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Monday, June 30, 2008

Barren Advice: Eleven

This is the eleventh installment of Barren Advice. You can ask questions that are fertility or non-fertility related.

Barren Advice is posted each Tuesday (though it's early this week due to IComLeavWe kicking off tomorrow). If you have your own question for Barren Advice, click here to learn how to submit. Please weigh in with your own thoughts in the comment section and indicate which question you're addressing if there are multiple questions in the post.

Dear Mel:

When someone comments on your blog, and you want to reply to them, is it best to email them (what I usually do) or to reply back to them in another comment in the comment section? Do most people subscribe to comment sections on blogs? I don't...but maybe I should...? Maybe people are replying to my comments in their comments? Since I read blogs through google reader, I don't always see the comments unless I click on a particular blog...any thoughts?

--Isn't It Pretty to Think So?

I threw this question out to the blogosphere last Friday and the answers were varied as expected. Some people subscribed to comments; some didn't. Some emailed back (when possible) and some left a comment on the other person's blog. Like so much with blogging, there doesn't seem to be a general consensus on how to do things.

I think two important things that popped up last Friday in the general discussion were (1) how much you want your response to reach the person and (2) how well you know the blogger. Emailing or leaving a comment on the other person's blog best ensures that they see your response. You may also want to cut-and-paste a copy of the email into your comments section if you think other people could benefit from hearing your answer. But sending it directly to them removes having to wonder whether or not they'll see your answer.

If you leave a comment on their last blog post, take a moment to read the post and then begin your comment with a nod to what they have written. Use the second paragraph of your comment to mention the comment they left on your blog and then your additional response.

This is where knowing the blogger comes in handy. You may be inadvertently opening up a can of worms in their space if you reference something they don't commonly write about on their own blog. For instance, a school teacher who writes a blog that is read by her students and their parents probably wouldn't want me to write about her infertility in the comment section. In that case, I simply left a note with my email address saying I had something to send her and could she email me. She wrote back and we had the conversation privately (and she deleted my comment from her blog so parents didn't follow it from her space to mine).

As the Internet moves faster and faster, there often isn't time to move backwards to old discussions. I may go back and reread a post several times, but it's unlikely that I'd click through to read the comments unless the discussion was the point of the post. I may be missing responses back to me, which is unfortunate.

No really, the beauty of a blog advice column is that you get to weigh in with your two cents too. Let the questioner know if you support the advice, add to the response, or dispute it completely. I would love people to add how they decided whether or not to enter treatments.

Leave a comment in the reaction box below--only keep in mind that conflicting advice is embraced and rudeness is not. Want to ask your own question? Click here to see what you need to send in order to be included in a future Tuesday's installment of Barren Advice


Tash said...

Sorry, missed the first discussion on this: If it's a question relating to the post that I didn't clarify well, I'd probably do both -- comment in my comments, and email the author. If it's a personal question, or just something that I want to respond to, I'll email.

And that's if they leave email. What kills me is when I really really want to email someone back and they don't have email. And I go to their blog and they STILL don't have email. Then I'm left leaving an awkward comment in a post that doesn't have anything to do with the price of beans.

As a rule, I don't subscribe to comments, unless the comments appear to be trending rather juicy. This isn't often, though.

Jen said...

I really only answer comments with email. On very rare occasions, I will comment on someone else's blog, but I don't like to do that because I can't stand it when I see a comment on someone else's blog that doesn't make sense to me because they are replying. I also never go back to a post after I have left a comment. I've occasionally stumbled on to someone answering me in their own comment section and I wonder how many I've missed. But I have my email address available, so if they want to email me, they can. I answer a lot of comments though, by email, maybe five or ten a day? Sometimes I specifically ask for email addresses for people who I am always wanting to answer.

Jen said...

Oh, and I forgot. I have occasionally answered the question in my own comment section or add it to the post if I think other people would want to know the answer. But I email the original asker separately, since I don't expect them to come back, as I personally don't.