Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Ask Not What Your Blog Can Do for You...

Blogroll Me!

Are you a blogging idiot like me who goes back time and time again to a favorite blog to read if there are any additional posts throughout the day, to read any additional comments on that post, and to see if your own comments to a post are acknowledged?

If you're sitting there nodding your head no, well I think you're lying. I can't be unique in that way or the only blogging idiot...can I? Many of you might be able to tell by site meters if I've continually visited your blog, and nine times out of ten, I have. I feel that with blogs I've discovered a new form of entertainment; months ago I abandoned the minimal TV watching I was doing, in favor of my computer screen. So imagine my flipping through blogs is the equivalent of channel surfing. Is there something good on at this hour? Should I "turn the channel"? Oh, maybe I'll come back to it later...

I said many posts ago that oftentimes the comments thread are even more interesting and entertaining than the accompanying posts. This is how I came to discover Dr. Bean of Kerckhoff Coffeehouse, and whom I visited in California last month -- I saw his comments on Psycho Toddler I also met PsychoToddler last month the same day I arrived home from California) and there was such a chemistry between the two men, such a unique level of wit/humor/medical knowledge, that I thought they were established friends who might've gone to med school together but were just separated by distance. That couldn't be further from the truth; they are just two guys who both happen to be doctors of internal medicine, family men, Orthodox Jews, both with great senses of humor, high intelligence and wielding the weapon of wit and eloquence!

On other blogs that I tune into, I watch the patterns of newcomers, as they announce their "newness" to the blogger and his readers, but later jump in with both feet to comment continuously and have a true online discourse throughout one or several posts. I have always been an observer of people; I've learned that I do not have to do this in person but can sit at my computer and watch total personalities unfold before my eyes; I can accurately pinpoint character traits, quirks and grievances of people way across the other side of the continent, or even across the world.

A post is a post, but sometimes the comments forum is a multilayered story, a story within a story, if you will. There might be tangents, but the underlying original message of the post will always resurface for the comments readers. Look at my favorite blog, Seraphic Secret, as Robert and Karen Avrech, through posts and comments, slowly unravel for their readers a most entertaining story of their courtship and Robert's longstanding "love from afar" for Karen Singer, who (thank G-d) in time became Karen Avrech -- oh, DOCTOR Karen Avrech!

And then there's the well-read (he is a well-read individual, and his blog is well-read by countless numbers of people) David Bogner of Treppenwitz. David has developed a wonderful style of writing that draws people in, making them want to comment. And even if David has 45 comments in one day (I check his comments throughout the day), for example, he is a most gracious blogging host. He will thank each and every one of us -- BY NAME! -- for our comments, by commenting on our comments. How nice is that?! I think (and here is where you also have to be honest) that we commenters, whether with David's posts or with someone else's, enjoy this acknowledgment. Neither the blogger's writing is in vain (as he knows he has a reading audience) nor is the commenter's writing in vain (as it is publicly acknowledged).

Admit it -- and I could name names here because I see that certain people are also frequent flyers to certain blogs; I bump into them a few times in the course of the day -- don't you like that little public pat on the head from David, or from PsychoToddler, or Robert, or from Mirty, Chaim, or Jack? I know that I do... but that is certainly not why I comment on people's posts; I comment because I have something I want to say...and sometimes our own personal soapbox just isn't the right place at the right time; sometimes we need to find another corner where we can rant, entertain, give advice and suggestions or just make our presence known.

...Ask What You Can Do For Your Blog.

You don't have to do anything; you all have managed to do it real well as far as I can tell. Keep up the good work!


PsychoToddler said...

That's a good point that you made about commenting on comments--it certainly helps establish the blog as a dialog and not just a random collection of rants and comments. Of course, it certainly helps when you have great commentors like yourself. I quote a comment you left on one of my posts:

Once upon a time in Mil-wau-kee
there lived the Skier clan, a little d-ynasty.
With a nurse for a mom and a doctor for a dad
Life in that house couldn't be all that bad.

In spite of the PsychoToddler
who raves and rants
No doubt Aba Mark continues
to wear the pants!

Once, not long ago,
Mark said to his wife,
"I think I'm gonna have me
a bloggin' life."

So between doctoring folks,
not davening Tachanun
he's blogging at his site
from mornin' till noon.

And for the last couple of days
he's publicly declared
that his love
is not straying anywhere.

It's been eighteen years
as Dr. and Mrs. --
and no doubt with clandestine
hugs and kisses.

To that Skier couple
we say once again,
"Continued happiness together,"
That's your cue to say "A-men!"
Pearl | Homepage | 06.08.05 - 5:03 pm | #

Holy Cwap!

My comments are usually like:

ya I like dat too

cruisin-mom said...

I love your observations about blogging Pearl...I think (if there isn't already one in existence) this will soon become a new college course found in the department of sociology. "Blogging 101:the sociological effects of web logging in the new millineum". Sub-headings include:
-Blogging: human connection, or pure entertainment?
-Rejection for the 2000's: when no one comments on your posts.
-Rejection leading to depression: when no one comments on your comments.
Well, you get the picture.
(I hope you'll comment, don't want to face rejection, leading to depression) lol

rabbi neil fleischmann said...

When there was a grown man name Neil,
Although as a child did he often feel,
One fine morning what disappointed him most,
Was that Pearlies of Wisdom left him off her post.

rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Oops. That was supposed to say -Once there was...
NOT - When there was...

There's no way to edit comments after the fact is there?

torontopearl said...

Hey, Neil, there were countless others,
Whom I did not mention.
Insulting or offending
was not my intention.

If I'd always refer
to EACH blog that I read,
I would need an additional blog
to list them, INDEED!

But consider it true
when to you I tell this:
I'm sorry I didn't list you
I'm certainly remiss.

You are a great guy,
a true Torah scholar,
so to Rabbi Neil Fleischmann,

You leave good comments
on any post that you choose
when you share your fine words
you've got nothing to lose.

I hope people reading this
will heed those words and say,
'I think I'll read Neil's words
later today.

If Pearl has referred him
He can't be that bad.'
And when they read your fine words, Neil,
they'll be so glad they had!

Who'd have guessed your comment
would produce an ode
but today I'm in
that rhyming poet mode!

torontopearl said...

No poetry for you today, but I will say this in comment to your comment -- hope you can cast off the meds today, because I'm responding.

I also liken blogland to that bestselling title, "Everything I Ever Needed To Learn, I Learned in Kindergarten."
I liken blogland to a kindergarten class and playground. It is a place where we learn new things, where we can play-act, where we can complain and throw temper tantrums, where we can train ourselves to fight off bullies and name-callers, where we can sharpen our listening and writing get the picture.

Some bloggers play nicer than others. Some forget to learn their good manners. But then there are others who, like some children at the kindergarten age, help to brighten one's day.

You, and your comments on my blog and on others', helps brighten my day!

'nuf said. RECESS TIME!

treppenwitz said...

Hi Pearl... I'm not sure how or why I started responding to the people who left comments. It just sort of happened naturally. I agree with you, though, that people do like to get feedback on their comments. After all, they often put every bit as much thought into their comments as I did into my original post... so why shouldn't I let them know what I think?

I also think that one reason my comments section has been fairly well mannered and troll-free (well, almost) is because I have been there to subtly set the tone, rather than allowing the comments section to become an un-moderated free-for-all.

The net result is that I have met some wonderful people and actually gotten to know them, rather than just talking at them.

Dindel said...

I think i have an overall love for commenting. {as i have commented before} I really thin.. No, I know. I enjoy commenting more than I do posting, and I'll shout it out load.. "type" it out load "I LOVE COMMENTING"

Not that for even a sec. I have a creative block when I sit at the keyboard.. But, when I'm reading another blog the topic is already there.
It helps the creative juices flow. Who doesnt have an opinion?? We all do. That for me is the better part of blogging. Definitly the commenting. (for me.)

PsychoToddler said...

There once was a girl from Toronto
Who checked all her blogs each day pronto
She left her comMENTS
They always made sense
And nothing else rhymes with Toronto

rabbi neil fleischmann said...

There's nothing better than your name in print
especially in the context of someone taking a hint
and then when they write a poem all about you
you're left unsure of what to do
except to thank them for being so kind
for always keeping others at the forefront of their mind
and to wish them health and all good things
and maybe this little song to sing:
Pearl is great
she certainly does rate
Pearl is good
this is well understood!

torontopearl said...

To be the subject of a poem or two
is wonderful for me
And being thought of so highly
fills me with genuine glee.

This particular thread of comments
has been much fun for me to see
and I hope that all you readers
will in time no doubt agree...

That a comment on a post,
has meaning in its own way
you must take the time to write some
each and every day.

You might make
a blogger happy
if you comment on
what he/she said

And if you don't comment
on someone else's post
please comment on mine

Z said...

Love your observations and they are least for me anyway :) I don't get many comments and often wonder's a conundrum :)

Shira Salamone said...

Too bad I'm afraid to blog from work
(This temp is home today)
There are so many truly fine blogs out there
There's always so much to say

I took Trep/David's advice of months ago
To answer my commenters, too
(I'd take his advice and be more tech-savvy
But 'Net Nitwit doesn't know how-to
I'm html illiterate
So what's a person to do?
I'd set up a sidebar on my blog
If only I knew what to do)

I just commented on Torah and practice on one blog
On job discrimination on another
On my own, I've written about Torah and work
And shul, and friends, and my mother
And my father, sister, and brothers
And kids who make me worry
My own kid and some others

I check daily to see whether Z's Evan's ok
And the little PT, too
I worry about people insecure in their jobs
Partly because *I* am, too!
It's nice to know that I can talk to folks
Who know what I'm going through
And if I've "been there, done that"
It's nice to lend a hand, too

I've learned on the blogs
New Hebrew words
Found a link to good Jewish music, too
I'm hoping that hanging out in Olam HaBlog
Will help make me a better Jew

So here's to newfound friends I've made
And am making in Olam HaBlog
This fine new Jewish world just makes my day
And adds to synagogue