Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Understated & overlooked: A low-tech, low-key blogger's lament

On June 13, Jack published a post asking whether bloggers had made friends as a result of blogging. I was thinking about whether I should answer in the affirmative when I found myself in this rather discouraging situation: On June 12, I published a post about a major milestone in my life, and, over the course of a week, I got exactly five responses.

Contrast that with a more bells-and-whistles blogger who posted about a major milestone and got over 30 responses the same day.

I needed Sheyna's help just to set up a basic blogroll and a few links in my sidebar. (Thanks again, Sheyna!) Drop-down menus? In my dreams. Widgets? What?? Fans of fancy formatting will find little of visual interest here.

Then, of course, there are my more serious posts. Even when I publish something controversial, which I frequently do, I insist on civil discourse on my blog. Still, I once got over 60 comments, a quite respectable number.

By contrast, another blogger (not the same person as "bells-and-whistles blogger"), Mr. Contentious , who encourages quarrelsome commenters, has gotten as many as 245 comments on one post.

But posts on that blog can be rather like newspaper articles about a Gay Pride parade--the newspapers cater to the crowds by featuring photos of flamboyant cross-dressers rather than more mainstream men and women who just so happen to have same-sex attraction. Car crashes always draw crowds.

Blabbermouth that I am, I don't write just for myself, I write for the conversation. I enjoy a good discussion. But I am who I am. So I'll content myself with whomever drops by. Thank you for reading.


Blogger Unknown said...

Good for you. :) It's not about the hits.

Tue Jun 19, 08:50:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Truth to tell, Ezzie, I'd rather have a discussion than an argument or an insult fest. I get less comments, but, perhaps, more thoughtful ones.

Tue Jun 19, 09:24:00 PM 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that those of us who want insightful, thoughtful writing are more likely to read your writing though, even if we comment less. I wouldn't be reading if you were posting lots of nastiness...

Tue Jun 19, 10:56:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Thanks, Debka_Notion. I appreciate the vote of confidence. Insightful and thoughtful are exactly what I want my serious posts to be.

Tue Jun 19, 11:13:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Jack Steiner said...

I appreciate bloggers who actually think and you do that. Far too many just kind of are out there.

Wed Jun 20, 02:14:00 AM 2007  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

I think that, like many other things, Jblogging has a cetain rhythm to it. There's an ebb and a flow. You have to be in touch with it if you want your posts to get noticed.

For example, don't bother posting between Thursday night and Sunday night if you want anyone to read and comment. Most Jbloggers read at work and there is a noticable drop in hits over Shabbos and Yom Tov.

Also, if you have something important you want read, don't post 3 or 4 posts right after it, as few readers bother to scroll down more than a screen or two.

And if you do want to get comments on a post, the best way is not to keep posting about why you're not getting comments. The best way is to leave it up top for a few days, or post-date it so it stays on top. It's what I like to call "Top Time."

Finally, simplicity works. Get to the point right away, don't make an important post too long and don't let the main point of the post reveal itself in the last few lines. Most people don't get that far. Put the pictures up top.

Wed Jun 20, 11:00:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Thank you, Jack. I'm very happy indeed to be considered a thinking blogger.

Wed Jun 20, 11:03:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Mark/PT, normally, I would have re-dated the post to keep it on top, but it was my anniversary post, and I didn't want to change the date. Point taken about the kvetching, though. I'll try to behave myself in the future.

In the future, I'll also try to leave my important posts on top for a few days and not distract readers by burying major posts under not-so-major posts.

I hadn't really thought about the drop-off in readership except on Shabbat. I'll keep that in mind, and hold my Friday-morning posts 'til Sunday night or Monday. Given my so-called memory, I'm glad that Blogger has a "save new post as draft" function--as long as I write it down while I remember it, I can always hit "publish" later.

Gotta work on the simplicity (quoth Ms. Blabbermouth), not to mention my non-existent skills as a photographer. Shorter, more concise posts (with photo, if any, on top) would be an improvement.

Thanks for the tips.

Wed Jun 20, 11:31:00 AM 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You didn't really answer Jack's question, however. So what if you only got five comments on the life milestone post; I hardly ever get comments, but I get a lot of hits. On the other hand, regardless of the numbers, have you made any friends from blogging? I would not say that I have. I've made a few cyber-acquaintances -- but have not yet physically met up with and really became friends with someone I met through blogging.

Thu Jun 21, 09:49:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"I hardly ever get comments, but I get a lot of hits." Reb Barry, as low-tech blogger, I really haven't quite figured out how to read my stats, so I don't know know how many people view each post. Maybe it would help if I knew that. Any assistance (of the "DOS," er "Windows for Dummies" variety) would be appreciated.

I've met a few bloggers, which is fun, and I've made a few friends from blogging.

Fri Jun 22, 11:37:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Scraps said...

I know what you mean; it's slightly annoying when a post that I really think is worthwhile seems to just get passed by. I do try to give my best posts some decent top-time, though; I'll either post-date them, or just refrain from posting for a little while altogether. Although then I have to deal with people complaining I don't update. :-P

Fri Jun 22, 01:58:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Tzipporah said...

Sorry, Shira,

I guess my "mazal tovs" were all in my head!

Fri Jun 22, 02:24:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Tzipporah, thanks for finally voicing them. :)

Fri Jun 22, 02:58:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Scraps, I think I'll follow your and Mark/PT's advice and try leaving what I deem important posts "on top" longer. It's worth a shot.

Fri Jun 22, 07:54:00 PM 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just be glad you get any comments at all! I don't think I've ever gotten a comment on my Conservadox blog (not that I really seek or deserve them!); my secular, non-anonymous blog has gotten maybe half a dozen comments in two years.

Tue Jun 26, 11:37:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Woodrow, it seems to me that I've commented on your blog in the past (though I'm just a lurker most of the time). But lately, it's become a major challenge. First, I have to return to my own blog to copy my URL. Then I can't move your comment window to copy something from your post into my comment. And, to top it off, your "comment-spam blocker" wouldn't accept the verification code even though I typed it three times (complete with "refresh the code"). Your blog has turned into Fort Knox. I can't comment if I can't get in. If you don't mind the suggestion, you might want to tinker a bit with your comment system (preferably soon, so that I can comment on your latest post.)

Wed Jun 27, 11:10:00 AM 2007  

Post a Comment

<< Home

<< List
Jewish Bloggers
Join >>