A Haven for Vee

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Results of My Commenting Experiment

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!



  1. Vee - I think when blogging becomes a list of must-dos, it quickly loses its appeal. Comments are wonderful, and they make you feel validated as a blogger because you know someone is actually reading your blog. But it doesn't take long before you feel guilty because you haven't been to everyone else's blog that day, or you were there but didn't have anything meaningful to contribute to the discussion. Do what makes you feel lovely is wonderful advice!


  2. I'll go with 'whatever makes you feel lovely' advice...and meet you over the fence to chat more later. I'll have coffee mug in hand...you bring your tea.

  3. Dawn's advice is wonderful! There are enough obligations in this world (laundry, dishes, dentist, mammograms, etc) that we don't need more of them. Blogging is something I do for fun, for me. And I've met wonderful people, like YOU, along the way.

  4. Oh Vee .. .I laughed at your comment about Judy informing. .no offense taken I assure you. I take that more as having each others backs when something seems amiss.

    I enjoy visiting around but I sometimes feel I have less time to run around than I`d like. I usually write my posts the night before and in the morning I have obligations that are a priority . .so I come and visit when I come. .and when I do. . .I always leave a comment.
    On our MGCC. .we get a very small fraction of comments for the amounts of visits per day. . my own blog ..somewhat better .. but I don`t worry about it. .as long as people enjoy a visit.
    Incidentally. .. I feel it is the people that know me but don`t have their own blogs and read mine. .that really are the stalkers .. and that. ..does bother me some.

  5. We all have our blogging-styles and personalities and I visit when I can, comment when I really feel it..and love every minute I find sweet friends, visit beautiful places, am invited into beautiful blog-homes and all the good. I've not experienced any bad (but I've been told my "balloon never lands" which is OK by me)
    So, to sum it up..keep on doing what feels right for YOU! And, you can't get rid of me easily..I enjoy you, my friend:-)

  6. Thank you so much for passing along such wonderful advice. Dawn's words are a lot (for me, personally) what being a Christian amounts to. Do what makes you feel lovely... It's lovely to smile at someone who might be having a bad day, take a meal to a neighbor who is feeling "poorly", hugging your family members just a bit tighter and holding on for a bit longer than usual...give till it might hurt your pocketbook just a little..."Do what makes your feel lovely' - oh, if only the blog world and the real would live by these powerful words!! :)

  7. Introspection --- loved your post.

    You are right about spammers in blogland now. I'm sad about the change too. I get so annoyed at word verification. I finally settled upon simply approving each comment before posting it, but it sure does slow down communication.

    Happy day to you!

  8. Have you read what Manuela wrote about a week ago about if blogging becomes a burden? Thought it very interesting.

    My comment numbers are terrible. Just knowing how many people stop by each day combined with who subscribes by e-mail, Google, and Bloglines (I have no idea of other numbers)... I get one comment per about 300 to 400 people usually.

  9. Interesting study.

    I love getting comments but have chosen to write basically whatever comes to mind without worrying (too much) about the effect on the comments.

    It seems to be basically the same people that comment to me most days and I look forward to their visits.

    That very much includes you.

    So, comments are more than just a boost to my ego, I truly enjoy the friendships and I guess that is why my blog will never be a mega blog. Just a place to leave and receive thoughts. Hopefully mostly uplifting and friendly thoughts...visit and comment when it suits you. Friendships should be like that, shouldn't they? Comfortable, not demanding.


    Becky K.

  10. hi vee!

    thank you for the experiment. it was
    very educational and helpful to me.

    it also sidled up quite nicely with my
    run in with myself these past few days.
    a sweet confirmation to slow down
    and do what i feel led to do . . . write
    not chase.


  11. Well said, Dawn! Vee - just do what makes you happy. I love visiting, and count you as a real friend, and I don't mind for a second if you don't want or need to always comment! Nor do I mind if you change topics, write a lot or any of those Blogger suggestions. But then, I am not a very good rule follower either. I just love blogging, love this community of great friends, and the laughter, tears and learning that goes along with it all. Every day is different.

  12. Hi Vee,
    Blogging can take over if you let it...I have at times, but I think I've learned to let go. I have not been posting on a regular schedule for a while and sometimes don't post for days! OH My, me bad! Your blog won't get as much traffic but so what!

    Enjoy your real life.
    Seek to honor Him and everything will fall into place.

  13. Blogging should be fun. I think we should all do what is best for ourselves and don't worry about what other people do.

  14. Very interesting points you bring up today. I do feel that blogging can and should be an enjoyable thing. When comments feel like an obligation, it can take some of the fun out of it. Doing what makes you feel lovely sounds like good advice to me.

  15. Interesting. I like the go with what makes you feel lovely idea because if it doesn't, what's the point?


  16. Dawn's advise sounds a lot like my constant mantra of; "Do what feels good, to you."

    Will read this post over later, more thoroughly. Short time now on computer, because of recurring bad back. -Bleahhh- Glad you did the check and made decisions. Good for you!

    And Thank You for the precious Button!!!! Will be grabbing that, as soon as possible. IT is JUST what I have WANTED. But can't make buttons myself.

    Gentle hugs...

  17. Hi sweet Vee!! I love blogging so much ~ Most of all, I love the precious friends I've met here in blogland and am inspired by so many...I just don't think too hard on things because I'm here to enjoy, be inspired, comment if I am inspired, and try to inspire as well. For someone who's not a deep thinker, I'm so very glad you liked my advice!! hugs and love to you Vee, Dawn

  18. Glad your experiment went the way you hoped and that it pointed out some revelations to you, Vee. I found it interesting -- a little confusing, but interesting :-)

    I agree that we should all do with our blogs what makes us feel lovely -- that was good advice!

  19. Well said, Vee!! Love the blogging and commenting without obligation. Yes, Blogland has changed and we must change along with it.

    Happy Easter to you!


  20. I'm all about feeling lovely, for sure. I do this for fun. I will do it my way. thanks for all the tips. Glad you got to air your feelings about it. I think that is very wise and full of wisdom.

  21. Vee, You said it all in two statements: "Do what makes you feel lovely" and doing it without obligation. That is what makes it worthwhile.

  22. I agree with Judy.We all need to do what we are comfortable with. It has been hard for me to blog like i used to with all of my husband's health issues. I want to wish you a very Blessed and Happy Easter. I adored the coloring page on the other post. Does it not make your heart sing to get those sweet gifts. My fridge is wall papered with them....smiles...m..

  23. Do I love hearing from my friends? Of course, I do. However, I am wise enough to realize that not everyone can comment every day. It's just not practical. When I get a comment, I feel privileged to have taken a moment of that person's time for that day. That makes me feel lovely, and I feel lovely when I get to comment on someone else's!

  24. Wish I would have seen (and taken part in) your little poll. Sounds interesting!

  25. This is quite an interesting subject, huh?! I wish I had more comments on my little blog, but I am content with the ones who feel moved enough to reciprocate when I share about my life and world. It's like holding up my hand on the fragile glass between us, and a friend puts theirs up on the other side. It is a gentle kindness that makes me smile.

    I wish there was more time in the day. I could get lost on blogs for hours and hours, LOL. But there is life off the computer too! Go with the flow, my dear. Not everyone greets us when we go about our everyday lives. But special folks do. The same is true for blogging.

  26. Vee,

    Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your comments on my blog. You have a way of writing with kindness and generosity that is heartwarming.

    I'm looking forward to getting to know you better. :)

    ♥ Melissa~
    Pink Paper Peppermints

  27. All wonderful points. I have a lot of blogger guilt as I simply don't have time to visit and comment as much as I like. I work full time and I have maybe 20 minutes a day to visit blogs. I sweep in, have a quick read, and occasionally comment (say every 3rd time I visit). On others, like yours sometimes, I come in and read and reflect but the topics are deeper and it is hard to leave a one-line comment. Know what I mean. Easier to say "that's pretty" and run off. : )

    I also basically stopped commenting on a lot of blogs that I commented on forever that never came over to mine. So many different categories. Other people whose blogs don't interest me, but I want to comment as they seem like such nice people and I would like them as a friend but don't share their taste or find their recipes interesting or their children. I don't believe in obligations like that.

    Anyway, interesting observations. I think we each must do what is right for us. I suffer terrible guilt in life, which I struggle NOT to! Haha.

    Love xo T.

  28. nice little button. The black and white so fits my blog, I may have to take it, even if right now, I still have comments off.

    Interesting experiment. I rarely think things through so thoughtfully, but I am very interested in the results when others do.

  29. I'm late in getting here...which is what this is all about..Comments.
    I try to visit as many blogs as I can but I can't sit long at the computer due to bad circulation in my legs. Blogging is really fun for me..I just love it, in fact. I visit as often as I can and just have to hope that EVERYone understands that NO one has time to visit all day long. If I can get in 10 comments a day, I feel I have *done good*. I think a lot of folks set the bar too high and then, when they can't reach their goal, they feel bad. So, I set mine at 10 and if I do it, I feel good. If I can't make it one day, I don't let it beat me up.
    Blogging isn't meant to make anyone feel bad. We all have our different reasons for blogging and probably shouldn't get upset if we don't have as many comments as some of the others. I NEVER read a blog without leave at least a HELLO...never!! It might make everyone feel better if they at least just left a word or two.

    Like all the others seem to feel..just doing what makes YOU feel good is all one can do...I love visiting with you and I love reading your thoughts and opinions..and I PROMISE...I NEVER COME READ WITHOUT SAYING HI !! :)
    HUGS to you, my sister friend,

  30. These are good thoughts of yours on blogging and leaving comments. I often leave a comment when a post is meaningful to me, as I am doing right now. We are each making our way down this new road, and I am enjoying doing it.

  31. When life gives you word verification, make up funny definitions. :) That's what I did and created a blog. If you want the link, I'll give it. You can tell when I have visited blogs with them, as you will see new definitions pop up. :)

    I'd better stop because I am one who rambles and tend to go way off topic.

  32. Hi Vee, I am new to your blog and yet I see you have had some of the same problems and feelings I have had regarding comments and some of the problems of keeping up with it all. I was wondering if you would mind if I borrowed your blogging and commenting without obligation button. It is just beautiful and just perfect. Thanks for addressing this issue in blogging, I know you are not the only one who feels this way!

    1. Any graphic I create is for anyone to snag. I like to share.