Stuff Bloggers Don’t Talk About: “Comment Ping-Pong”

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t going to post tonight.

I’m stressed and I haven’t even engaged in my daily “blog rounds”. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but they dont excite me like they used to. Nothing personal, its just my blog reading mojo is low.

But as I sat stewing in my living room, waiting for my next meal to commence, I decided to write a post about what blogger tend to never talk about.

But the list of what bloggers rarely talk about it long, so I just chose one thing. I wasn’t sure what to call that “thing” so I decided on this title: The Comment Ping-Pong.

Let me explain it to you.

Lets face it, if you have  blog, you write comments. It may be one or many, but you comment. You may visit some blogs daily or weekly, but at some point, you will comment somewhere.

I feel there is an unspoken blogger-to-blogger tennis game, of sorts…

You leave a comment on some blog, and you hope they click on your url and possibly write something back. What generally happens is that they check your blog out, skim a little, and write a blurb because they feel they should since you commented on theirs. It looks like this:

“Hey! Ha, I love over-night oats too! You are SO creative for putting cinnamon in it! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!” (I know what your thinking, but a little sarcasm never hurt anybody 😉 )

Then you proceed to go back and visit them and then they go back to you and so on and so on….like a ping-pong game.

But you know what? It could very well be that you barely even read each others blog. You just feel the need to “return the comment” and so this tennis game begins. And then if a few posts go by and they didn’t comment, you get offended. Lets hope not.

What also tends to happen with the REALLY popular blogs is that you will comment, day after day, year after year, possibly, and those bloggers will never view your site, let alone comment.

Why?

Who knows. Maybe they are genuinely too busy, or they have too many commenters to keep up with, or maybe they do read your blog but have nothing to say. Or maybe they just dont give a shit about anybody else. I won’t blame them.

I know, your probably feeling offended, right? Well, I’ll take this brief moment to defend myself.

I don’t comment all the time. I am not a new blogger eager to publicisze my blog so I dont have that “must-comment-on-every-blog syndrome”. Plus, I don’t like playing this blogger comment ping-pong game. In fact, suck at ping-pong so I’m not even trying to play it in any sort of form. The way I see it, people who comment on my blog regularly obviously like what I have to say (or maybe they don’t but at least they are interested in it). Lately, with my dad’s health issues, I’ve come to realize how I don’t have much to say about oatmeal/quinoa/pumpkin anything… I’m busy, but I have faith the people who do comment on my blog understand what I’m going through and know I’m not playing comment ping pong. When I get the chance, I’ll comment, and if I dont, so be it. The blogosphere will go on if I dont return a comment or two, hell or seventeen. That is, if I even manage to get seventeen comments

So…..Do you find yourself playing this “comment ping-pong”? Do you feel the need to comment on those that left comments on your site? And if your just a reader or lurker, what triggers a de-lurking? Also, I’m think of making this “Stuff Bloggers Don’t Talk About” a regular series, so yay or nay? Dont be shy, I can take it.

Yes, I know, I have no recipe. Sorry but life got in the way today. And you know what, sometimes it should.

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39 thoughts on “Stuff Bloggers Don’t Talk About: “Comment Ping-Pong”

  1. Life should get in the way. But my life is a bit boring these days. That will change shortly, and my life will be too busy for comment ping pong.
    I play comment ping pong, to an extent. I will often return a comment, but it isn’t too often that I keep reading a blog. Things that keep me reading (and therefore keep me commenting) are meeting the person in the real world and knowing what they are actually like, and unique blog content. I don’t get thrilled by overnight oats either, especially when that blogger has the same breakfast day after day. And I actually don’t get offended if more “popular” bloggers don’t leave a hello. Sometimes they provide a nice dose of inspiration, a smile, or a chucle, and that is enough for me.
    As far as you go, Eden, I find you honest and funny. And I like you in person, too. So I stop by. I read. I comment. If you miss the ball, that’s fine. And if you do return it, that’s fine, too. Commenting is a convenient way of keeping in touch.

  2. The posts that always make me want to comment (like now for example) is when a post makes me think about something or say, “aha! I was thinking that too!” I think we all like to feel like people get us 🙂
    Inane comments for the sake of commenting do sort of get in the way of “genuine” comments though. Sometimes I comment on friends’ blogs just to let them know I”m reading and out there too.
    I like your topics, by the way. Keep em coming! And if you don’t read my blog, I will still like the topics!

    • Ha! I actually think I dont get too many “lame” comments! My readers (such as your self) get my sarcasm and re often wittier in their replies! I read your blog more often then you think by I dont comment on blogspot blogs too often because they always mess up my url.

      • Hmm, that’s interesting. I don’t know too much about the different commenting programs. I don’t like how you can’t reply to individual comments on blogger.

        I too really feed off of others’ comments (in life more so than when blogging) for my own sense of humor. As in, the wittier others are, the wittier I become. Is this like a switch that turns on when others give us that “wit” stimulus?

        Sorry for the rambling comment 🙂

  3. I don’t do the comment ping-pong thing, which may be why nobody reads my blog. Or maybe my blog just sucks and I’m the only one who doesn’t know it. What if my blog is the long string of toilet paper on my shoe? No matter, I started blogging for me. Then I had some readers and did some giveaways and my focus shifted. Now I’m in some odd place I haven’t figured out just yet. It’s okay, though.

    I don’t think you have to reciprocate unless you state somewhere you will. I have seen bloggers do it.

  4. At the beginning of my blog, I commented on all the blog posts in my reader no matter what. Now, I have learned to comment only if I actually have something in common with something random within the post, or feel like I actually want to say something. It’s much better:)

  5. I don’t comment on 100% of your posts, but I do read all of them. But I also have to admit, it wasn’t until I got to know you in person that I followed your blog. There are very few food blogs on my Google Reader, because I cannot follow every blog I want to follow or I shall flip out. But I have a list on my Reader, and you’re in the “friends” category. You’re no longer just a blogger to me, but a friend.

    As for the ping-pong game, I do partake in that. Some bloggers I know more than others, but I generally try to reply to all my commenters. Why? I don’t know. It’s a habit, and maybe I just don’t want to be one of the bloggers who never ever respond but expect others to continue fawning? Dunno.

  6. I like to comment, and I often do so without the person coming by my site. In face, I don’t expect people to click on the link to comment back because many people don’t.

    Honestly, I hate those “I’m here commenting because you commented on mine” comments because I CAN TELL which those are.

    There are plenty that I read that I have nothing to comment on. How many “oh you’re food looks good” comments can I write a day anyway when I’m reading so many food related blogs. 😛

    And yes, it’s okay not to write OR read. 🙂

  7. while i get your sarcasm, i do appreciate the necessity of comment ping pong. i do it because most of the people i follow or comment on i would actually like to meet in person.
    please start the series too. a great post could be “bloggers who confess the obvious are insecure”. not to be mean, but at times i think that some writers could just accept that life gets in the way of frequent blog posts and that is ok. no need to tell us what is obvious. plus, we dont know authors as well as we think, even if we met them in person.
    side story: when i was in my 20’s i realized to stop worrying about what others thought of me. others are more concerned of your opinion of them to be concerned with their opinion of you. same is true for blog
    have a great weekend and your dad is in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. I used to feel like I had to comment on every single person’s blog who wrote something on mine. It sucked, because I had to push myself to read some blogs that I really didn’t have an interest in. Now, if I genuinely am uninterested or if I have nothing to say I don’t usually comment. Yes, I still feel kind of bad and like I should be… but I don’t.

    Again, I love the honesty Eden. Keep it coming 🙂

  9. you read my mind last night, didn’t you?! I was just thinking about this! About how strange and caught up we in our BLOG popularity and need for instant gratification with comments. Ya, I thought about it, then I said….”whatever, i’m not going to think to hard about that issue.” haha. So thank YOU for sharing it. I comment a lot, yes I know. But I never expect them to come back to my blog. I just like to talk…..with my keyboard…….because I am weird like that. 🙂
    You always speak my mind eden, cheers!
    LC

  10. There’s not much I don’t talk about on my blog, so I’m pretty sure I’m safe from your “Things Bloggers Don’t Talk About” series. That said, I don’t comment all the time. In fact, lately I haven’t been reading as many blogs as I used to. Life happens in real time and not on the computer, but that being said, I really care about the people from the blogs that I read. That’s what keeps me reading.

    I feel some pressure to comment on those that comment on mine, even though it’s not that many people. If nothing else, their comments remind me to go check out their last posts I may have missed. While I would like to have the time to read and comment more, that’s not realistic. I barely have enough time to write my own posts.

    P.S. Quit apologizing. We all have crap and no one expects someone to be chirpy or full of comments and recipes every day. That’s life–chin up 🙂

  11. haha great post. I think everyone notices this and has experienced it themselves. But it is a part of blogging and trying to connect with others. I honestly do not see the big deal about it, because I feel at least that person is making the effort.

  12. I know what you’re talking about Eden. When I first started blogging, I was sucked into the “game”!

    Now I only comment on posts where I feel I have something more important to say than “that looks delicious”. It feels disingenuous to do otherwise. It’s true that I read a lot more blogs than I comment on. But like Sophia, I keep my Reader condensed to the blogs I really love and the ones that I comment on most frequently.

    And you can definitely tell if a commenter has actually read your post or just looked at the pictures! I know it annoys some people, but I find it kind of funny.

    I think you should do the series if you want to; I love your honesty and fresh perspective! If I didn’t love sarcasm I wouldn’t love NBC comedy as much as I do ; )

  13. As a reader/lurker, things that make me comment are posts that hit close to home. I love the sarcasm and wit of your blog and I also appreciate the “real” factor, as I have lost my Mom to cancer and struggle with ED; therefore I get where you come from (it’s funny because I have that fear of being an orphan and you said the same thing last week!) I also like to comment on recipes. I read many blogs but I really connect with yours and always check it first! And don’t feel any pressure to post recipes or anything with your circumstances right now – just take care of you and your Dad and post when you feel like it 🙂

  14. Haha, I’m comment 17, how silly.

    Yes, sometimes it does feel like a ping-pong game, doesn’t it? I’ve had my blog for about 10 months now, and I’m no longer so comment-crazy as I was in the beginning. It probably helped me get a lot of subscribers initially, but honestly you’re right, sometimes life should get in the way! Being a masters student/opera singer makes it hard to be a blog comment fiend ::in addition: to actually cooking, developing recipes, and writing decent blog posts.

  15. I definitely did the comment ping pong thing when I first started blogging…but now I don’t even have energy to write my own posts let alone comment on a million blogs. I still like commenting sometimes, when I actually have something to say, because I like making connections with others. And when I was actually writing posts I did feel obligated to return comments and would feel bad if I didn’t.
    I like the idea of “stuff bloggers don’t talk about”…bring on the honesty and sarcasm!

  16. Yes! Please make this a regular topic! It’s a great idea and it’s nice to talk about the things we usually pretend don’t exist/happen.

    I’m definitely guilty of the ping-ponging comments but not as much as I use to be. If a new blogger comments on my blog then I’ll check theirs out and leave a comment but unless their blog catches my interest, that’s it. I simply don’t have the time to comment on blogs that I find myself skimming through. For me, if I’m skimming through a blog post then it means I probably shouldn’t be reading it. It’s a waste of my time and there are other blogs out there that I would rather take my time reading.

  17. I used to feel “obligated” to comment on someone’s blog if they commented on mine, but honestly, I don’t feel that way anymore. If I have something to say, I’ll say it. Otherwise… why bother? :/

    ❤ ❤

  18. Yeah sometimes I do feel obligated, but I like to read each blog a few times and see if it resonates with me. If it does, I’ll continue to read and comment when I actually feel like I have something to add.

    Stuff bloggers think is taboo: counting calories..the horror!

  19. Eden you could seriously start a blog called ‘Stuff Bloggers Like’. I love that your saying the things we all think but never say (or write).

    I’ve definitely played this game of ping pong, but for the most part I comment because I genuinely like the person blogging or because I have a dumb joke I want to make (I often try to remove a comment when it’s too late and I’ve realized I’m not funny.)

    For the most part I’m really touched by the people who do comment on my blog and if I don’t get a chance to comment on their blog I try to thank them in the comment section, but I don’t always get around to it.

  20. I think I genuinely only comment when I want to now. I will admit that in the beginning I would comment on any blog I could get my virtual hands on, but now I don’t see the point. I’ve realized that I don’t want to be so attatched to the “blog world” that I have I feel like i have to spend hours on the internet commenting and reading blogs I don’t find interesting. It’s a great discussion, and I”m glad you brought it up!

  21. I don’t get THAT many comments on my blog, so when I have time, I do try to comment on all of my commenters blogs. (How many times can I say a version of “comment” in a sentence?) BUT, at this point, I feel like I “know” most of the people that regularly comment on my blog, and I usually want to read about their day and check in on them. And I’ve also been blogging enough now that I only ready blogs that I actually want to read and care about. Like yours.

  22. I think it should be a regular segment. It’s awesome.

    I never cared about comments etc…until I started reading foodie blogs. Before that I kept it all figure and fitness related. It kills me that people think they actually created something spectacular. Like banana soft serve for instance. Um…blending a frozen banana and making ice cream has been around for YEARS.

    Okay, i’ll stop now 😉 I comment here and there but don’t feel obligated. Also if I don’t post for a couple of days I don’t ask people to forgive me for crying out loud.

  23. Usually I go to the commenter’s blog and watch around it a little and make a back comment, but only if I feel I have to say something. I also usually answer all the comments I get myself because I appreciate them and I think it’s polite to do so – I mean, people read my blog and take their time to write a comment, that’s nice, isn’t it?

    Anyway, I’m not on a promotion tour for my blog, but I like blogging and blog-reading for the sake of the people. There’s a handful of people I really have an interest in whose blogs I read almost daily. And I also comment on them regularly. I try to say something meaningful instead of writing just bla bla. And although I’m ping-ponging you now as I’m writing this (because I just saw that you commented on my blog), I try to write something special for you and only you. And this is it:

    Yesterday, I bought two bottles of diet coke at the supermarket. Why? (I have a little compulsion to buy two things of a kind when grocery shopping, but that’s not the point.) So why? – Because I’ve read in you blogger top ten list that you wondered about being the only blogger who likes sodas. Sophia has already come to support you, fortunately, but I thought I’d like to as well. I like soda, but I don’t drink it currently because it’s freaking cold outside so not good for a cold drink. (Chilly from the outside is enough, don’t need chilly from the inside on top of that.)

    Anyway, as I’m sitting here in the warmth of my apartment, wrapped in warm clothes, and writing this comment, I’m drinking a bottle of cooled diet coke on your happiness and your dad’s health. Cheers! 😀

  24. I used to do commenting ping-pong aaallll the time. Then I moved to Toronto and got a life 😛 Seriously. I used to get so worked up when posts would accumulate in my Google Reader, or when I didn’t have time to go check out my newest commenter. I was wasting TONS of time participating in this whole commenting thing and it became more of a chore than something I enjoyed. Why on earth bother wasting hours of precious time doing that?

    I do however still click on the blogs of everyone who comments on my own. I just don’t feel pressure to leave a comment about something if it doesn’t stir a response in me. I much prefer to respond to comments via e-mail. I love it when bloggers do that for my comments and it’s a very nice personal touch to know your comments are being read and acknowledged 🙂

  25. I admit that I like the ego-boost seeing comments on my blog gives me, but honestly, I’d rather have the hits (I know, I’m weird & kind of obsessive about my stupid stats). I know people read my blog, and they don’t always comment, and that’s okay. I’m one who usually replies to comments on my blog, out of politeness, rather than to inflate my numbers (because I usually combine replies into one long comment, not individual replies). And if someone new leaves a comment, I usually go and check out their blog, but if I don’t have anything to say, I don’t bother leaving a comment.

    And I hope you DO continue with the “Stuff Bloggers Don’t Talk About.” We all think about this stuff–You just happen to put it out there, so the rest of us don’t have to! 😉

  26. please, please do a series! you always take my thoughts and put them into your blog posts, and there’s something totally awesome about reading your ideas / experiences in another person’s words 😉 (<—i'm not sure what that is. i think i was trying to make a joke and then it turned into a more serious sentiment. imma leave it at that)
    eh comment ping pong is BO-RING but we all do it at some point, i think.
    my strategy now is that i follow as many blogs as i like but many of them i jsut skim and then i just comment on the ones that i really relate to/ think are interesting or usually i try to comment regularly if i just generally like the person writing, even if one of their posts is not the most interesting thing in the world.

  27. I know I’m gonna get flamed by saying this. I don’t mind the whole ‘ping pong’ commenting system. I mean it’s really nice that readers/strangers take a chunk out of their time to read + comment on someone’s post. What I hate though, is when the comment is something pointless like “OMG…. broccoli!!!”

  28. I totally guffawed at the “oh you’re so creative adding cinnamon!” Heee! I love that humor. Yes yes yes on the regular series.

    OK you call it ping pong. I’ve called it “the Vortex” and “tag” as in ‘tag, you’re it’ Yes, I’ve done it. It somehow seems the cordial and gracious thing to do if someone took the time to comment on my post. But it can be a huge time-suck, hence “the vortex”. NOT that I get that many comments- I don’t, but I have a number of peeps in my reader who I’m very interested in- and I cannot keep up. I simply can’t. I can NOT skim. I try to read every word and it takes me for.ever to read posts. Sometimes I’ll just read the blogs I know don’t have light or short posts just so that I can keep up.

    I feel that if I’ve taken the time to read someone’s post, I should leave a comment. Just so that they feel appreciated for taking the time and effort to post. Sometimes, if there are already 20 comments and I have absolutely no connection with that person, I don’t comment even if I read the whole post.

    I have also met a number of bloggers and have email relationships with others- so I WANT to keep up with these people I consider friends.

    I go completely awol when I travel, and it actually feels nice. I will sometimes lurk, but almost never comment.

  29. I simply comment when I have something to say, it’s kind of just this feeling I get that if for example the blogger were talking to me I’d feel compelled to answer back. I don’t get many comments on my blog, no one really reads it unless I beg my parents or best friends to lol. But that’s ok, I don’t post very frequently either, and maybe it’s boring, whatever. I started it because I was already commenting on many other blogs and didn’t want to seem like a weird stalker, and also because I still have dreams that one day the travel channel will pick up on it and hire me to travel on their budget.
    I do love getting comments but my blog is just a hobby, something I update when an idea pops in my head and then after much much procrastinating. I know I’ve commented on yours several times, and I have no idea if you’ve commented on mine. Not to say that if you did it was not memorable, but just to say that I don’t care one way or the other. I’d be thrilled of course because I love your writing and you’re one of the few bloggers I could see myself being friends with in real life. I guess those are the bloggers I usually send comments to. I’m also the kind of person who will talk to just about anyone, anywhere, in the grocery store, on the subway, at work, at the coffee shop, etc etc. I do it because I have things that run through my head, I genuinely enjoy conversations, and I never think it through enough to have any expectations of what will come from it beforehand.
    And of course, real life should always come first, otherwise it’s probably a sign that something is wrong with you. You shouldn’t feel bad at all for not commenting or not posting and especially for not posting about oatmeal. You have real life going on that is so much more worthy of your time right now and you have to remember to put yourself #1. Whether you write about it to the internet world or not, it is still going on and your readers will just wait until you do post about it… or not.
    I hope you’re doing well Eden, and I’m so relieved your dad is getting better!

    ps. I just had a brilliant idea for making poppy seed cake oatmeal. I bet that one hasn’t been done before! :p

  30. A-fucking-men! I’d almost rather that people never commented on my blog at all if they just leave things like that. I try to read, and although I keep up with your blog and other’s, sometimes I’m just really busy and don’t have the time to comment on everything, even though I check in and all.

    If you don’t have something you actually want to say, just don’t say it! I don’t really understand the whole, “Comment my blog and I’ll comment yours!” thing. It’s like people posting on their blog just for the sake of posting, rather than putting a little thought into their posts where they are at least a little articulate.

    Anyway, all that to say…agreed 100%!

  31. There are some blogs I read every day but have never, ever commented on … others I read every day and only comment on occasionally, and others that I read every day and comment on regularly. I do what I can, but I like to leave comments especially for those that I feel I “know” because I know people like them 🙂 I never comment on blogs I don’t actually “read.” If I skim a blog, that is one that rarely gets a comment.

  32. Yesss, please more this! I liked this post and I admit being part of the pingpong sometimes.. but since last week I’ve been unmotivated about writing and reading blogs since I’ve had more important stuff going on in my life and then after a while of feeling bad about not reading / commeting blogs I realised it really doesn’t matter. The blogs will be there in my iGoogle when I feel like returning to them, right?

  33. I hope that people who read your blog understand that you are going through hell and leave you alone! I never feel like I need to comment or feel obligated. I comment, because I genuinely feel like letting the person know that I am thinking of them and I hope it helps brighten their day. There is no worse feeling than the one of feeling alone and worthless. Sometimes it is nice to know that somebody cares! A little support goes a long way sometimes (even if it is in the way of commenting on cinnamon in oatmeal!)lol.
    Keeping you and your father in my thoughts and prayers. I hope that you both have a wonderful holiday together. I definitely am grateful for my father, and what has happened to you (and my uncle, who had a massive stroke a month ago) made me realize that going that extra mile to leave a nice message etc is so worth it. The little things count!
    XOXO
    Barbara

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