I'm sure that most of you who comment frequently have realized this already: I reply to all comments, but I do not comment back on others' blogs.
That's not to say that I don't check out the blogs of those who comment on my posts, or that I don't comment on other blogs.
I really appreciate every comment I get. I check my email (too) often, and when I see a blog comment it always makes me smile. I read them right away, even though it sometimes takes me awhile to reply. But I never want people to feel obligated to reply to my posts. I don't want anyone to comment as a payment, or because they want me to check out (or return to) their blog.
And I feel like that's what commenting back does. It leads to this obligation to say something, even if there is nothing to say. It feels like I'm begging someone to return and comment again, which I DO want them to do - but that should happen because my posts keep them coming back. Because they want to be here. Not because we're in this silly comment-trading spree.
I have never commented back, but when I began blogging I did type a lot of pointless comments. It wasn't for followers or anything like that - I just genuinely wanted to say something. I wanted to let bloggers know that I read and enjoyed their posts. But how many times could I say on a Top Ten Tuesday, "I read that book too!" How many times could I say, "Great review! I also loved this book."
It just grew old. I have to admit, I rarely comment on blog posts anymore. I'm trying to get better at thinking of things to say that matter, that I haven't typed time and time again. I know from experience how much bloggers love comments; I just don't want to say nothing in my reply!
I would love to discuss this further in the comments. Do you comment back? How often do you comment on other's blogs at all? (Funny that I'm asking you to comment about how much you comment, isn't it?) Do you ever feel repetitive, or do you usually have something unique to say?