Monday, December 17, 2012

Blogging and Commenting

Very quickly, you'll notice I haven't said anything here about the events from Friday. I wasn't going to, not because it's not worth talking about, because I simply don't have the words to do it. But about ten minutes after posting this, I saw this post in my reader, and it so beautifully says everything that I wish I could. Thank you, Ginger, for these words.


In the past several months, I've started posting a lot more regularly than I had for most of the run of this blog. I've also started reading a lot more blogs than I have since my World of Warcraft days, when I was very into that part of the blogosphere.

There are a lot of blogs that have made their way into and out of my feed reader as I continue the search for those I can really relate to. I don't think I'm all that unique, but it's been surprisingly difficult.

There have been blogs that had an easy conversational language that I instantly loved, only to find that I didn't care about any of the post topics. There have been blogs that, based on their focus, I should have loved, but the author didn't grab me. I think there have to be at least some elements of both of these things: you have to care about what the person is saying, and you have to appreciate the way they say it. There's a spectrum, for sure, but connecting on only one or the other just doesn't seem to cut it.

It's frustrating not to find blogs that you click with, knowing that there are so many out there, many of them searching for an audience. But something that I've found that's equally frustrating is finding one you do like, but realizing the blogger doesn't connect with their readers at all. Just as it can sting to write a blog post and have no one comment, it's a similar feeling to keep commenting and never get any acknowledgement. I mean, there are some HUGE bloggers out there with crazy large audiences; obviously they aren't going to personally respond to most comments. But with an audience that size, the commenters become their own community, responding to each other, creating discussion . . . and it at least feels like I'm serving a purpose by adding my own thoughts. Plus, these bloggers often engage their readers in other ways. They host giveaways. They promote charity events. They spark discussions. They do things that say, "Yes, I know you're reading, and I appreciate it."

But with smaller blogs . . . I mean, it's not realistic to respond to every comment every time. Some bloggers seem to, but I don't expect anyone to do that. But what really baffles me are the blogs that get just a few comments, and there's NEVER any response. Not in the comments. Not in subsequent blog posts. Nothing. And hey, I'm as much of a proponent of "write for yourself" as anyone -- if I weren't, I probably wouldn't still be here -- but it seems weird to me to not really acknowledge the fact that you have an audience.

Is it just me? Am I being crazy and self-centered here? We all like to feel acknowledged and appreciated, but am I looking for that validation in the wrong place, expecting it where I shouldn't? I don't want to hold it against anyone, the way that they choose to participate in this community, but is this feeling that they really don't care if I'm there or not a valid reason to stop following someone? Or should I simply hold my tongue (or fingers, as it were) and stop commenting?

Just one of several things that have been on my mind recently in regards to blogging.

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