Is it too late to reply? | Fun Questions

August 9, 2014 Fun Questions 34

Fun Questions LogoJoin me every Saturday as I ask a Fun Question that’s been on my mind. I’ll give you my take, but I really hope you’ll jump in with your answers too, since I’m really curious to know what my fellow readers and bloggers think! So today’s question is…

Is it too late to reply?

So most of you who follow me and leave comments are VERY aware that I recently spent three days responding to something like 275 late comments. You know this because you automatically get an email notification every time I respond to your comment. And you got a LOT of emails.

At first it wasn’t so bad, the comments were just a couple weeks old. But by the end I was replying to comments that were months old. The oldest comment I replied to was left March 28th. And I replied July 21st. That was bad. And I found myself thinking, it it too late to reply? Should I just throw in the towel and start over?

There’s a couple reasons why I didn’t stop and responded to every comment, even though some of them seemed sort of ridiculous to reply to.

  1. I love getting comments. I get them in my email and I read them on my smart phone immediately. They make me smile. If there were an easy way for me to reply to them from my smart phone via email or something I’d probably never get very far behind.
  2. I want you to know that I love those comments. The only way for you to know I read the comment is for me to respond.
  3. The other big reason is that I have this plugin that tells me how many unanswered comments I have. And I really couldn’t handle going forward for years (because I plan to have this blog FOREVER) with that number never getting to zero. That’s why I respond to the comments that require little more than a thanks, or even just a smiley face.

As I got back to the earliest comments I realized why I had fallen so behind – the moment I fell behind was the anniversary of a loved ones death. I thought I had moved through it really well – though I did fall into a bit of a slump, I thought I bounced back pretty well. But even after 15+ years I guess it hits me pretty hard.

I fear that this may happen again next year, though now that I’m aware of how it impacted my blog I hope I won’t let it happen again. So… I hope that you didn’t feel it was too late to get those responses because if it does happen again I really want to sit down and send those replies again.

Rereading all your comments made me laugh at times, remember some really great moments over the last couple months, and – when I got to those earliest comments from those of you who sent your encouraging comments – I shed a few tears. It was a nice reminder of why I love this community. I didn’t answer comments, except for a haphazard one here and there, for three and half months and still you came and left your comments. I read them all when they came in, and though you didn’t know it at the time, you were all pulling me out of a sad place by just being there. I took me going through them and replying to realize just how much I owe you all.

So all those annoying emails you got were actually little badges of thanks for being there. Thanks 🙂

What’s the oldest comment you’ve replied to? Did it feel too late?

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Berls

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

34 Responses to “Is it too late to reply? | Fun Questions”

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Terri! I feel so much better knowing that I’m not the only one who gets behind and who it’s important to that you at least try to get those comments replied to. It’s funny, because I don’t think people (who don’t blog, that is) have any idea how much time goes into maintaining a blog – things like commenting take so much time. And yet, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love getting and replying to comments 🙂
      Berls recently posted…#COYER Read-a-thon | Short and Sweet!My Profile

  1. Bookworm Brandee

    Aww…**HUGS**

    This is a really great question/post, Berls. BTW, I was happy when I did get your replies but I wasn’t upset at their tardiness. I knew you must have something going on. Anywho, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I want to reply to everyone who comments on my blog because, hello, I blog so I can have conversations about books. BUT I also want to take the time to comment on everyone else’s blogs because I figure if I like getting comments, other bloggers probably do too. So, which is more important? Commenting on others’ blogs or replying? And this is important because I don’t have time to spend my entire day online. So commenting on others’ blogs takes precedence most of the time. I do try to reply to comments but I’m usually late. I agree that it’d be nice to have an easy way to reply via smartphone but I can’t even figure out a way to comment via my smartphone. *ha*

    Sorry for the long-winded comment. 😉
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**#COYER Mini Reviews ~ Jessica and Sharon & Control ~ CD Reiss**My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Brandee 🙂

      I’ve had that same thought so often Brandee – if I only have time to do one thing – comment on other posts or reply to comments on my posts, which is more important? I tend to think commenting on other posts because I think that means more to people than the reply (even if they do really appreciate the reply too). It’s how they know we’re reading and care. I try really hard to comment on every blog I follow at least two times a week – and I did okay (not great) keeping up with that in that period that I got 275 comments behind on replies. But it felt more important to me.

      So through some of these comments I’ve been introduced to the WordPress App. Why didn’t I think of that before? And it’s available on Windows Phone, which has the smallest ever market, so if you have a smart phone you have to have access to it. You can reply to comments from there and even work on blog posts (not that I would). I’m not using it much so far, but it’s a nice option 🙂
      Berls recently posted…#COYER Read-a-thon | Short and Sweet!My Profile

  2. Celine
    Twitter:

    If the comment is older than two weeks, I usually just let it go. I’d rather just focus on the comments I get NOW, instead of keeping that huge backlog. That said, it’s definitely not for nothing, I always love it when someone replies to my comments, even if it’s a lot later.
    Celine recently posted…Review: The Army of the Lost by Lily HerneMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I thought about doing that too Celine. There’s was definitely an OCD factor going on – I had to get that count down to 0! LOL but it turned out to be a really great journey through the past, so I’m thankful I did it, even if it took forever 🙂
      Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 53rd EditionMy Profile

  3. Tanja

    I completely understand you and yes we all go behind commenting. I believe that there are some posts that haven’t been answered to for even years on my blog. Well blogger doesn’t offer you that possibility to see all new comments and I really cannot keep track of everything. I give my best to respond to all, but yeah it’s hard to hit 0 here. Great post!
    Tanja recently posted…City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra ClareMy Profile

  4. Sanna

    I can completely understand, i’ve fallen way behind on replying to comments to the point i’m not sure if it’s worth replying to the ones that were posted months ago. However i do want to reply to them to show that i really do appreciate each and every comment made. What plugin do you use, the whole number counting down thing sounds like it could be extremely useful! My OCD would make sure i got that number to 0…i think. Good luck with the commenting going forward 🙂
    Sanna recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (28)My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Sanna – I’m doing pretty well so far 🙂 The plugin is called “Comments Not Replied To” – I love it, though I can get a bit obsessed about keeping that number at 0. It won’t go back to comments left before the plugin was installed (if I remember correctly), but it’s been great.
      Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 53rd EditionMy Profile

  5. Trish

    Nope, never too late. I realised that as I got your replies and it made me feel guilty for the times I had just moved on when I let them slip myself. I’m sure it happens us all.
    I need to download that plugin!
    I usually to comments on the WordPress app on my phone. Big problem with this is the typos as it’s so hard to type correctly on a phone (and I suck at typos at the best of times). I see them later and want to kick myself!
    Trish recently posted…Book Review : About a Girl by Lindsey KelkMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I don’t know why I never thought to check for a WordPress app on my phone. Duh! I have it now, so I’m thinking keeping up with comments will be that much easier 🙂 Thanks for mentioning it! Of course typos will probably increase a bit for me too. I’ll have to try not to read them so I won’t see LOL
      Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 53rd EditionMy Profile

  6. Jenna
    Twitter:

    I’ve had this problem twice, in December and then again in May/June. I had already read (and appreciated) the comments, but hadn’t replied to them. In both cases, I had let about a month go by and I decided it was too late to reply so I just let them go unanswered. I don’t think either way is right or wrong. I am trying to do better now. My goal is to answer all remaining comments from the previous week on Sunday mornings.
    Jenna recently posted…Review: Always, Abigail by Nancy J. CavanaughMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      That’s a good plan Jenna. It’s so easy to get behind! I don’t think it’s wrong to let them go unanswered, if I hadn’t had that plugin I might have too actually. It was neat to go back and see the last few months though 🙂
      Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 53rd EditionMy Profile

  7. Rachel
    Twitter:

    I’m not one of the people that have piled up in your unanswered comments, but I totally understand how you feel. I get depressed sometimes and go for months without even posting. I’m just getting over one of those phases right now. So I understand how you feel and applaud your efforts to catch up. Good luck!

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Rachel! Good luck coming back – it feels good to reconnect with the community 🙂 It’s so easy to get weighed down and depressed, but the blog community is so great, I think it keeps me sane 🙂
      Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 53rd EditionMy Profile

      • Rachel
        Twitter:

        I agree! The book blogging community is pretty darned awesome. I’ve had a lot of difficulties lately, and I was surprised how the online community for some reason actually seemed more supportive than my real-life “friends.” Not to speak badly of them, some of my RL friends are totally awesome and have been so helpful…but I feel like I lost a lot of RL friends during this time, too. The online community, not so much. They’ve been so supportive and kind.

        I realize that I probably just don’t see the online people who have lost interest in me during my problems. Because, luckily, I’ve never experienced trolls on my blog or other online threads, either. 🙂

        Point is, you’re all awesome. 🙂
        Rachel recently posted…Facing my demons – 19My Profile

        • Berls
          Twitter:

          My feelings exactly Rachel! The last year has been a rough one for me in a lot of ways and while I have great RL friends, sometimes I’ve found it easier to connect and feel support from this community than them. Not that they aren’t willing to be there, but that it can be a little bit harder to let them in for some reason. I have a couple blog friends that I text and talk to on the phone and I’ve found myself wanting to call/text them more than my RL friends too – so IDK, but there’s just something about finding people you can connect with because of so many shared interests. Never dreamed the blog would become so important for me! You’re awesome too 😉
          Berls recently posted…#COYER Read-a-thon | Short and Sweet!My Profile

  8. Bea
    Twitter:

    It’s never too late to reply. I love getting comments on older posts and if you are late replying to a comment, well, life happens. No worries. 🙂

  9. Lola
    Twitter:

    I think it’s worth replying to every comment, I especialy agree with point 2 that people don’t know if you have read a comment unless you reply. It happened to me sometimes I left a comment on a blog and never got a reply and then it feels like the owner of the blog didn’t read the comment, that might not be true, but it does feel that.
    Can you let me know which plugin you use to show unanshwered comments? I would like to check it out. While usually I just keep the e-mail with the comment until I replied, having a plugin for it, sounds really handy!
    Lola recently posted…Review: Venture City by Brian Engard and Tazio BettinMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Lola, I agree. I remember when I first started blogging I would go back to blogs over and over waiting for them to reply to my comment. I wondered why they didn’t answer me. Now that I’ve been blogging a while, I know that it’s just hard for people to keep up, but I always remember that and how seeing a reply made me feel like they cared.

      I use the plugin called “Comments Not Replied To” – I used to keep the email until I replied too and it could get confusing and overwhelming. Kimba mentioned this one week and I gobbled it up 🙂 Hope it helps you too!
      Berls recently posted…#COYER-SV Update | Sign-up Cut-OffsMy Profile

      • Lola
        Twitter:

        Thanks! I just installed the plugin, although it shows that 0 comments are missing repy, while I made sure not answer a few comments to see if they show up. Maybe it only starts from the point the plugin got installed? I’ll have to look into it a bit more.
        But it sure sounds like a handy plugin and it prevents a cluttered inbox due to keeping all those e-mails around.
        Lola recently posted…Blog Tour: Upside Down by Lia RileyMy Profile

  10. A Voracious Reader

    I figure the comments get read, but sometimes they fall through the cracks. I actually don’t mind not getting a reply to my comment because I figure they get read and people get busy. But each reply to an old comment was like a little present in my inbox. I suffer from CRS (Can’t Remember Shit) so I was surprised with each one since I couldn’t remember what I had commented. lol So, what I’m saying is, reply or not, it’s all good with me. 🙂
    A Voracious Reader recently posted…Showcase SaturdayMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Oh man I’m laughing my ass off. Turns out I have CRS really bad! Just didn’t know about it 😉

      I figure most people know that the comment got read and I certainly understand if people don’t manage to reply to all the comments I leave on their blog posts. It’s hard to keep up! But I’m glad you enjoyed your presents 😉
      Berls recently posted…#COYER-SV Update | Sign-up Cut-OffsMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      You’ve been holding out on me! I know, it’s like, “duh! get the app!” but it never occurred to me. Man, I’m feeling so dumb right now. Well got the app now, let’s see if that helps with the comments I get while I’m not at my computer.
      Berls recently posted…#COYER-SV Update | Sign-up Cut-OffsMy Profile

  11. Lola

    275 comments?? OMG! I actually reply right away to comments I recieve or when I wake up I reply to every one of them. I realized that I sleep more than people usually do since I see people commenting at 7 or 8 am when I actually wake up at like 11 am (or more). But I’m on summer break so shhhh. 😉 Also, good for you, I hope next year’ll be better. Also, I don’t use anything else except my laptop when I go on my blog so that’s why I can reply easily. Have a happy weekend Berls! 😀 Oh, by the way, the oldest comment I replied to was on Goodreads and was one month old. I don’t even know how I missed it. O.o
    Lola recently posted…Review of Orphan Blade by M. Nicholas Almand and Jake MylerMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Yeah, it was A LOT of comments! I try to reply in the morning too, but I got behind at first because I was just in a bad place and then I stayed behind because it was overwhelming. I’m doing much better keeping up right now – let’s hope I can keep it up 🙂 One month isn’t too bad considering how behind I’ve been LOL
      Berls recently posted…#COYER-SV Update | Sign-up Cut-OffsMy Profile

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