Comments. Every blogger thinks comments are rad. Every blogger handles comments differently. Some reply to every comment in the comment section. Some reply strictly via email. Some don’t respond at all. Some bloggers don’t have comments enabled for various reasons.
Awhile ago, I did a survey asking Tiny Twig readers how they would most like to be responded if they leave a comment. The overwhelming answer was that they would like an email because they may not come back to the comments. I totally understand this view, and I often don’t come back to comments I make on other women’s blogs. However, I know that I wanted to foster community ON Tiny Twig, not just community between the readers and myself. So, I sort of stalled on what to do about comments on Tiny Twig. I respond to some, I don’t respond to some. Some people I email. I am really just a mess!
I love Jules of Pancakes and French Fries, she’s smart, she’s got great style, and she’s got an opinion. Love a smart lady with an opinion–but, that opinion must come with a healthy dose of humble! Jules has it all in spades. Anyway, I follow her Twitter feed and noticed her discourse with various other bloggers about comments.
So, since she was already having the discussion on Twitter, I asked if she wouldn’t mind sharing with us her thoughts on commenting. I respect her voice and thought she might help me formulate what direction Tiny Twig should take regarding comments.
She had this to say:
Everyone has an opinion on the way blog commenting should go. This is how I do it: I reply to every sincere comment I receive on my blog and I do so in the comment section. I believe it fosters community between the blog author and the readers and makes blogging a more fulfilling experience for everyone involved. Public comments rarely require a private response, but when that happens I will send the reader an email.
Blogging, when I first stumbled upon it in 2006, was about bringing together like-minded individuals. I want every post I write to be the beginning of a conversation. For me, emailing replies or leaving a comment on someone else’s blog isn’t discourse, it’s marketing. I want the work I do to benefit the whole, and to do that I must be an active member of the community I started. It’s more work for me this way, but it’s worth it. I love to see women talking amongst themselves in my comment section. I love that Sue gave Jane a tip for moving ahead on library waiting lists, and that Jane came back excited and told Sue it worked. I love that I have more than just readers, I have friends. And, as a side benefit, my community has only grown stronger and more vocal in the past year.
The thoughts she had cemented my own take on comments. So, going forward, this will be the policy on comments! :) Oh, I’m such a “good girl”…I make things like “policies” for things that don’t really need them. (P.S.–if you are a good girl, too…get [easyazon-link asin="0800719840" locale="us"]this book[/easyazon-link], give yourself a hug, and don’t worry about thanking me!).
My take on blog comments:
I hope that the comments within Tiny Twig can be a place of rich discussion and deep encouragement for the women who gather here. I want to respond where needed, answering questions or just offering encouragement. I also want you, the readers–who are the heartbeat of Tiny Twig, to feel encouraged to respond to each other’s comments. I hope you feel compelled to build up and help the women who share this space with you. You are the richest resource I can offer, and I hope you’ll find a home for your voice here. I know that you are an amazing woman, full of awesomeness to share. I honestly pray you’ll be compelled to share you wisdom and your joy here at Tiny Twig.
Going forward, I hope the comments are a place where women can gather and get to know each other. To this end, I would encourage you to install a Gravatar to use on this site (and others!). A Gravatar will allow you to be a real face on here, rather than that cute swirly ribbon. I would love to put a face with a name, and I’m sure others would, too!
Please feel free (feel compelled, even!) to answer other women in the comments. I know you know more than I do about spices, or budgets, or hairstyles…share your knowledge! And, if it’s a post like this one, y’all, make someone’s day and help them feel not so alone. Come alongside a voice that sounds like yours and offer her some encouragement or solidarity.
I will respond to the comments in the comment section, not via email. I hope you’ll check back to join the conversation–as Tiny Twig grows in community, I hope a vibrant group of voices emerge…where women feel valued and understood, encouraged and challenged.
If you have a question of a personal nature, or you are just more an email person–please, PLEASE, feel free to email me at thetinytwig @ gmail.com. I will respond as soon as I can, which isn’t always the fastest with 3 small people at my feet.
Comments that are offensive or hateful to the women of this community will be deleted upon notice.