The good news is in! (Almost that is, as of this post, 9 hours remain.) Nary anyone who took my little poll feels that a commenter who continues to comment without any encouragement is a stalker. So there to whoever it was that said that they were! (I read it from the "help" site on Blogger, but haven't been able to find it again.) Thank you so much to each and every one who voted. It's much appreciated and helps to be more representative than the first ten votes that hung on for several days.
As per usual, the best thing about this experiment was reading all the comments. Ironic, eh? I so appreciated the insight behind them. Some commenters seemed confused as if they might be saying, "Why rock this lovely boat?" Others made suggestions that helped me think my way through as Dawn did when she offered this advice: Do what makes you feel lovely.
Recently, I read an excellent article about making blog comments. This writer gave some to-the-point tips. I found that I was guilty of these things when making comments:
1. I don't always stay on topic
2. I can come across as a know-it-all (Poor Judy! I blamed her blog when Blogger went down Monday then had the added nerve to suggest that she fill Lovella in. How embarrassing!)
3. I've not always recognized the line between when to comment and when it would be better to email
4. I've been too long-winded
5. And there's more so keep reading...
Of course, I know how to check site meter to decide what the traffic patterns are...that's not the point. The point was, if I stopped commenting all over Blogdom Come would I have any company or comments? Originally, I thought less, and that has proven true, but not to the extent that I thought. Is it even important to comment or have commenters in the first place? For me that's a no-brainer. Yes!
(For Donna, as far as I know there is precious little connection between the numbers that site meter provides for us and the number of comments. One blogger friend shares that she gets about a third the number of comments as visitors. My numbers are even worse. I get about a tenth of the number of comments as visitors. Whether it says something about "approachability" or whether it's a calculated thing — that person has "enough comments" I don't know. All I can say is that I have experienced both as I visit another's blog. This I do know, I have not begun to explore the depth and complexity of this issue.)
When one has a little blog, one often does a lot of visiting to put oneself "out there" to begin to make those connections with other bloggers. It's been great fun; I've learned so much; I've met so many nice people; and I am now officially on overload.
So what's next for me? Probably I'm going back to blogging as a type of journal to chronicle my life responding mainly to those who respond to me. This makes me sad for this reason: I do not want to hurt my blogging buddies. And still I know that not hearing from me every post is not going to be any big deal. It just isn't. We'll all roll... In the meantime, I shall be hoping that this is a temporary thing and that, by the time I get back to commenting daily, Blogger will have made some changes.
I'll sum it all up this way. Things need to change for me. I am not suggesting that things need to change for you. We've all seen the badges that say "Blogging Without Obligation." I've made one for myself that says "Blogging and Commenting Without Obligation." I will let this be my blogging philosophy and I will allow it to be yours, too, whether or not you say so. I promise. No more circling around like one of my backyard turkey vultures waiting for a blogger to show up. (I'm sorry about that, Suzanne.) We have very different lives and putting pressure on anyone just isn't cool. As you can see below, I've been guilty.
And things need to change because, sadly, Blogland has changed. It used to be that one didn't need word verifications for comments. Now we've all seen what spammers do. This makes me fervently wish for a spam blocker for Blogger such as Askimet, which only works for WordPress.
Some have shared that they don't understand my intense dislike for word verification. When commenting as much as I was, it wouldn't take you long to develop some intense dislike for it, too. The process definitely slows down exponentially the more blogs one visits. There has to be a better way. Perhaps Blogger is listening. Other than that, may I humbly suggest that each blogger find the best way for her commenters to respond to her posts. Use your own system and see if it's a one-step, two-step or *gasp* three-step process. You might also wish to test your blog's load time using Stopwatch.
In the end, the best advice I can leave you is Dawn's...Do what makes you feel lovely. Until we meet over the fence, go and create a delicious day!