Is it rude to comment?

A big plus factor in blogging is, of course, the facility to have people comment on what you say – and the ability to comment on what other people say. But should you comment back?

I’m constantly in two minds about this. On the one hand, responding to every comment, or at least every comment by each person who comments, can seem like you insist on always having the last word – which is unnecessarily egotistical in my opinion. Well, that’s how it can come across, anyway.

On the other hand, to not comment might be interpreted as saying, in effect, “Your opinion is not important enough for me to waste any time on.” I know I get a bit “miffed” when I go to the trouble of leaving a carefully-crafted comment on someone’s blog, only to have it apparently ignored.

I usually respond to comments, but it often takes me a while because I like to mull over what people have said and answer in a considered fashion rather than attempt to answer instantly. But I’m still wrestling with this issue of getting the right balance between responding and not responding.

What prompted this post was a lesson plan I saw a few days ago, in which the author had written "Teach the pupils how to comment on blogs, and the etiquette involved."

It made me realise (again) that I'm not 100% certain of the etiquette myself!

Any thoughts?