Saturday, April 25, 2015


Are we losing it? No, no, no, I don’t mean that general ‘it’ as in our ‘cool’, our ‘sanity’, our ‘temper’, or any other ‘it’ on an emotional level. What I’m wondering about, is are we losing our ability to REALLY write and express ourselves.

Are we losing our ability to write, in the sense of really, truly communicating something, anything, through our words on the page (or screen, as this particular case may be).

Now, first I want to say; I realize that we are just four days from the end of that A to Z thing, and I suppose most of you are pretty tired. I know you’ve been trying to keep up with your own posts, while you run around the blogosphere and leave as many meaningful comments, on various interesting blogs. So, please don’t take offense at what I’m about to say. Maybe think of my comments as having to do with our writing/communicating ability the other eleven months of the year.

Anyway…due to that old ‘birds of a feather’ thing and the fact that like interest attract like interest, we tend of ‘follow’ others who suffer from the same afflictions have similar interests. I’m a writer, a wannabe author, so it follows that a lot of you are the same. So, if we’re writers (or authors) we should be masters of the written word, right? Communication of ideas, images, feelings, and emotions is our forte, right? We practice this at every possible chance, right? We want to be the very best we can be in the hope of attracting someone, anyone, who is willing to pay to read our work, or at least try to sell it to others who will pay to read it, right?

One of the ways we practice our craft and try to entice those who might pay for our written word is through our blogs, right? Another way might be to travel around the Internet and visit other blogs and leave comments, right? This should be a way to interact with other sufferers of the same affliction persons who are also practicing their craft and possibly teaching us something in the process, right?

SO…if this is the case, why are there so many blogs that drum up a lot of comments, but the blog author does not take the opportunity to thank the commenters and thereby practice their craft once more by making a reply? Why do so many ACTUAL AUTHORS (I’m told this definition is a person who has had their work published.) leave those short sentence ‘hit and run’ comments? Why do so many of us, think that the ‘art of writing’, of practicing our craft, taking the opportunity to teach/learn, doesn’t apply HERE.

Recently, I was introduced to a new blogger and his blog. Mr. Shady Dell Knight. His posts are fun and informative, and I find myself really enjoying his blog, BUT what I really want to draw your attention to are the replies to the comments at his blog and the comments he leaves at other blogs. They are as well formed and considerate as his own posts. Most impressive in this day of the fifteen second attention span and sound byte.

Mr. Knights two most recent posts were devoted to a ‘guest’ and although this ‘guest’ didn’t know a lot of the commenters that didn’t slow her down one little bit in leaving thoughtful, insightful, well written and thought out replies to each and every comment. Bravo to you Mr. Knight and to your guest Kathleen Mae Schneider, as well.

Now, back to my original questions. Are we losing it? Or are we at least at risk of losing it? AND, by ‘it’ I mean the real reason we’re here.

Please don’t get your panties in a bunch over this. Keep in mind these are just the thoughts of one dumb blonde, but I really would like to know what you think and if you’ve noticed, felt frustrated, or given a moment’s notice, to this type of thing.

I’ll be back on May 1st with something more light and hopefully fun, another BATTLE OF THE BANDS, but actually, I’ll be back before that, because I’m gonna try to give each and every one of you who comment a thoughtful reply.

Oh, I almost forgot. If you’re interest in visiting Mr. Shady Dell Knight, you can find him HERE


  1. Sorry, I am guilty of the short replies. I'm a man of few words though, even on my own blog. And in order to reply and visit the hundred plus comments I receive in a day, I have to be brief. I do read the whole post though. If I comment, it means I read it all.
    Some people are really good at the eloquent responses. Some of us are not. But hey, I never wanted to be an author in the first place, so there you go...

    1. Please, no need to apologize. I didn't intend to single any one person out with these questions/comments. My intention isn't to make anybody feel bad or the need to apologize, but maybe to stop and think about what we're doing here and why.

      I will give you one thing for sure; even though you receive hundreds of comments on your blog (and BTW many of them are very short) you do take the time to reply to them. I know your replies are sometimes short and you do it in group form or batches, but at least you do it. I see a lot of blogs that garner thirty or forty comments, which is a nice amount, but not much compared to yours, then sadly those thirty or forty comments just sit there receiving no response. Or worse, there are blogs I've seen where thirty or forty people leave a comment and the blogger chooses to only respond to three or four. How does that make those other people feel. Well, maybe they don't care, but it just seems kind of rude to me.

      I know we're all busy, and often I fall behind for a few days, but I do think that if you can respond to your friends, even if it is in groups/batches, certainly most of the rest of us can too.

      I will say you are very loyal and always comment on my posts. Often you're the first comment. I do appreciate that.

  2. No mention of my name, no link to my blog... NUTTIN'.

    So... what was the point of this post?

    And, really, FAE, I don't know that you otter be sending people over to that Shecky Shady Shaft feller's blog. That's kind of a strange duck there. Uh-huh. "Yes, there's just something about him. Something around the eyes, I don't know, reminds me of... me. ...No. I'm sure of it, I hate him."

    2.5 milkshakes for the first person who can tell me (WITHOUT "GOOGLING" IT!) who I just quoted and where I quoted them from. If anyone cheats and looks it up, they will get 2.5 pokes in the eye with a sharp stick instead of 2.5 milkshakes.

    OK, but seriously FAE... Hokey-smoke and Hoo-Wee! (That was Rocket J. Squirrel and Deputy Dawg I just quoted that time.) Look at you gettin' all cantankerous and controversial and just so... so... "ferret-faced fascist-like", Friend! I likes it. You wear it well.

    I know I don't got to tell ya but... hellck, I ain't even a writer and yet I still respond to all my commenters, and usually I leave comments of such length that most people (my friends included) probably just wish I'd bugger-off and leave 'em alone.

    So, if I, a non-writer, can spend the time and be all sociable-like, there's no reason real writers and wannabe-real-writers can't do likewise (and then bugger-off).

    All that aside, good for you for tellin' it like it is.

    Also, for the record, Shecky Shady Shaft (Sheckshasha or S-3) is quite possibly the nicest blogger I've ever met. (OH, YEAH, nuttin' like me in THAT department.) He's the guy I hope to become like, you know... when I finally get around to trying to emulate way mo' better that certain other Guy that I'm supposed to be following... the One with the flowing robe who surfs the gnarliest waves without a surfboard.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. OK, I won't google it, but that line you quoted does sound familiar, but I probably won't come up with the movie/character in a million or so lifetimes. You know me!

      You good friend give good comment, no make that exceptional comment, and the responses at your own blog are incredible. I have to say that I have yet to see a blog where there is more conversation than STMcC Presents Battle of the Bands or any of your older (now closed down) sites either. You have a way of making people feel welcome and comfortable (especially the LF's). Your friends not only feel free to comment on your blog and response to them, but often chime in on other comments. I love the multiple-way discussion that often gets going at your space. This good sir is real communication and writing at it's best. It doesn't hurt that you have some pretty exceptional friends.

      I do find it interesting that some of the people who end up on the 'writer blogs', but claim to have no interest in writing (at least commercially) leave the best comments, respond to all of their own, and have the more interesting posts. Suppose some of us writer types are just 'trying too hard'?

      I'll agree with you about S-3, he is possible the nicest blogger I've ever met also. And you sir are just like him, or he is just like you, or you two are one in the same, or something like that.

  3. Hi, dear FAE! I was pleasantly surprised to come across my name in your post this evening and I am deeply grateful to you for suggesting that Kathleen and I are doing a good job of communicating with our readers over at Shady Dell Music & Memories. Thank you, dear friend, for the wonderful compliment.

    Each of us has a philosophy about blogging. When I started my blog nearly seven years ago I made a commitment, a promise to myself and to those nice enough to follow me, that I would consistently do my best to make their visit to SDMM time well spent, to leave them with something to think about, something to smile about, and maybe a catchy tune playing in their heads the rest of the day. It has always been my policy to show appreciation by replying to every comment, and to do it in a way that lets the person know that he or she is special and important to me. Today's social media allows us to accumulate thousands of what I call "click-on" friends. I am not interested in running up a huge total of followers, nor am I interested in leaving quick pokes and tweets in place of thoughtful, intelligent, well written comments and replies. Blogging can and should be more than that. It is an art form, the art of communicating.

    My Shady Dell blog carries on the proud tradition of the original Shady Dell hangout for teenagers, a melting pot that brought together kids from the city, kids from the suburbs, kids from small towns and kids from rural areas and farms. We had a responsibility to one another to make the grand experiment work and we succeeded. Today, using the pipe smoking, wise cracking Shady Del Knight character as my blog host, it gives me great pleasure to reach out to people of all ages and backgrounds all over the world, downplay our differences and celebrate all that we have in common. The members of this modern Shady Dell family are united by meaningful communication, teaching and learning, sharing and caring, listening to great music, dancing, singing, laughing, playing, having fun and becoming young again.

    "Never grow up, never grow old."

    Thank you again, my dear friend FAE, for letting me know that you appreciate what I'm trying to do as a blogger. I will always remember the kindness you showed me this day.

    Same to you, Stephen. You and I get each other. We practically finish each other's..... (I was waiting for you to chime in with "sentences." :) Sincerely, I couldn't be happier to have friends like you, Stephen, and you FAE. Thank you both! - Tom Anderson

    1. Tom Anderson?


      Oh, sure... sure. ;-) Gotcha!

      C'mon, man, I've read yer stuffs and yer WAY CLEVERER than THAT!

      Sheesh! Why didn't you just go with [Link:-->] "SMITH" or "JONES"?

      [;-)} Never was a more extraordinary man "saddled" with a more ordinary name.

      ~ D-FensDogG

    2. You Mr. Knight are most welcome. As you can see, I have no qualms about calling out things that I don't like (guess that's why I'm not necessarily one of the 'popular' girls), but along with that I also like to point out the things that I see to be exceptional. I was so impressed with the personal response Kathleen left at your blog to all of us who commented on her mother's birthday celebration. Like myself, I do believe, that a lot of those people where completely new (strange) to her. It's what got me to thinking, if a stranger could take the time to leave such personal notes and write true 'thanks yous'; what's wrong with the rest of us.

      In the past few months or maybe it's already been a year, I've made a sincere effort to make a personal response to every comment. Because of time constraints it might take me a day or two, but I do try to get back to everyone. There was a time when that was not the case. I can't exactly pinpoint the time or incident that made me amend my ways, but I do know that I felt particularly rude for some time there.

      "Today, using the pipe smoking, wise cracking Shady Del Knight character as my blog host, it gives me great pleasure to reach out to people of all ages and backgrounds all over the world, downplay our differences and celebrate all that we have in common."

      It is the opinion of this dumb blonde that you are doing exactly that, and doing it quite well. I am grateful to have found you or that you found me, or however that worked out. I feel privileged to be a part of your Shady Dell community and I am excited that you've decided to join in BOTB.

  4. I am guilty of many items you stated. I think you have some valid points. There are some valid take aways. Sometimes I am a lurker. I skim my feed see what is interesting. Sometimes I might leave a quick hit comment, but I might share that post on twitter or somewhere. I agree with your kind words about Shady Del, he left a comment on one of my posts that really made me go "Wow." It was like talking to a music fan friend. He truly communicated his perspective to pint where he shared it.

    1. Mike, thanks for your comment and for NOT being offended. We all have times when we simply must tend to other things that blogging. I too often 'lurk' the blogs and read but don't comment. It happens to all of us sometime. Sometimes I start to read a blog post and think; 'I really can't think of something nice to say, so I just move along. Sometimes, I start to read a blog post that is either over my head or of no interest to me and again, I just move along rather than making some inane comment (best not to appear to be more of a dumb blonde than I already am).

      I do appreciate that you are always there on BOTB Day with a vote. It seems to be the least those of us who regularly participate can do for each other. I really appreciate the loyal followers who come by and vote on every BOTB, but don't even participate. There are some really good folks out there.

      I think many of us you have so recently met Shady Dell Knight are learning good things from this wonderful blogger.

  5. What an interesting post! Thank you for questioning and writing about a subject that concerns me. I would say, with each layer of technology we receive, we lose a layer of human touch or contact. In short we're shaving time, (and words) off of our communication, in order to communicate with more people, places, or things (i.e., games, shopping, 'piniterest,' as examples.) We are doing this by choice, while heavily influenced that this is what is expected. Especially here in the States; we allow programming to influence our actions. Something more is affected: our choice of communication skills. We adopt the slang and buzz words/ phrases/ initials, without a second thought.

    I wasn't a college English major, and my skills lack because I have not chosen to update myself. My error specialty I suppose, is the placement of commas! Might that be a deterrent from writers and authors leaving me comments? Possibly.

    My own comments can get wordy and that often concerns me. I know I'm living in a time frame where, "hurry up and get it said," is prevalent. I do answer every comment I receive. Since someone is kind enough to take a moment, if only one, I will answer in appreciation. Acknowledging the person is the least I can do.

    That said, I have found that I return less to blogs that have no folllow up, with their readers who comment. Or other blogs, where they consistently only acknowledge, the same 2-4 people and leave the rest hanging. On April 6th, I celebrated nine years blogging. We have fallen so far from the standards of that time. We seem to love being busy at being busy. That's all I can share at this time. I hope I've not overstepped any boundaries. I'm a bit tired, and it's almost time for the sun to come up in Australia - the A-Z ers there will be coming on with Monday's challenge.

    I appreciate your kindness in addressing this topic. - Dixie

    1. Dixie, WOW, what a comment, you said so many things that I left unsaid in my post. I am really grateful.

      Before I go any farther I want to say something to you and anyone else who stops by: I HAVE STARTED A NEW PRACTICE TO ‘TRYING’ TO NOT TURN MY COMPUTER ON, ON SUNDAYS, SO MONDAY MORNINGS I’M A BIT BACKED UP. Please bear with me, because I do intend to answer every comment.

      NOW, with respect to your fine comment. First of all a great big fat congratulations at blogging for 9 YEARS, that is an accomplishment, and I’ll bet you have seen some mighty changes. Second, never worry about commas when writing here, they are my nemesis also.

      I absolutely love something you said here and I may (with your permission, of course) use this line and use it often. ‘WE SEEM TO LOVE BEING BUSY AT BEING BUSY” This one little sentence could describe the way people have become over say, the last three decades or so. It’s as though it’s the new form of ‘SELF-IMPORTANCE’. Granted, life has become more hectic in many ways and everyone is busy in their own right, even if it’s just busy sitting in front of ‘the tube’, but often, I find, it’s the ‘new age’ excuse for rudeness.

      The new slang of buzz words, initials and the like have crept into my ‘online’ vocabulary also, and BTW I believe it got there more by what is expected that choice, LOL.

      I too, mourn to some degree, the loss of human touch or contact. For example, I still love getting a letter in the mail, even though I can’t remember the last time that happened. I am however grateful for the friends who actually send me a Birthday card as opposed to an e-greeting. I enjoy a telephone call where I can actually hear the inflection in a person’s voice and, best of all, their laughter instead of the much overused, LOL. And finally there is nothing better than sitting down in person with a dear friend and being able to look into their eyes as they relate some important part of their life or beliefs to you. So many of those things seem to have gone, or are swiftly going by the wayside. On the upside, without ‘virtual communication’ there are a lot of wonderful people that I would never have had the chance to meet and interact with.

      I am with you and don’t often return to those blogs where I know there most likely won’t be a reply to MY comment and therefore no conversation. I have stopped visiting some altogether or just leaving the smallest comment necessary, like a vote or something. It’s kind of sad and I feel a little bad when I do that, but hey I would rather devote my time and words to someone who takes the time to respond. I have never been the type of blogger who only visits those who visit me. If I find a blog or a particular post interesting, I’ll read and leave a comment, even if that blogger is not a follower or even regular visitor of mine, but I’m becoming increasingly frustrated with the blogger who cannon have the courtesy to respond to comments, mine and those of others.

      Thanks for taking the time to express your thoughts here, they are some really good ones.

    2. Bravo Fae! Your article is powerfully emotive. It has provided a groundwork/ forum for some of the best comments / counter-comments, I've viewed in some time. Whatever I leave said on your blog, becomes your property. Use it as you wish, including the quote you like, (smile).

      Thank you for your kindness! See you Friday, May 1st. Bring your dancing shoes!

  6. Geez, with such big responses the cat may have to stop hacking up a hairball to respond lol

    Panties in a bunch? When you don't wear underwear what gets in a bunch then? Hmmm don't answer that.

    So called Authors who are all about me me me are the worst ones. They think just because they put it up, people should come, pfffffft to that. I go to blogs that respond, are interesting and fun, and/or are just nice people. The rest of the crap, screw that. Plus they better not have stupid comment systems, or away I go. Hate those fancy need your own sign in crap comment boxes.

    As for being a master of words, no such thing, always room for improvement. The cat doesn't care what he says, he'll say it how he wants and talk about anything. I answer all and hope to their hall. Sometimes I leave a shorter comment because my arm is worn out, typing with one hand can do that lol but other than that, away I go.

    1. PAT has raised a point that I would also like to reiterate and expand on a wee bit:

      >>... Plus they better not have stupid comment systems, or away I go. Hate those fancy need your own sign in crap comment boxes.

      A blogging pet peeve of mine is when a blog requires me to submit my Email address in order to leave a comment. I immediately entertain a few thoughts...

      1) Email for a lot of people is a private matter. We don't necessarily want EVERYONE to have it. We may not want to be inundated with E's from people we have no interest in private correspondence with.

      2) It strikes me as being completely unnecessary that one ought to be required to supply an Email address in order to leave a comment. Here at we have the ability to open the comment sections to ANYONE and EVERYONE, or we can narrow the field to just certain folks (e.g., people who have their own Blogspot/Google accounts, etc.), or we can even use the Comment Moderation program in which no comment gets posted and becomes visible without the blogger having a chance to read and approve it first.

      3) Given all these options, it strikes me as being almost "nervy" to even ask a stranger to supply you with their Email address just so they can leave a comment on your blog.

      And 4) The Email Request Line is so useless anyway that there is simply NO GOOD REASON for anyone to bother employing it. (What I mean is... there are a couple bloggers whom I genuinely like - I like them personally, I like their blogs, I like commenting on their blogs and interacting with them - but when I first discovered their blogs, I was required to supply an E address. So, I just made one up. Totally bogus. And voila! I was suddenly, immediately able to comment. So, If a completely fake Email address is good enough for the system, what's the point of asking a person for their Email addy anyway?)

      Also, for the record, most of those places where I've used a phony Email address long ago, I would not, today, be opposed to those bloggers knowing my real Email address. But not on Day 1; Comment 1 - with no personal history and individual trust yet established, there is no way I was going to give out private information like that.

      Bottom Line: Folks who use the "Email Address Required" in their Comment Section policies ought to really re-think that and do away with it, because it's of no value at all and probably turns away a number of otherwise would-be commenters (as I myself have occasionally just said "Fuhgeddaboudit! Not even worth making up a phony E address this time.")

      ~ D-FensDogG

    2. True enough indeed, I use a fake email or an old email that isn't relevant to those folks. Wordpress tends to make people use an email for some reason though, I'm sure it can be changed. But that Disquis garbage is even worse.

    3. Pat, in reply to your first comment. I do agree that you say what you want and when you want. I’m in awe of the fact that you actually blog EVERY DAY. No matter that your posts are written in advance, it’s still a might accomplishment.

      Something else I would commend you on is the fact that even though you are one of those SUPER BLOGGERS, meaning that you have thousands of followers and normally generate upwards of fifty comments per post, you manage to make an individual reply to each one. Bravo my man, or cat as the case may be.

      FINALLY, I totally agree with you and STMc about the blogs that make you work just a little bit too hard to leave a comment. What is up with that? As STMc stated; use comment moderation and look at every comment before you allow it to be published if you’re worried about spam or something like that. This way you will be the one doing the extra work and not the ‘friend/follower’ who stopped by. After all when a friend comes to call at your house for say a cup of coffee, you don’t ask them to brew it and serve you, do you? I think not, so why should they have to work so hard to leave a kind word. It’s nonsense and in my opinion, just another way to seem self-important.

      FINALLY, to both you and STMc; what an idea using a phony email to sign into those blogs. I truly never thought of that. Normally when I run into them, I simply move along.

    4. One more time, once. I realized I did not respond to the 'Me, me, me, bloggers' section of your comment. I'm one who doesn't really like to talk about myself, at least not to the point of giving out way TMI. Naturally, I become impatient with those who do. There is one blog in particular where I have actually felt embarrassed for the blogger and some of the things they go on about. I for the most part stop going to those type of blogs, but I do often find it interesting that 'those types' are generally the worst at leaving a reply to comments UNLESS they can turn the conversation completely back to THEMSELVES, Sheesh! enough already.

  7. I am as guilty as any of the short comment or reply. Sometimes it's about being succinct; sometimes I'm late to the party and don't want to just write "variations on the theme". And sometimes,snark works better in sound bites. I think any comment to my blog is a good one, and I enjoy the long ones as well as the short ones.

    1. Chris, thanks for your comment and thank you for bringing up something I didn't address or address properly; the short comment.

      First and foremost I want to clarify that I appreciate any and all comments (well, There was one person who kept returning to my 'gun control' post and I will state loud and clear I did not appreciate them calling me various names, not the least of what was a 'baby killer, but that's another blog post entirely.) long, short, or anywhere in-between. I don't think a comment has to be 'long' to be expressive. Sometimes succinct is good. Going on and on when it is only 'variations on the theme' can be tedious at best and as for the snark, well I'm sure you're correct that it does work better in sound bites.

      But what I'm really talking about are the meaningful comments and replies. Those that say; 'I read the entire post and didn't skim and I actually took more than a few nanoseconds to think about my comment. You comment here is a perfect example. It's a mere four sentences long and very much to the point. Yet I know that you read my post, thought about it, and thought enough of it to make an intelligent reply.

      This is definitely a case where size does NOT matter. It's the quality rather than the quantity.

      Thank you for some quality, sir.

  8. if I have more to say, I will say it. But sometimes I have just come and read the blog. A short comment might be my way of letting you know I was there.

    1. Another short comment of quality and I do appreciate your taking the time to stop by and give me your thoughts.

      Often I find that a blog post is so in agreement with my way of thinking, my very first thought is to say 'Good post'. I stop myself from leaving that comment, because it seems to scream' 'I'm just making the rounds and trying to be kind', but in reality probably didn't even read the post. BUT, the fact is that's what I thought and have to stretch to decide what to say, because there isn't anything I could add, and yet I want the blogger to know that I enjoyed, agreed with, and want to applaude their thoughts.

  9. Pt I

    Already many good points have been made that there is no need for me to reiterate (eg--comment systems). I agree with much of what you and commenters have said here.

    The way I see it is that we are dealing with a wide range of people with different motivations to blog, different styles of communication, varying reactions to what others are posting, limitations of time, and a whole slew of other things. Not all think of themselves as writers (though if they are writing a blog I see them as writers) and some of these people are just trying to figure themselves out and what they can be and do in the world.

    This is what A to Z does. We get a world of bloggers condensed into a training session and bloggers expo all wrapped into one month long event. We see the bloggers who are responsible enough to honor a commitment, how some of them delegate their time, how they plan, how well they write, do they have what it takes to meet deadlines and work fluidly under some pressure, are they willing to actually communicate (as in responding to comments and reciprocating on the ones they receive), and so many other things. A to Z is like an intense university course in blogging. If there were grades given after the fact we'd see a lot of D's and F's.

    Despite what any of the detractors of the Challenge may say it does have tremendous value in showing us who tries, who doesn't, and who excels. And excellence comes in many forms. We see it with or without A to Z. You're right about the bloggers who respond well or the ones who try to leave decent comments. I don't get around to as many blogs as some because I have this weird tendency to actually read a post, think it over, and then come up with what I hope will be a reasonable comment. That takes more time to do it that way, but I feel better about what I've done. I just feel bad that many times I can't even reciprocate on the comments I've received let alone visit other blogs. And I have other things to do around the house and in my life, which makes me admire all the more the bloggers who are working jobs and that is a whole 'nother consideration to take in.

    I do get occasionally frustrated by the bloggers who will visit a post that I've put a lot a thought into and I hoped would generate some good conversation and will leave me what appears to be merely a cut and paste comment that I'll see repeated on a number of blogs. I'm disappointed when another blogger whom I know to be a smart thinker will essentially dismiss my post with a fly-by comment. And I'm especially disturbed when I feel marginalized by being left with some passing smart-ass remark.

    Cont below:

  10. Part 2:

    Cont below:
    But that's blogging I guess. Unlike meeting somebody face to face, we know even less about a person's circumstances when they leave a comment. The written exchange of communication is such a dangerous thing as it lacks facial expressions and body language and we don't have the opportunity for rapid fire questions of clarification. Maybe this is what turns off some of those who comment or lurk. Maybe they are afraid to comment or maybe fear of being rejected. Who knows for sure about every case?

    I will agree about Shady Dell Tom though. His sight is an absolute delight and his comments come across as so genuine. Of course we haven't been getting into controversial subjects so that might make some difference, but that's okay. Tom's blogging about what he enjoys and you can tell that in the responses that he gives to each of his comments. Now, we do have to take into consideration Tom's own admission that he normally posts one long post per week and that does give him more leisure in leaving long responses to the comments he receives as well as well written long reciprocal comments on the blogs of those who have visited him. Kudos to Tom and his style. Whatever his blogging objective is, I hope that it's working well for him.

    I won't even get started on the author/bloggers. Too many of them with too many styles and strategies. Some of them can be very frustrating I agree.

    In any case I think I covered a fair amount here and it's a topic always worth looking back on and reevaluating from different perspectives. I'll probably touch on this again too as will other bloggers including you again.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    1. Thank you very much for the kind words, Lee!

      << I don't get around to as many blogs as some because I have this weird tendency to actually read a post, think it over, and then come up with what I hope will be a reasonable comment. >>

      You hit the nail on the head. Part of my commitment is to read every word of a friend's post. If I don't know enough about the subject to form an intelligent answer I usually take time to do some research. The next step is to ponder and process what I've read. That is followed by writing a draft of my comment which I usually revise and edit several times before submitting. You are absolutely right. All that takes time and I admire bloggers like you for taking ample time to read, think and compose a worthwhile comment or reply.

      Thanks again, Lee!

    2. Response Part 1

      Lee, thank you for this loooog and thoughtful comment, especially since I know you are in the final throws of the A to Z Challenge.

      Believe it or not I was two thirds of the way through a long and what I hope was a thoughtful ,hen the program froze up and wouldn’t let me go on. It’s a known fact that blogger hates me and the feeling is beginning to be mutual (although, I have to admit I was in Word, typing up my response, so this one really wasn’t bloggers fault).

      Anyway…let me try to recreate my thoughts. I do agree wholeheartedly that the blogoverse is filled with persons who blog at different levers, for different reasons, and on a wide variety of topics. But, I did state and I think it to be pretty much true, that we tend to follow and have followers with the same interest or afflictions. Therefore, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that, at least in my case, most of the followers, commenters, and friends have some interest in writing, if not actually being writers, authors or wannabes in some form or other, myself included. Therefore, I believe that my questions of, shouldn’t this be a place to practice what we hope to sell are valid, or some form or other of that.

      Please refer to my response to C.W. Martin, above. I do value and welcome all comments and don’t believe they have to be long, to be well thought out, well written, and pertain to the post. In my book, quality trumps quantity every time. Often in discussions the topic will veer in one direction or another, but I appreciate that all of my commenters have at least, started out on the same topic as me. I love when a good discussion get going and veers in numerous directions. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen here a lot. Mr. McCarthy does seem to be able to prod these type of discussion from his commenters and I marvel at that ability and the quality comments and discussions he gets. But, having said that, this post is certainly generating some incredible comments and even discussion with commenters hoping in and replying to various comments. Maybe more than anything else, that’s a sign or should I say response, to the quality of this post as opposed to some of my others, eh?

      Like you I have become frustrated when I put a lot of time and thought into a post and it received very few comments, the hit and run comment, the copy and paste comment, or the worst, the ‘one note snark’ comment. This may be part of the reason my blogging has been primarily reduced to BOTB and BOTB RESULTS posts.

      The other reason I don’t blog a whole lot is I rarely come up with a topic that is near and dear to me and that I want to expose myself to the blogosphere over. As you know, I’m private to a fault.
      I have to admit that you are another one of the ‘super bloggers’ (see my reply to Pat Hatt – those who have thousands of followers and receive upwards of fifty comments per post) and yet you manage to find the time to reply to every comment personally. As I said to Alex J Cavanaugh, I commend him also for making a reply to all comments, even though it is a ‘block’ format, he gets them in there and I have no idea how.

    3. Response - Part 2

      Finally, I would like to take a quick moment to address the A to Z Challenge. Probably I should have taken the time to send this note in an email to you sometime in March, but then you know me.

      I think the A to Z can be and is a valuable tool for many bloggers, especially those just starting out. You really learn a lot about blogging and commitment in thirty days of twenty-six posts. I did do it once and made it through to the end, but not without a lot of encouragement, and I’ll tell you it was STMc who encouraged me even though he was not participating that year, and if I’m correct, only did it once himself. I hope I have not come across as a distractor of A to Z, but it is just not my thing. I could list off a thousand and one excuses, but I hate making excuses and the bottom line anyway is ‘it’s just not my thing’. Blogging every day seems a little bit too much like work to me and hard work at that.

      I will admit that over half, I think, of those 322 followers you see listed at the right came through the A to Z Challenge and at that time it really made me feel good. On the downside of that, most of them have never been back. I think it was a courtesy thing; ‘I’ll follow you in the hopes that you’ll follow me back’, and in most cases I did. Also, sadly, in most cases I also never went back. What ‘real’ good is that?

      In the case of Mr. Shady Dell Knight; it is my recent exposure to his form of blogging and visiting that prompted this post and a reform in my ways. I want to be like that guy. He’s funny, intelligent, informative, sincere, and in general a really nice guy and blogger. His posts are…all of the above….and so are his comments and replies. We could all take a lesson from him. What a fine example to the blogging world in general.

      Thanks Lee, for your thoughts, Good luck with another successful year of the A to Z Challenge. You’ve done a fine job with something that a whole lot of people really love.

      Oops! As I was proofing this comment, I saw the reply left my Mr. Knight and I couldn't agree more with what he said and want you to know that I have always appreciated you for that quality. I know you read the post and make a thoughtful comment here and other places I see you stopping by.

  11. This is why for us personally if we leave a comment we make sure it's something worth reading. Even if it's short, we don't want people to think "they're just saying the bare minimum and phoning it in."

    Also, we just love interacting with people. Isn't that one of the main points of blogging, after all? So yes, I completely understand the pet peeve of just dropping a quick sentence and leaving it at that. That's so boring. Impersonal. From the side of the commenter, it's like why bother? You're not contributing anything to the conversation. And from the side of the recipient of the comment, I think who cares? We don't want people to come to our site and pat us on the back and say "LOL! Funny post!" We want to hear what you think about it. If you agree. If you disagree. That's the fun part.

    1. So true! Communication is the key in Social Networking. I don't mind the short comment if it actually pertains to what I've said. I'd much rather have a short personal comment than a generic comment that's the same thing the visiting blogger tells everybody they visit.

      Arlee Bird
      A to Z Challenge Co-host
      Tossing It Out

    2. 'Also, we just love interacting with people. Isn't that one of the main points of blogging, after all?'

      Talk about hitting the nail on the head. You guys really outdid yourselves here. Interaction, contributing to the conversation, leaving something worth reading---that's what I'm talking about. It doesn't have to be long and wordy too be worthy.

      You guys are another one of my friends whom I consider in the 'super blogger' category (see Pat Hatt, Alex J Cavanaugh, Arlee Bird - it's not that you are better than my other friends, but you do have thousands of followers and generate fifty+ comments per post and yet you respond individually to every single stinkin' one. That is impressive by anybodys standards). You also manage to generate some pretty good discussions at your site and great comments. (Just wait til you see the one I'm mentally preparing on 'Go Fund Yourself'; a rather 'hot button' for me.)

      Like you I don't need a pat on the back, OK, sometimes they're nice, but I really want to hear what people think. Only once did I get a comment where I had to 'get tough' in my reply (the topic was gun control, you can only imagine), but even then the commenter came back three or four time taunting me before I let him have it.

      Thanks for the great succinct comment that hit the nail on the head.

      This is, in fact, the fun part!

    3. This is, in fact, the fun part!

      For us, THAT nails it on the head. Coming up with a post is stressful. Trying to make sure we meet our weekly deadline, drawing all of these panels, trying to make them as funny or interesting as possible, and then just hoping people will like it... that's not the fun part. The fun part is seeing what people think in the comments and interacting with them. That makes the stress all worth it.

      And really, we only get the opinions of a small sample of our readers. Like, if you get 100 individual page views and 10 comments, you're only getting feedback from about 10% of your readers. That's so weird to us, especially as those numbers get bigger. We say this not to boast, but we get thousands of readers for each post, and yet only hear from about 50-100 of them. I assume that people like what they're reading since those numbers (slowly) only continue to rise, but you never know. I would also assume that if someone truly hated what we posted they'd leave a comment about it, even anonymously, but again, you don't know. Especially when we post something a little more on the controversial side, like us calling out GoFundMe. Do more people agree with us than we thought? Or do people who disagree just not comment? I really don't know. But the ones that do comment, no matter which side they take, we appreciate. It lets us know how we're doing as bloggers.

      Speaking of which, I have to say we are REALLY excited for your comment. :)

    4. I totally agree with you about the fun part. Putting my blog together is no where near as stressful as I imagine your must be, but I still worry that I sound coherent, and hope people will like what I've posted. It is, in fact, the comments and the interaction that follows where I enjoy myself. This is the reason I am astounded when so many bloggers don't respond to comments AT ALL.

      I've also notices that about 'page views'. My dashboard is all messed up, the result, I'm sure, of my tinkering around in it, but I do still get the 'stats'. This will tell me that I've had thousands of page views per month and yet I'm pretty sure I average twenty comments per post or less (not counting my responses). So, what I want to know is; 'who are all these lurkers and are they coming back repeatedly, or are there that many new lurkers'. Probably I will never know.l

      OK, now I need to work on that comment for you.

  12. Well, there are several levels to this problem. Here is where I fall down the hardest: remembering to come back to a blog I've already read to see if the author of said blog commented. And then commenting on their comment. I can't use the email notification button because the email I set up my blog with went defunct a while ago. I mean, I can still access that blog if I want to, but it became inundated with junk mail and I just can't stand it. So, I never read the email that lands there (because it's all garbage). I can't change the email to my current email (tried that, failed), so I have to rely on my terrible memory to go back and check on a blog I've already read/commented on.

    Then there is the whole commenting on my own blog... which I try to do, but not for BoTB (usually). Unless someone asks a question or posts something which makes me want to comment on it. Most of those comments are short with "this is who I vote for," and what do I say to that other than "thank you" over and over again????

    Then there is the problem of commenting on a blog that didn't really say anything I found interesting. Let's face it, we all read blogs every day that just didn't light us up. Sometimes I just give up on the comment after sitting three or four minutes and coming up empty. Other times I try and reach for *something* but you can bet it's gonna be a one sentence Hit and Run. Why would I bother to go back and check on the comments?

    Lastly, my blog list has become unmanageable at best. Blogger won't let me delete blogs I no longer read. It won't let me add blogs I'd like to read (unless they have the GFC button) and my time for blogging continues to decrease. What am getting at here? Blogging is a time investment. It can be a huge time investment. People don't have the time to follow 300+ blogs and give good comment on all of them, plus return to check on their comments, etc.

    As for Mr. Knight... he writes very interesting blogs making it easy to comment. He also leaves excellent comments. We would all do better to practice his method of blogging. Write interesting blogs for your readers. Leave interesting comments on what you've read. Sounds simple, but obviously it requires some effort. (Another good tip: don't bite off more than you can chew. Only follow as many blogs as you can actually handle. I'm so guilty of this... and, like I said, Blogger isn't making it easy (read: possible) to rectify this error. So, it's frustrating.

    1. Thank you very much for expressing this, dear Robin!

    2. Robin, I've simply run out of time for today. I have got to 'pay some bills', but I promise I will be back, probably tomorrow, with a response to your comment here, should you stop back and see that at 5:13 PM PST yours is the only comment left un-replied to,

    3. Robin, I sincerely apologize for not getting back here sooner. I fully intended to do that yesterday and then 'life happened' all around me.

      You really do seem to have some problems with blogger, don't you? I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to deal with so many 'glitches' at one time. About a year or so ago, I did something that totally destroyed my dashboard. There may be a way to restore it, but whatever that might be is way beyond this dumb blonde. With the dashboard went my blogroll. So although I'm following way too many blogs and have over three hundred followers I don't get notifications of when someone has put something new up and what it might be. I must go to the blogs of my friends and simply check it out. I'm also set up to get email notifications when a new comment is posted at my blog, and recently that has been hit or miss. Your comment above was never sent to me as an email notification as well as several others on this post. It's all something I just work around.

      After my exposure to the wonderful blog and comments of Mr. Knight I started thinking that I simply needed to do better with my comments and responses to comments here. I have been trying to respond personally to every comment made for the last year or so, but often my replies were of the 'hit and run' variety.

      When I comes to BOTB, I hear what you are saying, but I approach it from a different standpoint. I figure even those comments that simply leave a vote with no explanation or extended comment have a a lengthy time investment at my blog (listening to the pieces of music posted as well as reading the post), therefore I feel that even though I may simply be thanking them for their vote, I should say something. Most of the people who comment on my BOTB leave at least a few sentences with their vote and after the time they have spent here (listening to the choices as well as reading my goofy posts vs. simply reading a blog post) the very least I can do is to acknowledge their vote and comment. I also fell that if I responded to one or two people and not everyone, it might be taken that those that I responded to are somehow more important that the one I didn't. I would never want to take the chance of giving that impression to anyone. I really appreciate everyone who took the time to stop by.

      We each have our own style and those who follow us and come back repeatedly, hopefully, accept us for who we are, so, all of this is just my opinion. You always have way more votes on your BOTB posts than I do, so I would say whether or not you respond to your commenters is a moot point.

      I also look at taking the time to respond to comments, and to respond well, as a good exercise in creativity as well as creative writing, for those of us who are writers, hoping to become authors (published). At the Beer Boys stated above, it's the interacting with people that is the 'FUN' part of this whole process.

      Thanks for stopping by and explaining your particular problems with this endeavor. I'll bet there is a solution to some of the problems you cited with blogger, but certainly not anything I would be able to help you with. Perhaps someone who is way more knowledgeable about the whole computer thing, like Bryan, would have some suggestions. Best of luck with figuring it our.

  13. My Internet is down. This message is from my phone, not sure if it will post, but I'm trying. Be back as soon as Zi'm up and running. Gotta love living in the mountains!

  14. First of all, you are NOT a dumb blonde my friend. I know for myself, I try my best to get around to as many blogs as I can, in a very short period of time, because of all of my other commitments. But I do put thought and time into my responses. I am a quick reader, which helps, but if a post is really long I might skim it and come back later when I have more time to give it a proper read through. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to comment on my blog and even if I'm pressed for time or in my case, for the most part I am too sick to sit at my computer and formulate a coherent response, I try and go back and answer each and every comment when I'm back on my feet again. This may take me a while though. But I do really try my best to always answer anyone that takes the time to comment.

    Oh, something else I thought I should mention. I am NOT computer savvy at all. Sometimes, I can't figure out for the life of me to follow some blogs that use a different type of format than what I'm used to. I do my best but sometimes I just can't figure that out. I feel bad but I don't know what to do to make it work. Now that makes me feel real bad, and if I knew how to change that, I certainly would. (talk about feeling stupid, and I'm a brunette :)

    1. Hey Jaybird, thanks for stopping by and for the kind words. I try to visit you regularly and I know that you normally respond to each and every comment. When you don't, I worry that you are having another go round with your health. Like you, I'm not always right there moments after the comment is made, often it will take me a few days, but I do try to respond.

      Like you, when someone new shows up at my space and leaves a comment, I try to go to their blog and check them out. Often this is very difficult. The whole 'google' thing sometimes sends me in circles and although it will tell me that this particular person does have a blog, there is no clue how to access it, or maybe that's just me, but I also find it frustrating when I can't at least check out their space and leave them a comment in return. The whole 'how to follow' some of the blogs is also a mystery. I keep thinking; 'why on earth would someone or their blog want to make it so difficult for others to follow'. Beats me.

      Thanks again for taking the time to stop by. I know you've had your hands full finishing up the A to Z Challenge and I might add that I thoroughly enjoyed your tour of New Jersey.

  15. First of all, I like the writing style used on this post. I am not a "real" writer so I don't know how to describe it. I am just so pleased to actually get a comment now and then! I do reply but I am aware I may not always personalize it or leave an exceptionally thought-out response. I have gotten a few that seemed like copy-paste renditions.

    1. Hi Sandra thanks for coming by and being kind enough to leave a comment. And thank you very much for the nice compliment.

      You may not think of yourself as a 'real' writer, but if you blog, you write. I do think it's important to respond to all comments, but often it's hard to really personalize your response when you are meeting the person for the very first time. As far as your ability to leave a very nice and personal comment, it's the opinion of this dumb blonde that you did an excellent job here.

      Those copy and paste comments or especially responses to comments make me thing; 'why bother?' It really doesn't take much more to leave a simple sincere thank you.

      Here's hoping that your name alone will lead me to your space, so that I may see what you have to say about things.

  16. I'm always in awe when I come across a blog with lots of comments and better still the author takes the time to interact with his/her readers with return comments. I found that you and many of our fellow BoTB players have a tremendous number of comments per/post. It floors me the draw that each of you pull. Yeah, are definitely doing something right with expressing yourselves. Personally speaking I love how you have ALWAYS made time to leave insightful comments on my blog. It actually makes me feel like I MATTER to you. Am I very good at this? Not always on commenting on the comments, but I'm learning. I do try to leave a good comment at the end of every blog post that I read. I'm not a novelist, but I do have a bit of that wannabe author dying to get out. That's why I love blogging so much, but what I love even more is the relationship I have with many bloggers like you. Thank you for making my experience in Blogosphere worth hanging around, Fae! :D

  17. I noticed that about Shady Del, too. Very informative posts AND comments and responses to comments.

    I have definitely lost the ability to effectively communicate via writing. I'm not sure what has changed from several years ago, other than the fact that my free time is virtually non-existent now and social media has kind of made blogging (in what used to be "my" blogging circles) obsolete. So I'm still hanging around the blogosphere, trying to find my new groove and new tribes.

    AND? Internet. Mine has been battling with me for at least two months now, and I finally got around to getting someone out here to see if they can fix the issues. Hopefully my internet woes will be over come sometime Monday.

  18. I'm not as social as I used to be, and too often my blog posts are promo's for other authors. Yes, I'm losing interest in the whole writing and self promote stuff. When a lot of comments on a post are the same, I prefer to visit the blogs rather than just keep saying thanks. And sometimes there is not much to say in a response to another person's post either. Well, perhaps that is why I sat out the month of April, and still not totally into blogging.

    What to do with my spare time now, lol.

    Hope you have a good weekend FAE.