LEFT: Sign on bathroom door at local coffeeshop
I recently read a list of things a blogger hates about other blogs, which got me thinking.
First, here's how I judge blogs: on their content.
Content, content, content.
Automatic music or ads that jump around are annoying, I agree, but if your content is good, I can take it.
But, second, there is something that changes my relationship to a blog:
when bloggers never, or almost never, reply to comments.
Now, I cherish the fact that blogs are whatever their bloggers want them to be. Each to her own. This radical freedom is precious, so I don't condemn much less hate non-response, but I don't understand it.
I guess the non-responding blogger is working from a different model than I am--maybe they see comments more like Letters to the Editor, which need no response?
I see comments as words spoken in public, or a fist bump or a high five:
things which call for some flicker of a reply.
Further, I see the comment section of a blog as a public forum, so while I like it when conversations move off-blog to a private place (e-mail or face to face), I still see and enjoy the comment section as shared conversation, ideally.
Bottom line: If people don't reply to their comments, I may keep reading and loving their blog, but I stop commenting. Maybe they don't care. I feel they don't, anyway.
Further, I was surprised to read among the many comments on the "things I hate" list that some people hate one-word or net-speak comments, such as "awesome" or "LOL."
Let me tell you right now, I am a praise hog.
If you tell me something I wrote made you LOL, I am thrilled.
Further, I am just thrilled that you are here. If you have criticisms, I welcome those too (though please don't yell at me, like on youTube).
I ran into a couple models for blog comments recently:
1. Zhoen, at "One Word", whose sidebar reads : If you don't have a comment, please leave a "stone." (o) So I know you were here.
I love this image of leaving a stone--it's something hikers do that I find incredibly touching--leaving this little message in the wilderness: I was here and I know you are too.
2. Charles, at Razored Zen.
I'm not a regular reader, so when I commented for the first time recently, I clicked on "e-mail me follow-up comments." I was impressed that not only did he reply briefly but thoughtfully to my comment, but he went on and replied to every single one of the 40-some people who commented on that post, even if only to say, "I hear you."
So-- I wonder:
What do you want to happen in a blog's comments section,
as a commenter or a blogger?
Or even as a cyborg.