This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It Probably Wasn't About You: To My Blogging Friends

An Explanation about my Monday Post: 

       After an unexpectedly overwhelming response to my last post It's Not All About You:  Self-Centered Blogging, I thought I might clarify some of what I was referring to and dispel any concern that any of you were the target of my "rant".   Any of you who left a comment on that post or any of my posts in the past are not who I was referring to.

        Even if you've never left a comment on my site, but do have sites where you regularly or even just occasionally leave comments, I wasn't talking about you either.  I am talking about those bloggers who pontificate their erudition from pedestals where they are almost untouchable to the rest of us who from their viewpoints are mere struggling amateurs or plain silly bloggers of no import to them.

       Actually, I could name names, but I wouldn't do that.  It could be that I'm misinterpreting those bloggers or I might start a conflict steeped in animosity and that's not something I want to do because that's not who I am.

       And for those who thought that I was upset about something that had happened recently, no such thing.  As some of you may recall, on Mondays I often write about topics pertaining to blogging.  On Sunday evening I wanted to come up with a quick something and composed what I thought would be a relatively insignificant post about a topic that used to concern me in my earlier blogging days, but not so much of late.
This is nothing that I obsess over or that bothers me to any great extent.   It's just something I remember from back when I was a newer blogger trying to understand how it all worked.

       Judging from your comments, many of you can relate to this.  In fact, Alana from Writercize directed me to a similarly themed post at Word Nerd Speaks.  From the reactions in her comment section it's pretty obvious that commenting is a hot button issue.  If you want more on this topic go over and check out that post and read the comments--they're pretty intense.

       In any case, I thank you  again for responding so ardently on my Monday post.  One thing it did for me was expand my realization that responding to comments directly via email is tough.  I tried to get back to all of you that I could and if I didn't get to you please understand that it's not you, but it's me having a hard time keeping up with things.  I'm still trying to decide how best to address responding to comments.

A Sad Day in Blogtown:

      Say it ain't so Joe--or I should say Stephen T. McCarthy.  My dear blogging buddy Stephen has announced on his blog Stuffs that he's going out of business on his blog.  His love of blogging has fizzled--so he says.  I hope it's just a phase.  Take a break, my friend, and come back when you're ready, but not too long mind you.  Maybe some of you reading this can stop by Stephen's blog and say hello and maybe a word of encouragement.

I Really Want to Say Something About This:

       In September of 2010 my blog buddy Larry Cavanaugh of DiscConnected was joined by me to witness an incredible concert near my house.  The show was by prog-rock band Spock's Beard.  I wrote about our meeting here and Larry gave a rundown about the show on his blog post.   Amazingly enough, the concert was recorded and filmed and has been released in a deluxe 2 CD set with a bonus DVD of the concert itself. Fans of prog-rock and darn good intricate rock period would do well to check out Spock's Beard: The X Tour Limited Edition Deluxe Version.  It's nothing short of outstanding.  Read Larry's recent review.

Voting Now Open for A to Z Video Contest:

      We ended up with an even dozen entries and they're all winners in my book.  I want to thank all of those who sent in videos.  Now it's up to you readers out there.  Please go to the "Vote for Your Favorite A to Z Video Here" tab and enter your vote.   Links to all of the videos will be found on that page.   Watch and enjoy them and then vote for one.

And now for your listening pleasure:  A sample of the Spock's Beard X Tour Live Concert DVD

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  1. I've just started using Google Reader to read blogs, and I've found so many posts that I'd never read before - and even some whole blogs that have never shown up on my Blogger feed from when I first started following that person.

    I feel so bad that people might think it's been a one way relationship. I'm hoping to make amends!

  2. I remember when I first started blogging and I had some crazy idea that if I wrote, people would come and read it (maybe I watched Field of Dreams too much!)

    I had 1 follower for the first year I was blogging. Then I discovered how to really use blogger and started interracting and doing blogfests and discovered that a blog isn't an online journal, it's a social network.

    I think for lots of new bloggers it's just ignorance and a misunderstanding of how a blog should function.

  3. I always love reading your posts because they have so much heart. I can just feel the warmth, and forget it's cold and miserable in Northern California at the moment. And as far as Stephen is concerned, he'll be back. They all come back. Sometimes bloggers just experience a burnout. We recover.

  4. I'm sorry to hear all that. I'll head over to Stephens blog now and say hello because our community shouldn't deteriorate but maximize. Overall, nice post :)


  5. Don't name names, Lee! :D

    The way I see it is that some people hit it off and some people don't. I've been blogging as GW and then on AB for almost a year -- my first post as GW was end of March 2011 -- and in that time, I've developed a lasting relationship with about three dozen bloggers.

    For consistent commenting and visiting, I think that's about what you can reasonably expect -- unless you're Al Cavanaugh, who I am convinced has discovered a way to clone himself and uses at least three clones just to comment!

    I like your posts, Lee. I like your self-effacing comments which are endearing and I think you're a blogging force to be reckoned with ancillary blogs which have more followers than my only one. The best thing is to nurture those connections to bloggers with whom you identify and don't let the touches that don't touch back get you down.

    Water off a duck's back, good Sir Bird, water off a duck's back.

    Have a great week.

  6. I might have to check this band out they look kinda good :)

  7. Just to let you know I dropped by with a cuppa, read your blog, but have no comment to leave this time.

    Best wishes,

  8. Blogging is different things to different people. I love comments as much as anyone, but I try not to expect them. Not everything I blog about is comment-worthy, I'm sure. Some of it is relevant to only a few people. Blogging is like writing fiction: not everyone is going to like my writing/blogging. I think of blogging as a kind of journal/journey that is open ended and organic.

  9. Although you seriously don't need to explain yourself Lee (selfish Blogging is an irritant, you shouldn't feel bad about it being one), I do completely see where you're coming from. I guess it's just best to leave selfish bloggers to their own devices and move on though.

  10. I missed your Monday post. Now I'll have to read it.

  11. For me it was terrible coincidental. That's stuff usually never bothers me, but it was bugging me over the weekend.

    I do think newbies have to learn it. I know I sure did!:)

  12. Annalisa-- I've still not used Google Reader. I know some people highly recommend it. Perhaps that would help me get better organized.

    Angeline -- When I got into blogging I studied it intensely and after about a month I began to understand some of it. I'm still a student of blogging.

    Nellie -- I know--burnout can happen. I have felt the singe myself at times.

    Yadin -- Thanks for the support. You are rapidly growing as a blogger.

    Suze -- I'm not overly concerned about most things, but I am ponderer. I try to figure out how things work and then learn to do them better if I can.

    Anna -- If you appreciate good musicianship and well arranged music you may like Spock's Beard. I think they're great.

    Jamara -- I appreciate you saying hi.

    Richard -- You are very correct on this. It's a matter of preference. There are many blogs I just can't relate to whereas others I can connect to right off.

    Matthew Waffles-- I just wanted to reassure several readers that they were not the focus of my rant. All we can do is move on if we can't connect.

    Matthew Macnish -- I touched a sensitive issue I think.

    Karen -- It was an unexpected response, but I should know by now.


  13. South -- It something many of us think about now and then. If we don't learn then we're destined to be unread and live in the realm of our own delusions.


  14. Such controversy. :-) This was a nice follow up and interesting just how "hot" the comment button is. Sorry to hear about your blogger buddy. I hope our video rocks it!!!!!!! Have a great day!

  15. I missed your Monday's post, so I went back to read it. It does have a scolding tone, but maybe necessary. It's nice to leave a comment. Just saying "Hi" is fine. It lets the blogger know you were there and that someone reads what she wrote. They, in turn, come over and visit you. I respond to comments via email. If they are a no-reply blogger, it ends at their comment. Rarely do people come back to see if there is a response unless it is a hot topic, like commenting.
    Write on!

  16. Your posts are always so balanced, you talk about both sides of the story. Now I'm going to go and watch all those lovely videos again and pick my favourite :)

  17. Tracy Jo-- Bloggers never seem to tire of the comment controversy. I should have known. Good luck with your video!

    Mary A.-- I didn't mean to be scolding, just to the point. I'm rethinking my comment approach.

    Nikki -- I like balanced. There are always different sides to any story.


  18. Suze, I saw that!
    I think about that sometimes - what happens when I have so many followers I just can't keep up with my blogger buddies now? I don't want to seem better-than-thou.
    And Lee, it's the strangest topics that draw people into a conversation here. I almost didn't even do my post on not getting to 1000 followers by being jerk because I thought it was lame and just me excited about some blogger buddies about to hit that milestone. 220 comment proved me wrong.
    Keep tossing them out!

  19. Hi, Arlee,
    I've been so taken up with editing that I haven't been around much lately. Sound like there's lots going on with the A-Z. I'm seeing the badge around a lot. Haven't checked out the video contest yet.

  20. I didn't take anything personal from your post on Monday, besides what I recognized in myself as something I have always wanted to change. It was a good post.

    And I agree. I hope Stephen doesn't stay gone for long.

  21. I respond to comments in my own comments section, but that would be super tedious for people (like you!) who receive dozens and dozens and even hundreds of comments. I wish Blogger would include a reply button in the comments!

  22. Spock's beard - love the name!

    Self-centred bloggers annoy me almost as much as the ones who don't read the post and put up a comment going "Great! Follow my blog". Not a fan of spammers.

  23. Alex -- You're right. I'm surprised at some of the posts that go over the best though I probably shouldn't be by now.

    Joy -- You've been taking care of business which is as it should be. A to Z is going to have another big year.

    Karen - Thanks! And I hope Stephen was just in a weird mood. Well, weirder than usual.

    Laura -- I was happy with the subscribe button. I had a policy and if people wanted to follow up they could do it in an easy way.

    Jamie -- Those bloggers like you cite fit into that self-centered label if they're only about getting followers but not really interested in any kind of exchange of communications.


  24. Phew Arlee! In my fevered mind I thought the words "Geek Twins" was on the tip of your tongue. Glad to know it was yet another paranoid dream. Spock's beard is the best name for a band I've ever heard. I like all the A-Z videos, but voted for Ada's video.
    @Annalisa, I think Alex's post on how to manage followers is a must-read. Wish I could find the link...

  25. I didn't take your blog the wrong way. We all blog differently and we all have our own opinions, we are all unique....Ye Gods imagine two of me???????
    Sorry about Stephen I have commented a few times and him back.
    Perhaps a break is what the doctor ordered and he'll return in the future,

  26. It's surprising how hard it is to see a blogging friend go. We really do get pretty close to the people we share our blogs with. Hopefully there is still much more time for blogging for most of us!

  27. I'm having trouble keeping up with my comments, too, and I have far fewer blogs/followers. Sometimes life just gets in the way! I always try to address it in a blog post if I'm way behind so people know I'm not ignoring them, though. I've run into a handful of those bloggers you spoke about in the last post, and I think it often shows in their posts whether they are the type who just think they rock or the type who simply don't know how to interact.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  28. Thanks for the mention and the link to Word Nerd's blog as well. Clearly the topic hits a nerve - great debate, Lee.

  29. I just read your post from Monday and agree that some people spend more time on comments than others. I wish that I could budget my time better, so I could visit more blogs. I also wrote about it on my IWSG post. It is amazing how much you continue to give back to the blogging community, and I thank you for it. Julie

  30. I don't comment as often as I should, but I do try to visit everyone who visits me.

  31. It's interesting what gets stirred up when you express a thought or opinion. In a way, I think, it's part of how blogging should be - starting and maintaining a conversation with your readers. And on the other hand, you just can't please everyone. Glad you shared your thoughts on the topic.

    One of the most interesting things I've come across with blogging is how I follow and regularly comment on certain blogs that I enjoy, and these blog owners rarely come to my blog, yet exclaim with wonder when I haven't been able to make it to their blog for some reason. Just makes me chuckle a little at the irony. Ah well, if we figured it all out, life would just be boring, now wouldn't it?

    Happy weekend!

  32. First of all, thanks for the linky love. Oh, and I saw your recent comment on that blog post, but I was reading on my phone. By the time I returned on my computer, it was gone.

    I've come to accept that as much as I will always try, I will sometimes fall short. I am so appreciative when someone takes the time to read and comment on my blog, and I want that appreciation to be expressed. Everyone is busy and for somebody to spend some of their valuable time reading me is a gift. Like all gifts, I think at least a simple "thank you" is in order.

  33. Hi Lee,
    As you well know, I did a similar blog to the one you allude back too. And you very kindly came over and acknowledged my posting. I also did a follow up, much like you have done. However mine was virtually ignored. Still, never mind, you can get the message out there while I do my best in my own unassuming way.
    I spend several hours on many days being proactive and supportive within the great blogging community. Just like you do, my friend.
    All the best and happy writing.
    With respect, Gary

  34. Hi first time commentor here, signed up for a-z and have been leaving comments occasionally at other blogs on the list. Thanks to you and all hosts as it is surely time consuming.

    I couldn't help chiming in on the commenting issue. Comments are indeed a source of encouagement but can be equally frustrating if no return comments are received. Ultimately we should comment on a piece because it moves us, not in hopes of reciprocation, but everyone wants some kind of return on their investment. Commenting, like everything, takes time and I believe some would rather expend energy being creative than reaching out to prospective readers that from my own experience, will only reply back about 50% of the time.

    The best thing to do if you want genuine readers is focus on writing the best stuff you can, but a little networking never hurts. Looking forward to April, can't wait to read the offerings, write on!

  35. I truly enjoyed reading your post about self-centered bloggers. For a first time blogger like me, it worked like a tutorial for me. I realized that commenting on the comment someone left on your post is good practice... and it makes sense!

    I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge at and I always make an effort to comment on someone's post who does not have any comments. Comments are powerful for us writers!

    Thanks for your words of wisdom, Lee!

    Mandy Chock @ The Chockboard


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