Ice breaker: or how a sandwich helped my random comments research

I recently wrote a post about blog comments.

I have my opinions about this, but then WordPress also suggested we go forth and comment. So here is my research following up on the Weekly Writing Challenge to boldly go and seek out new blogs. Then to strike them down comment on them.

*Observation 1. Generally there is no rhyme or reason how people choose to represent themselves in a photo. (I’d say dog photos are the most obvious ones that represent their subject matter).

So far I’ve looked through 8 blogs I’ve never heard, seen, or read before. I found them by searching people’s gravatar photos. I used to never include a photo of myself on anything online. Anything. When I started seeking out other people’s blogs I found photos of kittens, landscapes, and flowers. I’ve found the anonymous default gravatar, emoticons, and signs. And I’ve found people, faces, and some cartoon figures. I still didn’t know what they blogged about. No matter.

*Observation 2. Commenting on something you know nothing about generally gets you those “Thanks for reading” comments in return.

Some of the blogs were about fashion and style. This is way out of my league. My husband helps me pick out clothes to buy because his fashion sense is better than mine; I just like to be warm. Sure, I like to look nice, but my idea of nice is all about comfort. So I skipped these blogs.

*Observation 3. People can’t diagnose or correct your mistakes for you. Your mistakes are your own. Best to not make those public knowledge, unless they are funny. Then go for it.

I found blogs about food. I like to eat. But I follow a few great blogs about food already and don’t like cooking. Also, I have a zillion dietary restrictions and seeing photos of bacon oozing on a plate or some creamy brownie-blondie thing just doesn’t turn my crank. In fact, it just makes it tighter. Plus, what do you say… ‘I followed your recipe. My after-photos of your [insert name of hard-to-make foodthing here] are not like the pictures you have on your post. What happened?

I moved on. Never mind that I had to make some pithy comments, I also had to find something to comment on. This was hard work, so I stopped for a sandwich first. That took care of my guilt about skipping over people’s love and joy on their food blogs.

*Observation 4. If you actually understand and “get” what the post was about, there will be more to comment on. Love for both blogger and commenter.

Then, Success. I found some really funny stuff out there. I had a great exchange with a blogger about feeling rage and screaming into pillows, rather than commenting what we really thought. It’s a fine line between honesty and insult sometimes. Words are words and we need to be sure that they are  taken as intended. Using emoticons won’t wash away your pointed rage and make it funny. If you have something to say, own it; but be sure you can also defend it and be willing to hear another opinion.

*Observation 5. Commenting on something that interests you translates to the blogger. Encouraged by your enthusiasm they will likely want to share more with you.

A picture of a birthday cake

I read a post about all the famous people who shared a blogger’s birthdate. Her husband, on the other hand, was cursed to share a birthday with Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger. Given that I am from Canada this shamed me enough to not even want to look up my own celeb birthday sharers. But the author kindly suggested I change my birthday and perhaps have some superheros share my “new” birthday. Sound advice.

*Observation 6. There is a lot of random, interesting stuff out there. People know a lot of weird stuff, and you can read about it, and comment on it.

I read a post about how peat moss may be a possible cure for adult acne. (True story!) I mean, the post really happened, but there was no scientific evidence to prove or disprove this theory.

*Observation 7. People will often think the same things as you, but say them differently. Not to worry if someone reads your post, gives that same topic their own spin, and gets Freshly Pressed. C’est la vie, right? At least you can comment on their post and link back to your own. (I did). Plus the author of the FP blog was very kind.

I wrote a post about how the Christmas season is getting longer and more murky. It seems like as soon as Halloween rolls around, it’s open season for Christmas music and decoration. People may read your posts and comment on them too. Beware that they may get some ideas of their own.

*Observation 8. Some people will take a while to reply to your comments. There is no expiration date on comments, but if the delay is long a reader likely won’t be as enthusiastic on your next post. Do try to reply: generic comments need not apply.

I read a post about punctuation. I thought I was being cute calling a comma a dangling tadpole. (You get it, right? It hangs down like it’s dangling but the swoop of the punctuation marks looks a bit like a tadpole? Right?) I got no reply.

*Observation 9. I enjoyed this! No further comment necessary.

So I finished my day with 5 new blogs that I read, commented on, and thoroughly enjoyed. Plus I learned a lot more than I had hoped. Commenting is just as much fun as blogging and can help to create readership. A sandwich will fortify you for at least the time it takes to digest a blog post and comment on it, times five.

***

I’m still including “coffee” as a tag because people find my blog this way. I may as well go with what’s working. All new arrivals can leave comments and / or be new followers. I don’t mind. Really. 

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15 thoughts on “Ice breaker: or how a sandwich helped my random comments research

  1. I like this post. I don’t think I’ve ever “liked” a post though, where I just leave my little gravatar. Maybe once, like once I used an emoticon in an email and once on my blog, but I only used them ironically. There are just some lines I won’t cross. My main problem is I’m too busy to keep up with all of the great blogs that I love.
    I am still replying to your last comment about TCM on my blog!

    Happy Thursday! twinkly

    • Twinkly,
      So you only “like” if you comment as well? That’s a nice way to follow through on your feeling.
      Emoticons are funny things… we are so used to them, but I’m also liking that some people just refuse to. And yes, both blogging and commenting take time. Sometimes we can only do one.
      I’m fine to wait for your response on your own blog. I know you get there eventually.
      Take good care on this Thursday!

  2. This was awesome. Seeking out random new blogs…there is a lot out there!!! I feel like I can’t write a blog if I have not reciprocated reading others’ blogs. Occasionally I will randomly comment if I liked something or laughed or it was sad, I don’t have to ‘follow’ everyone under the blogging sun. But blogging is a very reciprocal relationship of reading and writing for sure.

    • Following everyone under the blogging sun would be more than a full time job. Besides, we can’t like what everyone is doing. We are just different this way and that is good. I love my followers, but I also like the random drop-bys who connected with something I said and -best yet- left a comment. It’s that subtle interaction that makes the writing (again) worthwhile and helps to foster that blogging reciprocity.

  3. Please don’t hate me because I waited so long to comment! I got bogged down in Thanksgiving sloth and am just now catching up. I love to check out new blogs, especially about things that are foreign to me, but trying to follow a zillion blogs IS like a full time job.

    • Oh, I know I can count on you!! You have no deadlines It totally seems like the more I follow or am interested in, the less time I have to actually work on my own blog. I forget that I like to blog too.
      I like the visuals of Thanksgiving sloth-dom. So true!

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