Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Following/Commenting Quandary

Well, this is probably going to be one heck of an awkward post but I'm really fretting about a few things and would love your wisdomous insight.


1 Anyone else have those people whose blog you follow and religiously read and comment on nearly every day and, yet, they NEVER come by your blog and comment, let alone read it?  It would be nice if these people would acknowledge the fact that I comment on their blogs all the time and return the favor once and awhile, but here's my real question. Since they don't, should I follow these people who don't bother to "follow" me back? Hmmm, such a conundrum. I don't want to be rude and unfollow them but I don't really feel like spending my precious time reading and commenting anymore. Especially since there's thousands of book blogs out there I could be reading instead and THEY might actually return the favor. So, what do I do? What say you?  By the by, if you feel like I do this to you guys please, seriously, let me know. I really do try to make an effort and read and comment on my loyal reader's blogs. If I don't, I'm sorry. :(Again, let me know and I'll rectify it.

2 Speaking of thousands of book blogs, how on earth do you guys manage to keep up with your reading of all of them? I struggle with this as I'm sure most of you do. To be honest, I only usually read the ones on my sidebar not EVERYONE I'm following. I'd like to but it's impossible! I've noticed that sometimes if I comment on someones blog THEN they'll come read and comment on mine. Is that how you guys do it? Or do you just read the posts that look interesting? Or do you have favorites you check out everyday no matter what? Ahhh! See my problem. How to keep up?! I would love to be able to read and comment on every single blog I follow and then some, but how?

Well, I could go on and on with my questions but I'll give it a rest for the day. ;) I'd love your advice, though.

(added after reading a few comments and realizing I've been slightly misunderstood. I should have said this better)   I like the "relationship" that forms between the bloggers who comment on my blog and whose blogs I comment on. When it's one sided it's not so very fun...you know? So, this isn't about comments for the sake of comments but more about a one sided relationship. Does that make anymore sense???

50 comments:

  1. To answer your first question, I comment and follow blogs either because I really enjoy the blogger or the books they read. I don't expect a blogger that I've posted on, however frequently, to do the same on my blog unless it's a blog hop type of thing. So if I enjoy a blog enough that I'm commenting a lot on it, then I'd continue to follow even if they weren't returning the favor. Some blogs have hundreds or thousands of followers, so I can understand that they might not have time to read my reviews and comment. Although personally, I do try to comment on the blogs of those that comment on my blog, so I understand your point too.

    On the second question, I use my google reader. I can go quickly through a bunch of blog posts, and click on the ones I want to comment on. I probably need to cull some of the blogs I follow since some are from when I first started blogging and therefore I followed EVERYONE, regardless of whether or not I even read the genre they review. But as my life has been quite hectic lately, I'm not afraid to empty my reader when it gets out of control. Well, not afraid, but maybe still a bit guilty. :)

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    1. Yeah, I try to use Google Reader but something about seeing all the post at once is overwhelming.

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  2. First Question - I have learned over the years that people wax and wane with the frequency of commenting. I know that for me, the amount of commenting reflects how much time I have to do so. I read many blog posts but do not always comment during very busy time of life. I do not worry so much about comments as I once did.

    Second Question - this one reflects the first question. On my google reader, I have just weaned out those blogs that I hardly read, and very rarely comment. I placed them onto an online bookmark system so that I do not loose sight of the blogs and will look at them from time to time. In my google reader (feedly) I kept those blogs that I want to read every post placed if possible. I weaned my almost 100 blog list down to about 20.

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    1. I need to wean. Definitely need to wean.

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  3. I laugh/scorn at those people who comment to collect comments. Really I haven't time to comment much..I do find that I tend to comment on those peoples blogs that I enjoy, though I have never commented to get comments(let's make that clear).
    I've commented to encourage more blogging from people because I've enjoyed their blogs so much.
    Who knows.... Just don't overdo.... because I love reading your blog and I'd hate for you to burn out.
    Don't worry to much about those blogs you faithfully read and comment on...just sigh with relief that when you comment on one of those blogs it's not out of obligation!! those Are the first to go though when you run out of time and patience, right?

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    1. Hey! I'm not a comment collector! I just like the relationship I get to form with fellow bloggers. If it's one sided it's not so fun.

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  4. For me, I usually just read book blogs for the content. If they comment on my blog, that is an added bonus, but I don't expect it.

    As far as reading blogs and commenting, I used to be really faithful about it, but lately I have had a much busier semester and haven't done super well. I should probably do better with commenting, but when I only have time to read, I still like to read. Often when I have a long to-do list I will let myself read a couple of blogs in between completing tasks. That way I am not so bogged down by busyness, but I don't neglect what I have to do to read blogs, either.

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    1. Yeah, you'd think because I'm without a job I'd have all the time in the world to read blogs but, surprisingly, I don't. I don't know how you busier guys do it!

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  5. If I think of something I want to say than I comment and if I don't, or don't have time, than I don't. Of course, I don't follow many discussion blogs, like yours is, so.....

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    1. Yeah, it can get a bit overwhelming.

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  6. Keep up? It's hard. But my way of keeping up is different. I probably follow almost 400 blogs, but not all are consistent or even currently blogging. I have a favorites folder with about 20 blogs I frequent for content relevant to me/people I like.

    My routine is to pull up Google Reader, and scroll through all of the new content by hitting Page Down. If I see memes, I zip past them unless I spot something interesting. If someone posts an article that's bookish and not a meme, I might click on it. If I see a giveaway I'm interested in, I pull it up.

    As far as commenting goes, I don't do a whole bunch. I limit it to where I can actually add insight, or share in someone's excitement about a book their looking forward to. Sometimes I'll comment on book reviews, but it's hard to comment on every review of every book you've ever commented on once before (you can only comment on so many reviews of Pandemonium before sounding like a broken record).

    But, like you're saying, when someone doesn't bother with your blog, you wonder why you bother with theirs. If someone shows me some love on my blog, I try to do the same. I'm sure I haven't always done so, but I try. It's definitely not easy, but as long as you do something, people know you're trying. I think of the bigger bloggers and how hard it must be for them with thousands of followers. You do what you can, and the people who are nice will respect you for that.

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    1. Yeah, I'm totally sympathetic to those huge bloggers. I need to organize some folders or something.

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  7. I really only follow blogs I actually enjoy and am fine with people unfollowing me if they don't enjoy what I do. So, I think you should follow if you like the blog and don't follow if you don't. Sometimes I just don't have anything to say so I don't comment. I tend to judge how well my blog is doing by the traffic it generates rather than comments (although I love comments!)

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    1. I feel the same. Ah, this blogging world is tricky.

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  8. I understand what you mean about it feeling like a one-sided relationship. One reason I blog is to develop relationships but when I'm doing all the giving, then it's hard to stay interested. My time's too precious to waste on people who are cliqueish. I've stopped following blogs because of that. I also don't generally comment on blogs where the author of it rarely responds. I can understand not responding to every comment, because sometimes there's really nothing to say. But to have a comment section and never respond to comments smacks of narcissism or indifference, whether you intend to send that message or not.

    Having said that, not everything a blogger posts is of interest to me, and sometimes even when it is, I can't think of any appropriate comment. Plus, sometimes, although my intentions to comment are good, real life involving three active little girls that I homeschool gets in the way, and commenting, even on my own blog, gets shoved to the back burner. I imagine it's the same kind of different with most bloggers.

    So I feel your quandry, but I have no answers. I'll be checking back to see what other, more experienced bloggers do.

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    1. But just hearing you say I'm not alone in my feeling makes me feel better. :)

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  9. Wow Jenny, where do I even start with this topic? Let me try to break it down so I don't get mixed up:

    1. I used to have a few blogs that I liked and enjoyed reading which I followed religiously. I would comment every time and take the time to really add value to what I was saying. At the beginning, said blog was small and so once in a while, I'd get a comment back. As time went on, said blog found bigger and better bloggers to be friends with and no matter how much I still commented, they never came back. Needless to say, I wasn't impressed. I think we even have a few such blogs in common...in the end, I didn't un-GFC follow them, but I took them off my blog roll where all the important blogs to me sit and if they happen to say something I am interested in, I will comment. If not, well....adios. That's not being petty or mean, but blog smart. You're a busy person as well and your time is precious too. It would be different if you knew someone was busy for a legit reason ie. work, school, sickness, kids. Fair enough. I have a few of those and I wouldn't dream of unfollowing them no matter how little they comment. But we're talking bloggers who you can see commenting on other "more popular" blogs in their circles and never on yours. Blah!

    2. I have a blogroll where I keep all my blogs of interest and those I make the effort to follow and comment on religiously. Even if they don't comment back. These are the blogs of people I have built relationship with and I know will stick around. Sometimes I cut people from the list, sometimes I add people. Clearly my tolerance is pretty low compared to a lot of your other readers. I just don't see the point of having an interactive blog if there is no interaction? Aside from those blogs I follow all the time, I will just scroll through those on my reader until I see something interesting. Like Jessica, I don't usually pop in on blogs who do about 5 memes a week.

    3. In the beginning, I used to comment for the sake of getting comments. I'll own that right now. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. Especially not to a new blogger who's finding their feet. How else would you start relationships? Think of it this say, when you're young and trying to make friends, do you do it by standing there and waiting for it to happen magically or do you approach someone? Do you endlessly hang around that person who doesn't bother even looking your way? Do you hover around then even though they never acknowledge you? or do you search for that person who smiles at you and takes the time of day to get to know who you are?

    Don't feel guilty about the amount of time you have to comment and follow people Jenny. You do a great job. Better than most. IF you're finding it overwhelming (which I do sometimes as well) just take a step back and let a few posts go. I'm sure none of the important people will mind. And you know what? Those who aren't important will probably not even notice. There are thousands of book blogs and writer blogs to keep up with. Loyalty where it's deserved I say.

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    1. Wow, Lan! See, this is why I love our relationship. Not only do you leave amazingly well thought out comments that our very time consuming (thanks btw) but you check back and read my replies. I'm not so good at that. I agree with everything you've said here, I just feel bad if I stop reading but I'm tired of the one sidedness so I guess it's time.

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    2. I'm kinda glad some else had stood up and said what you've said. I did that a while ago and was thinking I was the only one fed up with one sided blogging relationships. Even a comment once in a while to show you're still lurking is better than nothing at all. I felt guilty as well but just think about the other x-men & soccer loving bloggers you're not getting to interact with because you're hopelessly following a blog that doesn't appreciate you!

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  10. I always appreciate how honest your posts are! For the first question, I'm afraid I'm one of those people some times. I try to return most comments, especially when they're on something more substantial (like a review) but sometimes I just forget. Or I go to the blog and there isn't a recent post that I have much to say about.

    On the other hand, there is at least one blog I can think of where I used to comment regularly - like over three or four months (reviews/blog hops/whatever) and the blogger never once returned a comment. I like the idea of getting to know other bloggers better, and when it feels one-sided I'd rather spend my time elsewhere. So I don't visit that blog anymore. I didn't unfollow or anything. I just don't stop by.

    I'm horrible as far as the second question goes. I have a few local bloggers that I try to visit daily (when I can), and then I go through my recent posts with comments and try to visit all of those blogs, too.

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    1. Oh good! It makes me feel good that I'm not alone in my desire to get out of these one sided blogging relationships. I need to do better at scrolling through Google Reader and reading more of those blogs I don't usually.

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  11. 1. If you enjoy what they have to say, but they never comment back, then keep reading, but don't stress about commenting anymore. And just check in on them now and then, not every day.

    2. This one is hard. I do a little bit of all the things you mention. A list of favorites to check out all the time. Then others I will read the interesting ones, and comment if I feel the urge. And then if I see someone comments on mine that I'm not familiar with, I'll go check them out.

    Not sure that answered the question at all. It has to be something you are always monitoring, and you keep the ones you like and bag the ones that end up to be dudes, or the ones were you don't feel a connection to. But it's very hard to keep up with and something I don't do very well at all.

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    1. See, some I enjoy and will keep reading but some are nothing special so I really need to just take your advice with them.

      I need to do better with reading all the blogs I follow not just the ones on my sidebar. ;)

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  12. I do try to click on comments to check out others' blogs, though I'm sure I forget people. I figure, comment if you want, but if they don't ever visit, maybe you can just read their content and not bother with comments. I do that a lot, especially with the bigger blogs.

    I'm the last person to give advice on keeping up, but I usually scroll through new stuff on google reader and only click on stuff I want to read more. I'm not a very good commenter, though.

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    1. Yeah, there are bigger blogs that I like and read and I can see why they never come by my little blog. I'm fine with that. It's just those smaller ones that don't seem to be commenting or reading anyone's blog. But maybe that's not why they got into blogging...hmmm, now I have THAT to think about. ;)

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    1. Thank you! Sheesh! See what I had to do to get you to comment?! ;)

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  14. I like to comment because it shows I read the post and appreciated that they took the time to read it. I wish someone would invent a lil widget that you could put on your blog posts and people could just click and it would say "Caitlin read this" or something.

    As for the comment thing...I get you. It's not about amassing comments...it's about mutual respect. If people take the time to read and comment on my blog, I try to do the same. It's respectful. If I have no interest in one particular post then..I won't read it. But I feel like the majority of the blogs I visit regularly do not visit me back and yeah, sometimes that can be frustrating. I don't actually subscribe to replies because I hate getting the emails of all the other comments so I never see if someone has actually replied on their own blog.

    In terms of who I visit, I have my blogroll and then outside of that I just scroll through googlereader and read/comment on what looks interesting. I always try to visit the blogs of the people who have commented on my posts.

    The Cait Files

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    1. they took the time to write it*** damn!

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    2. Don't you just love when you hit publish and THEN catch your mistake? Sigh.

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  15. I totally know what you mean. It's all about those relationships with other bloggers and if they are reciprocating with comments/following, or not. It takes 2 to tango, after all. If someone is not tango-ing with you, then find someone else who will. Simple as that. It's no different than real life friendships, I think.

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    1. I agree! That's how I'm feeling, glad to know I'm not alone.

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  16. I could've written this post exactly, except probably less fun. I love your "voice."

    Anyway, I struggle with this too. Sometimes I wonder if I should disable comments on my blog so I don't have to worry about it. But, I like the discussion and socialization too much. But, like you, it's frustrating to put time and effort into so many blogs that are non-reciprocating. And, I've noticed the more blogs I follow, I become that non-reciprocating person, except on my favorite ones, likes yours.

    It's so hard to keep up with everyone and everything on the blogosphere and feel like your putting forth the effort to comment and then not get the comments back too.

    What I've tried to do in the past, and it works better on some days than others depending on my mood, is just not expect a comment. If I get one, then awesome. If not, it's okay. I blog because I want to not because I want people to comment. (That's really a lie, but it's what I tell myself, lol.) And, then I actually read the blogs I enjoy reading. I'll usually skim the other blogs for posts I might enjoy and then read those posts. Otherwise, I don't do much on most of the blogs I follow because I just don't have the time. I never comment on author interviews because they don't interest me. I rarely comment on reviews unless it's a book I really, really want to read or I've already read because I don't know what to say in the other instances. I comment mostly on discussion questions because they're the most interesting. And, I comment on memes that I participate in because I feel like that's what the memes are about.

    Anyway, I know I rambled during most of this comment, but hopefully, it helped at least to let you know you're not alone and that I think we all struggle with this dilemma.

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    1. You're not rambling, and I appreciate that others struggle with this too. I love comments, I'm not going to lie either, but I love the relationship and that's what's most important.

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  17. * I hope stuff like this doesn't make you want to stop doing your blog or anything cause I love reading it!

    * I also think you're cool cause I'm pretty sure that you were my first follower.

    * I use a reader on my phone so I can read blogs while I'm at work. Which is great except commenting on my phone is a serious problem. A lot of times I have something to say... but I forget by the time I get home and then life gets in the way.

    * I like the smaller blogs better than the big ones (not that the big ones are bad or anything) because most the time they take the time to respond, either to my comment directly or on my blog. I don't always check back but it's nice to see a reply, even if it's just "thanks" to show that my comment was read.

    * I set up folders in google reader too (from Jessica S). I started following a gazillion blogs when I started my blog and I needed some way to sort out the "must read" from the "if I have time" ones.

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    1. I really need to set up some folders! I love using my phone to look at blogs but, you're right, commenting is hard on phones.

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  18. I usually do a round of visiting when I finish a blog post (about twice a week, give or take). During that time I try to find a new blog as well. Then I shut down entirely until I finish my book and I'm ready to write and then the cycle repeats itself. It seems to work.

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    1. Much more smart! I'm a computer addict and on it everyday but I still can't catch up!

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  19. I've wrestled with these questions for years. I'm a slow reader and reading other blogs and responding is very time-consuming. So, I keep telling myself I should respond to those who bother to comment. But, then when the time comes, I tend to forget that and just go visit my favorites. I know there are some friends I made at the beginning of blogging who still drop by but seldom say anything; I tend to respond in kind. But, some . . . I have no idea.

    And, I haven't got a clue when it's the right time to pull people out of my blog roll because they've stopped blogging (Wait 6 months? A year?) or whether some have just stopped commenting or are not coming back at all. I don't want to spend all my time looking at stats to figure that out, either. So, my sidebar is hopelessly outdated. But, I couldn't handle Google Reader. I thought it was about to give me a nervous breakdown, about 18 months ago, so I totally gave up going there. I just couldn't keep up with all those posts!

    I also have an embarrassing problem in that I write long posts but I detest reading on the computer at length, so I prefer bloggers who write shorter posts and I tend to favor them with more frequent visits. I feel awful about that.

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    1. LOL! Well, my review posts are pretty dang short most the time so you can always head over here ;) I struggle with Google Reader too. I should just get more into it and see everything it can offer and see if it makes things easier.

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  20. LOL! Yeah well I haven't commented on anyone lately. I don't blog much either. LTUE inspired me some.

    1. Reciprocity is important in blogging and those who don't return comments will lose readership eventually. I have come to the point that I don't lose to much sleep over comments and returning them. I lived and breathed for comments my first year or so now I comment when I have time or am moved by a post and assume others are doing the same. I detest comments from people that are blatantly self serving. I always go to the blogs of those who comment on mine and if a relationship develops, great. If it doesn't I decide whether I gain insight or happiness from reading the blog and choose from there.

    2. I don't know how to keep up, at this point I can't even keep up my own blog let alone comment and visit everyone I love.

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    1. It's hard! And I do LOVE comments and the relationships, I'll admit it. ;) I guess I need to edit some of the blogs I read.

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  21. I'm a bit of both! I have favourite blogs that I try to check everyday (like yours!), although school often gets in the way, but then I have a bunch of blogs that I follow who will post interesting things sporadically...so I comment on them occasionally if something catches my attention. I think its totally understandable to be upset if you are dedicated to a blog and yet feel like you yourself are being ignored in turn. One of the things I love most about blogging is the interaction with fellow bloggers! If someone comments on my blog, no matter if they are random or a regular visitor, I always try to go and comment back on something they have written. It shows that I've acknowledged them and appreciate the time they've spent reading my own blog.

    On the other hand though I can see this being really difficult for some bloggers who are really popular and receive 20-30 comments a post. Sometimes they might not have the time to check out every visitor. It's a very interesting dilemma that you've brought up!

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    1. Yep! I feel exactly the same. Well, at least we comment on each others blog. ;)

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  22. That post completely describes me except I read your blog, but I never know what to say that's why I never comment. I'll do better though! :)

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    1. LOL! Oh, Rachel, I didn't mean you. ;) You're family. It's OK.

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  23. Whew! What a conversation. I just wanted to jump in with my own version of an "answer." I don't use blogger, so I don't have to worry about "following." And I don't tend to count comments, though I try to visit blogs that comment on my blog.

    But as far as subscribing and reading goes, I tend to divide my reader into various groups to suit my needs. I have a folder for those blogs that I love and will read regardless of any other considerations. And I have a folder of people I want to subscribe to and support but don't necessarily read every day. There are other nuances like professional book sites and author blogs, but those are the two main groups. At the end of the day, I think you just have to do what you feel is best for you without being too overwhelming. Good luck with all of this!

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    1. Yeah, I'm trying not to let it get too overwhelming.

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  24. Fascinating discussion! So nice to know that others have the same commenting worries! I've been struggling with this issue for awhile now, and try to comment on at least 10 blogs every day. Sometimes I meet that goal, and sometimes I don't. I have several folders set up in my Reader, so do one group a day. Still wish a was a better commenter though....

    Found you thanks to BBRAW and am a new follower! Will try to be a good commenter too. :)

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    1. I like your way of doing it though. I might need to try it.

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