Meta-post

Today’s post is about posting.

I am an extreme extrovert. And I mean that not in the life-of-the-party sense, but in the Myers Briggs personality test sense. I really crave interaction with people. A day full of phone calls from clients and hearings and emails that require responses is roughly a thousand times more fulfilling for me than a day spent in my office researching a topic and drafting something based on the research.

In the world of blogging, my extreme extrovertism manifests itself in a strong desire to receive responses to what I write. Getting a notice that someone has left a comment on my blog is such a pick-me-up. It is like getting a handwritten envelop in the mail.

Often times to encourage comments, I will email an entry to someone and specifically ask for a response. I am a bit surprised, obviously based on my own inclinations, at how seldom people accept my invitation–plea–to comment.

So, I will ask a question, one which any reasonable person would understand is very likely to go unanswered, why don’t those who read this blog more often leave comments? I’ll even provide some choices:
A. The posts are too long.
B. The topics of the posts are uninteresting.
C. The poor grammar and excessive typographical errors make the blog unreadable.
D. The posts are interesting enough, but not the type to cause one to form an opinion.
E. It actually takes a significant amount of effort to crystalize thoughts such that they can be conveyed in a few sentences in a sentence.
F. Other – please specify.

[Note: I actually think the number of comments left on my blog is larger than would be expected for my readership. Other blogs with thousands of times the traffic as mine do not generate thousands of times the comments. But that only makes me more curious about the behavior that is so different from mine.]

45 thoughts on “Meta-post”

  1. Hmm – I would say usually E – and ocassionally D. I would also say I am TERRIBLE about commentling on blogs unless I have a very strong opinion or something important to say. Sometimes a simple question at the end of a blog post is enough to shake me out of reader mode and respond…even if it is simple, "What do you think?" and better if it is more specific.

  2. Usually E, sometimes D, and F. The big one for me is F-Other. My other is that I, too, am an extreme extrovert and it is no fun at all to respond to someone else's post and revisit it only to find that no one responded to my response (especially if I thought it was brilliant). Whether posting on my own blog (www.goinghomecominghome.blogspot.com) or posting a response on another's, I always have considerable performance anxiety over publication and distribution of my thoughts, so it's kind of a big deal. Time is a huge factor for me. I actually logged onto your blog today, Jim, to post a response to the Help/Mockingbird post.

  3. Susan & Lin,

    Thanks. Lin, I beleive you mentioned E. to me some time ago. At least, I attribute it to you in my mind. I have one of the those tracker things that tells me how many people read my blog, which is nice so that I know that I am not writing completely into the void. AND, I totally get your comment about it not being fun to respond without getting a response from the blogger.

    Susan, I think the point about a discrete question at the end of the post is a good one.

    I've decided that it is healthy for me to be so open about my neediness. 😉

  4. I think most people don't respond due to one of a few reasons: 1. Pure and Simple Laziness, who wants to type when you can simply read and move on? 2. Some people are simply insecure and can't handle someone mocking/correcting them. They are afraid they will say something really stupid and it will be forever immortalized on the internet. 3. They just aren't smart/ambitious enough to form an opinion and blindly nod their head yes in agreement with whatever is said.

  5. Bosco,

    I certainly like the idea of people nodding their heads in agreement with everything I write. I'm going to adopt that as my understanding why their are fewer comments then I would prefer. (Although, not surprisingly, I've since had plenty of comments to keep me happy.)

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