Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I rather think everyone has a different idea of what is appropriate in  blogville.  As I mentioned before, to me blogging is quite personal and I see a clear parallel to real life. 

I feel that the blogger is talking to me, and a small group of friends.  And, just as if we were leaning over the garden fence having a chat, or down in Coffee Bar after church, when they share, it seems to me to be good manners to respond.  I suppose, if you get right down to it, in every such group there are people who don't respond.  But, perhaps the difference is that in person the response is visible - you are listening, you are displaying some sort of reaction via your expression.  Thus, I feel more compelled to respond, even briefly, after reading a blog post, than I would to speak up in conversation.

When I read a blog which has a huge following - well, the image adjusts itself.  This blogger is standing at the front of a hall, addressing a large group.  But, as would be the case in "real life", not all people in the group respond.  Only some. They raise their hands and make a comment or ask a question.  For a popular speaker, lots of hands would be up, and people would make duplicate comments and I'd be sitting in the back wondering why it was necessary to say something someone else just said.  I often feel like that in the blogworld as well, though I have more sympathy for the duplicate comments simply because they help the blogger know that a lot of people are listening [reading].  Still, in a situation like this, it seems to be much more acceptable not to respond to every new topic.  In fact, when a blogger already has twenty responses, it almost seems rude to add more.....at least every time they post.  In those cases I am far more judicious in my comments.  I read, but don't comment.  A regular blog I read which fits this category is Christine Reed's  Smiles and Trials.  I probably respond more than I might to another blog this popular because I followed her from her early days, and in fact, we have a kind of relationship - i.e. we've spoken on the phone a few times.  Otherwise, I think I'd respond less than I do. 

If I run across a new blog, or one with very few comments, I will comment almost every single time.  It is not that I feel the blogger needs encouragement (though that may be true) but every communication deserves a response, and if I am receiving that communication I need to respond - most especially if I seem to be one of the few people in the room.  Here is where I'll mention a really gratifying thing which happened recently.  On Facebook I ran across a comment from Sarah, whose blog I read regularly a few years ago - in fact, somehow she was one of the first two blogs I read (hers and Christine's).  But Sarah stopped blogging, and was absent from FB too, and I would wonder about how she was doing from time to time.  So, when she suddenly appeared on FB I asked if she was still blogging - and in response she opened up her BRAND NEW BLOG!  In response to my interest!  I was so flattered.  And, pleased, too, because Sarah is a really good writer, and amusing too.  And, now she has a whole new subject - because her family has moved way out into the boonies.....and are exploring a whole new way of living out there.  I got to be the first reader of a whole lot of wonderful posts!  It was like getting a surprise box in the mail full of terrific gifts - and completely unexpected!  Do go visit Sarah in her new place

But then......there are more complicated situations.  Here is my real question for today.  If you find a blog that interests you, and you respond a time or two, but the blogger never seems to visit your blog and never in any other way recognizes that you commented on theirs......  Does that mean, "Go away and stop eavesdropping on my conversation?"  

I love comments!  When I get a comment from a new reader, I always head right out to visit their blog, and am always disappointed if they don't have one.  So, when I comment on someone's blog and they ignore me, does it mean I've been rude to intrude?  I am just not sure about this.


Ciska said...

I'm going to check out that blog right away, it sounds interesting!
On blog etiquette: I guess it's hard because there are no 'official' rules. When someone comments on my blog, I visit theirs, but I don't always comment. Sometimes I don't like the blog, or I just don't know what to say. However, I usually do. When there are already four or five comments on a post, I only comment if what I'm adding is different from what's mentioned above or when it's clear the writer wants to share a feeling (relief, hope, sadness, joy ...). I don't know, maybe they should write a blog etiquette book. Or blog. :-)

Annie said...

Ciska, you are right....there ARE times when I visit a blog and DON'T know what to say! (Or don't like it....and then I'm quiet, but those times are few and far between.)

PattiLynn said...

Hi! I've read you a long time. I found you thru Rachael's blog. You always make me think...I love your ability to Write, such a talent. I seldom comment anywhere, tho I follow many ppl on Go0gle reader...I don't blog, so I guess I feel I can't offer much in return. I DO enjoy reading and really should comment more. Maybe I'm a lil lazy too. Haha!

~ PattiLynn

Diana Paridge said...

Ah Annie! I don't know if you remember, but we've emailed a few times and couple of years back, having made contact through the Russian Adoption group on yahoo. We had a number of parallels in our adoptive situations (4 kids, 2 are siblings from Ivanovo).

I stop by every month or so and am always delighted to when you've written a post. However, I often refrain from commenting as I do not have a blog of my own. I always felt that my comments "hijack" the comments area a bit. They really turned into a novel! I felt a bit awkward taking over the space as such, so tend to hide in the shadows a bit because of it.

Anyway, I do love you advice and insights into parenting your children, and I hope that you'll consider sending me an invite to your new blog - on which I promise to comment whenever I read!

(If you're comfortable with passing me the link, I'll email you my email address, as I don't use the yahoo one very much more).

Kind regards,

Diana Paridge

on our way today said...

I think usually it just means they are busy. But I have been in that situation once. A girl I knew from about 6 years from another mom's group...well I always liked her but I just had a feeling she didn't like me. She was of a different religion for one thing which did not matter to me at all but I think it mattered to her...and she was highly educated...which i didn't care...but in retrospect she was probably on her high horse. Anyway, I read every post she did and responded to every one. But she never once as far as I know visited my meager blog (an early blog) or commented and this was at a very bad time for me when my father was dying over a course of 6 months and I was like can't she once comment and say, "I'm sorry???". Well, after awhile I guess I took it as she hates me and to get lost so I did.

But usually i think most ppl are just busy especially those with like 10+ followers and they probably have limited time to comment on everyone that comments.

Annie said...

Diana - I am a known blog hijacker myself! On occasion, when I realize I have a full post, I'll take it off and make one - a post...but since you don't have a blog, you are free to write full posts here! I love it. (And, of course I remember you!) How are you doing? e-mail me!

Diana said...

I love comments, too. I'm pretty sure people seriously underestimate how much I need them and how much strength they give me. Sadly, I don't get many of them any more.

There are many who simply don't comment because they don't have time, they don't want to, they want to hide, they don't agree with me, they don't like me, they don't believe what they have to say is valuable to me (Oh, it SOOOO is!) Some people don't comment because I'm a Mormon and they've either heard all the crazy rumors or they don't believe I'd like them or that I might judge them or something. Whatever. Can't change that. I am who I am for a reason (many reasons, actually) and I'm a lot more accepting than some might think. Some people I follow don't have time to follow me. I don't have time to follow everyone either. I think the biggest barrier these days, though, is that people are afraid of the word verification or are somehow offended because they believe it sends the message I don't trust them. It's not that at all. I've had way too many nasty spam comments without it in in place.

There's also a lot of blogs that change over time. Some change as the needs of their families change. Some that I used to enjoy really irritate me now. Some I didn't appreciate before I can totally relate to now because of where I'm at. Some of my favorites have quit blogging. Some just wanted to be invisible. Others like me have shut down previously fairly well known, but not necessarily super popular ones for whatever reasons. My reasons for doing so were two fold. The safety of my family and children (priority one) and it was also getting plagiarized like CRAZY! I so didn't appreciate that SEVERAL therapists and other well known people were reading my blog, stealing my stuff, and then charging their clients and patients huge amounts of money to share stuff they claimed as their own that I had spent hours and hours researching and writing and putting out there...and some of it I'd spend thousands of dollars on myself to learn...with rarely even a thank you from anyone.

Here lately, I've also been in a pretty dark place personally and just haven't had it in me to read much, let alone say much. My own strength and reserves have been so limited that I haven't had much to give to anyone, including my family...and especially not to those who suck me dry or come to me for advise and then get upset when they don't like what I have to say.

That's not to say I think I'm right or have all the answers. I don't. But I have learned more than a thing or two from the school of hard knocks. I can spot denial a million miles away and I tend not to even touch it these days. People have to be ready to come out of it on their own and on their own terms. When they are, I'll be here for them and help them pick up the pieces.

One of those hard knock lessons I've learned is that it's a lot better just to back off and let some people learn their own lessons. Even if I can very clearly see what's coming and what lies ahead on the road they're on, if they aren't ready to listen, it's not worth my emotional investment to try to make them do it and will most likely end badly, especially if people are super sensitive, insecure, and/or are easily offended, which a lot of people are. I've spent too much time and emotional investment...resources desperately needed by my family...on situations that have only stirred up Jr. High style drama and left me completely spent and banging my head.

So, there you have way more than you probably wanted to hear on view of blogsville these days.

MyGirlElena said...

Ha! I was just thinking about this regarding your blog (specifically the post: "Her cup runneth over." You already had so many, "you did the right thing comments," that I didn't want to sound like a broken record.
Sometimes I don't comment because it would be reiterating what so many others have already said or I have nothing to say.
I'm not following too many blogs at this moment, though. I love yours and will now start following Sarah's new one. I follow FiveofMyown and Ginny's. Funny thing, I never comment on Ginny's because she has no idea who I am and has so many commneters (word?) already!
But do know I always read your blog and get excited when you post something new!!

Mike and Christie said...

I think it is nice to add comments. I certainly appreciate when folks do. Most however don't.
I don't accept anonymous comments, but sometimes will get a really rude one where somebody made up a name just so they could send me a nice zing. (not nice)

I think blogging is still in the wild west stage and I'm never sure what folks think.
Like, do they WANT me to comment or am I intruding?

I do visit profiles when somebody comments, and if they have a blog, I will visit, and sometimes make a comment.
And after visiting awhile, I sometimes include them in my own blog roll.
If somebody does comment on my blog, I truly appreciate it, and try to respond, but I don't always, as time gets in the way.

I see blogs as you do Annie, sitting together to have some coffee and good conversation. :)

Mike and Christie said...

Diana, (Annie, can I talk to Diana on your blog?) LOL....

I will never forget going to the Heather Forbes Advanced Training Seminar in Colorado. There was a room FULL of therapists and social workers and a few parents. (like 5)

I went out to lunch with a group, not realizing I was the only parent. They were all changing cards and I didn't have one. And then, the conversation started. And wow, I realized Hanging a sign and saying you are a professional is a big JOKE!" One lady said, "I'm going to try this stuff out! I can sell the book and blah blah blah..." and I was thinking, "try this stuff out?" Are you seious??
These are real people with real problems looking for REAL ANSWERS!

I realize not all counselors are like this, but it sure does make one leery.

Annie said...

Christie - I found the same thing at Dan Hughes conference. I felt like I ought to be wearing a "stupid parent; don't expect much" badge, but when we did the exercises and discussions, I realized I understood what he was saying, and could implement it a lot better than a number of them could. It was disturbing, let me tell you! Even when I'd previously gone to a therapist and didn't think much of him/her, I figured it was ME.... Not convinced anymore.

Diana - it always seems to me like you have a lot of comments from better and brighter people than me....I feel shy in the group you run with.

Hevel Cohen said...

I probably go back to read, but will not comment. There is a certain blogger, who drives me crazy: she comments every once in a while how she had so many hits and little/no comments. At the same time she only reponded to my comments like... twice and never came by my blog to comment. So yeah. No more comments from me. I also visit less.

I think communication should go both ways. Or at least acknowledging that you particpate.

Tina in CT said...

As for leaving a comment, there are different reasons. Sometimes I am in a rush and can't take the few minutes, sometimes I greatly disagree and don't want to offend the owner of the blog or FB, many times I do respond. So, you see, diffrent responses.

Where do you get all the fantastic pictures to go along with the subject of your blogs? These are perfect.

Monique said...

I love reading blogs and will comment when something moves me or I want to show the writer I appreciate their story. You came by and commented on my neglected blog and it made my day. I am a bit shy in real life so I think it also comes in with my blog reading, writing, and commenting. I do try to comment once in awhile on the blogs I enjoy the most.

Sarah said...

WOW! Thank you!! :) Will try harder to comment more. Now that we have internet it should be easier, doing it on my phone was just impossible.

kate said...

I used to be a comment every time reader.

I was ALWAYS the person who would answer a question just so there wouldn't be silence.

Lately, though, I've been in a bit of a funk and have been commenting less.

But, I also try to only add supportive comments unless it's someone I know well enough to disagree amicably with AND to make the comments about them and not about me. It's THEIR blog. I save my stories and long comments for mine. I do love have someone else's post spark one of mine and vice versa. That seemed to happen much more pre-FB.

I've completely failed in this here, but you did ask... ;>

Alena said...

Annie, your etiquette rules would only apply to people who blog. But you see, not everybody is as talented in writing as you are :). I don't have a blog, but I do love to read and so I follow several blogs, including yours, and feel that I have learned a lot through experiences and thoughts that you and others have shared. I almost never comment, since I don't feel myself to be a part of your blogging community and I am shy to intrude. So I guess what I am trying to say is that other bloggers who don't comment on your posts in response to your comments might also feel shy, rather than disinterested or unfriendly.


Annie said...

Alena - I would LOVE to have your comments! You don't have to blog! There are a number of other regular readers/commentors (commenters?) who don't have blogs. I always like to go are read everyone's blogs, but I'd rather have comments than not! I have always kept a diary, but this isn't quite that. I do feel I am writing for someone......and also really begin to feel that some of my e-friends are more supportive than my IRL friends. Partly, that's because due to work, and the kids, I can't be quite as open.

mamaporuski said...

I have over 200 blogs in my "following" list. Some I check in on regularly and others I have to carve out time to check because they are so sporadic. The ones I faithfully follow feel like friends more than lecturers. I don't tend to follow "big bloggers" unless they are speaking to me on some level. (Christine's is one of them :) Blogging for me is talking to myself and if you care to listen-great! I also blog for family who are far away and want to stay in touch with the happenings of our lives. You are a thoughtful blog reader and true friend. I think what I don't like are lurkers, those who read and read but never comment. Tell me you are there at least once in a while PLEASE!

Ohiomom2121 said...

Hi, Annie,
You already know I don't have a blog, and I have to refrain from writing too much when I comment. Partly, my career & DH's are worrisome enough that I don't even have a FB identity. Lots of people with motives to twist or "out" something even if I was insanely careful. Partly, I follow too many blogs to comment on many and I always take too long and eat up my browsing time! But, I stopped sending email updates about our adoptions when I stopped receiving comments in return, or found friends didn't bother to read to the end of 5 or 6 paragraphs. I hated to be a burden and I think I would stop blogging if people stopped commenting, too, thinking it was a waste of time. But, I love reading blogs and they have helped so much in our adoptions, especially yours, Christine's and Diane's (thanks for the hint to check hers out!). I hate to say it, though, but I treat blogs as my personal reading time and don't feel any compulsion to comment, just as I wouldn't for a book, unless I really feel the blogger could use my input, and even then I nearly always check back later in fear that I offended them. It's so hard to give advice in writing. So, I admit to being guilty of reading much more than I comment.

steph said...

I love to read your blog and find it helpful and insightful, as well as entertaining. I don't comment often because I don't feel that I have anything worth saying:) Also, because I am new to the adoption and blog world, I feel a little like the new kid, I guess. Id be interested in your new blog, if you are willing to share. My email is stephani(underscore)h(at)yahoo(dot)com

daniellem02 said...

Hi Annie,

I would LOVE to follow your new blog! I enjoy your writing so much. If you feel comfortable, please email me the link at daniellem02 at hotmail.com

Thank you!

Albany, NY

Kaylee said...

I'm a longtime lurker... leaving my very first comment. I found your blog thru Kari cahiil's and think your is awesome!!!

janencleogowest said...

But it seems so silly to always respond with 'I like this post, a lot, it's very interesting, thank you', no? I don't feel that at this young age I've got much wisdom to share...

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