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03 May 2007

Help me not care about who reads (or doesn't read) my blog. [More:]
The reason I brought this up is because my most recent entry is asking people who are reading my blog to leave a comment, and tell maybe who they are or how they found it. Just curious, because I saw that wordpress provides me with stats about how many views and stuff! Neato, right? I did a similar thing with my livejournal, and even posted a link in my LJ over to my blog.

I've had over 40 people (42 at last count) view my blog today, and not a single comment. I can even see specific people I know are looking at it (they've clicked the link on my LJ while viewing their LJ's friends list, thus showing who they are. It says If I'm interpreting wordpresses stats correctly, I even have someone who has subscribed to my feed (I've been rss'ified! That's a first)! It's silly, but it's very frustrating to be e-gnored like that! So I figured I should just do my best not to care. I want to not care about who does or doesn't read my blog. I should probably care more about the content, and if that gains me a readership, then woohoo, right? The internet is, for the most part, a meritocracy. So how do I go about doing that?
Help me not care about who reads (or doesn't read) my blog.

Is that really possible? We speak because we want to be heard, and we write to be read, especially on the internet, otherwise we'd judt leave it in a notebook. And comments are important, since they're a good gauge of whether you've succeded in communicating. As a former blogger, I feel your pain, but the flipside is that people respond to what they feel like responding to.
posted by jonmc 03 May | 19:17
CF, it's frustrating. It seems that people are reluctant to be the first to comment. Maybe you could ask a friend to make a comment to get the ball rolling. Sometimes people read with interest and feel they have nothing constructive to add. A case in point -- I just finished reading the racism thread. ;-)

I checked your profile and notice you don't link to your blog. Beautiful photos though!
posted by LoriFLA 03 May | 19:18
Don't discount the possibility that some (though certainly not all) have been unable to leave a comment. A friend posted a similar poll a few months ago, and some glitch in the interface prevented me from loading the comment page, though I tried several times.
posted by Elsa 03 May | 19:24
I used to have a pretty popular blog - it got at least a couple thousand hits a day, on a bad day. It didn't have any impact on my life one way or the other if 10 people or 1000 people a day read it, though, and unless you have ads on your site, it really doesn't matter how many hits you get either.

Try really hard not to obsess over your stats. Don't place importance over insignificant and often incorrect details.

Don't ask for comments, because that's the best way to insure that you don't get any. If you really desire comments, write something comment-worthy. Who would you like to read your blog? Go to theirs and comment.

I should probably care more about the content, and if that gains me a readership, then woohoo, right?
There you go.

You should post the link.
posted by iconomy 03 May | 19:27
People just never fucking comment. Never. It's insanely boggling to me, as someone who, you know, leaves comments, but it's a fact of life. Great big blogs that see tens of thousands a day still get a few comments total.

Forums get comment traffic. Blogs...don't.
posted by cortex 03 May | 19:28
The rules of discourse are different on the internet than in person. We all know that of course, but we don't make all the appropriate changes to our other ways of thinking. If you were to tell a really amusing and intelligent story to someone, you would expect feedback. If they just walked away without even smiling or otherwise showing some reaction, you'd feel really hurt and confused.

When you put something really great on the web, you tend to react that way too if you get no feedback (especially if you know people have seen it). But this is applying our real life criteria to a totally different situation.

When was the last time you wrote to an author about a book you really liked? How many people do you think do that? So there's no real reason to think putting your writing on the web should result in any significantly higher a proportion of feedback.

It would be interesting to learn about what proportion of readers leave comments (there was something about this on the Blue a while back wasn't there? It was expressed in ratios I think), and how the psychology of blog reading works, but this really is about them and not about you.

So develop a "web skin" that's a *lot* thicker than your meat version and get to work on the content.
posted by GeckoDundee 03 May | 20:05
Found it. It was a thread about participation inequality. It's actually about large sites though. Eideteker's link seems to offer some very plausible explanations for the general phenomenon of not posting.
posted by GeckoDundee 03 May | 20:15
I haaaate when blog owners beg for comments. Hate it! And I really hate hate hate when one of my friends asks me after every freakin' entry he writes, Did you read my latest entry? Why didn't you comment? Come on, comment! No. The real funny thing is, You have to blog for you; it's the only way to get an audience. Once you start the Please Love Me game, it ceases to be interesting to other people.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 03 May | 20:39
It could be worse. My ex gave up asking questions in the green because she thought the answers were too mean, and she couldn't deal with anonymous strangers typing callous (and, to be honest, I think MeFi is much more civil than other discussion boards) things on the Internet.

When I wrote a blog, I made the distinction from the beginning that it was primarily for me. Anyone else that actually wanted to read it was just a bonus. That, and I can never remember who I tell what, which helped to keep all those interested in my life on the same page.
posted by backseatpilot 03 May | 20:40
Thanks everybody. Glad to know I'm not alone/crazy.

Thanks for the link, Eideteker. It helped. A lot of those same thoughts go through my head on other people's blogs.

When was the last time you wrote to an author about a book you really liked?
Last week. :/

How many people do you think do that?
I had put the figure somewhere near "a lot." :/

So develop a "web skin" that's a *lot* thicker than your meat version and get to work on the content.
Yessir! And I'll be sure to check out your links when I'm done editing a few things.

You should post the link.
Heh. Humans. After all this griping, I've suddenly realized how much I really do need to work on the content. I've got nothing of substance written. Nothing worth viewing. I'll get back to you ;)

And on preview, yikes TPS. I'll never do it again! You've scared me straight.
posted by CitrusFreak12 03 May | 20:48
Hey, TPS, did you read my latest entry?
posted by gaspode 03 May | 21:01
::kill kill kill::
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 03 May | 21:10
And comments are important, since they're a good gauge of whether you've succeded in communicating.

That's nonsense. Forget the comments. They mean next to nothin. As cortex said, many successful blogs that are fantastic get very few comments, while blogs that specialize in trolling will get tons. It's usually easy to pick out blogs where the writer is fishing for comments. Some of the best blogs don't even have comments enabled.

posted by justgary 03 May | 21:44
One of my absolute favorite blogs has no comments, no e-mail, no way of contacting the anoymous author. And I looove it. LOVE IT!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 03 May | 21:50
I tend to develop weird guilt/pressure feedback loops when blogging, but it's kind of the opposite of what you are talking about, citrusfreak: people start leaving comments, and then I feel I should go to their blogs and leave comments, and I also feel I should respond back to their comments on my blog, but then I end up spending all sorts of time with the commenting and feeling guilty about not doing other, more productive things, but then, if I don't comment, I feel guilty because I think that they will think that I don't appreciate their comments. Ugh.

And it's even worse with friends commenting on my blog, because then I'll feel guilty if I don't respond back, and I also feel guilty that I haven't maintained my end of email correspondence (which is pretty common for me), and if my friends know that I'm online writing about this or that, why the hell aren't I answering their emails?

So, I go through stages where I blog, then I become a bit ill, or go out of town, or start working on a big project, or for whatever reason can't keep up the blogging thing for a week or two - and during that week or two, I feel so relaxed to not be thinking about the post/comment cycle that I pretty much abandon the blogging... Until eventually I again feel like going back to it.

So! You certainly aren't the only one who's a little silly about the whole thing. :)
posted by taz 04 May | 06:03
Hahaha thanks taz. I feel much better about all this.
posted by CitrusFreak12 04 May | 08:06
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