Tuesday, May 25, 2010

GMS, Not To Be Confused with GPS

Dalia, from Generation X Mom, posted today at Lady Bloggers Society on a subject that weighs on me daily: GMS aka Guilty Mom Syndrome. As in, Computers and Guilty Mom Syndrome.

Her post brings so many things out in the light, with suggestions on how to handle blogging time and mothering time and work time and you time. She writes, "GMS and how to overcome it."

How do we balance it out, so we don't feel anyone is shortchanged? How do we balance it out so we still get the connections and fulfillment that blogging provides us with?

Please hop over and read her quick post, then let me know what suggestions you have on this subject of mothers and blogging.

My issue has been how to best and most efficiently acknowledge and thank the wonderful people who graciously comment on a post. Do we send out individual emails to each commenter with every comment made? Do we email, then visit their blog (if a new commenter) then leave a comment on their blog, also? Do we email one on one, visit the blog, comment there, then also comment on our post along with their comment?

Is a comment back on our blog kind enough? Do we acknowledge each new follower by thanking them, and then visit their site daily?

How do we pay visits to all the tremendous blogs we follow? Say you follow more than 100, and they're all food for your mind and soul and mental health? Do you follow each of their posts, or do you attempt at least a biweekly visit?

How much time do you spend on commenting back, thanking, and following your fave blogs?

Please let me know what works for you, and what you've learned along the way. What do you think of Dalia's post today?

You all are wonderful, and I don't know who in the world else that I could ask, that knows and understands and will nod in agreement....and will have GREAT suggestions.

I just know it.

I'd rather have the GPS than a case of GMS, at least the GPS tells you what to do....

71 comments:

  1. I think we do what we can. As moms we are so spread thin. That guilt feeling is always there.

    As far as commenting back and so forth, I usually just try to acknowledge everyone in some way. I always write back a little note, but then do everything I can to get to their blog too. Sometimes it is very hard. I think most people understand. :)

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  2. Hello there! It is very hard to comment on all the blogs I follow, I do try to visit weekly, and I also try to respond to all comments left on my blog, doesn't always happen though!
    I'm TTA following!
    ~Lauri
    http://knitsandreads.blogspot.com

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  3. Im not sure what the "rules" are but, I do know that I love finding new blogs to read.

    Even though I have two older children, I work a full time job. SO I am very random in reading and commenting on ppls blogs.

    I will never have time to personally email anyone. I would like to but just dont have the time. I do not feel quilty for it.

    I however always comment back on others who have commented on my blog.

    I have come to form some great friendships thru this whole bloggin thing.

    Hope that helps some.

    PS THANKS SO MUCH FOR VISITNG ME.: )))))

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  4. I've been wondering about this very same thing with summer about to start. I need to write, to get every bit of my randomness out there, but how do I do that (and follow the rest of my 40,000 blogs) and still be an attentive (and hopefully) fun mom for my kids this summer?

    As far as the comments go, I check my e-mails consistently and as soon as I see I have a new comment, I write that person back ASAP. If they're a "no-reply...." commenter, then I answer them on my blog and go directly to theirs, read what they wrote and comment on theirs. I think it lets them know that at least I'm aware that they noticed their comment.

    Does that make sense? I need to go read Dalia's post...

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  5. I struggle with the same questions. I'll be interested to see what advice you get!

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  6. Hi There,
    I’m your newest follower! I am following from Tueday Tag A-long.

    Great post! It is definitely a balancing act. I do most of my blogging in the morning before the little ones get up and in the evening after they are all in bed.

    Frugal Mom from
    Frugality Is Free and
    Print Your Coupons – All Your Coupons in One Place

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  7. New follower from Tuesday tag along! Please follow me back

    http://helpingunitefatherandson.blogspot.com/

    Happy Tuesday!

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  8. I have a priority order of things. I do visit a blogger who left me a comment that day. I decided to stop reading on the weekends unless someone comments on my post.

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  9. yeesh, I didn't know my problem had a name, GMS! love that.

    As mothers, I think we often put ourselves last in the order of things and blogging is a way of helping to ensure we don't always come in last. It gives us the chance to write,to share to read, to be in relationships - all in one lovely connected world.

    And commenting, emails,etc. are ways of sharing in this connected world.

    I love it when I get a good comment (thanks for yours, always!) I don't like it though, when someone comes and leaves some half-baked comment on my blog just because I commented on theirs. Leave it be if you're not feeling a comment!

    In the end, whatever you feel is right - reading, emailing,commenting. You don't have to do it all all the time, just when the spirit moves!

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  10. I will try to not write a novel...I wrote a post on this awhile back (bloqiquette, http://www.504main.com/2010/03/diy-daynot-announcements-and-pondering.html). At that time I was all caught up in my blogging and commenting and probably spending way too much time on the computer.

    I have fallen behind, but still feel it is important to acknowledge in some way those who visit the blog...When I comment/read blogs...
    1. I feel everyone should be acknowledged. Someone just had a discussion with me about this and had a different view point...fine...this is my opinion.
    2. I almost always prefer a comment back on their blog...if it is a new follower, I may email saying thanks and I'll be by especially if I am behind. If someone has a question, I will answer in in an email.
    3. Those who have visited me and left a comment, are the first to get a comment back (or follow if necessary).
    4. If someone just follows and does not comment, they will get a visit but not super-high on the priority list...please leave a comment...my blog even says that.
    5. All that said, I am about 2 posts behind...I was letting it keep me from posting, but now I post because I want to and I will catch up with everyone but it takes more time...as I try to spend less time on the computer.

    Ultimately blogging is about interaction w/o interaction, you could just write a journal and call it a day. If I continually comment on someone's site and after say 3 times I get nothing (or worse yet an automated reply) I will still read but probably not bother commenting.

    My reader is bursting at the seams...I cannot visit everyone and do not expect everyone to visit me. I have been unfollowed a lot recently and maybe that is a sign of me not making it to everyone;s blog, or being behind...whatever.

    I love blogging, but I am trying to find a better balance.

    Sorry that was long...you can delete this.

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  11. It's so hard to be a Mommy, blogger, and try to actually do my 9-to-5 job. I usually only spend 'work' time on my blog....evenings/weekends are for the munchkins and husband.

    But sometimes I find it hard to comment to every blog I subscribe too. I do read them but sometimes I just don't have the time to write a nice comment because something happens at work (phone ringing, etc). When someone comments in my blog or emails me, I do my best to reply quickly.

    It's alot of pressure!!! I've noticed my time on Facebook has gone down because I'm just getting spread so thin, via the internet. LOL

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  12. As I gain more followers, I am finding it more difficult to keep up. I always respond to all comments...I try to do it by email, but if they don't have an email address on their profile, I'll visit their blog and leave a comment.
    I'm also trying to scale down how many blogs I visit a day, and visit all of the ones I'm following at least once a week. I do have favorites (yours included!) I visit everyday.
    Lots of guilt here as my readership grows and I'm getting more involved in the world of blogging. But I love it, and I think it makes me a better mommy because it keeps me sane :)

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  13. i feel like my gut tells me how much is too much. i feel this gentle nudge when it is time to get up and play toys with the 2 year old and i try to actually follow those nudges. when i do my day flows by perfectly. the perfect amount of everything. there are many days that i don't follow that gut feeling and i do feel guilt. i don't like to have those days. most days are a combination of good choices and not so good ones. good example: 5 year old asking me to finish this dinosaur book....so i will. because i should. commenting and blogging and computer time can wait for now :)

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  14. I've blogged about this very topic - something we all struggle with. Here's my take:

    When I leave a comment, I NEVER expect a comment back. I comment because I truly resonated with the post. If the blogger visits me - wonderful! If they email a reponse - fabulous - but I don't "expect" anything and I think this makes it somewhat easier. The pressure is off and if someone truly "reads" you, they will return to your blog, comment on a post or not.

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  15. I read and comment on half the blogs I follow, and then I have Olive read and comment on the other half. She complains sometimes, but she's a good typist, and I let her sleep on my bed on the weekends, so it all works out ok. :)

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  16. I try and limit the amount of blogs I actively follow - which is hard to do because there are so many great blogs out there, but for me part of the fun is reading blogs I really like (make me laugh, make me cry, write amazingly wonderful posts, whatever the reason) and getting to know the writers. So if I spread myself too thin then that doesn't happen. I love comments and am a bit of a comment fiend so I want to be able to read the blogs I follow and comment and when I get comments I want to have time to respond individually. But I agree, it is all a balancing act.

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  17. I have a "To Visit" folder in my email. When I have a ton of free time and my other items are taken care of I wander through there to get to some of the ppl that visit me that I don't get to regularly. That way I don't feel like they're constantly staring me in the face but they're easy to locate when I've got time.

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  18. Hello! Thanks for tagging along this week at the Tuesday Tag-Along blog hop! I'm a follower of your blog! :)

    http://tweepoppets.blogspot.com

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  19. This was great. What does one do? Blogging etiquette 101! Visit me when you are in the mood. I won't take anything personal. No pressure here. I'll keep visiting you. You words make me happy.

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  20. I do what I can. Try to leave a comment on the blogs I enjoy or connect with. I leave comments because i want to. This is a place to connect or learn so the less pressure I put the better it is for me. I do what ever I can with good intentions.

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  21. I had already read Dalia's post, which was excellent. I have no answers. I have overcommitted myself to reading blogs - too many to possibly get to in a given day. So I've divided them up into ones I like to read every day and those that I read when I get around to it.

    I keep telling myself that once I have a substantial readership, I won't need to spend as much time networking and growing my blog. But then I can easily see that THAT is the way to keep growing and keeping your blog lively and interesting, by injecting it with new ideas and new followers all the time.

    All the tasks we could be doing are overwhelming, and thus far, I don't have an income to justify the time I'm spending on it now. Sigh.

    I'm no help :)

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  22. Hi Empress!

    I love skipping around and reading blogs. I try to get to people who comment on mine and when I have time I go to others. There is one that drives me crazy because he NEVER acknowledges any of my comments nor ever visits me, so I am going to skip over his blog next time. I mean jeez! I feel like the misfit at the lunch table!

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  23. It is hard trying to find that balance - I often fall behind visiting my fave blogs, but I do try to visit the ones who've been nice enough to leave comments on my posts at least once or twice a week. I also feel guilty because I find that I spend more time commenting and reading other blogs than I do writing my own sometimes. If only we could clone ourselves, I tell you!

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  24. i run around like a chicken with my head cut off. that's all i've got.

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  25. Oh. You know what works for me?

    I try not to think about it.

    Sometimes I email responses to comments, sometimes not.

    Sometimes I give a return visit to a new commenter, sometimes I don't get around to it.

    Some days I read and don't comment at all. Some days I'm a commenting fool.

    I used to feel obligated and tied down to visiting others, and keeping up the readership on my blog. It started to feel like a chore.

    Then I decided one day:

    I don't give a crap.

    Very liberating.

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  26. I admit, it took me quite some time to figure this one out, especially as I kept adding such great chickies to my reading list! As it is, I forgo much sleep to work my blog without short changing my kidlets, but I do so hate to come off the snobby bitch in the blogging community too LOL...what I have found is that I've gotten to know those who post daily/frequently, & those that don't, so that helps to plan my visits accordingly....I also try to hit at least 5-10 blogs a day, even if I do it piecemeal throughout my day. Let's face it, the support from one another is so important to keeping us going, the friendships & community a valuable part of what we do, I always try to get to my "circle" a few times a week at least...& yes, I try to respond, even if I do it all in one comment on my own post, to thank everyone & share a giggle over their observations. :-D

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  27. THANK YOU to all of you here. I'll be responding to each of you here, b/c each of your comments was so awesome in it's individuality.

    I won't be able to do it tonight, or for a few days: my beautiful middle guy needs some jaw surgery tomorrow...we'll be at the hospital and then back home.

    I hope to get to everyone by Friday!

    In the meantime, please know that everyone here I know and love.

    And I truly mean it.

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR HONEST INPUT.

    See you Friday or so...

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  28. LOL @ Ericka

    She said it all as usual(-:

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  29. What a great post..I think we can all relate on this subject. Every individual is different and have different priorities at home so not everyone will be alike in how they handle things. We Mom's do what we can do! Blogging should be fun and not stressful...sometimes we do more and sometimes less! I am enjoying meeting everyone and finding new friends...that's what its all about!

    Hope your son is ok! See you on Friday!

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  30. I just appreciate when anyone I comment on comes back to comment on my site. I can't hold it against people who don't, though it annoys me, but I understand time constraints and what not. We're all just trying to make it through each day right???

    Love your site, but you know that.

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner
    http://www.mawhats4dinner.com

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  31. I suppose it's realizing just why you're blogging. I do it to spread the news and focus on my blogs, building a following. It's much like the old neighborhood morning coffee visit. You could end up losing your whole day when conversations got exciting.

    I personally can't visit every blog I follow on a daily basis at one fell swoop, so I spread them out during the day and always try to leave a comment relative to the current post.

    As my blog has been growing, I've been waiting for about five or six comments before I will answer each within the comment section, itself. My reasoning is that when new people come to the blog, they'll have a complete package. If someone comments often on my blog, then I do a brief comment in the comment section and a personal email to them with a bigger comment. This may all change when and if I develop a really large following.

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  32. These are great questions.

    Like Aging Mommy, I simply try to limit the number of blogs I follow. I'm in the quietest time of the year work-wise, but my schedule is going to pick up significantly by fall. I don't know want to get in over my head, so I really only have a small handful of blogs that I follow and comment on regularly (like yours :-)). These are blogs whose writers are kind and with whom I feel I can relate. I love the writing and I follow them because I feel I always walk away with something - something to think about, something to smile about. I don't care if they respond to me or not but since these are usually like-minded bloggers, I find that in time they visit my blog and begin to comment regularly on mine as well.

    There are then other blogs that I try to read once or twice a week. This means I might need to scroll through some old posts and I will comment on those that I feel I have something worthy to say, but I don't feel compelled to comment on every post.

    When I do comment though, I make thoughtful comments to show that I have really thought about what they wrote. I also prefer that if someone really didn't read my post the whole way through to just not bother commenting. It's okay. There's no obligation.

    I appreciate so, so much anyone who visits my blog. I do comment on every post I get, but I do it as a reply on my blog, which I am beginning to think is ineffective if people don't revisit to read the comment. So maybe I should switch to email..?? I actually have no expectation that the writer will respond to my comment so in most cases I don't go back to check, but I might if I'm in the neighborhood and remember to. I've always appreciated your emailing me and admired how thoughtful you are to go out of your way to do that!!

    Alas...my comment has turned out to be a novel too!

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  33. I'm inconsistent and all over the place with these. I check blogs and write in spurts throughout the day between real life stuff. I have favorites I try not to miss and some I get to as often as possible, it depends on how often they post and really how much free time I have available. When I have time I try to email responses to everyone and post a response to no-reply bloggers, but then I feel like the others look left out, so sometimes I reply to them again there, because I'm neurotic like that, and sometimes do a group reply. If someone follows without a comment I usually at least check their blog to see if I want to follow back. When I follow, read and comment on a blog regularly it is because I like it, I don't expect them to read my blog just to be nice, I know it's not for everyone.
    Hope your middle guy is feeling alright!

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  34. It is really hard to find a good balance. I visit and comment on as many as I can each day. Somedays, I might miss some and I try to remember where I left off and start there the next day. If someone comments on mine and I realize that I've missed them, I jump over and get them right then. However, on weekends I usually don't do as much reading now that it's pretty outside. During the cold season weekends were when I primarily visited. Gee, I sound like I have no method at all. OK, I admit, I fly by the seat of my pants!

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  35. Okay. I try to visit the person's blog and comment. But I never comment if I don't have anything to say. I don't respond individually via email. And I do respond on my site if I can. Some days I can't. I prioritize visiting my comment-ers' blogs and commenting over responding to their comments on my blog.
    But somedays I can only think THANK YOU FOR VISITING. And I hope people know that I am TRYING.
    I use my google reader to stay on top of blogs I like. it's been great.
    I also am TOTALLY OKAY with not getting an email response back. If you want to respond on your site or come to my site and comment, GREAT. Or if you have something you NEED to say back via email, GREAT! But I don't need email acknowledgment to feel like the blogger cares.

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  36. I've been blogging for almost 4 years. I follow over 200 blogs. I have no kids. And I still can't keep up.

    The quid pro quo of commenting can be annoying. But so is the opposite. I only comment when there is something to comment ON. In my book that should be the only criteria for commenting.

    The longer you do it the less you will read and the less you will comment. It's just the nature of the beast.

    The biggest bloggers don't comment back. Or read a lot of blogs. I totally understand and wish I was them!

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  37. nice. on commenting...
    i return every comment with a comment...i just cant keep up emailing every one and many dont open their email address...on those i follow, they tend to comment so they get them back...if someone falls off the scope for a while i will drop them a comment...but if they are not coming back, i end up dropping them...its like a relationship, if its one sided, what is there really? i dunno just my 2 pennies...

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  38. I admit I'm behind in blogs. It's because I'd rather spend time with my kids. And also, because my three year old freaks out if I'm on the computer too long. I try to respond to everyone who comments on my entry but sometimes I just don't have the time. I always feel bad though.

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  39. I wish I had time to read all of the previous commenters. But of course I do not. Or else I may face more mommy guilt. I think I feel a little guilty every day for nursing with baby next to computer. Spending time blogging when I could be with my hubby. It's completely addicting though. And I know it's good for my mental health. It's just a matter of striking the perfect balance.

    As far as comments go..I try to visit new blogs regularly to comment and follow. For new visitors to my blog, I try to visit and comment on at least one of their posts. And then I use my google dashboard to see whom has posted recently. I tend to click on the posts that catch my eye first. It's not easy to juggle mommyhood, a blog, and a business!

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  40. What a wonderful post--thanks for the recommendation. I have found balance with a couple of things--1) multi-tasking. I (somehow) manage to read, write, comment, and respond to comments, as well as do a multitude of other computer-oriented tasks while I watch tivod television in the evenings. Usually this is after supper is done and cleaned up, the kids are done with homework, and are working on settling down with books/tv/and just generally getting ready for bed types of activities. I may do this three to four evenings a week. 2) Sometimes I get completely sick of it, and I'll stop one or all aspects of it for a week or two, or just as long as I need to re-breathe...I don't begrudge myself this time, because I've discovered that I really need it in order to see my world in a fresh light and not get stale.

    As far as comments and reading others' blogs...I read the ones that are fresh, well-written, and speak to me on a personal level. I hope people read mine for the same reason, and not just to acquire a reader. I try to comment when I read, because I feel audience is an important part of blogging...if I wanted to write merely for the sake of writing, I'd keep a diary, you know? Blogging is definitely furthered by engagement. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't be realistic about it, though...I mean really. No one expects you to reply to fifty people. A blanket "I hear ya, people, thank you!" is perfectly sufficient, in my opinion. :)

    Love the suggestions in Dalia's article. Very wise. And sorry for the tome.

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  41. Oh my, this is something that I am CONSTANTLY struggling with. HOW to balance it all. I'm anxious to go read that other blog post, I'm heading over there as soon as I'm done here :)
    Well, I really love the SITS motto, the secret to success is support. It's so true, so I do try to follow that as best as I can, but I have set time limits for myself as far as computer/blogging time goes. I actually wrote about this a while back, here's the link http://www.wannabbalancedmom.com/2010/03/caught-off-balance.html
    I wrote about my struggles with this, and put together a schedule that seems to work very well for me.
    As far as commenting goes, I try to visit as many blogs, as comments I get in one day. So this just helps me to pace myself a little.
    Now I'm off to read that other blog. Thanks for blogging about this, its GREAT!

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  42. I do not respond to every single comment. I also don't expect people to respond to every comment I leave. I respond to comments if there is a question. The commenting system that I use lets me respond to the question on my blog and sends the reply to the commenter.

    I do however try to visit every single person that comments on my blog. I feel inclined to return their visits with a visit and think it might mean more to them for me to read their posts than just say thank you for commenting in an email.

    I read a lot of blogs and I used to feel very guilty about not being able to read everyone's posts. It's simply not possible I do the best that I can and at the end of the week, I clear my reader and start fresh. Blogging could take up your entire life if you let it. It's very rewarding and wonderful, but I'm learning to set limits.

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  43. Excellent topic - I'm looking forward to reading Dalia's article. I really, really, I mean, excessively so, appreciate thoughtful comments, and I do try to visit the blogs of everyone who comments and do the same... At the same time, I agree with Theta Mom's approach - I try to leave thoughtful comments on the posts that resonate with me, and I don't expect that people will leave me a comment unless I write something that speaks to them. I don't think it has to be a one for one approach - eventually we find the bloggers that we identify with, and are faithful to them; and hope that others find us.

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  44. Mine is a food blog, so I set aside at least 2 hours to test or create recipes I post. I spend another 2 on correspondence. Some days photography goes quickly, others not. The writing is fairly easy. If blogs are in my reader I read them every day. I respond only to those who leave a comment on my blog. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  45. It's all about realistic individual time constraints and prioritizing, isn't it?

    If people would forget about how many registered followers they have...just block it out....and not worry about losing or gaining them, prioritizing becomes easier.

    If I visited every blog I follow every day or every week,it would be all I do. My mother is under hospice care in my house and I love my husband, so I don't have time or desire.

    I visit my favorite blogs several times each week. I cut my blogging time way down. I do, however, answer my mail (and the comments that come via mail) daily.

    You have to pencil in 'me' time on a regular basis. If you blog during 'me' time, that's wonderful. If you drink a bottle of wine during 'me' time, that's interesting, if you do them simultaneously - NOW you have a blog post people want to read!!

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  46. Alexandra, I am still trying to find a balance. It's funny, though, because I was just MARVELING at how you manage to post and comment and email. You appear to be so organized.

    Best wishes to your son.

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  47. Hi. Now that you've opened the topic...I've been thinking of you and wanting to have read your blog sooner this week...but with all that's been going on here I haven't been able to do so. That said, I saw your comment and it meant the world to me. It said "I'm not just reading your post because I have to and leaving a comment because you commented on mine". I'm all about quality over quantity and, truly, at this point I am very happy with those comments I receive...they're thoughtful, genuine, and sincere...or funny as.....For quantity, comment, comment, comment...it's up to you. Email?...please don't add another "have to" to either of us...Just my opinion.
    I'll be back, Empress, because I like you/your blog. Don't hold my being human against me...???

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  48. I can't overthink on this or the guilt will overwhelm me and then I'm no good!

    It's all good and awesome to me. I love commenting when I have stuff to say and I love reading comments I get. Truly all good.

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  49. Oh my gosh, that's just too many questions for my AM brain! I've been struggling with this a lot lately. I try to respond to my commenters via email, and I try to make sure I visit their blogs. But since my blog hop, I now have HUNDREDS of blogs in my reader, and I just can't keep up. I feel so bad, and I often wonder if the fact that I'm not visiting other people's blogs as frequently as I used to is the reason I don't get that many comments. And then I wonder if comments are really the best indicator of who actually reads my blog. Ok, I think I"m getting off track here. Anyway, I do the best I can with the time I have but I don't always visit everyone I want to regularly. And speaking of comments, not only do you leave the best comments, but girl, you get a million comments a day! How do you do it? Of course, it's because everyone loves you.

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  50. Looks like I haven't been the only one mulling this over. If you have time, there are some excellent points of advice given above, take a look.

    Mostly, what feels good--and why I love blogging--everyone above feels like I do...we want to do the right thing, but not at the expense of family.

    We do what we can do.


    Bloggers are such the lovely bunch.

    THANK YOU ALL!!! I loved every word you wrote.

    My son is better today after outpatient surgery, but a very long, moooooooooooanful night...Poor baby.

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  51. I wait till she's napping or engrossed in a toy. Can't get to everyone so I don't try. My heart is still with them.

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  52. First, I hope your son is feeling better.

    I do what I can in regards to blog reading. I try to return all comments with a visit/comment and send an e-mail reply to many comments, too. I never reply to comments in the comment section of my blog. I've found that most people are too busy to go back and read the responses there.

    I used to be addicted to blogging and spent a huge portion of every day reading and commenting. I've broken that addiction and now live my real life first and enjoy my virtual life in short bursts of time each day. Also, I don't do any blogging on the weekends.

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  53. oh good gracious, this was a thinker!

    i have been struggling with this too...i have some many people I want to visit and so little time. I was actually thinking the other day "what in the world will i do when i have a family?!" cuz i don't want to give this up!

    I love all these comments

    xoxo
    sara

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  54. I hear you, I hear you! As if we didn't have enough to feel guilty about, now we suffer for not leaving enough comments! And it seriously makes me feel terrible because I love so many mommy bloggers out there, there aren't enough hours in the day...

    I have no good solutions, by the way :-)

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  55. i pretty much return every comment I receive with a comment on that person's recent post and sometimes I do send an email as well.

    It's hard b/c time is so limited but I do my best to say "thank you" in that way.

    You are one of those ppl that is so gracious and kind and incredible and each comment you leave for me truly lifts my spirits.

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  56. This is a really good conversation and I read a number of the comments but not all. For me, I do my very best to respond to all commmenters on my blog and then to visit the blogs of those who have visited mine. But I don't always catch up. It is hard balancing real life and bloggy life for me sometimes. I LOVE blogging and I love my bloggy friends, but I feel like it is hard to find that tightrope of balance. I am always amazed at bloggers like you that find the time to comment on everyone's blog, write amazing posts constantly, and personal emails--as well as keeping up with all the fun in your beautiful family. You are a powerhouse of love! Thank you for being you.

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  57. It's so great to see everyone is in the same boat. In a perfect world, I would love to send a reply to everyone who leaves me a MEANINGFUL comment on my blog. I'm a big hater of the, "Following you. Please come follow me." Sorry, but I am.

    But, I comment to everyone. I read everyone's blog who takes the time to come to my blog and then I visit all my favorite blogs, (Like this one). It is overwhelming. I'm trying to figure out a balance. In fact, next week, I think I'm going to post about something I've been mulling over for a while now. In an effort to concentrate on my novel, I'm going to commit to being in blogworld only 2-3 times during the work week. That way, I won't lose myself in blogs when I should be working. I'm hoping if I say it in a post, people will understand and not get their feelings hurt.

    And for the record, you my dear, raise me up to the skies with your praise and comments. You are one of the reasons I love blogging.

    I hope your boy is feeling better.

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  58. Holy crap, I didn't even know there were rules about this stuff. I've been blogging crappily for a really short period of time. I always visit the blogs and comment on a recent post of people who have commented on mine. I don't send emails too, and I don't usually respond to comments directly in my posts. Does that make me an ass?

    I have a handful of blogs that I read regularly and I comment on those too.

    oh and GMS? there's a name for it? i'm glad i'm not the only one. off to check out that article!

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  59. For me, I do what I can WHEN I can because really, if I burn myself out, what good is it to me? I try to respond to my comments and visit everyone's blogs because genuinely, I like keeping up with people. But if I can't?

    Well, I'm human. The guilt, it's there, I admit it.

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  60. I comment on people's blogs as a way of returning the love. I only e-mail back and forth with a special few (you being one, and that's largely because you're so sweet and initiate the e-mails).

    I don't regularly comment on people's blogs (unless I follow them), but I do at least comment once if they have on mine, as a way of checking their blog out. And if people are faithful in commenting on mine, I generally am on theirs, which is even more precious than following, I think.

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  61. great question. i feel guilty when i don't get to reciprocate comments on other people's blogs. I do follow-up comments or answers on my own blog. I can tell, though, when I haven't been visiting as many blogs as I would like, that my comments (or at least from my regulars) seem to go down. there's a great deal of quid pro quo in blogging.

    So many awesome blogs, so little time.

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  62. Lord knows I've struggled with this issue since I started blogging. I try to e-mail back a comment if they have an e-mail address I can find easily ... and I try to "repay" the visit by visiting their blog if I don't "recognize" them and they are a new visitor.

    But I'm very very very very picky about who I add to my blogroll as I can only regularly read so many blogs in a day and I'm a loyal and faithful follower. I also, at one point, decided my blog was "big enough" and kind of stopped promoting it as much. I think at a certain point it can take up too much time and feel like a burden.

    I don't think there is a "solution" other than just do what is fun and you have time for and forget about the rest!

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  63. I wish I had time to read all the great responses. Unfortunately I'm so behind on my emails and comment and blogs I follow that there is no time. lol. Seriously, I think there is no way in heck a person can realistically keep up with all of it and still have good relationships with family members. Summer will be harder, as kids are home 24/7. My blog will suffer. There is no perfect blog world if you want a perfect real world. That's my 2 cents for what it's worth.

    Btw, I finally just added you to my blogroll. Thought I should remember to read you since you're in my tribe and all.

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  64. It's definitely a sticky situation. I find myself staying up until the most ridiculous hours of the morning reading blogs sometimes because there IS no other time to do it. However...lately I have had to limit my blog writing, reading, and commenting to nap time only. Which means I don't have much time to do...which means I feel like I've been missing out on a lot of awesome posts. But...I try to remember that life won't always be this way and someday I kids will be in school or something of that nature and I will have more time to do the things I like. Sometimes that thought makes it easier and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't I tell Farm Boy he's in charge and I slip away upstairs to the office and have a little me time.

    I love your blog and I think you are just about the sweetest bloggy buddy around. If you see me come and go...know that I will come and visit as soon as I can and try to catch up on what I've missed.

    AND...I'm definitely not the authority on Twitter. lol... I don't really know what the heck the hashtags are about and lists and blah, blah, blah. I just tweet my tweets and reply to my friends and stick to the basics. You should totally join though! Some people's little 140 character tweets absolutely crack me up!! You'd love it! :-)

    Blessing to you fine Empress!! Have a great weekend!

    Megan

    http://reddirtandcrazy.blogspot.com/

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  65. Very poignant questions. I think you balance this much better than I do.

    I cannot for the life of me get my followed blogs to feed into my Google Reader, so if you don't comment on my blog often or I don't regularly follow you, I most likely have forgotten about the greatness I decided to follow in the first place. This, to me, is upsetting because I feel like it has inhibited my growth and development of friendships.

    My question for you is, How on earth do you balance it all? You have over 60 comments for this one post! Gesh, woman!

    ...Wait. Sorry, Empress. I forgot the first rule of being an Empress "Manages everything with ease and grace." No wonder I am not one ;)

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  66. Thank you, everybody! What stellar people. I feel like George Orwell, "what brave new world that has such people in it!"

    This has become my favorite post, I think. I love all the comments and what was said.

    I love the freedom stated here...I have met the best bloggers EV-AH! True dat! You are all amazing. A-mazing.

    You all feel as I do: comment when the spirit moves you, say hello, say thank you, say "nice job." BUt don't be chained to it, and keep the joy.

    Wonderful exchange...and when you have the time, read the comments: they're awesome.

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  67. this is a great question, even for single guys! time spent here, with others. always in search of balance, what we want to do, what we must, hopefully doing it well.

    i enjoy checking out blogs when i have done what i need done, but life just don't always work that way-- durnit. my ancestors never had to deal with juggling blogging time.

    clearly, it's more of an issue for moms, but moms can generally multitask better than non-moms. non-moms, hmmm...

    found you via amy at she writes. glad i stopped by!

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  68. Holy crap... I'm exhausted! I just had to read every last comment. Now, my eyes are crossed and there doesn't seem to be a clear-cut solution and I still haven't read the post your mentioned. I need a nap!

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  69. Great post! I just try to keep it real and not over think it. I blog when the mood strikes me and I have time. Likewise with the reading of blogs. I dont have time to comment back to every comment or read every blog every day. So I comment when something strikes a cord with me, otherwise it feels insincere, and insincerity would kill it for me. Make sense? It's not a numbers game for me. Blogging is an outlet on the creative end and inspiration on the following end. In holding to this philosophy blogging truly is an extension of my self and nourishes me. If I worried about whether or not I was following some unwritten rules or etiquette it would become a chore.
    In short, my answer is a very wordy and lengthy way of saying what I said in the first sentance: keep it real.

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  70. I liked this post. I have asked this question myself. I try my best to communicate with the commenters on my blog. Whether I email them a response or pay them a return visit or sometimes I do both. Depends on how much time I have. I try to read my favorites at least once a day and most others at least once a week. I don't want my blogging to be overwhelming because I enjoy doing it. When it begins to get to that point I know it's time to step back and unplug for the day. I don't think there is a right or wrong way to handling it, there is just "your" way. Hope you find that happy medium. Have a great weekend!

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  71. I'm stopping by from Blog Flow...

    I am so glad to read this post! And to read what other people wrote to you!

    The best way for me to read my favorite blogs is by subscribing to their blog via email or google follow so that it ends up in my blog roll.

    And I stop by people who comment always! And I always try to stop by my favorite blogs 2 or 3 times a week, sometimes it ends up being less, sometimes more. But I definitely try to stop by at least once & catch up on everything!

    I'm your 200th follower! yay! Love the blog & love the kiddos' names! That's awesome! My husband only wishes his name was Augustus!

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