No comment.

Something happened this week that makes blogging seem totally trivial. Bad news from a friend. I won’t share it, there’s enough bad news in the world without me foisting my small part of it on you.

But I’m feeling rather strange. Uncomfortable, even.

Despite a sadness that’s settled into my heart, my blog – this site – has been lurking just past the corner of my eye. Floating in the ether, saying, ‘feed me’. And feed it I must.

Or must I?

Why?

And why today, of all days?

The answer’s hard for me to fathom.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been reading about the effects of social media, online sharing and mobile phone usage on attention spans and behaviour. Stuff everyone seems to be particularly antsy about at the moment. Including me.

I even read a whole book: ‘The End of Absence. Reclaiming what we’ve lost in a world of constant connection.’ (Author, Michael Harris.)

Blogging is (ostensibly) about connecting – and over the last two years eight months, the process of blogging and following others has made me reassess what it means to know someone. To relate to other human beings.

Does it matter that it’s intangible? After all, when I was young we had penfriends – it just took longer to send and receive the messages.

But I do feel, somehow, it’s different. And it’s been perplexing me.

I’ve been asking myself, why do bloggers blog – and why do readers read?

Do ‘real’ relationships develop (I think they do, see my post about Tess Ross) – and what are they, those relationships?

Are they mostly between bloggers and non-blogging readers – like newspapers and commuters, say? Or are they mostly between member of the  ‘community’ of bloggers, souls reaching out, in some individual way, to others?

I suspect that many readers – whether bloggers themselves or not – read out of simple curiosity, learning about new places, people, cultures and so on. I do.

Some have an especially serious reason for following a blog about a shared illness, or other challenge they are facing.

And then there are the ones who know the blogger in real life.

I don’t know if I’m a rarity, but I feel a tad uncomfortable following people I know in the flesh. And some people I know in ‘real’ life are the ‘followers’ who puzzle me the most.

The ones who follow, but don’t ‘follow’.

Who read but never ‘comment’.

Who don’t ever click the ‘like’ button.

People who tell me, ‘I do read your blogs, you know. I enjoy seeing what you’re up to, even if I don’t comment.’

Are they just inquisitive, plain and simple, but afraid of that great, identity-stealing, bogey-person in the ether?

Afraid of committing to a view in the full glare of – me? Other readers?

Afraid of the thought police?

The latter I’d understand. I’ve been visiting some ‘interesting’ websites lately by way of research – in fact, maybe you’d better stop reading right now if you’re paranoid.
(Thought police, if you’re reading, I’m only trying to write fiction.)

A young academic of my acquaintance has an interesting take on this type of behaviour, this anonymous blog ogling. [Bloggling?]

So much is free online, he posits, that some people feel no need to square the circle.
The content’s there for them to enjoy or not, they feel no need to pay in any way. And that dispensation from making any kind of ‘payment’ includes any acknowledgement they have read it, liked it or – just for the sake of argument – disagreed with it.

I’m glad they do read it, don’t misunderstand me – it’s reassuring that friends I don’t see very often (you know who you are) keep up with my antics – and phobias – and rants – this way. Don’t stop!

But that absence of payment is also interesting if you come at it from my perspective.

I was a journalist of sorts, on and off. Paid for writing things that people then read, in order to be better informed, or (I can’t really lump telecommunications in with snooping round glamorous houses) just amused.

Over the last couple of months there have been several occasions when I’ve written one of my thought or rant pieces only to find a ‘real’ writer saying much the same thing in a national newspaper a week or two later.

I mentioned one such to the new Brit in the house, gratified that my argument had been published by a real hack in a national newspaper.

‘See,’ I chirped, ‘that’s just what I was saying last week. So I am doing something useful.’ (Even I can see the flaw in that statement.)

Anyway, the point is, we’ve had many discussions about the usefulness or otherwise of my blogging. Other than some things being better out than in, as far as my psyche’s concerned, I mean, which is patently useful.

‘But,’ he says, ‘you don’t get paid for it.’

I restrain my innate instinct for the confessional, which wants me to say, ‘No – and on top of that, I pay for my site so that it has a proper address and doesn’t have ads. So, in effect, I’m paying people to read what I write.’

Is it worth it? Is it useful? Why do I do it?

No comment.

A recent frost, for no particular reason

A recent frost, for no particular reason

This entry was posted in Thinking, or ranting, or both and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to No comment.

  1. MELewis says:

    You raise a lot of interesting points here that I also struggle with. Those who know you and claim to read but never like or comment….pondering the value of blogging and social media vs the traditional media. I don’t have any answers but am pleased to read your questions. Great post!

    Like

    • Thanks MEL. I often ask for a second opinion before blogging about something like this but had no one to turn to this time and went ahead anyway – so it’s reassuring to hear it strikes chord with you. And – of course – thanks for commenting …

      Liked by 1 person

  2. John Kemp says:

    I started by writing “Food for thought”, but it’s more than that because it strikes very close to home,

    Like

    • Hello John. I’d be interested to know what you mean by that but don’t feel obliged to add more here if it’s not comfortable to do so – you are one of my more active commenters, so this hardly applies to you, as far as commenting goes.

      Like

  3. Christa says:

    Oh dear, I think I am one of your non-commenters…. Why, I’m not sure. I always read your blogs, enjoy them, think Wow! Mary can really write, and then go about my merry way without telling you! Perhaps I’m just shy. As to why YOU would write a blog, it’s a bit like me with my diary-writing (a somewhat sporadic exercise which I have been doing since 1973): i do it because I like writing, but in my case not good or confident enough to write in public. You are good at writing, and have interesting things to say, which brings me round to why WE read your blogs, even if we don’t comment. [am on my iPad, so typing is rubbish, and composing even worse (excuses, excuses). ]

    Like

    • Hello Christa and thank you – but you do sometimes comment! And sometimes you ‘like’ or comment on Facebook – which is another matter entirely … If I put a link up on FB it’s yet another occasion for ‘no comments’. One of the things about WordPress is you can see where some of your readers come from, both geographically (mind boggling to have people from Myanmar, Cambodia, French Polynesia, etc read what you write – even if only once!! Rather daunting and humbling) and ethereally – eg, Facebook or Twitter or search engines. It’s unsettling. I shouldn’t look is the lesson! And I shouldn’t be bothered, of course. A’real’ writer wouldn’t, I’m sure! 😉
      As for diary writing – all credit to you! I have never been able to make myself do it, even though I have tried. One day someone will relish your writing for its insights into real, un-tarnished-for-the-spotlight life. And being on paper it will survive (well maybe not if it is burnt!). Mine will all have crumbled to non-existent dust as digital technologies wither and die and take my words with them (perhaps).

      Like

  4. Thel says:

    I read because I know you. I don’t read any other blogs. Some of your blogs I don’t relate to because I don’t know your culture. I don’t comment often because I’m not a writer and I feel I will be judged by those who write. Many of your blogs are very personal and this is not the same as corresponding with a pen pal or having a heart-to-heart with a best friend. This is a public forum.

    I think the questions you are asking of your readers can be answered by answering your own questions at the end of your blog. In private.

    xxx

    Like

    • Hiya Thel. You’re actually one of my more frequent commenters. There’s quite a small clique of you and I appreciate each and every one. But I suppose the truth is I would do it anyway, even if no-one commented. So that’s the last three questions answered, (in public I’m afraid!) despite my final, ‘No comment’.
      But, it wasn’t just about those three questions.
      I perhaps tried to cover too much ground and didn’t do any of it justice. The remark about pen pals, for example, was about getting to know people. I’m surprised I feel I’ve got to know a few people, via blogs, reasonably well. As in real life, from what they say I can intuit more – and like them despite some things I wouldn’t normally think I like – it’s broadened my horizons.
      Part of the reason I started this blog was because some people close to me had completely the wrong idea about some aspects of my life and – having no offspring to pass my stories onto – I wanted to put the record straight. In doing so I’ve gained some followers who relate to what I say and vice versa – but not everyone who follows this blog follows for the same reason – doh! My post on this was therefore like a chameleon, changing emphasis with the reader. A lesson for me.
      And I didn’t write about privacy and anonymity (eg, when clicking the ‘like’ button), which is an integral part of this whole connectedness issue and which I find fascinating, because it’s complicated and it was getting too long.
      Oh dear, so’s this – I’m going on again. Better crawl back into my shell. Thanks for commenting, Thel, I’m always grateful. Lou X

      Like

      • Thel says:

        Having children doesn’t mean that they will listen to your life stories, just as I didn’t listen much to my parents’ stories. Being married into a family with endless stories of fascinating travel, I just sit back in my shell. No one knocks.

        Like

        • Being a mere husk, I empathise. What’s interesting about my life has all come via others … I suppose this is my attempt to stick my head out of the shell. Risky.
          At least you have now discovered one amazing side to your father’s life. As for me, I really liked finding a link between your family’s world and mine – beautiful writing. Look forward to seeing you in July!

          Like

  5. Paula J Wray says:

    It can make you feel as if you are speaking into an empty room.

    Like

    • Exactly! I look at the number of followers I supposedly have and wonder – how come I get so few comments – why do they bother?! But as I can see from a couple of comments here from people who do know me in the flesh, one thing is obviously privacy, another an unwillingness to write in the view of so many ‘writers’. (Though there is the like button, isn’t there?)
      I suspect many people do feel it’s a bit like a newspaper and once you’ve read it that’s that – which is fair enough. In retrospect, I think the post I wrote was really more aimed at bloggers than readers – and more especially bloggers who are also readers – a kind of – do you feel this way too? And from the comments here it seems lke we do!

      Like

  6. mud4fun says:

    First off, very sorry to hear of your bad news 😦

    As you know I’m not afraid to comment even if it is in disagreement with your views or beliefs 🙂

    I also pay for my upgraded site and for a domain but receive no revenue from it. In my case I started the blog to share my experiences with the mechanical work on old Land Rovers so that others may not have to go through the same issues that I did, it was also an easier way of sharing my refurbishments with a wide circle of people in a controlled manner rather than having it sprawling out over 100+ page threads on a forum and littered with comments and off topic deviations that often meant the useful information was lost or difficult to retrieve.

    Of course there is the little matter of me being in full control of what comments are left and any that are very negative are either never approved or are deleted. Unlike a forum where I must pay the price for sharing my thoughts publically with the fallout of nasty or abusive comments, on my blog I control the environment and keep the trolls at bay. This does mean though that I tend to live in a slightly distorted universe where I tend to only get comments from those that agree with me. 😉

    I stumbled across your blog while looking for Land Rover blogs and your style of writing and depth of subject matter had me hooked and I’ve read most of your posts since. Some I miss due to working silly hours for weeks on end and then not having time to catch up with all the blogs, some I don’t comment on because I feel I have nothing to offer or the subject is not really my thing but others I will happily comment on whether it is to agree or disagree.

    I refrain from using the like button because to me it means alot less than receiving a comment. I find the like button very distasteful actually. Many times I’ve published a post of 1000+ words and within a few seconds I have received several ‘likes’, quite clearly the people clicking the like button have not read the post, probably not even read the first paragraph so I generally ignore likes.

    Ian

    Like

    • Thank you, Ian, for the commiseration, it really was a bad week for bad news. 😦
      And thank you for always being willing to say what you mean and think, no holds barred! We seem to have been able to disagree on some important things and yet remain civil and friendly – I wish society at large could replicate us!
      We do have very different blogs – I have visited yours a few times, as you know, but given I am not a Land Rover buff I have not followed it. And this is where I think the ‘like’ button thing comes into its own. I would suggest that someone could click ‘like’ on one of my posts and that would be valid – whereas on yours – yes – meaningless! I’d rather have a comment but we have ‘like’ buttons and I live with them – and even, horrors, use them! I do find it weird, though, that someone will click like to sympathise with some terrible situation – a very blunt shortcut.
      We can indeed keep the trolls at bay – you’re right. Sometimes I look at the comments threads on very well argued and reasonable articles in the mainstream media and am shocked by the rude, aggressive and witless stuff people write with anonymity as their shield. Lesson for me – don’t read them! I’m afraid I am rather over sensitive and couldn’t cope with that kind of abuse.
      Anyway, I am on a book-writing roll at the moment so better get back to it – you’ve made my day with your description of why you read my blog, so bye for now – and many thanks, M

      Like

      • mud4fun says:

        Thanks Mary.

        I will be doing a post or two in the near future on a totally non-Land Rover vehicle – I have ordered a new Vauxhall Corsa as a daily driver to replace our much loved but rather knackered Mazda pickup truck. The truck served us well for ten years but we can’t afford to run a vehicle that only does 33mpg. The Corsa was not my first choice of car but it was cheap, good looking, cheap to run and had a short delivery time. I’ll give it a fair review in a month or two once I get it. Not sure if it would be on your list of potential new cars?

        Yes, I admit to using the like button myself but only very occasionally, normally on posts where the blogger does very frequent but very short posts, often just a single photo (I follow a fair few photographers). In these cases, unless the photograph contains something particularly intriguing or requires further exploration, a ‘like’ is quite acceptable.

        Best wishes for the book writing!

        Ian

        Like

        • Yes, they do look nice, the Corsas. But you missed out the most important detail – the colour!
          We got a nearly-new Toyota Auris hybrid with a few bits and pieces we wouldn’t have got if we’d ordered it new – mileage fantastic. Always feel disappointed when it’s below 60mpg (when I do lots of little local shopping trips basically it stays around 56/58). And it’s pearly white. 🙂 We only need the one, thankfully.
          Did 4,000 words today and feeling a bit tired. Time to watch the box!
          Bye for now
          Mary

          Like

  7. mud4fun says:

    “But you missed out the most important detail – the colour!”

    Ah, therein lies a story. 🙂

    I chose a rather vivid, nay lurid, bright pastel green (Limelight green) which I’m not even sure if I like myself let alone anybody else. The dealer didn’t have any cars in that colour and no colour samples so I bought blind. However the colour looks to be close to the custom cockpit green I painted my Land Rover in so that was reason one 🙂

    Reason two was because the Corsa is one of the most common cars on the road so I wanted a colour that was less popular in order to be different. The dealer informed me that out of the 30K 2015 model year Corsa’s imported so far only one has been in this colour (in the 3 door 1.4 turbo model I chose) so it seems it will indeed be very unusual. I’m not sure if that is because everybody else HAS seen a colour sample and thought otherwise or that nobody else likes bright snot green…. 😉

    Here is an artists impression (mine has black wheels too) because I can’t find a single picture online of a real life Corsa in this colour either…..

    [It is a rather nice colour of green judging by the online image, but at mud4fun’s request I’ve deleted the link as the full picture of the car in all its glory appears in the comments otherwise. So, if you see an oddly green Corsa on the motorways now you’ll know who it is!]

    Like

    • I saw a very green car today that wasn’t a Corsa – it’s a difficult colour, green, to get right …. 😉

      Like

      • mud4fun says:

        My wife was laughing when we looked up what choice of car colour says about you. It seems choosing a light green car can mean you are emotionally unstable and liable to erratic mood swings while being very practical, close to nature and very romantic. My wife reckons I qualify for the very practical part, partly for the mood swings and not at all for the romance 😦

        I console myself in the fact I’ve owned dozens of cars and trucks and they have been a wide range of colours so I suspect it is all nonsense. I chose the light green on my Land Rover simply because it was with reference to the very first LR’s being painted in surplus paint from WW2 and cockpit green was commonly used because it contained anti-corrosion properties perfect for alloy body panels. The Corsas colour was chosen as it was a close match to my Land Rover.

        In the same article, people who choose white cars were deemed to be control freaks who like everything in its place, neat and tidy, ordered and have OCD tendancies, generally well educated and intelligent – is that you? 😉 I qualify for most of these actually and I have owned more white cars than any other colour so maybe there is something in it!

        Like

        • Ha ha! Control freak, OCD, tidy, ordered … hmmm – I began to say no way but you know … Perhaps if you add a large pinch of lazy to that, so that although I like neat and tidy I’m very messy, it might work! I do tend to check I’ve locked the door/turned off the gas/the iron etc again and again. The iron thing got pretty bad when we lived in a tiny but 4 storey cottage (bascically 4 rooms stacked on top of each other – I’d lock the front door, leaving for work, then wonder if I’d switched the iron off and have to go back up all four floors to the top, then come down again – and do so the same thing again. I was a bit stressed in those days, that’s my excuse. Control freak? Ooh dear, possibly. Never had a green car – just white, gold (the original, oil-guzzling very old Jezebel) and the last one a maroony colour I really disliked. Not a choice, it was foisted on me. But reading the qualities of green car owners, maybe I should have been a light green driver after all 🙂 Fun nonsense – thanks for the diversion!

          Like

  8. EllaDee says:

    I’m sorry about your bad news, and sadness. I find blogging regardless of whatever else is going on, therapeutic. I may feel like sitting in a corner licking my wounds but the blogging community is there, a benign place providing respite, humour and undemanding companionship. Also my answer to why bloggers blog and readers read. I’ve always read. It’s my original and enduring passion and has expanded to include online media. And constricted, excluding news media particularly magazines.

    Of the number of followers listed on the LHS of my screen, 20 to 30 are familiar and in regular contact. A few are likers and a few more are commenters. It’s that community I value. That said I follow about 50 blogs but there I some that I’m less attached to, some are old and not very active and some are new I’m trying out for fit. There’s usually natural attrition where people stop posting. I always wonder what happened, where they’ve gone. Sometimes I stop following as I try not to spread myself to thin, if I don’t have time or inclination to comment.

    It’s the ‘blog ogling’ or as it’s been referred to elsewhere ‘lurking’ that’s interesting. There are a couple of blogs where I’m a lurker. Normally I try, buy via commenting with a resultant ongoing exchange. Or decide it’s not for me and unfollow. But there are a few sites I enjoy despite comments not returned, so I look in from time to time and simply enjoy the content. There are bloggers who seem to enjoy posting, less so commenting and following others. Horses for courses.

    As blogging is my haven, I keep myself to myself as far as people in the flesh. At the start I did write a few blog posts on another forum and invited people I knew to read, and well… echo echo. A few clicked like but it was evident the time spent was negligible. No big deal.

    Recently I found myself in a tricky situation with a blogger I’d encountered off and on, mainly because she posted irregularly updated her site and began blogging dedicatedly. It was a quandary because although I don’t know her personally she lives in my neighbourhood in the country. She knows people I know and vice versa. So I had to decide to stay and make myself known or go. I stayed, followed, commented… I enjoy her posts as we have agreeable areas of commonality and difference. She now also follows my blog and others I follow. I’ve tried out some she follows. At some stage we’ll meet up in the real world. There are other bloggers, who live at greater distance I hope to meet up with as well. One who lives in Sydney we have already done so, and she is a delight.

    Just yesterday a blogger I’m very fond of posted about an awful blogging experience that arose from a blog post she wrote that I’d kicked off with a comment on an earlier post simply out of curiosity asking how many man hours she spends on her stunning handmade quilt creations which she makes for gifts or donations. She wrote a blog post about it. There was interesting, respectful discussion in the comments. A week later she found out another blogger not known to her had used parts of her wording to blog a diatribe against quilters who don’t charge, denigrating her in the process. My blogger friend posted about it to state her case and vent her feelings. Then she went on to the post she’d scheduled, a giveaway of beautiful fabric remnants. She’s a trooper!

    When I first started blogging I did it for myself. To get writing. To see how it felt. I have met wonderful people from all walks all over the world and have the privilege of their shared thoughts and lives. Because of that I could happily just be a follower and commenter. But as well as my original motivation, it’s only fair I reciprocate.

    Like

    • Hi Elladee, I’m glad to hear from you on this one. Last week was not good – I am now two friends the poorer, one way before his time was up on this earth. And there’s more. But not for here,enough of that.
      Thank you for this sane and sensible summary of your own approach. I think I was a bit behind, early on, with the following of others (still am though I’m catching up) – I just wanted to write, to set the record straight, then, later, to voice things I maybe thought people were shying away from – as if the world was listening! But at least I can try. But now, having come out of my self-imposed shell, I realise that, as you say, the blogging world is a community of sorts and very supportive. Sometimes when we comment and there is no return (almost the opposite of what I was partly writing about), it doesn’t feel right – but people are like that – and if what they write is interesting it’s still worth the reading. But it is less satisfying. I too have always loved reading – voyaging in other worlds, other minds, but have, for the past couple of years, found it hard to finish books. Possibly because of blogging? I find that with some I get to a point where I think, yes, you’ve proved you can write but you’re not really saying anything, just writing, and I don’t care what happens. I never thought I would reach a point like that. Lately I seem to be getting the knack back though, thank goodness. Perhaps I’m just reading better books!
      The issue of people we know … at least two people I know in the flesh are a bit dubious about my openness and feel I should be more private. But I feel now, what the heck – I’ve spent my whole life being private, come from a family which was desperately private, does it matter if I’m not hurting anyone else or revealing anyone else’s truths (or lies)? I think back to a man I found lying under his ride-on lawnmower in surburbia – so keen to be without me, to have his privacy back – but what if I hadn’t been there?
      And leading on from that, it’s also interesting what you say about the person blogging – if I understand correctly – somewhere around your country home? That must be difficult – you must feel that you cannot be entirely free in what you say – or do you? When I first read your blogs I was intrigued by your obvious penchant for good food (good in all senses of the word) and your two lives, in town and way out, what you saw in town (especially) and in country, visually, now I read for your views not just your scenery, you so often see things I miss. I hope you keep on blogging for a long time to come!

      Like

      • EllaDee says:

        I’m sorry for your loss. And dealing with it solo, although sometimes space is better when processing sadness & grief.
        Interesting… I almost always finished books I started reading until I joined the my workplace’s book club… which resulted in a greater variety in my reading but since there’s been a few selections I simply couldn’t devote any any more time or hope of improvement to, and a few I wished I hadn’t. It’s a life’s too short thing, I think.
        Your understanding is correct. Sara lives in the community of our country home at TA. Despite using a pseudonym and not using proper names for people I refer to I never assume it means anonymity, and only write what I would say publicly. If it involves people we know I run it by the G.O. but it’s never stopped me writing because if I can’t stand by it, then I have no business putting it out there.
        I find it curious that other people are dubious about your openness… but it may be that if anyone I knew bothered to read mine they would be too -some aren’t understanding or sympathetic to the nature of blogging- although I don’t write anything particularly titillating. The G.O. is my barometer, if he’s ok with it then that’s all that matters.
        I’m pleased you enjoy my posts… they are somewhat variable in content and scheduling. You may also enjoy Ardys’ blog similarly, you can find her in the comments to my posts.
        If there’s ever anything you want to say without it appearing to the world, email me.
        Time lags may occur due to busy interludes outside my control…

        Like

  9. Ed Farrell says:

    Hi Mary – so sorry to hear of your sad news. I hope you are managing to feel better.
    I thought this was a very challenging post.
    I joined in with the Social Networking thing last October. I had it vaguely in mind to publicise my artwork. But I confess that I also thought there was a party going on from which I had hitherto (somewhat haughtily) excluded myself. So I decided to put on my dancing trousers and throw myself into what seemed to me – prima facie – a frenzy of self-aggrandisement (initially Twitter, Instagram, a blog).
    I have derived a surprising amount of pleasure just from taking part (so far) and have made some real connections; but it is another demand and I am also guilty of internet grazing – or sifting like a gold prospector – and I do find commenting meaningfully very hard for all the reasons heretofore covered (mainly very English stuff like do I understand the rules, am I being controversial, thick, sufficiently polite, sensitive etc.).
    As far as measuring relative impact, value or worth is concerned, the available metrics (followers, views, likes, favourites etc.) seem hopelessly inadequate or completely illusory. I do see that if you shout into the void, the only really satisfactory response/validation is someone (many?) shouting back.
    Call me a crazy old fool (actually don’t that would be very hurtful) but I think talented/creative people do what they do because they have to, and that the self-questioning is part of the challenge. I am a firmly of the opinion that if you patently have a talent it is important to a) use it and b) share it. You can, I think, assume some measure of ‘value’ along the way (to you and others) and anything else (including the shouty thing etc.) is a bonus. Am I being unrealistic?

    Re: your prescient journalism, I note yesterday’s Guardian 3 pager on SN!
    Ed

    Like

    • Thanks Ed, a couple of days with some sun helped lift the spirits – doesn’t it always? – but the clouds are rarely absent for long in England, by the coast, just gotta live with it. Ho hum. But in compensation – big skies.
      First, let me say, I do wonder what your dancing trousers might look like, especially given the ‘frenzy’ that accompanied the remark – no doubt the pictures will emerge one of these days on NF’s Facebook page! (I don’t do Instagram, etc).
      But to the serious stuff. The reaction to this post from other bloggers has confirmed what I think I hadn’t quite worked out when I wrote it – once you ‘get’ blogging, it’s mainly the other bloggers that become your key constituency. It really is a community of sorts and I find when, from the opposite perspective to this post, I alight on a blog that delights me and take the trouble to comment – and the writer doesn’t connect, even to say thank you – it feels like something has broken down. The writer, perhaps used to praise, has clicked shut the electronic gates in the suburb of the blogosphere. I find the people who do comment immensely supportive and thoughtful, sometimes startlingly so. There are just so many bloggers around that it’s as you say, like gold prospecting, finding nuggets that really mean something to us, but they are there – it takes that time everyone seems not to have, though, to find gems. And keep up. I like shouty responses, but realise now I have to beware, because they can skew what I write, because it’s – of course – gratifying and there’s a strong temptation to respond with ‘Ooh, that generated lots of comments, what else can I write in that vein…’
      I’m glad you took to the blogging world – I like your writing and it’s a great addition to your fab pictures. Which reminds me, a friend from Bristol came to stay and I said I’d send her the link, one of her ancetsors was, she thinks, the manager of the Brownlow workhouse.
      Missed the Guardian – must look it up!
      Thanks again for comenting, Ed,
      M

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve been through this thought process lately, too! Since I started writing articles for a few websites, I thought I was doing something so useful and offering stuff so informative, lol, but I figured out it’s just another consumable, so quickly eaten and gone, like yesterdays french fries (lol! I had to say that). Blogging, and yes, even bloggling, what a great term, is more interesting to me because of the relationships that develop, no matter how tangible or not, there is a feedback factor to blogging that is better than the money I got paid for writing, which was offensively dirt cheap, unfortunately! Keep blogging, I think it’s worth it! ♥♥♥;^) share some virtual fries with me, they’re fresh and still hot! ;^)

    Like

    • I’ll just sprinkle on some salt and vinegar … mmm perfect – and no calories. How generous of you! 🙂
      Yes, while writing for its own sake is a pleasure to savour, the exchange of views with the community of bloggers is not just reassuring but enlivening – and it broadens our horizons. I’m sorry your experience of paid writing was miserable – just keep on blogging – it’s so interesting for us to peek into your life. I’ve always been nosy – I suppose that’s partly what reading blogs is about too! Although curiosity might make it sound a bit better … m

      Like

      • Hahaha curiosity is a perfect term for why I bloggle! I really was amazed to find out how much I missed my blog in the last few months, it has a very compelling sense of satisfaction, doesn’t it? Like you, as I read in one of your comments, I started my blog to dispel false notions about my life, and especially about my husband, to people who “believe” they “know” me. They really didn’t know too much, and sharing our emails in my Joyride to Egypt posts is my way of setting the story right. It’s also loads of fun, and I find it so enjoyable to meet other people, like you, living in similarly strange environments and coping with it in our interesting, human ways! Pass the vinegar, I think I’ll try that on my fries – sounds delish! ♥♥♥;^)

        Like

  11. ex-dude says:

    First of all, that not-so-young-anymore academic (maybe) acquaintance of yours is right on-point. Second, the photo caption made my laugh heartily – this was a genius ironic comment on your own question. Thirdly and finally, in relation to this question, you might consider the proverb “a society grows great when [people] plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” (partially adapted for the 21st Century): besides, doesn’t financial interest ultimately render everything anodyne?

    Like

    • Age – a state of mind, youngish ex-dude? Glad you like the trees, The trees will abide. Thanks for taking the trouble to follow, hope I can generate some more laughter now and again – and stimulate more comments. Been a miserable week and several posts lie unfinished – too dismal to share. The wind today is howling and angry but it is a new week – and just the right kind of weather for an archaeologist to be flying back in from his travels, eh? Keep sane. And, thanks. again. M

      Like

  12. Rebekah M says:

    Hi,
    Came across this post, purely by chance and I liked what I read. I’ve asked myself the same questions over and over. Still have no answer, except perhaps the pleasure I get out of it. I have had one ‘real life person’, following, but never liking or commenting. I ended up removing the person, now that we finally can.

    I’m paying too … mainly for the reason I love my blog name, so I wanted to “secure” the domain, but of course, also to avoid the ads.

    Like

    • Hi Rebekah. I went and looked at your blog – so clean and cool (Scandinavian?) looking I am almost tempted to change my theme but the hassle of checking all the text/image placements – nah! It is puzzling me still, this reading but not commenting and the more I think about it the more I think my young academic friend is right – it’s the something for nothing culture. Sad. I think writers are the worst hit off all creative types. Ho hum. Thanks again for reading and of course, for commenting!

      Like

      • Rebekah M says:

        Hi and thanks! 🙂 Yes, Scandinavian … I’m a Swedish expat in Canada. All this used to irk me so much, it felt almost as if I had stalkers, but not anymore. Not since they [WordPress] added the feature which makes it possible to remove them. Finally I’ve found a nice balance of writing [I’m not a writer], and following.

        Not until I was finished reading your post, I realised it was about a year old 🙂 I think I found it while searching for the tag «bloggling» 🙂

        Like

        • Yes, it’s an old post but still relevant!

          Like

          • Rebekah M says:

            Very much so. Are you in England?

            Like

            • Yes, I am. My husband is from Texas though and has family in Canada but I have never visited. One day …

              Like

              • Rebekah M says:

                Nice! I’ve been there once, but that was 1983. Almost two weeks around Easter. Was fortunate enough to get around a little bit … to see not so touristy places, as I travelled with a Brit I was dating at the time 🙂

                Like

                • Did it snow? It often throws that at us just when we least expect it, but I think you’re used to that! Romance seems to have led us both far afield – it was 83 when I first hooked up with my Texan, in Swaziland!

                  Like

                  • Rebekah M says:

                    No! I’d always imagined London foggy and rainy, but it was gorgeous weather … daffodils all over the parks. I had that image … like an inner vision, of the Embankment in fog! Must have been from some movie. We didn’t spend all that much time in London, but travelled around, visiting friends of his. One little town stands out in my memory, for some reason; Bury St. Edmunds.

                    It didn’t last with the Brit, though. He went to Kuwait and taught English as second language 🙂

                    Like

                  • Just been away for a couple of days and up on the hills saw … snow – but it didn’t. Lots of mist and rain though. We rarely get fog like the old fashioned ‘pea-soupers’ any more it was really a legacy of the industrial revolution and all those coal fires – the Clean Air Act changed all that. Bury St EWdmunds is a very nice place – my sister lives not far away 😉

                    Like

                  • Rebekah M says:

                    They refer to it as ‘pea soup’ here too. This is the fog capital of Canada 🙂

                    Like

                  • Ha – another colonial legacy? (Just joking!) 😉

                    Liked by 1 person

Thanks for reading, please comment if it struck a chord

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s