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Reverse Reciprocity March 28, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Humor, Mindfulness, People.

I had long suspected, based on the sterile nature of comments they posted, that a few habitual visitors did not enjoy their cyber excursions to SLTW.

I could almost hear them dragging their feet down the cyber corridor each time they came round.

Instead of dropping by for a cozy cyber chat, they popped in, did a bit of speed reading, and left post-haste.

Like paying a weekly visit to a dowager aunt out of familial obligation (or the desire for testate inheritance), they tossed comments into the reply box at regular intervals to maintain the appearance of reciprocity.

A politically correct “tit for tat.”

I decided “enough of that!”  I don’t need reluctant visitors dropping by to boost my head count ~ that benefits no one.

Wikipedia ~ Petri Dish (in Public Domain)

To test my theory, I conducted an experiment, using “reluctant visitors” as lab rats and guinea pigs.

First, I set up the equipment ~ petri dishes, sterile gloves, face masks, lab aprons.

Oops . . . wrong experiment.

My simple cyber experiment required no control groups.  I did not have to administer or distribute placebos.

In fact, I didn’t have to do anything at all.  I merely refrained from commenting on their blogs for a day or two.

As anticipated, as soon as they no longer got a “piece of cheese” from me, their visits dwindled and stopped in short order.

Reverse reciprocity, like reverse psychology, often reveals what politically correct behavior attempts to hide.

Aah . . . that’s better!

What about you?  Do you ever make obligatory visits to blogs you don’t  enjoy out a sense of political correctness, obligation, or the desire for reciprocity?

Chicken-Little-PosterStop it.
I mean it.

The sky will not fall.  The stars will not collide.  The world will not stop spinning on its access.

But you will feel greater harmony within . . .

Quote:  Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Related post:  When We Stop Striving To Be “Someone”


1. Jackie L. Robinson - March 28, 2012

When I first began visiting other blogs and commenting, I felt ‘obligated’ to stay connected. As time has gone on and my time to share and connect has become filled with other things, I now try to read when I have time, comment if I feel it naturally….and let the rest go. I have to say – it’s a welcome change and feels much more authentic. You’re right – and I feel the same. If my posts don’t move you – don’t comment out of obligation or kindness. We’re all grown ups. Thanks for this. It felt really good to read it. ; ) xo

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

It’s “nice” to comment on every blog we read . . . it’s “kinder” to refrain from commenting on those that don’t resonate.

Then the blogger has an “accurate head count” of visitors who are interested in that particular theme or topic.

All too often, I see people tossing around PC comments instead of saying what they mean . . . what a waste of time!

2. Andra Watkins - March 28, 2012

I *try* to only visit blogs I enjoy. I don’t always make it to the blogs I enjoy every day, but my yardstick is whether I will go back and catch up on what I miss.

Like you, I don’t like the tit for tat nature of all kinds of things, blogging being one of them. In my own blog, I try to offer things that entertain and sometimes make people think, that they will hopefully enjoy reading. Sometimes, I think I succeed. Wish it happened every day. 🙂

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

You DO succeed, Andra. Your posts are entertaining, varied, well-written, thought-provoking, inspired, inspiring, and UNIQUE!

And . . . they resonate with me. I am stirred to comment and participate in the discussion.

MTM did NOT pay me to say this. 😉

Andra Watkins - March 28, 2012

Haha. That would be SO like him. 🙂

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

MTM = Master Thought Manipulator? 😉

3. Lisa Wields Words - March 28, 2012

I have noticed that some people stop commenting on my blog if I don’t make comments on theirs. I try to comment, or at least like, whenever I read a post. I don’t read every post everybody writes. I admit that. Sometimes a post calls to me, sometimes it doesn’t. Some days I am in a reading mood, some days I am not. I try to visit the blogs of all the people who comment at least once, but that doesn’t mean I follow everyone. There isn’t enough time in the world for that. I would rather receive a few comments from people who read me because they are interested in what I have to say, then many comments from people who read just because they want reciprocity. I can’t function that way.

Great post.

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

When I started blogging, I reciprocated with EVERYONE who paid a visit to SLTW ~ that’s how I got introduced to so many wonderful blogs and bloggers.

I am no longer able to do that. Now, I have to pick and choose where to spend my limited cyber time. I refuse to bounce around cyber space like a pinball, pressing the “like” button or posting innocuous comments (without actually reading the posts in question).

When SLTW gets “new” visitors (or visitors who haven’t been around in a while), I often swing by their blogs to see IF their focus and writing style interests me.

If it does, I stick around and participate.
If it does not, I leave.

I believe that type of approach benefits all concerned . . .

We may each have a smaller “audience” . . . but its members are genuinely interested in contributing to the conversation.

Lisa Wields Words - March 28, 2012

Just out of curiosity, have you ever completely stopped following a blog. I did it recently when I felt that the blogger was really about narcissism and I felt no connection with what she wrote anymore. What would make you stop following a blog?

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

Yes. I stop following blogs when the subject matter no longer interests me. Some bloggers are rather redundant and repetitive in the nature of their posts ~ which is great if the subject matter is of interest and painful if it isn’t.

There’s a vast difference between someone who has something to say . . . and those who just wants to say something.

janicedoty - November 6, 2012

Your words are so reflective of my own thoughts and actions–I am a fairly new blogger (at least in terms of consistency) but I hope I treat each writer with the respect they deserve–like and comment on the ones that touch me but refrain from “being nice” just for courtesy’s sake.

As you said–I would rather a smaller but well meaning ‘following’.

nrhatch - November 6, 2012

Thanks, Janice. If we all had unlimited time to bounce around the blogosphere, we could reciprocate with everyone. But we don’t, so we can’t . . . unless we want to let other priorities gather dust.

If I’m not enjoying a blog, for whatever reason, I stop visiting because time is our most precious commodity.

4. sweetdaysundertheoaks - March 28, 2012

I am thinking too many blogs with interesting people that I would love to get to know(usually because they have a sense of funny I enjoy) that post interesting material, both words and photos, and not enough time to comment on all. Blogging is a big old hole that I could fall into if I am not careful. Now, off to my yard to enjoy the sunshine and the birds and the squirrels and the flowers. I have a day to myself, CH is with The Mama today! Enjoy your Wednesday Nancy.

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

Thanks, Pix. Yes, the blogosphere is rather like a bottomless pit that will consume any time we toss its way.

That’s why I’m tired of the pointless reciprocity I see . . .

We can either focus on increasing our numbers and improving our stats OR we can enhance the quality of the experience by being GENUINE and HONEST about where our interests lie.

To me, it’s a no brainer.

Enjoy the sunshine . . . glad that you have a day to use as you choose!

5. jannatwrites - March 28, 2012

Whenever someone likes or subscribes to my blog, I do check out their site out of curiosity. I have encountered several bloggers that seem to use the ‘like’ button as a way to gather visits and subscribers. I can’t do that. I don’t use the ‘like’ button very often and I dont feel obligated to maintain visits if we don’t have anything in common. I don’t subscribe out of reciprocity either. I only subscribe after I’ve read for several weeks and enjoy most of what I’ve read.

I like SLTW (even if I don’t ‘like’ every post :)). Not all posts ‘speak’ to me, and other times, I do relate to the post but I don’t comment because other commenters pretty much said it all. Basically, I say something when I have something to say (and then, I ramble on about it, as I am right now :))

I agree, I don’t want someone reading my blog out of obligation. I don’t want it to be like the 6-month cleaning at the dentist…I want people to stop by because they enjoy reading my blog. I want people to “like” a post, only if they really like it. I want comments only if they are moved to make one. And I want world peace.

Sorry….I guess I got carried away.

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

What a wonderful comment, Janna. I love it when you get “carried away.”

I unsubscribed from WP notifications letting me know that someone “liked” my post. Pressing that button takes no effort and, as a result, means little. I suspect that it is often pressed as a way to say, “I was here. Now visit me!” ACK!

I love your blog . . . and the way you write . . . and your sense of humor . . . but not all your posts resonate with me. Nor should they. That would be like looking into a mind mirror. Creepy!

I want world peace too . . .

Some people think we will get it by being “nicey nicey” to everyone . . . and by giving people trophies just for showing up . . . and by monitoring everyone else’s vocabulary to prevent politically incorrect utterances (like “retarded”).

I disagree with that approach, which requires us to be copycats and sheep . . . rather than the unique and creative individuals we are.

I believe that the world will know peace once we are filled with the inner peace and harmony which comes from being who we are rather than striving to be who THEY want us to be.

When we learn to ignore Ego’s incessant desire for external accolades, applause, and aclaim . . . we will know peace.

6. Piglet in Portugal - March 28, 2012

Hi Nancy,

You are my favourite “what is the meaning fo life” blogger with your thought provoking posts 🙂 if you follow my drift. You make me smile and you make me think. Sometimes your posts are a little abstract for me, but if I have not grasped your point, I usually ask. I have 207 subscribers but I do not subscribe back to blogs where the writers voice does not resonate. Sometimes I read a post and if I do not have anything usefuo to say, I press the like to say I’ve dropped by and read the post and comments.

I don’t read blogs out of obligation but because I have connected with the blogger and I’m interested in what they have to say.
Maybe the topic is outside my comfort zone, but this is what blogging is all about. I read, I learn and keep an open mind.

It’s not about numbers but about building a network of blogging buddies who I can relate to on a personal level and have fun. I often think, I have not seen so and so post for a while, I hope they are OK and drop them an email. For me blogging is reaching out to others.

So in answerto your question “Do you ever make obligatory visits to blogs you don’t enjoy out a sense of political correctness, obligation, or the desire for reciprocity?” NO 🙂

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

I love this comment, PiP! It resonates with me on many levels.

I continue reading blogs of interest because I want to enhance the connection I have with that blogger ~ they are people I want to meet in real life . . . like you!

Their interests BECOME my interests ~ a way to expand experiences in a vicarious way. Yay!

Piglet in Portugal - March 28, 2012

Awww thankyou Nancy 🙂

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

And, if we ever get to have a face to face, we’ll eat “all good things” and laugh until we grow silly. 😀

7. Brett Myers - March 28, 2012

I did this, as well. My hiatus was for a few weeks, however. Despite plenty of prior platitudes, only one kept coming back. She is a mutual friend of ours, and she tends to restore my faith in human integrity and class on a regular basis. And I agree: the numbers for numbers sake game does no one any good, really. If your goal is to offer content that you hope people will like, it is better to know what they truly respond and resonate to without the politics. If your goal is to write the best that you can or in a way that is a true reflection of yourself, who cares anyway? It took me a bit to relax and just do what I do. To let it all build itself more…organically.

There does seem to be a lot of vacuous, circular expectation built in to the insular blogging world. While it can be a nice quick fix like instant coffee, I know darn well most of these people are indeed looking for reciprocity (great term). Everybody writes for their own reason. I’m not here to compete or form convenient alliances that are quickly dropped when I am no longer useful, like some reality TV show. If I am ever able to write as something more than a unpaid hobby, it will be because I am able to interest folks who will simply enjoy what I write. I’m not naive that they will mostly come from outside the blogging world. This reminds me of a great quote by Carrie Fisher:

“You can’t find any true closeness in Hollywood, because everybody does the fake closeness so well.”

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

What a terrific comment, Brett! This makes me want to rush over to your blog to immerse myself in your thoughts on all manner of people, places, and things!

That quote by Carrie Fischer is PERFECT!

There is far too much insincerity in the world . . . people giving to get, rather than giving to give.

Brett Myers - March 28, 2012


Then my secret plan worked perfectly! ;-D

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

Loved your post on NA, Brett. You painted three dimensional characters . . . not a cardboard cut-out in the bunch.

8. cuhome - March 28, 2012

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. ~ Mahatma Gandhi.” Pips comments are especially meaningful to me. If a blogger posts something that causes that irritating, little itch inside, it’s usually worth my time to read it. It tells me that something has struck a nerve. It’s a waste of my time to read only those posts that I agree with! Sort of like that saying to the effect that I learn more with my mouth closed than when it’s open! It’s possible to disagre with a person’s position, without disliking that person. And I expand my universe by engaging in perspectives that are different from my own. Thanks, Nancy!

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

I agree . . . somewhat.

When I read a post that causes that “irritating little itch” AND it inspires me to examine my beliefs more carefully, that’s a good use of my time because, as you say, it expands my universe by helping me to see the world through the eyes of another thoughtful resident of the planet.

However, if a post causes that “irritating little itch” because it demonstrates “ignorance” or “intolerance” on the part of its author, it’s just depressing. 😦

For example, if someone recites archaic “wisdom” in support of the subjugation of women . . . I am not inclined to continue to follow that blog. Continuing to read archaic nonsense is like stepping backwards, while hoping to move forward.

9. Three Well Beings - March 28, 2012

You had me at the Petri dish! Great illuminating post–I have been so interested in this very topic. I have been asked by non-blogger friends about “who” are the people they see in my comment section. To those who have been brave enough to get me talking–because I don’t stop–I’ve told them about the blogs I read and the bloggers I have grown to really enjoy and care about. No one is more surprised than I am that I really do care–and if I don’t, I guess I don’t attach. I am not playing a numbers game…I think of this grand arrangement like a wonderfully rich garden party, and I know all the guests cannot linger with each person, but when we do connect, it is warm and I enjoy the conversation. I am genuine in my interest and responses, but I always hope that when I can’t quite keep up I’m able to still convey that I’m interested! I think my biggest issue right now is that I would like to branch out and read more…but I have to go slowly. I know that I don’t want to just drop in and read without engaging, and how much engagement can we all handle? I think this is just fascinating and to think that a year ago I didn’t have one blogging friend. I do feel enriched…just stretched. Ha! I am so glad you have me thinking this morning–again! 🙂 Debra

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

What a wonderful comment, Debra . . . you’ve encapsulated the mindful approach to making choices in (and out) of the blogosphere.

We only have so much time, energy, and attention. We cannot hope to read and carefully consider EVERYTHING that lands in our “In Box.” Life requires us to set and maintain priorities in our daily activites and encounters . . . leaving a bit of time and space to “go with the flow” from unexpected pleasures.

If we focus on connecting with blogs and bloggers that feed our spirits with “sustenance” . . . we gain from our forays through cyber space. If we don’t, we won’t.

10. sufilight - March 28, 2012

Nancy, I enjoy your posts because they are short, clear and entertaining, so you will find me coming back to read time and time again. 🙂 I noticed that when I stopped commenting in a few blogs because I have been busy, the comments to mine dwindled. I realized it was a reciprocity thing and I prefer genuine connections. I don’t have a problem with someone liking my post and not engaging, (though comments are preferred of course) to me it’s a “hello”, LOL; I figure the reader may be busy or not up to typing a comment.

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

Thanks, Marie. I enjoy your blog because I ALWAYS feel better after a visit ~ calm, serene, and at peace.

I expect that accepting dwindling comments now (by allowing disinterested parties to drift away) will result in stronger, genuine, more meaningful connections with those who remain.

I know the time I’ve “freed up” is being put to better use ~ it’s definitely been a step in the right direction for me.

11. suzicate - March 28, 2012

Obligation and reciprocity…I think our Mamas pin the guilt thing on us early in life- that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! I used to do it…but I’ve gotten busy living life and don’t have as much time, so now I visit the blogs I really enjoy (those which I am usually subscribed to). Unfortunately, there are days I even read those but don’t get a chance to comment, but I figure they know I’m at least reading and enjoying their words.

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

Suzi . . . the QUALITY of your comments (when you have the time) demonstrates an honest desire to connect.

In contrast, reluctant reciprocators use the QUANTITY of their vacuous comments as “bait” to lure unsuspecting prey to their web(sites). 🙄

12. Arlee Bird - March 28, 2012

I do try to make an effort to reciprocate visits as much as I am able to and almost always leave a comment if I’ve made an effort to go to the site. Even if I’m not thrilled about a blog I visit I will try to leave a comment that may reflect that in a tactful way or contribute something positive.

The cases where I don’t make an extreme effort are those “nice post:)” type of comments. But if someone has actually left me a comment of some substance, I feel like that blogger wants to engage in an ongoing networking experience and I will reciprocate in a like manner.

An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

I do the same . . . at first. Like “testing the waters” at a cocktail party, we can’t meet new people without chatting them up a bit.

But, if I find my heels are dragging each time I’m headed to a specific blog, I turn around and retrace my steps.

Visiting blogs that don’t interest me, or wading through a book I’m not enjoying, is not a good use of my limited time on the planet.

13. winsomebella - March 28, 2012

My visits to blogs I enjoy can be sporadic and hit and miss…not because I do not want to read and comment on every post but because of time constraints caused by family illness. I hate that I do not get to every post–especially those of bloggers who post every day–but I do try to check in as I can. So maybe it is not always just a reciprocity thing….though I am sure sometimes it might be. Good topic to throw out there 🙂

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

Now that the WWW is in full swing, if we tried to read everything that we wanted to read, there would be little room for anything else in our lives.

So, as you note, we must prioritize.

I choose QUALITY over QUANTITY as much as possible. Numbers don’t interest me . . . honest connections do.

The “lab rats” in question are still scurrying about . . . doing their reciprocity thing. But they haven’t returned here since I stopped feeding them.

14. Alannah Murphy - March 28, 2012

I only visit blogs I want to visit, though at times, I am too busy to leave a comment, in which case, I leave a “like” I wouldn’t want people commenting on my blog, unless they actually WANT to comment, so I don’t understand why some would like that ‘tit for tat’ behaviour.

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

For some, blogging is a “numbers game” ~ they measure their “success” by how many visitors, subscribers, comments, and likes they recieve. When someone tosses them a comment, no matter how inane, it elicits a Pavlov’s dog response in them.

For me, success and satisfaction go hand in hand. Numbers and stats don’t mean much when compared to the continuity of communication offered by interested readers.

Alannah Murphy - March 28, 2012

I think a lot of people, have been conditioned like Pavlov’s dogs because of Facebook and Twitter where you’re meant to be “following” and “liking” all the time.
Bit silly, isn’t it…meh

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

Yes! We are encouraged to mindlessly move through our days sharing bits and pieces of trivia . . . rather than mindfully maneuvering through life by THINKING about what WE want to do, be think, and say.

I don’t TWITTER or TWEET. And I rarely update my FB status . . . I don’t see the point.

At a cocktail party, I would rather have one QUALITY discussion with someone . . . than a series of silly and pointless faux connections with everyone in attendance.

And the same holds true for cyber space.

15. souldipper - March 28, 2012

Good one, Nance! Yes!

This is a subject I’ve been nurturing, testing and customizing as I strive to maintain balance in my life.

When I started my blog, I was “mining”. It was a feast of different approaches, subjects and styles that people presented. I signed up and commented with enthusiasm. Your blog’s name caught my eye…”Ah, here’s one that may be spiritual.” You have proven to be quality with a whole load of diversity! 😀

But your presence truly has become part of my blog world’s foundation. You and I have experienced the loss of some others who “pioneered” with us and they remain in the heart like a radar screen. I email the odd one occasionally to make sure they are okay.

However! In the name of time management, I had to face that I was on the computer more than was healthy for me. So I did an inventory – and still do at intervals.

When life in the non-cyber lane demands more time, I am not able to comment on every post presented by my favs. There have been times when a comment is so important to me, I probably spent too much time making it.

Your readers have made so many excellent points. Newer bloggers can use any one of them as blueprints. Like water, we all eventually find our own levels of participation.

It’s fun to grow numbers at first, but after time, the readership will be there if the work offers something meaningful, useful and/or thought provoking.

Happy blogging everyone! Hug a live human today too!

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

Good thoughts, Amy.

By weeding out blogs that don’t interest us, we make room for those that expand our horizons in meaningful ways . . . and allow for HONEST reciprocity.

The more involved we get in the communities in our own backyards, the less time we have to “play cyber games” with those who value QUANTITY over QUALITY.

If we write from the heart, OUR audience will appear . . . while those not intended to be in our audience drift away.

souldipper - March 28, 2012

‘Xactly! 😀

16. Crowing Crone Joss - March 28, 2012

I find that I rarely look at the numbers but I did today while reading here. There are 157 people subscribed to my blog. Obviously, and thankfully, they don’t all come and visit and comment. i find, that over time, I’ve developed this circle of blogging friends whose blogs i read and almost always comment on. Not always, because some days i have nothing to say!
And there are times when I get so far behind, that I don’t even try to catch up but start reading on that day’s date.

I rarely use the like button. I figure if I “liked” your post, I commented on it so I don’t need another step. I subscribe to fewer blogs than ever before. Mostly out of time constraint or I would spend the whole day reading posts. When a new person subscribes, I go over and wander through their blog. Sometimes I subscribe, most often not. If their writing resonates with me, in some way, I comment somewhere.

I have also stopped following blogs of people who never comment on mine. I figure if I read your work and I comment then, at least once in a while, i want you to do that too. Blogging, after all, is about community as well as writing and sharing. At least, it is for me, much to my surprise.

Like many, at first I felt like if you followed me, i had to follow you. But I just can’t do that. And don’t want to, really.

I think this is the longest comment I’ve ever posted anywhere so will be off, now, and get supper ready.

Walk in beauty!

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

Well, it might be a long comment, but every word was well worth reading. Thanks, Joss.

I appreciate the “give and take” in the blogosphere.

A blog has to be pretty special for me to keep reading it without any reciprocity at all ~ but sometimes the reciprocal exchange takes place all on their blog through the thoughtful responses they provide to my comments. That’s cool.

In contrast, reciprocity solely as a “lure” to get me back to “their place” is decidedly unappealing to me ~ it’s like a sleezy pick up line in a crowded bar. 😉

Crowing Crone Joss - March 28, 2012

yep yep yep. another good reason to stay out of bars. hee hee.

17. thirdhandart - March 28, 2012

Last week, I unsubscribed from WP notifications letting me know that someone “liked” my post.

This is a great post Nancy! Your words of wisdom have resonated with me. I’m very guilty of responding to comments like Pavlov’s dog. But, that’s going to change too.

Thank you so much for speaking out! 😆

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

Thanks, Theresa! The “like” feature is great for friends who don’t enjoy writing, who don’t have blogs, and who don’t want to comment just to say “I stopped by.” But, like you, I don’t want to get an e-mail every time someone clicks a button.

When I get a thought-provoking comment on SLTW, I often follow the trail back to their blog (if they have one) to see what else they have to share. Those visits stem from a sense of intrigue and curiosity (see comment #7) and are rarely the result of “tit for tat” reciprocity.

Here’s to HONEST give and take . . . rather than politically correct “back scratching.”

18. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide - March 28, 2012

Wait there was cheese? I got no dairy of any sort. At least you had the lobster the other day.

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

Yup! And not just any old cheese . . . raclette! 😉

19. jeanne - March 28, 2012

Nancy, I agree with souldipper. She has expressed exactly how I have been feeling. I am continually 2-3 days behind in reading all the posts I am subscribed to. At that point I pick and choose who to read and then I feel quilty for not reading the others. I know this is not healthy and I think this is the intervention I needed. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on what has been a sensitive subject for me.

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

We must prioritize our time . . . taking care of the golf balls first, then the pebbles, the sand, and the coffee:


When I visit a blog, I ask whether it was a good use of my time.

If I leave happier, calmer, or more peaceful than when I arrived, the answer is always YES. If I leave enlightened, uplifted, or inspired, ditto. If I feel refreshed, re-energized, recharged, I view the time as well spent. If I don’t perceive any value to the visit . . . I stop visiting.

20. Patricia - March 28, 2012

There are some blogs I visit every time they post and some I visit randomly. I often use the like button and don’t comment because I do like the blogger and want to encourage her/him but either don’t have something interesting to add to comments or because I just don’t have time to read and comment.

I always reply to comments made on my blog and visit those who comment on mine and new followers. But I do not follow a blog because that blogger follows me and I don’t expect everyone I follow to follow me.

There are blogs I visit I regularly and rarely comment and those I comment on often. It doesn’t bother me if I follow or comment on a blog and never “see” them at my blog.

I guess I am just enjoying myself and don’t give too much thought to numbers and such. If I start feeling like I gotta get the numbers then it will stop being fun and I’m outta blogworld.

If only there were more hours in a day or nothing else to do!

nrhatch - March 28, 2012

Oh, Patricia . . . you are so wise! When we are enjoying the journey, we win. No matter what happens, we win.

And if we aren’t enjoying the journey . . . better stats are not likely to turn that around, eh?

21. 2e0mca - March 29, 2012

This is a Reciprocal Visit…… 😉

Interesting experiment Nancy. I do a mix of reciprocal and popping by 🙂 Sometimes I find something that I can comment on and sometimes not. When I’ve found the time to do a post, I usually wander down my blogroll afterwards to see what my friends have been up to. All too often some damn fool will ring my work phone at that time and disrupt the process – I’m surpised it hasn’t rung this morning yet 😦

So… No dragging feet here, just a need to grab a cuppa and find a slot in my day!

nrhatch - March 29, 2012

The “lab rats” I’m talking about commented on almost every post . . . without ever really saying anything. They tossed non-committal mutterings and generic sputterings in the general direction of the post’s topic, often making me wonder if they had read the post at all.

When time-crunched visitors (such as yourself) pick and choose which posts to read and comment on . . . that seems genuine and authentic. Far better than having someone swing by every day just to say “I was here” (without ever contributing anything of substance to the mix).

2e0mca - March 29, 2012

Like I said… An interesting experiment. Anyway, it got me analysing my commenting behaviour. Thinking through what I do. I often think…I wonder what so and so is up to; Haven’t been there for a while; Better take a look. But a comment from one of my regulars will usually prompt a visit back to catch up with what they’ve got going on. So thank you for giving food for thought as usual 🙂

nrhatch - March 29, 2012

Thanks, Martin!

The more mindful we become about our actions (and omissions), the more likely we are to realize WHO we are.

And when we know WHO we are . . . we know HOW to live.

22. bluebee - March 29, 2012

There’s just no time to comment on every post on every blog subscribed to, but there are some blogs that I enjoy enough or people I enjoy connecting with to read all their posts – and there are also blogs that I enjoy and comment on that rarely or never comment on mine but I don’t care. And sometimes I’ll subscribe to a blog and then find over time that I don’t enjoy it so much anymore, so hit the disconnect button – it’s a living thing…

nrhatch - March 29, 2012

Your approach sounds genuine and authentic, BB.

Read what you want. Comment when inclined. And leave when you get bored. 😉

23. Booksphotographsandartwork - March 29, 2012

You really got a lot of people talking on this subject! I have been slow reading and commenting on a lot of blogs lately. There are so many and so little time.

nrhatch - March 29, 2012

Linda, your comments, when you comment, are tailored to the specific post. That’s a genuine and authentic approach to the time crunches we all face.

My observation and subsequent “experiment” stemmed from watching visitors stop by every day AND comment on every post without every saying anthing. They just wanted me to know they’d stopped by . . . so I would visit them.

I decided there was no reason to continue to encourage that type of behavior.

24. Maggie - March 29, 2012

Why bother reading someone’s blog at all if you’re not really interested… then you’re just wasting your time and being insincere. It doesn’t make sense to me. But you’re right about that false sense of reciprocity. People feel the need to say something, even if it’s not genuine.

nrhatch - March 29, 2012

For me the real test is on blogs I love to read . . . when there is a (rare) post that doesn’t interest me at all.

I am getting better at commenting on posts that speak to me, while not feeling compelled to comment on those that don’t.

Authenticity is hard won at times. 😀

25. spilledinkguy - March 29, 2012

I drag my feet ‘naturally’, Nancy.
I’m all ‘Lurchy’ like that, you know.

nrhatch - March 29, 2012

You rang? {{Audible groan}}

2e0mca - March 29, 2012

Can I groan too as Bob is also a friend 😉 Had a great laugh when I read these comments!

nrhatch - March 29, 2012

You may! 😉

Lurch had a way with words . . . and groans.

26. Pocket Perspectives - March 29, 2012

Nancy, I’ve been thinking about this post since yesterday…I’m a slow thinker, at times. 🙄 I’m guessing there are as many varied motivations and intentions with comments and likes as there are bloggers….I’ve been a bit bewildered at times by the dynamics of blogging, comments etc…but I’m learning that I’m better off just trying to step back, checking my own motivations and doing what I can to keep them sincerely positive. I’m guessing that the differences, some that you’ve written about,… direct/indirect communicators, varying patterns of interacting and reciprocity, varying degrees of introversion/extroversion, reaction speed and varying reasons for having blogs all come into the equation. Maybe it’s a bit like that Scottish saying you once wrote about…the one I added to the “why?” page…”there’s naught so queer as folk”…I’m learning from experience that I’m better off just sticking with trying to keep my own motives in line and to learning to stay out of trying to figure out others. I’ve caused myself way too much confusion trying to figure out others…way too much….I think people are just too complex to figure out…that’s just my own perspective though. And so, as far as likes and comments go…I try to be sincere…that’s all I can do.

nrhatch - March 29, 2012

Sometimes the motivation for actions is patently obvious . . . all we have to do is open our eyes. 😯

In this case, their motives were rather transparent . . . they commented “here” so I would comment “there.”

27. yogaleigh - March 30, 2012

I guess I’ve been fortunate that mostly I’ve wound up being read by folks whose blogs I also like. When I do go check out a blog because someone stopped by I don’t feel obliged to comment or like unless really like it. And I don’t have many who make inane comments. I differ from some in the above comments in that I really appreciate the “like” button –wordpress seems to be the only blog host that offers it– as I often enjoy a post but don’t have a big need to say something. And I’m still excited when all those messages show up telling me that people have “liked” my posts. You’ve got me thinking — I’ll definitely be paying more attention to all this!

nrhatch - March 30, 2012

Some people press the “like” button because they really liked the post. But it doesn’t always means “like” when pressed.

Some push it to say “I stopped by.” One blogger I know did a post about reciprocity. In it, she admitted that, even if she does NOT like a post and does NOT want to comment, she presses the “like” button anyway . . . just to be nice.

yogaleigh - March 30, 2012

Well, I think I’m just going to keep being happy when I see the e-mails about “likes” and not assume that no one meant it.

nrhatch - March 30, 2012

Being happy is ALWAYS a good plan. 😉

We do not laugh because we are happy . . . we are happy because we laugh. Enjoy!

28. wightrabbit - March 30, 2012

This is interesting and illuminating for me, as I’m relatively new to receiving and giving comments and ‘likes’. Having subscribed to a few more blogs, I find that I have as many emails in my in-box as when working full time! (which is whynit’s taken me a while to get round to reading this.) Some people post several times a day and it takes me hours to trawl through and decide whether I’m interested. But I do wish to support fellow bloggers and make a comment when their words move me, watch video clips that pertain and add to what they are saying.

Literally just before I read this post, I decided that I’m going to have to ignore some of the more prolific posters, as I do have a life outside the blogosphere! So thank you, Nancy and all who’ve taken the time to comment above, for giving me permission to simply delete those posts that do not interest me, not watch random, time consuming You-tube videos and to get on with my own writing! 🙂

nrhatch - March 30, 2012

If you go into your dashboard and click “blogs I follow,” you can manage subscriptions so you get only one e-mail notification a day from each blog . . . or even one e-mail a week.

One blogger was posting twice a day, every day. I got tired of getting 14 e-mails from her blog each week. I switched to daily e-mail notification. Much better. After a time, I realized I wasn’t very interested in most of her posts, so I switched to weekly notifcation ~ one e-mail with blurbs from all 14 posts. Better still. I could scan through them all in a minute and see if there were any that piqued my interest. Aah . . . that’s better! 😀

29. Team Oyeniyi - March 30, 2012

Nancy, I wish I had TIME for “reverse reciprocity”. I know none of my comments are as long as they used to be, but lately I visit FAR FAR fewer pages than I used to. I wish I had more time, as some I don’t get to these days, I really miss.

A full-time job, 4 kids, husband, manuscript………….. 😥

nrhatch - March 30, 2012

No worries, Robyn. I never conduct a word count on comments. 😉

“Reverse reciprocity” has saved me time. I STOPPED visiting bloggers who left one unenthusiastic comment after another to see how they would react. As anticipated, when I stopped visiting them . . . their visits to SLTW (to encourage reciprocity) dried up. So SLTW has a FEW less visitors . . . but those who remain enjoy the topics discussed here ~ that’s a WIN for me, a WIN for visitors, and a WIN for “them.”

30. crumbld - April 3, 2012

I don’t, as you know, visit religiously or slavishly, nor do I always agree with you, Nancy, but I am compelled to come back when time and inclination permit, and I do it because I like your blogs, whether I agree with them or no. I, by the way, expect nothing in return, although I have enjoyed your readership and comments in the past. Some day, perhaps I’ll start blogging again, and maybe you’ll come visit. 🙂

nrhatch - April 3, 2012

Thanks, crumbl! If you start blogging again, especially if you start up a food blog, make sure to invite me to the party.

31. Perfecting Motherhood - April 3, 2012

Well, I personally really enjoy reading your blog, even though I don’t find the time to visit every day. The best I can do is stop by even few days and catch up on your previous posts, and comment as I see fit. I think you’re always going to find the random visitors but you still have your regulars, who may not be so regular in reading and commenting but are still around.

nrhatch - April 4, 2012

Thanks, PM! Random Visitors and Regular Visitors are ALWAYS welcome.

It’s Reluctant Visitors (who stop by and leave obtuse comments to encourage reciprocity) that I can do without. This post seems to have stemmed the tide. 😀

Perfecting Motherhood - April 4, 2012

Oh, I see what you mean. Yep, I’ve deleted some of those comments in the past, as they add nothing to the discussion.

nrhatch - April 4, 2012

Deleting them is a good idea. Thanks!

32. eof737 - April 22, 2012

Actually, the sky will fall if I don’t respond to blogs I enjoy and, despite the lab rat experiment, I do enjoy your blog… 🙂

nrhatch - November 6, 2012

Thanks, E!

33. dogear6 - November 6, 2012

Nancy – excellent post. I can’t really add much to the comments – they’ve said most everything there is on the topic. My comments come mostly from the same few bloggers I made friends with early on. They are a faithful crew and I enjoy their company.

They know I’m having trouble keeping up, so I’ve been using the like button much more than usual just to let them know I’ve been by. More than one has commented on what a special treat it is when I leave a comment, which I appreciate as it’s time and effort that I don’t always have.

Earlier this year I had a major load of discouragement about the whole blogging thing. My readers had some really good comments which I ended up blogging about. One of the blogs was on this topic of reading other posts and commenting.


Thanks for sending your link on the recent WordPress Daily Post. It was definitely worth the read.


nrhatch - November 6, 2012

Thanks, nancy. I will read your post . . . but, first, I’m off to VOTE!

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