Annoyed posted a comment that needed a response. The response got big (and important) enough to be posted to the blog.
Annoyed’s well argued point is that if you want to have a well regarded blog (who doesn’t?) you have to respond to comments with greater frequency. I do realize that. Without responding to comments enough, one can’t create the watering-hole-of-like-minded-people kind of community around the blog. My responses are spotty (although up from none in the first 6 months!). Should I be responding to comments more?
Here’s the rub – responding to comments takes time. And comments can come in anytime during the week, not just the weekend, which is when I typically write. I run a startup – that’s my job and passion (blogging is just a passion). I travel a lot. Over the week I simply cannot guarantee a service level on comment response. I think it is best not to set that expectation.
That’s my side of it. But Annoyed’s comment raises a more interesting point. Can you be a serious blogger if you don’t respond to comments adequately? Maybe not, but I think there are no rules on this one. Seth Godin writes a very popular and well-regarded (not always the same thing) blog. He doesn’t allow any comments on the blog. Period. His explanation is here. TechCrunch has an interesting post and discussion on whether a blog must have comments. The sense I get is that there are no rules, just guidelines.
I typically post just once a week, not twice or thrice a week, which seems to be the guideline for an active blog. I often post long article-length posts (again not recommended). And I respond to comments infrequently. I have made my choices and I am cool with it. And I think as long as I am consistent with my ‘service levels’ my readers are cool with it too.