One of my favorite all-time movies is The Burbs with Tom Hanks, Corey Feldman and Princess Leia. At the moment her name ain’t ringin a bell and I don’t feel like googling it. It’s about a man who lives in suburbia, he’s lost his job and all he does is watch his neighbors. It’s hysterical really.

But that’s not what I’m going to chat about today. Instead, I’m going to talk about blog community. Blogburbia. I read How to Build a Community on Your Blog by Caitlin Muir at authormedia(dot)com on Monday. You can read it HERE

She had some great tips. But, I wondered about a few of them:

“If someone takes the time to leave you a comment, you better take the time to respond.”

“When a reader comments, talk back to them and ask a follow-up question. Probe. Find out what they really think. They have stories of their own that are worth being up on your website. Get to know them like you were sitting across from them at a coffee shop.”

I agree with these statements. Completely. More than anything this blog is my online home. A place I spend lots of time. I take care of it and nurture it and I want all who show up to feel welcome, invited, entertained, encouraged and comfortable to share their thoughts whether serious, funny, or somewhere in between.



But I’ve found that when I leave a comment on someone’s blog I don’t have time really to go back and see if they’ve responded to my comment and to go back several times for a conversation isn’t always doable for me. In fact, 8 out of 10 times, I can’t. 

I’ve seen it happen. One person commenting several times and if it’s valid that’s cool; sometimes I think it’s just to monopolize a blog, but everyone really knows this. 

Sometimes I respond to each comment on my blog, sometimes it’s a general comment to everyone, but I try to always respond to a new guest. I’m not sure any of you come back to see if I’ve made follow-up comments. Do you? I try to twitter a response on occasion and my friend Heather Sunseri uses Disquis. So…I’m curious.


Do you always respond to every comment? Do you go back to blogs and keep up with the conversation and comment more than once? How do you build a blogburbia?

Oh yeah, it just came to me. Carrie Fisher.


Do come back Monday! My home will be freshly painted, re-decorated, the coffee will be on and an assortment of creamers will await you! Oh, and chocolate…lots of chocolate, friends!

And prizes! (Real ones)

18 thoughts on “Blogburbia

  1. Yes, I always respond to a comment on my blog. And I do double check to see if I have been answered when I leave a comment. The easiest way to do this to subscribe to the comment stream. It takes no extra time and you will receive an email when new comments pop up. You can scan the email quickly to see if it was intended for you. Delete it if it wasn't, reply again if it was and you were prompted to.

    Once they have responded, unsubscribe, so you do not keep getting emails. I have built several blogging friends through these comment conversations.

  2. I love The Burbs!

    I live on cul-de-sac. We've had some pretty funny "burb" moments on the block.

    I do try to respond to every comment personally, and sometimes I go back to other's blogs to see if they comment on my comment.

    It's very important to acknowledge and communicate.

  3. I try to comment on the comments that are made on my blog. More than that I try to visit the sites of the folks that visited mine. I'll go back and revisit when what I've said might stimulate a response. I probably should visit and comment more!

  4. Hello, friend! Ok, now I'm trying to think of all the movies I've watched with Tom Hanks in them … and I still haven't seen his latest (what's it called? Yeah, not googling that, either.)
    OK, to the topic at hand.
    I do try to reply to every comment. Seems like we have a chorus going here. And I often check back to see if someone has replied to a comment I've left.
    Well, sometimes. If I feel like I've been exceptionally brilliant.
    Can't wait to see the new digs come Monday!
    I'll be back!

  5. I am AWFUL about responding to comments on my blog. AWFUL. This is something I NEED to do. uuuugggh. And I only occasionally go back and check if someone responded to my comment (the fact that I read as many blogs as I do has something to do with THAT.

  6. I try to leave at least one comment to the commenters that visit my blog but sometimes that just isn't possible. In a perfect world, I would love to leave individual comments, but like you I'm not sure people come back to see if they've been responded to. I usually don't have time to revisit the blogs I comment on so I don't generally expect a response…unless, like Beth, I feel I've been extra witty. 🙂

  7. Blogburbia – I love it! I'm consistently inconsistent on this. It depends what's going on in my "real" life.

  8. Yay, so excited for your site makeover next week! I do try to respond to every comment on my blog. It means a lot to me that people take the time to read and comment, so I definitely respond. But I do have a hard time getting back to other blogs where I've left a response to read the follow up. I think the biggest challenge for me is the whole day job thing. If I quit my job, I'd have lots of time to re-check blogs…but unfortunately, I'd also go broke…sooo… 🙂

  9. I truly feel you building a sense of community here.

    I do my best, but take into consideration my hectic schedule. I try to make note of things that really impact me and often I'll visit another blog and allude to some way someone has commented in the past.

    I try to comment to everyone in a long string comment at least once a week.
    ~ Wendy

  10. Why I started knocking on your door and kept coming back: 1) Loved your devotions. 2) You were real. 3) You were funny. 4) You have tenacity. 5)You're family (sis in Christ and a fellow Bookie).

    Yes, I often return to see if someone has responded to my comments. Yes, I try to respond to comments on my blog.

    Can't wait to see your new home, Jess! 🙂

  11. It depends. I usually respond by email when their comments come thru my email though unelss their email isn't linked to their response.
    I'll have to check out that movie. I love Tom Hanks.

  12. Brett: Good ideas! I may do that.

    Loree: I'd love to hear some of those funny stories! I always say, "It came with the frame!" LOL

    Marji: I always feel the same way.

    Beth: You crack me up! I check back sometimes too depending on the comment I left.

    Joanne: I know! We get busy sometimes and it slips our minds. I always think, "No one is coming back so if I don't comment they won't care. I'm finding out more, they do come back and check!"

    Lacie: Ah yes, the perfect world. Sigh.

    Julie: I can relate and think most people can too. "Real" life is always messing up my perfect world. Refer to Melissa Tagg's comment.

    Melissa: I don't work 3 days a week and I still don't have time to go back and check. Perfect World. 🙂

    Wendy: Thanks for noticing! I feel like there's a community/burbs over at your place too!

    Cynthia: You are too kind to me! But I love it. 😉 I always feel at home at your place!

    Jennifer: You. Must. Watch. The Burbs! It's awesome!

  13. I'm so with you on this struggle.

    I was thinking about it this morning, in fact.

    Here's the dilemma…

    Like you, I don't go back to revisit blogs to see if the blogger has responded to me. UNLESS, I ask a question that I wanted an answer to. OR, unless the conversation is particularly intriguing. The majority of the time, I don't revisit.

    So sometimes I comment back on my blog, and sometimes I just email people back. But then when I email people back, visitors can't see that interaction and might think I'm ignoring my readers.


    It's a conundrum, isn't it?

  14. I may not comment on every comment on my blog, but I always write on my to-do list to go back and respond to blog comments. I have a lot of blog maintenance left to do, but I think it's important. Like you said, if someone goes to enough trouble to leave a comment, appreciate them by responding.

    Now don't look at this week's blog comments on my Ooo Factor because I'm behind schedule. 🙂

    It's kinda like my motto from college….well, my entire life really. If someone calls but doesn't leave a message, I don't call them back. But if someone calls and goes to the trouble to leave a message, I call them back as soon as I can.

    Maybe I'm weird.

  15. Katie: Indeed it is. Indeed it is. I never thought about others thinking I didn't respond. Great. One more thing to worry about! LOL

    Tiffany: I like the motto. And you usually catch me on twitter which actually works better for me since I don't always go back to the blog.

    Anyone else do that?

  16. Oh, this is a topic I think about often. A lot went into my choice to use DISQUS. I love that commenting platform, but it's only as good as the commenters are willing to participate. I'm actually thinking of doing a blog post next week about my decision to use DISQUS over other choices, like sticking with WordPress's commenting or using a plugin like CommentLuv-another good one.

  17. Oh, I am so late to this conversation! Hubby took me away for the weekend, but I still want to chime in. I try my best to talk to everyone when they comment, love getting to know everyone. I don't always have the time to stop back by after I've commented someplace though, but if I know the blogger is one to comment back, I will try to see if they responded. Sometimes I plain ol' get busy and forget – is that awful?

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