Edublogger Etiquette - Responding To Comments

Will Richardson is an extremely popular edublogger. Will has, at times, failed to publicly respond to comments made on his blog. For example, the last time Will has written a public comment on his own blog was April 25. Since then, he has written six posts (which have accumulated 77 comments and trackbacks), none of which addresses any topic that may have arisen in the comments of or trackbacks to his posts.

While every blogger likely lapses - from time to time - into a nonproductive "blogging funk", is it possible that in ignoring the comments of one's readers, a message of elitism may be exuded (particularly to that timid teacher that may have just posted the first comment in his/her entire life)?

With comments in mind, it is important to remember that there are multiple ways to respond to a post's comments - giving your readers a sense of validation, building a deeper relationship of your readers, and actively participating in the discursive field we call the blogosphere:

  • While not public, some bloggers choose to respond to blog comments through private email conversations (including Will - likely this is how he has chosen to respond to comments made on his blog during the last week).
  • If a response to a comment will result in a particularly lengthy retort, it is often the practice to reply by writing an entirely new post.
  • With emerging forms of communication and conversation, additional forms of feedback (like Twitter) are also used to reply to both blog posts and comments.
A few questions:
  • Are there rules of etiquette that intrinsically govern the way bloggers should respond to comments?
  • Is there a time when a blogger might be exempt from responding to the comments of his/her readers?
  • In a recent comment, I told a blogger, "It's your blog, you make the rules as to how you respond to your readers' comments." Was I actually telling the truth?
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