Thursday, January 26, 2006

Having a Better Blog

Upon reading Jason Clark's How to have a good, healthy, constructive conversation on a blog, I came to realize that I need to become better about responding to comments on my blog. Many friends, especially the commentfreaks of Boston's North Shore, have reprimanded me for my lack of dialogue.

I actually look forward to dialogue and comments, yet I am less than adequate as a responder to comments. There are many reasons. First of all, my fulltime job does not allow me to respond as quickly as I would like. Secondly, not very many people comment, so I am less than inspired.

I know the Catch 22 involved. People do not comment because I do not respond. But, I do not respond because very few people comment other than "good job." I also have stopped responding because very few people comment, which causes me to question my adequacy as a blogger. I feel things such as;

"I guess no one cares about this topic."
"I guess I am talking too much about politics."
"Does my blog suck so much that no one is actually reading it caring?" or (when in a cocky mood)... "I guess my arguments are so cogent and brilliant that noone disagrees or they will feel stupid disagreeing because I have already proven their side is inadequate"- which is what Kristi tells me to make me feel better (and because she thinks I am smart- plus she does not read my blog).

So, my commitment is to follow Jason's advice and
1. Invite responses
2. Respond to comments
3. Model and facilitate
3. Comment
4. Moderate
5. Sum Up

Of course, if noone is reading my work is much more difficult (1. have something to say, 2. say it well).

Anyway, here are Jason's very fine suggestions

by the way, I already responded to some of the comments on this page- I was most disappointed that almost no one had anything to say about my movie picks, so I have left a link to them on the right. So, if you have time... say Hi and tell me how nuts I am.

or just click here and comment


Anonymous said...

Looking forward to reading you more Rick :-)


rudy said...


sometimes people comment because they can leave a link to their own blog, it's a way to build traffic for themselves

Mike said...

hey rick,

i feel the same way sometimes about if folks are reading.

i would recomend a further possible reason for why there are few comments (one that i comfort myself with)...

say to yourself, "Self, your posts are SO profound that your readers are left speachless."

james said...

Just want you to know that I am reading. Someimtes I don't comment but I am here.

mycotn said...

Hey Rick. First, wanted you to know that your blog is a part of my "daily feed read." Second, I'm currently going through a bit of frustration with the blogging concept in general... at least in terms of people talking about blogging as a means of decent communication. My experience is that blogging is generally a good method for editorializing... but not much else. In particular, I'm bothered by the cryptic and clunky comment funnel interface. It has signifant drawbacks in terms of any kind of meaningful discussion. Only the blog owner is pinged when a new comment is posted, and the responses to previous comments usually don't flow well at all. I'll shut up now. - Mike

Rick said...

Mike H- I have thought about some ofthose things and it is why I usually don't comment on people's sites. I usually have little to say or just think something less than constructive.

I have always wandered if people who comment on my blog come back to see my responses and wish there was a way for them to get word without a personal email (too lazy).

I don't mind some of the comment stuff, even when negative on my site, but I do think it is no better than IM usually.

I mean I think I only blog because I 1) don't have a church I am pastoring, 2) can't talk about stuff like this to coworkers and 3) have few local friends to talk politics, etc.

It comes out in this forum because it has to come out (cheaper than therapy and keeps my wife from gettign preached to).

Mike/ Fletch- exactly. I will work on that inner thought and add it to my arsenal of self help tactics.

mycotn said...

Even if you end up pastoring again or find coworkers with whom you can talk about this kind of stuff, I hope you keep up the writing. I enjoy reading your thoughts.

P.S. I do appreciate it when you follow-up with comments to comments, but I don't think I'll ever be able to call what's happening a "conversation."

ER said...

I leave comments Rick to promote and expand my kingdom of spam within the pharmaceutical world. I know it is tacky and often quite frustrating for most bloggers, but it is my children's college fund. So with all that said, you can get some really cheap viagra at ViagraWorld.

Thanks for letting me comment.