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.