Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Done Opened My Mouth And Closed It!

Disclaimer: If you remember, back in late June I had written a post that I was very leery of posting, simply because it talked about my personal take on a particular aspect of blogging. I wrote a post about posting this post, and I after getting some very good advice, shelved it for a month. Please take note that this should be taken at face value and reading between the lines is strictly forbidden.

I don't comment much on the blogs that I follow. I'm not sure how that really came about, because almost from day one of my blogging, I made sure to comment on the blogs that I followed, because I enjoyed having the people comment on mine.

I got to thinking about this the other day when I got my weekly stats reports. Prior to this year, I used to agonize over the amount of visitors/commenters to my blogs. I figured (wrongly) that since I wasn't commenting on other people's blogs, those people weren't commenting on mine.

But this year, even though I'm getting a reduced average amount of original visitors to my blog (about 12-14 per day for an 85-95 per week ratio), I figure that people are perusing my blog to satisfy the need to feed their brain (or in some cases, troll for info so that they can troll me if/when I reappear in the chat rooms), and not necessarily to comment on what I wrote. So that got me to thinking about the many reasons why someone wouldn't comment on a blog, which in turn mirrored to a small degree why I've been reducing my commenting from an average of 50 a week to a core group of about 25.

In no particular order of importance, here's a few of the reasons that I came up with. Who knows, maybe some of these are reasons of yours as to why you do certain things with the blogs you read.

1} Getting lost in the shuffle. I read quite a few blogs which are insanely popular, which in turn generates a phenomenal amount of comments (anywhere from 60 to 250+ per post). I figure since an ungodly amount of people comment, why should I add mine to the mix? Especially since I got this thing about having my comments acknowledged in some small way.

2} Not having my comments acknowledged. Yes, this really does bother me. I know with a few of the blogs that I follow, this is a given, and I'm happy with these particular blogs because those bloggers do reciprocate and visit mine. And I know with other bloggers, they'll make a general comment thanking everyone for their responses. This is fine too, because it means that the bloggers in question took the time to read everyone's comments.

My beef is with the ones who don't acknowledge comments at all, or that they'll acknowledge a comment via the e-mail (yes, I read blogs who have that policy). Sorry, but after the major trauma I went through for 3 years in the chat rooms, the last thing I want is someone e-mailing me without asking first (aka personal spam). Which is why I don't have an e-mail (got 4) listed in my profile.

3} Content. Some of the blogs that I follow have the type of content that makes it hard/uncomfortable to comment on. Like if the blog is about the trials and tribulations of one's life (example, a recovering alcoholic). While it does makes for a fascinating read, because I haven't been there and done that, I don't feel comfortable in commenting. Or if the blog has turned into a pseudo magazine. While still a great read, it doesn't readily lend itself to commenting, usually because the blogger is concentrating on churning out content as opposed to dealing with commenters. A few of the blogs I follow fall into this category.

4} Doesn't have that same appeal anymore. The blogs that fall into this category are ones that I used to be a regular commenter on, but over the past two years, they evolved into something that just doesn't hold my interest like it used to. I'll still make an appearance from time to time, just to let the blogger know that he/she still has a long time lurker in the midst, but for the most part, I'm content to scan the post summary before marking it as read in my reader.

5} Simply a good read. And then there are those blogs that I follow and/or subscribe to, that I simply enjoy reading and not commenting, because its like reading a favorite magazine or newspaper. It more than fills the need to be informed and entertained, but because either I know diddly squat about the topic/content in question or I know just the barest of outlines about it, I don't comment.

I've managed to come up with a few more reasons as to why I infrequently comment on certain blogs while I was writing this post, but these five in particular make up the majority as to why my ugly puss (or in this case, the lovable couch potato cat avatar for Blogger or the Hong Kong Phooey dog for WordPress) simply lurks in the blog world.

So my friends, your opinion on this (usually) taboo blog topic is.....?


  1. G...all over all your reasons. I still have a lot that I comment on but the worst are those that never acknowledge ANYONE's comments.

    Never get that.

  2. G, I’ve received two e-mails in the last few months that I found interesting. One was from a lady who said I’m a big fan of your blog and BEAT to a PULP and have read every one of your posts. She went into details about several older posts stretching back to the beginning. She explained she was very shy and that was the reason she turned off the comments on her own blog. The other was from a fellow writer of a different style of writing (outside my beloved pulp) and said he wanted me to know he was a fan of my blog and short stories but as a full time writer he couldn’t comment on every post and writer he admired. He said a writer writes and a blogger blogs. Some are successful at both but most are not.

    I’m not sure if this sheds light on your topic but it made me realize everyone out there has their own code and different (and sometime similar) way of handling these issues.

    Last thought: I've never checked my stats and would be afraid to know. :)


  3. I used to comment (on blogs, FB, etc.) so much more before I got my job -- it was just easier to devote time to everything. But lately, I not only have less time, but I also feel rather scatterbrained half the time... I think my job is giving me ADD... :)

    In fact, I think I've occasionally been guilty of not responding to comments left on my blog (and I agree, it's just common courtesy!) because of my wandering mind -- I forget about the comments, or I MEAN to respond and then fall asleep... that sort of thing. I should do it while I'm at work (like THIS comment... shhh... don't tell anyone... :)).

    By the way, I gave you a shout out on my blog, because I got the idea for my latest post from you!

  4. I tend not to comment on blogs where there is no acknowledgement of the comments, no response. I often comment on blogs where folks don't necessarily reciprocate every time. But if I've commented on someone's blog a lot with no reciprocation then I tend to stop visiting.

  5. Interesting! I have a small handful of blogs that I read and comment on most every post... and others that I read but rarely comment. Blogging for me is a lot about connecting with people, so if I feel that I have a connection in some way with that blogger, I comment. Others, especially blogs that are extremely popular, I read for entertainment but don't bother commenting since I don't think the blogger will really notice one way or another.
    Also, I try to acknowledge every comment I get on my blog.

  6. Well, you asked. Probably one of my biggest reasons for NOT commenting on a blog is how the comment section is set up. I may write a wonderful comment, click publish it and zip away, only to find that it clicks again for a password. I HATE PASSWORDS. I used to invent sentences for the words just to entertain myself and not harbor nasty thoughts about the blog. Now, I find them a pain in the you know what. CHANGE THE SETTINGS PEOPLE. You can still delete a comment without the hoops.
    But, that's just my own thoughts on the subject. I have so little time to read through all my favorite blogs and for some reason after four blogs my compter doesn't want to work anymore so I have to scratch everything and start over.
    If the the comment comes to my email account with a return email addy I send my response to them directly. If not then I try to get back to the post and comment. I hope I'm pretty good about that. I appreciate people taking the time to stop by. Some people refuse to get a gmail account so they don't comment. I find that hard to understand since it's not like going to the dentist. And,yeah, like you some blogs I outgrow. It's ok. Some blogs I just like the writers. I may not always like the post but I like them so I read and zooooooooooooom away. :)Bea
    hmmmmm no zoooming here, G, I have to put SPROI in the word verification, aaaaaaaaaagggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  7. Bearman: That is my number one pet peeve when it comes to blogging. I can't tell you how many blogs I've nuked from my vast reading collection simply because of no acknowledgement. I'm fine with most other types of acknowledgement, from personal response (like everyone here does) to a general purpose response (which shows me that someone read them).

    But being ignored? That I draw the line at.

    David: It sheds a lot of light on the subject.

    One of the main reasons why I got the Feedjit widget was to see where I got some of my non-regular readers from. I know back in '08 I let all kinds of people know about my blog and even though some I haven't talked to in quite some time, I still see the towns and states that live in visit my blog, so I try to take comfort in that small facet of my blog

    Even though I don't list an e-mail in my profile, I do have one on the blog itself. Perhaps someday someone will use it to let me know much in the same way that a couple of readers did.

    I deliberately chose not to track my visit count on Shooting Suburbia, simply because I'm trying to wean myself off of that kind of paranoia that can creep in from time to time.

    Lisa: I think one of the factors in my reduced commentating, is that I decided to start concentrating on writing more than blogging.

    While I can still churn out blog posts (like this one) I usually do them when I take a break from writing. So when I need to throw one on, it's there next to my computer.

    And thanks for the shout out, I'll be over to check it out.

    Charles: I have maybe one or two blogs that I like that fall into that category of non-reciprocation. But because they supported me early on, I'll still leave a comment every once in a great while.

    But yes, if I visit and comment without seeing anything of note on mine, I usually stop showing up.

    Extra O: Good points all the way around.

    I have a few blogs that I read where I've felt that I was able to make a connection (usually through my strange non-P.C. type of humor) and there are a few in which I read purely for info and learning (like African-American oriented blogs). And I have exactly one blog that I have listed on my roll and on my blog that I will never comment on, simply because its the ultimate informational blog: The Bienicke Library at Yale University.

    As for responding to comments left on here, I make it a point to comment on each and every one, usually within minutes of publishing them. And there have be the rare occasions in which I've apologized in advance for not answering a comment in a timely manner.

    Bea: The main reason why I moderate on my blog, is that I've had people troll me from the chat rooms and leave nasty and disgusting comments. And even two years later, I still have people who dislike me (from the chat rooms) and would absolutely love to leave me nasty comments on 500 posts spread over four blogs.

    Overally though, sometimes I'll get annoyed with some of the things that you mentioned (conundrum I know), which in turn will make me moan and groan all over the place.

    It is what it is, and although you can't change other people's habits, you try to live with them the best you can. So long as you got some parameters to play with, you'll be okay.

  8. I too feel lost in the numbers of those large blogs- n also feel unappreciated when it seems I haven't been read.
    But I notice I really hate not having the blog option to comment, either! Like Lance did "Comments closed" to most posts recently- I kinda feel robbed of the ability to voice my opinion!

    Usually tho, I find I don't comment due to lack of time or crashing out computer, connection, or browser- so I give up for the day-

    Good observations to make- most of which I agree with-

  9. R: As well as you should.:D

    Seriously, I'm somewhat like Extra O, in that I often feel a good connect with some of the bloggers that I do read. When I do, I have brand loyalty towards that blogger and their blog.

    The end result of that loyalty is that I'll often feature that blogger in my blog roll and will sometimes link out in a blog post to them.

    Snaggle: I find that if the person takes the time to explain why they do what they do, like you consistently do with your blogging and commenting, then I have no problem in going along with the program. I can understand when life gets in the way of relaxing, so I adjust my perceptions accordingly.

    I used to close comments on my short story posts, simply because I wanted people to comment over at the story blog about my stories. Sometimes I think that when a person chooses to close comments, it often has to do with 1) lots of old posts, 2) person doesn't moderate to begin with, 3) spam.

  10. I feel the same way esp. #2! It's hard to keep up a one-way conversation.

    I try to reciprocate when I can, sometimes takes me a while, but I think it's simply good manners. :-)

    Thanks for visiting and commenting on MY blog :-)

  11. Jewel: I enjoy visiting/reading/commenting on your blog immensely.

    I find that with your blog, I've learned a tremendous amount about not only a different culture/heritage, but also about one's personal set of spiritual beliefs as well.

    I always will feel strongly about #2 and like you said, it's just basic common courtesy.

  12. I like your thinking. Sadly, I am one of those people who only sporadically comments on others blogs, and am about as sporadic about responding to comments on mine...but I love the interplay of those who both comment and respond. Sometimes more entertaining than the posts!

  13. Darth: Thanks.

    Yes, sometimes the interplay between commenters is more entertaining than the original post.

    Everyone has their own unique way of doing things as it pertains to blogging. Obviously, if the real world intrudes further than you like it to be, then it does make it problematic in maintaining your Cyber relationships.

    But as they say, you do the very best you can with what you got, and that's all anyone can realistically expect or ask of you.


Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

The Legal Disclaimer

All the content that you see here, except for the posting of links that refer to other off-blog stories, is (c) 2008-17 by G.B. Miller. Nothing in whole or in part may be used without the express written permission of myself. If you wish to use any part of what you see here, please contact me at