I’d like to throw this open as a reader question – what do you do?
Let me share a few suggestions to kick off the discussion.
I think that either can work – and in some circumstances it can either be worth to respond via comment AND to send an email.
Respond in Comments – The advantage of responding via comments is that it’s a public response that could answer questions of many and that shows the wider reader community that you’re engaging with them. The disadvantage of doing it via comments is that the person may never see it as many people leave comments and don’t keep track of responses.
Respond via Email – The advantage of responding via email is that the person will see the response and that it’s a much more personal thing which can have a real impact upon your reader. Of course the downside is that it’s a private thing and something that your wider reading community can’t participate in.
Both? – The third alternative is to do both which will cover all your bases (although it’s a touch more work).
I guess for me it depends upon what you’re responding to. If it’s an important question I’d do both. If it’s a comment that has more of a personal question in it then I’d respond via email and if it’s a little more general in nature I think just doing it in comments is ok.
Another Option – There’s one more alternative though and it’s something I’m doing right now.
You can respond in a new post.
This has the advantage of continuing the conversation by drawing attention to an older post, highlighting a reader’s comments and getting you another post.
What do you do?