By Guest Author, Little Miss Menopause who blogs at thequotegal.wordpress.com
The Comment Section on a Blog can really bring out the same personality traits you would exhibit at a cocktail party. Having OCD, this has been a problem for me. Since there is no 12-step program – – my only hope is to share my experiences so I can (hopefully) recognize that I am not alone in my Over-Thinking the Comment Section!
The following confessions are listed in no special order. But I particularly resisted the urge to alphabetize them – – the bad Dog Puns were obsessive enough.
1. “The UnderBlog” – – When I first came to WordPress at the beginning of this year, I became keenly aware that Blogs could easily turn into a popularity contest. I told myself it didn’t matter if nobody ever read, clicked “like,” or left a comment on my posts. I was writing for me. But my stuff is humor. And soon I knew all my material by heart. How many times can you laugh at your own jokes? (Note to new wives: You need to laugh at your husband’s jokes as if you’re hearing them for the first time. Every. Single. Time.) I craved a follower. Stupidly, I hadn’t been tagging my pieces back then but alas, as luck would have it, one day a live reader left me a nice comment. It was probably a pity comment. But I glowed the entire night. From that day on, I felt the need to pay it forward and now I compulsively must leave comments on blogs with very few subscribers.
2. “Let Sleeping Blogs Lie” – – Every once in a while, I land on a blog with no recent entries. If their posts were bananas, they’d be black and rotting. I hesitate for only a second before peeling them and leaving my recent comment. It’s usually, “Anybody home?” Followed by a compliment. I cannot stand an abandoned blog. Sometimes this is the wake-up call they need to get back to writing and they usually thank me. I feel good. But just as often, I get zero response and I feel like that stupid idiot who speaks too loudly in the library. People stare. Great, now everybody can see that I left a comment that was completely ignored.
3. “Sick As a Blog” – – Commenting really can become an illness. I have this problem where I cannot type any feedback until I’ve read every single other remark in the entire section. That’s because I have this need to be original and I need to make sure that nobody has already said what I’m about to say. Surely I would be forgiven if I happened to say something redundant because somebody else had similar thoughts. But no! Somehow in my mind, that’s a serious crime. When blogs are busy and the owner has a lot of followers, I can spend upwards of a half an hour just reading what other followers have previously said. Sick, sick, sick.
4. “Man’s Best Friend is His Blog” – – Close-knit, commenters all cozied up by the fireplace. Ever feel like you’re back in high school when you peruse a blogger’s comment section? People are so chummy and there’s all these inside jokes. They’ve known each other since kindergarten and you’re the new transfer student. In these cases, I have to keep myself from apologizing for my presence, “Don’t mean to intrude here, but great post!” Seriously? Why don’t I just ask if they would mind if I sat at their table in the cafeteria? I must’ve had one too many mean girls pour a slushy on me in 10th grade.
5. “In The Bloghouse” – – “Man, I cannot believe I just made so many typos in that comment. Darn cell phone. And why didn’t I proofread it before clicking “reply? Of course I wrote ‘hear’ when I meant ‘here.’ Way to go! Now you’re gonna come off as the most illiterate person ever and nobody will even think about visiting your blog. Would it kill WordPress to have an edit button for our comments so we can fix some of this stuff?” I hope this interior monologue sounds familiar to someone else out there!
6. “It’s a Blog Eat Blog World” – – Sometimes when a post is exceptionally clever and witty, I get completely tongue-tied. This person is an amazing blogger and I just want to make a good impression and stand-out so maybe, (just maybe!) they’ll finally visit my blog too. What an honor! I suppose I should practice what I’m gonna write in the mirror first before I do it for real. C’mon! It’s only a friggin’ comment!
7. “It’s Raining Cats and Blogs!” – – When posts have what seem like a hundred comments, there’s that critical (jealous!) voice in my head that says, “They’ve had enough love.” Or, “My silly little thoughts won’t even be noticed here.” Or the rebellious part of me says, “Why should I follow all the other groupies and gush all over this blogger?” I often notice this when I read Freshly Pressed posts but I force myself to leave a congratulation comment anyhow. Because it IS a big deal.
8. “Teaching an Old Blog New Tricks” – – The relationship between someone’s age and their comment is really an interesting phenomenon. When I started out, my niche or genre was supposed to be Mid-Life issues. I branded myself, “Little Miss Menopause.” My kids said, “Good thing blogs weren’t around when you were a teenager, starting puberty – – You would have been ‘Little Miss Menstruation!’” I quickly discovered that I was young at heart and didn’t want to be confined to just this topic. When I expanded my writing repertoire to include….well, everything under the sun really, the age of my readers dropped down to include teenagers. I still find myself very conscious to use similar lingo as the age I perceive my reader is when I respond to their comment. I can just hear my daughter saying “Act your age, Mom!” As if I were trying on a blouse from her closet.
9. “You Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Blog” – – Challenging, aggressive (sometimes mean) comments still do a number on my head. It doesn’t matter if I moderate them first and nobody else ever sees them. I can’t unread them. And the words sting. It’s only happened when I’ve ventured into “serious, non-comedic” territory and expressed my opinion. I think that’s why I play it safe and put a humorous slant on almost all my posts. Somebody takes issue with something? Why, I was only kidding, of course. Hmmm.
10. “Blog-Eared” – – So when you’ve been blogging for a while, and the novelty wears off for you, can you imagine what it must feel like for your followers? Do you ever wonder what happened to those few faithful followers (who always left regular comments) and now suddenly dropped off the blogosphere? (Or maybe just your corner of it.) Did you insult them? Bore them? Are they sick? (Sicker than me?!) Blogging is highly personal and interactive. In real life, an author cannot see when a reader puts a book back on the shelf, never to pick it up again. But bloggers detect trends and nuances in their comments. They can be a barometer for so many things – – If we let them. Do you?
Hot Blog, Hot Blog, Hot Diggedy Blog….Okay, enough with the Dog/Blog thing. We get it!
Pay Little Miss Menopause’s humor blog a visit at thequotegal.wordpress.com to enjoy her comedic take on blogging and much more.
Related post: Another Update