The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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

Monday, August 16, 2010

Blog Boggled: Dogging the Blog Topic

Making Progress!

        Last Tuesday my New Email was registering at 1150.  Now I'm at 267!  I'd call that some progress, eh?  Granted that I now have 34 file folders, at least now the email is much more organized.  Most of the files have 20 or less items in the folder so I'd say that's not too bad.  Now as the emails come in I can either act upon them immediately and delete or send them to a file to be dealt with later.  The remaining 267 will either go into files or be deleted soon--I now do have a system set up. 

          Pet Topics (Blogs That Is, Not Dogs)

         Most of us have posted on the topic of blogging at one time or another.  I certainly have--I have this continued Blog Boggled series which is an ongoing look at blog science and philosophy.   We all want to know how this blog thing works and what we can do to make our experience better.  Last Thursday the most common questions were raised again by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

          Alex was wondering about Blogging Idiosyncrasies -- the usual suspects that we never tire of hearing about.   In the interest of keeping my post shorter I won't go into the topic of posting length, frequency, or time of day.  If you are a regular reader you already know that I'm here daily early in the morning for North American readers.  But do I briefly want to revisit Alex's final concern.

        We can all pretty much agree that the comments we receive depend to a great extent upon the quality and length of the post, number of followers, and our history of establishing a relationship with readers with our responses to their comments.  And of course our reaching out to comment on other blogs probably has the biggest impact on the quantity of comments we receive on our own.

        Dezmond mentioned the term blog-whoring--brief comments with little substance left merely to show a presence and try to entice others to come to their blog.  He requested quality comments rather than trying to leave a quantity of less substantial comments.  Those quality comments are wonderful to receive and I really appreciate when visitors leave them.  It's especially good on my Debate Day topics when I am looking for persuasion and information.

        Clarrisa Draper pointed out that she has a difficult time commenting if a blogger hasn't prompted readers with questions.  She says in those cases she may merely leave a comment like "nice post".

         Simon C. Larter suggested that bloggers get  more comments "when you say something controversial, or just plain ludicrously silly."   I'd say yes and no to that one, but overall I think Simon's got it right.

         I think we'd all agree that time is the biggest factor when it comes to commenting.  Even being unemployed I find it virtually impossible to read and comment on every blog that I follow.  And when I do comment I have a tendency to strive for quality as much as possible which often means length.  This is one reason that my email box stacks up.

         What inspires you to leave a quality comment?  When do you usually just leave a "hi, I was here" type comment?   Does "something controversial, or just plain ludicrously silly" put you off, or does it incite you to leave a comment?   If the topic is too difficult or complex do you avoid leaving any comment?   Do you find it difficult to leave a comment if the blog author doesn't prompt you with questions?  About what percentage of the time do you just read and move on without commenting and what is your reason for doing so?

          Quality comments are appreciated, but I'll also gladly accept nice compliments, passing hellos, blog whoring, snarky remarks, and doggie barks.

(631 words )


  1. :) for the record I am pretty happy if someone comes to my blog period. If they decide to leave a comment I do a happy dance. If the comment is long or in depth I about wet myself... well you get the idea :)

  2. Hey, thanks for mentioning my post!
    Sometimes the person posts on a subject that just doesn't strike me or I have no opinion. If it's a regular blogging buddy, I'd feel bad if I didn't say something.
    And if you're open to snarky remarks, look out - Snarktopus Simon will get you!

  3. OMG, I will now be remembered as a wretched soul who invented the term blog-whoring :))

    I agree with Alex, sometimes there are posts about which I just don't have anything to say, or posts which deal with topics which are just not my own cup of tea (you've probably noticed that I don't comment on your Biblical posts - I'm just not into religion and church). And I also agree with him that there are a few beloved friends whom I will visit and comment every day even just to say a few nice words.
    Otherwise I will comment only when I have something quality, encouraging or humorous to say, because I know people appreciate you more when you say something rather than when you say just anything.

  4. Like Tabitha I feel pleased to get any comment, If I follow a blogger I always like to like a comment whether it be long or short,

    Have a good day.

  5. Simon does make a good point regarding controversial blogs and comments. I hit on this from time to time regarding science and the Bible. These are some of my busier blogs in terms of traffic.

    Stephen Tremp

  6. I'm definitely with Alex on this one. Sometimes I just don't have anything to say but I want to let the blogger know I've been there. I'm working on letting go of building traffic to my blog, because I can't control it anyway. I'm just blogging on topics that are of interest or concern to me and hope others will weigh in.
    Thanks, Lee.

  7. I comment on every post I read. I like knowing who has visited me, and I think most bloggers feel the same. It is easier to comment if there is a question asked at the end of the post - at least for me :)

  8. I try to let the blogger know I was there and that I appreciate their effort.
    I am a lot like Tabitha when it comes to comments. Any comment leaves me with thoughts and ideas.
    Questions are a great help to me as I am not what you's call a morning person.

  9. I usually avoid blogs with religious content or those to long. Thanks for mentioning me, by the way. I know there are blogs out there that make me think or they bring out controversial topics... I like commenting on these. I love joining a discussion. I like questions like the ones you asked today.

  10. I guess if I have something important to say, I comment. Most often (I'd say 80%) I just read and have nothing to contribute. It's impossible to comment on all the blogs I follow, but I do take time out to comment on a few each day.

    In blogging, like life, I default to the saying, "Better to keep quiet and have them think you a fool, than open your mouth and prove it." :P

  11. Tabitha -- That is so funny, but yes I know what you're talking about.

    Alex -- Snark? Everyone is usually so nice in this blog community I rarely get anything contentious. A challenge is nice sometimes though.

    Dezmond -- I understand with what you're saying. Some of the "nice" comments make me wonder if the person even actually read what I was saying.

    Yvonne -- You certainly get a lot of comments and you are in turn a fine commenter.

    Stephen Tremp -- If the controversy seems to resonate with many readers I think many will often respond. However, I think sometimes if the controversy is too much or the topic is too bizarre, it leaves most readers speechless.

    Karen -- I like to know that someone has visited even if they don't have anything especially relevant to say. "Hello" works for me, but a real response is more exciting. I haven't been as active lately on building my blog following and I can see an obvious slowing of numbers. I don't blog on something unless I have some kind of interest in it.

    Jemi -- I usually have a hard time not leaving some kind of comment. The questions help especially if the topic has been ambiguous, something I don't know or care much about, or I'm just left with nothing to say. At least a question usually deserves some kind of response.

    Mary -- I think all comments contribute in some way to our growth as writers, thinkers, and bloggers. Without comments we are almost in a world of our own.

    Clarissa -- Your response to Alex caught me eye like your posts often do. For me, if the religious content rings my bell I like to chime in. When the posts are very long I may read if the topic grabs me, but otherwise I might save it to read later and often don't have time to go back to it. Length combined with clarity, continuity, engaging writing, and interesting topic will probably keep me reading. Pompous, erudite writing that rambles with terminology and is obfuscated by pedantic pedagogy addles my simple mind and I tend to drift away or avoid it entirely.

  12. Mesmerex -- 80% seems pretty high, but I do understand the difficulty on commenting on every blog when you are following and reading many. I guess I see blogging kind of like passing someone I know on the street. I'll at least say hello, and maybe say more if I have something else to say. I often make a fool of myself.

  13. I guess I just don't want to be labeled a cyber-voyeur, I comment. And like so many others, I am happy with any I receive.
    Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  14. I'll comment on ludicrously silly but rarely on controversial. I can't read all the blogs I follow either. I comment more for bloggers who comment on my blog. And I really try not to just say 'great post'. But sometimes I do. Sigh. Just shoot me.

  15. Part 1 Of 2:

    r-LEE-b ~
    As you know, I found after I was censored at for being too politically incorrect. I will say that some of the biggest jerks I’ve ever encountered are to be found spewing their crap at Amazon, but at the same time, I can say that at least Amazon had some life to it. By comparison, Blogspotland seems so phony and sterile, and that’s just one of the reasons I’m mostly wrapping up my blogging life over these next few months and moving on to something else.

    I’m nothing if not “REAL”, and I appreciate genuineness, which I find in short supply in Blogland. At Amazon, most of the reviewers were overly focused on their positive/negative votes and their reviewer ranking. I thought that was ridiculous and really missing the point.

    Here at Blogland I find the majority of bloggers just as ridiculously focused on the number of their “Followers” and how many comments they get. The idea that I must flit around here and there signing up to “Follow” blogs and leaving comments if I want others to “Follow” me and leave comments for me, well, that whole concept turns me off big time.

    As I wrote to someone about 4 months ago, in response to her question about why I had suddenly begun “Following” her blog:

    As I've mentioned before, I hate the whole quid pro quo attitude in Blogland and I refuse to play by those rules. I am NOT Following your Blog because you're Following mine…; I'm Following your Blog only because it interests me... up to this point and at this time.

    Ya wanna know the truth? ... Blogland seems to be 93% (plus or minus margin 2%) comprised of "Women Writing Fiction." And therefore the vast majority of what they blog about is their current manuscripts, their new characters, their new chapters, their search for an agent, their manuscript submissions, and the book they just finished reading titled "Lust In The Lowlands" by Jane K. Doe.

    To be honest and blunt about it: I don't give a darn about any of that! I don't care about her current manuscript, her new characters, her new chapters, her search for an agent, her manuscript submissions, or "Lust In The Lowlands" by Jane K. Doe.

    It took me about 2 weeks to conclude that you address a sufficient number of other topics to make "Following" your Blog worthwhile.

    Continued below...

  16. Part 2 Of 2:

    You see, LEE, if someone is “Following” my blog solely in the hope that I’ll begin “Following” theirs, I’d rather they weren’t “Following” my blog. And if someone is going to leave me lots of comments void of substance (e.g., “Nice job”), what’s the point? Comments like that do nothing for me. Agree with me or disagree with me – that’s fine – but if you’re going to say something, say SOMETHING! And if someone is going to compliment a blog bit I’ve written, then I expect them to really mean it (just as I really mean it when I leave a compliment for another blogger). I don’t need insincere compliments (and I think I can usually spot them).

    If I had posted some of the things at Amazon that I have posted here in Blogland, they would have started a firestorm of debate. But here, there is so little genuineness and such an attitude of tip-toeing, patty-cake, “play niceness” that Blogworld just about bores me to death. Don’t misunderstand and think I’m calling for rudeness. No! But I think a little LIFE would ENLIVEN things.

    And then there are the “Happy Clubs” (as my buddy L.C. refers to them). I won’t mention any names because I don’t wish to embarrass anyone (and because there are too many to name ‘em all), but Blogland seems to be largely comprised of these would-be novelists who spend most of their blogging time WRITING ABOUT WRITING. And they can post damn near ANYTHING and immediately receive a chorus of comments from their sisters in arms, praising them to the heavens for their wonderful ways.

    Sister A might write a blog bit that simply says, “Oops! I had eggplant parmesan at my favorite Italian restaurant last night, and then accidentally belched loudly.” And Sisters B through Z will comment, saying things like: “You go, girl.”; “Ha!-Ha! You are so funny.”; “Oh, Sister, the way you word things just makes me LOL!”; “You rock, honey!” Some of the banal comments I see being scattered all over Blogland and the empty praise being heaped on such frivolous postings almost nauseates me. Count me out!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

  17. Lee-

    I usually try to leave something of merit in a comment, so I either think of something I think is a funny observation or try to leave a comment with some insight.

    Usually, I fail at both.

    Miserably, I might add.

    As I mentioned earlier in the year on your post about following blogs, I do not take it as a slight if someone doesn't follow mine (obviously-it ain't a big number) nor does it hurt my feelings if someone doesn't leave a comment. I do welcome comments, especially ones that invite discussion, as that's how ideas get exchanged.

    For those who comment on every post read-I don't know how you find the time.

    Many of your followers, Lee, are the blogs I read regularly, and I try to comment on occassion but I'd never get away from my computer if I commented on every one (and I already work in front of a computer for 10-12 hours daily)


  18. Good topic. It's always insightful to read about what motivates people to leave comments on blog posts. I'd have to say that leaving comments on other bloggers sites seems to drive comments left on my site. This was particularly apparent when I was in CA on vacation a couple weeks back and posted an entry, but didn't take the time to visit others' blogs. What a difference! Much like most bloggers, I struggle with maintaining balance between blogging and all it involves and working on my WIP. Suggestions? Have a blessed week! Congrats on organizing your e-mail!

  19. I find it easier to comment when answering questions. Sometimes I'll leave short comments only when the post itself either says everything and I just agree and can't add anything more (that's why i like the questions)

    BTW, I had a huge chuckle at your mail woes because I can so relate to it. Awesome progress!

  20. This is certainly a good and interesting topic. If after reading a blog, I can’t think of anything to say, I just move on. Or if the subject is religious or political, I tend to go to the next one, keeping my responses in my head. There have been occasions when I simply don’t understand a blog or the point they were trying to get at. Or, if a blog keeps going and going and going (like the energizer bunny), I might bail midway.

    I try to keep my blog hopping to weekdays, leaving my weekends free for more family time and to participate in the writing groups I belong to.

    Like you, I’m perfectly happy with any type of response and I do try to visit the blogs of those leaving comments first so I can reciprocate.

  21. Jules -- I've done it, but mostly I have a difficult time not commenting if I visit a blog.

    Carol-- We'll give you a pass, after all, sometimes "Great post" is about all we can say.

  22. StMc -- Stephen, you're such a meanie.

    Seriously though, this is what I love about your comments -- I mean so long it takes two installments!

    This is the kind of comment I'm talking about. When you leave a comment, I can tell you've read the post and thought about it. Your comments have substance as you take the post point by point. You often challenge the poster with different points of view or provide references for further reading. A comment from you is often a learning experience, frequently fun, and like having an actual exchange of ideas.

    Now I think you might be a little hard on some of the other bloggers. I think it's a matter of the community I have gotten you in contact with. I do think there are some more lively blogs out there with the topics you are interested in--after all there are millions of blogs out there. But be nice to the writers-- I think many of them appreciate you because of your writing.

    Keep in mind that if you want to influence anybody, or even start a movement, you have to reach out to a lot of different people. You don't have to be a part of whatever they are playing, but be receptive if they do become interested in what you have to say. I still believe it's partly a numbers game. The more people you come in contact with, the greater your potential for winning someone over to what you are trying to preach.

    Don't give up totally. Keep reaching out or at least being receptive to those who show interest in your ideas. You challenge us.

  23. I feel like a blog whore today!!!!
    Gosh I love that! Blog Whore, how cool! With that said I suppose I have whored myself out a bit at times but, For the most part I try to leave a sincere comment on each blog. I follow quite a few which is why I don't post as often as I used to. I just don't care for posting and than not commenting on my followers posts. So Usually I try to comment to everyone before I post.

    Usually, not always. Do you think that I am a blog whore? It's alright I can take it! LOL!!! I'm having fun over here!

    Love Di ♥

  24. I usually leave a comment on every post and I read a lot of them each day. The only ones I don't say much on are the political ones, basically I just gently close the door and tip toe out of those ones. My friend Diana is definitely not a blog whore but she is a lot of fun as a blog friend.
    .......:-) Hugs

  25. If you don't charge money, can you really be a blog whore?

    Oh never mind....


  26. Larry -- You are another whose comments I especially appreciate for their depth. I too like to open a topic for conversation and am thrilled when it happens, but I also understand the time element which constrains most of us.

    Maria -- I don't have a suggestion. Either the blogging or the writing has to suffer. For me lately I've sacrificed my writing time and that will have to change.

    Lynda -- Yes, between the mail and blogging it's hard to get much else done sometimes. If I was less active blogging, my mail would slow down. Oh, what to do!

    Jane -- If a blog topic really requires a great deal of time then sometimes I have to let it go unless it really grabs me.

    Diana -- Dezmond was right-- he may never live that "blog whore" title down. Just remember Dezmond said it first!

    Bernie -- If I'm in the right mood I can certainly chime in on the political ones, but other times I sneak out of the room like you do.

    DiscC--- Are you whoring on my blog again! Now I guess that means I have to return the favor and visit your blog.

  27. Hi Lee .. I created a few folders and then forget to put the emails in them .. so hope you can be organised enough to do that - then you have 34 folders to 'clear out'?!

    I don't comment if I can't do a proper comment about a subject that interests me - or one I want to learn more about ..

    I struggle to do them all - like you .. still I do what I can & don't leave one of Dezmond's 'whore comments'! Pointless exercise ..

    Have a good day later on .. Hilary

  28. >> Keep in mind that if you want to influence anybody, or even start a movement, you have to reach out to a lot of different people. <<

    Oh? Why can't I reach out just to those types of people that I like and who don't irritate the hell out of me?

    If I weren't soon about to cut my loses and, for the most part, get out of this blogging foolishness, I think I really would try to start a blogging movement. I'd call it something like "THE ROUGH 'N' READY REAL PERSON'S BLOGGING CLUB".

    We'd have one of those badges you can display on your blog showing that you're a member. And we'd have an Enforcement Committee (because I don't wanna be no dictator) and written rules such as...

    1) No Sycophants allowed. No toadies, weenies, or fawning females.

    2) If you can't say something meaty or controversial, don't comment at all.

    3) Mention your book manuscript, your WIP, your search for a literary agent, or any piece of fiction you have written, are writing, or intend to write, more than once in any 6 month period and you are immediately expelled from the club. (You can apply for reinstatement after one year.)

    4) Mention J.K. Rowling or Harry Potter even once, ever, and you are expelled from the club for life! (Of course, women will certainly be eligible to join the club, but rule #4 will probably get most of them bounced out of it in due time.)

    5) Leave a comment that says "You rock!", a comment that uses the abbreviation "LOL", or a comment that causes a reader to think he or she hears that put-on high-pitched "little girl voice" or the sound of "slumber party squealing", and you will be taken out into the back alley and shot until dead by the Chief of Ordnance. (You may pay a heavy fine and apply for reinstatement after one year.)

    And so on and so forth.

    Yes, LEE, that's what I would do if I weren't already gradually heading for the bloggin' door.

    ~ D-FensDogg

    Postscript: Lee, believe it or not, about a month ago, I spent 15 or 20 minutes searching through my Blogspot dashboard to see if there was some way of disconnecting and dumping 15 to 20 of my 'Stuffs' blog "Followers". I'm sure that most of my so-called "Followers" aren't really reading 'Stuffs', and I wanted to make "honest" men and women out of them. But it seems the blogger has no ability to remove a "Follower" of his/her blog. Oh well, I tried.