Blogging about Blogging

Some of you just can’t let me have my moment in the sun without photographic evidence. Sigh. I told you that I would show you pictures when I find the camera, for crying out loud! And yes, Tiffani, I know that my phone takes pictures, but the computer to whom the phone is related had to be moved along with the desk to accommodate the bed we needed for Granny’s stay this week. Yes, I’m a little testy because we still haven’t found the spoons and my cereal keeps leaking through the fork. I need my cereal experience to go well each morning in order for my day to function properly.

In other news, a friend from college posted some crazy blog number stats yesterday.  I feel like RainMan when anyone starts talking numbers above 500, but I do know those stats translate to a lot of words floating out there in cyberspace and a lot of people reading them.

Yeah, this whole blogging thing a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma for me. (It’s a little too early to be quoting Churchill, isn’t it?)  Every other week I resign from this blog. Many days I feel like my new friend (who I’ve actually met!) at New Every Morning.  I tell myself that this blog is just a place to process my thoughts and if anyone happens by, well, that’s just gravy. But any blogger who tells you he/she doesn’t notice how many comments a post gets will lie to you about other things, too. Blogging can easily bring out my inner junior high girl.  Every person needs and deserves to be heard. We all like to have our thoughts and feelings validated by others. We are hard-wired for relationships and we especially need for people to truly know us. One of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotations says that  “friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You, too? Thought I was the only one.'”

I can also relate to a new friend in my computer whom I haven’t met yet.  I like it here with my friends on this blog. But this blog is only part of who I am and it can’t become the most important thing in my life. I’ve noticed that when my life outside my computer is a difficult place to be and I have less control over the story playing out around me, I’m tempted to spend even more time inside my computer where I get to write the story. That’s not always a bad thing. I can process thoughts here; I laugh here; I get encouragement and good advice here. But when I spend more time here to avoid dealing with my stuff out there, my priorities need to be realigned and refocused.

One of my favorite bloggers and I were aquaintances at our small college, but I didn’t really know much more about her than her name and that she married the really cute Beta that a lot of my friends and I admired from afar. Somewhere along the way we became Facebook friends and I started reading her blog. She was another person who encouraged me to start my own blog. Soon some of her blog friends became my blog friends. Her died was diagnosed with cancer in November, my dad in December. Our emails and blog comments became texts which turned into phone calls. We’ve talked about feelings that were foreign to us and that we didn’t even fully understand but that we held in common.

Sunday morning her dad died. Over the past few days I’ve watched old friends who had lost touch before blogging brought us back together and new friends who didn’t even know each other only months ago. Together these friends have formed a community across the country who are eager to support our friend with our prayers, love, encouragement, and even in tangible ways.  It’s really something to see and even more amazing to take part in this fellowship of friends.

I may never know who keeps visiting here from Poplar Bluff, Missouri, but I know the ones who are visiting from Washington, Oregon, California, North  and South Carolina, Texas, New York, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, and Lousiana, and maybe a few more states that I just forgot to mention.  You’re my Tweeps and the friends who live inside and outside my computer. Whatever you’re doing here, I’m glad you took the time to stop by for a few minutes.

The best conversations seem to happen in the comments after the posts, so I want to leave you with a question. Most of you read several blogs and many of you have blogs yourself. Bloggers: do you respond to commenters in the comment section or through email?  Blog readers: do you prefer to continue a conversation in the comments section or would you rather hear back from the blogger in an email? If I leave a comment in a blog, I never know if I should keep coming back to the comments to see if the blogger replies there. Or, if I respond to someone in the comments, I never know if he/she will be back to see it. Discuss amongst yourselves, please.

And if you lurk here and never comment, this would be a great day to say hi. How did you get here? What is it about a blog (not necessarily this one) that makes you want to come back again?


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27 Comments

Filed under Blogging

27 responses to “Blogging about Blogging

  1. Thanks for the link. Even more, thanks for the great entry! I’ve found it more than surreal at times how a blog entry will be emailed, passed around and finally land in someone’s inbox. Getting a contact from a stranger who has been encouraged by something I’ve written is indeed one of the things that keeps me going.

    You’ve always been an incredible communicator. Keep it up! Catchya in the blogosphere!

  2. Hi there. 🙂 I tend to response to blog comments by email instead of in the comment section … I rarely go back and check the comments of a blog that I post on, mostly because my time is pretty limited to just reading and/or commenting the first time around. This is something I wonder about though sometimes so I would love to know what your informal research here finds out! 🙂

  3. Hey, you forgot Oklahoma/Kansas!

    Hmmm.. the comment thing is tricky! I like to respond by email if that’s possible.

    I just switched to the Discus comment program b/c I can respond from my email, but it shows up as a response in the comments, and it also emails the person to alert them to the response.

    It does require people to leave an email address, but they don’t have to register for Discus.

    So far, I like it.

  4. First of all, I just love what you said in the first part of the post, cause sometimes I feel like I’m the only one 😉 trying to balance this amazing online community of friends who I’ve never met, but that mean so much to me and my physically present life.

    And I read you, cause you’re sweet, funny, have a heart for God, are honest in your pain, I like your style and you talk about orange balls on wires.

    I’m in a quandary just like you about the whole comment thing. Sometimes I go back to read more comments after my comment, cause I don’t want to offend if someone responded to me and I don’t respond back. On my own blog I feel like people don’t come back so I don’t want to respond on there and just talk to myself, so I try to respond w/ emails, but some people don’t have their profile set up on blogger where I can respond by email. I’ve heard of the disque comment thing, but I left a comment once on that, someone responded and I never got an email telling me they did. I’ll be curious to read other’s thoughts SO I guess I’ll be coming back.:)

  5. I always go back and read the comments…

    Crazy story how I knew you… I knew of you at that same small college, only to get roped into blog world by my little sis, years later, who just happen to be your bloggy buddy. Small world, huh?

    Poplar Bluff, huh? When I was in college that is where my family lived. Sister-friend has family there. She might have a clue…who knows?!!

    Hope you find the spoons real soon! 🙂

  6. Greetings from Oregon. 🙂
    Ditto! On all of it. I never want to appear like I don’t appreciate the comments because I love the comments so I’m always wondering how to comment back or even if I should.
    Great Post!

  7. P.S. why aren’t the spoons with the forks, anyway? Just wondering.

  8. Great post!!!!

    Hmm..let’s see. As far as replying to comments. If they don’t have an email for me to respond to, I’ll go back to their blog and respond on theirs, but other than that, I’ll just email them right back. BUT, I always make a point of visiting someones blog if they leave a comment for mine because if I didn’t it would be like someone saying hi to me in real life and I just ignore them..lol!

    I wish I knew all my lurkers too!

  9. Oh girl, this is a timely post for me to read today(is that a phrase?-timely?) anyway….I’ve been thinking about some blog related things lately. I started feeling like I lost focus of why I was blogging. So, I changed some things on my blog and feel a bit back to “me”. I have many anonymous readers(I see when I check my stat counter-wink,wink) I’m not sure why they are anonymous, I’d love to meet them. Anyway…I forgot the question…LOL.

  10. Blogger doesn’t have a feature where you can reply to a comment via email. I wish it did because I always feel like it’s kind of pointless to reply to a commenter via another comment. I don’t really think anybody reads my comments but me, much less come back to see if I’ve replied. Am I wrong? Typepad is much superior in this way. Maybe I’ll switch someday, but I don’t know what all that would entail and I don’t want to lose my content. It’s too precious to me. Blogging is complete and udder therapy for my soul. Whether anybody read it or not. I love the comments I get, but I try not to blog for comments. I try. 🙂

    Love you friend! We DO need to get together IRL VERY soon. (Maybe as soon as your cereal experience goes well).

  11. I’M FROM POPLAR BLUFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s probably someone I know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Okay…sorry. Focusing.

    This blogging world still dumbfounds me. And you couldn’t have described any of it better. This whole deal with Mer has given it all a very real sping. We are real people. Who love eachother in a very deep and meaningful way. And we just happen to live in a computer. Makes perfect sense to me.

  12. Amy

    Whenever I’m wondering why I didn’t receive comments (or why there were lots of 0:00 visits), I have to remind myself that the blog started out as a fun, mostly private place for me, the grandmas and some friends. It’s not a business, nor would I want it to be.

    Comments on blogger seem to be difficult to answer via email, which would be my preference as the blogger and as the commenter (except that others might have the same question and be interested in the response). I can’t ever remember what posts I’ve commented on, let alone return to look for a response.

  13. carpoolqueen

    I prefer to hear back by email because when I frequent someone’s blog, if at all possible, I’d like to have a teeny bit of a relationship with them because that’s why I visit them in the first place.

    But you don’t have to email me, because we’re already C.S. Lewis friends.

  14. I do both, e-mail or comments depending upon what is said and how best to respond 🙂 But I started getting comments e-mailed to me so I could respond more personally to them 🙂

  15. I’ve tried responding both ways, and I guess I prefer email, both in responding and in receiving responses. However, I’m grateful for both. Because I like comments, since I’m needy…er…seeking relationship. It does bug me when I can’t directly email back with Blogger sometimes.

    The balance thing…it eludes me. Somedays I have it and somedays I don’t. I walk a tightrope between being glad folks post, and hoping my Reader doesn’t get overfilled. How whack is that?

    I’ll always be glad that you started blogging, though, Whimz. Because you’re amazing and all. And my eyelashes will never be the same.

  16. What a great post! I think we were on the same wave length this week!

    My (not so great) answers to your great questions:

    As a reader, when I leave a comment, I RARELY go back and read the comments/responses. So I guess I prefer an email.
    As a blogger, if someone leaves me a comment, I usually go to their blog and leave a comment on their most recent post along these lines: “thank you for visiting my blog, about your question …”

    You are a gem! I’m so glad we are cyberfriends who have met IRL!!!

  17. I’ve had that same feeling…the wanting to resign every other week. And yes, I love comments. Love them!
    As far as answering comments…I’m not always good about it, but I think I usually respond via comments. After I’ve left comments on others blogs, I don’t usually go back and read them, simply because I either forget or just don’t have time.
    I think email is better with lengthy or more personal responses.
    I’ll be interested in seeing what other folks think!

  18. I respond via email, when I respond. I read every comment but our lives are super-busy right now so often it’s hard for me to respond. I try to respond when I can (via email, even though that can be hard with blogger) Why? because I just love y’all too much for words 🙂
    And my friend? I honestly love your blog – this post is great!

  19. I have much to say about this, my SnoodleGirl, but I”ll be back, I’m exhausted and my eyes are shutting..

    seriously, no pressure about the pic..(but by Monday would be nice) 😉

  20. Love the first part. My first thought was, “What! You too?! Thought I was the only one!” and then you went and quoted C.S. Lewis. Great minds, right? Sometimes I just get overwhelmed with life and can’t put it into words and thus I fall off the bloggy bandwagon. I think that’s where I am right now.

    I try to respond to comments by email. I don’t go back to blogs I commented on (mainly because I can’t remember to) so I assume other people don’t either. However, it really bugs me when people don’t have their email in their Blogger profile!

  21. Oh girl! If you only knew how many times I wished blogger had a chat feature. I’m new to blogging, and before then I was active on a motherhood message board. So, it’s been different not being able to go back and forth with my “virtual friends.”

  22. Hi there, I am new to your blog. I keep seeing your name on HisGirl, Gretchen and CPQ’s blogs, and have long intended to come read your blog.

    I must admit that I have been wondering about ‘blog comment etiquette.’ I don’t get a lot of comments – but my blog is pretty unformed and a little boring so I am not surprised. I have wondered about ‘should I email back?’ for every comment. I know some who do, and I like them. Maybe if I was more of an e-mailer back then I would get more comments, but then that gets into the whole junior high mentality that you spoke of… or at least seems to.

    I love the new friends in my computer that I have gained since I started blogging. They are a totally unexpected blessing.

    I don’t think that going back to read the comments on someone else’s blog again is a reasonable expectation. I know that you can get emailed follow up comments here on WP, but I never check that box. I don’t know. Interesting discussion. Sorry for the huge long comment.

  23. Sandy M.

    I don’t have a blog, but I’m an avid blog reader & frequently make comments. I’ve never received an email in response to a comment, but I think that would be really cool. If I leave a comment, sometimes I will go back to see other later comments. I love blogs that have variety, pictures, humor, & give glory to God.

  24. Deb

    Whimz,

    I’m just trying to learn how to write.

    Am so not good with techie things.

    The best conversation is definately in the comments.

    And, yes, I do like them. Ok. Love them.

    But not more than Him. Of course.

    Kinda funny how you don’t actually have to see somebody to be friends with them.

    Hope you find the spoons!

    Sweet dreams.

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