Sensitive Blogger Seeks Same for Love Affair with Words

As I become more involved in blogging, I have noticed a few trends that I don’t see discussed in articles about blogging. There are plenty of articles full of excellent technical advice on how to grow your blog. This is a new world to me, a world of feeds, trackbacks, pings—and there’s a lot to learn. But that’s only one part. The other recommendation is to comment on other bloggers’ posts. That is good news, as commenting is what it’s all about to me. I am not writing in a vacuum. If I just wanted a diary for myself, then why on earth put it online?

In my first month on WordPress, I have met some amazing writers. I have several new friends—it’s so much fun to say that! It hardly matters that I can’t actually go have coffee with them. A connection made through written correspondence gets deeper much faster than a verbal one, because small talk becomes superfluous when writing. The heart of the matter is what begs discussion, and I have always hated small talk. It’s all about quality, not quantity.

But we still want to grow our blogs…don’t we? Now I’m not sure.

What puzzles me is that many bloggers do not welcome comments, but there is no way for a reader to know that—their comments are not disabled. I see several types of bloggers who do not seem interested in making a connection with other writers. Some have comments on their blogs from other people, some have few or none.

The first type doesn’t respond to a comment at all.

The second type leaves a brief, polite message thanking you for your comment. Also under this category are folks who want only “fans.” They want praise and adoration for every little thought they hatch, and they are well-fortified by their “followers.”

The third kind is something new I’ve just discovered—the hostile responder. Not only do these bloggers discourage future comments, but they show their hypocrisy by unveiling different colors indeed from the noble ideals they espouse in their blogs.  People who blog about spirituality, love, friendship, patience, etc., and then proceed to make some unsuspecting commenter feel like a piece of shit, well I have to ask—why? This just happened to me so I’m still reeling. I know, it’s the Internet, develop a thicker skin, don’t take petulance seriously, get over it. So I should become a hardass when it’s not in my nature to be that way?

I scan a lot of blogs. If a post touches me in some way, I leave a friendly comment, never a nasty one.  A writer recently got angry and defensive when I wrote to ask a question about a post, like I’m bothering them with my pesky comment. Of course I immediately removed that blog from showing up anywhere on my search pages, so I will never see it again, which is too bad—because if I commented in the first place, I saw, or thought I saw, a spark of something good. Honest, I’m just filling in the little box that says “Leave Comment.” I had no idea I was annoying you.

It’s true we are taking a risk commenting on a stranger’s blog, but we are all taking a risk exposing our private feelings in a public forum. When we connect with a likeminded person, it’s all worth it. But I guess it doesn’t come without some hurt.


16 responses to “Sensitive Blogger Seeks Same for Love Affair with Words

  1. Debra, you have parsed the major categories of a blogger’s response (or lack of it) to commentary. Your standards in writing AND replying to comments are exemplary: well-crafted, thoughtful and valuable rather than trivial. Your commentary on OTHER blogs (i.e., my blog) is an echo of your standards on your blog — two sides of your gravitas. Some bloggers think their blogs emanate from the High Table at King’s College and don’t want serious comment, only genuflection. Purge ’em! Purge ’em, now!

  2. Jack, I’m glad I’m not the only one who is affected by this. I’ve weathered a couple of hard slaps recently from people who just aren’t worth my hurt feelings. I take it too hard I know—but I know you understand. Not giving people the power to hurt you is much easier said than done. Thank you for letting me vent. You’re so right—purge and move on! My new mantra!

  3. Bloggers who want fans? That’s ME! (But then, I have a really big ego. Oops.)

    I do get what you mean. I rarely post on blogs of strangers because I feel unwelcome. I was so pleased to have you comment on my blog – and have enjoyed reading your blog since then. It’s a wonderful way to learn more about other people – their views and cultures may vary from my own, but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in them!

    I think that some people use their blogs to be the people they can’t be ‘in real life’. They take out their nasty aggressions on the virtual world.

    Don’t let ’em get to you! You’re awesome!

    • I know what you mean about feeling unwelcome. And this from bloggers who write in their “About” section to feel free to comment.

      I’m beginning to see that this is a “no pain, no gain” endeavor. I hadn’t planned on that so I have to shift my thinking a little and toughen up.

      I wonder what the mean ones are like in real life too—passive-aggressive I imagine. Set you up to knock you down. I feel naive for not expecting this!

      Thank you for your comments and encouragement!

  4. Someone once responded to a mildly critical comment I made on a post of theirs by telling me that it was a “personal” blog and I had no right to object to anything they said there. Eh? If you want your blog to be “personal”, keep it for invited members only; if you don’t want to hear people’s opinions on what you say, then disable comments. It seems some people want to treat their blogs as “public” when it comes to getting attention and acclaim, but “private” when it comes to having their personal views exposed to scrutiny.

    By the way, I have really been appreciating your comments on my blog. I do try to respond to commenters whenever I can — if I don’t say anything, it’s usually because the commenter has already said it better than I could!

    • Laura,
      Not only do pissy commenters ruin your day, but then you can’t trust what they might do next. I have a healthy fear of nasty people. I badly want to hit back, but have learned the hard way it’s best to let it go. It could turn into a war of words, and that kind of stuff leaves scars. Some people have an amazing stamina for battle.

      Thanks for your comments—I’m enjoying reading your blog!

  5. All walks of life blog and read blogs. You never can tell what you’re getting yourself into when you post something or drop a comment. Hostile people are a fact of life – they’re everywhere. Some of them also blog and leave comments. You can usually tell what bloggers are hostile or angry at the world just be reading their other posts. It’s usually a good idea to refrain from leaving a comment, even if you have a burning desire to say something useful.

  6. Hi Mister Reiner,
    Unfortunately these recent incidents were unexpected, and serve to exemplify how fake bloggers can be. I had no reason to think they were hostile or angry. Believe me I avoid hostility—there’s enough of that in daily life—I sure don’t seek it out!

    But I’ll definitely be more careful than ever now!

    Thanks for your comment,

  7. Hi,

    probably you are right about blogging. The comments are the fun about it – everybody wants to know that he or she is heard by someone.

    Nevertheless there seem to be some people who didn’t get the whole idea and who think that the best way to be heard is to offend somebody. I think the best thing you can do is to delete these comments and to ignore the people.

    LG, Robert

    PS: Some days ago I heard that Germans who try to speak English often appear rude and have a strange, choppy style of writing. I’m not sure if that’s true but if it is – be indulgent^^

  8. Hi Robert,

    I PURGED them! No traces remain.

    That is not true about Germans trying to speak English. You never appear rude, ever. I understand everything you say—even if a word is out of place, it is OK I still get it. I love your beautiful language. I will always be indulgent with you.

  9. When I first got started blogging I commented on everybody’s stuff like I had a direct line to freakin’ God and he was all ears. But no. Most could care less what I say on my blog, much less what I mention on theirs. It is an ego-trip wrapped in insecurity that smells remotely like decaying fecal tissue. They want your comments as long as you love every word that drips from their mushy mouths.

    Monkey Shit.

    I figure the fun of this blogging fad is in the mystery. Like a key party back in the 70s where bored couples would pick up a set of keys at the end of the night and find out who they were sleeping with, blogging is a crap shoot held in a dark room full of blind people with sunglasses on… Nobody knows what the hell is going to happen but all the sane people are aware enough to enjoy the ride.

    All the rest are just angry basement dwellers who are tired of hitting on Aunt Emily and want to take their frustrations out on decent, sane, interesting folk like yourself.

    To hell with them.


  10. Hi Deb,
    I’ve finally poked my head up long enough from my own writing to read some other blogs. I am fairly new to the world of blogging and luckily have not come across any nasty responses, either on my blog or from comments I’ve made on other blogs. I have no doubt it will happen because that is the sad part of life. I always enjoy your blog as well as your comments and I consider you my “blogger buddy” since you were the first person EVER to comment on my blog 🙂

  11. Hey Deb, I’m learning the same lesson too: I think the blog universe mirrors the ‘outside’ in that those living /writing with integrity will eventually gravitate towards each other to share a genuine experience/dialogue but not before being burnt by a few toxic imposters along the way. But that’s how to sift out the rubbish. Some of these bloggers you described are just like the self absorbed people who talk ‘at’ you during a one-sided conversation to pronounce their verbal life resume, but eventually they’re the ones that are left standing alone in the corner once the party’s in full swing….

  12. There’s an awful lot of arrogance out there. I guess it’s beneath a lot of bloggers to respond to a comment. I admit I continue to be bewildered by bad blogging etiquette! Sometimes old-fashioned is so much nicer—it’s called interaction…and few bloggers get it. To me, comments are little gift-wrapped packages left just for me—especially when they are contributions to the conversation! Ha ha sift out the rubbish—you got it. Out, riff raff!

    Makes your blogging buddies all the more precious…

  13. All good clean fun until someone takes it seriously.
    There are folks out there who collect ‘followers’ like scalps. There are also many out there who are trying desperately to make a buck—I’ve lost track of how many have blogged me from gin-soaked tropical paradise beaches somewhere wanting me to sign on with them for free money.

    And occasionally there’s the odd lunatic who calls it as he sees it …

    CLUE: by the fruits of their endeavours shalt thou knoweth them — like that good lady headmaster of the British school you mentioned. I’ve already sent her an email and shall be resending it if I don’t get a reply, with a copy to the Brit Ministry of Education calling for her dismissal.
    It won’t happen, of course (her dismissal) but at least it makes me feel better.

    You may send my Troll badge if you think I qualify, I’ll wear it with pride …

  14. Yeah the whole ‘followers’ obsession. A lot of blogs publicize their number of followers, which can be a thousand or more. They do this by following someone’s blog, then that person follows them. Neither of them actually read each other’s blog. There’s an awful lot of phoniness out there that I want no part of. It used to be called ‘subscribe,’ now it’s ‘follow.’ Pretty creepy, and it degrades blogging, which should be about writing, not accumulating scalps. Ick.

    Haha you can troll me all you want!

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