i'm just a literary tease, my reputation's on its knees.

Quandry of the Lonely Blogger

November 05, 2004

If you blog and no one comments, are you wasting your time?

Let's say you write this awesome entry - you research, you dissect your sources, you analyze, and you write a most stellar entry that you feel really shows your abilities as a writer. You check your email obsessively for the next couple of days waiting, waiting for the comments that are bound to flood your inbox. Only nothing comes, just some junk mail from the newsletter you signed up in class last month and a service promising to boost your penis size.

The next day you write an entry about how your dog Lucky just knocked over your aloe plant, spilling dirt and aloe babies all over your kitchen floor and about how you proceeded to slip on the dirt, thus whacking your head on the edge of the kitchen table and how you now have a lump the size of Nova Scotia on the back of your head and about how you think you are going to drop out of college to become a squirrel herder because you are pretty sure your fall in the kitchen was a "sign." And, lo and behold, twenty people leave you a comment in the next five minutes.

What the heck?

"Bloggers who like reading other blogs, who leave comments on other blogs, and who engage in what I call "xenoblogging" tend to get more comments. If you happen to be someone for whom getting comments is a satisfactory reward for blogging, then you will be encouraged to blog more. If you happen to blog the kind of entries that attract comments, then the more comments you get, the more you will blog. At system that rewards behavior that sustains the system is healthy."

Reflections on an Emerging Academic Weblog Community by Dr. Jerz

Now you're in a bit of a quandry: You could continue to show off your intellectual prowess or you could post a long thoughtful entry about the time your aunt Edna kicked your uncle Eddie where the sun don't shine and how you fell on the floor laughing when his face turned beet red as he buckled over in pain. If you are the type of person who enjoys getting comments on your entries, you will have to consider your audience when you are writing on your blog. Who is reading and what do they like to read?

If all of your readers are cowboy conservatives, Basque sheepherders, or Australian webloggers, you have to take their tastes and interests into consideration when you write. This is not to say, of course, that you should tailor your site to meet the needs of other people - the person you should most be concerned about pleasing is yourself - but if your interactions with your fellow webloggers matter to you, you will want to hone your writing to meet their needs while still writing something that pleases you.

Moira at 11:31 AM :: Comments (6) :: ::

Thanks for the link. I'm not sure how you found us, though. (I like your site but, inexplicably, I sense that you're not one of our regular readers.) For the sake of accuracy, though, I feel compelled to point out that we're not quite conservatives, let alone cowboy conservatives. Libertarians, really, though that doesn't mean we have nothing in common with cowboys. ;-) I'm more of a minarchist, while my co-blogger is a full-on, wild-eyed anarcho-capitalist.

There. Just had to say it.

Posted by: Matt at November 6, 2004 04:34 PM

hi matt!

thanks for commenting! :c) actually, i'm not a regular reader but I'm going to be ;c) how i found you is actually kind of strange: see, i was pissed off after the election. and i saw a link on a friend's site to and they had described Bush as a "cowboy conservative" so I did a search on google for something relating to that and i found your site :c) i linked to your site with that word because i thought it was wonderfully ironic :c) bring on the anarchy, brothers!



Posted by: moira at November 6, 2004 05:12 PM

If only everyone could share our views on xenoblogging. It's funny, but most people that read my--might I add--"highly liberal woo-hoo flower-power fight-for-my-rights nearly communist, but not quite there" blog are pretty liberal themselves. But I think the last stream of comments were you and Neha.

Oh, well. I guess the rainbow graphic scared all the others out! (hee, hee!) Life is irony in the making!

Posted by: Evan at November 7, 2004 10:29 PM

I like rainbows ;)

"highly liberal woo-hoo flower-power fight-for-my-rights nearly communist, but not quite there"

you know, I think that just -might- describe my blog as well :c) i started off not wanting to get political and here I am, political anyway.

Posted by: moira at November 8, 2004 10:18 AM

"highly liberal woo-hoo flower-power fight-for-my-rights nearly communist, but not quite there"

I think I may be in LOVE!! ;-)~



Posted by: Mike at November 12, 2004 11:17 PM

you're in love with Evan? that's sooo cute! ;)

Posted by: moira at November 13, 2004 11:30 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?