Posted in Of Bloggingly

Of Blogging Courtesy

Once in a while, I get comments which are along the lines of, “I haven’t read your post fully, but here’s what I have to say about this topic…” It bewilders me, and I am sure it must bewilder you to read about it here, if you haven’t encountered some such comment yourself. I am so grateful to WordPress for not having a dislike button, though the rate at which they are changing things here, that may soon become a reality. However, if that were the case, I would, at least, like to earn my dislikes, as I earn my likes. There is a larger issue at stake here, and it has to do with basic blogging courtesy, i.e., manners, if ‘courtesy’ is too big a word for my potential non-reader who would oblige me with a comment about my vocabulary.

I don’t read all the posts I ever click on. I’d go mad if I were that sincere, because there is just too much out there. Even as I complain about it, I am adding to it. This very sentence you are reading right now is taking you one inch towards a migraine. I myself have had awful headaches and eye strain lately, or what is called (big word alert), Computer Vision Syndrome. And so, if you’re really having such a hard time, close tab and move on. There are plenty of other things you can click, which will make that coming migraine worth it.

The complaints I usually get about my blogging are – big chunks of paragraphs, long, winding sentences in the passive voice, long posts in general and almost always too digressional. My own personal criticisms in addition to these (for I agree with all of them) are: lack of professionalism in presentation and promotion, lack of adequate forward interaction with the community, lack of topicality, complete lack of research for posts and keeping my lazy-writer mantra of “writing my way out of things” alive and most of all, lack of brevity and to-the-pointness, because I know I have something worthwhile to say, but the internet does not have the patience to put up with my fumbling as I say it.

If this blog was someone else’s and I did not have the patience to put up with it, I’d close tab and move on. I wouldn’t actually undertake the exertion of writing a comment. This is a niche blog, though every subject on it is universal. However, that is the point. To write about the macrocosm from somebody’s microcosmic experience. And it isn’t anything new. Anyone who’s ever had the audacity to call themselves a writer, an artist or an observer of life does the exact same thing.

I keep the comments on this blog under moderation because I take great care in making it a safe place for anybody to visit. My approach to any life experience I discuss here is empirical, or at least as vague as possible. I don’t try to promote or discuss any established world views, because that invites polarity and controversy that I do not have the strength or willingness to deal with. And you know what? It has been remarkably easy to keep things that way. I respond to every comment I get, and allow them except for two instances: when they are completely unrelated to what I’ve written (and you won’t believe how bizarre some of these are) or if they shamelessly plug their own blogs without giving any indications that they’ve even read my post.

I am irked by plugs in general. The whole point of having a social media account is that it leads to your social media presence. You don’t need to tell me to visit your blog. I can already click your username and be directed there myself. Don’t you know how the internet works?

I understand these are all uninformed attempts at promotion. Because these bloggers read somewhere that commenting attracts new followers, they decided to comment on every post they can, without ever bothering to read it. I don’t even know who would advice somebody to plug their blog in comments. If this is how they go about their promotion, how do they make their content? That is the hardest thing to do in the whole blogging experience – making new, readable/viewable things. But then, I wouldn’t know. I always check out the blogs of everybody who engage with my content, but I move on as fast as possible from such lazy commenters. I don’t want to prolong my disappointment and hurt at such careless responses towards my carefully made content.

I know this post has been very sarcastic, defeating my purpose of making this a positive place. But, I am human and this kind of unpleasantness is something I can only share with people who are also in it. Not that it is likely to change things, as the people discussed have, predictably, not read this as well. What a profligacy of words they’ll never read.


Writer, Blogger, Kate Bush Fanatic

24 thoughts on “Of Blogging Courtesy

  1. I have had many of these, too, and they defeat their purpose by never making it beyond my trash folder. Same, too, for the person who entreated me to leave a comment, any comment on my blog for a project. I might have done so, had they bothered to spare a sentence showing they’d read my own post.

    1. Thank you for sharing your methods, Deborah! I must learn from them. You must have had to develop this indifference, given by how long you’ve been doing this. I don’t understand how I let these things get to me, even after writing this blog for over a year. Some spam is so obvious, I don’t think twice about it. But others can be quite direct and hurtful. I just have to learn to develop a thicker skin!

      1. It took me, oh, 15 or 16 years … I hope it’s a quicker, gentler journey for you! 🙂

        There are still some days where I laser-beam-vision my monitor and wish the beam could cut through the other side of the computer, but they’re fewer and further between. Blogging has been a huge part of that, actually. (I wrote a post on this subject; I can share it here if you don’t mind my linking it … amusingly, in light of the discussion at hand.)

      2. Oh, please do share it! I hate to think I might have given the impression that I am critical of ALL the commentary I get. I am writing a blog, I appreciate any feedback I get! I’ve only mentioned two instances when I felt those comments were inappropriate. Other than that, I am more than happy for readers like you to pitch in! That is what this blog is about, to encourage discussion about everyday things.

  2. Idk why people would comment and say that they didn’t bother to read the whole thing. How do you have an opinion on something you haven’t read? Ugh.

    1. I usually don’t let these bother me too much. But, yesterday, someone on the Daily Post community pool told me they couldn’t get through my post because there were too many big words. But, anyway, they disagree with what I say given by the title of my post, and then went on with what they think about the subject. Forget politeness, how is that useful to either of us? If you have to disagree, at least read through what I said first! I am not the first person to talk about things like ego and creativity. The whole point of leaving a comment is “commenting” on what you just read.

      How are you doing, Hollie? Good week so far?

      1. Great week! Still no news on the job but I had an amazing first date Saturday and an even better second date last night!!!

  3. Actually, long essay form of your posts and lack of topicality, as you call it, make your blog outstanding. I think it’s your decision as a writer and noone else’s what to write about and how. As for comments, I also have somewhat similar experience. I love constructive comments, no matter if a person agrees or disagrees with me, and it would be great to get more of those. However, the reality is different…

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Elena! The style in which I write worked for me when I published such essays years ago in my college magazine. That is what gave me the courage to crossover this form of writing into the blogging world, though it isn’t as patient as magazine readers. But, what can I say? This is the best I can do.

      It is great that you can take constructive criticism. It is a remarkable gift to possess and not many people have it. It is also very difficult to give constructive criticism. Either because it can end up being mean even if the commenter doesn’t think so, or the person receiving the comment is so fragile and defensive, they’ll feel hurt at the slightest sense of disagreement. Mine is even worse than that because I mostly believe the negative criticism I get instead of getting defensive. That is why I rarely react, because I already am my worst critic.
      Thank you for reading and your support, Elena! Happy to have you here!

  4. Aside from etiquette101, I think in general, people should give comments to topics or subjects when
    1. they were asked to,
    2. that they really understand or
    3. they have expertise on the topic
    It is just distasteful to react without understanding, right?

    1. It is. Especially when they form their conclusions by the title itself. When the subject is so universal and commonplace, why comment without understanding? it is not like I am interviewing the person, putting the topic forward asking them what they think. I don’t even know them. I am asking them what they think about what “I” wrote. Excuse the vanity there, but it isn’t anything new, is it? Some people should learn to comment responsibly.
      Thanks for reading and your brilliant comment!

      1. Unfortunately, there are those who just throw their comments and forgets to be a responsible. Just keep doing what you are doing, because we love what you share. 😉

    1. Ha ha, please don’t be! I’d be happy to receive any feedback, as long as it is after reading what I have written. Pretty obvious in the blogging world, isn’t it? Bewildering how some people don’t get it.
      Welcome to Of Opinions!

      1. You hit an interesting point here. I don’t know why people do so but I’m probably not popular enough for other bloggers commenting without reading 🙂

      2. The “popularity” of my blog comes and goes, but I have noticed certain people commenting here just to attract people to their blogs. I think if bloggers write perceptive comments on the subject matter of the post itself, somebody is bound to notice and be intrigued. That is how I discovered a number of blogs, just because their comments were so good on other blogs. Some people also say they discovered me through some comments I made, that wasn’t even on their blog. And of course, I am always intrigued by the intelligent comments I get. The idea is, while writing comments does help in getting new readers, it is likely to happen when the comment itself is interesting enough.

      3. You are so right. In order to get something you should put effort into it. Of course, it’s much easier to leave a link back to your blog in the comment section.

      4. To my knowledge, clicking the username is enough to direct you to it. That is what I do when I am intrigued by somebody’s comment. I think if there is a post which the commenter has written that is related to the post they are commenting on, then it is a good idea leaving a link to that post in the comment, explaining how it is relevant to the discussion. It adds to it, and the commenter may gain new readers for that post, if not for their blog itself.

      5. Life shows that not everyone has this knowledge you have. Maybe it’s all about our reflexes. We tend to click on links, not the username 🙂

  5. Brilliant post. I personally haven’t received any such comments (which is probably due to my relative lack of content) but it was nice to take a peek into what it would be like if I were to. It has also made me reflect upon my commenting habits; I tend to comment frivolously but your post has made me realize what it could feel like to be on the receiving end of it, haha. Thanks for the good read.

    1. Thank you for reading, Marie! I am very cautious with writing comments myself. People can get touchy if they misunderstand what you wrote. I used to be crisper and much more ironic before, which didn’t translate so well, given by the limited attention span on the internet. Now I might even refrain from posting a longish comment if I feel it will not translate well. People are quick to get offended. I myself try not to seem offended if I get an offensive comment, because I think it is also important to be polite even if the person on the other end isn’t. Be polite, or just ignore, is what I tend to do.

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