OK, so it turns out that there is more to say about why people comment or don’t. A lot more.
One of my favorite bloggers is Lut Cass. She has a wonderfully dry wit, and I’ll never forget when I was trying (and failing) to use philosophy to feel more joy, she told me this:
“I’ve decided long ago that philosophy was invented by men with too few household chores.”
She has at least a few times provided a voice of sanity on various issues I’ve brought up here over the last year. Today on Prompt(ly) she brought up another group of people who don’t comment: those who can’t read a blogger without being pained. (For example, commenting on pregnancy blogs when you are dealing with infertility.) Or a blogger thinks they would cause pain by commenting. (For example, you are pregnant or trying to conceive a second child, and you think bloggers wouldn’t appreciate your comments.) It’s a valid point, and I know that I have not commented on some people’s blogs because I feel I might cause hurt. And I admit that it’s very hard for me to read about bloggers celebrating their third or fourth pregnancies.
3) So this phenomenon would be the third category: Conscientious Avoiders.
I think there might be a partial solution for this. There was a fantastic blogger who seems to have disappeared into the ether. Her name was Miss Ruby, and she liked to say that if you couldn’t think of something to say to her, please leave her a pebble. That way she knew you were thinking of her, even if you didn’t have the words. The pebble was this, I think (.) In addition, WordPress offers the ability for a reader to “like” a post. I personally would love to see people use the pebble or like function more. What do you all think?
In addition, blogger Moandwill offered the thought, echoed by others, that reciprocity might be disingenuous. She works 70+ hours and struggles to make the time for blogging and commenting. Many, many others are in this same dilemma. Surely we don’t want to penalize bloggers for not having as much time to write and comment as others?
Finally, Mel reminded me of another category.
4) Established Bloggers. These bloggers have an established tribe and social circle.
As Mel articulated this category:
“(There are also) those who want comments, but they feel that at the moment they’re full-up on support and have their tribe. They are fine receiving comments from others outside of their tribe, but they’re not going to add more people to their commenting/reading world.”
Justine suggested maybe bloggers should state what blogging intentions are in their bio (or categorize themselves even). Maybe this would reduce hurt feelings and misunderstandings, which based on the comments I’ve received so far does seem to be a legitimate problem within the blogosphere.
So what do you think about all this? What I DON’T want to happen is this, again from Lut Cass:
“I see a danger in promoting a blog etiquette that puts high expectations on ALI bloggers. And that is that the bar for entry will be raised too high.”