The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Blog Boggled: Vacuous Verbosity

          Do you ever feel like your blogging is just talking to be talking?   You're saying something,  but you're taking too long to say it and using too many words to express what you're saying.  For many of us blogging is a highly conversational unstructured form of writing--stream of consciousness with minimal editing.

         I don't know that there is too much wrong with that style as long as it flows in a comprehensible manner and has a relevant point to make.  Even in non-blog writing a certain amount of rambling and repetition can be a good thing.  I often hear the recommendation to keep one's writing succinct and precise.  I do agree to some extent, but then again part of creative writing involves creating images and painting word pictures.  Unless we're writing an instruction manual or something else that is very specific, I like a little bit of verbosity to draw out the reading experience and fatten the descriptive process--if it's done well and with originality.

         Advertising copy, business correspondence, trade articles, instructions,  and other similar types of writing demand terse exactness.  Most blogs are not trying to achieve this.  In most cases I am looking for personality in a blog post.  I want to establish a connection with the blog author and be able to converse in the comment section.  A dry condescending tone or an overly erudite approach is off-putting to me.  What comment can one leave to the person who already knows everything including that they are smarter than you are?  Unless the information I derived is so valuable that I dance away giddily with new found knowledge, I am more inclined to want to leave a sarcastic wisecrack or some other strange retort, which is to be differentiated from my normal weird retorts.

         I can only hope that my writing is usually construed to be entertaining or interesting and not overly verbose or vacuous.  And if anyone ever feels that I am being vacuously verbose I don't mind if they tell me so and tell me why they think that is the case.  And this doesn't even begin to explore some of the rather long comments some of you may sometimes get from me at times.  Blah, blah, blah.

          How about you?  Do you feel that sometimes you ramble too much in your blog posts?  If so, how do you keep your verbosity in check (or do you)?  When a blog post is long, what keeps you reading all the way through and what makes you quietly sneak out before the show is over?  Would you be bothered if someone were to critique one of your blog posts?  Do long comments bother you?

How about helping to reach some magic numbers?

In this last week of A to Z, we can help some follow bloggers reach some milestone numbers.  I'm sure you know how it feels, right?   If you wouldn't mind, visit a few of these blogs and become a follower.    Here are a few blogs that (as of this writing) need just a few more followers to help them reach some magic numbers:

Beaded Bear's Nonsense and Complete Waste of Time  One more till she hits 100.

Writer Person  She's only asking for 2 for her to reach 15, but I bet we could get her to 20.

All in the Mind of a Belbin   Can we get her up to 20 as well?

Glen's Blog Spot   4 more will bring him to 10.

Life in my Shoes  This young student only has 11 right now.  Can you make it 15 or even 20?

Juan Velez Photography  This busy college student is stuck at 7 right now.  Can we get it to at least 10 or more?

Dream Weaver  I was having problems getting Debra's URL in the blog roll so she's been down in the supporters section so some of you may be missing her wonderful posts.  Let's try to get her followers up to 40 or even 50.

This Journey Called Life  Tori just needs a few more to hit 30.  And she's been so good at commenting.

Rags by Sock Monkey  Ginny would be at 25 if she got 3 more followers.  How about it?

Blabbin' Grammy   Ruby will have 50 with just 6 more.  If you haven't been reading her blog you have been missing some real fun.

This is just a handful that I've run across, and I think most of you would also like to have a few more followers.  If you do, follow these and ask them to follow you back-- you should be able to add 10 to your list by doing so.  If you have a special goal that you'd like to reach by the end of the A to Z Challenge, leave it in the comments of this post and we'll see what can happen.   And don't miss my post tomorrow about "What's Next?".

52 comments:

  1. Some very good issues here Lee, I suppose if some one spoke non stop they would get told in no uncertain terms to shut up..

    Have a good day,

    Yvonne.

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  2. Great post, Lee. I couldn't agree with you more. I lose interest in posts that say nothing about the person writing them. I want opinions, even if they are in the form or explaining someone elses opinion in their own way - if you know what I mean?

    I want personality too. And I guess I lose interest in long posts if they don't get me thinking in any way. If you're going to write a long post, it needs to elicit a need for a response, such as "Oh, I so agree with that, you know why? Becasue ...", or "Hell! That's ridiculous. I'm going to set them straight." or "Oh wow, I had a similar experience, but this is what I got out of it."

    That's the key for me. Make me think, not just read.

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  3. I'm one of the verbose ones.

    Long blogs don't bother me, but it depends on the content. I have been known to scan for content as I'm sure others do mine, but length is definitely not the only determinant for me. After all I have no trouble reading an entire book once I'm gripped, and I have yet to read a blog post a fraction of that size.

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  4. I LOVE any kind of comments- short or long!
    When writing my blogs, I tend to keep them about the same length every day. That's why I could never write a novel. At the end of a few paragraphs, I'm done. Used up. Outa words.
    Many readers think I am writing poems, but for some reason, I write my blogs the way I talk. With line cuts where I normally pause when reading. I started doing that with my blogs and it just stuck. I would flunk English composition!
    A week to go! Yay! This has been fun, Arlee Bird!

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  5. I'm following several of those people right now and will check out the others. I'm hoping to hit 100, but have a little ways to go.

    I try to keep my posts short and I feel bad when I skip those with really long posts.

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  6. Hi, Lee,
    Hopefully, I am not one of those with vacuous verbosity. I know I tend to talk a lot, but heck, I ain't gonna change too much probably. Thanks for the shout out. I always check your posting as soon as I finish mine, so if it is a bit long, just let me know. It won't hurt my feelin's one itty bitty.
    Best regards to you, my friend.
    Ruby P.S. I feel like I have known you for a long time. :)

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  7. I know my blog posts are too long. I'm working on it.

    That being said I love long comments. The idea that someone cared enough about what I wrote, or even another comment, to have that much to say is great.

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  8. I think it's really nice of you to help out fellow bloggers. And since you're so nice, I'll see what I can do to help.

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  9. I agree with you. I don't read posts that ramble on and on and the blogger could care less what comment they receive. I like people to show a little personality too.
    How sweet of you to post all those links!

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  10. Yeah, I like to actually read about something on someone's blog. I'm don't like to follower ramblers. Heehee. Thanks for the links. I'll be sure to check them out!

    ~JD

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  11. Yvonne--On a blog I don't know if anyone would tell them they are talking too much. I think people just sneak away and don't say anything.

    AA - Right! I want well-presented material with good content or at least something entertaining.

    Elisabeth -- Like a book though, if presentation is too dry or muddled then I can't stay with it--it never grips me.

    Rae --At first I thought you were writing poetry and then realized what you described. Although I guess it's poetry in a way--why not? Yes, it's been fun--thank you for your contribution.

    Alex -- yeah, you're pushing 100-- last time I looked I think you needed about 18?

    Grammy -- you may be blabbing but I for one always want to listen cause you've got plenty to say and you are so engaging. Your posts always seem like they read very fast.

    Matthew -- I also like long comments as long as they make sense and usually they do. If you get a long comment then it tells me that you're post wasn't too long but it was stimulating and provoked thought.

    Kittie -- Thank you--that's really sweet of you.

    Terri-- You're on the target.

    Justine -- Yeah, it's like get to the point already! Thanks for checking the links!

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  12. Yay, new people to follow! :D

    I try to keep my blog posts short and sweet. The A to Z challenge has helped me focus on the entry at hand and not skip around all over the place. Great observations in this post, Lee.

    Have a wonderful Monday!

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  13. Hi there Lee,
    First of all, thank you so much for the birthday shout out Saturday. Quite a few of your readers bopped over with birthday wishes. It was lovely.
    As for rambling, I usually stop reading and don't leave comments. Unless the rambling is about something I'm really interested in. But even then, I prefer short and sweet. Especially on blogs. It's really a time issue. If I haven't said it already, you've done an amazing job with your a-z challenge. Bravo!
    Karen

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  14. I have a hard time reading long blog posts that are boring or that ramble. But others just draw me in. The ones that show a little of the person's personality. Like Blabbin' Grammy. She's wonderful. And Dream Weaver? Oh my goodness. One of my favorites!

    You are so sweet Arlee to ALL of us! I'll be a follower of all of the bloggers in your post today.

    Have a blessed one!

    PS - another thing that does bother me about long posts is that if I want to answer questions from that post, I have to go back and forth from post to comment section so I remember everything I wanted to say. And I usually don't bother doing that. So if I missed one (or more) of your questions, that's why.

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  15. One of the "rules" of blogging is to keep the posts fairly short. Reading on a computer is difficult, and sometimes people's mind wander if a blog post is too long.

    My blogging has fallen off lately because I find a lot of the blogs I have visited just keep repeating their blog posts -- over and over -- with the same pictures of flowers, ducks, pets, etc., and I prefer blogs where people actually express ideas and opinions.

    You have one of the better blogs, and I always enjoy it even if I don't always have time to comment. But I wonder why you have comment moderation.

    Cheers,

    Jo

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  16. Arlee, I really like the way you A-Z'ers have banded together ahnd helped promote one another. That's what blogdom is all about. Exposure. I'll visit these sites and help the cause. Have a great week.

    Stephen Tremp

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  17. Lee, I don't ramble because I don't have time to ramble! I love it when friends send me long emails - I usually reply back with about 3-4 sentences, tops!

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  18. I tend to ramble on my blog, and I'm not even sure who I'm writing my posts for. But doing the A-Z challenge has really forced me to step outside the box and write about things I normally wouldn't have. Writing some posts about my Korean heritage has really opened up some mental doors for me. I don't know why, but I never wanted to write multicultural fiction, but I enjoyed writing the posts so much, and the comments I'd received were so encouraging that I'm going in a whole new direction. And I just have to say that when I first started this challenge, I had 2 followers, both family members. Now I've got 26. And I never realized how much me and my ego love comments - even the long rambling ones!

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  19. I try my best not to ramble in my blog posts. And I don't know if it comes across, but I do a lot of editing for each post that I put out -- not just for grammar and spelling but for the content itself. I take all my writing very seriously because it's what I do and it's important to me. Plus, I respect it.

    I'm turned off by overly long blog posts, the kind that keep going on and on and on. I feel horrible when I just skim those posts but I just don't have time to read every word. But I do my best to give equal time to everyone on my blog roll.

    And now I've just rambled in my comment. Woo-hoo!

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  20. Since I take a pretty analytical approach to most posts, they tend to be long, and I tend to be worried about whether readers can stomach however many paragraphs I've tried to shove down their throats. Since I haven't been getting a lot of comments recently, I'm even more aware of this sort of thing.

    Especially since I tend to deal with a lot of technical issues in writing, I'm always worried I sound like a know-it-all, because then nobody comments, and blogging becomes boring. I've noticed that a lot of the best material appears in the comments rather than the OP.

    I definitely like personality in my posts, but I want relevant content as well. Blogs with pictures of the blogger's cat every other post *cough*johnscalzi*cough* can be amusing, but the other posts had better be fantastic if I'm going to keep following the blog. But i think relevant personal experiences are one of the buggest draws for me. Theory and fact can be valuable, but it doesn't always leave room for conversation.

    Anyway... Great post and a lot to think about.

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  21. --> Do you ever feel like your blogging is just talking to be talking?

    No.

    --> Do you feel that sometimes you ramble too much in your blog posts?

    No.

    --> When a blog post is long, what keeps you reading all the way through

    My eyes.

    --> and what makes you quietly sneak out before the show is over?

    Boredom.

    --> Would you be bothered if someone were to critique one of your blog posts?

    No.

    --> Do long comments bother you?

    No.

    ~ “Lonesome Dogg” McMe

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  22. I have noticed my posts getting shorter as time goes on...not sure if its fatigue, or that writing every day just used up all my words for the month.

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  23. @ Stephen the one word answer man: I getcha.

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  24. I completely agree that I have a tendency to ramble in my postings. This has always been something I have done. I used to tell people that I cannot write a short note. I always had to go into a lot of detail. I don't think I've had any issue with reaching the 100 words limit that was suggested. And I think I actually went over 1000 words a couple of times.

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  25. Some times I get a little lengthy becuase I am so darned passionate about what I'm writing.
    Thanks for the plug...I am visiting everyone that has a milestone they are reaching for. I have one more to get 40 but wow it would be something to get 50.

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  26. If a long blog is entertaining, I’ll keep reading to the end. If it’s too dry or technical, I tend to move on to the next one. I also like to “see” the writer’s personality come out in whatever is written.

    Knowing how time consuming it is to visit blogs and leave comments, I’m appreciative of comments of any length.

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  27. I have a tendency to ramble too... and have had some lengthier blog posts during this challenge. (I think part of that for me is that I am experimenting with writing again and not just focused on short and sweet blogging). A friend of mine used to joke in high school that I could write an essay response about nothing though... so I blame the educational system. :) I read all lengths of blog posts... but have found that some that really intrigued me haven't not received responses from me just because I wanted time to think through my response so it wouldn't be quite so lengthy!

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  28. There are days I feel I ramble far too much. My blog is long, my comments are long. Then there are days I am succinct. Short, to the point, down to business. I would hope if I ramble too much someone would nicely tell me to shut it. ;)

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  29. B.Miller- short and sweet is fine, but not at the cost of substance and complete ideas. A post should be as long as necessary I think. Yours are typically a pretty good length.

    Karen - Thank you! Ditto for my comment to B. Miller. The post should adequately cover the topic.

    Lisa -- Thank you so much. But wait, are you saying my post was too long?

    Jo -- Thank you. I think the difficulty in reading comes more from layout. Long paragraphs and closely clustered paragraphs are more difficult to read the ones that are shorter and spaced out. Does anyone else have any problem about comment moderation?

    Stephen -- the sense of helping one another is something I picked up from other bloggers like yourself. It is a good thing to see and in which to participate.

    Diane -- agreed. Time is often the decider about our efforts.

    Kierah -- What you said was so cool. Hope you will write more about this on May 3rd.

    Alex -- you might get to 100 by the end of the challenge!

    E.E. -- The posts that go on and on are one thing, while the ones that are long but the reader doesn't really notice are another. Length is all relative.

    Atsiko -- from what I've seen so far your posts are in the realm of intstructional and informational. Your readership would be limited by specificity of topic. Your writing style for your content is very good and appropriate.

    StMc-- Terse and to the point.

    Raquel - We'll see what happens after the challenge.

    AA --- Stephen is being funny again.

    Suzie -- my posts are typically 1000 words. I find it difficult to be shorter and say all that I want to say in the way I want to say it.

    Debra --- you are apparently writing what people like from what they have been saying. You'll get to 50 soon enough.

    Jane -- Sometimes I think the comments are my favorite part.

    Melody --- A to Z has reminded me of my old high school English classes and the essays we used to have to write. I enjoy it.

    Cal -- I know what you're saying and that's why I asked today. But each day is different.

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  30. Lee!!

    Thank you!! I have hit the 100 mark, plus one!! WOO-HOOO!!! Thanks for your help!!

    Your writing always brings up interesting and thought provoking points. One has to write from their own frame of mind. Sometimes it takes a lot of words to get something across. At times, I find that as I am writing that maybe I can spit the posts into 2, helping to keep it shorter, or better yet, expand on my thoughts.

    But I think most bloggers blog to suit themselves. Only those who take their writing more seriously as an art form have other thoughts about their skill in writing.

    I don't think there is any negative point about your writing that I could ever think of.

    You keep doing it, I'll keep visiting, even if I don't have the time to do so every day.

    Sig

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  31. Hi Arlee, I do sometimes feel as if I ramble a bit much, but then I think of my blog as more of a journal so I can ramble if I want to! And I will read a long post as long as I have time and it holds my interest. I have had to come back to some blogs when I had more time to sit! The hardest thing about blogging for me is that I follow so many and it can be very time consuming! But I really do love reading about everyone's lives!
    I have had one of my posts critiqued as someone took offense to an imaginary scenario that I made up. In this persons defense, they didn't read the previous post and didn't know that it was a joke. I don't mind long comments, hope you don't either!!!! Love Di ♥

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  32. I try not to ramble when I write. I find I do that to often when i'm speaking. I actually sometimes have to force myself to lead up to a point when writing. Though sometimes I find that I have been a tad redundant. That's also a carry-over from my speaking habits.

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  33. I try not to make my blog posts too long. I edit them in Word before I post. Hopefully, they have some personality!

    My favorites are the ones where I write examples. I love to get all crazy with those.

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  34. I follow a lot of blogs, so I prefer the posts to be relatively short & concise. Otherwise I find myself skimming and probably missing out on some nuances. I'll try to check out some of the links when I've got a bit more time. You've done a great thing for so many bloggers with this challenge, Lee! Good for you :)

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  35. I recommend everyone tries to write some flash fiction. ie, fiction that is no longer than 500 words. It's a really good challenge to keep your writing tight.

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  36. I don't think I ramble to much. I try to have a central point and then try to support that point. The purpose of my blog is different than most I know. I purposely set out to 1) honor our magnificent God; 2) to be a source of blessing to the reader; 3) but also to instruct, encourage, and to edify.

    I will admit to your second question, if a long blog is not beneficial to me I won't read it to the end. What makes me quietly slip out before the show is over is useless info, boring rhetoric, bad language.

    I would not be bothered with critique - I would welcome it. Then I could make corrections and srive for excellence.

    The only comments that bother me are the ones that are so patently insincere and are really a plea to come read that blog - like, "Nice blog, enjoyed looking, come read mine, etc." Long or short comments that are germain to my topic thrill me. It means you really read and understood what I wrote and are taking your precious time to say something.

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  37. Thanks Lee for reining in the focus.
    I think we all at times go on tangents and ramble. I agree when you blog there is a style a personality to your blog. Sometimes it doesn't come through, right away.
    I was all over the place trying to find my path. Great V post; you always make me think~

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  38. sig -- I could not stand to see you hovering at 99. You are much to kind with your words -- thank you.

    Diana -- you can ramble all your little heart desires and when I comment I will probably ramble as well.

    Marjorie -- what I've read from you is pretty concise and nice.

    Elizabeth -- I love examples -- they help to clarify.

    Jemi -- I can't believe you cover as much blog territory as you do. I've been working with a great bunch of bloggers here.

    Lynda -- I've tried flash fiction over the past 2 Fridays. Don't know if it's 500 or less--I read where FF was 1000 or less. Well I was close.

    Greg -- Your blog is in a different realm than most. You are always well organized with good structure in the blog post.

    Ellie --Thank you for your kind words.

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  39. my posts are like me. Pretty simple. I know everyone has a lot to accomplish in a day and I don't want to waste their time by not being succinct. I try to keep my posts to 300-500 words with pictures. :)

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  40. If you have something worthwhile to say or you're very entertaining, readers sometimes don't mind a longer post. Also I think format makes a difference: If it's a 600 word post that's all one block of dense paragraph that is a hassle to read.

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  41. P.S. Thank you for another shout out...! Much appreciated Lee! I'm almost there for 30! Just one more! :-D

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  42. Sometimes I can get wordy and ramble on and on... I know I do this a lot in conversations but I'm getter better at reading when people actually want to hear the short version or the long version. Sometimes the long version is appropriate.

    With writing I am learning what is appropriate... It's fun to mix things up every once in a while. One friend recommended adding pictures to make it easier to read when it's a longer post. Pics make it less daunting. :-D

    Very interesting entry!

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  43. The words don't matter as long as they are saying something-- there's no such thing as too many good, meaningful, well said words and I think you've been doing that pretty well.

    Pictures can help, but they can also be gimmicky and get in the way of good writing.

    I think the best thing is short paragraphs separated by spaces and once again I think you do that.

    You're doing great. And I think you'll get 30 followers by the end of the week. Comment on a few blogs that aren't following you and follow them--it usually works.

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  44. Hmm, I guess it doesn't really matter to me who's following me. I write because I must. This A to Z challenge has been a different type of writing for me. I am glad I participated but will be glad to get back to my regular blogging.

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  45. Jan -- I'm you participated as well. I guess the question would be did A to Z help your writing?
    Maybe you can answer that in your May 3rd post.
    May 3rd A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post

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  46. I look for personality in blog posts and stay engaged as long as it is interesting.

    When I post, I strive to be conversational even though the length of the post may vary - some long or broken up in several parts, or very short with the addition of a video.

    I also pepper my writing with links in case folks want to read more about the topic.

    As far as comments - if I have something to add or want to let the reader I've stopped by, I leave a comment and I enjoy when others do the same - no matter the length.

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  47. I agree with what you're saying here. I also try some of those approaches that you've mentioned. If a post is too dry or technical I often will not read through it unless it's a topic I really want to hear about. A blogger that shows effective personality can often hold my attention even if I'm not interested in the topic.

    I have appreciated your comments and yours is also my philosophy on leaving comments.

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  48. Thank you for coming up with this wonderful challenge. I'm sorry that my headaches have kept me from writing like I should have. This has been a fantastic experience. I've learned a lot about myself and meet a lot of new blogging buddies. Thank you for coming up with this challenge.

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  49. Well, I got to 25! Thanks for the push, I love you! You are always a wonderful promoter.

    I've enjoyed reading your posts!

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  50. i do tend to wander, yes...and something that i notice too is that lots and lots and lots of words make me wanna run. i found it refreshing that folks put pictures in their blogs to illustrate points...i'd still like to know where they find all the good pics.

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  51. tlfeet-- I wonder where some of those pictures come from as well.

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
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Lee