comments on commenting.

by Janetha on September 30, 2010

in meals,moves

hey everyone! hope you had a great last day of september.  mine was fantastic, thanks for asking.

breakfast, lunch and my snack were all boring today.  how about i skip the details and go straight to the good stuff?

moves

kristen and i decided to hit the high school track for another fun workout.  it was a cardio day and both my lower AND upper body are still super sore from my lifting workouts this week.  i sucked it up and did the best i could, regardless of my sore muscles.

we went to a different high school today and there were bleachers on both sides of the track.  for our workout, we ran the north and south ends of the track and then we ran up and down the bleachers (which were on the east and the west sides of the track).

the bleachers were 30 steps high, so we would go up and down twice for each set of bleachers and also run the length between the steps.  that is a total of 120 steps per bleacher, and we did a total of 12 sets of bleachers. sooo.. the math freak in me says we did a total of 1440 steps! and 6 times around the track total.

i know that ramble means nothing to you, but i like to look back and see what i did. so there :)

meals

before the workout, i had prepared green chile chicken enchiladas for dinner.  i had marshall pop them in the oven while we were exercising.  when we got back to my house, all i had to do was heat some black beans and dinner was ready!

i never use the same ingredients or measurements when i make enchiladas.  that is one reason i love them: they are so versatile.  tonight’s ingredients really worked well.

green chile chicken enchiladas with mushrooms.

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ingredients.

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  • 24 oz chicken breasts, boiled & shredded
  • 28 oz can green enchilada sauce, divided
  • (2) 4 oz cans diced green chiles
  • 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (or more if you are me), chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 10.5 oz can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup cheese, shredded
  • 16 tortillas (i used some wheat and some flour)
  • optional garnishes: black olives, avocado, salsa, sour cream, greek yogurt, shredded cheese

directions.

boil your chicken, let cool, shred with two forks.  the plus side of boiling your chicken is you can put it straight into the pot of water while the chicken is still frozen, no need to thaw.

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set aside 1 cup of enchilada sauce.

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combine chicken, remaining enchilada sauce, green chiles, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and cream of mushroom soup.  if your husband hates mushrooms, don’t add the mushrooms until you’ve filled his half of the enchiladas!!

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fill a tortilla with some of the filling.

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roll up tightly and place in 13 x 9 pan.  repeat with remaining tortillas.  i was able to get 16 enchiladas but it is always different because i never fill them the same.  if you have leftover filling, you can make extra enchiladas or do what i do, save it and use it as a delicious topping for nachos.

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see the toothpicks? they are to help me remember which is which.  this was interesting.. i made 3 white tortilla no mushrooms or onions, 3 white tortilla no mushrooms, 2 wheat tortilla no onions, 2 wheat tortilla with mushrooms and onions. gotta please all 4 of the eaters!  then i made a separate pan of 6 enchiladas with the remaining filling, which had onions AND mushrooms.. which means i will be eating those (marshall doesn’t do mushrooms, in case you are just joining us.)

pour the 1 cup of enchilada sauce over enchiladas.

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sprinkle with the cheese. IMG_0223

you now have a boatload of enchiladas!

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cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until they are warmed through.  remove foil right at the end so the cheese gets nice and bubbly.

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i served the enchiladas with chips, salsa, guacamole and black beans.

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two enchiladas for me!IMG_0251 IMG_0249

for my garnishes, i did greek yogurt, guacamole and kristen’s mom’s yummy salsa.

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nutrition info based off using my wheat tortillas, which are 80 cals/11g carbs/5g protein per tortilla, pre-garnishes and 16 enchiladas for the entire recipe.

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the guacamole was made lovingly by marshall.

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he used avocado, greek yogurt, lime, salsa & salt and pepper.  IMG_0232

delicious!

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great dinner :)

the next chunk of this post is going to be very verbose and, to be honest, may bore quite a few of you.  if you really don’t care about the issue of commenting on blog posts, feel free to skip!

i recently stumbled upon a new-to-me blog.

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hollaback health is a blog that is geared toward healthy living bloggers of all kinds.  there are several different contributors who offer advice and know-how when it comes to blogging.  how did i not know about this blog previously?  the day i discovered it.. i read nearly all the posts.

um, the blog has been around since last march.  yeah, i was reading for hours.

anyway, they cover such a broad range of topics! these topics include (but are not limited to) blogging respectfully, not plagiarizing, spelling & grammar, how to network, the difference between mindcasting and lifecasting, and commenting.

commenting.

that is what i wanted to elaborate on today.  there are two sides of commenting: you are the one leaving the comment or you are the one receiving the comment.  hollaback health had two great posts that talked about both ends of the playing field.

the comments you leave on a blog post.

hollaback’s post on the topic can be found here.  (i am going to copy and paste some of the content, but don’t worry.. i have asked for their permission.) basically, they broke it down into two groups: reasons NOT to leave a comment and reasons you SHOULD leave a comment.

here are the lists.

cases where you should definitely leave a comment:

  • If you’re new to the site and want to offer a compliment.
  • If you identify with something the blogger has revealed.
  • If you have a question about something in the post.
  • If something in the post struck you as truly amazing [note: these comments should be used sparingly] Example: “Holy crap, I never thought of adding THAT to my oatmeal!”
  • If you disagree with something the post states to be true AND can offer an insightful rebuttal.
  • If you’re entering a giveaway or are answering a question asked by the blogger.  There will be a buttload of comments on that entry, but hey – they asked for it.  Comment on, commenter.

i agree with this list completely.

i also wanted to add that i also think it is great to comment if you simply are blog friends with someone and want to comment on something (or everything) in their post. blog friendships are often stronger than real life friendships (you may be shocked to hear that, but it is true) and one way these friendships grow is through supporting each other through comments.  that does not mean you have to or should comment on every single post from every single blog friend.. but if you just want to say “hey, fun to see what you have been up to..” and ramble on about what you think of their post, that is a great idea. i love getting these sort of comments from my blog friends.  i never keep track of who comments on what post, nor do i care, but it is always great to hear from a friend.

onto hollaback’s second list.

when leaving a comment is probably a bad idea:

  • To simply plug your blog.  “Networking” is more than dropping a couple of empty words on every site you visit; a comment isn’t a business card.  And for chrissakes, don’t put your URL in the body of the comment.  That’s spam, and it’s tacky.
  • To remain relevant.  If you’re still subscribing to a blog, still giving it pageviews, and still commenting when posts deserve comments, congrats – you’re still doing a great job as a blog reader!  But not every single post warrants a comment, so if you find yourself scratching your head over what to type before finally deciding on “your salad looks yummy,” don’t waste your time.
  • To give unsolicited “holier-than-thou” advice.  If a vegan blogger has a headache, don’t tell him or her that meat is the cure.  Conversely, don’t preach vegetarianism to a carnivore unless they ask for it.  If a runner has an injury, don’t tell them they’re stupid to keep running.  Be respectful of each blogger’s autonomy; if they didn’t ask for advice, you’re probably better off keeping it to yourself.
  • To address a potentially sensitive issue.  If, for instance, you believe a blogger is showing signs of disordered eating/exercising, a comment in a public forum might only make them defensive.  A carefully constructed e-mail would be a better place for such concern.
  • To give nonconstructive criticism.  If you’re going to attack a blogger personally, at least do it in as helpful a way as possible, and definitely don’t call them names or use derogatory language.  Hurtful comments will usually only get you ignored.  If you want to have a real impact, start an intelligent conversation, not a mudslinging contest.

i think this list is so helpful and SO true.  the first bullet is right on the money.  i appreciate finding new bloggers and part of the way i do that is through the comments they leave on my blog.  but if you leave a comment that simply plugs your own blog, chances are i will not be subscribing or reading your blog.  if you leave an honest comment that somehow relates to my post and i see you are a new commenter and have a blog of your own, i always check that new blog out. always.

the second bullet is something i used to be guilty of.  when i first started reading blogs, i thought i had to comment on EVERY post on EVERY blog i read.  i honestly thought i would hurt feelings if i stopped commenting on peoples’ posts.  then i had a wake up call. for one thing, it is impossible to always comment on all the posts of all the blogs. it’s ridiculous. and for another thing, the blogger really does not get offended if you don’t leave a comment all the time.  if they are your friend in blog land, they will automatically assume you are still reading.  that’s what i do.  i realize that a lot of people don’t have the time to leave comments or really just enjoy reading what i have to say, but don’t necessarily have something to say back.  that’s fine.  and when i don’t get comments from people, guess what? i don’t care.  i love hearing from everyone, but if i don’t—no big deal.  i had to realize this one on my own. now i don’t feel pressured to leave lame comments that consist of a sentence of unmeaningful content, just for the sake of leaving a comment.  that’s a waste of everybody’s time.

the rest of the list also contains great examples of what you shouldn’t leave in the comments section.  that sort of thing is better kept to yourself, but  if you really feel like you need to say anything of that nature, you would be better off sending it in a private email.

i wanted to share these lists with you because i felt like i could really relate to hollaback health’s point of view.  gone are the days of feeling obligated to comment.  i do ask questions at the end of all my posts, but that is not to get comments.  it is to engage my readers and it really is fun to hear all the different answers.  sometimes my questions are serious, sometimes (okay, most times) they are silly.. but i always read every single answer with a smile on my face.  i don’t care if i get 1 or 100 comments on a post.. i just love to hear from whoever feels driven to comment.  with that said, i want someone to comment on my posts because they want to.  not because they think they need to.

i recently stopped commenting on as many blogs as i used to.  this way, i am able to read and enjoy more blogs and when i do leave a comment, it is of higher quality.  i am sure many of you have noticed this decline in my commentary, but i am also sure not a single one of you is offended. that is what i love most about this community.

the comments you receive on a blog post.

and now for the second post from hollaback health that i wanted to elaborate on.  it is in regards to responding to comments and can be found here.

truth be told, i used to never reply to my comments.  sure, i would reply to any questions asked.  but just a regular comment? no, i wouldn’t reply. this is because i wasn’t aware that i should reply to anything other than a question.

after blogging for quite some time and being involved with several other blogs, i realized i was getting a number of replies to the comments i left.  i never expected to get a reply to the comments i left, but when i did.. it was always nice :)

i wanted to start responding to the comments i received on my own blog.  unfortunately, a wordpress hosted blog does not have an easy way to reply to comments via email.  you can receive the comment in your inbox, but when you hit “reply”, it actually replies to the comment thread, not to the email address of the commenter you want to reply to.  in order to send the person an emailed reply, you have to delete the “to” field and copy and paste their email address into the “to” field before sending your reply.  it may not sound like a big deal, but if you are trying to reply from your phone or if you have several comments to reply to.. this is a very tedious task.

i did the copy/paste method for awhile, but that got old.  i decided to try responding to comments in the blog post’s comments section directly.  i was doing this for awhile and then i realized something: i don’t look back on other peoples’ blog posts after i comment, so how would i know if the comments i was replying to in my own blog’s comments section were getting seen?  was it just a waste of time?  no idea.

lately, i have been trying to be more involved with both the comments on my own blog and on other blogs.  i like that conversations are held in the comments section and i want to try to be more involved this way.  the hangup i have is the time it takes to reply to individual comments, but i am trying to reply to more than i have in the past.

anyway, hollaback’s post touched on when a reply to a comment is a good idea:

  • [If the comment is] the kind of thing you’d reply to in real life with more than just, “Thanks!”, Then you should reply with a comment.
  • If a compliment is made on a specific point in the post, I recommend responding. It is important to give personal attention to comments that convey a personal anecdote that is relevant, tips related to the topic of your post (e.g. “Try spelt flour instead of coconut flour in your pancakes!”), and/or related links on the topic. Think of your blog post as giving a speech; if someone came up to you after the speech and said the same thing she wrote in her comment, would you have a real conversation about it? If you would, then have that conversation in your comments.
  • If there isn’t much to say back, you don’t need to respond. Responding to every comment can come off a little fake. We know you’re overachievers, but most people don’t expect a response to every comment they write.
  • If the reader divulged some very personal information, you might want to consider responding via e-mail as opposed to the comment thread. It’s good to comment, “I’m going to e-mail you about this because I have a lot to say on the matter!” This lets other readers know that you care enough to respond, but sometimes it’s better done in private.

i have based my replies lately on the first bullet point above.  i realize not everyone is looking for a reply.. but if i have something to say about their comment and i have the time to say it, then i am going to.

it is hard to decide if i want to do the replying on the post itself or in a private email. with the private email, the commenter is sure to see the reply.  but at the same time, other readers are not able to see the reply.  i think i like the idea of everyone seeing my reply, especially when it is a question and the answer is something everyone can benefit from.

i guess there is no conclusion to this one.. but i thought it was an issue everyone should think about when it comes to their own blog and the comments they receive.  i will continue to type my replies to comments in the comment section itself as i have been lately, so please check back on the post if you have time!  if you don’t, i totally understand, because i usually don’t check back on comments i have left myself. see? what a strange situation.  i would love to hear what you, as a commenter of my blog, would prefer in terms of how you receive a reply.

well that is the end of my comments on comments. told you it would be verbose ;) thanks to the girls at hollaback health for letting me pick their posts apart and use their great thoughts on my post tonight.  make sure you swing by the hollaback health blog for more awesome tips on blogging!

and now, i am spent. i am in an enchilada coma and i have cookies to bake.

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why, you ask? (pretend you asked..) well, tomorrow, october 1st, is national homemade cookies day! i am going to bake some to take to work.

i will be back tomorrow with october’s national food holidays as well as my own set of goals for the month of october. oh, and some flashback friday, of course!

Qs~

1. on commenting: how do you determine what posts you comment on? do you feel obligated to leave comments? if you are a blogger, do you respond to your comments? which ones? if you are a reader/commenter, do you expect a reply to your comments or just your questions? discuss! would love to hear your thoughts on all of it. personally, i don’t feel like i have to comment on posts and i also don’t expect people to comment on my posts unless they want to. i am going to try to be better at comment replies.. make sure you start checking back if you do comment something that you’d expect a reply on :)

2. enchiladas: green sauce or red sauce? i am a green gal all the way! but red is nice every once in awhile.

xo. janetha g.

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Susan October 1, 2010 at 11:11 am

Well Janetha, now I just feel silly for commenting on your comments about commenting! :P

I used to try to comment on every blog post of every blog I read too. Then I started reading an ungodly number of blogs and it just became impossible. Now I take the quality over quantity post. I try not to comment unless I have a solid paragraph of things to say and can dedicate a couple minutes to typing it out.

I do however still try to click over to any new commenters on my blog and pay them a comment back. I never say things like “thanks for reading!” but instead find things in their content I can comment on (does that make sense?).

As for replying to my own comments, I copy/paste the e-mail address so it goes to the blog post AND the person’s inbox. This way people commenting can see my responses (in case they’re asking the same question) and also the person who made the original comment gets my response right to their inbox! I find it goes by my mood. Some days I’m particularly chatty and want to respond to everyone’s comments. Others I don’t reply to any. Keeping up a conversation is important to having a vibrant comments section though!

Also, commenting on other people’s blogs is really time consuming for me, because I’m obviously really rambly in the comment fields of others ;)

<3 !!!

Heather October 1, 2010 at 11:13 am

Thank you so much for the helpful commenting advice! I can now avoid future embarrassment!

I had no idea that leaving a link to my blog in a comment post was considered spamming!

What a blogging faux paux! I feel so sheepish!

kbwood October 1, 2010 at 11:38 am

Gah I totally can relate! When I first started blogging- I COMMENTED EVERYBODY!! But I love your commenting “rules” .. those are perfect and so helpful!!
LOVE YOU!!!!!!!

J @ J's Everyday Fashion October 1, 2010 at 12:04 pm

I loved reading the “suggestions” for commenting on a blog!! I totally think of commenting in a different way, so it was neat to hear how someone else thinks of it. 1. Right off the bat, I’m SHOCKED that leaving a URL in the comment seems like spam. Doesn’t bother me at all when people do it on my blog and I often include mine in my comments. I just think of it as an email signature, a helpful way to identify yourself. Hmm…. will have to re-think that one I guess. 2. I would never tell a reader when to comment b/c in my opinion it’s always a good time to comment!! Even if it’s just “love this”, it lets me know that you’re reading and responding!! 3. I always, always, always answer the questions people leave on my blog, and usually within 24 hours. I really see a blog as a 2-way conversation and want people to know that I’m listening to what they have to say too.

Okay, that’s my 2 cents. And I’ll leave my URL out of the comment this time. :-)

a taste of health with balance October 1, 2010 at 12:11 pm

i’ve never made enchiladas but i feel like this is so super easy and tasty! yum yum. i love how you use cottage cheese and greek yogurt in a lot of your recipes because i love the two :)

janetha October 1, 2010 at 12:14 pm

i love both of them, too. and what is awesome is they are both so healthy! it’s awesome when you end up loving something that is good for you. now if only vanilla bean ice cream was as healthy as cottage cheese…

Sara October 1, 2010 at 12:24 pm

So I pick what posts to reply on just based on what sparks my interest! Even if a blogger leaves questions, I will only answer them if they’re interesting to me & I have something to say ;) I just started my own blog so I can’t answer yet about replying to every comment, I’m sure once you get 50+ comments on a post it’s hard to do so!

In regards to enchiladas, I’m gonna say my favorite sauce is neither of your choices, but MOLE sauce! I’ll definitely end up putting such recipes on my blog as I build (it’s focused on Mexican-American foods made without processed ingredients) and I suggest you try them one day with the mole sauce because I literally don’t really eat enchiladas otherwise – it’s THAT good :) In fact, I’d venture to say that mole changed my life! haha

janetha October 1, 2010 at 12:26 pm

oh i LOVE mole! i should have put that as a choice. there is a place in SLC that makes the best authentic moles–it is called the red iguana. they have so many different varieties of mole that they have a whole section of the menu devoted to moles alone! if you ever find yourself in my town, look them up :)

Sara October 1, 2010 at 12:35 pm

I have to say I’ve DREAMED of going to Puebla or Oaxaca and just eating various moles for a week straight! lol. There’s something so amazing about it that I just die over it. SIGH :)

Jen October 1, 2010 at 1:24 pm

I’m new to the whole blogging thing, been dabbling in it for awhile, but just recently got serious about it. I really love reading/commenting on blogs, but now I’m feeling all self conscious like I’m doing things wrong!!!!

Anyway, this blog rocks and I love reading it!!! Have a great weekend :)

Jen
http://jenslosinit.blogspot.com/

janetha October 1, 2010 at 1:36 pm

don’t feel like you are doing anything wrong! there isn’t a right or wrong way to comment. this was just a post i found informative and wanted to share :) thanks for stopping by!

mom October 1, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Whew that was one GRAND post! I loved the enchiladas but really loved the comments on commenting – great information!! I love to comment but get lazy sometimes…..and I have a real confession – with my limited short term memory I often forget the questions as soon as I have read them – hence my lack of answering them in my comments haha! I promise to do better because I am sure you lay awake at night wondering just what my answers may be :)

I love to read the comments that are posted and it is fun to see you reply as well – yes I love the blogging community and feel a great connection to the readers of this awesome blog xoxo!!

It All Changes October 1, 2010 at 10:41 pm

I read those post too…I’m obsessed. I have a hard time not responding to comments but I’m getting better with both how I comment and what kind of comments I respond to. It’s all a learning process to me. Thanks for the reminder.

Kerry October 2, 2010 at 1:20 am

i comment if i really have something to say. Sometimes i don’t have time to comment but i love reading all my subscribed blogs! :) Those enchiladas look so good! I will have to make them!

inmytummy October 2, 2010 at 8:22 am

I reply to comments where the commenter has asked me a specific question or I feel like there is something that I need to clarify in regards to their comment. I do agree that it’s annoying that wordpress responds to the thread instead of to their email. It used to go to the email!

Theodora @ Losing Weight in the City October 2, 2010 at 8:27 am

I just recently found your blog and really enjoy it! I like how you separate the meals from the moves, so that if one of your meals or workouts doesn’t interest me, I can just skip over that part without skipping the whole post!

As far as commenting, when I first figured out that commenting on other blogs was “networking” for my own blog, I commented all the time. Then, when I realized it didn’t actually bring that much traffic back, I stopped for a bit. Now, I just comment whenever I feel inclined–if something in a post resonated with me, or if there’s a particularly beautiful photo. I always love when I get responses on comments I leave on other blogs, so I try to respond to as many of my own comments as possible…even when it is just to say thanks.

janetha October 2, 2010 at 11:27 am

thanks for letting me know that you like the meals & moves breakdown that i do!

katecooks October 2, 2010 at 1:43 pm

i think this was a great discussion…a lot of these thoughts pop into my head all the time! i feel badly sometimes that i don’t comment nearly as often as i used to because it feels a bit like not returning a phone call, you know? but i definitely do get to read so many more blogs, and i never feel overwhelmed and i can pop in and comment when i actually have something to say! thanks for the post :)

Jenn October 3, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Just wanted to leave a comment ;-) (Oh…i’m so clever.) and say I agree with you on everything you said. I comment on a handful of blogs. I used to never comment but a certain sweet someone ;-) encouraged me to reach out to the blog world and I’m so glad I did b/c I’ve made some awesome friends. Sometimes I will leave short meaningless comments just to let the person know I read their post b/c I like them . But most of the time I comment when I either relate, laugh, add to the conversation, or just acknowledge a good post.

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