1.18.2008

The mysteries of the blogosphere

1. How can bloggers be "stumped" for what to write about? WTF. Why would they have a blog in the first place? I’m stunned at the number of sites devoted to “how to think of something to write about on your blog.”

2. Are there some rules of etiquette a newbie needs to know? I've posted comments that were not that disagreeable or argumentative that got deleted. I have to assume the blogger was offended. (See #4)

3. Is it against the bloglaw to do a search by keyword for blogs you want to have a conversation with? I posted a comment that challenged the post and the blogger said I shouldn't be key word searching and to cut it out, kiss-kiss. Another WTF. I actually hadn't done a search, but her response got me thinking. I sometimes do have an agenda but so do most bloggers. Which brings us to the next question.

4. Are bloggers unwilling to enter into debate? Are they only interested in preaching to the choir? I know I would delete a comment if it was spam or an attack on me personally, but it seems stupid to not be willing to have a discussion about something. I don't know, nobody has left any kind of comment that challenged me.

5. Do non-bloggers jump from blog to blog through the various blogrolls? It would make sense, yes? You don’t have to be working on a blog to be interested in what other people are doing on their blogs, right?

6. How do I get people to read the f#%^&ing blog in the first place? Only 2 or 3 of my real-life friends and my daughters read it. I can’t even get my other friends to visit. I thought one of the ways was to visit other blogs, leave comments (only agreeable, cheerleading type comments, of course) and something that links back to my blog. OK, a couple of people have visited because of that. I’ve seen posts that have 75 comments, some have over a hundred. Is it the length of time that that blog has been around? Is it the fame of the blogger from some other activity, i.e., [redacted] is a blog done by a guy who writes for Esquire.

7. Is it unusual to obsess about the number of comments you receive? Can someone tell me how to stop worrying about it? It has occurred to me that there are visitors who do not comment, therefore there are more people reading than I am aware of. Like Cyndi. She must have been reading for a while, but didn’t leave a comment until something really bit. And how did she find it in the first place?

8. Here’s a good one, not exactly a question, but certainly food for thought. A soldier dies in Iraq and the next day a new post appears on his blog. He had sent the post to a friend with the instruction that if something happened to him, she was to post it. It’s a little odd, but when you read the message it makes perfect sense.

9. And then there's the question of whether or not to respond to comments in the comment section. I've seen blogs where the author will reply to every comment, even when they're getting 70, 80 comments. Are you kidding? And the responses to the comments take on a conversational tone, which is cool, but again, no disagreeing allowed. Are the people leaving the comments personal friends of the author? Are they just other bloggers who drop in so regularly that it seems like a bunch of friends? Do the commenters come back and read the reply to their comment? It's way too complicated. I need to know how this works.

I don’t think that’s all of my questions, not by a long shot. But now that I’m participating in this cultural phenomenon, I’d like to understand more parts of it. I realize I’m a little behind the curve, everybody else has been doing it for years; they’ve learned some of the tricks. I even registered at a site called Blog Ninjas where a blogger can get “help.” Hmmm, we’ll see about that. In the meantime, if you’re reading this and you don’t leave a comment, could you at least send another person to my blog? Hell, even if you DO leave a comment, send a couple more people here. Thanks.

9 comments:

Coffee Messiah said...

Ha, ha......I like what you did, although I disagree! ; )

I started mine, 1st as a music blog, then it wasn't stimulating enough (besides how much music can you DL before you still don't listen to it?) then, I started the CM for my family, who is loath to call (cost too much, huh?) so they can see what I'm doing and my friends, who I miss dearly on the west coast.

At first, comments were something, but then, who cares? I do answer somehow, be it short or long, anyone who leaves a comment, otherwise, why would they bother.

Kind of like walking down the street. Most people will diss you, and how does that feel?

Disagreement is good, but I've been lucky in that dept I guess.

Oh, I had a yrs worth of mostly political posts before I deleted it this summer.

Politics these days wears me out and gets me mad. Besides, why not share the good stuff, since it appears sharing is something everyone wants us not to do, be it here in the US or around the World! ; (

Cheers!

melissa lion said...

Coffee Messiah, I like what you said about comments, dissing people on the street. I rarely respond to comments on my blog and I don't know why. If someone touches a nerve, I respond in my next post. I also give my regular commenters regular shout outs in my blog. But I hear you about comments, so I'll start responding in comments and see how that goes.

As to disagreements, I think that's really hard. Because I'm always mentioning my friends in my posts, they sort of become part of my blog and their personalities come out so the lurkers know them too. If a friend disagrees, I think that's fine. But if someone anonymous, particularly someone who uses a fake name and gives no URL or email address slams me or my writing or just disagrees, I'm not into it. I think, use your own blog for a forum and get off mine.

My two cents.

But a website devoted to helping people think of stuff. That's a laugh.

And, chances are you have far more readers than commenters.

Coffee Messiah said...

That's the laugh about doing this, there are way more people looking than commenting.

What I've found though, is after awhile, one or two do leave a comment.

And you're right about those with no addy etc. Dis 'em, and no big deal.

And you know what they say about "thinking?"

It hurts! ; )

Cathy Mullins said...

Ok. well, here I am answering the commenters in the comments. yeah. so.
thanks both of you for having such a great dialogue/conversation about these things.

cm, have you seen melissa's blog? it's very wonderful. and melissa, do you love coffee, I mean, my god, you live in Portland?

I think I'll make a new list of reasons for blogging. I think Ill think some more about what blogging is. I think...uh, never mind.

Cathy Mullins said...

cm, what does it mean when you say "Besides, why not share the good stuff, since it appears sharing is something everyone wants us not to do"? Who wants us NOT to share?

melissa, it helps me to think in your terms, that is, that no identity and just being argumentative don't equal a need for me to respond. but if someone legitimately wants to debate, hey bring it on.

Trée said...

Cathy, I've been blogging for just over three years now and if I've learned one thing, it is that bloggers can be a very fickle lot. I use to love getting a ton of comments, but most of those comments had nothing to do with my post and were like cotton candy--nice, but not filling. I've learned you have to blog for you and for no one else.

By the way, the photos on this site are magnificent. Just gorgeous. :-)

Cathy Mullins said...

Hello tree, (how do I get that accent over the e?)

thank you very much for the compliment about the photos. I truly enjoy photography, now that I'm no longer a professional.

and I believe you are correct -- my blog has to me for me (and those friends who want to rummage around in my mental house).

thank you for visiting.

Trée said...

Cathy, if you have a Mac, hold the "alt" key down while hitting the 'e" key and it will produce this: ´

Then hit the "e" key again and you get: é

Now, if you are on a PC, then it depends on your keyboard. Sometimes ALT and 130 on the numberpad works.

And then sometimes I just do this Tre'e LOL

All the best,

Trée (on his Mac) :-)

Cathy Mullins said...

Thanks Trée,
works like a charm.