Comment Confidential: The Perks And Pitfalls Of Reaching Out To Newfound Bloggers

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I feel the need to confide.

One change brought about by the Covid-19 Pandemic is that some bloggers, often longtime bloggers, have stopped posting. As a result many of my bloggy friends, ones who were here and I was there all the time, aren’t around anymore.

I miss them but understand why they’ve moved on and I realize that my blogging community is different, a bit emptier, without them in it.

Thus a couple of months ago, as I was sitting here at home still, I decided to be more extroverted and started reaching out to bloggers who were new to me. I felt that as a longtime blogger I could be proactive about creating bloggy friendships, especially with newfound bloggers.

These newfound bloggers came my way: 1) by leaving comments/likes on my blog; 2) when I saw them comment on blog posts elsewhere; and/or 3) when I saw they were part of the A-to-Z Challenge.

To be clear I only commented on blog posts that I found interesting, never as a way of ingratiating myself to someone hoping for reciprocity, never as a troll. I just said what I was thinking in the moment, like I always have, hoping that my first contact didn’t seem too weird or too nutz.

Then I waited to see how I would be received.

Below is a list of the perks and pitfalls that happened when I reached out to newfound bloggers. ‘Twas an enlightening experience. I’m glad I challenged myself to go outside my comfort zone and do this, but now I’m back to being my more introverted [ambiverted?] self, happy to chat with friendly bloggers who show an interest in what I have to say here.

Thank you very much.

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ONE: Encouraging. Many bloggers seemed pleased that I jumped into their comment section, replying in a timely fashion that made me feel welcome.

TWO: Confusing. Some bloggers sent out mixed signals. Despite generic polite replies I couldn’t figure if I was butting into their circle of blog friends or if I was wanted and they were just surprised by my interest.

THREE: Different. A few bloggers have tightly structured comment sections reminiscent of the singsong Episcopalian worship service’s Collect of the Day. Everyone who left a comment got a pleasant reply [blessing? response?] but the conversations in the comment section never went any farther.

FOUR: Duly noted. A few bloggers ignored my comment, or marginalized it by only ‘liking’ my comment, so that I got the clear impression I was not wanted.

FIVE: Perplexing. Some bloggers have commenting systems that ate my comment not indicating if it was being held in moderation or was not accepted. Should I try again? Do they want comments? [Was WP screwing with me again?]

SIX: Questionable. A few bloggers don’t seem to reply to comments at all, even though they had many of them. Without clearly stating how they process comments it was impossible for me to know if some commenters get an email reply behind the scene and I wasn’t worthy of one or if everyone doesn’t receive a reply.

SEVEN: Uplifting. After leaving a comment for some newfound bloggers, they were curious to see who I was and came here to this blog, often immediately jumping into my comment section.

EIGHT: Sociable. Often when commenting on a newfound blog I came across bloggers who also comment here. As a way of introduction in my first comment to the newfound blogger I’d mention our mutual bloggy friend because interconnectedness is one of the best things about blogging, right?

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QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Are you inclined to leave comments on newfound blogs that you come across in blog land?

How do you feel when you do that? Do you assume the blogger wants your comment or do you figure you might be an intruder? Or some point in-between?

What’s the best thing that can happen when you leave a comment on a blog post?

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The One About My Change In Attitude & A Relaxed Spring Blogging Schedule

Plans change.

Wednesday’s post was the last one I had in my blogging files. Yep, for once I’ve absolutely nothing planned or researched or started. That is a rare turn of events for me, a wordy girl.

Then I woke up Thursday morning to find my WP editing page was different. Again. Of course.

Today I can’t help but feel that the events earlier this week were a sign nudging me to change my attitude about how often I post to this blog. Not a dramatic change mind you.

More like a sign encouraging me to SIMPLIFY, my word of the year.

So here’s the dealio.

For this spring, maybe summer too, I’m going to write and publish one post every two weeks, showing up here on Tuesdays [probably]. Nothing remains quite the same.

The posts will be my favorite kind of blog post, the ones filled with flapdoodle and twaddle. If we couldn’t laugh we’d all go insane, right?

Then with my free time I’m going to read what you, my prolific bloggy friends, write on your blogs. Not everything you write of course, but many things.

This relaxed approach to blogging will give me the latitude to stay in touch & share the comment love you all deserve– while politely stepping away from blog land every so often.

You understand. ❤️

Words Do Not Fail Me: A Study Of Wordiness In My Blog Posts & Your Comments, Forsooth

I got curious.

I got to a’wondering about two things about this blog’s word counts. I realize that what follows is a somewhat meta post, but it’s winter and I have time to think about word counts.

My two questions are:

  1. How many words have I written in the 962 posts I’ve published here; and
  2. How many words are in the average comment here.

• Answering the first question was easy.

WordPress provides information on word count by post and by year. Looking at the chart featured at the bottom of this post you can see that I’ve written & published a total of 962 posts with a total word count of 282,612 words.

This averages overall to 294 words per post, although last year I got wordier averaging 360 words per post.

A digression… according to this article, A Word Count Guide for 18 Book Genres, Including Novels and Non-Fiction, 80,000 words is the ideal length for a novel. “If you’re working on a novel-length book, aim for 50,000 words at the very least — but it’s better to aim for 90,000. Editorial trimming is inevitable.”

Ergo, keeping the above rule of thumb in mind while applying it to my blog word count [282,612 divided by 90,000] you can see that in essence

I’VE WRITTEN THREE BOOKS.

• Answering the second question took more effort and required a few assumptions.

Because there’s no stinking way I’m going through all the comments on this blog to find the total comment word count, I made a few, shall we say, educated guesses.

Thus I decided that I’d only look at the comment word count on my 2021 blog posts AND that I’d only look at the comments made by the top recent commenters [according to WordPress] because I figure those people are a good representation of all commenters.

The top recent commenters are: Linda, LA, Dan, Nancy, Tara, and Kari. Go visit them and say “hi!”

To wit, there are 38 comments from these individuals with a total of 1616 words. This means that the average comment word count is 43 words.

Do what you will with this statistic; I was unable to find any articles written on the topic of comment word counts, so I don’t know how to interpret this number. Other than to say

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO COMMENTS HERE.

Curiosity satisfied. The end.

Questions Of The Day

When you write do you keep track of your word count as you go along? Are you aiming for a specific number?

Did you know that the word *forsooth* is an archaic or humorous word meaning “indeed”?

Do you have any idea how I made the pretty text box featured near the top of this post? I hit some buttons and it happened, but I’ve no idea what I did.

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Like An Owl On The Shelf, I’m Looking At You My Fellow Bloggers

I happened to see the sun shining on this owl pitcher sitting on the hutch shelf and snapped a photo of her for the heck of it.

Never have I been happier to report that nothing interesting is going on around here.

I haven’t been anywhere in a week.  Well, I’ve gone outside for walks in the neighborhood, but I haven’t been in a store or restaurant or medical office.

No haircut. No trip to the mall. No foray to the party store next state over. No shopping at the garden nursery.

Pretty much, NO to all the activities I’d planned for the end of March.

My calendar is empty.

Instead of fretting about the nothingness of now I’ve decided to focus on blogging.

To wit, I’ll be writing here in my usual way, trying to keep my posts short, snappy, sassy, stylish, smart.  And any other positive ‘S’ word you can think of.

But writing and maintaining your own personal blog is only 60% of blogging. The other 40% is reading other people’s blog posts and commenting on them. Therein is the secret of blogging, truth be known.

And with that little bit of wisdom gleaned after messing around in the blogosphere for 16 years [anniversary this week in fact], I’ll hit publish on this post.  No need to dither here when I’ve all of you to read and comment upon.  Must share the comment love.

Yep, I’m looking at you, my fellow bloggers. Ain’t you glad?

Who Goes There? Chatting About The Names We Use When Blogging + A Poll Question

BACK WHEN I FIRST STARTED writing a blog I read a blog [whose name I do not remember] written by a woman named Karen [I think].

She was hilarious and outrageous, posting every stinking day about her small-town life.  Her writing was wordy and it was perfect.  No grammar or spelling mistakes, ever.

I was in awe of her.

She had a huge following.  They were as outrageous as she was which made reading the comments a hoot.  I was more reserved back then, so I didn’t jump into her comment section like I would today.

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IN RETROSPECT THE MOST INTERESTING thing about her comment section was that the commenters created nicknames for themselves.  This was ostensibly to distinguish one from another, when more than one person had the same first name spelled the same way.

For instance [making up examples here] there’d be “Cathy from California” who wasn’t to be confused with “Cathy who hates gerbils” who most clearly was not “Cathy the Cookie.”

It was all inside jokes and seemed harmless.  Rather fun, crazy awesome, even.

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HOW THE HECK DID I get thinking about a blog from 15 years ago?

The other day I sat down to answer my comments here.  I had three comments in a row from women with the same first name who spelled it the same way.  Then I had two comments in a row from women with the same first name who spelled it the same way.

Suddenly, thinking back to the blogger from years ago, I was curious about how many people with the same first name spelled the same way leave comments here on a regular basis.

I had no idea, so I did a little behind the scenes research.

I was surprised by what I learned and I’m betting that you, my gentle readers, won’t guess which first name spelled the same way is the most popular one among my commenters, but give it a go.  Here’s the poll question.

Also, out of curiosity, have you ever seen a blogger with commenters who have created specific nicknames to use only when commenting on that blog? Is/was this a thing? Or is this something as unique as I think it was?