I try to respond to as many as possible if I can. I have heard from experienced bloggers to respond like that in order to build a good following.
I find that if I email them directly, I am much more likely to get in a "conversation" with them and become bloggy friends.
Sometimes, if there are a lot of comments, I leave a response in my own comments. I think when you get up to a huge number it is not really possible to respond to everyone. I think I have heard big blogger say they cannot possibly respond to everyone.
But as we are growing, I think it is important. That is if your goal is to grow your readership. If it is just to blog for yourself, I guess it doesn't matter that much.
And if I see a repeat commenter, then I definitely send them a personal email or leave a comment on their blog.
Sounds like a great group there. I will have to check that out. I do feel some guilt if I don't get back to everyone sometimes.
Mine are moderated for new comments, so I get to read them and if they are new I try to comment. I have a few frequent readers that comment often and we will go back and forth, but basically not all comments get a reply.
I love responding to comments...when I get them which is not often. Actually, I get comments just not on the blog itself. Someone sends me an e-mail. I wish they WOULD write the comment on the site instead of in an e-mail. That helps others want to read when they see that others are reading and responding.
Hey, maybe we could all do that for each other... We tell each other that we like each others blogs on this site, right? Why don't we also do it on each other's actually blog??? Especially if we read something we like. Maybe you are already doing that but just in case...I am making a point! In fact, I am going back to those blogs now (LOL)!
I always try to respond to comments by leaving a comment on their site. If someone takes the time to read what I write, I'm very flattered, so I make sure and return the favor. Unless it's a spam comment:(