Friday, February 17, 2006

Blogging Manners

It's one of those Friday nights -- DH is gone on retreat with his confirmation kids, so at home it's me, the dog (chewing a rawhide) and the baby (snoring through the monitor). Even though I'm not really worried about being alone, I jump at little noises and wish the dog were bigger, somehow more menacing.

All of this aside, between watching the Olympics and creating a "child of God" box for friends whose baby girl is being baptized tomorrow night, I'm surfing the internet. I visit my standard sites, the ones I visit many times a day (just in case these brilliant folks have posted something new), Google myself (both my real name and my blog) just to see what's out there, check my web-based e-mail, and then follow links randomly on the aforementioned favorite sites.

Following links is a great procrastination tool, but also one that I don't indulge in all that often -- like the full-fat coffee/whipped cream/caramel/chocolate goodness drink from my local barista. Which brings me to this post.

When jumping from link to link to link, I'll happen upon a blog that touches me in that "Wow, that's really cool" or "Wow, I think this person and I have a lot in common and he/she uses words in a clever, creative, fabulous way." I move my mouse to click "comment" and then I stop.

Who am I to comment on this woman's beautiful child without feeling like a stalker and making her feel all freaky about posting pictures online? Even though her child and my child are merely days apart and she writes beautifully?

What could I say to this person who has captured my interest for longer than I'd like to admit, and yet it's clear that I'm not the intended reader?

Daily I have people who visit my site because they searched "pink shoes." Most of them (from what sitemeter reports) skim a page and then probably leave. A few look around for at least a couple of minutes and then move along.

What is the protocol for commenting? Whose sites do you comment upon? What moves you to comment on a "new site?"

I'm just curious -- it's one of those Friday nights -- dog chewing, baby snoring.


juniper68 said...

Hi Pink,

I dont know what the official rules our, but personally I"m delighted when someone I don't know leaves me a comment - makes me feel all famous and stuff.

As for leaving comments at other places, I pretty much figure if it's on the internet, it's a free for all, you know? People who dont want strangers to stumble across their kid's pictures or their love letters or whatever should probably not post them.

I once got a comment I didn't want, from someone I didnt really want to hear from, and I just deleted it. He hasn't commented again.

(Hey, off topic, will it make me into a stalker to say that I'm from Minnesota, too? But I'm of the non-Lutheran variety...)


Songbird said...

I think if you feel moved to comment, you ought to do it. Most bloggers are delighted by comments! Leaving a comment on a blog has in some cases been the first step in a friendship for me.
And I think lurking is more like stalking. Does that encourage you to comment? :-)

Pink Shoes said...

Good points -- I know the delight that I feel when people commented on my site -- "Oooo... someone's actually reading this!"
And Juniper, it doesn't make you a stalker at all ..... glad to know another native Minnesotan, because you're right, we can leave, but it never leaves us!

Quotidian Grace said...

We all love comments! It's what keeps us blogging. My policy is to leave encouraging comments on blogs I visit regularly as well as new blogs I come across. I find that comments are often reciprocated and that builds your feeling of community and widens your viewpoint.

cheesehead said...

Okay, Now I feel a little paranoid about reading your stuff and not commenting! LOL!

But I echo what the others have said. If I throw stuff out into the ether, its fair game. I figure same goes for everyone else. If people want to write private stuff, that's what those little books with the locks are for. (Or private password-protected blogs.)

jo(e) said...

I love getting comments on my own blog, so I guess I assume that other people like comments too.

Sometimes I do lurk for awhile before commenting ... sort of like listening to a conversation for awhile before jumping in.

LutheranChik said...

What a great question!

I was actually thinking the other day about creating a rule for visiting blogs, because mine is very haphazard. I have about a half-dozen blogs -- friends of mine from my pre-blogging days and my initial foray into blogging -- that I visit every day. Since I joined the RevGals, I also check out the "featured" sites of the day, and/or use the random feature to check out about a half dozen.

I know I love responses on my own blog, so I like to say something...but I don't always, just because I don't think I have anything intelligent to contribute.

Cathy said...

I comment when I think I can offer some affirmation or if I want to "have a conversation" with that person. I enjoy getting comments on my blog and sometimes find other neat blogs to visit. Blogville is so cool.

I think your question is a good one, because sometimes I don't comment and probably should - I never leave a comment that I wouldn't want anyone I personally know to see and read.

Richard B. said...

When I started blogging, the idea of commenting had not yet come into being. (Well... if one really wanted to comment, they'd send an email to the blogger. If the blogger wanted to, they'd post the email.)

When comments came into being, it felt like they changed the way that we blogged. Things became more interactive... and bloggers got the chance to "meet" (at least in virtual mode) people who chanced upon their writing.

Most blogging tools allow bloggers to shut comments off on a single post, or for their whole blog, so I've always assumed that if there's a "comment" link, I'm welcome to comment.

Blessings and peace - Richard B.

Kathryn said...

The comments are the glory of blogging, surely! I tend to feel "that can't have been much of a post" when nobody comments...even if the only sign of their presence is one of ppb's stones (0)but I operate a double standard, as I'm often hesitant to comment elsewhere on the grounds that I've nothing much to say.
Or someone else has said it already.
As indeed they have here.
But please anyone, comment any time on mine! It makes me feel loved ;-)

Elizabeth said...

Hi : )

Well. I can say that it was fun to get a comment from you tonight, and I agree with the above commenters that it's a good way to get to know a fellow blogger : )

In the scrapbooking world where my blogging was born, everybody has a blog. I do surf from time to time, and have a few favorites that I visit again and again but never comment on. I know *I'm* not creepy (says she) so I guess I try to assume that the people who don't comment on mine but read it everyday are also not creepy. That's the world I choose to live in, at least! Adding a sitemeter at kewp's recommendation has opened my eyes to the fact that there people are reading and not commenting. Verrrrrrry interesting. I suppose I would feel more comfortable if all those lurkers said hi once, even if they never commented again.

Like you did! But please, feel free to comment again : )

Boy, am I ever wordy tonight.

Pink Shoes said...

After writing this post and reading everyone's responses to it, I've found that I'm much more likely to post a comment on someone else's blog. I enjoy comments, so it goes to figure that most others do, too!