Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A comment on comments

(If you have a problem with meta blogging then nows the time to click that little X in the upper corner of your browser, because I feel it's time to talk about that most taboo subject in blogland - comments. And if talking about comments isn't your cup of tea, well, buh-bye.)

Let me preface this blather with this statement: I love my readers. I do. Every single one of you, and if you comment then so much the better. Why? Because I heart the comments you leave. I have lovely people who come to my blog and comment on my posts on a regular basis. They write sun dappled words of support and love, words with rainbows and winged ponies shooting out of them, leaving me with that feeling you only get if you wrap yourself in a large, fluffy towel that came straight from the dryer. So many kind, thoughtful, wonderful words that I want to sprinkle on my chocolate ice cream and eat for dessert. Delicious comments.

(I'm completely done with the italics now.)

Coming off an extreme high like Blogher and being thrust into the world of death and grief you were all there for me, tucked away in the comments on my blog. You were there, regardless of the fact that I am the reigning Queen of Drunkenness in the kingdom of Blogher; the artist currently known as Wow, I Didn't Know She Could Drink Like That.

Though I would much rather be known as Man of La Mancha, or even the Demon Barber of Seville, than carry the Mrs. Chicky: Drunk Blogger moniker. But we are who we are.

And, hellooo tangent. How I love me some tangents. Almost as much as I like sparkley things and... Ooh, shiny.

Reality used to be a friend of mine, cause complete control I don't take too kind.

(Hey, you come here for a peak into my brain. Don't shake your head when stuff like this happens. It's like going to a Stones concert but having to sit through Rick Astley's opening set. The two don't go together but someone along the way thought the pair made sense. Okay?)

So, where were we? Comments, right. Things were mentioned at Blogher in various sessions...

(and, yes, I know you're sick of hearing about that Conference that Shall Not Be Named Anymore. But this is not about that. Pinky swear.)

... about comments and commenting. Bottom line: If you want people to come to your blog, you have to comment on other people's blogs. And not only that, but you have to be funny, or thought provoking, or write in the third person. Anything that will make you stand out to the other people perusing the comments section of another bloggers blog (A.B.B. - yo. I'm down wit it.) and make them want to click over to yours. It really is that simple.

For you mathematical-types: Commenting + witticisms + funny + that certain je ne sais quack = buttloads of people flocking to your blog (get it? Like ducks.) all clamoring for your attention.

But it's not that easy, is it? You run all over the blogosphere leaving your stamp on O.B.B.s (Other Bloggers Blogs. Lots of acronyms here. Please try to keep up.) and only a few people follow you home, regardless of all the tasty crumbs you're leaving them.

Enter: Blogger Depression, or, the Nobody Likes Me/Everybody Hates Me/Guess I'll Go Eat Worms syndrome.

It happens. Don't sweat it. It's the ebb and flow of the blog world. Keep commenting and people will eventually come... if you have something relevant to say. And, A-ha! Therein lies the rub. You must be interesting to read because why should someone waste their precious time on your brain dumps? Be interesting and people will be interested, capice? No one cares what you had for lunch.

If you have a strong voice people just like you will come a-calling. You'll find your own group of blog friends. You'll have blog slumber parties and blog pillow fights and someone will wait until you fall asleep and then put your blog bra in the blog freezer. Except maybe you men out there. Probably no pillow fights or frozen bras for you, eh? Although, in blogland you could be male and have a thing for frozen bras. There's plenty of room here for all the freaky deakys.

If people don't come in the thousands to your blog, don't give up (cos you have friends, as a matter of fact just keep that playing that song while you finish reading this.) and for chrissake! Don't blog about how nobody likes you and why, oh why with much hand wringing doesn't anyone like me. I hate that. Turns me off faster than the idea of Tony Soprano in a Speedo.

Now, who the hell am I to be telling you this? Nobody, that's who. I'm just a woman who writes a blog and uses a lot of parenthetical references and poor punctuation in her posts. And that's an important point that you have to remember. We're all just people, just like you. Even Dooce, I've never met her but she seems like a regular gal to me. A regular gal with thousands upon thousands of readers, but still just a gal. A gal that probably hates to be referred to as a gal, but a regular gal nonetheless. I bet she even uses spell check from time to time.

But I'm not done. We still have to tackle the phenomenon of "He/She used to comment all the time and now they don't so I'm not going to visit their blog anymore so there." [stomps foot]

Is there anything more ridiculous than that? Ooh, so and so used to be your blog friend but now they never comment. Boo freaking hoo. I'm very sorry to be so harsh, but this is real life and blogs? Not so much. Unless you've made friends with someone off-blog, through email or through a face to face meetup, I think it's safe to say that they're not really your friend. You may be friendly, you may really like what they have to say and feel a connection with them, but they are not, I repeat ARE NOT, your friend. If you have no desire to meet this person or even talk with this person outside of the comment section of a blog but still consider them to be your BFF then it's time to reconsider life in your parents basement. So if they stop commenting I wouldn't pull the blog equivalent of the oh so very seventh grade act "I caught you holding hands with my crush, you're dead to me" and cut them out of your life. Grow up and gain some perspective.

I'm sure there's more but, frankly, I'm tired. And I have a life. Blogs are important tools for reaching out to others like yourself, but if your comments are running your life it's time to take a second look at what you consider to be the very definition of "life".

This post may not win me any friends but at least I've had my say.

This is your brain:

(Actually, it's Einstein's brain.)

This is your brain on blogs:

(Actually, it's a picture of my kid. It's cute though, don't you think?)

Any questions?

** Inspired by a post that SueBob wrote. In one of those A-ha! moments, I saw a topic that had been kicking around in my head for some time was touched upon by another blogger. If you'd like to know what I and other bloggers said in response to her post go read it for yourself.

Also, something I meant to mention above was the fact that I try very hard to reciprocate comments, especially those thoughtful words of condolence that you left after my grandmother's death. I owe you all a visit and if I haven't been to your site yet know that I'm trying. It's a bit like thank you cards (something I'm not very good at, btw), I owe you all some kind words in return and I'll get there. Some time.