So many lovely comments on that last post.
I know I have no right to complain. As many of you have pointed out, this blog has so many loyal readers and/or commenters. Some of you have been with me almost from the beginning [Bluegrass Mama, Professor Batty, Karen, Auður spring to mind …] and others show up every day to read. I know a lot of other blogs don’t have that kind of loyal readership and I value it. A lot.
I also feel somewhat guilty that I’m not able to reciprocate as I would like to. When I started blogging almost four years ago, I had just re-entered the labour market as a freelancer and I had a fair bit of time on my hands. Since then my business has grown progressively, I have a greater number of assignments and a lot less time than I used to, so things have had to be pared down and new priorities set. Unfortunately I don’t get around to visiting other people’s blogs as much as I used to, and I always feel honoured when others take the time to stop by mine.
To me, one of the best things about blogging is the interactive nature of it. I love the fact that I can write something and someone can chime in immediately, tell me what they think, commisserate, present a different point of view, share a similar experience, whatever. I love that community feel, that conversation. That’s why I try to make a point of responding to all comments, although I’m not always successful, particularly if I’m having a very busy day. I’d hate to have to shut down the comment option like some of the A-listers do. To me, that would be like blogging in a vacuum [which indeed is how it sometimes feels, even now]. I don’t see how someone like Heather Armstrong does it, even with the zillions of dollars in ad revenues.
For one reason or another, though, I seem to have a remarkably low visitor-to-comment ratio on this blog, and that sometimes bothers me. Aside from the community aspect, as Marc pointed out comments are a way of saying ‘thank you’. While it’s great that people keep coming back to read and I really appreciate that they do, when two or three or four hundred people repeatedly stop by to take advantage of something that I have taken time and effort to create and which moreover is free – without leaving a little ‘thank you’ – it can feel a bit disheartening. It sometimes makes me wonder why I’m doing it, who I’m doing it for, and if it’s really worth it. – Sentiments that most bloggers are familiar with, I’m sure.
Meanwhile, reading the comments to the last post was also a great eye-opener, because it brought home to me just how differently people view the comment thing. Some people wrote that they felt they had nothing to add … which to me is so not the point! It’s not about having to add anything profound, it’s about taking part, being present, being part of the community, saying thank you. Not that everyone has to say something every time, but … you know … sometimes.
Another possible reason for the low number of comments is that a lot of people in Iceland read this blog and perhaps they don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment because they feel they have to comment in English. This is pure speculation on my part, but it seems quite plausible, no?*
Some people wrote that they felt strange leaving a comment because they felt it was intrusive, because this blog is so personal. I was amazed! I don’t see this blog as very personal at all … believe me, there are many things going on in my life that I do not blog about here – both trivial and not-so trivial. I sometimes joke to my friends or family that my life is an open book … but of course it isn’t really. Or if it is, then only certain pages are visible.
Last but not least, I don’t want anyone to feel pressured or manipulated into leaving a comment. I know that a lot of you read only sometimes and/or comment only sometimes and that’s cool. Yes, I was feeling a bit morose about the whole thing yesterday, wondering if I needed to park this baby for a while [not the first time I say that, as some of you may recall] – but please don’t feel that you have to caretake me. My soft little underbelly was exposed, that’s all. Nothing serious.
I think I’ve now emptied the contents of my brain on the subject. Thank you for listening – and feel free to throw tomatoes at me in the comment box!
WEATHER: Cloudy with showers today. Cooler than last week. Highs of around 14°C here in the capital. Right now 11°C [52F]. Sunrise 4:52 am, sunset 10:13 pm.
* And then there are all the porno doogs, hm.