Or The One My Husband Won’t Read Because He Feels Blogging About Blogging Is Really Lame
Wow. Where to begin? I have so many blogging issues swirling around in my head right now I’m not sure where to begin. So – lets start chronologically.
About a month or so ago – a blogger responded to another blogger in my comments section negatively. Unfortunately, she didn’t address that person and I just got emailed her comment so I assumed it was directed at me. I felt awful and apologized in an upset way (because I wasn’t sure how I deserved the negativity because I didn’t realize she wasn’t talking to me) and too quick to the punch (if I had let it sit, I might have sorted it out) and that upset her. So she blogged about it. She didn’t link to me directly, but when I read the blog entry I knew it was directed to me. SHE WAS UPSET because, of course in her mind, I overreacted and in her mind, I should chill out because it wasn’t directed at me. She emailed me back and we all feel much better now. I apologized for automatically assuming she hated me with that comment and not my commenter. It’s all good now, but the situation still haunts me because I felt like there was a way I could have avoided it. So – here are the lessons from that one –
Lesson for Zoot: If a comment seems too angry to be logical, step back and reevaluate. It might not be directed at you. And also – DON’T BE SO SENSITIVE.
Lesson for Zoot’s Commenters: Zoot is really sensitive, so be sure to address the person you’re talking to because even if it’s obvious to you (like being the next commenter) she will probably assume you’re talking to her.
I wrote an entry about buying two pastries at Panera bread instead of one (one for the fetus!) and someone left a comment about how I’m obviously not trying too hard to save money after getting laid off. There may have even been an emoticon eye-roll or something. I was terrified the rest of the world would think similar crappy thoughts so I simply deleted the entry. Gone. Which is not at all the way to handle the situation as a mature adult, I’m guessing. I realized that later.
Lesson for Zoot: DON’T BE SO SENSITIVE. But also – don’t delete your words. It’s your story and you shouldn’t feel like that’s ever a good solution.
Lesson for Zoot’s Commenters: Zoot’s really sensitive. Let’s try to be nice, okay? A comment that you think isn’t that bad will honestly make her cry. She is embarrassed about this – but it’s true.
Someone wrote an entry this week about how they think I hate them. They linked to me directly but that’s not how I found it because I’m bad about not checking my referral stats. A mutual reader sent it to me because they knew I didn’t hate the person and thought I may want to contact her to clear things up. Their reasons were some of the following: 1) I responded to a request for help incorrectly and they felt awkward. 2) I never brought a comment of theirs out of moderation. 3) I suck at commenting, responding to comments, emailing, and visiting blogs. Of course – she didn’t say those things specifically but that’s the general feel. And in reality? She’s right. I do suck. And it does make me look like I hate her. I don’t, though, I promise. And I emailed her and told her that and explained myself. But – my feelings were hurt and being the third forced-self-evaluation incident in the last month, I decided it was time to do some bloggy soul-searching.
I did the first thing I always do with a blog dilemma, I email my blogging support group. RancidRaves, RunningStitch, and Slackermama have been my go-to group for all things blog-related (and not – since sometimes my emails are more along the lines of, “My husband forgot Valentine’s Day!!!”) for almost three years now, I guess. We all use each other and I highly recommend you build yourself a good group like that. They come in handy for talking you down from the ledge when you send out emails that say,”I’M TAKING DOWN MY BLOG!” Here are some conclusions I’ve come to.
Acknowledging Commenters Is More Important Than I Realized
After many back-and-forths and link sharing and thought sharing, I came to a conclusion. I am a really sucky blogger. REALLY SUCKY. It first hit me when Brit mentioned that she feels crappy if she’s new to a blog and they don’t respond to her comment. Everyone echoed that and I can honestly say to you: THIS SURPRISED ME. I comment on a handful of blogs a day and don’t ever think about why they didn’t respond back. Obviously – I’m in the minority with that one. Maybe it’s because I don’t comment often, or maybe it’s because I’m a moron, but I never realized that people might get their feelings hurt if I didn’t recognize their comments.
Too Much Time Reading And Not Enough Communicating is a Bad Balance
RancidRaves sent me this link as a good resource and I about crapped my pants. Do you see that pie-chart? She spends 20% of her blogging time emailing/responding to comments. 50% writing and only 5% reading. If I did that same type of chart it would say 70% writing, 25% reading and 5% emailing/commenting. Obviously – this is where my error is. Maybe I have too many things in my feed-reader. Maybe I’m really sucky at communicating. Maybe it’s a little of both. Either way – my blogging priorities are not normal.
I Don’t Deserve A Pedestal of Any Kind, Which Means I Have No Good Excuses
I think the weird thing about this – is that a lot of people seem to think of me as a “popular” blogger. Many have said, “Well – you get gobs of comments so you can’t respond to them all.” I mean – I know I get more comments than a beginner – but I do some entries that don’t even get 5 comments. It’s true – I can’t respond to them all – especially now that I’m getting so little computer time a day. But – I obviously need to be better. I’m not an a-lister blogger by any means. I get decent traffic, but it’s not going to allow me to let my husband quit his job the second I put ads on it. I don’t even pay attention to my stats, to be honest, because I sometimes build them up to be higher in my head and get depressed when I see the actual numbers. So – I don’t have a good excuse. I’m just lame.
I’m Very Insecure About Commenting
I only comment on a handful of sites a day. Like, 2-5 total. I read over 100, but I comment rarely. This is mainly because I am very insecure about commenting. I don’t like to comment unless I really feel like I can add something. And usually then, afterward, I realize it’s a really lame addition and wish I hadn’t commented. Evidence: Linda wrote a good entry about beginning the post-baby weight loss challenge with non-existent free time. Yet, what did I comment about? Her one-sentence reference to the hotness of Captain Jack Harkness. WHAT THE HELL? I wish I could delete my comment because several others commiserated or gave their own stories. I’m all like, “OMG. DROOL. JACK IS SEXY.” That is the WORST comment EVER and exactly why I don’t like to comment other places. It took me about 45 minutes to write a comment at Julie’s and it was just a simple question. So – this is obviously something I need to get over. But – I don’t want to be a one-word commenter. I want to actually contribute somehow. I think it’s because I assume that bloggers would rather have an actual comment or none at all. It looks like that may be wrong.
BUT – To Me – Writing is the Most Important Part of it All
Here is where I think the inherent problem lies. If I have some free time at the computer, and I can either respond to comments or write another entry, I write another entry. I like to provide content to blog and if I have an entry idea, that is my first step. So, with limited computer time, the emails/comments get pushed aside. I am fairly certain I have just as many readers out there who are NOT bloggers as I do bloggers, and I feel like I think about them more than the bloggers. I want to give them something new to read, if I have something new to talk about. I set aside time to blog, I don’t set aside time to email. And I think that is the root of my issues. I assume everyone else is the same way. That they would rather write than respond if they are limited, but I don’t think that’s the case now.
THE POINT OF IT ALL
So – there are going to be some changes in my blogging style/methods. But – before I make a new Blogging Creed for myself – I’d really like to hear your thoughts/feedback. If you don’t have a blog, I’d really like your feedback as well because I think of my non-blogging readers often and would love to hear their opinions. Here are some questions I’d like to hear your response to.
My Questions To You:
1. As a blog reader – how offended are you when I (or any other blogger) don’t respond to your comments? Are you like me and you don’t even think about it? Or are you like the rest of the world and it hurts your feelings? On a scale from 1-10 with “not offended” being a 1 and “seriously offended probably won’t comment again” being a 10.
2. As a blogger – what percentage of time blogging do you spend commenting on other people’s blogs? How about responding to emails or comments? How about writing?
3. Do you rate the comments on your blog? Do you think about whether someone is contributing to conversation or are you just happy to get the comment? For example – if someone just says, “Funny!” – are you fine with that? Just to get the comment? Or would you rather them not comment at all if they don’t really have much to say?
BEFORE YOU ANSWER:
Please make sure you read the entry before you answer the questions – it’s frustrating when it’s obvious someone didn’t read that paragraphs before the questions.
Don’t say anything negative about any of the bloggers mentioned in the three situations above. You all like to jump to my defense and I love that but my feelings were hurt in all three situations, I don’t want someone in my comments section to reciprocate that.
Edited to Add: Michelle wrote a great blogging entry yesterday that is much better than this one. I had to link to it. I don’t normally like the blogworld = high school analogy, but she brings up some funny points.