Monday, January 30, 2012

thank you + a blogging question.

{photo by Ikunori Yamamoto }

I know everyone says their blog readers are the best, so I hope I don't seem disingenuous when I join the masses to say: I have the best blog readers. In fact, I don't really think of you as blog readers, I think of so many of you as my friends.

The past few months have been difficult, emotionally and spiritually, but your comments and emails have been so kind, so encouraging. I can't tell you what that means to me.

It's a little weird, I guess, to have so many friends across the country (and beyond!) who I have never met. But then I remember that the blood of Christ has the power to bring together all kinds of people, and the prayers and the encouragement I have received from you prove that friendship comes in all shapes and sizes and forms. Just because I don't know you in person doesn't make these friendships any less genuine or real.

So thank you. Thank you for your emails, tweets, comments, and cards. Thank you for sticking with me even when posting has been a little heavy on the grief and the sadness. Thank you for reminding me that blogging has the potential for ministry, both in the writing and in the receiving.

Because I do so appreciate our interactions with one another, I have a blogging question. My Twitter account has been overflowing with opinions on the new embedded comment system Blogger has installed. In the past, I've responed to most comments via email; that's how I prefer to be responded to, so that's how I've always done it. Rarely, if ever, do I go back to a blog to see if my comment has been answered or recognized.

I get the sense, though, that a lot of readers prefer to interact in and throughout the comments section, so I wonder: Do you prefer embedded comments (not just in general, but specifically for this blog), or do you like receiving email responses? My blog, I think, is a little bit different from others, in that I don't post about fashion or home improvement or food, at least not on a regular basis, so questions aren't frequently asked that would require a public response. I also am a blogger with a full-time job, so frequently interacting with readers in the comments section isn't always possible or practical. For those reasons, I've stuck with the same system I've used for as long as I've been blogging. I respond via email or Twitter to most of the comments I receive. Sometimes, if I have time, I'll visit a reader's blog and comment there. I'm willing to change, though, if it's important to the friends I so frequently meet here.


So, readers and friends, which is it: embedded comments, or are you as happy as a clam with the way things are?


Kate said...

I'm an email replier on my blog and I prefer it when I get emails. I NEVER go back to comments after I comment, so if I get a response that way, I wouldn't even know.

Cindy P said...

I love the email replies. They're so much more personal that way. I never reply to a comment via my comments section on my blog. I will either email the commenter or go to their blog and leave a comment.

TefMarie said...

I must say I don't have a preference. I think you're doing just fine already, though.

Jules said...

I think it's important to at least occasionally respond to comments in your comment section, if only to show new readers that you welcome, and respond to, discourse.

I always return to a blog to see if a person has responded to a question I have asked. Not right away (I have a life, too, even though I don't work outside the home), but eventually. I see it like this: If you and I are having a conversation in person, I don't make a comment or say something to you and then turn around and leave, trusting you'll get back to me in a way that's convenient for me.

I participate heavily in my comment section and try to reply to every comment that warrants interaction. Sometimes, that means I respond to a large amount of comments at the end of the day, when the boys are in bed. Other days, like Fridays, I reply as late as Sunday, when the day is quiet. I try to respond to all comments before I publish the next post.

I trust my readers are like me, busy (either with home or with work) and not waiting on pins and needles for me to reply. It's blogging, not instant messaging. Haha. :)

Brittany said...

You're so great Annie. Really. I love reading your blog.

I love email responses. I think it's fabulous that you take the time to personally respond.

Julie Spitler said...

I love email responses. I think it is more personal and like a friend returning a message.


Sarah said...

hmm... i don't have a blog and i don't know much about "techy" things, but is it possible to stick to email responses for most posts, but have embedded comments in the posts that your responses would be helpful to the masses? for example, i bookmarked your post about your new (at the time) skin care routine last summer, but only started it myself a few weeks ago. i noticed that someone had asked a question in the comments that i too was wondering, but i didn't see your answer and didn't want to bother you with a comment/question six months later. i know you also occasionally post recipes... things of that nature. if it's not possible and it has to be all or nothing- honestly, i read every post but i rarely comment (on any blogs i read, not just yours!) so i wouldn't dare ask you to change your policy to suit me and my once-a-month comment :P

Denise K said...

I love your blog BECAUSE you are honest and not trying to wow everyone with pictures of food or your outfit. I think the reason that you draw intelligent, sensitive people is because you are those very things. It makes no difference how you arrange the commenting mechanism--just keep blogging! :)

jennifer blair said...

I think how you do it is just great!

Velva said...

I do not typically respond to readers comments in my comment section. Like you, i prefer to make my response a bit more personal and reach out via email.


Chelsea said...

You've been tagged over on my blog today!!