Shithouse rat

I'm a bipolar writer in the Naked City. I'm not playing with a full deck. I don't have all my dots on the dice. My cheese is sliding off my cracker. I don't have both oars in the water. I'm a bubble off plum. In other words, I'm crazier than a shithouse rat. These are my stories. Comments--short or long, nasty or nice--always welcome!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

A "final" comment on commenter's comments about comments

I'm grateful to everyone who has commented thus far about the comment issue. I learned a lot from it.

To be honest, I think my whole rant, starting with the post I'm not gonna be IGNORED... was mostly emotional fallout from a personal cyber-matter.

I had a blog chum, and we had grown very close. We supported and backed each other up on our respective blogs. But one day, he posted about something that had really upset him, and I made a comment indicating that I didn't think it was that big of a deal--at least for me. Although there were other factors, my comment to his post signalled the beginning of the end.

Shortly thereafter, I noticed that some of our mutual blog pals seemed to be boycotting my site. Probably just a little mild paranoia--I doubt there was any farflung conspiracy abroad--but it just served to amplify my anger and frustration about the whole ugly matter.

In any case, this former pal and I were both hypomanic, so at first e-mailing back and forth endlessly was fun. But it got out of hand to the point where I had very little time to devote to my own blogging or discover other sites.

Now that my time is more freed up, I've been able to read more cool blogs, comment to them, and respond to their comments in a more timely manner. In the process of branching out, I've become more familiar with the "sociology" of blogging (lol).

As a baby blogger, I was naieve enough to think that having a lot of comments was totally enviable. What I didn't think about was the conundrum this success can produce.

Popular blogs are usually popular in part because they are updated regularly with great content. But how can you keep up with your blogging if you spend all your time responding to comments? How on earth do you even begin to try to answer 15 or 20 or 50 comments per post?

Not to mention that lots of people also have jobs and something called a real life to contend with on top of all that.

I now know that, if presented with a choice, I'd rather have someone leave a comment on my blog rather than reply to a comment I've sent their way. In reality, it's simply not always practical or productive to beat a dead horse.

Speaking of which, I think I've milked this subject for as many posts as I can (lol). I apologize to anyone I might have upset. I didn't mean to be a bitch. Again, many thanks.


At 1:40 PM, Blogger surly girl said...

i don't reply to all my comments individually, but try and stay in the loop if a thread seems interesting. but love that people comment, and would never want anyone to think they couldn't jump in with their take. as for the paranoia thing - it's easy to feel that way in the world of the blog.

it's a crazy mixed up world. biscuit, anyone?

At 4:57 PM, Blogger Swifty said...

Quite often, comments don't demand reply. If they're not obvious questions, then I don't feel it's necessary. But this is a personal view. I also think the whole commenting issue is no big deal. I think it's a bit like arguing as to why everyone should like the same ice cream as I do. How interesting is that? But more to the point, is it an arguable subject? Of course not.

If I appear on someone's site regularly, then it's a fair indication that I like what's on offer. I assume the same about my own regulars, even though I suspect with some of them they're just whoring.

In this instance, Elvira, I agree with you, in that you've milked comments for all they're worth. But so what? For me, it's not what you do, but the way that you do it. And I love the way you write. And this is my hobbyhorse: I think too many, or even most bloggers only pay attention to what's being said, rather than the way it's said. Not me. I can get my rocks off with style. You got it.

Sorry for sounding like such an ass-licker but what the hell. And another thing, why aint you got shit-loads of comments?

One last thing: is "naieve" an alternative spelling of naive?

At 5:15 PM, Blogger surly girl said...

ooh, mr s - you've gone all-american. i agree though - style over substance is not an accurate description but comes close. if i love how someone writes i'll stick around, as even the most mundane of subjects become funny/interesting/moving. and of course you love me, right?

elvira - keep on keeping on. there are squillions of bloggers out there, all with nowt to say, most of them saying it badly. the people i and others like me stick with are those who say nowt with style. which may make us pretentious wankers but at least our favourites list is something valid...

At 5:29 PM, Blogger JC said...

You know, Elvira, you were totally not a Bitch. You made me really give some thought to this whole issue. I got so caught up in my own drama during the whole hurricane thing that I totally didn't respond and what was worse was that I was failing to respond to this genuine outpouring of love. Bloggers are great. You are great in that you don't simply comment, you comment in a way that is almost a post in itself. I am glad that you brought it up.

At 6:27 PM, Blogger Webmiztris said...

I always respond to my comments, no matter how many i get. I feel like it would be rude not to. but it is definitely time consuming! I have a REALLY hard time keeping up with my blogroll because I have over 110 blogs on there! i might have to give up on sleeping. ;)

At 8:24 PM, Anonymous sarcastic journalist said...

I sometimes reply to comments, sometimes don't. I try when I have something to say, otherwise I feel like I"m going "uhhh...uhhhh."

The Blog snobs piss me off. If I go and write you a 20,000 word email, you can at least write back and say something.

But whatever. To each their own, right?

At 9:43 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Surly girl:

Yes, that seems like a sensible approach. I can see now how absurd it could become if every comment had to be gratuitously responded to.

I don't know if you've seen the show Seinfeld, but it was referred to as "the show about nothing." And it was one of the most clever, hilarious shows ever, in my humble opinion! So I understand what you're saying, and I agree.

At 10:05 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Hi Don:

Many thanks! That's very nice to hear. For once in my life, I'm at a loss for words.

My goal with the comments was, ideally, to engage in a conversation rather than a monologue. Or perhaps, if you will, a cyber-talk show (and tonight's guests are: Surly Girl! Don Swift! JC! Webmiztris! Annnnndddd...Sarcastic Journalist!) But seriously, that's basically the gist of it.

No, you're right--I naively misspelled it (lol). That's just the (ahem) freewheeling, no-holds-barred, breakin'-all-the-rules kind of girl I am...

At 10:13 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


Thank you! But I think if I'd been going through the kind of ordeal you were enduring, about the last thing I'd be thinking about is whether I'm "behind" on my blog comments (lol). In any case, I agree that when you're going through a rough patch, it's really good to have blogpals who care.

At 10:22 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


That is pretty amazing, esp considering the number of comments you receive. 110 blogs--oy vey!

I think someday soon the shrinks will invent some sort of diagnosis like obsessive blogger personality disorder-- and the pharmaceutical companies will patent a drug that lets bloggers post in their sleep.

At 10:25 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Sarcastic journalist:

I hear you--absolutely.

But yes, I hate hate hate one-sentence replies to long e-mails. I live for e-mails, the longer the better!

At 4:57 AM, Blogger Swifty said...


I've achieved my objective: I shut you up! if only for a moment. No mean achievement.

Seriously, blogging has helped me deal with criticism in a civilised manner. I no longer tear my hair out, stamp my feet, and weep. At 56 I've finally come to terms with adult dialogue. So come on, give me your best shot!

Surly girl, yes I do love the way you blog. I love the way you think. I imagine you have thoughts in units of pages at a time; whereas mine trickle, sentence by sentence. I have to build up from small beginnings. You, and Elvira I suspect, throw a whole lot of words on to the page, and then whittle it down to get the final result. If that's the case, I envy you both.

Regarding my Americanisation (Elvira, note the proper spelling with an 's', not a 'z'. And it's a 'zed', not a 'zee') I don't know if you've noticed, but American popular culture has had a massive influence on the rest of the world, especially Britain. Which is great, as I like to use as broad a vocabulary as possible. Thanks to my American acquaintances I've become well-versed in the use of 'motherfucker', 'asshole','what the heck', 'gee', and the more recent addition, 'woot!'. While on the subject I might as well say a big thank you to my Australian colleague for 'fucktard' and 'pissfarting'.

Elvira, I was only teasing about the spelling. I really am a sychophantic asshole,

At 5:38 AM, Blogger surly girl said...

fucktard is truly excellent. but "woot??"

explain. now.

pjiza: polish pizza

At 6:45 AM, Blogger Swifty said...

'explain. now'? Surly, I love a woman who takes charge and is strict.

'Woot!', I'm led to believe evolved from computer hackers in the 80's who, when finding a system's root* password, would joyfully exclaim, 'We have root!'. It gradually became shortened to 'Woot!'. Now, in some circles, it's used as a general expression of pleasure.

* the root password is the administrators password. It gives the user the power to do, and go where he likes in a system.

At 12:34 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


You think you know from sycophantic asshole-ism? Shee-it. Dontcha know Americans have a collective (you should excuse the expression) hard on for all things Brit?

I wonder if one of my kinsmen was pulling your leg about the woot woot thing? In my neck of the woods, it evolved from some uber-dealers in my "party school" college who, when nabbing a fresh new batch of Thai stick, would joyfully exclaim: "we have toot!" Then as now, in all circles, it's used as a general expression of pleasure.

Actually, I think it's just one of those gutteral expressions arising out of the lumpen proletariat mob hysteria of American TV audiences--see under the Jerry Springer Show.

At 12:44 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Surly girl:

You are severe, but fair.

Come punish Jerry!


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