I am echoing off Rebecca, The Book’s Lady Blog post on commenting practices. Obviously there’s been some navel gazing about how bloggers ignore comments or commentators feel that their comments weren’t appreciated. This is the perfect opportunity to lay out some of the ground rules and expectations of this blog. You do have to appreciate that different bloggers will have different approaches to comments, and that they can make do with priorities and limitations, such as reading time and this thing called a job.
Blogs I read: about 50+, I do not subscribe to any blogs nor do I use Google or Yahoo reader because I simply cannot keep track of all the RSS feeds, which are overwhelming.
Average time spent blogging on a normal day : 30-45 minutes, depending on the content of the post. Usually a book review, which has been written on my journal, takes up less time.
Average amount of time spent reading blogs on a normal day : about 1 hour. I try not to spend too much time online because I rather read my books and not to mention students’ papers. Sometimes I don’t get to read any blogs when I’m away for the weekend.
Number of blogs I comment on per day: around 15. This number highly depends on the number of comments I’ve got on the most current post. I usually reciprocate the visits, plus several of the blogs that are my daily doses.
As you see, I limit the time to write posts, respond to comments, read blogs, and comment on other blogs to just under 2 hours a day. I try to remain offline so I can read books (thank god for that 2 hours of uninterrupted reading early in the morning over coffee). Allow me to be selfish, but other than sharing my thoughts and reflections on my readings, the prime reason to blog is new ideas for reading. I have to prioritize. This is the reason why social networking doesn’t appeal to me as much (although I do use Facebook to keep in touch with friends): people post status updates about every little mundane thing and twitter where they get toilet paper. Unless they twitter about books, I don’t resonate with the twitterings. This blog is my status update. I am avoiding that downward-spiral irony that the more you blog (book-blog), the less (time) you read.
What I Do (and Don’t)
I always read every comment even if I don’t immediately response. I do believe in interaction with readers of the blogs, otherwise there is no point of having comments. I try to respond to them but I do not measure the worth of the comments by whose comments I’m responding to. Sometimes comments can be self-explanatory and close-ended.
I read many blogs but I comment very few. As the number of book blogs multiply exponentially, how can anyone keep up with reading them, let alone scrupulously commenting on them? I refuse to subject myself to an overwhelming feed of 500+ book blogs so I don’t subscribe to them. I go down my blogroll and click on the daily favorites, and work from there. If you leave me a comment, the chance is I will get to read your blog(s) first. I tend to leave comments on book reviews most of the time, whether it’s a new book that intrigues or an old one that I enjoyed. I usually have no difficulty worming my way to blogs that have left me comments months ago.
I do not expect this blog will appeal to every single book blogger. This blog has been known to be eclectic and eccentric. The book talk preponderates on literary fiction, classics, and GLBT literature, which to me serves more to a constituent to the book blogging community than a general book review blog itself. I try to be very consistent in the subject matter and content of the blog so readers always know what they expect here.
Having stated my last point, I don’t expect all the book blogs will appeal to me. That’s just a given. The ones that share my reading taste always and most reasonably get my attention. But I assure you that I do give every blog a chance, and at the end of the day, it’s a matter of time and limitations. In light of this common sense, I do not expect bloggers to respond to any comment I make, although I would appreciate and am burning to know how they react to the selected few comments on occasions. I won’t follow every single blog that has ever left a comment. It’s just reality.
I would like bloggers to expect that this is a personal hobby of mine. I value your thoughts on what I have to share but if I do not respond right away, don’t think that I do not take your comments seriously. In the same way, I expect bloggers not to take everything personally, just work what’s best for him or her; after all, book blogging should be fun and not competitive. Enjoy what you do—book blogging, sharing about your thoughts on books, interacting with others; don’t make book blogging like a chore.
I shall tailor this post to include in the About Matt page. I have also moved the blogroll to a tab overhead. You will find the links to book blogs that I read.