Commenting after the comment is what I do, too. =)
Others have suggested it doesn't "work" because they rarely go back to check threads where they've left comments. I know what they mean; I'm sure I don't remember all the threads I contributed to. =P So what I do now is answer in my own thread and then leave the other person a comment, too. That usually works as a reminder!
I also like thanking new followers by visiting their blogs and leaving comments after I see them pop up in my GFC widget. =)
I know someone who writes new posts just to thank people for following. Just, "Welcome, [Name]!" and a link to that person's blog, if available. It's very friendly of him. I don't know if I'd go that far because I want my posts to have content and not just be shout-outs (as unfriendly as that might sound!), but I really admire him for it.
I agree with you about the golden rule, Cathy! =) I love receiving replies, so I make sure everyone who leaves me a comment gets one, too.
Part of it, I'm sure, is someone like me who has only recently learned how to do all the little things that makes a blog work better. I just realized a day or so ago that Google Reader will show comments on my blog to alert me to them.
Yes, it's a matter of courtesy.
If someone takes the time and effort to post a comment, it's up to the blogger to show the courtesy of acknowledging that.
Yes, we're all on a learning curve here! I know I've picked up a lot of things as well, thanks to other people's contributions to this thread. Thanks for chiming in, Dale! =)
I'm the type that reads a comment and thinks I'll reply later, of course I almost never do, I'm really trying to break that habit.
I also always wonder how will they know that I replied? Most of the time I'll just post a comment on their blog
But when I leave comments I rarely look for a reply.
Hi, Diana! =) I usually bookmark the blogs where I've left substantial comments that I hope will lead to discussions, and that's how I remind myself to go back and check. And since I always check back when I can, I assume my own readers do the same.