Blogging About Blogging (because there’s not enough of that)

Two of my favorite bloggers recently blogged about blogging, and now I’m going to blog about what they blogged about blogging, and also about my blog.

Now that we have cleared the room…

Red Stapler: Getting all meta on you and Oh My Stinkin Heck: Kitten angst and comment query both ask readers to talk about their experience with blogs and comments. Among the questions raised:

  • Do you read blogs that don’t allow comments?
  • What do you do if you leave comment after comment on a blog and they never respond or reciprocate in any way?
  • When you comment, how do you like the blog’s author to respond?

It had never occurred to me to evaluate whether to read blogs based on whether they allow comments. I think of “blog” as a publishing format, unlike one of the commenters on Red Stapler who says that not allowing comments on a blog makes it a website and not a blog. I also think that I read blogs more for what the author has to say than for a community, so the presence or absence of comments doesn’t really affect me. With over 200 blogs in my aggregator, I would be hard pressed to read all the comments anyway.

My commenting practices, both as a commenter and a blogger, are wildly incoherent:

  • I feel snubbed when people don’t comment on my posts (more on Heroine Content than here), but I don’t routinely comment on other people’s blogs even when I’ve read them devotedly for years and love them. Often I have nothing more to say than “loved this post!” and that feels like a waste of space.
  • I especially avoid commenting on posts where there are already 15 or more comments, assuming that the blogger has gotten plenty of feedback at that point, and yet I read and appreciate every single (civilized) comment that I get on one of my posts – and if I got more than 15 comments on a post, I would read them all and the next 15 or 20 as well.
  • I’m sometimes jealous or amazed when I see comment threads on other blogs with 30 or 40 comments, but I don’t find my desire to blog diminished at all when I don’t get comments.
  • If I comment on someone’s post and they never follow up, my feelings are hurt even though I completely believe they have read my comment. However, I’m only 50/50 on responding to other people’s comments on my blogs.

This is completely in line with my usual self-centered nature, but it’s embarrassing. Having made this list, I’m quite motivated to improve my behavior.

During my horrible first trimester, I did start commenting more on blogs, because it was the only level of social interaction I could manage. I especially tried to comment on BlogHer, since it’s built to be a community and I wondered how the Contributing Editors felt when they worked hard on a post and then got no response. I even managed to finally find a way of keeping track of where I commented and going back to check on the conversation – by bookmarking the post in and then looking at it again a few days later.

But here’s the question that is nagging at me. Bloggers don’t generally know who is reading their blogs unless those people comment. However, thanks to the magic of Feedburner, I know how many of you have subscribed to the feed: about 60 at any given time. Number of people who have commented on my blog in 2007: not more than 15.

Who the heck are the rest of you people? You don’t have to tell me, because I find it quite amusing to make up stories. I don’t even think I know 60 people, and quite a few of the people I know aren’t reading this blog, so what’s the deal with the rest of you? Such a mystery.

My favorite possible explanation so far is that there are WAY more abandoned aggregator accounts out there than anyone knows, and most of the subscriber numbers are phantoms. It’s a conspiracy between the aggregator companies and the big bloggers who monetize based on their subscriber numbers…

3 thoughts on “Blogging About Blogging (because there’s not enough of that)

  1. unwiredben

    First post!

    Seriously, I do like it when I see comments on my blogs, but I also find it difficult to follow what happens to my own comments. I like the delicious idea, but I don’t quite use that religiously enough for that to be useful. I guess I could just use a “commented here” folder in Firefox and middle-click on that to check things in tabs, but it would be great if links would expire if there’s no change on the page after so long.

  2. Laura

    I stumbled across your blog while using a Google Image Search, and I found it well-written, interesting and fun to read… so I subscribed to this, and to Heroine Content. Although feel free to make up stories :)

  3. Suebob

    I think about 10 percent of my readers comment when I write a good post, 2 to 5 percent when it is less interesting.

    I’m always amazed at what gets people to comment. Celebs, weight and child-rearing are always big on the comments.

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