In between the Friday interviews I’ll be sharing here (sarah of knittingthewind is next!), I’d like to tuck in some posts about some of the facets of blogging that make me thoughtful, at times. Today’s thoughts, at least, will be rather stream-of-conscious in style as “consciousness” or awareness I have in plenty…answers, not so much…
Tho’ I can’t imagine blogging without the receiving-of-comments (tho’ that seems to be an approach I encounter more and more), I have yet to find a comfortable rhythm with responding to those left here. Answering questions is a different matter, but responding to comments in general leaves me drained and I don’t often do it. This is what I am like in real-life, so I suppose it makes sense…I am not so good at chatting at a party, but am happiest holed up in a corner with one person and heart-to-heart conversation. I know that in the “post office in the hedge” metaphor, my post is my gift to you and your comments are the gift I find when it is my turn to lift the lid…but it never feels as simple as that outside of Jo and Laurie’s world…
These days, when I visit blogs, my heightened awareness about it all has me thinking about the Whys of blogging. That will be one of the facets that will have its own post, but underneath the myriad reasons, it seems to me there is always a generosity about it. So I’ve been really troubled lately when I see how negative comments affect some very dear women on the web…Heather and Amanda come to mind. I admire how Heather handles it when it happens, with grace and honesty and a philosophical take on it that I don’t think I could muster (not ignoring the hurt and bother, by any means). The one hurtful comment I’ve received threw me off-balance for quite awhile. If I had to deal with it regularly, I’m not sure I would feel blogging was worth exposing myself to it.
My favorite comments are the noticing kind…when a connection is made…when a question arises from something I shared…when I know from the response that I’ve written something that someone else has also felt.
Tho’ comments are so precious and part of the exchange of blogging, I don’t leave as many comments as I would like. I haven’t put my finger on why. Sometimes, it is hard to find the words…sometimes, the internet feels too public and makes me shy…sometimes, I get so behind in my blog-visiting and am “catching up” and not leaving time to form a response…sometimes I write a private email rather than respond in the comments. I say I am only going to sit down to read blogs when I have time to respond, but then I sit down and read blogs when I want some company or inspiration and don’t leave a comment. Sigh.
I’m still puzzled that no one shared a response to my experience of listening to Audrey lay an egg. : ) I’ve wondered many times since if it didn’t seem profound to anyone else…or you pondered it in private…or…what? This is the way it must often seem to those who are moved to write posts and don’t receive many replies.
As I very much understand the dilemmas commenting poses, I added the little heart button at the bottom of my posts as an alternative to commenting. It lets me know that you are there and reading and enjoying, even you aren’t up for leaving a comment. But it doesn’t get used much, usually, so I wonder…are all the many readers who don’t comment or even click reading and not enjoying?
Some people say that the lack of blog comments has much to do with our use of devices, which allow us to read easily but make typing more of a challenge. I don’t know…there is plenty of commenting going on in some places. I think the reasons are many and varied (but having so many more places to be online plays a part) and are probably very similar to all of the reasons we find it more and more challenging to get to many things these days.
Despite all of these thoughts, I am much less concerned with comments than I have been in the past. I think most bloggers go through a period, long or short, where you are checking stats a lot and longing for more response/connection. I was in that place for a few years. Now, I am just trying to understand how blogging and all that is attached to it fits in the current state of online life for me…as a reader and a writer.
What are your thoughts about blogs and commenting?
Tonia October 28, 2015 at 12:07 am
I have many of the same thoughts. Usually, the posts I spend 10 minutes on end up with more comments than the post that took a week. Just the way it goes, I suppose. :). I often read blogs in spurts and I rarely have time or energy to comment…exactly as you said, in real life I am terrible at small talk and I find it terribly draining and I guess I carry that through into the blog world. I almost always connect with your posts however little I say it. 🙂
sarah October 28, 2015 at 2:35 am
I can relate to so much of what you’ve written here. I used to spend a long time pondering the whole comment issue, mostly out of interest in the growing blogging culture. But as the years go by I myself thinking about it less, perhaps because I myself struggle increasingly with finding the time/energy to compose thoughtful comments. For example right now I have to dash away to do something in my home, and I’m anxious I haven’t written a very good comment, and the only reason I’m leaving this comment half-articulated is to illustrate my point … 🙂
Tessa October 28, 2015 at 12:02 pm
Oh sigh… This whole ‘comment’ topic, is one of my biggest issues, with blogging. I do see my stats, now and then. Less than before but… I am not happy, with so many people reading my blog posts, and not bothering to leave any kind of a comment.
I do not think this is in any way kind, helpful, understanding, or even nice.
I read a post, I leave a comment. I find something with which I relate, and say so. If I am made happy, by comments, I want to do the same, for other bloggers.
I try to not “follow” more blogs, than I can keep up with. Thus dismissing the excuse of not enough time. To me, that seems obvious. If one can’t squeeze in the time to read/comment… Then they are trying to “follow” more blogs, than is wise, for them.
OK, I have probably already said more than enough, on this to-me-volatile topic. -smile- Better now read other comments.
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Hugs and magic
jenni October 28, 2015 at 12:09 pm
yes it can sometimes be hard to know how to put things into words, and there are just a few blogs i comment on, your posts always get me thinking and inspire me. I cannot believe you had a negative comment from someone, so sad that someone left negativity here.
Jan October 28, 2015 at 12:44 pm
I visit so few blogs these days and don’t comment often, Wisteria & Sunshine being the exception, although even there I don’t comment as often as I feel I should.
I don’t really know why I don’t comment more often, I need to give this more thought.
Thank you for writing about this, I feel I should be more engaged when someone has written a post that I’ve felt connected to.
Quite often on W&S I’ve clicked off thinking that I’ll return when I’ve put my thoughts into words, then time passes and it doesn’t happen, but I do find many of your posts thought provoking.
Thank you for the links, Heather’s blog is one of the few I visit but Amanda is new to me.
Jan October 28, 2015 at 12:51 pm
An addition to the above – sometimes when I’ve thought of writing a comment I’ve done so then found I can’t post it because on some blogs I’d need to have a Google account or something similar, which I don’t have.
BONNIE BUCKINGHAM October 28, 2015 at 5:23 pm
Blogging is a new kind of writing with photos and other visuals. The use of the comment is a new kind of response too. I try to leave a comment to encourage the writer, especially if I love reading the blog or seeing the beauty. We want to possess beauty and capture it. Thank you for all the beauty you have poured out upon us in your blogs. I just used one of your envelopes from decluttering your notecard stash a few years ago. I see a quote on the bottom to put in my journal. You also gave me an easy way of thinking of how to clean my house when you did a series on your house. Makes my heart glad.
laura October 28, 2015 at 7:34 pm
I didn’t realize what the little heart was for. Now that I know, I’ll make use of it when I don’t comment. The main reason that I don’t comment on posts is usually I find that I am lacking the words to do proper homage to what I’ve read. Oftentimes I feel, well…stupid in what I think I want to say compared to what I’ve read. Or I’ll know just what I want to say, but the words won’t come out right.
I’m really enjoying your posts on the state of blogging. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Dori October 29, 2015 at 10:50 am
When I first began reading blogs there were just a handful I read on a regular basis. They were such a delightful discovery, and being just a few it was easy to comment. In the early days of blogging it was also easier to make a connection to the blogger; my comment was often responded to either by email or by a visit and comment at my own blog. Little friendships often bloomed. With the passing of years, the number of blogs exploded and with the advent of Blogger it became so easy to follow any number of blogs on so many topics. Where I once read a dozen or fewer, at one time I “followed” nearly a hundred via Blogger; skimming down the sneak peeks to click on those that caught my eye. One can’t possibly read, or thoughtfully consider and comment on so many, nor could you expect to receive a reply, especially to the more popular blogs.
In an effort to simplify my life and reading, I have weeded and weeded, and weeded some more. Much of my reading is done at work in between customers or during quiet times on the ferry, but I comment even less because I am reading on my cell phone and typing is so tedious on these small devices. I may think, “Oh, I love this. I’ll come back this evening and comment.” But, honestly, once read, the chance of coming back to comment is slim. I’ll click the little heart if it’s there, tho’.
There are a handful of thoughtful blogs that always, always touch my heart or make me ponder; yours, Sarah’s, Heather’s….and a number of other design, cooking, healthful or soulful blogs I enjoy. I have only so much time, so if I comment thoughtfully (as I am doing here), it only stands to reason I will have less time to read, ponder and comment elsewhere. And that makes me feel badly too.
My own blog is nearly abandoned. 🙂 Life has been so challenging here the past two years. So, when I do write a post and the stats even show a few visits, I am over the moon. Comments are so lovely, but I guess these days, I’d happily settle for just being read, and consider comments to be a delicious gift.
Please know you and your posts here and at WS are so loved and appreciated. xo
Margaret October 31, 2015 at 4:57 pm
Hi. I am one of the silent appreciaters. I have always enjoyed your posts and now, increasingly, appreciate the pace of less frequent posters as I find it harder and harder to keep up with email, blogs, facebook, news.
There are several reasons for not posting. I guess the first relates to the keeping up. I read intermittently in snatches between other things. I use a blog reader (before this it was too hard to keep up for me so I didnt follow blogs.) But to reply Ihave to then go to the webpage…a small step but…and I find it cumbersome to write on my iPad but very rarely turn on my computer. My work requires me to spend much of my days providing thoughtful responses by email and when I get home Ifind it hard to start again with email and blogs. And lastly, (and thank you for the anonymity afforded by your comment set up), I am quite ambivalent about putting myself out in cyberspace. Iam already shocked by how much information about me is out there, information I shared way before even the tought of google, and in some cases, before pictures etc on the internet.
I wanted to start this comment with the comment: please dont feel you need to reply. I agree with your thought that your blog is your gift; and that my comment is mine. Were the roles reversed, I am not sure I could go on, or even get started, should I feel that I had to comment on each comment. For me as well, I am pondering how to better balance my waking hours, as I find the non-work awake time so rare, and the weekends so committed. I do find time for those things that feed my spirit, reading, reflecting, creating, spending time outside….but replying… now you have me thinking, as do earlier comments re thinning out …which resonate also. And as you can see, I cant do small talk very well either!
Marianna November 1, 2015 at 12:33 am
I believe one of the primary reasons people are less likely to comment is the method of delivery. When I first discovered blogs I had a few that I really liked that I kept in my favorites folder on the desktop. I would click in, read, comment. Now everything comes to my email inbox, to make a comment I have to open the link. It’s easier I think to view these as just another email and hit the delete button when done, versus taking the time to actually go comment. By the way, I’m really enjoying this series!
Erin November 6, 2015 at 10:29 pm
I’ve been blogging for nearly 9 years and seen alot of changes. I confess I miss the days of community that we enjoyed via blogs. People are busy chatting elsewhere but going out on a limb here, much of it seems more surface.
Further limb climbing, I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, is it tied up with loss of manners? Don’t mean to sound confrontational but… I do find it, well is rude too strong to say, that a reader will read for years! and never leave a comment?
A blog writer gives of their time to keep us entertained, informed, help and yet to consistently read and not say thank you by some hello, participation, acknowledgment would for me feel rude.
There you go, the most controversial comment I’ve ever written.
Love your space:) Just found you via Lissa’s guest post, off to read (and comment;) more