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?