Pen Pals, AKA Blogging

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Bloggers, new ones especially, usually focus on the writing, or the art, photos,  whatever they choose to share.
Crucial, yes, but only one part of the experience!

Perusing others’ work is often presented as a blogger ‘should,’ but I’m no fan of that word, “should”. It’s a remarkably poor motivator, causing more emotional pain than positive action. If it weren’t for the irony involved, I’d suggest that you shouldn’t use such a useless word…

Another angle: look at other blogs because you can find lots of great stuff that way, and you can respond to it, share it, learn from it, ENJOY it.  .   ..  . Why miss out? Why wear blinders on purpose? Forget about should.

Finally,  we have comments, perhaps the greatest gift you can give a blogger. Just when you wonder if you matter, someone comments and wow! It’s like a pen pal dropping out of the sky to make your day. Agree, disagree, love, hate, all of it: it takes you beyond stats to actual human interaction.

Which, of course, is why we blog, instead of filling up a diary.
Right?

38 comments

  1. A great post Greg, and a very important topic. I love it when a person comments on my blog, even if the comment only consists of a single word. At least I know they’re out there, they read something I wrote, or looked at a picture I took, and wanted me to know that they were there. After all, I do the same for pretty much every blog article I read. Even if I don’t have any great intelligent comment to make, I’ll at least try and let you know that I was there, and so I will probably be coming back and maybe the next time that I do, I might even have a great comment to make. 😉

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    1. The connection is the thing, isn’t it? The depth or intelligence can be nice, but it’ sthe sincerity, the genuineness of the comment that makes it precious. That, of th erarity of comments of any kind, let alone the best kind?

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    1. I did briefly just now. Search function seem to work, the “I like what you say” thingee doesn’t do anything as far as I can tell. Colors and layout are nice 🙂
      You can actually check things as you go, just open your blog in two different windows, use one to make tweaks, then refresh screen on the second to see what you get. It’s the easiest way I’ve found to try things out.

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  2. It has become a nightly ritual for me to spend 30 mins to an hour reading other bloggers blog posts and I really enjoy it – there are favourite writers that you get to know really well over time. I love tour eclectic mix of posts 🙂

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  3. Love the idea of cohumancating. It’s hard, my stats say more people follow my blog, through still a trickle, but without comments, it feels very strange. At the same time I realize how infrequently I have time to really use the reader to follow the blogs I myself follow. I do try to comment when i do though. Loved this post, since there is an emptiness to writing into a vacuum, hoping someone is reached. Thansk for the postr – and all thw comments. hugs, gerry

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  4. I’m feeling very lonely on my blog. I’m looking for comments and meaningful interaction, not just likes. I like what a webinar facilitator once said about social networking, likening it to being at a cocktail party and just schmoozing and building relationships with people rather than simply shoving your product in their faces. You wouldn’t to to a cocktail party, go up to everyone and say, “Hey, I like you” and then walk away and say the same to the next one and the next one, right? Come on over to my blog and schmooze with me 🙂

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    1. You can be a little more subtle about it, though. Placing comments helps, as it’s a way to get your words seen on other sites, and people tend to reciprocate: check out your blog. I do! And persistence helps, sadly over time, but still, it helps. You can also play with the tag system: add lots of tags, it gets you seen. Try different things, too. Look at lots of blogs, emulate what you like, look at the details you like. Finally, don’t give up! Good luck – Greg

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    2. I love your cocktail party analogy – I’m still laughing about it. But, I do know how you feel. It can be lonely and you wonder if anybody is out there. I decided in the beginning of blogging that I wouldn’t get upset if people didn’t comment or like. I just needed to write and hope that it reaches someone. I’m an introvert and I get nervous sometimes interacting online, so I just “like”.

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      1. Awesome! I have that going for me, sometimes.
        Other times, completely the opposite.
        I’m getting better at it though, AND far far better at faking it, which is usually more than enough, really.
        🙂

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  5. Good point, Greg. Blogging, or at least commenting on blogs, does feel a bit like pen-pals at times, doesn’t it? Except in a little bit more robust and more in real time [whatever that is!] than the “voluptuous device” that is paper (I’ve been reading an op-ed on posthumanism and transhumanism, from which I borrowed that lovely phrase). In addition, the other side of the coin face to blogging (i.e., commenting), for me, permits me to not totally slide into solipsism and melancholy or depression.

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      1. For sure, Greg. BTW, I wanted to very, very belatedly thank you for that post you had a while back inviting people to post in the comments anything they wanted to share with your readers . . . a sort of ice-breaker or meet-and-greet-me-and-my-blog kind of endeavour. That was very cool of you, and I don’t think I ever got ’round to saying so. Good on you! 🙂

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  6. I never though of bloggers as pen pals, but that’s what they’ve become in a way. I get so much inspiration reading other peoples’ blogs. I’ve had my blog for over a year and have only been reading others for the past 2 or 3 months. I just didn’t know how to use the tools enough to find people, and then, voila, a whole new world opened up to me!

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  7. Great post.

    One of the things I have neglected to do ,as much as I should anyway, is interact more with other bloggers.

    I am working on changing that this year by commenting more instead of simply “liking” posts.

    James

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    1. I like more than comment myself. It’s an easy gesture and an easy way to bookmark nice posts. Comments are better for both involved: they give c you b practice at writing short pieces, saying something in few words. And they can start conversations, not likely with likes…

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