Blogging Etiquette – Comment Reply or Email Response?


There was much discussion at BlogHer around the community of the blogging world, built largely through commenting on other sites, responding to comments on your own sites, linking to one another, and so forth.

One question I forgot to ask in the many sessions I attended was regarding comment etiquette. When someone new (or regular, for that matter) comments, is it best to acknowledge or respond to that comment within the comments of that post? Or is it more appropriate to send that person an email response? Or both?

I guess the reason I’m asking is, when you comment on a post, do you typically go back to that post at a later time to see how the conversation has continued? Or do you comment and move on?

6 thoughts on “Blogging Etiquette – Comment Reply or Email Response?”

  1. If the public can benefit from it, I leave a comment. If it’s something that might make the person look bad, I email them directly and ask for clarification. (must be a girl thing not to publically humiliate others)

    I don’t think people have the time to read through dozens of comments. They barely can get through email and now blogs.

    I wanted to email you today because of your comment about being a better writer when you were depressed. I burst out laughing when you said that… BUT I don’t see how to email you.

  2. I go through stages where I will answer via email for anyone who comments for the first time. I assume that the person is just surfing through and probably won’t be coming back. Otherwise, I will usually answer people via comments unless my answer is private, at which time I’ll skip the comments and also use email.

  3. I wish you had gotten to ask that question…
    so far I’ve been replying with emails.
    But sometimes I get a bunch of comments and that can lead to work.
    And sometimes they don’t register or post an email address anywhere and then I reply within the comments…

  4. I am the WORST about this. I can’t even find the time to brush my hair let alone be a good commenter-back. I think that’s why no one reads me anymore. I’m not very affirming. But I would probably vote for the commenting back rather than email. Or maybe email. Maybe I should just brush my hair instead.

  5. I’m fascinated by the subject of Comment Etiquette and, more importantly, what makes a good commentator given the blog’s provided material. I used to frequent a well-known humorist’s daily blog, and only left comments when I felt I had something decent (meaning marginally clever or funny, something more than a one-word trite-o-gram) to contribute; my theory has always been that any decent blog should be a virtual breeding-ground for “cumulative content”: You, the Blogger, take the time and effort to create something unique; I, the Commentator, “pay you back” not only by visiting often and reading your work but by leaving a comment that further enriches both your original post AND the experience of your regular readers. Content building on content, taking your thoughts in a different direction, creating a living organism in the motile thread provided for our discussion. If the comment is self-contained (not a question, or something requiring specific follow-up), I don’t expect a response from the Blogger; I try not to comment in a way that requires any feedback from the host, so as not to be a burden on his or her time. What is always appreciated, of course, is some acknowledgement by the host that such commentary is a delightful addition to The Blog and some form of encouragement to stick around and keep it up; it’s wonderful, in my own experience, to see the quality of commentary on your blog meet or exceed the standards set down by the blog itself. This sort of thing should be acknowledged if the host hopes to keep such content flowing.

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