Project Alicia : Let’s talk shop.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Let’s talk shop.

As in, blog shop. The boring exchange of words about boring bloggy stuff.

Sorry, it has been on my mind. It seems to be on many minds these days as I read all the blogfrog discussions about commenting on blogs. Kristi from Live and Love out Loud has an excellent discussion going on as we speak. Check it out here.

Do you? Don’t you? Do you comment on your blog and their blog? Do you do both and reply via email if possible?

Oh my. Seriously? I’m supposed to comment in 3 different ways to every visitor?

I love blogging, but I don’t get paid to do it and don’t want to ever dread it (which is happening on occasion when I can’t find a happy balance).

While I love receiving visits from my bloggy friends, I also have a family that depends on me way more than I would like some days.

And just in case you haven’t been getting my regular visits lately, know that I love you all but am burned out.

I’m tired and a little cranky.

I’ve been trying to keep fights at bay between my two spawns of satan (and by that, I mean my lovely children). They look at each other the wrong way and the fangs come out and they are overcome by anger. Yesterday Little Man pushed Pokey off her chair and tears were had by all. They fight incessantly like they are mortal enemies, except for when they like each other on rare and unexplained occasions. They are amazingly reminiscent of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Who knew that dealing with bickering children all day could be so mentally and emotionally taxing. In the last two days I’ve given myself both a timeout and a nap.

I’ve also been making more efforts with hubs while he’s home in the evening. Whether it’s Pawn Stars, Travel Channel’s Man vs Food, American Pickers, Animal Planet’s Last American Cowboys, ESPN, or some strange discovery episode- I’m gritting my teeth and bearing it- for the sake of together time.

I’ve digressed.

And back to topic at hand, commenting on blogs. I love my comments. Each and every one. And in a perfect world I would have super powers and be able to make time stand still and do the tasks of 10 women.

I personally prefer to comment in the form of emails. It’s more personable and easier from my iphone.

And for you newcomers I wanted to let you know that this is possible only if you set it up in your settings. If you have blogger I can instruct you on this. Otherwise you are on your own to figure it out. I know it is possible in WP though.

Liz from a bell, a bean, and a chicago dog wrote a guest post over in the lady blogger’s society about this very topic. You can find the article here.

To summarize, if you would like to send or receive emails from blog comments you need to change your settings so that your email is not set as a ”no reply” email address.

Make sure you have your email address “turned on” in your profile, go to “Edit Profile” and make sure you have your email address entered in the Email Address box under the “Identity” section. Also, make sure to check the box in the “Privacy” section that reads, “Show my email address.”

And if you’d like an email sent to you whenever someone comments on your blog posts, follow this step:

From your Dashboard, go to “Settings”, then “Comments”. Scroll all the way to the bottom and you’ll see a section called “Comment Notification Email”. Enter your email address there.

I also try to regularly visit my favorite blogs and will leave comments. If I get special comments it always warrants a visit to a blog, but I’m sorry to say that I am not able to return every single comment, at least through the busy summer months when I feel more like a chicken with it’s head cut off most of the time. Today was one of those days and it’s not over yet. Oh, and did I mention that we had Sonic for dinner? Healthy homemade meals seem to be going by the wayside more and more on these busy summer days. Perhaps it’s time to dig out the crock pot or stock up on grilling meats again.

I hope this information about changing your email settings will help open the lines of communication for us.

Feel free to share any pointers or tips that you have found work for you whether it be on finding balance in your life or keeping children's fights at bay or commenting to blogs… I’m a work in progress and embrace suggestions.


  1. I'm still confused on how you e-mail back on a comment. I have my address turned on and everything, I think I'm missing a step or something.

  2. You enjoy your summer Alicia, just think you'll never get it back!

  3. My tip. You won't like it. Switch to self hosted wordpress and there is a neat plugin you can get and set it up so that whenever you reply to a commenter it will email the commenter as well. That's how I do it. 2 birds, 1 stone kind of thing.

  4. Thank you for this, and I know exactly what you mean! In fact, if it's okay with you, I may link back to this post on my blog. I'm having a hard time keeping up with all of the fantastic comments I get, and visiting all the blogs.

  5. Dont get burned out! I love reading your blog. :-)

  6. I set up Disqus in my blog so I can interact with my commenters. Guess what? I barely have time to read comments now since I'm so busy at work by time I get home, I only have enough energy to feed my son pizza. The times I've pushed myself to do all what I'm supposed to do blog wise, other parts of my life suffer. My point is, we can only do so much. We do too much and we get burn out. Your family needs you. They come first.

    That's my two cents, use it for whatever it's worth, :)

  7. I try to comment back on all those who leave comments on my blog. I'll email a reply if (1) the commenter asked a question or leaves a particularly interesting comment, and (2) if the email address is known. While I appreciate email replies on my comments, I don't really expect them. :)

  8. Is it the weather? My kiddos are crazy too right now! I hid in the bathroom almost all morning...Love your blog, and don't feel you have to reply back to everyone's comments. We all come here to read your post and check out your awsome pictures. I know personally I leave a comment just to say thanks for posting :-)

  9. I've been seeing a lot of talk about this lately and I just need to put in my two cents:

    I think the idea that we need to respond to every comment personally and then visit the commenters blog and make a nice comment there too is coming mainly from female bloggers (design blogs and mommy blogs).

    I'm pretty sure the blogosphere as a whole does not operate on the assumption that you will always receive a response to your comment.

    I think this is just one more case of us putting too much pressure on ourselves.

    While I also LOVE to receive comments, there's just not enough time in the day to respond to everything. It's a nice thought, but I really don't think it should be expected and I wish we'd give ourselves a break. :-)

  10. In my opinion, I can't comment back on every comment I get but I do try to visit my reader's blog everyday and comment on their blog posts. It shows courtesy.

  11. There's been a lot of discussion about this recently. At the end of the day our families and real life have to come first, we will never get this time back. I try and respond to most comments, either on mine or by email. If I have the time I'll visit their blog and leave a comment there but I don't always have the time. I do have blogs that I read and comment on most days but even that doesn't happen sometimes.

    We put far too much pressure on ourselves to respond to each and every comment. The silly thing is we're all in the same boat so understand it's not always possible to get around to everyone. Blogging is meant to be fun for all of us and when we get bogged down in the 'I haven't responded, need to visit so and so' it becomes a chore and is done out of duty.

  12. I don't respond to every comment - and never will. I love getting nice comments - but seriously I would think there was something odd if I had enough time to respond to every comment!! It is so easy to lose time in cyber space - as much as I love it all!!!

    I enjoy reading your blog - even though I don't get to comment often!

  13. I try to respond, either by email or by visiting the commenter's blog. It does get time-consuming and I can't always keep up. So I know what you mean, but I don't have a solution.

  14. I love your blog! Dont be burned out :)

    Have a wonderfully beautiful day.

    K xx --

  15. I like to respond to comments via email too. I also remember when I used to think my children were spawns of satan.... I feel for you. It is so difficult when the kids fight, espcially for an emotional mommy like me! I have learned to pray, and it helps, and it works. What also works for me is taking a break from my blog in the summer time and just hanging out with the kids and the man, and I will really get back to posting several times weekly when they are in school and I have the house to myself with noone else needing me. My blog is my ME Time, and I usually only post what I want to write, not what my readers want to hear. You have a great blog and I like to visit. It is hard to find a balance. We all just need to stop and figure out our priorities...and re-adjust our life accordingly. I hope you have a calm day :)

  16. yep...i get that.
    and hey~ when you figure out how to get your children to play happily together all day and never fight~ i want to know the secret.
    have a good one!

  17. Yeah, I've recently had to admit that I'm not superwoman and can't do it all. I've been struggling to keep up and find balance.

  18. I understand what you're going through, being in a bit of Blog Burn Out myself. I've just been taking it easy and MAKING myself limit my time on the computer. It's hard, but I think readers and even other bloggers will understand. Hang in there!

    Here's to Almost Friday and the Weekend!

  19. it's a good suggestion. I need to look at that plugin that Nolie suggested for WP on this very front. I have a blogger whose comments I follow that always emails me responses back and I like it.

    I'm in the same position as you are, except I don't get nearly the comments because I don't have nearly the # of followers. You have to let go of it. It's summer, we'll never get this time back, and the more we leave our kids to their own devices, the more of a pain in the ass they'll be. :) People aren't going to abandon you! :)

  20. My kids are driving me bonkers! They are currently under an electronic-free grounding due to their unruly behavior. I think it may be worse for me than it is for them. =)

    As for comments, well I don't really get that many! So it's not too hard for me right now. I didn't know you were supposed to email replies as well. I was using Intense Debate for my comments, but it seemed a bit of a headache to have to log in every time so I switched back to regular commenting.

    I truly enjoy your blog and hope to see you return soon!

  21. Amen Sista! AMEN!!!!
    I'm SO thankful other people are blogging about this. It's such a relief to know that you are in the same boat. Thank you for the lesson on email set up too! I'm going to take care of that asap!

  22. I don't have any true "rules"... I do the best that I can do. There are some weeks that I just can't do it all and others that I can -- and THAT is OK with ME! :)

    Just do what works for you!

  23. I totally hear you on having to respond three ways...sometimes i visit the blog but usually I just email them back with a much easier!
    American husband and I love that show!!!

  24. Thanks for the mention Lish! Let me tell you, yesterday I spent the entire day visiting and commenting on every blog that left a comment on my WW post. I have yet to visit all of the blogs who linked up! I'm on the verge of freaking out.
    The Blog Frog discussion has been great and I've enjoyed going through the comments on your post as well. I've learned that I can't do it all. In the future I plan to reply to the following comments:
    -those that ask questions
    -anything more than the basic "stopping by to say hi" or "great post" comment
    I'll still visit and comment on every commentor's blog though. I'm going to try this out for a few weeks and reassess things then. Hopefully people will be understanding.
    Good luck in your quest to balance blogging and family. I know we BOTH need it! lol Have a great day girl.

    Kristi, Live and Love...Out Loud

  25. Great discussion! I have such a small following, and I can't imagine how much time and energy could be spent for those of you who have hundreds of followers! I try to visit and comment on blogs when I have a new visitor or follower, and I try and read the blog posts on those that I follow at least weekly (when life doesn't get in the way). But to try and continue the "discussion" like a chat room just gets too hard! I would be logging onto my laptop constantly, checking for things that needed my answer.

    Glad I'm not the only one! And, good luck with the kids. Summer is wonderful and hard at the same time!

  26. Don't get burnt out with blogging. I do respond to every comment I get via email, but I only have 19 followers! haha. So the comments that I DO get are maybe 1 or 2 a week. It's not so bad that way. Plus, I have it all set up through my phone.

    I do love your blog, and although I am a recent follower, am really enjoying going through old posts.

    As for your kids fighting, my sister and I used to fight like that. I don't really understand WHY, but it DID get better :-) Keep your head up momma! And hopefully those kids of yours will start to enjoy each others company.

  27. Kids just seem to go through the phases ... over and over again for years! They will probably be great friends as adults if that is any comfort at all at this point! :)

    As for comments. I try to return visits (as much as possible) and I usually try to respond to most comments on my blog (which sends a copy by e-mail) to "kill 2 birds with one stone" but some days I just cannot do it all. And my time will become more constrained as work becomes busier and I have to prioritize.

  28. I've done the same thing--gotten burned out on blogging. But it will return, the desire to start up again. I agree with other commentors, don't put too much pressure on yourself with all of the commenting. Hang in there!

  29. Okay, so now that I've got you on Google Reader, I will follow more closely. We connected through BlogFrog. Hope to hear from you soon.

  30. Family come first. You have a lot of readers and a lot of comments so I think most everyone will understand that you absolutely cannot comment back to everyone all the time. Just do your best but don't sacrifice on your family's behalf.

  31. I have so been where you are. I love reading blogs and I love getting comments but sometimes it can get overwhelming. As I am on Blogspot, I rarely comment on my own blog because it simply posts as a general comment not as a reply. I try to always visit the blog when I am visited but honestly, with life, it is not a perfect system. I occasionally reply by email if I have a specific reply to the comment or it was especially personal. Mostly, I would say do what feels right for your life. Boy, did I blather on. Was I any help? Probably not. Alas.

  32. I totally understand where you are coming from. I have been so bogged down with personal stuff and life events that I haven't had time to respond to every comment. It's overwhelming. I simply can't keep up right now. I love every comment I get and I try to respond but if I can't, then I can't. Good luck with the mortal enemies in your house (AKA kids).

  33. I know exactly what you mean. Today I made the decision to spend some time responding and commenting, although there are so many things you want to take a peek at and then your on the road of 'what was I doing again' and then its time to go to bed because the birds have started to sing and dawn quickly approaches. Anyway, before I digress, thans for the tips and have a great summer:)

  34. I think you have to do what you have to do. If you don't get to the blog or to comments one day, you don't get to it! Your husband, kids, your LIFE comes first....this electronic blog will always be there when you get time to get back to it. While I enjoy blogging, I have to get my priorities straight too.

  35. Well gosh..if you don't want to comment back to me then don't far be it from me to want to steal time from your precious I don't always comment back, but when I do, I make it worthwhile and I do it on the person's blog. It is about respect to me, we are all just trying to make our little place in the bloggosphere right? But, I do think it depends on if you are trying to be the next Pioneer Woman or if you are happy to blog to a small audience. Everyone gets burned out...we all yell at our kids, and hate our husbands shows. That is life and those of us who spend time on your blog are happy with you just the way you are...a beautiful mess. Now get on over to my blog and make me feel important NOW!

  36. I absolutely agree. I usually only reply by email and it is frustrating when the comment has a no reply email. I don't reply to every comment, that would be like too much work. I sure do enjoy reading every one of them though.

  37. I think this is the biggest problem bloggers have, trying to make sure their commenters and followers are appreciated. You did a good job today with that post. An excellent job.

    I might have to steal your instructions on no reply for a post of my own. That is the one that kills me every time, not being able to reply to commenters.

    And I've come to realize as my plate gets fuller and fuller these days, that the true blogger friends are the ones who understand and are just happy to see you when you show up.

    You are one of those friends for me.

  38. I try to reply out of my own comment section too...sometimes on Twitter, if that's the easiest way!

  39. Thank You, these are great tips. I'm a newbie and am still trying to figure it all out. I'm going to try the e-mail thing. I'm really enjoying your blog :) My two little ones seem to constantly be at it as well...and summer has only just begun...

  40. You don't like watching American Pickers!?!?!? I love that show.

    I totally understand! I try to....maybe once a week...thank everyone for stopping by and I try to comment on those who leave comments for me. I TRY, but I don't always...when family things come up - I'm off the computer! We all have to find our balance.

    Hope you have a good weekend.