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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Comments

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Miss Britt

Hm. I always assumed when people stopped commenting on my blog it was because they got bored with the Internet. Or busy. Or whatever.

It never occurred to me they got sick of ME.

Karl

I'm in the process of pruning my feeds down and I'm refusing to feel guilty about it. I don't know what everyone else's criteria may be for who they read (or don't).

I agree with you on this...you don't have to leave comments on my blog to be my friend. And of course, I hope people don't expect me to comment on their every post just to consider me a friend.

Suebob

Like you said, it depends on the strength of the bond. I have one friend that I talk to MAYBE once every 2 years, but when we pick up the phone, it is like no time has passed at all.

Nat

I don't think people need to comment on my blog to be my friend. Most of my friends don't read my blog. In fact, I find it a bit weird when people say something to me they've read there. But I am weird I guess.

I love to comment. I do appreciate it when people drop by or have to stuff to say (or link to me on their shared items.) And if they don't drop by, well that's ok too.

And I haven't been commenting much because r/l has gotten so darned busy. (I'm sorry.)

Marty Mankins

BTW, excellent post title. Made me smile and laugh.

I'm still trying to get more than a few regulars to post on my blog. At this point, I don't know if people like me or not... that will be determined in the first few months of posts, not just the first 10-12 posts.

As for expecting comments, I don't expect them, but in these early stages of a new blog, a comment is more of a confirmation that people are really reading what you wrote. You can look at the stats, but they don't tell you that visitor #12 actually read your post. They may have just wizzed past it, skimmed and then moved on. Or landed on the page, got a phone call or had to go pee, then came back 5 mins later and moved on, without even reading anything. I guess I could check to see who has subscribed to the feed.

Those are just my assumptions here.

But, the main reason I started my blog was to start writing again. So if no one ever comments, at least I am writing and getting back my mojo/experience.

Hilly

Britt: Haha, oh yeah I make those assumptions too! I don't think that the whole world is against me, but some people are ;). Seriously though, some people I see around everywhere else and it's okay if they've moved on, really :).

Karl: Right, if that is what dictated a friendship then even my closest ones would be in jeopardy. I hardly comment on Foo's blog because I talk to her so much...so yeah, I totally agree with you and myself, ha!

Suebob: I have some friendships like that too and they are some of the best ones.

Nat: I swear this was not a guilt trip so do NOT be sorry about not commenting every day of your life! Heck, I know as well as the next person that sometimes there is something to say and sometimes there just isn't!

Marty: I think the way that I think of it is living for camaraderie but not for comments, which this post was sooo not really about, sorta kinda ;). I mean, if I feel that I've bonded with someone then sometimes no words are necessary. I like to expect nothing...then I am always pleasantly surprised!

Marty Mankins

True, you make a good point about the seeing the difference between someone reading your blog and the confirmation that they read your blog.

And your post was more about friends than the logistics of blogging. Reading it, made me think of the whole feedback thing. But over time, as you have people that read, it's almost as if you really hope that people will stay for the long haul.

I think I'll be around for a long time, as far as a Snackie reader.

Ms Batman

I'm here almost daily, even though I don't always comment. Do I consider us friends? Hard to say yes to that in that we don't know each other that well, other than to read each other's blogs. Could that be different? Sure it could.

I comment and reply to your tweets too, and I know we follow each other there. But just because we circle around each other's universe does not make us BFF's.

I'm going through some of the same things you are right now. Finding me, me alone, not in relation to everyone in my life. I'm learning that just because someone doesn't agree with me doesn't mean they will abandon me. And if our relationship does fall apart, well, guess what? I don't have to.

I would love to have more readers and more comments, but I don't feel that my lack of either is a reflection of me as a person. I see it as a fault in my writing to attract, entertain and keep readers.

Hilly

Marty: Well I hope you stick around cause I like you long time! And yes, it takes awhile to figure out who is a blog reader and who is a friend.

MsBatman: All great points. And I agree that just because people read each others blogs does not necessarily mean that they are going to be BFF's forevah and evah. I think what becomes curious to me is when someone DOES say you are good friends then just walks away and you see them other places. Like you said, if something I said offends, just tell me. It's amazing how zen I am over this whole thing today...an entry like this may have been snarky six months ago, haha!

RW

Yeah I think it's safe to say that I knew my comment about my third ear would make you feel better so OK I'll take my bow and say 'glad to help' and all.

I would hope the friend/comment issue would be answered "oh sure there will be people here and there who have made a real connection", but the truth is since my time allotment has changed and I don't get to comment as much as I used to my own comment stream has been reduced by half so there are a lot of lousy bastards out there. I mean I mean I mean that is... er... I have an abrasive manner. I don't expect people to hang around. My real friends are IRL, and I hope I've added to that crew via this medium.

But any time you want a third ear... you know...

kapgar

I always found it odd how cyclical the blog world is. There are very few people who have been consistently in my blog world from the get go until now. Dave and SJ being two of them. I had a crew early on and most of them are gone and I've cycled through two more "generations" of regular readers since that time. I'm starting to see yet another group forming. It's so weird. I try not to take it personally. Some people move on. That's just the nature of the beast. If they ever want to talk to me again down the line, I have no qualms about doing so.

However, I am still here on your site and will continue to be for the forseeable future. ;-)

Kyra

Blog world and real world are very different. I would say online friendships, unless pushed over into real-life, are fly by night kind of deals. It's just the nature of the beast. But in real life/person kind of friends, I believe if you are really friends, you are friends with who they are at their core, and not the circumstance. Circumstance-friendships are the ones that dissolve. Real friendships may go back and forth (i.e. years without contact) but in the end, you really ARE still friends.

tori

I sure HOPE you don't have to comment all the time to be someones friend. I read so many blogs that I almost never comment on. Sometimes I can't think of what to say, other times I don't have time to put what I want to say into real words and figure I will come back and do it when I get a chance. I almost never "get a chance" to come back, but it doesn't mean I am thinking of that person any less than if I commented!

I am so busy all the time with so much going on in my life that I rarely even talk to my real life friends consistently. I really hope everyone in my life understands that although I think of people often, if I don't make any contact it is not personal. I feel swamped and buried in obligation most of the time. I think I "talk" to my blog friends more often than my real life friends because I can just walk away from the computer when a kid screams and it is rude to do that when on the phone or in person.

I am getting way off the topic of what you wrote about, so I will just end with this. I hope you know that I consider you a friend even though I rarely comment/email anymore. I read every day (or when I miss a day, I catch up and read it all anyway) I think the world of you and hope to someday meet you in real life too! (does that sound creepy stalkerish? I don't mean it that way!)

shiny

As a new member to this part of the PRB, I'm realizing that I need to strike a difficult balance between making sure that my readers are acknowledged and encouraged to read and reply to my blog -- which I do by answering every reply; and making sure I take the time to be a reader and/or friend to those in the community by reading and responding to their blogs.

In my previous blogging community, I feel like I isolated quite a few folks by not responding to their replies to my blog -- which, at times, I felt would be rather extraneous. (Since that community used nested replies it was very difficult to reply globally to everyone.) Perhaps it is because of this that I'm focusing more on answering the replies of my own blog a bit more.

But I'm realizing now that, perhaps, my energies should be used reading what other people have to say and getting to know them better (especially since I'm about 90% sure that I'll be meeting a cross-section of these folks at TequilaCon). Perhaps I'm being a gracious host when people are visiting my virtual "home," but part of the responsibility of the community is visiting the places of others and letting them play host.

I swear I had a valid point when I began writing this, but it's somehow escaped me...

Absurdist

Poignantly put. Great post. I have fallen victim to the "you don't like me so I am not going to blog". What's weird is, in my professional life, I would have said to that person, "fuck off", and it would have been no skin off my back.

I have to remember that I am blogging for me, and if others find my content boring, then cest la vie. But if someone is truly my friend, they would read my blog to see how I am doing, or what's going on in my life regardless.

If you were to talk about boils, feminine itching and odor, and bowel movements, I would still read your blog, cuz me wuvs you.

adena

Well, even if I don't always comment here, I still email you every once in a while ("Sending an email to Hilly!!!) *snort*...and honestly, I consider you one of my real "blog friends" Maybe cuz I've actually met you in person? I dunno.

Or maybe I'm just delusional. :)

Turnbaby

"""Blog world and real world are very different. I would say online friendships, unless pushed over into real-life, are fly by night kind of deals."""

This attitude chaps my ass and I've got to do the post about it that's been rolling about in my head.I've already talked about it some but I guess I need to expound in my own space not yours sugar.

I have a very close friend who doesn't comment much on my blog and I don't comment much on his. It's likely because we text a lot. I've never met him in person but he and I have shared more than either of us have ever shared with any of our 'bricks and mortar' friends.

I think a friendship is unique to the two people--you know it when you are in it. No one else can judge it based on their standards of what constitutes a 'friend.'I think there are some obvious outward things that 'friends' do. However those 'displays' are something anyone can do---it's when you get down to the two of you and the nitty gritty that tells you if that person is really your friend.

Just my two cents sugar.

SMooch

Mattie

I'm not a commenter often enough I suppose. And I think that it's because of my attitude of what my own blog is supposed to be --- the place where I work out the crap in my head and turn it into something more palatable.

Maybe you just don't need that anymore. Maybe it just gets in the way.

But, if you end this blog, I have one question. Will you have a cupcake party before you go?

Denise

Really cool post, Hilly (and comments, too). I feel as though I really *know* the people whose blogs I read on a regular basis and I call them "blog-friends", but do I really know them at all? Would they notice if I never visited again and, if not, how can I consider them friends at all? Food for thought. (Bonuses because that kind of food has no calories!)

Bec

Guilt - see. I have got to start being more active. I don't want people to feel like I don't love them any more. Oh God.

It's so hard to maintain any kind of relationship on the net or in fact anywhere; but I have always felt closer to the people in the blog circle than in the 'real world'.

My feedreader is the accusatory stare now - when posts build up and I read them and love them but don't click through (because of the stupid tiredness) I feel bad... but I am still connecting in my head.

Hilly

RW: Oh yeah, I am holding you to that third ear! I don't comment when you write about Top Chef just cause I don't watch it but other than that, hubba hubba!

Kapgar: You know, I was thinking about that same thing. Although, I sort of count my newer blogging world from when Karl introduced me to everyone he knew...and almost all of you from that era are still around and I know always will be.

Kyra: I'm trying to think back to if I have circumstance friendships and I guess that would be yes. Everyone in the weight loss community, I was friends with because of that. Oddly, half of those people just fell by the wayside when I did. Luckily, half didn't!

Tori: No, I totally understand what you are saying 100%. I love you to death but hardly every comment as well. I think that sometimes my not having children makes me comment less when people do because yanno...like *I* really have any advice on those matters ;). But you are one of those people I could go months without talking to then pick up again like nothing, baby!

Shiny: I think you made an EXCELLENT point! Britt and I were talking the other day about the difference between thinking engaging your readers being more important versus commenting on other blogs being more important. I am the complete opposite of you and don't engage here enough. It's seriously hard to find that balance but I think that is a necessary part of it all.

Abs: Why thanks, darling. I have to see if others would want to hear my stank though, haha. Even my closest friends don't like some of the things that I do or say but the mark of that true friendship is them either letting it go or telling me rather than dumping me. I like to react the same way when I can :).

Adena: You made me snort! I consider you a real friend not only because we've met in person but also because we have shared so much of our stories and our common bond, yanno. SENDING AN EMAIL TO ADENA!!!!

Turnbaby: I completely agree that anyone can put on a show. It's what happens behind closed doors that's important. I hope you DO do that post because I am always interested that some people don't consider online friends to be lasting ones where others of us totally do.

Mattie: Well I'll have a million cupcake parties but I'M NOT GOING ANYWHERE! :)

Denise: I'd notice if you never visited but then again maybe that's because we've talked outside of the blog world and I dig you like that but uh yeah....sometimes I wonder the same exact thing!

Bec: Well I certainly don't want you feeling guilt, see. I really wrote this as a reflective look on what's going on in my realm so don't feel bad. I'll tell you a secret...sometimes I clear my feedreader and just start fresh!

Mattie

I guess I'm confused. I thought you were shutting down your blog.

Always a day late and a dollar short --- that's me!

):^}

Hilly

Mattie: Well it's not like I haven't *threatened* to a thousand times ;)

Jules

I go through periods of busy busy time and in those moments I find it hard to manage my time. As it is I have just spent four hours on the computer today catching up with friends when I should be fucking doing my naturopathy units. Often i read and don't comment but I also find that there are lots of blogs that I read because they read me and that really, their content bores me shitless, I totally would not be friends with them in day to day life and I don't know why I don't just cut them off??

Yours is not one of those by the way darling, I wish I could meet you but logistically we are worlds apart.

So here's a question for you: Do you read the blogs of everyone who comments?

Stacey

Sometimes I find it hard to tell who all of my blog friends are. If someone regularly comments, does that automatically make them a blog friend? Then there are the people who don't comment often, but who have followed me from blog to blog over the years. And the people who email me every once in awhile, even if a quick hi in response to a comment I left on their blogs.

I wish I knew better because I'm too shy to initiate conversation with anyone, fearing I'll annoy them or that they aren't interested in talking to me. So much for blogging pulling me out of my shell!

Hilly

Jules: Ha, we are similar in our reading style. I guess that my answer would be that I do read the blogs of people who comment but I don't always comment on those blogs. Does that make sense?

Stacey: I used to be that way for a long time. I did not want to bug someone and *I* thought I wasn't cool enough, whatever that means. So I totally understand where you are coming from but you are welcome here and in my email anytime!

kilax

I used to comment a lot on a lot of blogs... then those blogs started getting so many comments, I didn't have time to read all the comments as well as the post so I don't comment all the time. Does that make sense? I skimmed most of the comments here, because it is 10:20 and I have to get up at 5:30 and I should already be in bed...

I haven't had a "Come and go" effect like kapgar. It has been the same few core people, and always a few stragglers. It seems like the nature of the beast ;)

Brandon

I'm a bad commenter, I know. I wish I was better, but it's just not so. I don't know how a lot of you do it. I see some of you posting comments on tons of blogs. I barely even get to read my favorite ones on a daily basis let alone comment.

I've had a ton of people come and go from mine but at any one time, I've never had more than, like, ten faithful readers. I'm sure that's because of A) the content and B) the fact that I don't comment that often on other people's blogs. Oh well.

Catherine

This depends on how define the word friend and how you are willing to expand and/or alter what you mean by that word under these (cyber/mixed cyber/irl) circumstances. It depends on what kinds of communications pacing you are game for under what circumstances. Everyone's thresholds are different and vary according to the priorities in a given relationship.

BlondeBlogger

Well, I will always consider you a friend and I mean that. I have had so much blog guilt and I've lost a lot of people I considered friends because I haven't been able to comment on their blog. But I agree with you...I can only be myself and do what I can do, and if others hold it against me, there's nothing I can do about it. I hope you know that even if I can't always comment (actually, lately, it's been almost never) that I still consider you my friend. :)

floatingprincess

My commenting goes in spurts because either I'm too rushed and reading through the feeder without clicking through, or I'm feeling quiet. Usually I post less on my own blog when I'm feeling quiet too. I don't feel like people don't like me if they don't comment much on my blog because I rarely have comments anyway. Maybe people just don't like my style or what I have to say, and that's fine - I blog what's on my mind not theirs.

I'm also pretty shy about reaching out to someone, and it takes a lot for me to put myself out there. It's especially hard for me on the more popular blogs, but I'm getting over it.

Winter

I've had a lot of people come and go in my life, internet related, RL and both - those that I met online and developed a RL relationship with. It's just a fact of life that sometime people do move on. I think there are people out here who I consider friends, who I know very rarely if ever comment on my blog. I don't get a lot of comments anyway unless I post about the cemetery for a TT and then hit a ton of blogs. I would say for every 3 blogs I comment on I get 1 back. Maybe. I don't take it to heart, even though it's disappointing for a moment. I would rather someone like Karl leave a comment like "W00t's not a word" once a week than some fly by night leave 2 paragraphs and never come back. But that's just me.

SJ

Oh my god. OH MY GOD! I may truly be cured. I actually read this entire post without ONCE thinking, "She's talking about me!" I'll bet you find that as astounding as I do.

You know how bad I used to be about this. Remember when I "quit blogging FOREVER!!!" because I suddenly noticed I wasn't listed on Dave's and Karl's blogrolls? And they were like, "Huh?!?!" LOL!!! I like to blame that one on being bipolar. Yeah, I totally used to feel like "if they're not commenting, they're not reading, and they don't like me anymore." Thank God I got over that.

If any of my blogfriends base our friendship on how often I comment, I'm in deep shit. I've been terrible about it lately. Chalk it up to depression, illness and time crunches. It's easy to read when you don't feel well, not so easy to come up with a response. But it has nothing at all to do with how I feel about the blogger.

SJ

P.S. The only ones of my "real-life" friends who even read my blog are the ones who started off as blog friends, and became real-life friends. Most of my IRL friends don't even know it exists.

Coffee in Kits

I guess it's an emotional thing. Friendship can't be universally defined.
You could feel like a person that comments once a month is more of a friend than someone that leaves you one-liners every day of the week...

Kyra

Hmm perhaps I need to clarify a bit. I think a lot of people link to each other and comment on blogs and call each other friends, but aren't in the real sense. By carrying over into "real life" as I said, I meant on a more personal level. As in, you talk in emails, texts, phone, whatever. You have more interaction than JUST blog comments.

Do I have friends online that I have never actually "met" in person? Absolutely. Are they real friends? Absolutely. But the gaggle of people that are fickle and float around in blogrings and think that is ALL there is to it are simply "circumstance" friends. They don't really KNOW you. And for you to be friends, that knowing has to take place, it's vital. Worse, they seem to turn on a dime. Anything for drama.

The same thing happens with "work friends", those people who call you a "friend" but never actually get to know you on more that a shallow level in passing. Acquaintance friends. That isn't real friendship. And that is what I meant. I did not mean that people cannot be friends online who have never met physically, and I apologize for ticking anyone off with the misunderstanding.

Nanna

Ah my dear I think you are wonderful.

MB

I read this post from work but can't comment from there anymore (long Big 'Bastard' Brother story) so I had to make sure I popped in tonight to let you know I'm here, I'm right here *raising hands, jumping up and down* but I'm usually quiet as a mouse or maybe some sort of super hero blog post thief always takin' and no givin'.

I'm sure I'm not alone coming in and ravaging your posts and sneaking out the back door. I'm sorry you haven't been able to telepathicly pick up the vibes of my responding with cheers, tears, sympathy, big belly laughs, and appreciation for your eye opening, soul searching, vocabulary boosting posts.

Even though we live thousands of miles away from each other, and are "blog friends" and not real life friends it is just a different kind of friendship. I believe once a friend, always a friend no matter how much time passes.

I'm sure the biggest reason people don't comment is it sucks up so much time to not only read blogs but find something to say and reply in the limited number of hours we have each day. Life is just so crazy-busy sometimes.

Also, especially on popular blogs like yours, it is hard to compete with the plethora of great writers out there who fill up the comment section (yeah, I know, it isn't a competition). But I am out there.

I was a lurker for years until you got me to come out of the blog closet a few years ago with a similar themed post. I had to let you know that even if I wasn't commenting I was usually nodding my head in agreement or more likely snorting my coffee out my nose laughing over something you wrote. Don't stop writing even if you're not getting validation or feeling the love from those of us out there. We're out there and we love you so keep doing what your doing.

Can you feel the love?

MB

WOW ... I didn't realize that was so long until after I hit "Post." Sorry for running on ...

Do you feel the love yet, huh? huh?

Foo

I'm cool with people commenting whenever they feel the need. My work filters have taken the ease out of commenting on your blog and several others, posting late in the game...um, like now...it's just weird. I would rather have comments from people that have something to add to the conversation and topic...rather than "Fuck Yeahs!" I know we've discussed that before too.

John

RE: "...can someone still be your friend or "blog friend" if they never comment on your blog?"

I take kind of a hard line on this. Can they be my real friend, as in someone I call and interact with in real life? Of course. A lot of my friends and family read my blog but are too shy to leave even the most innocuous comment.

Blog friends are different. There have been people that I have patronized because of a genuine admiration for what they put out there. I've read them, left comments regularly, even put them on my blogroll. And what have they ever done for me? Squat. That's when the bigger issue comes into play. That says to me, "well of course you should love ME, there's nothing about YOU, your life or your writing that I have any use for at all." Okay. You know what? FUCK YOU.

I have enough people making me feel bad by default. I don't need to go looking for more.

SJ

John, remember that most people read blogs via feed readers rather than "live," and they may just not have the time to go over and comment. That doesn't mean they're not reading you.

The harsh tone of your comment makes me question your true motives. Are you honestly reading and commenting on certain blogs because you *enjoy* them, or is it more in hopes of generating traffic to your own site? Remember, a jug fills drop by drop, and some of the more popular bloggers have had their jugs out there a good long while.

“Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.” ~ Gautama Siddhartha

Atomic Bombshell

Friends come in all varieties. There are people that I'd die for, whom I've never met in person. Sometimes we speak as little as a few lines of text a year. What matters is the heart... Love and commitment.

Carly

I think that friendships ebb and flow... sometimes they ebb and flow together, sometimes they go in different directions. But if they're true friendships, they always find their way back to one another, no matter the years between them.

sue

Oh, Hilly... I still love you. I just have had lots on my plate and haven't been able to come by and/or comment. Please forgive my absence and know that when things calm down (some day, SOON, I hope!) I'll be back more regularily. You'll always be a bloggy friend!

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