Thursday, March 29, 2007

Are You Voting for Hillary, Obama, or Comments?

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind! I am discovering so many amazing food blogs and making many new blog friends over the internet! Unfortunately, there is one downside to all of this--blogging is getting to be pretty consuming. One of the ways I was thinking about easing the blog workload, was no longer replying to the comments on this page. If a reader has a question, I will answer in a reply comment on your blog or send a response email. I will continue to comment on your blogs, and you are welcome to continue to leave a comment on my blog so that I can "discover" your site, if I haven't done so already. What do you think?

I am very, very grateful for those of you who do leave comments (I read them all and laugh and enjoy every sentence), but I know that are many people out there who read this blog and don't leave comments and don't read the comments section at all. I am just trying to get a "feel" for what people think. Please vote using the poll below and let me know what you think. Also, I am also adding these pictures of dim sum (sia jiao shrimp dumplings and shao mai pork dumplings) as an incentive to vote!

Update: Thank you everyone who took the time to weigh in on this issue and share your thoughts with me. I read and mulled over everything that you said, and discovered that the most meaningful and insightful thoughts shared with me about "commenting" issue, were through the comments themselves. That made it even harder to come to my ultimate decision. From now onward, I am going to try replying to all the comments as a group, with a "Hi everyone," and responding specifically to certain questions within the comments. However, I want to note that I love reading and commenting YOUR blogs and will continue to so. Thank you friends for your input and for your support. I appreciate your friendship and readership.


  1. Well, definitely don't respond to the spam comments like the one above. :P

    But seriously, I've been having this same conversation on several other blogs this week as well. I also remember Kirk of Mmm-yoso saying that when he started blogging, he learned from Ono Kine Grindz to always acknowledge every comment. Kirk said there are some blogs that just seem to leave the comments hanging. So I started noticing, and the result is that his blog is very friendly because he is very friendly. I realized that the blogs that I liked are the ones in which there's ongoing dialogue between blogger and reader. You'd be surprised how many people read comments, even the lurkers.

    I think of it this way, blogging would not be as fun for me if no one commented. That's how I find new blogs, that's how I establish a rapport with other bloggers. Sure I know people are reading, but if I'm not getting any feedback, it would be like having a conversation with myself. So on blogs where they don't acknowledge comments, I don't bother to comment either. I just look at the pretty pictures.

    Anyway, a good rule of thumb for me is to respond to all new comments after I put up a new post. It keeps it manageable for me. I don't want to shuffle through 50 comments and acknowledge it in one post. (As if I ever had 50 comments to begin with.) I don't want to reply to every comment obsessively right away either.

    Anyway, that's just my 2 cents. I think after a while, every blogger starts trying to figure out how much or how little they want the blog to impact their real life.

  2. I vote for replying to specific questions in email, and if there are enough similar-type comments, perhaps in a comment of your own.

    And for the record, I don't plan to vote Democrat. Thank you very much. You can consider me your red-headed step-child Republican. (although I'm switching to independent, because quite honestly, I think BOTH parties suck)

  3. I agree with Wandering Chopsticks that a really nice feature of blogs is engaging in blogger/reader dialogue. It's one of the reasons why I get frustrated by Michael Bauer's "Between Meals" blog. On a post a few days ago, he said he views himself as a "discussion leader", where he just puts the topic out there, and then steps back while other people discuss. As such, he never responds to blog comments directly, but he will respond (every once in awhile) by creating a new post. In my mind, that approach seems a bit arrogant, and definitely isolating for the blogger.

    Here, though, it seems like you do a superhuman job of responding to each comment. To be honest, it always surprises me how even if I put up a small (fairly useless) comment like "Great pictures", you still manage to respond! That does seem like it would get time-consuming after awhile. (By the way, great pictures in this post. ;-) Thanks for the dim sum craving!)

    On your poll, I voted for the "more posts, fewer comments" option. Responding to each comment is very friendly, but I think the friendliness is also apparent in your writing style anyway. Ultimately, I think it comes to this: the dialogue is great, and it's a special feature of blogs. I would say that you might as well just respond to the comments which you find especially interesting, funny, or thought-provoking, without feeling the need to respond to each and every comment. Some comments simply lend themselves to a dialogue better than others.

    As for Hillary vs. Obama... I'm not sure, and quite frankly, almost anything would be better than the current administration. Obama is an exciting candidate, but I still wonder whether he might be even better a couple elections down the road.

  4. You are right about how much time blogging can take, and for those who are way better at photography than I am, I am sure it takes even more time. My blog is fairly new and I amonly getting to the point where I have several comments a day, but for me I have to vote for a response, even if it is an acknowledgment.

    I like to be in touch with my readers and it is good to hear if a post inspired them or resonated with them. I don't know if I would feel the same if I was getting 30-50 comments a day, but for me I like getting (and giving) a response to comments. Without that connection it is like leaving a message on an answering machine... you really don't know if a human "heard" you. Just my two cents. As for the election... I'm looking for a hero... and waiting for one to show up in the field!

  5. My 2-cents is with Wandering Chopsticks too. It's good to get comments and feedbacks. I enjoy them a lot because I discover many useful tips this way. And I try to make it a point to respond to make a close-loop, even to say thanks and appreciating their tips :D

    BTW, I tagged you for "10 things you want for your kitchen" in my blog, before I came to your post. Don't be obliged if you don't have the time.

    I want to eat the siu mai, NOW! :p

  6. I've been noticing that you've been getting a lot of comments on your posts and I wonder how long it takes for you to reply to each of them. Sometimes I'm worried about posting my own comment because I didn't want to add onto the other 20+ comments there were already there.

    I think that if someone was new, had a question, or had a comment that stood out, it should be individually replied to, but for those "great post!" comments, a simple "Thanks everyone" in the beginning of your list of replies should be enough (I've seen that recently on some other blogs, and I'm perfectly fine with that).

    That would make it easier on your part, and it would also make it easier for me to comment whenever I wanted to. Sometimes I just want to give a quick tip or say that I liked a post, and I don't expect a comment back. Just knowing that it's up there in your comments section is fine with me.

  7. i'm with wandering chopstix also. i love getting comments on my blog and it makes blogging way more fun.

    that said, when i leave comments on other ppls blogs (like your lovely blog)there is no expectation of a response, when i comment on something its just because i love the post simple as that!

  8. PE - Thank you for sharing your dim sum darlings with us. I just took care of my cravings last weekend, but I think I should indulge in them again this weekend too!

    As for the commenting, I don't think you have to reply to all the comments your adoring fans leave, but an occasional peep in a few posts may help with your comment-workload.

    I appreciate you taking the time to comment in mine and I have found several other great blogs to read by following the comments, so I hope you'll be able to balance writing in yours as well as finding time to pursue your other interests.

    Thankfully I don't have to choose between Hillary & Obama or any other Dem candidate - I'm just hoping we don't have to go to the polls again (the problem with minority governments), but you never know what those Conservatives are going to do.

  9. PE, don't worry bout what others think !! Be yourself, its your blog, your thing, nobody should judge u whatsoever, hey, you're doing a darn good job in my book :)) Oh, I do prefer less post, have cut down recently, too bz :( But then, we shouldn't make this like a homework right ? hehe, so, write when you're comfortable, and free :) I prefer leaving comments in readers blog instead of both places, its less time consuming tt way, perhaps new readers tt come in to my blog and see if I don't comment back, they might not want to leave a comment not knowing my method of responding ? Man, I feel u, I've not have much time for my blog lately, and I sometimes do "think" if people thinks I'm rude or something, but hey, just don't think too much about it *hugs* :)
    p/s: have linked u back :) oh, ger, could u kindly remove the and just link to, thx :)

  10. Hi PE - We luv you, and will always do so....just as long as your PE! I hope that makes sense! This blogging thing can take mucho time...but just as we who care about the most Passionate Eater were here after your fast...we'll always be here! 'nuff said! You have your "voice".....

  11. I do the same thing on my blog: I often get a lot of comments so rather than respond to each of them, I leave feedback on the relevant blog when I get a spare moment (or hour!).
    The Dim Sum look great!

  12. I'm voting for those dumplings...

  13. I don't know what a blog would be without comments. Heck, I don't what I'll be blogging for! The main motivation for blogging is to know my readers. Besides, I think replying comments on their blogs would take alot more effort doncha think?

    But I would love you to keep the posts up. Their awesome!

  14. I agree with the people who have said you should just reply to the comments that have questions, are from new visitors, or just generally stand out. I think most people would not expect a response to a "liked the post" type comment.

  15. Damn mama...why do you have to tempt me with shu mai?

    Anyways, I vote for respond to comments. I can't help but feel snubbed when I comment on someone's page and not hear anything back. I know they're busy, but it's like saying hi to someone and having them walk away because they have other things to do. Naaa mean?

    Well whatever you do, even if you snub me, I will still love the Passionate Eater.

    p.s. Come down to LA!

  16. its comments fatigue. haha...

    i used to reply to all comments and drop comments everyday at the sites i regularly visits.

    but when work at office gets busy, things at home gets busy, you get less time to reply and drop comments.

    i have a daily entry blog, so that takes time, even if no one drop comments i still post it daily, hoping someone might enjoy it. hmmm am i naive?

    i shall drop comments at your page today. haha....

  17. I voted for the first one last week (less responsive to comments, more posts), but reading all these comments is really eye opening.

    But I'm with others, you can reply to my comments if you'd like, but it's enough to me that you took the time to write the posts.

    There are too many great blogs that languish. I don't want that to happen to this one.

    As a side note: You always leave such effusive, encouraging comments on my blog (and others), that I can't help but reply, even if just to thank you. But as Eddie Lin said, "Comments are the currency of bloggers" -- and yours are worth millions to me!!!

    Thanks again!

  18. Yes, food blogging is a full time job. :P

  19. You have a large reader base to have a need to contemplate your decision. My blog isn't their yet, when it is I'll have a better understanding of what you mean. Great blog and the dumplings look very tasty!

  20. Happy Easter Weekend to you and yours Passionate Eater, have a good one!

  21. I have a pretty decent readership, but only a fraction of a fraction of it feels the need to comment on any particular post. I've always felt that if someone out of all those people takes the time to write and submit a comment, it behooves me to acknowledge their presence and to thank them for being one of my readers. We all blog for different reasons, but it's a sign of both modesty and kindness to show appreciation for our friends and readers. Otherwise, it's as if we're giving the impression that we feel our time is more valuable than their's. Someone spent five minutes leaving me a comment. The least I can do is spend five minutes responding.

    However, that's just my personal take on comments. I also agree with Tigerfish. This is your blog. You should manage it in the way that you find the most comfortable.

    No matter what you choose to do, you have my support.

  22. I know what you mean about blogging being time consuming, I've also started responding in the comments instead of replying to every comment through email. I also know that there are bunches of people who visit my site and don't comment, but that's ok, lurkers are welcome!

    Anyways, I love your blog and recently added you to my sidebar. :)

    Ari (Baking and Books)

  23. Wow, thank you, every single one of you! I really appreciate your feedback and found your comments thought-provoking and intriguing. You all made some strong points, and that made it difficult and a little sad for me to finally decide to invest my time commenting in YOUR blogs, rather than replying to your comments in mine. I am so grateful for you, all of you, who take the time to read and to share your comments. :) Thanks again.

  24. Oh I just love your blogging and the wonderful pictures of food that I can taste just by looking at them!

    Too new of a blogger to pipe in my opinions...just yet. Ha.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment! I read and enjoy every comment, and will try to reply if time permits. If you have a blog, please leave a link. I love to discover new and delicious sites!

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