Comments on Comments
For well over a year, I’m convinced that no one ever read my Blog. I could have written all manner of 4-letter words repeatedly and the world would have been totally ignorant of my pain.
But then something changed about a year ago when I started meeting Bloggers through DC Blogs and I gradually cultivated what I refer to as my little Blog family. We are dependable to be there for each other when there are tears or celebrations or just a good old laugh. It’s these people who read my Blog on a regular basis and I miss them when they take a break.
There is another group of Bloggers, mostly much younger, who surprise me now and then. I get so excited when I see a comment from one of them. I just added 8 new links based on comments I had received over the past couple of months.
There is yet another group of people who don’t write but periodically read. Two of my oldest and dearest friends, my physical therapist, and my son fall into this category. They occasionally leave a comment.
A final group are readers who never comment and never reveal their identity. I have one in San Francisco, one in Tampa, one in New Jersey, one in Vancouver, and possibly a few others.
But back to the comments themselves. Here are the basic rules I follow:
(1) I leave a comment only if I have something to say in response to what I read. It needs to be more than a calling card that says you stopped by. A sitemeter can provide that information.
(2) Initially I thought it was rude to talk about myself, but I find more and more I am interested in that people have to say that is tangential to what I wrote about.
(3) I never leave a comment on someone else’s Blog that says “please come check out what I just wrote.” Comments should not be advertisements. I usually do go read a commenter's Blog, so I don't need to be invited.
(4) I try to answer most comments, if they seem to need an answer.
(5) I read and savor every comment I receive, often marveling at how people see things so differently.
I find myself wondering what happened when regular comments from a particular person stop. Did I say something offensive? Is the person no longer interested in what I am writing? Did the person quit Blogging altogether? This is where Blogging doesn’t suffice for a face-to-face conversation.
There may come a time when I am once again a Blogging hermit, but for now I love the exchange of information with a very diverse group of people. This world of electronic friends makes my life so much more interesting.