When I started on hubpages I used to reply to every comment, and I still appreciate them as much as I used to...
But is there a point when it becomes unneccessary to reply to comments? I think that its great when people reply to every one of their commenters, I really do, people like Sufidreamer manage this perfectly...
But I have well over 2000 comments now... I probably get about 20 a day now, and my limited time is better spent on producing further stuff.
What I do try and do is reply to every question, if there is a question mark I reply within a week... as that person is likely to check back for the answer. But if somebody is just telling you that their hub is good, is it really neccessary to say thanks? Or can you just appreciate the thanks without acknowledging it?
I guess I am just trying to justify my own failure to keep on top of it, I really appreciate everybodies comments, its the first thing I check when I login (even before my AdSense!)....
What do you all think?
I think it is not at all rude though people who take time to comment would appreciate it, if you replied back. But after a point it becomes difficult, really difficult. I can really relate to your situation as I have taken part in 60dc, my exams are going on and I have also to prepare for my MBA entrance, so it is becoming very difficult for me to reply, But as of now I am managing it. I reply every comment. But then I only have 35 hubs. And I have read hubs, and I know you surely answer readers doubt and question. I think that's more important. Don't think you are being rude, your regular and loyal readers like me will understand.
It would be a great feature if we know when the hub writer replies to comments. I like to write comments, and I also like to reply to comments. However, hubpages does not seem to have a system for letting us know if a comment should have a further follow-up. Sometimes I ask a question, and only "serious" hubbers seem to notice. It kind of tells me something about how hubbers treat their followers. Either I feel ignored or I feel valued. How do you want your followers to feel?
good idea...I think the "comments you made" area should also include hubber id...
It's becoming clear to me that with the change of name from fan to follower, a fundamental change is occurring in the way HubPages works.
When it was called "fanning", it was more obvious that you joined a Hubber's fan club because you liked their style and wanted to read more.
Every now and then, someone would get the wrong idea and go on a fanning spree, or ask whether you needed to "fan" everyone back, but for most people it was fairly obvious you wouldn't be a fan of something that didn't interest you.
Now, it seems like being a follower just means you want to be friends, and brings with it some kind of obligation to follow everyone who follows you, read Hubs about stuff that makes you yawn, invent comments on Hubs for the sake of it, and then the Hubber has to smile and pat the commenter on the back.
And people who aren't interested in playing that game are accused of being rude.
Well, I don't want to play.
I don't know if it's got anything to do with the change in terminology - I just think that as Hub Pages becomes more well-known, you're going to get more and more people of this type joining (by which I mean people who put "making friends" and following artificial protocol above every other consideration).
Personally I agree with you otherwise though - this kind of stuff reminds me of being back at school and people asking, "Are you sending me a Christmas card? I'll send you one if you send me one!" Grrr.
As with a lot of things, I ask myself the question "how would I feel if I made a 'good hub'-type comment on someone else's hub and they didn't respond?" The answer is "I wouldn't be all that bothered". In fact, I think that people who expect a reply to that type of comment are asking a bit much, especially of someone like yourself who has lots of hubs and therefore lots of comments.
But yeah, if I made a comment (e.g. a question) that was expecting some kind of response, then I would certainly be grateful for a reply and a little put out if I didn't receive one.
having just written my first hub and planning a series of them, i would love some one to comment or even ask a question, then i would know that i am not alone in cyber world!
Unless there's a direct question for me or the comment makes me want to reply for some other reason I generally don't bother anymore. I feel a little guilty about this but across all platforms I'm getting way too many to keep up with.
I try harder to respond to comments from fellow hubbers a little more diligently than those from the search engines, but still fail pretty badly. I'd probably remove the comment boxes altogether if they didn't often generate content more valuable than the article itself.
shoot, I don't even go back to see if my comments get replied to. I betcha alot of people don't. So - why? It sure ain't rude - dat's for damn sure! (its my bedtime, must be, don't usually talk like a sailor!)
Neither do I, except in very rare circumstances. That's why I can never understand people who say it's "polite" to reply to comments - to me, it's like saying "thanks" to someone who's already walked out of the room and shut the door. Pointless.
If you feel you have to thank someone - go to one of their Hubs and leave a comment in return.
It depends, really, on how you use HubPages. If you're here purely for the HP community then there appears to be an etiquette about slavishly going around commenting on everyone's new Hub, and thanking everyone for every little comment. I spend enough time on HP without getting into that.
I understand your dilemma, at least the logic. I've noticed that other hubbers handle the situation by accepting the comments and then replying in "batches". Seems to work. I do check on the comments I leave for feedback, more for curiosity than anything else. I tend to read more of the hubbers that comment regularly back to me.
Wanna hire me as your assistant? I'll read and comment on your behalf.
If someone takes some of their valuable time to read my hub and is thoughtful enough to make a comment, I feel it is only common courtesy to acknowledge it. But that's just my take, everbody has to do their own thing and go with it.
And I felt the same as you when I had just a handle of hubs.... would you feel the same with 298 hubs, 2763 comments, and a strong desire to reach 1000 hubs?
I feel the same way. However, I agree with MyWebs that "some comments just don't really seem like they require a response. "Great Hub, keep up the good work" What else can I say besides "Thank You"?"
I "do" come back to see a reply to my comment on a hub I read.
You are a good example actually viryabo, you once left a question on my hub and I replied.... you then checked back a week or two later... if you just said "good hub, well presented", you probably wouldn't have bothered checking back right?
I felt the same as you initially did ryankett. At first I felt I should respond to every comment. Now I am starting to change my way of thinking. Its not that I can't keep up so far, but some comments just don't really seem like they require a response. "Great Hub, keep up the good work" What else can I say besides "Thank You"? Maybe I'm just not creative enough. How many users ever come back to see if you responded to a compliment comment? Very few I would bet.
While I do appreciate anyone who takes the time to comment, but with me responding back to each one it seems to clutter up the comments.
Since I have my hubs set where I must approve comments first I do read every one and try to do it very fast when I'm not asleep.
to me, every comment, long or short, is important (except Ugg boots spam or nasty comments), and i answer them all. sometimes some fall though the cracks because i get distracted and forget to comment back, but to me, they took the time to comment me, so i can return the favour and comment them back. i'm not saying others are wrong for not commenting back, this is just how i feel about it.
I reply on all of them and unfortunately sometimes I miss a few and feel bad about it. When I woke up this morning and I had to reply to 30 comments spreading across 4 hubs I began with the least amount of comments on the first hub and worked my way-up while I had a cup of coffee and a donut. I guess it is just habit for me since I have been doing it for so long.
If I check out a hub, comment, go back and they haven't commented sometimes I believe they are being rude and other times I believe that they do not have time to read them it just depends on the hub or the hubber.
Proper etiquette to me on hubpages is commenting back to there reply.
AEvans, you'd better not waste your time commenting on any of my Hubs then, if you only do it to get patted on the back.
Now that response does not make any sense , why would anyone want to get a pat on the back for reading and commenting on someone's hub? Replying to someone after they have commented on your hub is like saying, " Thank you for stopping by it was nice to see here." If we have time to write 5 words on a thread complaining that a toilet isn't flushing or someone bumped someone with a cart, we certainly have time to reply to a comment on one of our own hubs when time allows. It is only my own personal opinion but this can differ from hubber to hubber. I have read some of your hubs because I enjoy ballroom dancing, I know with your schedule that it is hard for you to respond, just like Ryankett, SunSeven etc. So a pat on the back for commenting that is not ever expected by me, I read the hubs because they are interesting not because I am waiting for someone's response.
though most dont go back to see if a response was made i still try and make a response even if its just to say thanks for the comment ... its not rude to not comment back at all
not everyone can be a superstar like you ryan. I reply to all comments one way or another. Many times my readers return several times and we have so much fun/ But then I don't write hubs for commercial reasons. Rude? I don't think so. Lazy? Yes. jk
To acknowledge a comment with even a simple 'thank you' is just common courtesy. It's like when someone gives you way on the road, a simple 'nod' is all it takes to express a bit of warmth and manners.... Lots of people don't do it, and it's NOT a crime not to, but it's just how they choose to go through their lives i.e it all depends on the kind of person you are.
I have seen a lot of people here with an 'I couldn't care less if you read my hubs' kind of attitude, and I think that's who they are in real life too in their work atmosphere: detached and business like. For them HP is a source of income. Period. But others, esp. those who not only hope to earn here but also value readership, do care about being read as writers, certainly value the followers who read and comment on their work. These are the people we all truly admire: the ones who know how to keep that balance.
And yes, I always follow up on my comments, and while I realize people with lots of hubs cannot answer individually, I think a general 'thank you' is always nice. Though, what is even more amazing is how they have time to comment in the forums, but no time to acknowledge their readers!
Well MOW, you are just so special, and that is why I just love you to pieces! I agree of course. I value my readers and I will bug a hubber to make them reply to my comment sometimes, and who can ignore me? LOL
If i stay inactive for say more than one month what will happen to fan mail & comments ? auto-denied or will remain in the queue ?
People don't want to keep track of their comments on other hubs then why make comments at first place ? If you don't want hub author to respond you back then why make comments ? Looks like hit-n-run posting to me.
Don't set expectations about comments if your sole purpose is to earn from this place.Don't even follow others to gain some internal traffic cause hubbers don't read what you write here and most of the threads posted this week proves this point. Posting on answers to keep high hubscore is trend going on these days but how many people seriously reply without being sarcastic ?(I don't want to point any hubber here but..anyway) I know "more-hubs+followers+earning" will give any tom-dick-harry some extra edge to look down on newbies with excuse of "it-could-be-a-spammer" but if you want to spit sarcasm on answers/forums/hubs then better not to comment.
comments for me are acknowledgements, appreciation that gives me fire to work more. Without hubs there would be no comments and without comments, I feel, it will be difficult to keep posting hubs. So, at the end of the day, one ought to take time to reply to every comment.
While it is great to get comments, I don't believe it's necessary to thank people for making them. Like Ryan said, it's different if they ask a serious question. Or if they point something out that you'd never thought of. When I tell someone I like their hub i don't expect them to say thank you or even acknowledge it.
I write for Suite 101 and they tell you not to reply to comments. Something to do with professionalism. You don't usually see writers on the New York Times or elsewhere replying to comments.
oh good grief. many HubPagians are not professional writers, and this is not the New York Times. yes, i write by profession, but that means nothing in this (HubPages) world. someone comments me, i comment back as a common courtesy. "oh, i want to look professional, so i'd better not acknowledge someone's comment"....
what the...? you assume a lot Marisa. maybe people comment your hubs because they found something on it worth commenting, period. if i comment someone and they don't acknowledge it, after a while i don't read them anymore. it has nothing to do with wanting to be 'patted on the back'. it says, to me, that person thinks too much of themselves and can't lower themselves to comment one of their readers.
I was stating what we do on Suite101, I was not saying it should be that way on HubPages.
Whatever, it should be up to the hubber what they do and not be criticized for it.
Lets not all get into an argument guys!
But I certainly don't feel any shame whatsoever for not responding to comments UW, agree with you there... sorry if that makes me a bad person anybody, I just don't have the time to achieve my objectives on here and participate regularly in the community at the same time...
.... I think that I have given enough back to justify that... '50 Hubs Chosen By 50 Great Hubbers' took me about 3 solid days for a start.... and I am currently working on a project for Darkside which helps people learn how to choose keywords and tags...
I also get about 10 emails per week from hubbers asking for advice. That is the price that you pay for being vocal about your success.... there are plenty of heavyweights who do not participate in the community at all... and frankly, I dont blame them one bit!
well, ok, i apologize, UnivitedWriter.
but i do think that ignoring comments doesn't make someone a 'professional' writer. those guys at the New York Times are unbelievably busy, and celebrities of sorts, and if they took time to respond to every single letter, blog comment or whatever, they would be chained to their desks. we have a local columnist here who has gotten himself embroiled in some heated discussions on our newspaper's blogs and he made the mistake of bringing those discussions to his newspaper articles, which has made his articles suffer, as he makes fun of their grammar and even their usernames. to me, THAT is unprofessional.
HubPages has no celebrities. there are some very talented, even amazing writers here and some are not professional writers. i just bristle when people say they 'won't comment to be nice'...i can understand Ryan (or anyone) being too busy., however.
sometimes i see people leaving off the comment box altogether. that might be a good thing when hubbers feel swamped.
Whilst I agree with your sentiments... I do think that there is an exception (to not replying to comments)... and that is on sales pages. I always use a comments box, but when somebody writes "I bet you will flog a few of these" or "very clever hub, this should make you a few quid", or even (and I have had this) "I dont think that any of the products you listed are worth buying"... I always delete the comment.
Whilst I do leave a comments box, because you get the odd bit of search engine traffic which could really leave a comment which would help you sell something. If you are writing a formal product review, in the hope for sales, then it is much better to delete any comment which isnt strictly relevant. If you read a sales review and somebody wrote "I think that this product is rubbish, you should list this" would you leave the comment? Because that sort of defeats the object of the time you spent writing it?
But anyway, back to the original topic, there is simply no way that I could respond to all of my comments now and continue to publish hubs... Whilst I was previously unemployed, I now work full time, and I write on hubpages for money.... I have only published 5 hubs in the past 11 days.... I have always been a 1 a day man (for pooing too!), if I replied to every comment on the weekend, which I had been given from Monday-Friday, I would have published 0 hubs in 11 days.... does that make me rude? Or am I just ensuring that I can continue on hubpages?
I do definitely now get less comments from regular hubbers, as some people dont bother commenting now that I don't reply, but the impact on my earnings is of course minimal.... but then, I guess that I have never made a secret of the fact that I write here for money 80% of the time.... and most of the other 20% of the time is spent on the forums... don't really feel any shame about that, as much of my time on the forum is spent giving people little tips about making money anyway... Guess that we are all here for our own little reasons hey?
Just my 2 cents, don't see it as rude not to, but I usually do if for no other reason than to thank them for stopping by, sometimes individually sometimes with a batch reply. for substantial content comments (especially on point of view hubs) I will reply to answer the points in the comment as they may clarify a point or offer an opportunity to make a new one.
Might change if I was dealing with hundreds of them...
Thanks for the mention, Ryan - I do try to reply to every comment. To be fair, as a balance, I am pretty poor at finding time to comment on other people's hubs, so there is a downside.
It is a complex question - if a Hub invites debate or discussion, then I believe that it is polite to reply. Otherwise, I have never really bothered about whether the Hubber replies or not - I have the same view as Uninvited Writer on that.
I think that when you have a lot of Hubs (Look at Patty Inglish and Whitney), it becomes impossible. I would not expect a reply from prolific Hubbers at all - managing comments must be a nightmare, especially as many of them write for multiple sites.
More often than not I look back to see if there was a response to my comments. Certain hubbers I know will respond. Some hubbers like you or sunforged for example, I know are very productive, have tons of comments, and are dispensing tons of good advice in the forums. I'd rather you take the time to help "the many" than answer me ("the few").
I’d find it more annoying for someone not to reply/acknowledge on a forum thread they started vs not answering every single hub comment. Seems like a significant majority of hubbers reporting they find it rude not to answer every comment, have very few hubs.
For the most part, I don't get that many comments, and can easily keep up. I still appreciate the comment that does nothing more than lets me know who dropped by and who is reading my work.
Recently however, I got tons of comments on a "small business" hub, thanks to being featured multiple times by HP. Every time I turned around I was back up to 15, 20, or 30 comments overall, with half or more to the one hub. This was during the Health Hubs contest. I wrote 28 health hubs, and I couldn't keep up with writing hubs, and all of my comments too. Several times I posted a single generic "I'm reading and appreciate every comment, but just can't respond to all" type of comment.
Thank you for pointing that out (forum activity), you are quite correct.... and answer to a generic question is far better displayed on the forum, where it may help several people at once.
I also never comply with hub requests, does this make me an awful person?
I spend most of my time on here reading instead of writing (other than forums) and ALWAYS go back to check if there's further activity on a hub I've commented on. But the thing is, it's continuing discussion of the subject I look for, if the writer of the hub isn't the one answering comments, that's fine. Sometimes when they do, it gives the feeling that no one need comment anymore, it's all said and done now, case closed.
I do seriously prefer when the hubber uses batch answers instead of responding to every comment separately; it makes the comments too long and cluttered to read otherwise.
How many use the rate buttons along with the comment? I always hit green, even when I return to a hub I like. If I comment on a hubbers hubs often and they don't reply, I quit reading them and then I eventually unfan them as well.
And all this time I thought receiving comments from one's genuinely interested fans was a source of joy...rather than a 'burden'!
So, one question then: if comments on one's hubs have such a nuisance value, why not dispense with the capsule altogther? Seriously, I'd hate for my readers to think I was using them just for 'content' value!!
It is a source of joy, I love comments, I don't want to stop recieving them.... do you work full time? I take more joy out of my earnings, I have no shame in that, but maintaining the activity from 12000 page views per day... that is a full time job in itself... I was just asking people for their opinions.
If I didn't limit my activities on Hubpages, then one of either my full time job or hubpages would have to go. The full time job is paying my bills right now, should I be deleting my Hubpages account because I don't have time for it? Or should I continue to take pleasure from writing hubs?
Are you saying that I should have responded to each of the people on this hub.....
Does this make me rude?
Not at all! I never said one should reply individually to readers, just a general thank you is good enough. And I'm not expecting others to do that either; it's the standard I've set myself.
But yes, I do agree it depends on the reason why you're here and in real life I have a job and am not writing here for commercial purposes at all, but for the pure love of writing. I know I don't have hundreds of hubs, but each and every hub I've written requires a lot of research, and I've even travelled far just to gather material for my writing. So, yes when you put your heart and soul into your writing, you do value and love each and every comment on it. Which is not to belitte hubs written solely for commercial reasons either (I know that's hell lot of work too); just saying for me readership is the MOST valued thing.
Btw. none of these remarks are meant for you personally... Ryan please..
It all comes down to what you personally want out of HubPages. If you want to use it as a social networking site that is fine. If you are just here for the writing that is fine too. I'm just saying no one is right or wrong...
When I comment on someone's hub, I don't expect them to answer me unless I ask a specific question and I don't expect them to come over and comment on my hubs in return. It is nice when someone says "nice hub" but constantly repeating thank you does not add anything to the conversation. I do reply to comments on occasion, but not always.
I was going to ask what you ended up deciding Ryan! So apparently the consensus is:
We know it's too difficult, maybe impossible sometimes, but be sure to feel guilty about not keeping up.
The consensus seems to be that I am rude for not replying to 150 comments each Saturday....
Sorry guys I just cant do that... I have debts to pay.... I guess that I will just remain anonymous like most of the big hubbers.
If you all really want to know why I retain my comments box, it is for SEO purposes, it makes me more money.
I personally don't think that you are being rude in anyway. It is just that you are unable to due to the number of comments and shortage of time. I think your right in optimally utilizing your time for writing hubs as these will help a lot of hubbers rather than you saying thank you to every comment. Though I personally love to reply every comment and expect people to reply but I also look at the bigger picture. There are very few hubbers like you who are so open about about their money making strategies. I have learnt a lot from your hubs and forum posts so I think it would be in everyone's interests, if you keep writing hubs and participate in the forum.
Already anxiously waiting for your hub due in july!!
No one implied you're rude Ryan for not replying....it's a general discussion on the act itself of replying or nor replying....just sharing thoughts; let's not take anything personally please? We all value your always taking the time to help out...trust me, you do plenty for this community as it is...
I have done hubs without the comment capsule and end up getting emails. My readers don't like it that way, so I have included the comments and they shall remain. I do enjoy the humor I get from some and it just adds to my hub in so many ways. to each his/her own.
I don't think it would be rude, I feel it's a personal preference. Myself I enjoy going back and reading the comments good or bad. I also feel that I should at least acknowledge them if they take the time to comment. Up to you really.
I started this thread to gauge an opinion really.... but I am finding it difficult to agree with.
Give me an honest answer to this. I leave my house at 7.45am in the morning, return home at 18.30pm, have my tea, have a bath, iron some clothes, do the washing up, make a coffee and sit down at my computer by 21:00pm.... and have a couple of hours on hubpages before going to sleep. Socialising has to fit in there somewhere.
During my two hours on hubpages each night, are you suggesting that I should spend that replying to comments which people will probably never even check back on? Well I don't, I come on here or write a bit of a hub, reply to my emails.
I wake up on Saturday pretty tired, at about 10:30am, and log on to my computer. I then spend the day writing, keyword researching, tagging, replying to questions. I do the same on Sunday, and the housework, before doing the monday to friday again.
Is everybody honestly sitting here suggesting that I am rude because I don't get up earlier on my Saturday, say 9am, and sit there for 3 hours replying to 150 comments across 300 hubs?
Is that an honest opinion? Well those people.... don't bother reading my hubs. Please. I write informative hubs which have helped a lot of people, some on backlinking and laying bare my strategies. On 1st July I have a hubpage which will disclose every penny of my earnings, and I am doing this for people who genuinely sit there are get peed off because I don't reply to the 20th "good hub" comment of the day?
Time for me to set up an alter ego I think.... Laters.
I used to reply to comments in the earlier days. Now I rarely do. With around 10000 comments, it will be a full time job in tracking and updating the comments section. I'd rather spend the time writing hubs. And there is no guilty feeling.
I have learnt a lot from your hubs and forum posts so I think it would be in everyone's interests, if you keep writing hubs and participate in the forum.
Totally agree. Yes, some ARE saying it's rude not to respond to comments and it may well be. But that may simply be the price of 'doing business' in this situation. It bothers some, doesn't bother others. Losing Ryan as a valuable resource would be worse though.
I agree with the personal preference and time constraints. I try to get in and comment especially on some hubs where content is being shared, to me, it's an extension of the article and sometimes questions come up or I think of something I want to add.
it's always nice to acknowledge the readers at some point which is how I title the comment box. I thank them and invite them to comment if they want.
it's not rude unless you're being rude.
I don't think you're being rude ryan. time is a commodity.
I've no idea if I qualify as one of the sane people or not, but my approach to comments has at least stayed consistent so far:
1. I reply to all EXCEPT for the occasional the occasional "slam" type that I'll deny without further ado, especially if it's the second or third such and I've already explained my position at least once.
2. Simple things like "Great hub", while rejected by quite a few hubbers, are fine with me. I don't mind responding in kind by simply saying, "Thanks".
And that's about it. HOWEVER, I have NOT yet reached the point of getting 20 comments a day like RyanKett has done. When that happens, I may change my protocol. (Up to this point, 10 comments is a big day for me.)
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