Friday, March 30, 2007

Lend Me Your Ears

Oh, the vagaries and vicissitudes of blogging! Herewith a tale of the frustrations we bloggers encounter.

So, how do you all feel about comments on your blogs? And would you keep writing if no one read? Neither of these questions is meant as an in-your-face challenge. I really want to know.

See, here's what just happened. My prior blog was on a series of loosely connected ideas--partly a concern for over-use of one of earth's resources: oil. Partly an observation on our national need to increase the amount we walk.

I got wonderful thoughtful comments on what walking means to you. AND I got a quasi-spam comment. Since I have chosen to moderate comments on my blog, that means I get an email when a comment is made, and I have to choose "publish" comment or "reject" comment. Well, after all the comments from my friends in the blogosphere, I got one late last night that began thusly:

I find that going out for a walk clears my head when I've been typing for too long - there is fortunately a little park with a track near work so that I can go for a stroll and take phone calls and still be close by.

Great--I thought--a new reader who came upon my blog due to a shared appreciation for walking. Oh , I couldn't have been more wrong. For the comment went on to say--you might be interested in. . .and then proceeded to pitch something. Turns out this "reader" trolls blogs and looks for key words to which to link his websites. Here's what the description on the web says of this "reader": Mr. XX is Feedback Loop and Director of Social Media at XXXXXXXX, a Google Adwords Qualified Company and search engine marketing firm based in Ann Arbor, MI.

AHA! I have just been had. My initial excitement of discovering a new reader is replaced with the sinking realization that commerce strikes again. I begrudge no one his need to earn a living, but not through my blog, please.

And I was all in a good mood, waking up this morning, thinking about new subjects to tackle, etc. etc. etc. GONE--all gone. Now I am stewing (oops--must not do that) and wondering how to select label words most cagily so blog trollers can't hitch a free ride. Oh, heck with it! Never mind--let them try. I will keep on moderating comments. So Mr. XX, should you look for your comment, it was rejected.

I love writing too much, and am deeply grateful for my thoughtful readers. Genuine comments are inspiring and motivating. And in turn, I enjoy visiting the commenters' blog sites and leaving the occasional thoughtful comment.

Now to get out of my bad mood, how about a few photos from last night's stroll?

I feel better already!


Mary said...

Glad you are feeling better, Donna!

The people who comment on my blog are thoughtful. And I truly appreciated all of them.

I got bashed once for recalling the holiday decorations I was so familiar with in east Baltimore. The guy was on a rant and accused me of ridiculing the town. I let it slide.

A few times I received a comment from a Weight Watcher's rep - obviously trolling for keywords.

Just recently I received a comment from a male and at the end of his comment he said, "I just realized I'm the only male here..." During the same time I was replying, he deleted his comment from my blog.

Now I wonder if I somehow offend men? Whatever!

We all get "caught" occasionally, I guess. When I do, I feel a little outraged but then quickly forget about it.

mon@rch said...

I am always reviewing my comments and normally the ones I need to delete are those spammers that make it through. Lucky wordpress does do a wonderful job keeping them out but a few slip through. I also have it set so that new people have to be appoved first. That is very helpful.

Pam said...

Because of how my disease has affected my hands I cannot type a lot, so have chosen the small group of blogs I visit carefully. There are many wonderful voices out there and it wasn't easy, but I am at home here and at the other blogs I read.

I love the give and take and look forward to everyone's comments and, so far, have had no problems. The experience of blogging has taken my life down new paths, led me to new and wonderful people and opened doors on communication and creativity as others have closed.

catbird said...

I'm a new reader with nothing to sell; I'm just glad to have found your blog.

KGMom said...

Mary--I don't think you offend men in your blogs at all. I notice that most of the blogs I read are by women, but that isn't a requirement for me at all.
Monarch--thanks for visiting. I look forward to reading more of your blogs.
Pam--I am most honored that you choose to read my blog among the few you want to read! I enjoy yours very much.
Catbird--welcome welcome. I love new readers, and would gladly visit your blog, but your profile doesn't list it.

Anonymous said...

A comment re: yesterday’s blog. It is nearly 5:00 p.m. and I’ve done 10,059 steps today. Verna Mae just said she’s done 9,303. I have one more trip to make, up to the Center to get our mail. And that should add another 2,000. So far as Venus vs. Mars readers are concerned, well no comment. I’m intio reading a few blogs only, not writing. Love you, Father “C”.

Laurie said...

I loved the photos, as always. The moon shot is wonderful. I have had some spammers and a couple of trolls on my blog as well. I don't know what to do other than delete them.

catbird said...

That's because I haven't blogged yet -- but it does have a name: The Catbird Seat. I guess that's a start.

Cathy said...

We blog to connect. The only way we are assured of success is finding an occasional comment waiting.

And Donna - you connected today - with sharing sunlight on a Robin's breast. What a rapturous picture for a winter-weary heart.

Body Soul Spirit said...

Any communication tool can be abused. Telemarketers annoy me far more than the odd spam comment on my blog, which can be easily deleted. Comments provide a dialogue which can be stimulating and encouraging. I like your pictures.

Climenheise said...

I get rather fewer comments than you do: I also write rather less. I did get one obviously spam, when I tried putting something in a sort of quasi-poetic form. Poetry often expresses feelings and emotions that defy ordinary speech, I got a reply inviting me to try certain products guaranteed to relieve depression. Delete!

I also notice that most participants (at least here) are women -- except for those of us who are related to you and can't get away! I don't know why that is. One of my friends (male) who had been blogging gave it up. Vaughn is the only other male blog I read regularly, but then I don't get around the blogging world enough to know if more men or more women blog and respond. It would be an interesting piece of research. I wonder if men do find it harder to form the kind of conversation commnity that blogs encourage. I wonder also, if that is true, is it also true in other societies, or do the way people relate in North America encourage it.

In any case, I enjoy reading your thoughts. Even if your lables often puzzle me, your writing is a constant source of enjoyment.

LauraHinNJ said...

First to Mary in case she checks back - I know the male you're talking about and I sense that the deleting of comments stems from perfectionism on his part. He's done the same on my blog. I can't imagine you're offensive at all!

Donna - I don't get very many spam comments, but have noticed quite a few of my posts reproduced on other blogs that troll sites for info - very bothersome, but I'm not sure what one can do about it!

Your pics are beautiful and the perfect antidote to any aggravation.

KGMom said...

Thanks to all for cheering me up, and sharing your own experience with (grrrrr) spam commenters.

For those who liked the robin photo--when I went out last evening to get some photos, I kept hearing this most insistent chirp--a robin sitting in our Douglas fir. It almost seemed to want my attention, and the evening light just made its feather shine.
The moon shot had me stalking around the back yard trying to get the perfect angle!

Hmmmm--an interesting blog subject: who blogs more--women or men?