Comment blues

Half of the fun of blogging comes from commenting other people’s posts and receiving comments on one’s own. WordPress cooperates up to a point by sending me an email every time someone writes a comment on one of my posts but that’s only half the battle. The other half is keeping up with my comments on other people’s blogs and any replies to them. I am not notified of these of course. So how do I keep track? WordPress does have a page that keeps a record of my comments on WordPress blogs but that doesn’t help me with the many blogs I follow on other sites.

Perhaps an example will make it easier to see what I mean. When I have time, I check all my favourite blogs new posts. Suppose Joe Bloggs on Blogger has just posted something really good and I feel impelled to comment. I do so and then pass on to other things. Next day I wonder what Joe (or visitors to his blog) thought about my comment and whether they have replied to it. The only way to find out is to visit Joe’s blog, find the post in question, click on comment tag and take a look. Easy enough, you might think.

The problem is that Joe’s isn’t the only blog I visit. I also visit – and post comments to – several other blogs. Keeping tabs on all my comments soon becomes a complicated business. The only way I have found to do it is to keep a special folder in my bookmarks and to save in it the URL of any post I comment. Then I can keep visiting these links until I am sure there is no more action. But one cannot really be sure of that: people sometimes comment long after the post was first published.

The result is that I tend to be a fly commenter. Like a kid throwing a stink bomb onto a bus I come, comment and run away, never to return. Looking at comments on my own blog, I think I see the same thing happening: people will leave a comment and I will post a reply, perhaps asking a question but there is never a reply to this.

Am I the only person with this problem? Or has someone cracked it and found a solution? Maybe the solution is obvious and I have simply failed to notice it.

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About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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8 Responses to Comment blues

  1. Simon says:

    All of us bloggers, I assume, have this same problem.

    You can keep a blog roll on your page if you like which is really just the same as putting a bookmark in your browser.

    What I’ve found most effective is really what Words Press have tried to implement. You can use a RSS reader and subscribe to the blog in question’s comments. That way every time a new comment is posted you will get notified. I use Mozilla Thunderbird for email and for RSS to keep track of non Word Press comments or blogs that I’ve commented on with a non Word Press ID.

    Of course there are many RSS readers out there so you can really just pick and choose.

  2. Simon says:

    Hehe, I just read your last post. Sorry, I should have looked there before I wrote this.

  3. SilverTiger says:

    No problem 🙂

    RSS keeps up with posts, not with comments. I suppose it would be possible within the RSS reader to tag posts you comment and thus remind yourself to go back to them.

    The problem with that is that the posts of active blogs soon drop off the bottom of the list whereas people might go on commenting for some time.

    It seems a problem without an elegant solution 😦

  4. Simon says:

    Depending on the blog of course but most of the time there is a comments rss stream too. For example to subscribe to the comments on your blog the url is – https://tigergrowl.wordpress.com/comments/feed/

  5. ggwfung says:

    Jon Udell has an interesting thought on this from earlier in the month. He refers to it as an individual’s “published surface area’.

    published surface area

    it’s a little technical, but it has some strong thinking.

    ggw

  6. SilverTiger says:

    Thanks to Simon for pointing out the existence of the comments feed. There is an analogous one for Blogger. It’s form is http://blogname.blogspot.com/feeds/comments/default. I am experimenting with these.

    WordPress also provides a comments page within your configuration pages. It’s address is http://blogname.wordpress.com/wp-admin/index.php?page=my-comments. (Or go to Dashboard then My Comments.) This seems to record all your comments on any WordPress blog and people’s comments to those same posts.

  7. caveblogem says:

    I’ve this problem, too. I’m trying to subscribe now to all of those blogs on blogspot that I don’t track in WordPress. Unfortunately I don’t habitually check my rss feeds, like I do my email. It’s more like a treat. So it can be quite a while before I see any interactions on these non-wordpress sites.

  8. Pingback: A Plea to my Blogger Friends (the ones with blogspot URLs) « Pretty Good on Paper

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