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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Let’s Connect: That Which Motivates + A List Of Who’s Doing What

{Image courtesy of geralt | Pixabay}

I’VE HEARD IT SAID THAT people use social media either for affirmation or for information. This is said as if the two motivations are mutually exclusive, but I don’t think they are. I’d suggest that there is a continuum with affirmation on one end and information on the other.

We each fall somewhere along the continuum, depending on the social media we’re using and our mood that day.

I suspect that people probably don’t stop to analyze what their motivations are when they check their FB account, or Linked In account, or Twitter account, or Instagram account. The whole process has become habitual rather than intentional.

Or at least most of the time.

I know that I mindlessly pop onto IG to see what’s up. I’m not looking for much of anything other than a way to pass a few minutes, pleasantly. While there I might experience 20% affirmation [someone liked my photo] and 80% information [photos of new decks, for instance].

I can tell you those percentages in retrospect, but I don’t plan my motivations and how my experience will unfold before I visit the website. Do you?

ANYHOW THAT’S WHAT’S FLOATING AROUND in my head this morning. Nothing controversial. Nothing profound. Nothing humorous. Just a few thoughts about social media, something we seem to take for granted now.

And when did that happen? I cannot remember a life without social media, can you?

All of which brings me to the following informational list of ongoing [mostly] blogging challenges & prompts. It’s not meant to be an exhaustive list of all that is out there on the WWW. Instead it features bloggers, who in addition to creating challenges & prompts, have connected with me via comments.

[Thank you]

For clarity I’ve stated the names of the bloggers alphabetically using first names, shared a link to their blogs, then added whatever details I could find about what they’re doing.

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A LIST OF WHO’S DOING WHAT

Amanda at the blog Something to Ponder About has Friendly Friday

Cee of the blog Cee’s Photo Challenges has Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge

Dan at the blog No Facilities has Thursday Doors

David at the blog Fiction Can Be Fun and Deb at the blog Debs Despatches have Insecure Writer’s Support Group [@TheIWSG and #IWSG on Twitter]

Deb at the blog The Widow Badass Blog and Donna at the blog Retirement Reflections are starting What’s On Your Plate [#whatsonyourplateblogchallenge on IG]

Isa-Lee Wolf at the blog A Bit To Read has Ten Word Photo Prompt [example of her prompt] [#TENWORD on Twitter]

John at the blog The Sound of One Hand Typing has Go stand in the corner! and is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge [#AtoZChallenge on Twitter]

Junie-Jesh at the blog The Jesh Studio has All Seasons [example of her post]

Linda at the blog Linda G. Hill has One-Liner Wednesday [#1linerWeds] and Stream of Consciousness Saturday [#SoCS]

Marian at the blog Marian Allen, Author Lady has A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU [example of her prompt]

Mary at the blog Mary J Melange and Susan Scott at the blog Garden of Eden Blog are part of We Are The World Blogfest [#WATWB]

Melanie at the blog sparksfromacombustiblemind has Share Your World [example of her questions]

Natalie at the blog Natalie The Explorer has Weekend Coffee Share

Paula at the blog Light Motifs II had some fun prompts, but her blog is under construction at the moment so stay tuned

Su Leslie at the blog Zimmerbitch has Virtual Afternoon Tea [example of a post] [#virtualteaparty2021 on IG]

Terri at the blog Second Wind Leisure Perspectives has Sunday Stills Photography Challenge

Trent at the blog Trent’s World has The Weekly Smile [#WeeklySmile on Twitter]

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In Which I Answer Five Brilliant Questions, Outstandingly

I’ve received the Outstanding Blogger Award from Laura Bruno Lilly who asked some great questions. I don’t usually do awards, but like Laura said doing this award is a good way to break out of a blogging rut & I’ve felt like I’ve been in one lately. Thus I’m answering these five brilliant questions to the best of my free-spirited ability.

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LAURA’S QUESTIONS FOR ME

What’s the first thing (or two) you’ll do once you ‘get your shot’ and/or the world otherwise opens back up after the Pandemic?

I have two things. I’m tired of my hippy hair so I’ll get it cut, but I’m keeping it longer than before. Who knew it was easier to have longer layered curly hair than a short stacked bob? The second thing is I want to go to a local restaurant, order a pear martini, crab cakes, and their house salad. Maybe two martinis now that I think about it. 

What makes you break into your ‘happy dance’?

Pots and pots of flowers around the outside of the house. I like geraniums and petunias and coleus and zinnias and dipladenia and impatiens and marigolds and whatever else will grow. I’m not fussy about what’s in the pots, I just want pretty. 

What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

I liked English class. No surprise, huh?

Which of your blog posts is your favorite and why? Please provide a link.

After ten years of blogging I can’t just offer one post so I’m going to answer with three posts. If you like funny, read this: Fun With Pedicures: Conning Mr. Man, If Only For A Moment. If you like melancholy, read this: Strange Days Indeed. If you like badassery, read this: Good Morning To Everyone Except WordPress, My Frenemy.

Coffee, tea or ????

Yes. Coffee, tea, seltzer, beer, wine, aperol & soda, margaritas, vodka martinis, a shot of whiskey even– but never anything with rum in it. *bleech* 

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Now it’s my turn to nominate and to ask questions. Considering everyone who reads this blog is outstanding I nominate anyone who wants to do this. You may do this in the comments below or on your blog.

There’s no obligation to take up the challenge, but if you do then please answer the following questions. If you do this on your blog then you may nominate [5 or however many] other bloggers, and then compile a set of your own 5 questions. 

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MY QUESTIONS FOR YOU

Q1 – What’s your favorite movie?

Q2 – When trying to buy shoes, what’s your biggest problem?

Q3 – Ice cream cone or cupcake?

Q4 – What’s one good thing you have learned about yourself during this pandemic?

Q5 – Any eccentric people in your family? Discuss.

TGIF: 5 Words To Know + A Bit Of Wordsmithery Fun + A Simple Question

Although I keep an ongoing list of words or definitions that are new to me, I haven’t done a wordy post in a while. It’s Friday, so why not?

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WORDS TO KNOW

WHUZZLE WAFFLING is the sound made by a loom as you weave something on it

PROLIXITY means using or containing too many words as in tediously lengthy

TARNATION is an exclamation used to express incredulity; it is a minced oath of the word “damnation”

SOPHISTRY is using false arguments with the intention of deceiving

CONFABULATE in psychiatry means to create imaginary experiences to compensate for the loss of memory; in everyday usage it means to engage in conversation

As always, anyone who can write one sentence using all the words gets a gold star.

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A BIT OF WORDSMITHERY FUN

The above paragraph is my attempt at using THE UP-GOER FIVE TEXT EDITOR.

The editor challenges you to explain something using only the ten hundred most used words in the English language. This is more difficult to do than you may think.

At least it was for me a wordy girl who loves to vary my words, relying on nuance to get my point across, fearlessly using polysyllabic words.

Follow the link shared above and see for yourself, but don’t say I didn’t warn you about how The Up-Goer Five Text Editor will stop you lickety-split if you use a word that is not one of the top ten hundred.

If you choose to mess around with this editor, let me know how it goes for you. Just curious…

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A SIMPLE QUESTION

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “It has been estimated that the vocabulary of English includes roughly 1 million words.” [Read more here.]

Of all the words in the English vocabulary which ONE is your favorite?

I shared mine in the comments below.

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A Bug In My Beer: News & Nonsense From My Staycation

A pretend To-Do List I created on my remember the milk app to see how the app works. My conclusion? It’s easy to use & fun, too.

WE WENT ON vacation, or more accurately staycation, last week.

We stayed at home like we’ve been doing, but we called the week a staycation because Z-D didn’t go to work at the kitchen table, his office for the last 6 months– and probably many more.

Instead we did practical things like getting flu shots, and painting the mailbox post, and venturing into a Honey Baked Ham store to get a hambone with which to make soup, and taking things to Goodwill, and replacing the bedroom ceiling fan with a snazzy chandelier [more on that adventure later].

Good projects to a one, but not what I’d describe as vacation activities per se.  Still, like they say, make hay while the sun shines so we were productive.

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IN MY OPINION the highlight of our time at home was a bug dying in my beer.  I’d made myself a lager & lime with fresh lime juice, putting the beverage into a Pilsner glass because I was on vacation staycation and wanted to be fancy, darn it.

As I’m sure you realize when beer is poured onto lime juice bubbles happen, starting at the bottom of the glass around the lime juice itself then moving upward.  I’d taken my drink onto the deck where I planned to sit at our little table and pretend I was in an outdoor pub in England.

[Because if 2020 had unrolled the way I’d planned it, I’d have been in England at some point during the year.  On a real vacation.  But I digress…]

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HOWEVER FATE INTERVENED in the form of a small bug that flew into my beverage, died, then began to float up and down inside the glass.  While I looked on it rode the bubbles from the bottom on the glass to the top, then sank back down to the bottom of the glass on what can only be described as its very own dead bug rollercoaster inside the glass.

Not pleased.

I tried to get the bug out of the glass with the corner of my paper cocktail napkin but it was too fast for me.

Yes, a dead bug was too fast for me.  

Eventually I went into the kitchen, got an iced tea spoon, and returned to the deck where I was able to scoop the dead bug out of my lager & lime which I then drank refusing to worry about buggy germs.

After all it’s 2020 the time of novel coronavirus– and there are worse things than bug germs attempting to harsh my buzz &/or kill me. ‘Ya know?

Keeping it all in perspective, I am.

[FYI: While I’ve enjoyed my Summer Hours I’ll be back to my regular weekly blogging schedule next week. With cooler autumn days ahead I’m feeling that it’ll be time for me to spill the beans here more often.  

I’ll be attempting to post mid-morning because that seems to work for me now that we’re at home all. the. time.  Plus I promise next week I’ll get back to commenting more often on your blogs. Mea culpa.]