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Correct etiquette for hubpages

  1. TessSchlesinger profile image93
    TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago

    I was quite stunned a week or more ago when someone made a statement on one of my hubs that she had commented twice and I had snubbed her by not replying. Her comment had been particularly flattering, and probably because I've spent a lifetime being flattered by others only to find that they wanted something from me, I'm not in the habit of responding immediately to flattery. I tend to wait to see if it is genuine.

    That said, as a writer of more than half a century (in print one doesn't respond to readers), twenty two years on the web, it never occurred to me that I was supposed to respond to everybody.

    What is the etiquette, and what if one is unable to. It is particularly difficult at the moment as I've returned to my native South Africa and it's not as easy to get services as one would suppose. Well, not unless one has a bucket of money, and I don't.

    Many thanks.

    1. theraggededge profile image92
      theraggededgeposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      Delete both comments and ignore her. Some people have no idea how to behave. I agree with you, Tess, there's no need to respond to every comment, every follow, unless there's a reason to.

      1. TessSchlesinger profile image93
        TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        Probably the best thing to do. I was caught unawares.

    2. Marisa Wright profile image92
      Marisa Wrightposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      You do come across people like that.  I wrote a Hub about HubPages etiquette (you'll find it in the spotlight on my profile). 

      There are some Hubbers who are intensely social.  They think the right way to use HubPages is to read and comment on each other's Hubs, and that includes responding to every single comment, following everyone who follows you, etc etc. 

      Whereas Hubbers who are here mainly to make an income, don't have time for all that - they need to focus on their external visitors and can't waste too much time socialising with Hubbers.  I liken it to spending too much time at the water cooler at work.

      Everyone has the right to to use HubPages in a way that suits them, but they have NO RIGHT to insist that every other Hubber does the same.  Hubbers should respect each other's methods of using the site.

      1. theraggededge profile image92
        theraggededgeposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        What she said smile

      2. TessSchlesinger profile image93
        TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        Marisa. Thank you. I'm with you. Just totally gobsmacked me and I had no idea how to handle at that precise moment as I have been off line. This morning, after contacting the board of the telecommunications company, I think they might reverse their decision to let me have service. smile

      3. makingamark profile image74
        makingamarkposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        Spot on Marisa.

        Some people have limited experience of work and how to spend their time efficiently. It's got nothing to do with manners.

    3. savvydating profile image84
      savvydatingposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      She should not have gotten angry. That being said, it is polite to respond if possible. If you cannot do so, you might want to let people know that you do not always have service and therefore cannot respond (perhaps at the bottom of the article), but that you appreciate all feedback. When you do have service, it is best to respond (at least to some people) with a sincere acknowledgment of some kind.

      You do not have to follow anyone unless you want to. However, it is always nice to see what others are up to, so if you find an author you particularly like for one reason or another, the best way to remain updated is to follow them. Best of luck to you here on HubPages!

      1. makingamark profile image74
        makingamarkposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        It might be polite - but who has the time to spend responding to everybody who comments?

        You do NOT have to comment on somebody else's comment. Newspapers and journals aren't expected to respond to comments and neither are those who write online.

        I reserve my responses for
        1) individuals I'm very friendly with
        2) comments that are particularly helpful to others.
        3) queries arising from the content of the hub

        (PS Queries which have nothing to do with the hub are not published!)

        1. savvydating profile image84
          savvydatingposted 11 months ago in reply to this

          Newspapers and journals are outside of the community of people who choose to comment on their articles, so obviously those writers do not comment back. Furthermore, they have constant deadlines to meet.....however, they do leave room for readers to interact with one another.

          HugPages is a community, and as such, writers speak to one another just as people in any work setting speak with one another. For example, if someone gave me a compliment for a job well done in the office where I work, and if they also mentioned why they appreciate my work, I would certainly thank them. I would not ignore them and expect them to realize that I'm too busy making money to say "Thanks." So in this respect, I agree with Ron. I would consider such behavior discourteous.
          Courtesy is always a good thing.

          Also, I will not read articles from those who are uncommunicative. They have their outside readers, so they don't need me. That being said, I do not have hundreds of comments, so I can make time to comment, even if I do work a full-time job elsewhere. Perhaps busy writers should remove their comments capsule. But they won't, of course, and that has little to do with the "courtesy" of keeping the capsule intact for their readers. If they were so concerned with courtesy, they would reply.

          That being said, some comments are generic, and one can usually tell if the commenter even bothered to read the article. That's annoying, but it's a different story.

          1. Marisa Wright profile image92
            Marisa Wrightposted 11 months ago in reply to this

            HubPages is NOT a community.    HubPages HAS a community. There is a crucial difference.

            HubPages' PRIMARY purpose is as an income-producing online resource of magazine-style articles, which are contributed by its writers (just like a magazine or newspaper).

            To help motivate and encourage those writers, HubPages has created a writers' community.   However that is a secondary activity and it's entirely up to writers how far they wish to participate in it.

            I would not dream of removing my comments capsule because that would be denying my readers their right to reply, and their ability to ask me questions or seek advice.  Now, that would be rude!  Like the newspaper, I'm leaving space for readers to interact with each other.  You are just as entitled to use it the way you want to, but equally you should respect other Hubbers' right to take a different view.

            1. paradigmsearch profile image91
              paradigmsearchposted 11 months ago in reply to this

              You and I so need to talk...

            2. makingamark profile image74
              makingamarkposted 11 months ago in reply to this

              1++++++ "what she said!"

              Marisa - I'm so glad I'm trailing in your wake - there's no need for me to say anything more than the above!

              1. savvydating profile image84
                savvydatingposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                The answer to, "What Is Hubpages?" according to the introductory page on the HubPages website:

                "HubPages is an open community of passionate people—writers, explorers, knowledge seekers, conversation starters. Interacting and informing. Sharing words, pictures and videos. Asking questions. Finding answers..."
                http://hubpages.com/about/us

                I am taking Hubpages at their word. That being said, it is also a revenue creating site, but certainly no place to achieve wealth or security of any kind.

                Furthermore, I do respect anyone's choice not to comment. I would hope they also respect my choice to interact with community minded individuals, rather than those who have no interest in my comments or my articles either, for that matter.

                1. Jodah profile image86
                  Jodahposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                  +11111111111
                  When I joined six years ago it was because it was advertised as a community for writers to practice and share their art I didn't even know you could make money here. I guess the reason you joined HP originally shapes how you view the site.

                  1. Marisa Wright profile image92
                    Marisa Wrightposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                    YES, that is absolutely true. 

                    When I joined, the focus was far more on attracting writers who wanted to take a professional approach to creating income-producing articles.  We had a lot of full-time writers on the site earning upwards of $1,000 a month from HubPages alone.  Their way of using HubPages has certainly defined what I do.

                  2. savvydating profile image84
                    savvydatingposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                    smile

                2. makingamark profile image74
                  makingamarkposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                  That's odd - because on the home page I see when not logged in it just says

                  "Discover and create original, in-depth, useful, media-rich pages on topics you are passionate about."

                  No mention at all of a community. Oddly enough it's also a message directed at the content creators not the audience i.e. those wanting access to the information, writing or answers to the questions.

                  1. savvydating profile image84
                    savvydatingposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                    I provided the link.

                    In any event, everyone is free to treat HubPages as they wish, provided they follow the basic guidelines. I merely answered the question because the author specifically asked about  "etiquette," which is: "the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group."

                    "it's been a learning curve to accept that others write for emotional satisfaction."  That's an interesting statement, but I don't fully agree. Writers are more complex than that---even those who do enjoy community.

                    Tess has limited time to respond to comments and as I said earlier, she can let people know this is the case, at the end of her articles, if she so chooses. That would be an uncomplicated form of etiquette and it would free up her limited time online. I went through a period where I lived 20 minutes away from the nearest library and I did not have internet at home---nor did I have an iphone. In such cases, I could not respond as quickly as I wished to do.

                3. Marisa Wright profile image92
                  Marisa Wrightposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                  Absolutely!   We each have the right to use HubPages as we choose.  What probably touches a raw nerve for us is the tone of some posts along the lines of, "OK you're entitled to use HubPages like that if you want, but I STILL think you're rude".   There should be no "but".

                4. TessSchlesinger profile image93
                  TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                  Question. What happens if someone reads every single comment. I do. I just don't always have time to respond. And, yay!!! I've just gotten online. smile

                  1. Jodah profile image86
                    Jodahposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                    Just to show you have read the comments leave one general reply eg "Thank you all for reading this article, I have limited time to reply but I do greatly appreciate all your comments."

            3. TessSchlesinger profile image93
              TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

              "HubPages is NOT a community.    HubPages HAS a community. There is a crucial difference."

              Exceptionally well put! smile

          2. TessSchlesinger profile image93
            TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

            Newspapers and journals are outside of the community of people who choose to comment on their articles, so obviously those writers do not comment back. Furthermore, they have constant deadlines to meet.....however, they do leave room for readers to interact with one another.
            As a professional writer I.e. (someone who solely earns a living from writing), while I understand that some see hubpages and many other writing venues where one earns money as a community, I no more see hubpages as a community than I see the Sunday Tiimes, the New Yorker, or Cosmopolitan as a community.

            Even in the days that I worked in offices, I was not interested in fellow workers. My job was always well done and acknowledged so by bosses, but I failed to see then, and I fail to see now, why I have to spend time building friendships with other workers. Certainly they happen, and one of my oldest friends in real life goes right back to my very first job.

            This obsession with one making friends in the office is a political and commercial ploy by executive management to compensate for the shoddy treatment of workers by the ownership class. It was never an expectation to 'be friends at the office' until the early 80s. As business became to see workers as nothing more than 'objects,' it became vital to ensure that workers didn't leave. They did so by encouraging emotional connections between workers. Right up until the mid 60s, it was seen as unprofessional to use the office as a means of friendship.

            You state "I will not read articles from those who are uncommunicative." I read articles to be more informed and more educated. I guess that's why I have about a million views a month on Google Plus, and I guess that's why government officials, peacekeepers, doctors, and people from all over the world read me - because I am informed. In order to keep informed, I read between two and four books a week on a wide variety of topics. I also read as many studies as possible. I do not read to make friends. And I certainly don't read because I want to be needed.

            " some comments are generic, and one can usually tell if the commenter even bothered to read the article. That's annoying, but it's a different story."

            You are spot on! Peeves me no end when someone is commenting because they want to be part of the conversation but haven't bothered to read the article. Their comments are generally off topic.

            1. savvydating profile image84
              savvydatingposted 11 months ago in reply to this

              Hmmm. That's a nice story, but I don't believe it.  "Millions of views...doctors, lawyers, authors..."  Yet you have no money for Internet service, which is excellent in South Africa.

              I am sure you have your reasons for saying what you say.

              For the record, HubPages clearly states that it is a community.....and obviously, it is not a place to make real money.

              However, Hubpages can be a springboard...

              So for now, I imagine the forum will provide you with the validation you currently believe you don't require, at least for now.

              Most of us have a much different perspective about the totality of life, and joy.

              You might enjoy a book entitled "The Devil is a Gentleman"  It has a chapter on Satanists and a atheists,  which you might enjoy. Try not to exploit it.

              Be well, dear.  You do have talent.

              1. Marisa Wright profile image92
                Marisa Wrightposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                Savvydating, is it really necessary to be snide and nasty to Hubbers who choose to use HubPages in a different way to you?   Can't you just accept that there is more than one way to use this site?

                I'll say it again - if you don't like how I and other long-established Hubbers use HubPages, stay away from our Hubs.  We joined when HubPages had a different culture.   Live and let live and stop being judgmental.

                1. TessSchlesinger profile image93
                  TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                  What's the point of explaining it again? The reason they can't let it go is that it's some of trigger that touches on something sensitive.

                  There's a reason I have never enjoyed writer's communities.

                  I don't gel with them. They don't gel with me.

                  I write for money. They write for praise.

                  So be it.

                  Anyway, I'm done.

                  Next time someone makes a comment like that, I just delete it.

                  I got online late last night and have three or four weeks of catching up to do. See you around. smile

              2. TessSchlesinger profile image93
                TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                https://plus.google.com/u/0/+TessaSchlesinger/posts

                Between 800,000 and 1 million views per month. I don't get paid for it. And I don't comment on every response. There have been occasions when something I have written has generated 1.2 million views with 500 comments (which is the maximum G+ allows. There isn't any chance that I could respond to them all.

                I have, at times, earned a living from writing (quite a good one) for years at a time. But it depends on where I was and when it was. And that hasn't been possible for a number of years.

                Internet service is NOT, NOT, NOT excellent in South Africa. Compared to the USA, the EU, and the UK, it is 20 years behind. You're an American. What do you know about Internet service in South Africa?

                At the time, I joined hubpages the first time, it advertised itself as a place for earning money, and in those days, writers did. However, it can no longer guarantee that so it has changed its blurb to say it's a community of writers.

                I really don't care what you believe. You're irrelevant.

                I said I was turned down due to insufficient income - not that I had insufficient income. Telkom only wanted to see bank statements and as I had just relocated back to South Africa, I coudln't provide that  only letters of validation. I emailed headoffice and yesterday they cleared me to say that I could have service. Too longwinded to explain.

                1. makingamark profile image74
                  makingamarkposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                  Gosh - I've just found out I've got 36,983,515 views of my Google profile and never knew!

                  Just made a new circle - called "Writer People" - and added you to it Tess

                  1. TessSchlesinger profile image93
                    TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                    Just added you as well. I find it extremely useful.

    4. gerimcclym profile image85
      gerimcclymposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      Tess, I think your question is a fair one and I completely understand being busy, travelling (or relocating) overseas, and not having convenient and affordable internet access. To answer your question, the way I see it is that when somebody comments on one of my hubs, it shows that they took the time to read it and to write some positive words (hopefully) about it, which I appreciate. It shows that they support me as a hubber and writer. I consider the comment a gift for that reason, so it follows that I will thank the  reader for his or her comment. Having said that, each of us has different life circumstances; we are not always able to respond right away to each comment. Given the circumstances, I think it is okay to respond to a comment late along with an apology for the delayed response. I have noticed that a few hubbers have included a message in their bio indicating that they appreciate all the comments they receive, implying that they may not respond to each comment, etc. so this is another approach that can be taken. As for me, I prefer to respond individually to each comment I receive as soon as I am able to, which, for various reasons, is not always right away.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image92
        Marisa Wrightposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        Not all Hubbers see comments in the same way you do, and that is what causes situations like the one Tess experienced.

        You see comments as a gift from your readers.  That's perfectly fine, there is a significant group of people on Hubpages who use comments as a source of mutual support within the community. 

        However there is also a significant group of Hubbers who, like me, take a different view.  I provide a Comments capsule as a service TO my readers, so they can ask questions and get things off their chest, NOT a place to leave me compliments.  In fact I prefer not to get compliments, because it interferes with the discussion.  On some of my Hubs, readers' contributions in the Comments are more interesting than the Hub!  I don't want to interrupt the flow of those contributions with irrelevant "great Hub" and "thank you" posts. 

        As Ron said on another thread, obviously these two attitudes don't mix - but there is no need to argue which is right and which is wrong.  They are both right, it's just a case of us all respecting others' right to manage their Hub account in the way that works for them.

        1. DrMark1961 profile image91
          DrMark1961posted 11 months ago in reply to this

          I agree and would not want to see Tess use her limited internet access to answer those "thank you" comments. If someone leaves a comment with a question about their dogs health or behavior, I always try to answer. "Thank you"s, however, though nice, are usually not answered.

        2. TessSchlesinger profile image93
          TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

          I agree. Comments are a carry over from 'letters to the editor' from our print days. They were never meant to 'support the writer.'

        3. Max Dalton profile image82
          Max Daltonposted 11 months ago in reply to this

          I get a lot of questions about tech stuff. I try and respond where I can, but I don't get hung up by it. Often, other people will actually help them out, lol.

          1. Mickji profile image83
            Mickjiposted 11 months ago in reply to this

            When the community is active, loyal and helpful it's the best. Also because you can learn some thing thanks to them too! It's great.

    5. TessSchlesinger profile image93
      TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      Thanks guys. This is typed from my phone so will reply more personal when I get to the library.

      I guess, as a writer, I appreciate all responses and read them all but my responses are dependent on many factors. Will go into that when I have laptop.

    6. Pearldiver profile image86
      Pearldiverposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      I believe the correct etiquette whenever responding or communicating with people, irrespective of who they are, where in the world they are or whether or not they understand your accent, is rather simple and quite easy to remember (even for anyone mentally challenged) - Treat people with the same level of respect you expect from them.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image92
        Marisa Wrightposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        Very true.   I do not, ever, expect to be thanked for leaving a comment on a Hub.

        1. psycheskinner profile image81
          psycheskinnerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

          Ditto.

          This is not about polite people versus rude people.  (And even if it was I would argue that feeling entitled to a reply is rude).

          It is about whether there is a reasonable and pervassive expectation of reply even when the comment is not a question.  I am on Team No as both hubber and a commenter.

          1. TessSchlesinger profile image93
            TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

            Good point.

        2. makingamark profile image74
          makingamarkposted 11 months ago in reply to this

          Ditto - well said Marisa.

    7. Sherry Hewins profile image95
      Sherry Hewinsposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      I don't blame you for being stunned by that comment. It was very rude. When I first came here I thought it was very important to answer each comment on my hubs, but I would never have dreamed of demanding a response to a comment I left.

      Now, I am less scrupulous about responding to every comment. I do really value most comments though, and I have rarely gotten a nasty one. On some of my hubs the comments have really added a lot of valuable information.

      1. TessSchlesinger profile image93
        TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        Well, despite being gobsmacked, it's been a learning curve. Although I have always regarded writing as a profession (probably because one of my late father's degrees was in journalism and I grew up with him being paid for articles submitted), it's been a learning curve to accept that others write for emotional satisfaction.

    8. Kylyssa profile image94
      Kylyssaposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      Flattery makes me freeze and feel ill. It makes me want to hide offline or at least offsite for several days. I'm autistic and I grew up with many people in my community who alternated between calling me a genius and calling me a retard. As a result, both words are equally foul in my opinion. Anything that smacks of a personal compliment makes me feel like I'm dealing with someone who wants something out of me I don't wish them to take or who wants to look good in front of other people. I know that's not logical, but it's my experience-based feeling. Compliments make me remember all the compliments that were lies told to make someone else feel good for making the way-too-smart retard feel good about herself.

      That said, I appreciate comments that address my work and not me as a person.

      Those are my feelings about comments that are compliments.

      I love comments that ask questions, express some bit of knowledge on the topic my reader wants to share, or contain anecdotes or facts that relate to the topic. I love comments that express opinions on the topic.

      Those are my feelings about comments that add to the value of the page for readers.

      I dislike comments, even my own, that do not add value to the page for my readers. I make an effort to go through and delete them a few times a year.

      Here's where I bump into the elephant in the room. All those back and forth "thank yous" without any topic-related substance in them could be harming your SEO. Any off-topic comments can hurt SEO if the word count of the comments becomes significant compared to the intentional text of the page. Search engines can't always tell the content of a page from the comments on the page and a page's quality and topic are determined by an algorithm analysis of all the words on the page. Why else do you think HubPages introduced the editbots to correct the comments?

      If I were to say thank you to every comment on every hub, I'd have hubs on which I'd said thank you more than seven hundred times on a single hub. Even if I only said the two words and nothing else, I'd be adding over 1,400 off-topic words to a single hub. "Thank you for your comment" would bring it to over 3,500 off-topic words added to a single hub by me alone, not even counting all of the off-topic "great job" and "good work" comments left by others. I doubt Google could even sort out what such a page would be about.

      1. TessSchlesinger profile image93
        TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        excellent point. I will need to look out for this. smile

      2. makingamark profile image74
        makingamarkposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        You nailed it Kylyssa - thanking people could be damaging the profile of your hub! Love it!

        I go back to my premise. Limit comments to ones which are wholly relevant (not inane 'great hub' type comments which can and does get left on any number of hubs) and ones which add value to the reader

        For example
        * say WHY you found the hub interesting
        * say which bit you liked the best and WHY
        * ask for more information about a specific aspect
        * provide an answer to a question

    9. Rock_nj profile image90
      Rock_njposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      I have seen a handful of Hubbers turned off by non-responses.  I respond when appropriate, but honestly, my time is better spent writing than responding to each and every comment.  I certainly don't give it a second thought whether or not a Hubber responds to a comment I leave on one of their Hubs.  Don't people have better things to do with their time?

      1. makingamark profile image74
        makingamarkposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        I'm curious as your evidence for your first sentence

        How can you "have seen a handful of Hubbers turned off by non-responses."

        How do you know? What's your evidence?

    10. shanmarie profile image71
      shanmarieposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      It seems you have created quite a discussion here  If you want an opinion only, mine is that it depends on your reasons for using HP. If you want the support of the HP community, it is best to at least acknowledge your appreciation of the comments and/or read. These people are great to network with while supporting one another both on and off of HP. They do understand you have a life elsewhere and cannot always reply quickly or individually. If, on the other hand, all you are looking to accomplish is income by attracting other web users to your hubs, replying to rubbers may not be important. But, anyone popular enough online or off generally has to show appreciation to fans or possibly risk losing some.

      1. TessSchlesinger profile image93
        TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        "But, anyone popular enough online or off generally has to show appreciation to fans or possibly risk losing some."

        Only because big business has removed virtually all opportunity for everybody else. As a voracious reader, I hardly notice the name of the writer. I continue to read Der Spiegel, the Guardian, Google News, the Daily Mail, the Evening Standard, Reuters, AP, etc. despite the fact that I wouldn't recognize a single journalist. It's not about their relationship to me or mine to them. It's simply that I am interested in information.

        I think what is true is that many people are so uneducated and so uninformed today, and they have so little thirst and desire for accurate and abundant information that all they can do is worship celebrities. Possibly because they don't have an intellectual life of their own.

        So while I understand where you are coming from, that's not who I am. I have never been a fan of anyone in my life - even as a young child.

        1. shanmarie profile image71
          shanmarieposted 11 months ago in reply to this

          Perhaps if you are speaking strictly about journalism, but l have been a content writer for nearly a decade. I make most of my money online selling to other people. True journalism is very different from web content found on most hubs, with a goal of catering to Google's SEO requirements in order to drive more traffic to the page for a click on an add, which  then pays half a cent or so. While the goal might be to inform,  the goal on HP for most writers is not to report and inform in the manner journalists do. I would never dream of comparing HP to something like a newspaper.

          As for fans, it's not necessarily an interest in the celebrities themselves,-but in how they do their art. I'm not talking tabloid trash. I'm talking about favoriteauthors whose work you tend to read over and over or more of as it is produced. Maybe yes don't notice a writer's name in a newspaper or on a website,-but if you return to one particular blog often to read, you like that blog and are, by definition, a fan. But thanks for telling everyone else they have no intellectual life because they have a different point of view about writers, journalists, and bloggers.

          1. TessSchlesinger profile image93
            TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

            I have never read a blog in my life and never will. I have no interest in reading the writing of other writers, and I most certainly have never expected any writer to read mine. I write strictly to provide information for those people who are looking for information. They don't care who I am, and I don't care who they are. The point is the information. I see my job as collating information so that readers who are interested in a topic can read my hubs and be rest assured that they have solid factual information.

            There is nothing holy about writing and I have no comprehension as to why I should follow any writer. I follow topics, interests, news, trends, science studies, inventions, think tanks, etc. My interest in who writes the article is only relevant in terms of whether they are qualified to make the statements that they are making.

            I'm part geek. Nothing is going to change that.

            1. shanmarie profile image71
              shanmarieposted 11 months ago in reply to this

              In that case, the original question is of no importance. Etiquette is generally a matter of opinion anyway.

              1. TessSchlesinger profile image93
                TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                Actually, I had a strong emotional response to being accused of something I wasn't guilty of, so I'm not quite sure why you would think it had no relevance because I didn't read blogs.

                1. shanmarie profile image71
                  shanmarieposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                  I'm sorry. I only meant that it did mean something to you or you would not have posted the question. That strong emotional response if it had not happened, would mean the question would not be necessary. Either it matters or it doesn't. Whether it matters to you matters not to me. I simply answered the original question with my opinion of how various people perceive comments on HP. If your readers are irrelevant to you, their comments should not matter either. If on the other hand, you appreciate or care about feedback from people, the emotions come from time to time. You are not guilty of anything. Things like this happen all of the time, whether in response to something online or as we go about normal lives. We simply cannot please everyone.  Part of you cared enough about what is considered the norm to ask the question. I must say, though, that I think I'm done with this conversation. I've made the only point I intended and there is no point in arguing or defending myself over opinions, my own or of others.  I am glad you asked the question, though. It was thought-provoking.

                  1. TessSchlesinger profile image93
                    TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                    I guess I didn't say at any time that I didn't care about my readers, and that is what came across. I've already stated that I read every comment.

      2. Marisa Wright profile image92
        Marisa Wrightposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        Shanmarie, the point with HubPages is that you cannot have fans, because readers have no way to sign up to be notified of new Hubs.  We make our money from external readers who are looking for information about a specific topic, find one of our Hubs, and then may never visit again.   That's the way HubPages works. 

        The community is great, but for many longer-established writers, the community is here on the forums, not on each other's Hubs.

        1. makingamark profile image74
          makingamarkposted 11 months ago in reply to this

          I'd argue the community I am part of is around the Internet - in many different places where I find many of the same names. 

          As the saying says "Travel broadens the mind"

          The people I know who write are those who have their own sites who never allow or tend not to have guest posts. Consequently when I visit their sites - or see it quoted on a compendium site - like Facebook of Google+ - I know who has written it.

          In my view HubPages promotes topics rather than authors

        2. shanmarie profile image71
          shanmarieposted 11 months ago in reply to this

          I beg to differ. I get emails from hubpages notifying me of a new publication from those I follow. Readers to have a way to do so if they choose. But, then again, I use HP mainly for creative purposes and mostly follow creative writers. If money were my intent, I might view it differently.

          1. Marisa Wright profile image92
            Marisa Wrightposted 11 months ago in reply to this

            Yes you do, BUT readers very rarely join HubPages.   The great majority of HubPages members are either writers, or join to post in the political and religious forums.

            1. shanmarie profile image71
              shanmarieposted 11 months ago in reply to this

              Good point.

    11. Mickji profile image83
      Mickjiposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      There are Hub with thousands of comments, it's impossible to answer to everyone. But I've been scolded for not replying quickly too. Because apparently here we should answer promptly. I think the best is to answer this user question and then explaining your situation, asking for some comprehense. This will solve everything in my opinion.

    12. 30
      jerrycarmanposted 10 months ago in reply to this

      It sounds like someone is joking with you and pulling your leg. Just say the way you are,keep writing and do not pay any attention to those people  who are sunbbing your act.

      1. Mickji profile image83
        Mickjiposted 10 months ago in reply to this

        I will keep that in mind jerrycarman. Hopefully there will not be anyone like these angry users anymore, because I'm sad when these things happens.

  2. LuisEGonzalez profile image81
    LuisEGonzalezposted 11 months ago

    I try to respond to all comments when appropriate, and time permitting. In your case perhaps your view about Americans being "mentally ill ", medically dependent on drugs as well as having a host of other issues because they may or may not support Trump touched a nerve and a reply was maybe rightfully,expected.

    So far as your opinion in regards to American's political preferences, more specifically about Trump...for now I will reserve my opinion since this is not the place to post them.

  3. RonElFran profile image95
    RonElFranposted 11 months ago

    For me, personally, it's important to try to respond to comments. I consider it a matter of courtesy. So, I make it a practice to respond to at least someone's first comment on a hub, though maybe not to subsequent ones. One exception is when the hub provokes a discussion among readers in which they are responding to one another rather than addressing their comments to me. I read those comments to make sure they are appropriate, but usually won't respond.

    When I comment on someone else's hub, I take their response, or lack thereof, as indicating whether they value input from the HP community. If they fail to respond, that tells me my input was not valued, so I won't bother commenting on their hubs in the future. If I read a hub and see that the author has not responded to previous comments of others, I won't make one.

    To be honest, when I see a hub where the writer doesn't respond to comments, it shapes my view of that writer. I often read the hubs of others expressly for the purpose of supporting members of the HP community. A writer who ignores comments comes across to me as not being interested in that kind of community support, so I probably won't spend time reading their material.

    And that's OK. If their entire focus is on external traffic, my crossing them off my list won't bother them, and it frees up my time to read and comment on hubs where the author may be encouraged by what I have to share.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image92
      Marisa Wrightposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      That's exactly how I see it, Ron.   We all have different priorities.  Live and let live!

    2. TessSchlesinger profile image93
      TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      Professionally (i.e. someone who earns their living from something), it is not considered a matter of courtesy to respond to every reader who has something to say. If writers did that, they wouldn't have time to write. It has never been considered professional behaviour.

      I value the opportunity to earn money on hubpages highly. The fact that I don't respond to every comment has nothing to do with it. As for input from HP community, unless one is posting on the forum, generally each article is aimed at Google traffic. From commenting on  hundreds of newspapers and magazines internationally, and winning the prize winning slot 2/3 of the time, I can tell you that comment is to the editor for the benefit of the other readers - not for the writer.

      "To be honest, when I see a hub where the writer doesn't respond to comments, it shapes my view of that writer." That's probably because you want affirmation as a person, not because you're looking for hard core information. And, no, I'm not interested in emotional support. I'm interested in earning a living.

    3. makingamark profile image74
      makingamarkposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      Some people see this place as a community

      Some people see this place as somewhere to publish articles and they tend to be much more interested eg external traffic and making efficient use of their time.

      I don't make a distinction between hubbers and others - however I do make a distinction between whether a comments needs a response or not

  4. Jodah profile image86
    Jodahposted 11 months ago

    I agree totally Ron, and have the same approach as you. If someone doesn't acknowledge my comment on their hub I don't bother reading any of their other hubs. I also reply to all Initial comments on my own hubs and try to make time to read a hub by each commenter.

    1. TessSchlesinger profile image93
      TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      One doesn't read the work of writers because one wants to befriend them and/or because one wants them to reciprocate. One reads hubs or anything else as a source of information for entertainment. I don't expect authors to befriend me because I read their books, and I certainly don't expect journalists to respond to my opinion because they wrote the article.

      1. Jodah profile image86
        Jodahposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        But when reading books and magazines you don't have the opportunity to comment on them to the author immediately after reading as we do on HubPages with a built in comments section on each hub. So in my opinion you can't really compare them. But we obviously all approach commenting or not the way that suits our circumstance. However if I was harassed or made to feel guilty for not replying to someone's comment I would probably be annoyed and delete it as well.

        1. makingamark profile image74
          makingamarkposted 11 months ago in reply to this

          The fact the comments module is published does not mean people are owed responses

          I would however point out to people that there is an option to disable showing the comments module. If comments didn't factor into how a hub was rated maybe people would use that more?

          1. Jodah profile image86
            Jodahposted 11 months ago in reply to this

            Do comments actually affect how a hub is rated?

            1. makingamark profile image74
              makingamarkposted 11 months ago in reply to this

              the number of comments a hub has got is on the dashboard - what do you think?

        2. Marisa Wright profile image92
          Marisa Wrightposted 11 months ago in reply to this

          ....but if you comment on an article in a newspaper or magazine, do you expect the editor or author to respond to you?    If not, why should HubPages be any different?   HubPages is just like a magazine and we are all staff writers.  At least, that's how Hubbers like me see it. 

          I know you see it differently and that's where the different attitude to comments arises.

          1. paradigmsearch profile image91
            paradigmsearchposted 11 months ago in reply to this

            Busy beaver you are.

          2. Jodah profile image86
            Jodahposted 11 months ago in reply to this

            I'm just interested to know if the people who don't leave or reply to comments on hubs ever leave fan mail for other hubbers or approve fan mail left for them?? Or do you see that as also totally irrelevant like comments?

            1. Marisa Wright profile image92
              Marisa Wrightposted 11 months ago in reply to this

              I very, very rarely follow other Hubbers, so I can't remember the last time I left fan mail.

              Again, if HubPages is a magazine and we are all staff writers, then I don't see why I should feel obliged to read the work of my fellow writers.  They do their job, I do mine - if I want to chat with my colleagues, I do that on the forums. 

              I don't have any control over whether people follow me or leave fan mail - so if they do leave fan mail then I will approve it. 

              And just to clarify, I don't see comments as irrelevant - if the comment is someone expressing an opinion or asking a question about the Hub, then they are relevant obviously.  That's why I provide a comments capsule, as a service to readers who have something they want to express.  In fact I think it would be rude not to provide a comments capsule, as that would prevent readers having the right of reply.

              As for comments affecting how a Hub is rated - as you know, scores are meaningless.

              1. Jodah profile image86
                Jodahposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                Thank you for answering that Marissa.

                1. Marisa Wright profile image92
                  Marisa Wrightposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                  ....and thank you for raising the issue. 

                  I have used the magazine comparison before, but only to help newbies understand the quality required.  Thanks to your persistent questioning, I now realise that the magazine comparison extends much further, explaining how comments and following and fan mail etc are treated by those who write for income.  So thanks for helping me work that out!

            2. makingamark profile image74
              makingamarkposted 11 months ago in reply to this

              @Jodah - Why - what relevance does that have to anything?
              People participate in different ways - period.

              Why are you suggesting comments are totally irrelevant when nobody has suggested they are.?

              I think you've completely misinterpreted what has been said. Maybe go back to the beginning and try reading through again?

              1. Jodah profile image86
                Jodahposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                makingamark, I feel it is relevant to know how others think about this and if they treat fan mail the same as they do comments. No, I don't have to go back and reread....it has been suggested if not actually stated. I don't really care either way..you either leave comments or don't ..up to you..no big deal.

                1. Marisa Wright profile image92
                  Marisa Wrightposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                  I understand where you're coming from Jodah but like makingamark, I wondered if you had misunderstood our comments about comments (LOL).

                  I can't emphasise enough that comments ARE important - I can't see anyone on this thread saying that they NEVER respond to comments, or ignore them (apart from one person who's got way behind!). 

                  The difference is in the type of response.   I will answer comments if I can add value to the conversation (e.g. when. someone has asked a question, or presented a counter argument, or added a new fact that I wasn't aware of).   I won't answer comments if I have nothing meaningful to say.

                  1. makingamark profile image74
                    makingamarkposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                    1++++

                    Commenting for politeness is important to some people and not to others

                    Commenting to make friends is relevant to some people and not at all to others

                    Commenting in response to somebody who asked a valid question is of value - and most people do this. (Rhetoric doesn't count)

                    Commenting because somebody made a constructive comment which added value to the hub is also of value and may well merit a response - but it's not required.

                    If you want avoid nasty comments and therefore don't permit the comments module to appear on your hub that is also OK - so long as the content of a hub stays within HubPages rules for acceptable content.

                2. makingamark profile image74
                  makingamarkposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                  Why is it relevant? For what reason?

                  1. Jodah profile image86
                    Jodahposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                    It is to me or I wouldn't have asked it, but you obviously don't think so so don't bother answering.

      2. makingamark profile image74
        makingamarkposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        Spot on Tess

        The issue seems to be whether or not you are participating in HubPages as some sort of community or because you want to write

  5. paradigmsearch profile image91
    paradigmsearchposted 11 months ago

    Be forewarned. I never respond to comments, leastwise so far. I never reciprocate, leastwise not recently. I am a slacker and have accepted that. big_smile

    1. SmartAndFun profile image91
      SmartAndFunposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      I have so many comments that I've never even approved -- nearing 150 or 200, I think. I let them stack up too long and now I just can't face the task. Plus I just don't feel like it. One of these days... maybe.

      1. paradigmsearch profile image91
        paradigmsearchposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        Sounds like life.

        The hard part is to just start.

        Start.

        Then do however many you feel like and call it a day.

  6. willmcwryter profile image51
    willmcwryterposted 11 months ago

    you should just reply to the comments made by hubbers who are popular you don't want to lower yourself by giving every person aknowledgement then you will lower your own reputation.  it doesn't matter whether the comments are good or not just kiss the right butts and then you will get more popular.  i appologize in advance if you are popular already i am new here and don't know who the big kahunas are yet.

    1. theraggededge profile image92
      theraggededgeposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      You mean just act like a creep?

      No thanks.

      1. willmcwryter profile image51
        willmcwryterposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        i don't consider you creepy for commenting on all my comments smile

    2. shanmarie profile image71
      shanmarieposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      Thanks for the laugh! smile

  7. psycheskinner profile image81
    psycheskinnerposted 11 months ago

    I reply only to comments that ask a question.  There is no 'reply notification' so I assume most commenters will never return to the hub and so never see any comment I made in response to their comment.

    1. paradigmsearch profile image91
      paradigmsearchposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      You come here often?

  8. Ilonagarden profile image84
    Ilonagardenposted 11 months ago

    Generally online, a policy of "give freely, expect nothing in return" works best all around. Hubpages or not, every community has its culture, and in some cases subcultures. Because no one wants to say that there is a particular culture for Hubpages overall, you will find subcultures reign.

    Inside a subculture you find greater expectations, but greater rewards if you are a good fit.

    I haven't quite made up my mind just what Hubpages is, but it seems that people here fit in a "forum" style. You have to toughen up your skin if you're sensitive or stay under the radar.

    That is my two cents. Basically it means do whatever you want, but don't be surprised when you knock into someone and get a consequence or two.

    I am still smoldering about some things, but revert to the first attitude, which helps me move on.

    1. calculus-geometry profile image86
      calculus-geometryposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      good observation, i agree.

    2. Marisa Wright profile image92
      Marisa Wrightposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      It's a excellent point - but I'm not convinced all Hubbers fit into the "forum" style.

      There are definitely two extremes of Hub culture - those who see HubPages as a community first and foremost, and those who see it as a place to earn money first and foremost.  Most Hubbers are probably somewhere between the two.

      Those who see it as a community first, set great store by reading and commenting and thanking and following etc etc.  Some mistakenly believe that's the way to make money on HP - others know it isn't, but have decided earning an income isn't their priority.   In that sense they are using it more like a writers' Facebook or Linkedin. 

      Those who see it as a place to earn money may barely participate in the community at all.  They will follow very few other Hubbers, won't respond to comments unless they have something meaningful to say, and won't read or comment on other Hubs.  In that sense they're treating HubPages more like a blog. 

      I think the second group tend to be on the forums more, because the first group does so much of their socialising on each other's Hubs.

      1. Jodah profile image86
        Jodahposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        Spot on Marissa.

      2. Ilonagarden profile image84
        Ilonagardenposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        Funny you should say "treat it like a blog" which probably has more to say about what blogging has become smile Old time blogging, like I did  before 2005 was very much about sharing, commenting on each others posts, etc.

        Having come over from Squidoo, the culture here is not one I find easy to access for some reason. They are all communities of some sort, just as forums are... I was calling that "subcultures". While I learned alot about monetizing from the community at Squidoo, maybe I am naive when I say there can't be too many that are here just to make money.
        Yes, I probably am ignorant of that whole sector. I have gravitated toward trying to turn my writing into more of a business than a hobby, personally, and that is why I like to analyze and observe what goes on in these communities (for my own information).

        Besides it is kind of a fascinating social phenomenon.

        I used to spend LOTS of time on forums, and believe me, whether on their hubs  or here all who interact with each other very much behave in a manner like the forums.  Maybe it is just how online communities organize themselves? I don't know.

      3. Ilonagarden profile image84
        Ilonagardenposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        LOL! I have to say something about FB: using facebook like a forum is just plain scary- no moderators!

        1. TessSchlesinger profile image93
          TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

          You are exactly right. I'm here to earn money. That's it. And it doesn't make one earn money by befriending other hubbers. This does not mean I haven't made friends with other hubbers. I have. But we became friends because we had things in common, not because they were on hubpages. That's just where I met them.

          1. makingamark profile image74
            makingamarkposted 11 months ago in reply to this

            That's a really good way of putting it.

            The interesting thing is that some of those I met on Squidoo I now hang out with and have as friends on Facebook. Who they are very largely depends on whether we would have found things in common anywhere we happened to meet. It's not just because we met on a writing site.

            Thinking about it - the real communities I belong to are now all on Facebook.
            I just love Facebook Groups - always subject focused and we all like the same stuff!

            1. TessSchlesinger profile image93
              TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

              Birds of a feather flock together! That reflects my real life experience as well. While my real life friends (outside cyber world) definitely comprises writers (journalists, best selling authors, screenwriters, etc), all my friends are friends because we like talking about the same things and respect each other as people. smile Ironically, none of us like talking about writing...

              1. makingamark profile image74
                makingamarkposted 11 months ago in reply to this

                1+++++++++ big_smile

      4. shanmarie profile image71
        shanmarieposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        I agree. Good point. And I rarely participate in forum discussions because of I don't go looking for discussions, but this one came up in my feed and caught my attention.

  9. Robilo2 profile image82
    Robilo2posted 11 months ago

    For me, I try to respond to all comments provided they relate to the topic in my hub.  My challenge is the response time - sometimes I go 10 days without having time to check HP as my day/night job and family take priority.

    BTW - I have a sister who never responds to email or text messages unless she wants something.  She treats our communication like I am feeding her information and no response is required...  people are people and will do what they want without regard to etiquette...

    1. Ilonagarden profile image84
      Ilonagardenposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      you will never be sorry giving your family and RL your priority smile

  10. Mark Ewbie profile image81
    Mark Ewbieposted 11 months ago

    http://usercontent1.hubimg.com/12819478_f1024.jpg

    1. TessSchlesinger profile image93
      TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      Love it, Mark!
      Sticks and stones may break my bones
      But words will never hurt me
      Money and cash add to my stash
      But words will never feed me. smile

      1. paradigmsearch profile image91
        paradigmsearchposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        I missed that one. Thanks. lol

  11. paradigmsearch profile image91
    paradigmsearchposted 11 months ago

    What! Am I here?

  12. paradigmsearch profile image91
    paradigmsearchposted 11 months ago

    You want "etiquette "? I'll give you "etiquette ".

  13. Farawaytree profile image87
    Farawaytreeposted 11 months ago

    Not responding because you are busy doing other things, forgetful, or don't feel you have time to stop and respond is just life and understandable.

    Making the time to respond is preferable and definitely common courtesy. Isn't that one of the reasons we write? To influence, entertain, and provoke commentary? Comments are fantastic in my book!

    Not responding because you think a particular hubber is "not popular" or you don't want to damage your reputation by interacting with them is something I vaguely remember from high school or even elementary. Wow. That kind of attitude is extremely off-putting and I would avoid those writers (hubbers).

    Good luck everyone out there and enjoy the comments you do get as I do, because they are a confirmation that people are reading!

    1. Jodah profile image86
      Jodahposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      smile great points

    2. Shadrack2 profile image66
      Shadrack2posted 11 months ago in reply to this

      well said my friend.

    3. TessSchlesinger profile image93
      TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      "Isn't that one of the reasons we write? To influence, entertain, and provoke commentary"

      No, that is absolutely and utterly not why I write. Never has been.

      I started writing in 1962 or 63 when I read an article in the Sunday Times and told my late father I disagreed. "Time to write a letter to the editor," he said. I wrote, expressing my disagreement and it was published verbatim. The topic was apartheid. My late father encouraged all of his children to be citizens, i.e. to actively partake in the political process.

      I write about politics and the economy, and my motivation is to inform - but never to influence, entertain, or provoke commentary.

      My other motivation is strictly money. smile

      1. shanmarie profile image71
        shanmarieposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        Aside from informing, uses you write for an actual paying site and not a revenue sharing site like HP, you need to focus more on Google requirements rather than the information, or at least make sure the SEO is not overlooked. Because it is not the reading that earns the money, assuming a person stays long enough to read. The income is from people clicking on ads to other sites.

        1. makingamark profile image74
          makingamarkposted 11 months ago in reply to this

          Google's requirements for a page or site to rank highly is that it is informative and adds value to the reader

          There's also more than one way of making money.

          Some people make far from Amazon than they ever do from the adverts. That's because irrelevant adverts get served up on niche topics whereas if you highlight the right product on a niche topic with a niche audience you're far more likely to get a positive response.

        2. TessSchlesinger profile image93
          TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

          And you think I don't know this... Why?

          1. shanmarie profile image71
            shanmarieposted 11 months ago in reply to this

            I never said or assumed what anyone here knows or thinks. I merely stated my opinion on the original question  and .made my point to a reply. That's all. I have no intention of offending anyone not to argue.

  14. paradigmsearch profile image91
    paradigmsearchposted 11 months ago

    https://i.imgflip.com/wzg7k.jpg

  15. rjbatty profile image80
    rjbattyposted 11 months ago

    You really opened a kind of Pandora's box by commenting upon comments.  I read through the thread of responses and was surprised to find the level of passion people conveyed on their individual perspective regarding the subject.  Most of the stuff I "publish" to HubPages receives a zero comment response, although I can see from the stats page that I get a fair amount of traffic.  Getting a zero comment response leaves one to wonder whether the Hub was entertaining or not.  Maybe because of this, I tend to leave very long (probably too long) comments for fellow writers who wrote something of real interest to me.  I'm pretty conservative about the number of people I follow, and consequently I don't have a huge following myself, and this is how I prefer it.  If a Hub moves my mind to any degree, I feel obligated to let the writer know how his/her material had an impact upon me.  Either a Hub moves you or it doesn't.  Sometimes I leave negative feedback, but even this seems to be appreciated by the more erudite writers.  They, like myself, welcome comments -- even if the comment represents some level of opposition to their point of view.  I'm not alone in being a writer who usually receives zero feedback.  I've read some great stuff that may have been posted years ago and will find that they also received no comments.  Sometimes I'm rather astonished because the subject can often be controversial ... yet there are no comments.  I've come to accept zero response as the norm.  When I set up my account I did something wrong so I've never earned a dime off the HubPages site, and I could correct this but haven't bothered.  Maybe some are earning a thousand bucks per month -- good for them.  I'm living at a subsistence level and should be eager to try and make a few dollars of my own, but I'm not into writing for payback.  It's not logical but I'm just happy to be included in a forum where my junk can be read -- even by a few.  For me that's gratifying enough.  I write because I can't help myself to do otherwise.  I have a drawer full of short stories and even two novels that just sit there.  Most probably no one will ever read this material because I make no effort to see that it gets any kind of distribution -- free or otherwise.  Putting it another way, I simply write for myself.  Like any other writer, I feel gratified by getting a comment or two here on HubPages.  Writing a response to a response seems unnecessary unless there is some bone of contention.  My stuff doesn't seem to generate much contention -- in fact I don't think I've ever received anything other than compliments.  It seems ridiculous to say thank you to everyone that has left favorable returns.  However, anyone who spends even a few minutes to provide a comment is someone I will end up exploring myself.  Since my returns are modest, I can take the time to do this because I'm interested in those who find some merit in my work (if I can call it work).  Nearly 90% of the time I'll find that the commenter has posted some really interesting writing of their own, and so I'll subscribe to them.  So, leaving comments can pay off if you are at all interested in expanding your own articles/poems/stories/whatever.  Writing is a lonely "business" even if you are doing it for your sole satisfaction.  We don't get a pat on the back for every well-written sentence.  If you are in it for the cash -- good luck to you.  Maybe getting even a tiny check is equivalent to that pat on the back.  I cannot say because I receive neither one or the other.  My idea can be reduced to the following:  Be generous.  To the degree possible be supportive.  Leave as many comments as possible -- just for the other guy/gal to know that he/she isn't operating in a vacuum.  Take the time to leave meaningful comments.  Hearing someone say "I liked this," is nice to receive but we all want to know specifically what impressed them or left them cold.  Since I write as a hobby and not as a source of income, I can feel generous about my time in leaving detailed remarks.  Providing a comment is an art in itself.  You are still writing, still trying to communicate something, so don't be stingy unless you are in the money-making group and feel you must commit your time toward producing rather than offering any kind of insightful feedback for a fellow writer.  As previously stated I'm operating at a subsistence level, yet I enjoy providing comments if a given piece is well-crafted.  I suppose most Hubbers are into this project with the intention of earning some extra cash.  So, they have a different focus than my own.  Maybe after I've written a thousand Hubs of my own I'll wake up and smell the coffee.  I kind of doubt it.  But even if you are into this for a few extra bucks, try to be generous with your comments.  Providing feedback is the only pat on the back we're ever going to get.  And if we cannot support each other in this easy fashion who else may we rely upon?  I guess some number of "outsiders" drift into something posted on HubPages, but they are the least promising audience to leave a comment.  Being mutually supportive is not incestuous.  The intercourse is all intellectual, not physical, right?  You don't have to offer thanks to everyone who may shower you with a bit of praise.  I don't expect to be thanked for leaving my remarks but I sense that a lot of authors feel obligated to recognize almost every response with a personal "thank you."  It's absurd.  If I offer you kudos on an article, I don't want to be thanked for it.  Saying that you liked/disliked an article and explaining why is sufficient.   The author is going to read your remark, and it's up to him/her to digest whatever you have to say.  Giving thanks to thanks is a bit too much.  As a fellow contributor I enjoy receiving any kind of positive response.  But blessing the commenter leads to a kind of Mobius Loop.  If you thank someone for responding to your stuff, is the responder supposed to then thank you for thanking them?  This could go on ad infinitum, ad nauseum.  Just let the commenter's statements stand on its own.  You wrote your piece (for better or worse) and you have to just let it hang out there and accept whatever response -- even if it amounts to a zero response.

    1. Jodah profile image86
      Jodahposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      +1000 very well said rjbatty. I am off to check your hubs.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image92
        Marisa Wrightposted 11 months ago in reply to this

        RJBatty raises a very good point, which I omitted.

        As I said, I never respond to comments unless I have something meaningful to add to the discussion.  So that means I don't thank people for comments. 

        However if someone has left a thoughtful and relevant comment, I will go and look at their Hubs and see if I can find some which interest me and where I can make meaningful comments in return.  Which takes more time than just saying thank you.

        As Kylyssa points out, meaningless comments and thank-yous can actually damage a Hub - leaving relevant comments for each other is far more valuable.

        1. Jodah profile image86
          Jodahposted 11 months ago in reply to this

          +1 great stuff

    2. TessSchlesinger profile image93
      TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      I had to go and check your hubs to see if you knew what a paragraph was. That was really difficult tor read because you pushed it all into one paragraph.

      I'm wondering at which point one can accept that it's just not possible for writers to respond to most comments.

    3. makingamark profile image74
      makingamarkposted 11 months ago in reply to this

      Personally - and as a matter of principle I NEVER (except this one time) comment on writing that lacks paragraphs appropriate for online reading - or just lacks paragraphs period.

      i.e. I can't comment as I find it difficult to read.

      1. rjbatty profile image80
        rjbattyposted 10 months ago in reply to this

        Gee wiz, kids, I'm sorry about not inserting paragraph breaks.  Just as a heads up, don't try reading any Russian literature.  I'm not comparing myself to the likes of Dostoyevsky, but some of the best writers composed entire pages without paragraph breaks.   I mean, come on, guys.  You have difficulty reading text without paragraph breaks?  Really?  I suppose if you stated so it must be true, but, well, okay.  I'll remember that in the future.

  16. TessSchlesinger profile image93
    TessSchlesingerposted 11 months ago

    Just a general thank you to everybody who responded. Regardless of whether some feel that comments are there to support the writer rather than discuss the topic or respond to the topic, I gathered from this that there are a variety of views on hubpages and it's more about how I want to treat the comments.

    So my policy is basically that I read it all, respond if clarification is needed, and if I have a busy day or a busy week, will probably not respond at all despite reading it all.

    1. Mickji profile image83
      Mickjiposted 10 months ago in reply to this

      We are human so we do what we can. It's a good way of thinking!

      1. TessSchlesinger profile image93
        TessSchlesingerposted 10 months ago in reply to this

        smile

 
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