I'm sure there are many reasons for and against responding to comments left by your readers. What do you think?
You might like reading the responses in a thread that came up recently on a similar discussion
I've been following this thread and it is an excellent question, ST and I too think that it all depends on one's purpose for writing on Hubpages. Personally, I like the feedback of comments, and while it is true that each comment is a backlink and that comments using keywords contribute to Google ranking as you pointed out, that is not my main reason for seeking comments on my hubs and always replying to them...... it's the feedback, the recognition and the chance to get to know and have conversations with other hubbers that really counts for me. That said, I tend to stay out of the " foodfights" in the forums and not to seek out antagonism-- I will sometimes delete comments by spammers and trolls, but for the most part, this is a great community and I just love connecting here.
Foodfights in the forums. This does happen. And that is why I have a tendency to stay away from this HP feature. But every now and again, someone posts a good topic, and I like to listen and maybe participate. And maybe I have a question I'd like to get the pulse on.
I agree with you, it's engagement that counts for me. But there are limits to engagement...first and foremost, Sally's Trove is a business that stands on service, quality, and most important, respect.
To engage in a foodfight is to have no respect for self or others, unless you are under the age of about 15 and testing the waters of life by strutting feathers and pushing others' buttons.
I agree, again: this is a great community and I love connecting here.
There is a place here for all. For now.
Hey Sally, how are you today?
I mostly try to answer comments on a daily basis. I'm not too much into those who leave two word comments or ask that their hubs get read too, because they stopped by yours.
However, I do understand that any comments refresh the page contents and hence is good, but if there is a news feed and/or an RSS feed on the page then it automatically refreshes content.
So, there are plenty of reasons for not getting to comment or responding to them, such as like having too many hubs and receiving too many comments at once. But, to not acknowledge a comment completely is just rude, especially if there is a comment box. Then again, it could show how one does not care about the readers or those who leave comments.
Just a thought. Nice to see you again.
TY for your thoughts, Cagsil...I think in the world of blogging (which HP is not), not responding to comments is the accepted norm. Here, on HP, there is a community aspect which is more intimate.
This may sound naive to some, but I just realized that HP comments that include key words related to a Hub's content contribute to google search results.
About caring...I do care what others have to say. But, as you say, the pass-off comment like, "Great hub" is pretty much worthless in adding any kind of value and may serve only as self-promotion. But I do think it needs to be recognized (unless it is clearly spam) with at least a thank you.
Thanks for your considered thoughts.
Always nice to see you.
This is why I often try and include some keywords in my comments to help out the page by adding more instead of diluting the pages keywords.
If you're writing your Hubs for the community (which I know some do), then naturally the comments section becomes a place for a chat and an exchange of pleasantries. As I wrote in my Hub on Hub Etiquette, if you choose to use HubPages in that manner, then the expectation is that you respond to every comment.
However if you're writing Hubs primarily to earn money, the only real difference between here and a blog is that you're writing longer, richer, standalone content. And you shouldn't feel pressured to follow rules set by people who are at HubPages for different reasons.
I include a comments box so that people can have their 2 cents' worth, which they're entitled to do. If they express an opinion and I want to respond, I will. I'm not fishing for compliments from other Hubbers.
I'd hate to think I have to delete my comments box and prevent free speech just because I'm going to be labelled as rude if I don't respond to every pleasantry.
I couldn't agree with you more. It's a matter of purpose.
I admire your objectivity.
As for comments being, for some, a place for chat and pleasantries, well, pick up the phone, send an email, or hang out in the Sandpit, or something instead. A good Hub gives information that others can use, and the chat aspect in the comments is superfluous at best.
Thanks Sally, I'm relieved you see my point of view. I get really annoyed when I see repeated posts implying that people who don't join in all aspects of the community are rude, and I'm pleased to discover that's not what you intended. It's a choice.
I see my Hubs as writing for business (which is, after all, what the site was created for), and the forums as the place to socialize. I don't mix the two. I don't read many Hubs or follow many people and I don't seek followers.
It's important to remember that people who choose to focus on work rather than socializing aren't hurting anyone - having lots of followers, or Hubber traffic, or comments, is fun and lovely for the ego but it makes not one jot of difference to your earnings.
In all honesty, I didn't know I should. Our visits count on the views, so I thought we were supposed to stay off the page. I saw others do it, so now I've started answering back. Cagsil is right. I felt rude not responding before.
Devlin, I think it's always a good thing to respond to comments, if only with a thank-you because there's nothing else you can say. About not engaging with your own Hubs or getting involved with comments and the back and forth they elicit, put that negative thought about staying off the page away. Engagement is good.
Why does this keep coming up? Either people reply to comments or they don't. There is no moral imperative here.
I comment on hubs but I never go back to see if the writer has commented on my comment unless I have asked a direct question or there is a conversation going on amongst the commentators.
Is there a question of moral imperative?
I'm not sure about that, that's not where this question of mine came from.
It's a simple thing...why put a comments capsule in your Hub and then not respond? Perhaps one only wants to elicit others' views, which is fine, but does the non-response from the author limit this community's engagement?
For me, it's more an issue of being forgetful. I'll often approve a comment, then find that I don't have a suitable reply. I may intend to come back to it later, but once I get involved in something else it just slips my mind. Since I've already approved the comment, the reminder is no longer posted on my account, so I may not remember until I get another comment on that hub. There have been times that I finally reply to a comment 2 months after it was posted. I'm not saying that's a good excuse, but that's the way it sometimes works out.
I understand the forgetfulness completely. And so I have a system which catches me in that...HP notifies me when there's a comment, and I don't delete the notification from my email until I've responded. It's just a matter, for me, about what I want to attend to.
I think it's just good manners to acknowledge most comments, especially if there's a question or a clarification required.
I don't answer every comment. However, I always reply with a well-considered response..never a one or two word reply..that just shows that you don't really care.
I follow my Hubtivity at least once a day, so if there's a comment on one of my hubs, I usually respond within a few hours anyway.
Because if it's a short comment, it's less likely that the commenter will return to see if I've replied for any reason. Although I feel just a wee bit guilty about not replying to everything. People who comment with something interesting to say always get a reply.
I always reply to my comments, and if I leave a comment on someone else's hub I always check to see if they have acknowledged it. If they don't, then it does annoy me and I would be less inclined to leave anymore comments. It's like saying you don't appreciate your readers if you don't reply.
I try not to "respond", I feel like I had my say in the hub, the comments are my readers chance to put in thier two cents...
Sometimes however I find I can't resist responding...
When I respond I feel like people might think I'm trying to get the last word, which I think is counter productive, so unless I just can't not respond I don't.
Hi Sally yes I always reply to my comments. If people can take the time to leave a kind word I can take the time to acknowledge their thoughtfulness. This is just my way of looking at it.
I think its polite to respond to all comments. It shows appreciation of someone taking time to read AND leave a comment on my hub.
Its only proper, however i guess it's a matter of opinion.
I never really worry if i get no reply or feedback from my comments on other hubs. As long as i've learnt something important, or just plain enjoyed the hub, i'm cool.
Some people dont care if they get a reply from a comment but there are those who will care.
I agree with the others........If a person is kind enough to give a comment, it is good to give a reply.
That's okay Sally you can ignore my comment n this thread it's okay!!
After only 12 minutes have passed since your comment, you think I am ignoring you? Tsk. Tsk.
We are nowhere without our readers.
Plus, if I might add Sally, I have created other hubs, because of questions people have asked in my comments, so I could convey deeper explanations, instead of posting too much in one comment post.
You bring up such a good point, Cagsil...the input from comments can lead us to further action, whether it be a new Hub or an examination of some aspect of our own lives. Should the commenter get a reply of thanks for giving us that insight?
Always and especially if it has inspired to you to write another hub, based on the question. The insightful responses are always helpful. A thank you is not difficult to say.
I think for some, a thank-you is difficult. Maybe a thank-you, in their minds, makes them think that there's an engagement they don't want to have.
A thank-you is a simple thing for us, but maybe not for others. We can leave it for the graciousness it is and not look for anything coming back.
for the sake of argument:
Wouldnt the comments be of more value to an outside visitor if they were easily navigated through and only had worthwhile info?
a whole bunch of "thanks" .."no, thank you" "great hub" "thanks for reading" does nothing for the info seeking purpose of your visitor - its a negative,
Thats how i see it, so on my Hubpages focused hubs I tend to swing by and thank people and respond to comments...because the target visitor understands - but on a more commercial or general focused article, not only wont I respond, I will probably delete with extreme prejudice any comments that are not of the value adding or topical conversation starting manner.
I used to be of the belief that keywords in comments helped in search - but most of what I read says this info isnt read by google ..idk about that - but I cant recall ever doing a search where my desired terms ended up being in the comment field instead of the text.
So to answer the original question: I include a comment capsule in hopes that someone will leave a comment that reflects the level of effort put into making the hub in the first place. Great hub, doesnt cut it.
I was very surprised one day to do a Google search on a term I found only in a comment to one of my Hubs. Unfortunately, I did not jot down the result, so I can't ask you to search for yourself, but the long and the short of it was that Google returned the link to the comment.
About "Great Hub doesn't cut it," I agree. But I also put my feet in others' shoes and I know that there have been times when I've invested time in reading a Hub, but at the end I'm kind of speechless, for whatever the reason. Maybe someone else has this experience, too, and instead of leaving no response, "Great Hub" is what the reader chooses to do. (When I find myself in a speechless position, I visit the Hub another time...if I'm still speechless at that next visit, I don't comment.)
Of course, there are those out there who pepper comments with worthless responses just to make a presence, but I'm not the judge of those folks' motivations.
@ MyWebs, from my surprising experience of finding that Hub comment returned on a Google search, I am more mindful of the comments I make...I intentionally use the Hub's keywords in my comments. Spread the Hub Love... and Oh Gosh.
Justine, why, from your point of view, is sunforged's answer a good one?
First of, I was slighty joking, as he clearly stated that "good hub" is a pointless comment. So I said "good answer." Jerky of me, sorry everyone. In my twisted little brain it seemd funny at the time.
Other then that, I did think it was a good answer as not everyone is here to be friends. I respect that.
I personally do my best to reply to coments. I do forget sometimes though..I dont have adsense, I am here purely to write. I greatly appreciate each and every comment I get.
BUT if someone does not feel the need to reply to my comments I am in no way at all upset.
How boring would life be if everyone had the same view?
The comment capsule is for comments. The author can add comments or not. Its up to the hubber.
Although I like to think I have a sense of humor, I sometimes fail to see someone else's. My daughter will tell you that I am the most gullible person on earth, which means that I have a tendency (or more than a tendency) to take things literally, or at least to be somewhat slow on "getting it." I like to think of this as one of my more , ahem, charming traits. Nah, I didn't get the joke, Justine, although everybody else did...typical for me.
I acknowledge everyone who posts, but don't go in after each comment and say thanks. I just think it's redundant and looks cluttered. I think some do it just to have a lot of comments and that takes away from the content of the hub imo. I wouldn't judge a hubber because they don't respond. everyone has their lives and work and families or other interests. I don't go back to see if someone responded to my comment unless I asked a question or there was decent communication going on in the comment section.
I thank everyone before they even comment in my comment topic heading.
I do go back to see if a Hubber responded to my comment, and that's because I don't leave one unless I think I have something to contribute to the Hub.
There are many prolific Hubbers here who write on topics of interest to me, but after two years of taking my time to give value-added comments to some Hubbers' Hubs while receiving no response, I don't read their Hubs anymore. (Hey, maybe their goal is to make money, and that's OK by me, in fact, that's great...so they can monetize their work without negative consequences of not responding to comments...more power to them and I also admire their focus on their goals.)
Comments and responses, I think, are a matter of doing business on HP...whether that business is for money or for the opportunity to express something personal...but the consequences of the responsibility and liability of doing so or not should be a consideration you think about when you write here.
ill add that I looked at Sallys comments and she has a monopoly on great and insightful comments that are worth responding to - and her responses are well thought out and value adding - maybe you just have not got enough "great hubs" to be jaded!
i'm still figuring out how things work. tried to leave a response to a comment yesterday but couldn't for some reason - so.....when I can or its apparent because the comment box is displayed I do....
It does take a little time to get familiar with all the features and how they work. You've got plenty of company. And just when you think you know it all, the team introduces something new or improves something old.
What you might be experiencing when you see no comment box is this: When you make a comment on one of your Hubs and then click "Submit", a new comment box does not appear. Refresh the Hub page (which will give you a comment box containing the text you just submitted) or re-access your Hub from another page on HP (which will give you an empty comment box).
I only reply to questions, call me rude if you want, I call it 'busy'. I used to write 30+ hubs a month, now I have a full time job, a legal battle going on, a flat that I am in the process of buying, a social life to maintain, and as such all of my time goes on writing.
No reading, no replies to every comment, that is just the way it is. I now manage to write about 15 hubs a month, I try to make them as profitable as possible, I have 3102 comments from less than 1 year of hubbing. I am grateful for all of those, since they don't include the thousands of others which get deleted.
The only time I spend on comments, asides from responding to most genuine questions, is spent marking external links as spam and deleting the abusive ones. I guess that the spammer is winning deep down, but it is a clear choice for me right now between responding to all of my comments or managing to squeeze out a hubpage every couple of days. I choose the latter.
I hope that within a few months my 'real life' would have died down enough for me to be able to enjoy the social aspect of this site again, and to show more appreciation to readers, but right now Hubpages is simply another 'string to my bow' or another 'finger in a pie', which supplements my income and helps me to pay for things like solicitors fees or an occassional pension top up.
Sorry if that sounds "anti-community" or whatever, just that I don't have enough time for the site, when I start banging out 30 hubs a month again instead of 15 (the difference between falling revenues and increasing revenues for me, which I will demonstrate in a hub soon), I will find the time to participate a little more.
Anyway, I thought that I would give a different perspective, just for the benefit of the silent minority (or should that be silent majority?).
Back to real life, cheers, Ry.
Ry, I don't know which is the more silent, the majority or the minority.
Your considered response here shows the real life underneath whatever posturing others may do.
We all have reasons.
I don't think you are anti-community. I think you have a plan where you choose to use HubPages to your advantage, as all of us do, whether it's to make money or to engage in a community, or both.
Your post here shows your consciousness about your plans and goals.
Maybe the whole philosophical question of the relevance, benefits, potential gain / loss of carrying on a dialog in comments (and acknowledging others) rests on much of what you have said.
Food for thought.
I don't know whether it was or not (despite the wink).
prolly because of me. I told you, Im lame sometimes. I honestly think your one of the best helpiest hubbers. You just dont put up with BS. So I thought the whoe quppiy comment was at worst stupid, at best funny. And now I am not shutting up...oops. sorry sally.
I must admit that reading, rating up and commenting on hubs has become a recent hobby of mine - especially recipes and book reviews. But I totally understand if there isn't a comment box. I just rate it up and leave.
It's a quieter way of meeting people and I've been enjoying it.
"It's a quieter way of meeting people..." I agree, Nelle. In the time I've been here, I've met some wonderful people through comments who have become friends and whom I have enjoyed the company of in person. I think people learn a great deal about each other quickly when getting-to-know you conversations are based on a specific mutual interest.
I like to do this also. I think it's a worthwhile way to spend some extra time and read some amazing material and connect with others in a meaningful way. I almost always rate up and often share it in some manner.
I try to respond occasionally, however when I comment I don't always go back to see if the author has responded, I have little time, especially if I'm writing more hubs and bookmarking etc I think its probably mutual between me and my followers!
*sit shaking his head*
Hi Justine, how are you doing today? Seriously, tho?
thanks for asking, trying reaaly hard to be good. Ive got to run. Ill catch up tomorrow. sorry to anyone I've offended.
Hope your well Cags, and everyoen else here.
V for Vendetta just came on TV, so Im going to go watch it. Have a nice night.
"words will always retain thier power"
Looking back over all the contributions to this thread, one idea seems to be missing, and that's about the business advantage one may gain by responding to comments.
Let's dispense with the "Great Hub" comments. We know them for what they are. (And I now have an added appreciation of them thanks to the folks here who have a sense of humor where mine lags.)
Let's also dispense with the "buy online" concepts that are seasonal and topical and enhanced with Amazon and eBay sales possibilities.
It strikes me that, with this global audience HP is continuing to solicit and capture through time, there's a huge opportunity to engage for the sake of the future.
Let's suppose that someone leaves a comment that is more than cursory, and you don't respond. What opportunity might you miss?
I look at this exchange through comments as an investment. Someone may say something to you that triggers a good idea for you; you may say something to someone that makes you memorable and worth pursuing now or at another time.
Where's the five-year, ten-year, 100-year plan? I suppose HP has a version of it, but what about each entrepreneur on HP who wants to make a business?
If I were to do a strategic analysis of online success with HP, I'd factor into it the long-term value of making the most out of the comments feature.
Sally, I guess it depends who comments on your Hubs. 90% of the comments on my Hubs are from other Hubbers, and they're usually people I already engage with on the forums. If they say something meaningful which invites further discussion, of course I respond, but not because I think of it as a business opportunity.
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