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Notes 4/3

This is an update to Art of the Force, specifically about the entitled behaviour I called out.

I understand that some bloggers desire engagement in the comments section of their posts. I say again, it is best to ask for a comment. A cordial invitation at the end of a post will do. Coercive tactics and name-calling are not the way to build up a community of supporters.

And now I will explain why I don’t like to comment on other people’s blogs. I will tell you why I have abandoned comments after writing them. I sometimes write fiction, but when before accusing people of inappropriate behaviour, I will search for evidence first. In that spirit, I spent Friday night and Saturday afternoon testing two assumptions:

(a) Bloggers want me to comment on their posts.
(b) Bloggers acknowledge my comments.

I tested these assumptions with posts tagged art, beauty, life, love, poetry, romance and women. All posts had been published within thirty minutes of the start of the exercise. Excluded from my assumption were posts published by subscribers to this blog.

Here is what happened. All forty (40) of my comments went to moderation immediately. This is an issue with Akismet, and not the content of my comments. This means that only subscribers who were aware of this issue would be able to check their “Pending” folders for stray comments. I received only ten responses within 30 minutes. Responses included “x liked your comment”. After that, three more responses came in after two hours. Forty eight hours later, I am still waiting for 27 further responses.

One beauty blogger, in her post, specifically asked for questions so she could do a later blog answering those questions. I wrote three questions for a total of eight from other readers. She “liked” my comment but this alone satisfies my definition of a “response”. Of the 40 bloggers, two bloggers received compliments about their sense of humour; only one acknowledged and responded with a comment. Both had published their posts within minutes of each other.

This is how I felt. That was a horrible experience, and I understand why bloggers are so hesitant to post comments on other bloggers’ blogs. Some posts are scheduled; comments go to moderation and are cleared or approved. I felt that I had wasted my time. However, I felt somewhat vindicated because I had proven my point from the few responses I received.

Bloggers, add value to your brand by offering some quality interaction around your product. It’s not necessary to use the Queen’s English or talk much. We have control over what happens on our blogs. I have turned off like buttons to encourage comments; I have turned off comments whenever I felt that none was necessary.

There was a time when I wished someone would say something. Now, readers do. I warmly welcome longer comments and take them as a compliment, as affirmation that I’ve written something worthy of a response.

After I’ve used the Force and readers start joining the discussion, should I get super annoyed because they’re, like, writing comments on my bloaaaaag and I can’t deal with that? Attitude is everything. If you go to a book launch and the writer speaks to you in a “yeah, yeah, this is all about me… buy my book… I’m too busy, yeah” tone of voice, how would you feel about it.

Of course, you would. Because behaviour like that is ridiculous.

By ΠιCΘLΣ

Life is short, so let’s be decent.

102 replies on “Notes 4/3”

Thanks so much for your input. I really want to give up now. Because these same bloggers are writing that nobody responds to their blog posts. I think it’s a matter o nipicking after receiving an offering of goodwill. It’s rude and sad.

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I have been doing that, actually. I want to be around people who value quality interaction and are not just going through the motions. I read a forum complaint where a woman said she didn’t want a large audience, but I visited her blog and saw that she added tags to her posts so they’ll appear in Reader to random unconnected strangers. Like, how much sense does that make?

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What a wonderful discussion. I comment on blogs when I have something to say and don’t expect a reply. When someone does acknowledge my comment, I’m delighted. When someone comments on my blog, it makes me happy and humble, and I answer as promptly as I receive it. The interaction is most welcome.

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Thank you for reading the discussion. It was heartwarming, and I’m happy to hear that readers want me to comment, because I want to. I don’t want to hesitate to show my appreciation for their work. And could you please give me a free pass on incorrect usage, Professor? I enjoy making up words. Love, SB

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May I comment on my own post and say, thank you all for being so groovy. It’s been a pleasant turn of events. From getting irritated and not letting go to seriously moving past it. To realising how many special people there are out there. Of course, I got back on the comment horse. Bygones. You’re all sweet and awesome and lovely. Thanks.

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I don’t blog, (I wound up with a blog due to operator error), I do however subscribe to almost 200 blogs. I rather read, like or comment. I believe society has evolved to where there is this belief of instant gratification, not hard work or patience. You are not a person giving an opinion, the opinion is formulated by some “big eye” in the sky, and five minutes later, this opinion is now tailored to themselves preferably, positively and back in their inbox. I am not trying to be offensive, I am a single mom who raised four children, (with much of this same attitude, the younger two are worse).
I have no patience for lack of manners and grace. Those last two kids really get on my nerves.
NIBSIH

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Thank you for this comment. I was looking for your blog as I value all of my subscribers and felt terrible when I couldn’t find it. Thank you for explaining. I do understand your sentiments completely. It is awful to just have some person who’s just sitting there not doing the hard work of getting out there and socialising be in your face telling you what they’d “rather you do.” I’d rather he shut up, but that’s unprofessional to say, so I did him a big favour by showing him that this is not the place for it. Also, I agree with your point that these people want factory made opinions. He’s not after a critique. What he wants is for me to sip my gourmet coffee and stroke his ego with compliments that he’s made up in his head. Of course I’m getting out my battle axe. I appreciate your weighing in again, and thank you so much for reading. xo SB

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I apologize for being rather direct, I only know one way to be. This is it.
I have one post and I screwed it all up, and I haven’t calmed down enough to articulate words for it. So it’s under construction! Don’t judge. Lol. It’s not unprofessional to say “shut up”, it unprofessional to be demanding of a favor of a colleague who is assisting you through no personal benefit of their own. Rude would be telling them to “F*** off”, smiling, always smiling! I imagine filtering the iffy ones into something like a folder which automatically generated a email, stating ” thank you for submitting your request. At this time we are reviewing its contents for it timing, qualifications, relevance, and many other variables. If you have been accepted to receive a response, you will be notified by email, within 24hrs, the answers you requested will be sent in a suitable time frame. Thank you”.
Like back in the day, when you waited for the postal worker to bring you test results you had to go to another city to see if you placed on the test wall! What kind of messed of crap was that!

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I totally get that! At least nowadays, newspapers print the results. I wish I were that patient, to put iffy ones in a folder. I’m very scorched earth when I’m upset and I was told that people have a right to say things even if they’re saying crap things and don’t think before speaking. Thanks for your words, they really cheered me up. I love direct and find you to be quite sweet. Warmest, SB

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Thoughtful post. I try to respond to all comments but I don’t have time usually until later in the day or early evening. I don’t get many comments really so it would be doubly bad if I didn’t make the effort to communicate. I enjoy the interaction and I agree with you on the like button, as it’s too easy to click it and then glide by some really good blogs.

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Thanks so much Tricia for reading. I appreciate your adding your side of the situation. This is important to know. What happens at the other end of the conversation. Again, I am not specifically concerned about the habits of individual bloggers. I can’t stand unfounded accusations so I decided to do a study. I would much rather bloggers take care of their families and work and live their lives than pay attention to me. But, a point had to be made. Be well, SB.

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I understand your struggle. For me I try not to worry too much when I post and put my work out there for anyone to view. I just hope to inspire and be inspired by others posts. I do enjoy reading and viewing posts and acknowledging when I really like something.

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So do I and thank you for always acknowledging me, Jennifer. It just stings when you like things in common and then … no response… and then someone accuses you of not being a person who sticks their neck out. Warm wishes again and I’m looking forward to more of your lovely art work. SB

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Hey Sa, did I fail your test? If so I am sorry. You are right, we all like responses, whether someone liked or disliked the post. In fact I still want to know who likes what. I don’t tend to comment on too many posts but I should have noticed what you were up to. .

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Thanks Rusty, you were not in the test, as you were a subscriber. I commented on subscribers’ blogs, of course, but that was as usual. I really only did random posts from people who didn’t “know” me and only ones that I really liked so the responses would be authentic. Thanks again for your support, RGS. x SB

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Hey, I really like you! Don’t give up on the community. It’s like a love thing. You have to measure whether you get out of it, what you put into it, and if those you give to don’t respond the way you think they should. Squish, just like grape. ( Meogi, Karate Kid 1 )

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I am guilty of not responding to comments when I feel I don’t know what to say. I don’t like the thought of sounding like an auto-responder. Like “Hey, *insert username* I appreciate your visit! Thanks for the comment!” Instead I Like comments on my blog to show that I’ve read them. I don’t know how my visitors feel about that, but none of the people who regularly comment have left, or complained, so I take that as a good sign… maybe…? :/

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Thanks a lot for commenting. I understand the feeling and it has been echoed here by other readers. I know the feeling so I at least try to say something. Again, not everyone has the capacity, but even an acknowledgement is better than approving the comment and then no response at all. It is disconcerting because it’s like you’re being blanked by someone face to face. I appreciate your input and I am glad you’re enjoying interesting interactions on your blog.

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Reblogged this on HarsH ReaLiTy and commented:
I found this to be on point and much of the views found here are why I look for a broader scope rather than a centralized one. I would say that people need to realize that just because someone has a “large blog” doesn’t mean they don’t care to respond or interact. At least not all of us act that way. “Some of us” do care about other bloggers, we do read other blogs, and we make our rounds. Our rounds are simply larger than most. -OM
Note: Comments disabled here, please visit their blog.

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Thank you so much for this. I really appreciate it. I suffered a lot this weekend and this makes me feel a lot better, knowing that more people will read it. Warmest, SB.

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I understand what you mean… usually blogs that get a lot of traffic don’t respond to comments because they don’t notice you, or forget, or have a really hard time keeping up a conversation with everybody. So don’t feel upset! I’m sure a lot of those people appreciated your comments. Rest assured that most bloggers, like you and me, love feedback 😀 We’re all human, and humans love attention.

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Thanks, Catalina. I wasn’t whining about large blogs. I figured that out on my own. I was talking about small blogs with fewer than two hundred subscribers. Again, this was an experiment to prove a point about the general situation. Everyone loves attention, but not everyone has good manners. Thanks for your reassurances. Be well, SB.

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Please don’t stop writing SB. I love your blog and your positive encouragement that you sprinkle over the blogosphere. The sprinkles are the best part of a cookie or cake, and my favorite. xoxoxox BHB

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SB, I was really sad and felt like I was losing a friend. If you are sad, I am sad. It is similar to little kids being picked on by one bully on the playground. Let the bully go and embrace the ones who love you. You are the precious friend. Much love to you, BHB

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Thank you so much. I am ready to let this go after sacrificing my weekend. I am just happy for the support but I don’t think the person it is meant for is going to read it. That is the saddest thing. I’ll hang in there Barbara. Thanks and biscuit hugs, SB.

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I’m also quite new at blogging, but I can see the trend you’ve described. I read so many posts a day and I answer questions written by the author, but get no reply. I keep on commenting on posts I find engaging anyways, but sometimes I really ask myself if it’s worth it. Then I remember the feeling I get when someone comments on my blog… It feels like they appreciate the content enough to take their time to write that compliment, question, answer or share their story. And that really makes me happy 🙂

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Thank you so much for saying this. I still plod through even though it is discouraging but knowing that you are going through the same thing makes me happy I put myself through that last weekend. I hope that one of the bloggers will see these comments and realise that we all need to be more aware of what we are doing and asking and receiving. Warmest, SB

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I’m a newbie so I hesitate to comment unless I am compelled to do so – then I stick my neck out. I did that recently and the blogger did not ‘approve’ my comment on his blog but he wrote me a ‘thank you’ and told me what he was going to do to address the point I made! I am grateful and relieved but I will be more careful in the future.

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Thanks a lot, Mary. I do avoid telling people what to do on their blogs, even if I feel strongly about something. I think about what I am doing that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I appreciate your input here and wish you all the best with your blogging adventures.

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Okay, I understand what you’re saying. Thank you for clarifying. Awards are a tricky subject. I really don’t want one and I think that people with only five blog posts who get one are very lucky to be liked that much. The things I’ve seen. Thank you for reading and commenting, Mary Tang. Your comments are welcome here, anytime.

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Oh. Ummmm. Now, I understand my confusion. This was the original post I saw.
I feel slightly more in the know. Only slightly.
WP is a completely new and challenging avenue for me. This whole blog thing is rather intimidating. I rarely feel qualified to offer much in the way of comments anyway. I feel like my enthusiastic “I love this!!!!” or “You rock” will be taken not seriously, or they will wonder why I wasted my time. I get only a few comments on my actual blog. A very few more on my FB shares. Not that I am worried about that- but, sometimes I am hoping to start a conversation, and I wish someone would take the bait.
AHHHH. Now, I see. If I want the answer to question- perhaps I should ask for one.
BTW. I like WonderBread.
Oh. “I love this so freaking much!!!!!”

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Thank you, Lady Quirky. I see you are back in fighting form after your Tough Mudder adventures. I feel that there is no right or wrong way to start a conversation. I generally encourage readers who write a lot by writing a lot back. That way, they know that I’m not just saying I want feedback as a convention. But as one other reader said, even when people ask for comments, some bloggers don’t respond to the ones they get when they ask for feedback. This happened to me during my experiment, too. Thank you so much for reading.

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I’m over there to read in a minute after I respond to all of these supportive and encouraging comments. It’s really wonderful how many beautiful people there are on WP.

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I love reading a wide variety of blogs and love hearing what people have to say. If I like a post I hit ‘like’, if the author asks questions and I feel I can answer then I do, if something inspires me or I want to congratulate something I do. As in real life there are some people who give back what they receive and others who do not. I’m not offended by it and strike up conversations stopping when I realise the other person is not interested as I would in real life, and stopping reading their blogs. I enjoy reading your blogs…they are all very different and outside of what I would normally read…but your writing style engages and surprises me so I will keep reading. Of course I am going to be looking over my shoulder for the next 24 hours to see if you like my post or reply to me…as I am now paranoid…lol! I’m still a newbie so having 1 like on one of my posts makes me smile. 🙂 (Thanks mum!) Hahaha! 😉

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This is funny! I appreciate it very much, thanks. We’re on different time zones so comments will take time to receive a response, but I really would not want anyone to think I was not having time to read their comments. I am glad you like my writing style. I am an acquired taste, as I mentioned several times to other readers, but that’s okay because I’m very flexible and try to enjoy a variety of things on WP. I hope that you will keep starting new conversations and that one day, you’ll meet many people who really want to huddle in front of a fireplace chatting with you through your blog. Warmest, SB.

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Your wisdom speaks to me SB. That is why I follow you, read what you write as often as I can, and choose to comment on your blog. I appreciate your candor in this post and respect your decision on commenting. It won’t affect whether or not I read your words at all – but don’t stop writing, ok? 🙂

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Thank you Nurse Kelly. It’s not that I don’t want to comment, it’s that I don’t comment as often as I would like to. I am very happy for your encouragement. I hope you’re having a great Sunday.

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Ha! That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard! But very nice of you to say – not being disrespectful SB…but a saint I am not. Sorry to ruin your image of me, but you can pretend if you want to 😉

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I find I don’t comment as much as I used to. But also because I feel I’m repeating the same thing to a lot of writers. So if I do comment it has to actually mean something. The same as responding to comments I can only respond truly to one’s who took the time to write something I’m able to respond to. Saying that was a good piece is gonna get you a like because I’m bored of saying thank you. Your experiment is thought provoking though, it truly shows how self centered the blogging world can be if we let it become that way.

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Thank you, Incidental Scribe. I do concur with you. It makes sense to not seem repetitive and sometimes, I don’t know what to say, except. This is interesting. I don’t want to write that because it seems like others have said that before. It is a tradeoff, really. And yes, we do need to do better with this I’m entitled and others must do for me attitude. I don’t write in that style and I certainly am shocked when someone who has subscribed to this blog really tries to go there. Of course I’m going to sacrifice a weekend to make the point. Thanks so much for your thoughtful contribution to this discussion.

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Thanks for your encouragement. I still tried on Sunday and I even went as far as to support someone whose opinion I didn’t like because I wanted to say, it’s not about me here. And thank you for saying what’s on your mind. He responded to me and said he was ready to grow and was willing to put that behind him. There is so much value in giving others the benefit of the doubt. You’re right, best not to give up, just yet.

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Dearest SB, I ate too many simple carbs yesterday and haven’t yet processed what you’ve just disclosed. Did I do it right? Was I part of the correct statistic? Did I skew the data? Probably. The only thing on my mind this lovely morning is a.) how secure is anything we say in our blogs from pilfering would-be screen writers and other bottom feeders. That is all. XO as ever, lbf.

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Ok, you cured me of waiting for people to comment on my blogs. 😀
But what you’re saying is true. I’ve been regularly following up blogs tagged “depression” and commenting on, on an average, 40 blogs a day. My response rate would be similar to yours, though I haven’t counted, to be honest. Some responses are so heartfelt however, that I am encouraged to keep commenting. Of course, the topic is Depression, and depressives are more likely to like the fact that someone relates to what they are going through.

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That’s true. It’s a good idea to persevere and of course, if something resonates with me, I’m going to say something about that. Artists of course are easier to get along with because we understand the process without words and most of them answer questions. It might be a cultural thing, too. People attach different meaning to things like comments and likes and their response could have something to do with that. I happy to have your comment on this and I hope you’re feeling good today.

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Thank you for this. It’s true that we need to do what we feel happy with. That is why I acknowledge people who are doing things they feel good about. I hope you’re having a great Sunday.

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This is something I struggle with daily. I question my choice of content. Wonder if I am getting boring. Try to anticipate what people want to read- and I end up with nothing I want to publish. I must remember that this is for me- and if it speaks to someone else- cool. If not- it is okay as long as I enjoyed it. Thanks!

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Thanks a lot. I’ve just seen this and it’s true that it is a better idea to write to yourself and publish it. What greater joy is there than to have a warm welcome of your real thoughts and feelings? Warmest, SB.

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This was a good reminder for me. It is imperative that I write my truth, and that it be about me. My blog is personal, I am not trying to convince anyone of any thing. I am just putting my thoughts and views out there. Thanks so much for reminding me that I should only write what is important to me, and not worry about whether or not people like it. And, if I get lucky enough that people do…. SCORE- because that means they like the real me- not the one I tried to sell them. Thanks.

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Haha, I have also tried to start conversations with other bloggers through commenting on their posts. However, most of them would not even acknowledge them. I also tried it on the math section of wp and it’s even worse :).

A month ago, I saw a post where the blogger was whining about the lack of engagement of the wordpress community in general. So I commented to that post and waited for his reply… and unsurprisingly, he didn’t reply…

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I’m with you on that one. One guy published a test post saying he wants to know if someone is reading. I said, “I’m reading.” He has not acknowledged my comment. It’s the sloppiness I can’t get over. If you leave the comments open should there not be comments? Bleeding hell.

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Yeah, people can be very weird. They would ask for comments and if they received one, they wouldn’t even acknoledge it… Just like what you pointed out on your previous post.

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Exactly. That’s why I was so upset with that guy, expecting people to just put themselves out there for him to reject them. Because he’s entitled. He subscribed to my blog and isn’t active on here, but I have to read his and comment. Gawwwwd. I give up.

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I’m learning the same thing. I’m still relatively new to the WordPress blogging community. I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it eventually. For now I kind of have fallen into the mindset of – “This is my personal journal and journey. Like it or comment if you want. I’m really only doing this for myself.”

So far no trolls though (which I hear so many people talking about). Thank goodness.

I love your writing style. Keep it up and keep giving me great stuff to read.

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Lola, thank you so much for this. I really am of the same mindset, which is I write what I personally enjoy reading and I understand that other bloggers have different reasons for blogging. It sucks when you’re not acknowledged. I’ve been there. I have no trolls either. I don’t think they can temper. Ha ha ha ha

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We all have, and that is why I put myself through that torture. Just to prove that this person has no idea what he’s saying to me. I could just call him some dirty names, but I will use my expensive education to win that argument. xoxo SB

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