connecting with other writers, agents, editors, and so on, I have met incredibly kind and generous people!

    Marissa

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  10. I don't comment often, I admit. I'm just one fish in a pretty big ocean. But I want to say I'm with Teresa. It is hard to do it all and work/mom/write/live. I do what I can with the time I'm given, and know that others are the same. Some have more time than others, that's all.

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  11. Yes, but I refuse to ever feel like I'm in middle school so it doesn't bother me. I take it as feedback too. With all the blogs out there - not all of us can comment on all of them. Impossible!

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  12. Sure, I've felt snobbed before, but I never truly took it personally. Your comments are so true. Everyone is busy and working hard. And now that my own blog is growing, I'm learning how difficult it can be to respond to everyone every single day. It's another avenue of balance, another seesawing arena. No easy, but just another way we all can grow. I think giving each other the benefit of the doubt is common courtesy.

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  13. I've been snubbed for sure.. but it's ok.. I know I've probably done it too ..unintentionally of course.. but we're all busy and sometimes people feel left out of whatever conversation.. it happens, but that's just really how it goes sometimes.. ebb and flow of different personalities and schedules and demands and time..

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  14. What a difficult subject to tackle, Jody. You've done a nice job here. I've probably felt the many different emotions you've mentioned here at some point or another. Blogging is difficult to keep up with if you want to do it well, but to do it well, you must give up something else that might be just as or more important. I think my goals with blogging have evolved along with my goals for writing, with the changes in my first career and the ever changing demands of my family. Those who blog are typically only giving readers a small glimpse into their everyday lives, so it's impossible to know why someone might be able to reach out or not in a given week. That's why offering grace is so important. We must offer grace to those who couldn't make it by our blogs, and offer grace to ourselves when we simply can't fit it all in.

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  15. Jody, as I have just started blogging, I try to be loyal to the few blogs I am following by reading and leaving comments regularly. Its too early for me to experience snobbery. When I follow more blogs it will be difficult to leave comments on each and every blog.

    But I am sure that it is a major problem for you as I see that you have nearly 600 followers.

    http://rachnachhabria.blogspot.com/2010/06/imperfection-new-perfection.html

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  16. blogging is so not worth the hassle. I hardly ever have time to read and comment on other people's blogs. if that means they don't come and comment on my blog,so be it. I love the interaction on my blog, but I must focus on my writing and not on my blogging. That's just the way it is.

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  17. Thank God you said this! I don't have nearly the followers that you do, and I am finding it very hard to write a blog, read other blogs and comment, tweet, and follow my own comments! This blog post comes as both a breath of fresh air and a sigh of relief! molly

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  18. t doesn't bother me at all. Like you, I have some followers I have gotten to know pretty well and I make sure to visit them often. At least once a week, ANd then I work at making some new contacts when I can:)

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  19. I don't feel snubbed at all, but I DO feel guilty for not visiting everyone's blog. Like, big time, huge guilt. I LOVE reading blogs and visiting them all, but I was spending more time reading blogs than I was spending time with kiddos, hubby, and just being a good wife/mom, so I decided I needed to pull things in. Yes, I do have a few less hits than I used to, and I feel guilty because I always fear this is because they don't feel like I care enough to comment on THEIR blog.

    *sigh* It'd be so nice to just set aside even one hour a day for "blog reading" but I don't even have that, so I settle for my 15 minutes every morning before work and read what I can and try not to feel guilty.

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  20. Yes, there are blog groupies!

    I have a cluster of five or six blog pals whose blogs I read as soon as they post - everyone else is way down the list, simply because of lack of time and brain space. But I do try to comment when I can, and to respond to all Tweets.

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  21. I know I don't have time to keep up with comments on my blog, so I have them turned off. It's not that I don't care what people think, but having comments available feels like an invitation to conversation. If I'm not going to participate in that conversation, leaving comments off feels appropriate. I do try to respond to everyone on Twitter, but some days I have to let go and trust people to know I'm doing my best.

    If I really enjoy a blog post, I'm more apt to tweet about it than leave a comment. This is probably because I'm a tweeter who blogs rather than a blogger who tweets.

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  22. I'm loving reading everyone's comments today! Very interesting to see the diversity of opinions!

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  23. I try not to take it personally. And I hope that I don't shun others out there. There is no way to please everyone, but I value making honest connections with people.

    I've been known to keep reaching out even if I don't get a response. I do this when I sense I could connect well with someone.

    Getting tougher skin all around is good in this business.
    ~ Wendy

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  24. I appreciate all comments on my blog, and I try to get around to many of the bloggers that leave comments. But you're right, there simply isn't enough time in the day to respond to every comment. If I leave a comment on someone's blog, it is not with the hope that they will reciprocate with a comment on mine, it is because I appreciate what they have taken the time to write. As far as agents responding to comments, I'm sure the feedback is much appreciated by writers seeking advice, but I think their first priority should be the writers they work for, not the ones seeking representation.

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  25. I don't think it's snobbery if someone doesn't comment on my blog. Less than 10% of visitors will comment. Chalk it up to being shy, not knowing what to say, or maybe feeling they can't contribute either because they don't know the subject or I didn't ask a question to invite comments.

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  26. I feel completely snubbed when my comments get no response. Generally, I just crawl in a corner and cry. Kidding!

    There's no way you could keep up with your 500+ followers and maintain a relationship with each and every one of them. Like you said, you'd have a new day job. It's easy for me right now. I've only got a little over 30 followers. But only a small handful visit on a regular basis. At this point, it's still easy for me. Maybe someday I'll garner the following you have. :)

    Great post as always, Jody!
    xoxo

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  27. When I first started blogging I thought I'd offended some of my followers when they didn't respond to my comments or comment back. But now that I've been blogging for a couple of years I understand that there are lots of reasons people don't comment or follow and it's not personal.

    I enjoy reading other blogs and try to comment as time permits. Even if I don't comment, I do try to read everyone's blog posts.

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  28. Life is sometimes overwhelming. There is only so much time in a day, and only so many blogs I can actively follow. I have 148 followers. There is no way I can actively follow 148 blogs. I do visit those blogs from time to time to catch up on their lives, but not on a daily basis as with your blog, and quite a few others.

    As for comments - I normally respond to all comments on my blog. Personally, I want people to know I'm reading the comments and that their comments matter to me. I understand, however, that some people just don't have the time, the energy, or maybe even the desire to respond to every single comment.

    I don't comment on every blog I read, even yours. I read it every day, but some days I just don't respond. I'm still lurking out there, just not making my presence known. : )

    In the end, I take what I can get and give the best I can.

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  29. I think sometimes too, we just don't click. If I get someone new to visit, I will visit them back, but not necessarily follow them back. the people I follow, I really want to connect with and not just write "good post" at every comment. :O)

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  30. I'm so glad you wrote this post. Makes me feel less guilty, because I'm not too faithful about always responding to commentors or always leaving a comments on blogs I read...and for exactly the reasons you mentioned. But I really do love the comments people leave on my blog and I really do enjoy reading the blogs I visit. SIGH. If only we could be perfect all the time, huh?

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  31. I have been blogging since late April and found some lovely support in blogger-land. I have experienced one person who had followed-me for a while and then un-followed. Initially I wondered if I had written something to upset her on her own blog but I rechecked my comments and they were pretty friendly so I've decided not to lose sleep over it. What I think happens, is a case of the 'He/She is just not that into you or your blog' which is great, there's alot choice out there. You may see something you like, their voice for example but maybe they don't feel the same way. I don't get upset if I follow someone and they don't follow back, I'm getting thick-skinned. I think its the nature of online interaction - Facebook, Twitter - you all have options to de-friend, de-follow right? Blogging is the same. I am just happy to have followers but I'd prefer to have them follow not out of obligation but because they get some enjoyment from my blog. :)

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  32. While I believe wholeheartedly in reciprocation (in general, not just on blogs), I understand that sometimes things just happen. Life gets in the way or a comment gets overlooked or, as you said, there are technical difficulties.

    As for myself, I try very hard to respond to my comments (although sometimes it takes me a few days) and to follow back those who've followed me, but even as a fairly new blogger, sometimes it gets overwhelming and I'm sure I've missed some folks.

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  33. Great post!
    I can understand when someone doesn't reply, even if I think they should.
    I'm busy too. Just because it's easy for me to keep up with my 9 people, doens't mean it's easy for them to keep up with 10 - 2000 (rachelle and pub rants)
    Wow!
    And the 500 some odd response for the contest on Rachelle's blog?!
    unthinkable!
    No WAY can they respond to everyone!
    Like you said, it'd be a full time job!

    Thanks for reminding us we're all still human :D lol
    Have a good one, girl.

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  34. Jody:

    This was a great post and very well put.

    Most of the community of people I follow in twitter are writers. Some of them are lucky enough that this is their day job, for me I work during the day, update my blog in the evenings and still have to Make time to write. I would love it if the writers that I love would stop in and say hi to me every single day but the cold hard truth is that if they did that to all of their followers when would they have time to write their amazing stories.

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  35. My approach to the whole blogging/interaction thing is slightly different. I read blogs for very egoistic reasons - I read what interests me: Blogs on interesting topics or by interesting people. And I comment if I feel I have to say something. If people pay me a visit in return and comment, I am happy, but I wouldn't expect it from them.

    On the other hand, if people comment on my blogs (yes, several - most often on the short stories), I try to take the time and look at their blogs in return, if they have any. And if I think they might be interesting, I follow them. At least for a while, until I have figured out whether they interest me enough to make time for reading them.

    This may sound really selfish, but blogging is not a race with comments and followers, and everything else would sound too much like blackmailing people into interacting with me.

    (Ask everyone who knows me, I am a rather anti-social girl.)

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  36. Honestly I wasn't aware until recently that people expected a response on blogs. I thought of it more of a forum for others to express their views, seeing as how I had already expressed mine through the blog. I have recently begun to answer a few questions on my blog, but I don't always respond to people's comments. After all, they didn't actually ask me anything. Just came by to say Hi. How do you wave back without spending all day with your arm in the air? That indeed can be difficult and make it hard to actually type anything more for the day (if you know what I mean). Thanks for the wonderful topic discussion. Definitely something to think about for the future.

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  37. Oh, I've gone back and forth on this one. I try to respond to new followers immediately. I try to participate in comments after I've posted a blog. I try to follow those who visit my blog. But it's impossible to do it all and do it all well and still do other things in our lives at all. I almost quit blogging over this very issue. Finally decided I just needed to do the best I could with my blog and with visiting others and let go of the results. Thanks for the topic, Jody.
    karen

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  38. This is the kind of post people starting blogs could benefit from, because it puts a human face on what can sometimes feel impersonal.

    It's hard not to take some things personally, but when a blogger doesn't respond I can't blame them.

    If there's not an option to have follow up comments e-mail to me I do check back to see if a blogger has replied to my comment. (I add a reminder to google calendar). Yes, it's nice to see someone acknowledge my response, but often their reply is more than just "thanks for the comment" and adds something to my comment. I've ended up with ideas for several blog posts of my own as the result of following up.

    I can't blame bloggers who don't reply but because I value the ones who do, I do my best to find something to reply to each of my commenters as well.

    After all, we're all talking to one another through machines!

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  39. Thanks for tackling a tough subject, Jody. You made some valid points.

    My perspective on blog comments and replies has changed since I first entered the blogosphere. I used to crave the reciprocal visits and replies to my comments.

    These days I realize a blogger reads all the comments left for him or her but may not have time to (or chooses not to) reply, and I'm OK with that. The majority of blogs I visit are those of writers. If they were all to take time to respond to every comment, they'd not have time to write. And, quite honestly, I want them to spend time on their writing because I want to read their stories.

    I interview not-yet-published novelists and debut authors on my blog, Romance Writers on the Journey, and my view on comments there is different. I ask my guests to leave replies for their commenters. The reason is that the interview is intended to be a way for them to connect with their readers and potential readers. Most are eager to do so and enjoy the experience of interacting with their fans.

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  40. I have totally struggled with this, and I'm so glad you bring it up. When I first started blogging, I definitely felt snubbed, and I'm sure I did some (unintentional) snubbing myself.

    Having been in Blogland for a while now, I'm realizing the little do's and don'ts and trying to follow them better (and if you want a laugh, today I totally did a "don't" based on your last post ;P).

    I think what's key to realize is that we writers have hectic schedules, and from time to time things (and people, even our own family and friends!) will fall through the cracks. But hopefully not TOO often :P

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  41. One of the reasons I don't blog regularly myself is fearing I wouldn't have time for this kind of reciprocal interaction and I know that at least a genuine attempt is expected, according to Netiquette.

    I tweet fairly often, though, and interact with my followers. I do not, however, pay any attention to losing followers or wondering why. I don't use those services which tell you who stopped following you, for example. That seems masochistic to me, and would personalize something that's probably not at all personal.

    If I reply to someone on Twitter several times and they never respond I give up trying, though. It becomes clear -- as far as I'm concerned anyway -- that Twitter is a one-way street for that person. I continue to follow if the content is still interesting, however.

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  42. Jody, my blog snobbery experience comes from noticing many of the blogs I admire are members of BlogHer. At some point I decided that BlogHer must be the end-all of the female blogging world. I've tried to get connected, but I've always been informed there is a waiting list. I try to put out consistently quality blog posts that would be worthy of such a home. But in time I began to feel like it was an exclusive club and I wasn't allowed entrance. It DID feel like middle school all over again, feeling like you're not quite good enough for the cool group. After letting it get me down a bit, I think I've finally decided it's not worth the trouble, and I don't need to define my worth as a writer/blogger based on whether or not BlogHer has granted me entrance. I also shouldn't take it personally. I think they've just grown and it's harder to get in now, because they can only allow so many to join. I missed the window of opportunity, it seems, so it's silly to waste more energy feeling badly when I can put that energy into writing posts and articles and manuscripts that, I hope, will reach their intended audience. What a great topic, and BTW, I loved your use of the word "ingratiate." Nice, Jody. :)

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  43. I feel extremely slighted. In fact I feel so slighted I use it as an excuse to drink more coffee, which in turn makes me happy and appreciate the lack of blogging response all the more becuase it encouraged me in the right direction ... coffee.

    So kidding. I've never even THOUGHT of blogging "snobbery". LOL I figure if everyone is as busy as I am then it's lucky there are even posts to READ. :)

    Of course, I fully expect a reply to THIS comment, Jody. :) :)

    Oh my.

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  44. I always respond to the comment of a newcomer and/or visit their blog.

    I respond to most comments because, well, I don't have as many followers as you...yet. :)

    But mostly, I try to visit everyone's blog from time to time, purposely leaving a comment if I know I haven't commented in a while, even when I read them daily. There are lot of readers who don't have time to comment which doesn't make them less interested or valued.

    The only time I feel anything slightly negative, and I'm not sure whether it's slighted or simply disappointed, is when I pose a specific question to the blogger in the comments--particularly if it's an industry professional--and I never see a response, even in a future blog post. Yes, I know they're busy but I only ask questions when I really want to know. Blogs are supposed to be dialogue, not lecture.

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  45. There are certain people -- agents, authors, celebs, etc -- who are absolutely not expected to respond or reciprocate. They don't have to.

    I've never been a celeb and never will be, but for 3 years I was a top blogger on MySpace. I had 8,000-10,000 views per day at one point and it created this perception of popularity in that little world. It came with a backlash of nasty blogs being written about me and everything I posted being scrutinized. I can tell you that you learn VERY QUICKLY that you have to kind of put a distance between you and the readers...or you get into trouble. I can't explain it beyond that, but I'm sure agents and editors go through it all the time. They post one reply to the wrong person and the next thing they know, the person is almost stalker-like.

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  46. Thanks for this post, Jody. I just realized I may be guilty of inadvertent snobbery through ignorance. :( *off to rectify situation*

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  47. I think we've all felt it from time to time, and probably even been guilty of it as well.

    But people are busy....I know I am, and although it might not show, I still totally care about everyone's blogs!

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  48. I think I used to be a little more obsessive about people commenting, and checking back for responses to my comments. Now I'm a little more relaxed. I appreciate every comment I get as I'm sure other people do as well, but time does become an issue.

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  49. Here I am catching up on your blog because I've gotten so behind on my favorites! Yep, you're one.

    And there are so many! I've been catching up all morning and not making a dent. It's hard. So much good stuff. So many good thoughts, encouragement, and information. I hate I can't get around to it all.

    I started blogging as a discipline and didn't realize how much fun it would be, how many friends I would make, how much I would learn. But I'm going to have to make some changes or some kind of reading plan if I'm going to finish at least 2 books in my dad's lifetime.

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  50. Great post, Jody! I know I feel that way sometimes, but I know that if I'm busy then so are other people so there's no need to let it get to me. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  51. Great post! I don't take these things personally. I have a whole other life outside of the blogosphere so of course everyone else does, too! I know that if the blogger could respond or could follow back, they would. But often times other things take priority over blogging, and that's how it should be!

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  52. I think most comments don't require a response from the blogger. They are a way of sharing what you think of what they think about something. It's very nice when there's a response, but for popular blogsites, it would be impractical for commenters to expect a response.

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  53. I haven’t experience it but I don’t expect people follow to follow me back or comment on my comment. When they do, it’s cool. I have found the more I blog and visit other blogs I have connected with a some awesome people and that is pretty cool.

    Your no. 4 is so true. Everything from problems technically to having so many blogs they write for to figure out which one is to click.

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  54. I don't leave comments with strings attached. :) If someone in turn visits me, that's lovely, but I don't think I've ever felt it was owed me. The way I see it, if I'm meant to have a connection with a certain blogger, God will move them to take the next step. If not, I shouldn't let it bother me or read things into a lack of response that I can't possibly know, or even guess. Grace, grace, grace. I need it, so I'd better show it!

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  55. Hi Jodi
    I really get a lot from your posts and keep your blog up on my sidebar even though I don't often comment. I guess we all find ourselves comfortably snuggled into a blogging circle which has to have limits on size, because of our wanting to give our quality time and attention to those people. Slowly over time , the circle changes too as people leave and new ones come in, which keeps it ever more interesting. I must admit I still get a buzz when someone new turns up :-)

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  56. Blogging is much the same as relationship in real life. I write because I'm led to and love when people read and comment, or just read. But I write because it's what I need to do. I try to stay connected with people who comment and I'll always follow those who follow me, but I don't take any of it personally. Well almost none. If a friend who regularly comments, stops commenting, then I notice and will check it out.

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  57. I don't care if I leave a comment and don't get a response. Actually, I am not expecting a response.
    At a certain point it could get pretty funny, I leave a comment, they comment on my comment, I thank them for their answering comment, etc.
    When I follow someone I love if they follow back, but don't pay close attention to this.
    For me, blogging is fun and about building new friendships, and sharing info upon occasion, and sometimes these folks buy my book :)

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  58. Honestly, too many people are blogging. If someone did respond to my comment, I'd probably forget to go back and check. A lot of blog readers and commenters (like me) are drive by readers. They follow a link, make a post, and forget about you.

    So no, I'm not offended.

    Those blogs I read regularly have authors who DO respond, and respond thoughtfully. Take Nathan Bransford. Excellent, excellent blog. I'm sorry, but I can't remember anything on Rachelle's blog. i like her, but heck, we can't all pay attention to everyone.

    What I really, really hate is authors, editors, and agents who end every single update (on FB or blog or wherever) with a question, inviting people to respond and share their thoughts, and then never, ever ackowledge those thoughts. It gives a bad vibe. The reader comes away with the feeling that the author is only in it for the publicity. Once I figure that out, I'm outta there.

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  59. I don't really think of it as snobbery, more like there's only so much time in the day. I think your #2 covered it perfectly.

    Not saying there aren't a few out there who are pretty full of themselves, but that's their gig, whatever, I just move along.

    I try to return as many e-mails or visits as possible, but there are days when it just doesn't happen. I'm lucky that I have a small circle of bloggy friends since I've been at this game for close to two years - we get it when one of us falls off the planet for a little while. No harm, no foul.

    Thank goodness for that circle, or I might have run for the hills a long time ago. It can get pretty ugly out there.

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  60. Hi Jody -

    I don't think I've ever run into "blogging snobbery." In the instances where I miss a visitor or don't respond, two things factor in:

    1) Time
    2) I have no way to get in touch with them.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  61. Wow, no, I've never even thought of it as a form of snobbery.

    I'm only a year into my journey as a blogger, so I'm still pretty steep on the learning curve here (the biggest thing I've learned so far is how much it's cut into my writing time!!)

    But truly, the blogosphere is overwhelming - how many people you can connect to with a couple of well-chosen sentences! If a few dozen or few hundred of those people respond to you - well, it gets kind of exponential, how many replies you would need to make to respond to each one.

    So I have no expectation that the actual blogger will reply to my comment (especially if I am comment number 60-something, like I am here). I just feel like I am participating in the conversation.

    As far as visits back to my own blog - now, a year into my journey, I have a better idea of where I want to go with it (it's kinda been all over the place up to this point). So it will become more directed and focused over the coming months (maybe some of you will look at my May 12 post and give me some advice here!) and perhaps it soon will become a more inviting place to drop by to... but for now, no expectations, no slight taken. As far as I am concerned, you read someone's blog because you find it interesting, not to return a favour...

    Thanks for this conversation!

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  62. Great topic! I think we do our best to connect, and we can never please everyone. We all only have 24 hours a day and so many other things to fill our lives. Seems silly to place all kinds of expectations on people we don't know. We can hope, but really, cut people some slack.

    (And in truth, I don't usually go back to a blog posting once I've read and commented, so if someone DOES reply that way, I'll never know.)

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  63. Rather than commenting myself, I'm including a link to a witty, and truthful blog post covering a similar topic: http://constantrevisions.blogspot.com/2010/06/cycle-of-blogging.html

    Oh, and I know how busy you are...but want you to know I mentioned you on my blog with an award...because I'm grateful for your support and helful posts. There are no requirements though...

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  64. I hope the bloggers I follow have lives away from the computer. I like to think they are busy people too and if they take the time to pass along a comment it means that much more to me.

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  65. I would love if the owner of every blog I followed also followed mine. But really, I think that's unrealistic. Individuals follow blogs because the blog has something which attracts their attention. If my blog doesn't have what they want, why should I get pissy over that? Not only that, but one doesn't have to be a blog follower to get the benefits of a blog. I know my blog doesn't prevent non-followers from reading or commenting. There are blogs I read regularly, but I might over look the "follow me" button.

    What about comments? I lurk a lot. I read the information then move on to the next blog. Sometimes I just don't have anything to say. That also goes for my blog. Though I read each and every comment, sometimes I just don't have a response. I would hope readers don't think I'm snubbing them because of it.

    This was an enlightening post. I'll have to see about being more responsive, even if it's just to say. "I see your post, but have nothing to say." :)

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  66. Another fabulous blog, Jody. I love it. I think it depends on the blog. Time is my big issue. And I don't have the volume of comments that some people have--so I can understand not having a response.

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  67. Great post, and these things needed to be said! I don't get offended if someone doesn't comment on my comment or follow me back. I feel a bit like a bee when visiting blogs--I fly in, stay for a few moments look around a bit and then fly off. I have so many I 'should' isit, but the reality is, I can't visit them all. I just can't keep up.

    All I can hope is that the quality of the information I give in my blog will make up for the fact that I can't get around to other blogs as much as I like to. I do what I can, but there's only one of me.

    I hope I never offend anyone. I would hate to think someone views me as a snob.

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  68. I think we really do need to give people the benefit of the doubt. There are times when I've gotten several responses on a post, but then an emergency came up and I was out all day, unable to respond to those comments. I feel bad, but I hope people understand that things come up--and I try to be understanding in their case, too. You make great points here--most people are easy-going and friendly enough. If people feel snubbed, I doubt it was intentional.

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  69. I don't feel slighted at all! Everyone is busy, and everyone is doing the best they can. Heck, when someone takes the time to follow or comment on my blog, it's an extra treat!

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  70. Wow! This is a great post and great comments that add so much to the diversity of opinions.

    I have never felt snubbed probably because I don't expect reciprocal follows or follow-ups to comments. I have the assumption that people are busy & writing comes first.

    However, I try very hard to comment on each comment I receive and check out each person who follows my blog. But I can see how that will not be possible always and forever if my followers continue to grow. You have such a wonderful blog and the sheer number of followers and comments here makes my head spinning. I don't know how you do it.

    Thanks for bringing up this issue.

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  71. The only time I really feel snubbed is if it's friends that I've known for a while and on occasion see, like people in my writer's group. Many of them don't blog regularly, so I understand it until I see that they are following another friend. What's with that? For me that's a snub.

    Great post!

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  72. There's nothing snobbish about someone not paying your blog a visit and commenting. Especially if that person has hundreds of followers or is running more than 1 blog.

    It's important & fun to visit, read, & comment on blogs that you enjoy reading.

    Also, a person may not even be aware that you have a new or newish blog up--they're busy w/ their own blog or their own life.

    My theory is, if you feel like commenting, fine, if you don't fine.

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  73. Great post, Jody. And great discussion. My blog following kind of ebbs and flows depending on what I'm writing and how much effort I'm putting into it.

    I've found that I'm okay with that, because when I'm getting lots of response, I just can't keep up with everyone. And when things are quieter, instead of getting down about it, I see it as a blessing that I can respond more one-on-one.

    Does that make sense? I'm tired.

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  74. You certainly get a lot of comments! I don't see how you could possibly keep up. I gave up on my blog and pretty much closed it down so that it's more of a website with occasional posts now, but I also post The Literary Lab and I have a private writing blog that really helps me keep things in check with how many followers and comments I have to keep up with. This has been a good balance for me. I think we all just need to find that balance.

    I have never felt snubbed by you, and I value reading your blog and maintaining interaction over a long period of time, even if it's sparse. :)

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  75. I'm really okay with how people interact with me. I used to be hyper about responding to every new person right away, following them, etc., because I didn't want to offend them. I'm thankful for my relationships in blogdom and hope people aren't offended when I can't come by as often as I want. I think people understand... there just aren't enough hours in the day sometimes. Or the week!

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  76. Funny, I was going to comment, saw how many comments there were and decided not to comment since I couldn't really add anything of substance. But then the guilt from this blog topic made me come back!

    I try to interact with the comments on my blog as my priority interaction, if I have something to say.

    I look at each new followers blog and see if what they write is something I might be interested in following, I put them in my reader and after a few days I know if I want to follow or not. Not that I'm snubbing anybody, but if I had to follow everyone's blog who followed me well that's ridiculous. Why would I think some multi-published author or agent needs to be keeping up with me? I'm sure others feel the same about me.

    I comment if I have anything to say that would add to the conversation, if not, just like in real life, I think it's personally a wiser choice to keep my yap shut. I've had people come to my blog to comment solely because I commented on theirs. Perhaps my post was on "How to make a dress with a paper sack" and in the comment section I get a comment like this: "Thanks for your comment on my post. Your site is cool." Well, I kinda view that as internet litter. It Does no one any good and is kinda annoying that when you click on the comments to see what others have said about the post to find out it has nothing to do with the post whatsoever.

    I like it when people comment on my actual posts because it appears they care about the post. That's what I do for others. If I have something to add to the post, info to share or show my appreciation to the author then I do so. I keep my typing litter to myself.

    I think I sound jaded, but that's how I feel. :) I am absolutely not hurt by anyone not commenting on my stuff or following me if I follow them. I read that blog for their content as I hope they are only reading my stuff because they like my content. I enjoy comments, but as you can see, I'm longwinded. If I replied to every single comment, I'd have no time for anything else because I just can't make myself stop writing. And I really ought to be writing my WIP as we speak, so I must go now.....

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  77. I view blog posts as a form of communication and any comments as part of a conversation. It's nice if a dialogue develops, but not every person will have something to say on every subject. I don't feel the slightest bit snubbed by occasional silences just as I hope others don't if I choose to read but occasionally not comment on what they've posted.

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  78. I don't follow everyone who follows me.

    I'd like to think I do pretty well at welcoming new commentors or communicating with regulars, but this doesn't always happen.

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  79. Jody-

    What a great and timely post. I feel so bad because you commented on my blog about missing out on a contest because I took too long to perfect my response. So while I was laboring to come up with a fabulous and professional response to your comment, my sister called and said she was waiting for me in the car to take me to book club. So you see my problem, I need to get it in gear!

    As far as feeling snubbed, I'm too much of a neophite to have experienced much of that yet. I'm just glad if anyone comments on my blog and I always try to respond. I'm slow but sure.

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  80. Thank you! I just don't have time to commit to the blogging world like I used to. I would love to respond to every comment every day and actively seek out new blogs to follow, but I am struggling to keep up. I know I'll be responding less and less to comments as time wears on. Writing and getting published has to be my top priority--period.

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  81. Man am I glad I responded to your comment on my blog, now!

    ;)

    I get busy, that's my only excuse. I like to hit as many blogs as I can, but I do try to hit the blogroll and see who's interesting that day. Personally, I think I need to drop some blogs off my roll (not yours) because they aren't my bag.

    - Eric

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  82. Great post as always, Jody! I used to try to comment back on all of my commenters' posts, but it's just not possible anymore. I do respond to every comment that I receive, which I really want to keep doing.

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  83. You have THE coolest posts.

    I must say that I only regularly blog with those who blog with me except for a couple of HUGE blogs that couldn't take time for me.

    Yes, I have wondered why writing acquaintances don't ever respond, especially after I show interest in their blogs for months.

    Oh, well. Another one of those mysteries of life! Writing for that Audience of One solves another "issue!"
    LOL

    Patti

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  84. Jody, what a great post! I'm such a people person that it KILLS me when I can't climb through the computer wires to let someone know that I appreciate them. But life happens - like last week when we caught a stomach flu and got a new puppy all within 24 hours! There were so many lovely comments on my blog and I wish I could have written them all back immediately, but alas, it's taken me several days. I think for the most part, the writers who participate in the blogging community understand how this happens, but every now and again, someone will get upset. I feel the same way about blogging awards. As much as I love them, they are very time consuming. I had a blogger buddy to get upset with me when I didn't pass one along. It wasn't like I didn't appreciate it, but as a Wife/Mom/Writer, there are only so many hours in a day. Thanks so much for your wonderful insight! I always enjoy stopping by your blog.

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  85. I Think you do a great job of keeping up, and I don't usually expect a response when I leave a comment on a blog. It is nice to get one though! I don't have too many followers yet, so I don't have the problem of trying to keep up with everyone! I have tried to visit blogs and leave comments when I like that person's blog, and most people respond kindly and I've gained new blogging buddies that way. Are you going to conference? Hope to see you there!!

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  86. I've only been blogging now for several months, but I've begun to think about what you've just expressed here so eloquently. I have never felt snubbed because I know it's impossible to keep up with everyone's blog, especially when your followers reach the 100 mark and beyond. Just a few days ago I began thinking what to do, and came up with what you've said here: pick out the ones I feel closest to, the ones I want to keep up with, the ones I hope will keep coming into my blog as they can, and then respond to them one at a time as time permits. Unless you want to be a full-time blogger and never have time for your own writing, you have to set limits. Thank you!!

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  87. p.s. And yes, make it as easy as possible for followers to comment!!

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  88. This topic must be in the air this week because I devoted Tuesday's post to this exact subject following on my Canon of a Good Blog Host on Monday...as did Roni at Fiction Groupie!

    There's no real good answer since everyone somewhere will be slighted for something, but you just have to find a happy balance and feel grateful that this many people love and adore you. (I mean, 87 comments is pretty awesome!!)

    My post on this is: http://bit.ly/de1QEA

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  89. Hi Jody! I'm a new follower. Great post :)

    I agree with you that it all depends. Life can get very hectic, and it may become difficult to respond to every single comment. I don't think anyone ever intentionally slights someone. I like to believe that in the blogosphere, everyone is so grateful for the comments that they do get, even if they can't respond.

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  90. I try to read as many as I can and leave a comment. I am fortunate because my time is my own. I appreciate it when I receive a comment from a blogging buddy, as I know they have taken time out for me. Not everyone has a lot of time on their hands.

    If I do not hear from a regular commenter for awhile, I will check they are okay. These are folk who have become, penpal types in my life, so I feel I can ask after their well-being.

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  91. This is interesting; it addresses many of my thoughts about my blogging habits. I haven't thought so much about the snobbery part, but I have been rethinking my blogging habits as I've obtained more followers and follow more blogs. It seems that there are so many blogs, yet so little time:) I must be disciplined about my writing - no hyperventilating allowed:)

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  92. There must be something in the air, I blogged about this earlier this week as well, lol. I totally agree with your take.

    I used to be super-reciprocator ,responding to every comment, visiting my followers blogs, following back. But then my follower list grew. I'm now sitting at 550 and I am so thankful, but at the same time, I can't keep up like I used to. Especially when I'm rough drafting something new (and still trying to be a decent wife and mom at the same time,lol).

    So thank you for this post. Makes me feel less guilty about my blog friend slacking. ;)

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  93. I update relatively infrequently because of university obligations, because of this I have NOBODY watching me or commenting...this bothers me slightly but then I don't make the effort to update why should anyone make the effort to watch me?

    I suppose it bothers me because I'm so shy and even online I feel i'm being a nuisance to people so I rarely comment out of fear of offending people. Kinda lame really.

    I should go update my blog.

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  94. I've spent the past 2 weeks with very little time for reading & commenting on other's blogs. Juggling a sick kid, 3 volunteer days, spending time with my non-sick child, and family time left me very few moments for blogs. While I love comments on my blogs, I completely understand that it's hard to keep up.

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  95. Jody,
    Thank you for such an honest and open post on this topic. In my opinion, you've really nailed the salient points. Social media can be overwhelming if we let it be and that will only detract from the real reason that we are here - our writing. It's a wonderful tool for networking, but we have to balance it with the other aspect of our lives.

    I'm now going to go follow you on Twitter... but don't feel obligated to follow me back! ;)

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