It's important that we bloggers and you readers remember on occasion to appreciate EACH OTHER. I can't believe the number of readers I have, people I've NEVER met, you guys are an absolute miracle to me. And I'd like to get to know you BETTER, but I can't if you never comment.
Several HUNDRED people looked at the Carrie Prejean LOLcats yesterday and less than twenty voted. Rule number one in blogging is, "no whining," yet I feel like I must be doing something wrong.
I emailed lots of fellow bloggers late last night about the idea of a delurking week to invite our readers to "break their commenting cherry" so to speak, and one wrote back to ask me about "metrics." Will I quit blogging if people don't de-lurk? Hardly. No metric. This blog is much more my art studio than my exclusive gallery space. It's mine. I can make a mess here. It's very Napoleon Dynamite. "Whatcha gonna blog today BG?" "Whatever I feel like, GOSH!"
There is something discouraging for us bloggers, creating on this old skool, labor-intensive platform, about Facebook and Twitter, particularly Facebook, because even though many bloggers are happy to post links to their blogposts at FB, people can leave comments at FB which do not then get integrated into the blog itself. And nevermind about the mainstream media, particularly the beltway insiders, who can't get enough of the Twitter and who think Huffpo and Daily Beast (and maybe Kos if they feel 'progressive') are the only blogs in the world.
Writing (and photoshopping and video mashing) for one's own blogspot blog in the age of Facebook is like putting up one's work in a gallery with a guestbook prominently available right there, then people who have been to the gallery write about how nice the show was... over at the grocery store bulletin board. I would understand if I put all kinds of barriers to posting comments here, but anonymous commenters are welcome at BG.
And things are discouraging these days for progressives, obviously. I made a difficult decision when I decided not to blog regularly about healthcare reform.
Somehow I think we're hitting a technology wall. I just got an email from a friend I was supposed to meet with this past weekend, he called me but either my answering machine wasn't working or they assumed I would know they were calling via caller id. But I don't pick up the phone when I don't recognize the number, and out of state cell phones mean callers can call from anywhere and be in town, and...
do you see what is wrong with this picture?
Another blogger emailed me back with very helpful advice (he's really a nice guy and very well-informed, this is NOT a criticism of him at all) about beta apps and potential for more integration of comments across multiple platforms...
again, what is wrong with this picture?
And I'm certainly not advocating that everyone just stop it with the Facebook and Twitter and I-phones and such. But we need to recognize that there is some GREAT writing going on back in the blog-world Folger library, where snooty self-congratulating bloggers can be so very Aristotilean:
Blog::Facebook as Shakespeare/Michaelangelo::Wall*E humans
[I can't use that video as a criticism of ANYONE but the person I see in the mirror. And I can't tell you how often I tell myself to close the laptop before I become THAT.]
UPDATE: Another fellow blogger wrote to say he wasn't sure where I was coming from and that he believes in art for art's sake. To which I say amen, and replied:
Here's the basis of all of this:
Yesterday I posted three LOLcats, I know they're stupid, but they're funny. I wanted to know from people which they liked best so I INVITED them to vote in comments and the "winner" will appear tonight at C&L open thread. Not a big deal, it's very low stakes.
I don't require registration or blogger membership to comment.
For some reason, not the least of which is I pimped the hell out of this at Twitter, I had over seven hundred hits in one day. And TWENTY people commented. And I'm not whining and I'm not bitching, I just really wonder what the barrier is to one or two extra clicks and saying "I laughed hardest at the first one."
As I say, I'm not bitching, as I said in the post it's not like I'm going to walk away from blogging if my readers do nothing. If they're reading me via an RSS feed I don't catch their hit counts anyway, so the seven hundred doesn't count those folks who were just scrolling through their feeds (and for whom clicking through and commenting would actually be an interruption, I get that.)
I am just getting to the point where I don't understand why someone would read a blog and either feel afraid of commenting or feel that there is some barrier to doing so. I'm not bitching about it, I truly am grateful and amazed by every hit. But if I'm doing something that stops them from adding their two cents at my own blog, I want to change my behavior and be more welcoming.
I'm going to add this response to my already too long post. Thanks for the question.
PS. Thank you so much to Wonkette and Mock, Paper, Scissors for their early support of me in the Weblog Awards. The nomination process is still on-going, no voting yet, but if you want to help out click the little green plus sign below this comment. That will get me some attention, they tell me. And thanks again.