Are All Types of Interaction Equal?

Today I saw a great new post from a blogger I’ve followed for a few years. I quickly replied to say I’d love to read the post, but I was busy writing a post of my own and I’d check her post out later.

I did check out her post, and really enjoyed it. So I shared the post. I then replied to her again, saying it would take me a little longer to leave a comment.

She thanked me for the retweet, and said not to worry about commenting. I still might comment, but this got me thinking…

Should we aim to read every post by the bloggers we follow? Should we always share and comment on every post?

Maximum Interaction?

My gut instinct says of course not – read what interests you – share what you like – comment if you have something to say.

All very well, but then is that what everyone else is doing?

Do You Keep an Eye on What Others Do?

There’s an old saying. Don’t worry what other people do. And don’t worry about doing the same. Just do what feels right.

However, I often get this nagging feeling that I could or should be doing more to support other bloggers.

And half the time I’m not even sure where the other half my time went… let alone putting it more time that seems to be rapidly disappearing even as I write this guest post.


I think it’s fair to say that if someone comments on your blog, they don’t really expect you to immediately go and comment on their blog. Nor do I think you should retweet someone else’s post just because they retweeted yours.

However, if you start getting lazy and you’re sharing less and less, others will probably share less of your stuff, too. One thing’s for certain: if you only share your own stuff, people will lose interest.

Is One Action Enough?

The bottom line for me is this. If I enjoy your post, I’ll be happy to tweet it, like it, +1 it, or comment on it. However, I probably won’t do all of those things.

Sometimes, I do two of those things. A truly awesome post may prompt me to comment, and add it to my Buffer schedule. Some posts I may share on Facebook instead.

What’s Your Thing?

My readers are awesome. Some people (you know who you are) comment on lots of my posts, and I don’t comment on lots of theirs. But I do comment on a few, and I share some, too.

Commenting isn’t something I’m particularly quick to do. But I do like tweeting. Now, if I could just find a way to keep track of all the new posts across all my favourite blogs without them scrolling each other off the screen (Twitter) or giving me 1000+ unread items in less than a month (Google Reader), I’d be very happy…


Do you view comments and shares as being similar in value? How far do you go in terms of returning comments to those who comment on your blog?

Image Credit: svenwerk / Creative Commons 2.0

About Ben Barden


  1. Very nice Ben, I’m glad you shared this with our readers. Like you, time prevents me from reciprocating every blog comment but I do make it a priority to visit our reader’s blogs. The same with social networks; as we grow, time eventually prevents us from replying to or even thanking every share, much less return the favor. Like you said, it shouldn’t be a responsibility, unless it’s an mutually agreed network, it should be a choice when possible.

    By the way, I recently downloaded a pretty cool feed reader phone app. You install a bookmarklet or Chrome extension on your browser. Whenever you see a post or page you want to read later you simple click the “Add To Pocket” button and it syncs with your phone, tablet or computer to read later. I think it’s going to be pretty handy for me. It’s called Pocket.

    • Hi Brian 🙂 Thanks. I already use Pocket, although I haven’t used it much as yet. I can sometimes be a bit slow to reply to comments, but I always read them and reply as much as I can. I think a few people can get impatient about waiting for replies to their comments, however, it doesn’t help if I’m slow to reply. Generally I try to reply within a week at the most. Anything more seems rude.

  2. I like to read several blogs daily and others weekly. I try to share them in one way or another – mostly Twitter, G+ and FB. Sometimes I’ll also do Stumble or use my buffer. I think bloggers like to see others reciprocate or share back. It’s like any relationship, if one does all the work, resentment builds in and the relationship usually wanes. Of course it’s best to comment or share on blogs that you really like so you don’t have to feel like you must read theirs all the time.

    • Hi Lisa 🙂 Yes, good points about one-sided relationships not lasting. I think it’s OK to share and/or comment, but I usually keep sharing to one social site per post 🙂

  3. It is not necessary that all types of interaction have same can be good or bad or neutral.Sometime This depend on what we to communicate.everyone should open their that what is going on….

  4. Fabulous post! I tend to share (and support) in three ways. I will respond to comments on my blog, go comment on other blogs and share posts on Twitter. When I have time. I usually find time and find that I’ve built a core of writing and blogging colleagues who will have patience and continue to share (and support) me if I am sick, go on holiday or am snowed under. If I reach out to someone and they don’t so much as thank me for an RT never mind respond, reciprocate or share, then I will forget about them pretty rapidly and likely unfollow them.

    So to answer your question, I think commenting and sharing are equal and appreciate both. It is all about putting the social into social media.

    • Hi Emm! 🙂 Thanks for the great feedback. 😀 I think you can do a little bit of socialising without trying to share a post on every social network. Sometimes I do mix it up a bit and share one post on FB but then another post on G+. The only tricky part is deciding what to share where 🙂

  5. Wonderful topic for discussion!

    I’ve also often wondered as to what should ideally be the right way or is it that there are certain reciprocation rules we need to follow to return the favor of commenting at the posts of those who comment at ours.

    However, if we do that, then I don’t think we are really being true to ourselves, nor the person’s blog we are commenting on, because we are merely returning a favor. If we like a post, then you stop to read it, leave a comment and share it with others. If not, we shouldn’t be compelled to do so.

    But yes, once you blog regularly and start getting lots of readers on your blog and if you visit their blogs and like their posts and comment, you normally start looking forward to their posts too – just as they do to yours. Then it kind of becomes mutual sharing and caring. I do that with some of my blogger friends, but not every-time or it gets too difficult to keep track of all the various blogs one visits.

    Similarly, sharing the posts on various social platforms depends from person to person, though Twitter and Facebook are all-time favorites and of course, G+ too now. And just as you mentioned, it entirely depends where all we share the post, which depends on our followers and what they would like.

    Thanks for sharing and bringing up this important topic. 🙂

    • Hi Harleena 🙂 You raise some really good points.

      Finding people who write great blog posts and there’s a mutual appreciation for the content you each post is a great way to share back and forth. Although it might look like you share everything from a person simply because they posted it, the fact is that you both enjoy the other person’s posts.

      When a brand new reader comments on your blog, you reply to their comment. Then you check out their blog for the first time, maybe subscribe to their blog and email list, follow them on Twitter, read some of their posts, and start engaging. Once you’ve done all that, the act of following new content from them becomes a little easier, I feel, as you’re not playing catch-up.

      Speaking of which, I’ve just followed you on Twitter 🙂

  6. I think one should only interact with content that is of value. There are plenty of posts that are released by bloggers I follow that I don’t read, comment on, or share. It’s nothing personal against them. It’s just that I don’t have all of the time in the world to spend if there is something that seems to be of more value.

    Interaction is equal to all other types of interaction, no matter the medium.

  7. Brilliant blog! I think it is important to share and support, I respond to as many comments as I can, I normally comment on other blogs and share them on facebook and twitter. However when someone does not respond to my posts I tend to almost forget their blogging as the interaction is no longer there which can be a shame. I think there should be a balance between sharing and commenting as this keeps the interaction flowing.

    • Hi Simone 🙂 Yes, I think it’s quite rude if someone ignores your comment and doesn’t reply to it. Having said that, it’s only in the last year or so that I’ve been using a theme that supports threaded comments, which is essential for allowing comment replies. Without threading, the comments appear in a long line and it gets confusing if you reply to a comment while there are several in between. But for sure, replying to comments is something I feel is essential 😀

  8. I am not sure about comments and shares to have the same value but I guess they have the SAME value, that’s just my opinion. But thanks for sharing your thoughts about that.

  9. I think that if you’re interested in the content of a blog post, and it’s quality content, you should comment, share, or both. Like Simone said, there should be a balance between the two.

    • I also wanted to say that we shouldn’t feel obligated to comment or share if we don’t want to; that’s not what blogging is about.

      I think interacting in these ways can really bring bloggers together!

    • Hi Rich 🙂 I wouldn’t comment on content that I didn’t find interesting. I do comment on posts I agree with and those I disagree with, as it makes for a good discussion 🙂

  10. Hi Ben,
    I guess interaction depends on a particular person or situation.Sometimes if we read something and people don’t respond to them then interaction can never be be there.Blogs who have high number of visitors/readers are the blogs where bloggers interact and engage with others to make things work.

    • Hi Aditya 🙂 Although I think you make good points, how do large blogs such as ProBlogger continue to attract large numbers of visitors when the author doesn’t always reply to comments? With a lot of comments it may get difficult to reply to everything – perhaps you can actually survive just on writing great content, asking questions in posts, and accepting guest posts… What do you think?

      • Ben,I think Writing great content and accepting guest post also brings in more readers to a blog but i guess after some time some readers may stop reverting back to the blog.Because Blogging is all about engaging.Although it may happen that loads of new readers can drive in and read the post but for how long???Even a reply to the readers just once can create a sense of interaction and it may be possible readers stay and comment on the blog forever.Are you Agreed with what i have said??? let me know your thoughts about this.

  11. I think I value comments above shares. Shares are probably more practical use to me, but sharing something is easier than finding something to say about it, so I always think commenters must be more interested in my post to have made the effort to engage.

  12. Hey Ben,
    This is something worth giving a thought. I for one visit only those blogs that harbor my interest. And it so happens that most bloggers who comment or like my post tend to write blogs on topics which have already captured my interest. There’s a unique something to every field of study. Once we grasp that unique something do we feel our curiosity building up. This is what socializing is all about. Inducing an interest is the work of the blogger, the rest will take care of itself.

    • Hi Nick 🙂 I think you may have inadvertently highlighted a problem with “blogging about blogging”. My blog, Quick Blog Tips, is read by bloggers who write about a very diverse range of topics. It’s a blog full of blogging tips, but the readers may have blogs on topics that aren’t interesting to me. This is hard to overcome as the nature of my chosen blog topic – blogging – can, unfortunately, lead to a somewhat one-sided relationship. 🙁 I try not to make this happen, but sometimes there’s not really anything I could say in a comment…

  13. Interesting stuff Ben. For me, it depends on where I am. If I’m on the smartphone and I’m reading content and I like it, I might share and come back to it later because trying to comment on the phone is problematic; stupid boxes won’t format properly so I never know what I’m typing.

    If I’m home and on either computer, if I read it I comment on it if I like it and then share it. I comment on a lot of blogs because I read a lot of blogs, and I see lots of new blogs every day.

    As for commenting on the blogs of people who comment on mine I can say that many of those folks I have in my Feedreader program. But probably every few days or do I’ll go back through the comments people have left on my blog & see what they’ve written about via CommentLuv, which you don’t have here, and if it piques my interest then I’ll click them open and check on every one of them that interests me, and once again if it’s something I can comment on, I will. That absolves me in some fashion because I don’t expect everyone to comment on every topic I write on either, since I know every post doesn’t appeal to everyone.

    Overall, people should do what they feel comfortable in doing while remembering that blogging is overall a community, and if people don’t feel you’re respecting them in some fashion they’ll stop visiting you. Always the eternal warning.

    • Hi Mitch, we’re running CommentLuv Pro here, if I’m reading that right. Hey, did you see my comments above? You might be interested in the ‘Pocket’ phone app too.

      • Brian, you didn’t quite read that right. Since I was responding to Ben I was mentioning that he doesn’t have it on his blog; I knew it was here.

        Also, I don’t need Pocket because I do the same thing using Evernote, and it works wonderfully because it automatically syncs to my computers so when I get home, it’s already there.

    • Hi Mitch 🙂 Agree with commenting on a phone – I never do bother with that. I generally comment and share together, however, most of the posts I share go to Twitter only.

      With CommentLuv, although I do like what it does, I have a few issues with it. But I really like your idea of checking out recent posts from commenters instead of relying exclusively on your feed reader. Google Reader is a nice idea in theory, but it takes so long to go through all the posts. I may give CommentLuv a proper try, thanks for the tip.

  14. I spend time reading and commenting on blog posts everyday. I have no expectation of those whose blogs I post on to comment on my blogs. It’s not that I wouldn’t welcome the input, it’s that I don’t expect people to comment on a post just for the sake of commenting. I want them to comment on articles that they truly find interesting.

    As I have a specific niche blog, most of my articles will not appeal to the broader audience of blogging experts whose sites I frequent. Therefore I would not expect many reciprocal comments.

    • Hi Steve 🙂 Sounds very fair to me. The nature of my main blog, a blog about blogging, is that its subject matter could appeal to a wide range of readers. Doesn’t mean I will be interested in the blogs of every reader who comments. I’ll definitely check them out, but there is not much I can do if it’s a topic I have no interest in. It’s nothing personal. Unfortunately, I’m sure a few commenters have stopped visiting my blog because I didn’t comment on theirs, when there just isn’t anything I could say in a comment on their blog. 🙁

  15. For me it is never a give and take business and I do not follow any rules for commenting on the posts of other bloggers. I comment on posts that I like genuinely and I am wanting to share my views on. I do not comment on other posts just to return back their favours.

  16. Sharing the posts on various social platforms depends from person to person, though Twitter and Facebook are all-time favorites and of course, G+ too now. And just as you mentioned, it entirely depends where all we share the post, which depends on our followers and what they would like.

  17. urbie delgado says

    A while ago, I think it was at UC Santa Cruz, I learned that how people read varies with age. Apparently I read like an 18 yo: scan headings.. in a split second I know I’m hooked or not. I think it’s that way with reading blogs. I get the digest via RSS and then decide where to click and read. Some things, whilst interesting, I send to instapaper for downtime reading. A few make it to my personal learning library (curated on Pearltrees) for later reflection. Hopefully the blogger follows the 5 Ws and an H rule. Otherwise I click-out and am on to the next blog.

    One thing I have noticed is how few people actually leave comments on blogs. Most times my comments are the first ones. I’m like left to wonder, “Am I the first one to read this?”

  18. Commenting is one best interaction I can do.

    Sharing might be some kind of interaction, but let the other blogger know that you shared though.

  19. Interaction varies from time to time depending on the person & situation. Sometimes if we read something and people don’t respond to them then interaction can never be be there.Blogs who have high number of visitors/readers are the blogs where bloggers interact and engage with others to make things work. Good post, thanks for sharing.

  20. Interesting post. It really gives me a lot of headache 🙂 Well, in my opinion, we should interact with other people in a way how important they are. I would comment on my friend’s post, but if it comes to other people’s posts the max I can do is to like it, eventually bookmark it, but rather not retween or share…

  21. “Interesting post, cant say all are equal, some are good, bad or neutral. Important things is that there should be a balance between sharing and commenting as this keeps the interaction flowing. Good post, thanks for sharing.

  22. I think it is important to keep on commenting back to keep the conversation alive. Some visitors who comment in our blogs are usually looking for answers and when you just ignore them, they might decide to switch ton other bloggers who can attend to their problems.

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