Monday, July 13, 2009

Shmonday Salon - Bloghopping

I don't really have a thorn--just thought the picture was cute.

I started to draft a Sunday Salon post on Friday but decided I was too exhausted to post. Too exhausted to bloghop this weekend. So I nixed it. And last I posted, Google Reader was taking hours to show my posts, so Shmonday might turn into Shmuesday. Ah well.

As I find my Google Reader with over 200 unread posts, yet again, I thought I'd pose a few questions to you about your bloghopping habits. I used to be a pretty good commenter, but as there are more and more blogs and more and more posts (do we really need another weekly meme?), I'm finding myself more and more absent from the blogosphere. Mostly because I get so overwhelmed that I don't even know where to start.

Do you bloghop? How many blogs do you read/subscribe to? How much time do you spend each day reading blogs? What do you get out of bloghopping? Do you do it for social connection, because you're interested in what the other person says, because you feel it will drive more traffic to your own blog?

And of course, how can one talk about bloghopping without talking about commenting?

Do you comment on the blogs you read? How often? Do you read the entire post before commenting or just scan to find something you can comment on? How much time do you spend on comments? Is it better to leave a lot of short comments or a few longer comments? Do you get offended or stop reading a person's blog because they don't comment on your blog?

Holy cow that's a lot of questions. I think for each blogger we could all have incredibly different answers.

My answers?
I do bloghop--not as much as I used to due to time. I could literally spend hours a day trying to keep up with each post in my reader (I subscribe to about 80 blogs), but lately spending hours in front of a computer hasn't been a priority for me. I blog for a social connection. I've met some wonderful people who I consider friends, and reading what they've been up to and leaving comments helps me stay connected.

Unfortunately I do think that bloghopping and commenting are directly related to how much traffic you get to your own blog. Comment a lot and you'll get lots of comments. This makes me wonder if people are commenting just to comment or because they're actually interested in what the person is posting. I'll admit to occasionally commenting just to comment, but this is a little exhausting to me. How many different ways can you say, "wow that cover is really pretty" for a Cover Attractions Meme? (I have nothing against memes even though I don't often participate--it's just hard to come up with original comments).

I've always tried to go for quality rather than quantity, but who's to say whether a comment is a good comment or not? For me, anything more than "great review, here's my link" is probably a good comment, but sometimes I wonder if I talk about myself and my own experiences too much in the comments I leave on other people's blogs. My comments can get lengthy, and I often wonder--does the person even care--or should I have just said "wow, this sounds great"? I get in my own head way too much--probably need to stop over analyzing everything so much!

Do I get bothered when I comment on someone's site and they don't bother to return the favor? I'm mostly bothered or concerned if it is someone I have "known" for a while. But I try not to take offense to it. Especially since lately I've been very bad about returning the favor to commenters who might not be as "regular" as others. I do my best, but lately making the rounds seems to be more and more difficult.

How much time do I spend blogging? I'll go days without being able to get on my GReader and then spend a few hours one night "catching up." It's hard to give a rough number since it is fairly inconsistent. I used to spend Saturday and Sunday mornings catching up, but over the past few months I've frequently been out of town on the weekends. I certainly spend more time on other people's blogs than my own. Despite my current apathy towards blogging, I do really enjoy leaving comments and have no plans to stop.

Man, I wish I could be more concise!!

One more thing--How many people subscribe to follow-up comments? I always do when I know the blogger responds, but sometimes I wonder if anyone else does?

So how about you? Why do you bloghop?

56 comments:

  1. I'm a blogger who loves to read blogs. I read blogs months before I started my own. I love to read blogs because I love learning about new people, I love to make that connection, I love to learn about new things, and I love to be challenged or exposed to ideas I don't get in my day to day life.

    I leave comments because A)I have something to say B)I want to encourage other bloggers. I know how much time it takes to write a post and maintain a blog and even though traffic might be there--there is nothing like a comment.
    If I comment, I have usually read the post in full...If I skim, I often find that the blogger may have already answered the question or addressed my comment in their post.

    There are some bloggers who don't care about reading other blogs, but I'm not one of them. I enjoy it a whole lot and it really has nothing to do with traffic to my own blog.

    I probably spend an hour or two a day reading blogs...but not all at one time! I subscribe to hundreds of blogs across different interests, but I don't read every post on every blog.

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  2. OH I forgot to say...I wish I could say I didn't, but I do notice if a blogger I read never comments on my blog. I try not to let it offend me, since it takes several visits for me to add other bloggers to my own reader.

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  3. I've been a lazy commenter lately but my GR is read every day!

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  4. I love to read blogs, too. I like the social connection with other readers, but I also like the ideas I get about books, layouts, etc. When I first discovered blogs, I started leaving comments because I wanted the blogger to know that I enjoyed their post. I usually do try to read the whole post, but if someone is reviewing a book I plan to read, I will skim over the synopsis in order to avoid spoilers.

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  5. Trish, I feel like I haven't been so good about blog hopping lately, myself. I actually have over 200 blogs in my reader, probably, and I have to admit that I don't thoroughly read all the posts. How could I? I don't have THAT much time. I normally look for things that interest me, focus on those posts, and then try to make an effort to comment on those blogs. I know how we all tend to thrive on comments so I try to do my best to let people know their posts are read and appreciated. Of course, getting traffic back to my own site is a nice benefit, but it is not the main reason I try to be a good commenter.

    I do enjoy the social connection with other readers. In my own circle of friends and family, there is no one who reads the amount of books I do. My mother and I share a few common authors we love, but at the end of the day she doesn't really have the time to read as much as I do, so we never really talk about it much. In this world, all of the sudden there are a gazillion people to talk to! And yes, that can certainly be overwhelming!! :-) But in a good way.

    But now that I've rambled on, I guess all I really wanted to say is that I know how you feel and can sympathize completely. (BTW you always have thoughtful, provoking posts like this, do you realize that?) :-)

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  6. I used to not leave a comment unless I had something of significance to say, but soon enough realized I pretty much never have anything significant to say! So then I started leaving comments that just try to show I was there and had read the post, because blogging does take a lot of work, and I know how gratified I feel to know somebody is actually out there reading your posts once in a while!

    But I subscribe to way too many - I enjoy reading them, and the comments too. But with all the spam protection we all have going on, it can take a long time just to get one comment registered! So I don't comment as much as I'd like to, even if I have read the blog.

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  7. *Amy - I love to read blogs as well--it's funny because I never thought I'd continue to be so interested in hearing what other people think! Sometimes it's a little discouraging to leave multiple comments on someone's blog and never receive acknowledgement, but I try not to let myself freak out about it. :) I try to remember that we all have different circumstances and interests and goals.

    *Chris - I have a hard time reading a post and not commenting--almost like if I don't acknowledge the person somehow it's like I didn't read the post at all. I think with the summer some of us have become a little apathetic towards blogging/commenting.

    *Bermuda - I agree that I comment to let the person know someone's reading--nothing like receiving a comment, especially when first starting to blog!

    *Melissa - Ramble on--I love rambling. :) It is hard when there are so many bloggers and so many posts. Sometimes I wonder if it is better to really get to know a handful of bloggers and leave lots of comments for them or to leave fewer comments but on more blogs. I'm the same way about not having people "in real life" who read or love books like I do. It's so great to be in such good company. :)

    *Rhapsody - LOL--your comment was very significant. :) The spam protection is a pain in the rear, if you ask me. I've been pretty lucky with spam so I keep the word verification off, but sometimes it does take a long time just to leave a dang comment!

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  8. I like to leave comments whenever what I'm reading makes a response pop into my head- so if it's a book I've read too, or one I'm curious about, or there's some other issue discussed I could chime in on, I'll say something. I know how you feel, though- sometimes I find my comments getting too long, and that it's getting too me-y, so I edit some out before hitting that "publish" button... Like right now, I'm thinking: wait a minute, did I say too much there? I don't comment as much as I'd like to, that's certain.

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  9. I love reading other people's blogs. What I tend to do (especially now since I'm newer to book blogging) is I look for interesting blogs and add a bunch to my list. Then I just keep up with the newer posts and if I find a good blog I might go back and read past entries. After a while if I find that I'm not interested in one, I'll delete it from my list. That way in the end I'm only reading the ones I really like.

    Commenting -- I tend to only comment when I have something to say. But then at other times I comment just to be friendly and let the blogger know I'm reading. I have a regular "blog" on Livejournal that I've had for years... it's easy to get offended when people don't comment. But I just try to keep in mind that even if what you say interests someone, they might not always have something interesting to say in response. I know I don't!

    I hadn't been subscribing to follow up comments b/c I didn't really pay attention to the options under the comment box. But then I would get frustrated that I didn't know when follow up comments were made, lol! Then I realized if I just read what was written under the box I'd have realized I could easily check that I want follow up comments e-mailed! So that's what I do now. =)

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  10. I love bloghopping! It's great knowing the bloggers and I want to read what they're reading and also getting to know more of them (and of course not to mention the interactions, it's so fun)!

    I've no idea how many blogs I've subscribed, I didn't check and I'm too scared to check, LOL! As for commenting, I try to comment as many blogs as I can, but I've to admit sometimes it might get a little overwhelming but I always try (unless I've nothing to say).

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  11. I really liked this post Trish, mostly because I've been thinking some of the same things lately. I follow probably about 120 blogs and there's just no way I could comment on every post every day. But crazy as it is, I still read just about every post. I have to admit to skipping memes though sometimes :p Like Teaser Tuesday...don't like that one, lol. I typically just scroll past those.

    As for commenting, I wish I could comment on every blog I read all the time! But there's just not enough time in the day, so I usually don't comment unless I have something I want to say. As for you, you seem to have the perfect balance to me :) I'm trying to figure that out myself!

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  12. I have to agree with you, about memes and about finding time to bloghop. Lately, since my access to the internet has been so-so, what with traveling and work, I have found that my Google reader will grow and grow until I'm overwhlemed the the point where I hit "Mark All as Read" and never look back.
    (Confession time: I have to say that my least favorite day is Tuesday! All those "Teaser Tuesday" posts drive me crazy.)

    I really prefer it when I am all caught up. I spend maybe 30 minutes to an hour going through the blogs of the day and I comment on 10-15. It's a healthy amount, but it's generally only on the blogs I really like or the ones that have an exceptionally interesting post. I don't always comment if I don't have anything to say. If you haven't read any books I've read or have been interested in lately, I'm not going to comment just to comment.

    Great reflective post!

    PS: I just noticed that Chris doesn't like Teaser Tuesday either! Thank god, I'm not the only one! I felt like a real grouch ;)

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  13. Haha, I'm another one that doesn't care for Tuesday Teaser. Every once in a while I'll go to post one but then I'll realize it's not really that interesting for me.

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  14. Oh Trishabobisha, you know my thoughts on all this! Like someone else said, sometimes I just don't have anything TO say, but I want people to know they aren't blogging into a void, that I do care about them and want them to continue posting, so I comment anyway. I subscribe to a LOT more blogs than you do and it would be impossible to comment on every one of them.

    To be a little controversial- I do feel like I owe it to everyone who visits me to return a visit. It doesn't have to be on a 1 to 1 basis. I might visit (and comment) 20 times on yours to every 1 of yours on mine and that's fine, but a wee bit of reciprocation would be appreciated. There are people who comment on mine a lot more than I do on theirs, but I eventually make it around. I think that's fair, even if it isn't equal.

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  15. Oh just had to chime in to say I don't ever read Teaser Tuesdays, either! But Waiting on Wednesday? That's another issue...it feeds my book lust ;)

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  16. I love to blog hop. If there is time in the morning and I am up early enough I like to do it then. I am alone in the house then and I can relax with my coffee.

    I really like to see what people are reading and I love just looking at all the amazing blogs... I serioulsy up until recently had no idea there were so many about books out there.

    I love their layouts, I love their features. They have introduced me to books I did not know existed.

    Commenting back and forth - I love that too. I think it is important as some of the others have said on here to comment. They are such fun!

    I am hoping to go to BEA next year and I am hoping that I will get a chance to meet some of these wonderful bloggers who I have hopped on over to! :)

    Thanks for posting this! Great topic!

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  17. I love getting to know other bloggers and encouraging new bloggers. I always try to at least minimum either respond to comments on my blog and to return the blog visit, sometimes I just visit their blog and leave a comment if I am really busy. And then I have my google reader which has about 100 bogs that I read regularly and try to at least comment a few times a week.

    I don't know that I always have interesting things to say. I read lots of great reviews on great books and I wonder if people get tired of me saying something so simple as they did a good job with their review, but I like people to know at least a few times a week that I have stopped by and that I am always reading whether I leave a comment or not.

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  18. I try to read the blogs in my blogroll as often as I can, but I often find that it's one or two days a week I have to do catch-up, and then I tend to read several posts on a blog and leave comments on them. I don't seem to be catching up anyway! But it's fun to see what people are writing and thinking about. I've just had such a crazy life lately that I sometimes don't even get on the computer for a day, which isn't normal. I do try to comment when I can, and if someone leaves me a comment, I always go to their blog and read it, and leave a comment. I do sometimes think that I could spend several hours a day on blogs, and the problem then is no reading time, and little time with my family. so I'm balancing it out so I get a little of everything, if I can, every day!!

    Great question Trish, and you always get to the the heart of it in your answers, too.

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  19. I've found that comments is very much a seasonal thing for me. Now that the weather is warm and I'm out playing with my boys all day, it really cuts into my blogging time. Not only is my blog suffering for it, but I've found myself not being able to comment like I used to. But I still have huge, lofty goals of getting back into a regular rhythm.

    But I do scan my Google Reader every single day and if a commenter is a book blogger, then I always put them into my reader. For some reason, I feel like I owe them that, although I've had plenty tell me that I don't (thank goodness for folders!). So I'd like to think that at least I'm aware of what somebody is blogging about even though it's impossible for me to leave a comment on them all.

    It definitely is a you get what you put out, because I see a direct correlation with my comments and the efforts I put in leaving comments. Sometimes I do really well and sometimes I am just plain awful. Does anybody have any energy pills that I could take as well as create 10 more hours in the day? Because really, I want to comment on them all!

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  20. Trish, you can leave lengthy comments at my blog anytime. I do that sometimes too and have found myself wondering if it annoys people. But I like it when someone tells me something about themselves in relation to something I've posted -- no matter how tangential (boy can I be tangential sometimes!):o)

    I do bloghop, but I've had to cut back the last week so I could put together a book giveaway (check it out if you haven't already) and upcoming author guest post. Reading and commenting on others posts takes a fair amount of time, so if I find myself needing time to actually read and write reviews (!) I limit myself for a time to visiting those who are regular visitors and commenters on my blog. Sounds cold maybe, but I get overwhelmed otherwise.

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  21. I spend quite a lot of time commenting each day. I love reading blogs - well the ones I subscribe to anyway!

    I admit to skimming over most memes, as they do tend to be similar to each other and the repitition bores me. I subscribe to 200 blogs, but have a folder containing my favourite 50, so if I get overwhelmed I just mark all posts in the other 150 as read. That tends to keep things undercontrol!

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  22. I bloghop a lot. I'm not sure how long I spend doing it, since I mostly do it for 15 minutes here, 15 minutes there. I work on the computer a lot, and I do it from home, so it's easy for me to leave a comment or two when I'm in need of a break (which is what I'm doing right now - 10am and I need a break already This bodes well for the rest of the day). The blogs I subscribe to are all by people on whose thoughts and opinions I'm interest. I don't comment in all of them, but when I do, it's a way of socializing and interacting. I see it as the internet equivalent of saying hi to a friend. I don't read every post on every blog I subscribe to (there just isn't enough time), but when I comment, it means I've read it. Personally I prefer longer comments, but I don't mind if people leave me short ones - sometimes we just don't have a lot to say, and I appreciate that they still wanted to let me know they were there reading. I don't get offended if someone on whose blog I comment doesn't comment on mine, but I might worry that they dislike me.

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  23. I dont think I do so much thinking while commenting. I start every post with the intention of reading it and then skip or skim accroding to my preference. Sometimes, when you are a regular reader, you know what posts/ parts to skim. While commenting I dont think about the length of it. I just write what comes to my mind. But I love long comments.

    I agree with you on commenting on memes, especially on Cover attraction and Teaser Tuesdays, even In my mailbox. They are nice to read and all but not so much to comment.

    I dont think I comment to get traffic to my blog, at least that is not my only purpose. I usually comment back on people who have commented on my blog first, if I have anything interesting to say. Then I read google reader each morning, I start with the first blog in the list whichever that is and then go from there. If I feel I can say anything I just click on the link and comment. Most of the times I forget which blogs I commented on :) I have around 259 blogs in my google reader (just checked) and It takes me some times to get to z :)

    I generally dont blog on weekends. I keep that for reading and socializing and other stuff :) Good thing I can do it at work :)

    I love your comments and I love when people get detailed or personal in their comments.

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  24. I have to jump around a lot this summer. However, I have to throw this out there. As I was looking at my book log (I have a written one outside of my blog), I realized that every summer my reading amounts go down, even though I have more time. Why, I asked myself, and allowed the guilt to ride over me. Then it hit me. It's SUMMER! :) We're outside, playing, going to the beach, mountains, parks, backyard, baseball game, etc. Maybe we should really cut ourselves more slack in the summer? I know I finally came to that conclusion.

    I don't know, but that was just something I was thinking about, especially when it comes to reading my feeds and posting. Usually though, I bounce around, but hit everything a couple times a week. I definitely return comments to those who comment frequently on my blog, because we've started to build a friendship. In the end, it really depends on what's taking over my life at the time! :)

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  25. I just noticed that others are off and on like I am, depending on what's going on. In this case, summer is really hard for me. I wonder how many other people find that summer is hard???

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  26. I'm much better at leaving comments when I have something to say, than I am at leaving the "Wow! Nice post" style one, and I'd really like to do better at that, for much of the same reasons others have said.

    It lets people know I've been there, and that at least read their efforts.

    If the facility is there to 'subscribe' to comments, then more often that not I do so, and on a couple of blogs that don't, but I still want to follow the conversations, I use a combination of the comments feed and Yahoo pipes to filter them, so I can at least follow the blog owners replies.

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  27. I love to read other people's blogs. I subscribe to a hell of a lot and check through them each day. I comment more now if I have something to say, rather than just for the sake of it. I am on and off the computer all day, so I do it in installments.
    I don't mind if people don't comment. If I get new people visiting and leaving comments then I make sure I visit theres.
    I understand how you feel though. Sometimes it is overwhelming, I struggle with blogs that post more than once day and I have always tried to keep mine down to a daily post, as it is impossible to read them all. I just love to have contact with other readers and gush about the books I love, whilst leaving my family in relative peace!

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  28. Keeping up absolutely can be an overwhelming prospect. I think we've all come to understand that none of us can visit/comment as much as we'd like to, and therefore appreciate even more the visits/comments we do get. I try not to take any MIAs I notice too personally for that very reason.

    Lezlie

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  29. What a wonderful post, Trish! And not just because you sent me into a giggle-fit with "Shmuesday." :D

    I probably subscribe to about the same number of blogs as you...but that counts some crafty/creative blogs, which I love to read but never comment on. My blogging comes in little snippets throughout the day, whenever I need a break from whatever I'm working on. I wish sooooo much that I could read and comment on every post. Because if I subscribe to a blog, it means I really enjoy it. But I've had to make myself let go of the guilt I used to feel at not being able to keep up with every post. There are a few people (like you :D), who I try my very, very best to read every post...because I just feel like they're such wonderful friends and I can't bear to miss a word they say. (Eww...does that sound almost stalker-ish?) But even with those, I sometimes miss posts because life gets too out of hand.

    I love when people comment. Who doesn't, right? But honestly, I don't stress about it. I don't think I would ever be offended and stop reading someone's blog because they don't comment on mine. But if someone used to comment on my blog a lot, and then stopped I would worry that I'd said something to offend them, and that would make me sad. I love long comments. You said you worry that your comments are too much about yourself and your experiences, but that's what I love about your comments! I love it when people talk about themselves! And honestly, it's not that I don't like short comments...sometimes one just doesn't have a lot to say, but you want the person to know you read and enjoyed the post.

    I think part of the problem is that the book blogging world has just gotten too big. Boy, that came out sounding negative...and I don't mean it in a negative way. I LOVE it that there are so many people out there talking about books. But where it used to be that you could keep up with a good percentage of them, you just can't anymore. It makes me sad, because I know there are a lot more wonderful people out there that I'd love to get to know through their blogs, but that I just can't. There really are just so many hours in a day.

    Hope you're having a wonderful week, Trish!

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  30. Hi, me again :P I wanted to clarify that when I said that if someone doesn't comment I might worry they don't like me, I don't mean someone like you or any of the bloggers I already know. If I have interacted with the person before, I don't really worry. I just do if the person hasn't acknowledged me in any way whatsoever - by responding to comments, on Twitter, by visiting back, etc. Especially if they DO interact with their other commenters. I'm not thinking of anyone in particular, and in fact I can't even think of an example right now, but these are the circumstances that make me worry I might be unwelcome.

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  31. Trish, you always ponder good questions.

    I subscribe to a ton of blogs across several themes (gadgets, books, movies, TV, humor, wine) but only comment on a few. I have to actually be engaged in the topic to want to comment, I won't comment just to comment. I agree with your "quality over quantity". Off the top of my head, I only regularly comment on like 4 blogs, this one included.

    As for your blog, you review books I would enjoy and you bring up good topics so I continue to comment here. So keep it up, I enjoy conversing here. :-)

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  32. I think that you opened up a good discussion here! And it seems to me that generally we all are trying to find the balance between reading/commenting.

    It's tough, y'know? There are some posts that I read and I'm like, "oh yeah, I totally agree with where that person is coming from; that book was great (or horrid)" but do I comment just to say, "ayup, I hear ya?" *shrug* It's a tough call.

    I think I feel bad if I see that a blogger doesn't have any comments on their posts. I figure they're blogging because they want interaction.

    Too bad there's not a job out there to just read blogs and comment. LOL.

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  33. Bloghopping:

    I subscribe to over 150 feeds about 2/3 of those are book blogs. Yes, sometimes my blog reading interferes with my book reading ;-)

    I try to at least scan through my reader every day - doesn't always happen. If it gets overwhelming I start from the top one time and then start from the bottom the next time I open it. I have several folders to categorize my feeds.

    I try to skim for posts I know I'll want to read and or comment on first. I'm trying to comment pretty regularly. I don't comment for return traffic - I comment to let folks know I'm reading and am interested in what they have to say. For me it is a conversation. I have friendships I've developed over 3 years of blogging and those folks tend to be the blogs where I comment the most, but I comment on many different blogs. I appreciate comments and make an effort to respond to all the comments I get. I do like to have my comments acknowledged or answered and have pretty much stopped commenting on a few blogs where that has never happened. It's the conversation about the post that I like.

    I truly appreciate it when blogs have it set up with an rss feed for the individual post comments. Sometimes (and this post is a perfect example) I want to continue to read the folllow up comments in my Google reader - I never subscribe to post comments by email I get enough email and subscribing with a feed keeps the conversation together.

    I pretty quickly mark as read most memes and giveaways as read - just because I don't bother entering giveaways. I don't read Tuesday Teasers either, but I love Library Loot and others where folks talk about what they plan to read soon. Some of my non-book feeds are quick to view and mark as read. Posts I want to read or comment on I leave as unread to return to later. About once every 3-4 days I'll go through and the catch up on the ones I know have been left unread for reading/commenting later.

    I've learned to use tags for books I want to add to my TBR list, re-read the post after I read the book (I don't like to read too many posts about books I plan to read before I read the book). That way I can keep those posts marked, but not have them hanging out unread. I'll check those tags and clear them out as needed.

    OK - this is now way too long and rambling so I should probably shut up now.

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  34. I love to visit other blogs, mainly to read the posts and see their blog pages...their decorations, etc. I will leave a comment on a post if I have something to say about it. I don't feel that commenting on a lot of others blog pages gets more traffic to my blog, and I don't comment for that reason. I just like to go "visiting" and see what everyone else is up to! :)
    I follow around 80 or so blogs. I will visit maybe half that many in a day.

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  35. *Jeane - I love the long comments and the “me-y” element—I find it helps me connect with the blogger better than someone simply saying “I’ve read this too and liked it.”

    *Jenny - I know just what you mean about even if something interests something they might not have something interesting to say. I still try to say something, but then I wonder if my comment is dumb. :-/ Oh well. Guess it’s a balancing act. I don’t subscribe to comments on all blogs, but definitely the ones where I know the blogger responds. You’ll get the hang of it—two years of blogging and I’m still learning!

    *Melody - Like you I love the interaction and love posting comments on other people’s blogs. I try to keep up as much as I can and comment as much as I can, but it does get hard sometimes and overwhelming. Sometimes I just want to scream “stop posting so I can catch up!” :P

    *Chris - Tuesday Teaser. There are a couple weekly memes that I’m just having a hard time coming up with good comment for, so I generally skip them. And I’m glad that my appearances have deceived you into thinking I have balance. :P I don’t think any of us truly have balance—and if they do, wish they would share the secret!!

    *Regular Rumination - Teaser posts are usually the first for me to skip as well. I think memes are a great way to meet other bloggers but after that they seem redundant to me? I prefer being caught up as well, but it seems that the next morning there’s already a new batch of 30-40 posts! :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    *Lisa - Doesn’t it make you anxious to subscribe to so many blogs? I’d have fits of panic every day knowing I couldn’t comment everywhere. :P In terms of the controversy, I can’t really do anything but cringe. I’ve been really bad about this lately just because I’ve been cut on time and can’t visit everyone in return. I try to remember, but it’s tough. And I’m sure people have stopped commenting here because of that (hope not, but who knows). :(

    *Amy - No money for new books. :) I usually skip those and Cover Attractions as well. Just not enough time!

    *Sheila - Your excitement that you feel about book blogs is exactly why I continue to bloghop. Isn’t it great that there are so many book lovers out there? And commenting certainly helps keep the community strong—it would be such a lonely hobby if no one commented or bloghopped.

    *Nicole - I’ve thought about abandoning the Google Reader completely and just visiting regulars and those who visit me, but I usually only post twice a week so that would mean a lot of posts uncommented on for those who post every day. Hmmm…? And I agree that it’s definitely nice to know that people are reading your posts—and how do we know without comments? Great points.

    *Susan - Your blogging habits sound kind of like mine—always trying to catch up rather than staying ahead of the game. :) It is hard to balance blogging with the rest of life. Sometimes I sit in front of the computer thinking, “I could be doing x y and z right now!” Ah well.

    *Natasha - How do you not have 10 million book blogs in your Google reader? :P That and I’ve seen the amount of comments you receive, you aren’t suffering, honey! I absolutely agree that you get what you put in, but sometimes I feel like I’m putting in more than I receive. Not always, but some days it feels that way. And then with some newer visitors they are probably putting in more than they receive from me. It’s always an uphill battle and frankly a little exhausting! If you find those pills, let me know!!

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  36. I'm not really a long-winded commenter most of the time, and I generally don't subscribe to comments because I have too much email as it is...unless its a discussion that I really want to keep track of.

    I really love blog hopping, but I have more than 200 blogs in my reader, and no they are not all book blogs, though most are...boy that was a rambling sentence.

    I try to comment on the posts I read, but there are sometimes when I have nothing to say. So I don't comment. I like comments like most people do, but if you read, enjoy the review, and don't feel like commenting that's ok too.

    Great food for thought.

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  37. I do blog hop although lately I've been spending a bit less time than I did before. I do have certain blogs of people I've met that I really like their blogs or have made friends with them and I make it a priority to read theirs no matter what.

    I do have to say though that I do stop commenting on those who don't comment on mine at least once in a while. It's not so much for the comments but for the respect I guess. I'm taking time to read their stuff and I'm selfish that way-I'd like them to do the same. My thought is if they aren't commenting they must not like my stuff and then I feel uncomfortable commenting on theirs. Make sense? Probably not.

    I do always subscribe to comments unless it's a giveaway of course. As for your long comments I love them. Shows you've taken some time and really thought about what you'll say.

    Ok, I think that's it. lol.

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  38. I love reading blogs but I could never keep up with 80 (as much as I might want to). Don't tell anyone at my work but I do a lot of my blog hopping in slow periods during the working day, which often means I comment less as I can't have people thinking I'm spending the whole day jollying around the internet. I read maybe 25-35 in total (not including the big book news blogs like Bookslut) and some of those blogs I've been reading and commenting on for years.

    I agree commenting ups your traffic but if you just comment for the sake of it others will be looking at your blog for the sake of it and they're less likely to become long term readers. I want people who will genuinely engage with me and my blog more than I want huge numbers.

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  39. Great post with lots of interesting questions.

    I subscribe to about 300 blogs so I absolutely cannot comment on every post and I also find myself commenting on the same blogs over and over.

    Sometimes I really want to comment, but I can't figure out a way to say "this review was so so awesome and now I want to read the book" without sounding like I'm just leaving a cut and paste comment.

    If I read someone's blog for a long time and they never ever come visit or comment or respond, I usually will just unsubscribe after a while.

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  40. I've been terrible at reading blogs and commenting lately. I'm not sure what it is, but I just keep getting behind and that demoralizes me and keeps me from catching up.

    I like to leave more in-depth comments though, more than just "nice review!" I like to talk about myself a bit, just because I feel like it helps build blogging relationships. I love when people tell me about themselves in comments, so I hope they don't find it annoying when I do!

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  41. I bloghop because I like to read blogs. I love getting to "know" other readers and finding new books to add to my wishlist.

    Commenting, though, sometimes presents a problem. I'm into the quality over quantity philosophy of comment leaving, so that usually means that when I do choose to comment/find something I actually have a worthwile comment about, I have to put some time into it. I'm definitely the sort that kind of rambles on about myself in my comments, too, I guess, but I don't mind those sorts of comments from others and hope they don't mind those sorts of comments on my blog. I mean, usually when I'm commenting it's because I see something I'm interested in or can relate to, so the comment would have to involve me, now, wouldn't it? ;-)

    That said, I kind of vary between extremes of commenting on a few posts or reading a lot of posts because I can't seem to manage to do both with the time that I have, which is unfortunate but true. There are only so many hours in a day and despite the fact that I repeatedly plead for more, we're still stuck at 24, and I have to work for 8 of them and sleep for 7 or 8 of them. It just doesn't seem right. LOL! ;-)

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  42. That kitten scares me just a little. It looks like she might be mean...even though I LOOOOVE kittens!

    I used to bloghop. Now, I don't even go to my reader. I look at your blog, my sister's blog, and another friend's blog. That is it. I'm not sure what happened. I'm keeping my accounts and blog and everything, I just don't feel like spending ANY time on reading other blogs or writing my own. I do miss reading the posts from some of the people I felt like I have gotten to "know" since I started blogging, but I just don't get on the computer at all very much outside of work anymore. Ah well!

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  43. Wow you've had like a million comments here! I'm not going to read through all of them, I'm just going to answer your questions (hopefully in a concise manner).

    1) I subscribe to about 75-80 book blogs. I categorize them in different folders for which ones I find more interesting more often, bloggers I know better, etc. That way when I go for a long time (like with ALA), I know I can just scroll through and only keep unread if it's something that particularly interests me. I blog mostly for the social connection, considering I have no social life in the real world, haha! Plus I like to have my thoughts on books recorded.

    2) I try to comment whenever I can on reviews and SS posts. I rarely read most memes (like monday mailbox or tuesday teasers etc). For memes with themes like SS or Weekly Geeks, I'll read/comment if the topic is one that interests me. But mostly I try to stick with reviews. Memes are easy to mark read in Reader. It helps me keep my time minimal. I do stop commenting if I think a blogger could care less about my comments, because they either don't respond or never come visit my blog. I don't really get offended, but since I'm here for a social connection, I want to interact. I can do that either in their comment section or by exchanging comments, either is fine, but I want SOME interaction.

    3) I only subscribe to follow up comments on conversations I find interesting or if there won't be a million comments on a post. But I think we talked about that already. :)

    Okay, that wasn't real concise was it?

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  44. Wow, so many comments. Interesting topic. I've no idea how many blogs I subscribe to, but they're grouped into three: high (being my favourites), medium, and low. When I'm short on time I just click on the high and read my faves. When I get a little more time, I click on the medium. That way I don't have to mark everything as read and I don't miss out on my favourites.

    I don't comment on everything I read. I do read a lot of posts and enjoy them, but only comment when I feel the need to, like, for example, they reviewed a certain book that I had strong feelings about.

    I don't subscribe to follow-up comments but I do go back to the ones where I posted a question or something open-ended.

    I'm guilty of not responding to every comment on my blog lately. When I started blogging, I would get like one or zero comments on my posts, so it was easy to reply. And I also only was reading about ten or so blogs.

    Right now, being summer and the kids at home with me all the time, plus I'd gotten a job just very recently, I only respond to the comments that require an answer. I know, so bad, but I do loooove reading all the comments, whether it is a long ramble about themselves or just a "Great post!" Every comment counts and I treasure every one. I just feel like I don't have anything original to say in response, either.

    It is hard to juggle between life and blogging and bloghopping and commenting and responding to comments, but I only hope my commenters don't feel offended if I don't respond to their close-ended comments.

    I don't get offended when a blogger I love reading never comments on mine. Not that I don't care but because I understand we all have our reasons, and I don't hold that against anyone. But if you comment then it means you made me happy for a time, whether I reply or not. :)

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  45. P.S. I never read Teaser Tuesday posts either. :D

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  46. All these long comments. I am so jealous!!!

    Blogging can get really out of hand, but basically I have given up television for it so I count it as a plus.

    I love books and reading about books, which the newspapers have basically abandoned lately, so book blogs are great. They also include older books, not just the new and the current, which I appreciate.

    I don't use a reader. Having 100's of posts in one place waiting for me to read them all is too much to think about. Instead, I have the link list on my blogroll set to display the most recent 25 entries. I can read 25 entries in a sitting easily. I figure I don't read everything but I do get to everyone every three or four days so I'm keeping up. When I do visit a site I scroll down to see if I've missed anything good.

    As for commenting, I've found that if you don't comment, you don't get comments. I would probably comment anyway since starting a conversation about books is part of the fun. I try to have something to say when I comment rather than just "Nice post" but sometimes "Nice post" is exactly what I want to say.

    I subscribe to the comments whenever I see that the blogger responds to them. But I do wish there was a way to subscribe to the next ten comments only, or to just the bloggers response. Sometimes I end up with 30 or 40 emails that say "Sounds good. I'll read it" or "I haven't read that one" And I do try to check out commenter's blogs and I do add them to my blogroll if we share common reading tastes or their blog looks like one I'd enjoy following.

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  47. I often don't comment on posts that have a lot of comments. I feel like it's a waste of' time for everybody to add in my two cents when most likely what I would have to say has already been said umpteen times. I still read the posts, but leave it at that.

    BTW - It's been a while now, but I wanted to tell you that I got a brand new copy of The Septembers of Shiraz for $1. YAY! Also I see you have Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil on your Southern Reading Challenge list. I just picked that one up for $1, too. I won't get to either of them for a while, but I'm glad I have them for when I'm ready. :)

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  48. I spend way too much time bloghopping, but I do enjoy visiting other blogs and seeing what others are up to. These days I find myself falling behind more and more with my Google Reader.

    While I don't read every post in my Google Reader, I do fully read the posts I comment on and some I don't. I often read the other comments too.

    When I'm in a real pinch time wise, I prioritize my blog hopping by visiting those who have commented on my blog recently.

    I don't comment on on all the blogs I read, but I do try and reply to just about everyone who comments on my blog. And I try and visit the blogs of everyone who comments on my blog, but I am not always able to fit it in. I leave comments that are all shapes and sizes. It just depends on the topic and whether or not I'm feeling chatty or not.

    I am not offended if someone doesn't comment on my blog nor will I stop reading his or her blog. I admit, however, that I'm more likely to comment on blogs of people who occasionally leave me comments. I really enjoy the social interaction and its even better when it goes both ways.

    I always subscribe to follow up comments and for those that don't have that feature, I use Commentful which allows me to track comments.

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  49. Well I blog hop everyday in the morning :)
    I read all the latest posts. If they are book reviews, I try to see if that was something I might be interested to read and book mark it on my reader..
    If i am not interested in the story line, I just see if the author of the blog liked it, and comment accordingly.
    Mostly with too many blogs, blog-hopping has become time-consuming.. but I do it so that some people do come and comment on mine :)
    But there are few blogs I religiously read through, where I need to know - like yours. :)
    There are others, where I go sometimes. That are not my favs but well they are good.

    Irrespective of the time, I always leave comments. I know I love receive comments, and I know the blogger would love to hear me too!
    So I comment! I do. Even if it is a one liner!

    I have many blogs to read too!
    But I like reading about books and related stuff...SO! there you go a LONG answer :)

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  50. At breakfast every morning, I read blogs. I leave a comment if I feel like it.

    On Sunday, I always write a TSS post. Then I visit blogs. I always write comments on at least ten blogs.

    It's just what I like to do.

    Not too much pressure. Keep it fun.

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  51. I have a list of book blogs on my sidebar, and when I have time, I go through and visit some. I've been trying to comment when I read something interesting, but I don't see the point of the pat-on-the-back "great review!" types of comments, so I don't make them.

    I do subscribe in google reader, but it's hard to keep up with, as everyone admits.

    Most people have higher goals for visiting and commenting than I do. I try to get around and visit everyone once in a month. By that time, some of the topics are exhausted, but if we're talking about books, timing doesn't have to matter.

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  52. *Amanda - Very concise, my dear. Well—organized at least. :) Like you I mostly bloghop for the social connection—although the real world often stands in the way of me getting more involved. Boo! I usually stick with reviews and SS type posts as well, but I’m finding myself more and more drawn to the personal posts. I guess because in many ways I’ve connected with a lot of you guys in a way that goes beyond books and what we’re reading. Yes, we’ve talked about comments.

    *Claire - I’ve got my blogs separated into folders as well, but after not being able to get online very much the past week those numbers are pretty scary—even the favorite blogs are going to be marked as read. :( It does take a long time to respond to comments on the blogs and I can understand why people choose not to. Personally, for me it helps continue the conversation a bit or even just offer acknowledgement of listening. Although, I guess I could be spending a lot of time responding to comments when no one is reading them. Summer is a a tough time to blog and I think everyone is doing other things rather than blogging. I’m sure no one’s offended that you don’t respond. I do like responses, but I never get upset about it. Thanks for your input, dear.

    *CB James - LOL—if I only I could figure out how to get these great long comments on review posts. :P Your method is what I used to do before I used Google Reader, but sometimes it would be a week or two before I could blogbrowse and I would miss really great things like challenge announcements. This way even though I’m always behind and feeling guilty, I at least know what I’m missing. :) As for follow up comments in email--I delete most without even reading them until I get to the blogger's response.

    *Joy - Well, I love your two cents whenever you want to give it. :) Garden of Good and Evil will be a re-read for me. I really liked it--hope you to do! Of course, at a dollar, how can you go wrong?

    *Lit Feline - I absolutely agree that the social interaction is better when it is two-sided or in the very least if the blogger where the comment is left responds to the comments to continue that conversation. Sometimes leaving a comment can be like stepping into a void--hate that!

    *Veens - I love long answers! :) And comments are always good, even if it is just a one-liner. Like you, there are some blogs that I visit more than others, but when I have the time I do try to leave as many comments as I can. Everyone loves comments, right?

    *Debnance - It seems like many people do their bloghopping either in the morning or at lunch. Setting a number of how many blogs to visit seems like a great way to keep it under control without adding too much stress. Maybe I'll have to try that.

    *Jeanne - The pat on the back doesn't work for me and sometimes I wonder what it even means when someone says "great review." Like when you were in school peer reviewing someone's paper and the teacher told you "don't use the word "good."

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  53. Now I'm starting to feel all self-concious because a lot of my comments ARE "great review! this makes me want to move it up the TBR pile." In my defense, I don't leave the comment on just any review, only on the ones that really DO make me want to move it up. A lot of my comments are also "I've had this book on the shelf forever, I really need to get to it." Both those things would be true, but not overly thoughtful as a comment. This conversation has made me rethink what I'm saying.

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  54. Hey Trish! I hear you on the 200+ posts on google reader. AGH! I don't always leave a comment except for my personal friends and family, I try to comment all the time, but don't always. Lately I have been in a blogging funk and not really sure why? Maybe the heat :). I have also been consumed by Twilight!!! How are you by the way?

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  55. *Lisa - I think I've responded to this via email? Crap, I don't remember. I've been so bad about email and responding to comments lately. Poop. Anyway, I think I probably said that I leave comments that say "I'm definitely moving this up in my reading list" but I try to back it up with something from the review so the person knows I read at least part of their review. I know that makes sense just a little bit...right? :)

    *Michelle - LOL--Twilight, huh? Brooke just broke down and started to read the series. She might even be done by now. I got stuck with New Moon and haven't gone back for Eclipse yet. Guess I'm waiting for a rainy weekend when I can consume the whole thing at once.

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  56. I've been terrible about bloghopping and commenting lately. I want to but just haven't had time. I have folders in my GR so when I'm really behind I will go back and read the older posts that I've missed of my favourites (like I'm doing here right now :) but otherwise I mostly just skim. In an ideal world I'd have time to read and comment on everything but we all know just how impossible that would be! ;)

    It sometimes takes me a few days but I always reply to comments on my own blog. I love the interaction of having a mini conversation so I usually subscribe to follow-up comments too when it's available. I do comment much less on blogs that don't reply. I guess I feel like I'm just talking to myself on those. Even for those blogs that I read regularly, I don't comment on every post. Sometimes I just don't have anything to add.

    And as I've been bad myself I understand when people don't return the favour, and only hope that they'll return someday, just as I hope they understand that I'll stop by when I can.

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