Wednesday, November 22, 2006

[Bloggers who bug me] How Does One Handle Them?

Hi Folks!

I really need some advice because there are a few things that are driving me nuts about a few Blogger Buddies. i am not too sure how to tackle these issues.

1. I often get mails from certain Bloggers telling me to leave a comment on this or that post or even why I have not bothered to comment on a recent post or why I have not visited their blog for a few days.
While some have the time and ability to cover 100 blogs a day leaving comments, I cannot. I have a day job and I can only visit a few, sometimes even none, a day. There are times that I do not leave a comment because do not see the need to. Is this wrong? I think many of us are well acquainted enough to realize this and there are no harsh feelings. There are others however who actually go by their stats and as soon as I have visited a blog and did not happen to leave a comment, I can be sure I will get a mail telling me why I have not. How do I handle this?

2. The mails also often have comments like "There have been 67 comments on my post, why have you not commented yet?" "My post today had 140 comments!"
Hello? Did we all go back to Kindergarten and someone forgot to tell me? A closer look reveals that out of the 140 comments 120 are from the blog owner themselves. So what is the deal here? Are our blogs judged my the amount of comments one gets or should this be a fun thing?

3. I have noticed many new blogs and while I know I cannot do anything about it, I just wanted to vent my frustration - I see that some are very much copying a similar style and layout. There are some things that are fine - for example the recipe boxes, this is not the annoying factor.
What I mean are things that I find personal. For example, the Google Reader bit on my sidebar under "Blogs I Am Reading". I noticed this on a certain blogger's sidebar too - that is OK I have noticed the Reader on many blogs - but what bugs me this blogger has the exact same reading list, contents and titles!! Are these people lacking imagination or are we so similar that we could have been long lost twins?
I added a little thanksgiving graphic to my Banner and I am wondering how long it is going to take these people to implement this idea too. As this is my personal touch for my readers it gets annoying when one sees the same thing everywhere. Am I being petty?

This Post was written by MEETA from What's For Lunch Honey


Ilva said...

It sounds really horrible that you are expected to comment in that way, I hope you just ignore it. It's so impolite!

Andrew said...

I seldom see a post that I can add much too in the way of comments - I dont leave 'oh your photo is sooo nice' type comments but if I try a recipe or can add to the conversation then i'll leave a comment. These people should realise that time is precious... so I say worthwhile comments only people!

We all want more and regular visitors but asking people to comment is just wrong. If you write useful/interesting/informative posts then people will be inspired to write - unless the points they wanted ot make have already been made.

(PS I'd love a post to garner 140 comments but then I'm not in the A list...)

Copying content and design is either lazy or stupid. People will find out eventually... a polite word perhaps Meeta? Or maybe just plow in with the scimitar?

Anonymous said...

I truly sympathize with you Meeta. I often get these kinds of emails/comments as well, that I simply disard. As Andrew pointed out, I too, amd not one to leave comments on how pretty a pic is. If I do comment, than it is to refer to the recipe in question.

Another pet peeve of mine is when someone leaves a comment on my post telling me to check out a recipe of theirs on a similar dish. I feel that this is just a way of them advertising their blogs, which I do not wish to do so on my own expense.

I often find that many new bloggers never cease to comment/email asking me to stop by their site and comment or link to them. These are just little things that are making our experiences a tad bit uncomfortable.

My solution has been to ignore it all, or if it still persists, then drop them a line telling them about how you feel. As they often say, Ignorance is Bliss!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ilva and Andrew, that is so impolite and may i add, rude.

Wow, 140 comments? For real? With that many comments they get, how did they manage to monitor it like a hawk to know that you didn't leave a message? That's one sophisticated system they must have. Plus, they have so much time in their hands.


Anonymous said...

I agree, it's bizarre for bloggers to do this. Personally I'd tell them to shove off. As for the Google Reader copying, I wouldn't get too stressed about it. I'm sure once they've spent a bit more time learning how things work they'll figure out how to do things for themselves, rather than copy others

Anonymous said...

I get emails from folks requesting that I add them to the blogroll all the time. I reply simply that I update the roll only a few times a year and I'll keep an eye on their blog ... I don't want to have a huge blog roll and I do actually read all of the ones on my list. I have one reader who kept emailing me with a request and the last one I didn't even respond to. I like keeping my blogroll brief, actually. There are lots of sites that do great, comprehensive blogrolls. That's just not me.

My blog ideas, posts and layout are often copied. I've found that most of the time this type of laziness is indicative that they're not going to maintain the blog anyway, so talking to them may be a waste. If they are going to continue blogging they will eventually personalize it. There are very few "new" designs in blogs, there's only so much you can do to organize the content.

I found one blog that stole one of my background images for their site ... I was going to write a pissy note, but here it is a month later and they've done nothing more than the initial post.

Link and comment grubbing is unwelcome on my site, it's odd because other readers will sometimes take the poster to task. (Gotta love a community.) However, if I post a review and someone says that they tried it and posted about it, I'm fine with that link. (As it's hard to re-summarize your thoughts for the comment section.)

I like getting comments that a particular photo is nice (it helps me know which style is attractive to my readers) and sometimes I will leave similar comments. I'm sorry if other bloggers find that lame. I'd say if you're not willing to take the pulse of your readers whatever it might be, you shouldn't have the comments section available.

I go on comment binges when I have time. Most of the time I read my favorite blogs through the feeds and don't comment. I follow 125 blogs, so it's tough to both read and comment and keep up with my own. I find myself commenting more on small blogs than big ones.

Anonymous said...

I've noticed a lot of new blogs are running advertising on their sites. As I don't accept ads I'm not sure how the paymetns work. But I guess for everyone that visits the blog they receive compensation. I visit all the blogs on my sidebar plus a few (non food blogs) I have bookmarked most days. I haven't yet worked out how to do that thingy. Is it called reader or something? I try to leave a comment if I have something useful to contribute.

Unknown said...

I guess I'll think twice about leaving comments about photos — except that some of them are so lovely and breathtaking, I just have to say something. So much talent out there!

I can see how trolling for comments would be irritating. I'm not even on the B List (to borrow Andrew's comment) so it has not happened to me yet. I guess if it ever happens to me, I will ignore it, or if I'm grouchy that day, I will trash the comment.

I'm fairly new to this, so you are all educating me. Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

WOW, I'm absolutely stunned at the rudeness of fishing for comments. How insecure and juvenile is that? Get a life.

I'm a fairly new blogger and do still get excited if someone leaves a comment, (even if it's just "nice recipe"). But you can't expect people to comment and you certainly can't bug them about it - it's plain rude. Plus comments are meant to be people's true thoughts about what you've written.

I'm in about D league, but even I've had a blogger leaving a comment which was an advert for their own blog. They made some huge assumptions about me (and my blog) from that one post, which were not true and so I was able to send them a polite, but pointed email that set them straight.

Andrew said...

I guess it is because there are so many great blogs out there now it is difficult to make a place for yourself if you have a new one.

I'm not totally against the nice pic comment - but if there are 30/40/50 all saying the same thing... nice fo r the blogger but dull for the reader... (and I must say I do like it when someone says nice picture!)

And a moan of my own - if you say oh nice recipe I must try it - do you? I mean I would love to follow a link to your take on it - see what changes you made, see how your picture compares - but I seldom see a follow-up to a full post...

Anonymous said...

I have never had more than about 60 comments on any post, I think, and even then only on the rarest of occasions. I certainly would never dream of asking for a comment and thankfully no one has ever asked me to make one either. I am a bit gobsmacked by that behaviour.

Sometimes photographs stop me in my tracks and nothing would stop me then, on congratulating the poster for their artistry, but I don't think this is obligatory either way, each to his or her own. I don't think it is lame to make such a comment, to the contrary why should we be stopped from expressing ourselves and our displaying our pleasure.

I sometimes leave a link to something on my own blog in a post, though never out of some desperate intention of sending traffic my way, more because I think it is interesting to be able to open up the conversation in that way. I agree that some people seem to do it as a way of promoting themselves, but others do it in a more genuine fashion. I don't find it too hard to distinguish between the two types and only delete the trolls, like the one today whose tenuous, 'if you care about yur weight, visit my diet blog' was eliminated forthwith.

As for copying style - there is only so much people can do with the available software and experience. Luckily I think I managed to come up with a technique that is fairly unique, safe in the knowledge that it took me about 70 hours to implement so I doubt anyone is going to be following me anytime soon. They can't just copy my template into their own without a lot of hard work to make it their own.

I think some new bloggers are naieve and I hope that community forums such as this will help them learn about the better way to do things. Really, to be fair, it does take a new blogger quite some time t work out all the ins and outs of templates and copying code is ineveitable, especially for things that are commonplace on many blogs. That said,it is bizarre that someone should copy your roll in its entirety but I think Silverbrow is probably right - they will cotton on, begin to understand and seal it with their own personal stamp as soon as they can work out how. At least I hope they do.

Just think of it this way Meeta - satisfy yourself with the knowledge you are leader, not a follower.


Anonymous said...

oops - actually meant "I sometimes leave a link to something on my own blog in a comment on someone else's blog"

nika said...

Sam: i really appreciated your comment the day we did simultaneous gadget posts. 1) i found out you read my blog (always nice to know) 2) it really added context to the discussion 3) i had not seen yours and liked reading your perspective


140 comments? boggles the mind. the only "blog" i read that ever gets that sort of traffic is dailykos. it gets a lot more.

i simply can not imagine anyone policing their comment stream like you mention. if someone sent me such an email, i might dump them into my spam filter permanently.

due to family constraints and the time i put into creating my own content, i visit very few blogs. i only wish i had more time to follow 125 blogs! i am not sure i have even visited that many food blogs in all the time i have been on the internet (since i am geriatric that stretches back before there were blogs or the web.. when you visited usenet groups downloaded many acsii files and concatenated them by hand to see any images at all! ok i feel damn old now)

sorry for crappy typage - hard to type one-handed while holding newborn in the other arm.

Kalyn Denny said...

I cannot even remotely in my wildest imagine think of a time when I would ask someone to leave a comment on my blog, or ask why they hadn't. It's really quite absurd. I don't think I would respond at all.

I will say that I love to get comments if someone thinks the recipe looks good or likes the photo. I'm trying all the time to improve my photos (with a lot to learn still) so I especially appreciate those comments, no matter how many others have said it.

I can't imagine getting 140 comments on a post. I don't know if I've even gotten over 50 (except maybe for the cheese sandwich ting or the WHB one year anniversary, and maybe not even then.)

I do get a fair number of people leaving comments that seem like advertisements, which I do delete.

Finally Meeta, remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

I have had a couple of bloggers do weird things with me, which I won't elaborate on except to say that there are some awfully big egos out there in the blogosphere. (But a lot more genuinely nice people.)

Kalyn Denny said...

Sorry about all the typos. I am very tired from too many Thanksgiving preparations today, and I still need to make Double Berry Jello Salad.

Ilva said...

I just want to add to the discussion abouts comments that you leave, I love when people like my recipes and my photos and they tell me, I appreciate the generosity of the act very much and I try to do the same when I have the time. But it has to come spontaneously from the reader, if I ever felt obliged or felt that my readers felt obliged to leave comments, I think it's time to stop and think.

Pepper said...

Agree that the requests for comments should be ignored (I would stop visiting their blogs, too...) Adding a copyright notice on your site might prevent people from stealing and copying content, though it would be quite a bit of work to enforce.

The Culinary Chase said...

"Ignore them" is what I say. I'm relatively new to blogging & I leave comments on other blogger's sites not because I want them to reply but because I liked what I saw - plain & simple. Hopefully what's written isn't negative (I delete when that happens) or comments left trying to advertise their site (those get trashed,too). Carry on doing what you're doing Meeta. :)

Unknown said...

Meeta you've brought up this most interesting topic. It could easily fit in a psychology board as well as it fits in this board.

I have shared with you earlier some of my similar experiences. As newbies, we all loved to see our effort appreciated and expressed. At the same time, people have to understand that compliments cannot be forced upon. It's like going to a party and telling someone, 61 people have told me that I'm looking gorgeous and why aren't you telling me anything? Gosh, I wouldn't even tell my husband something like that.

The extreme degree of familiarity that some people try to build up by going to the extent of forcibly dragging you to their blog and then making sure you leave your comment - only reflects their insecurity and desperate need for attention.

I have stopped commenting on the lines of - 'nice colours' , nice font, nice pic, nice recipe, nice gets a trifle too boring to even write those same words. As compliments, comments must be genuine or meaningful. If anyone wishes otherwise, it is better to ignore than oblige.

SOme of the best blogs I see have upto 10 comments a post, and the other mediocre ones with 50+ comments, it is very easy to conclude that number of comments are absolutely no indicator of the person's talent.
Indeed, super of you to bring up this issue.

Meeta K. Wolff said...

Hi everyone.

Thanks for all your advice.
I did not realize that this topic would create such waves, but I have learnt a few things from your comments.

When I visit a blog and feel the need to compliment the owner of their lovely picture or a nice recipe I do. I visit only a handful of blogs as I mostly read the posts for my Blog list over Google Reader. But if there is a post that I liked, be it recipe or photo or just writing style I make the effort to visit them and comment.

This is of course left to everyone's own personal style or character how they handle their own commenting. I personally, like Ilva love getting comments on my blog telling me that they enjoyed the story, picture or find the recipe interesting. It makes it simply a bit more worthwhile when you know there is someone who likes what you do. When a person even comes back to tell me they cooked my recipe, I find it an honor and really appreciate that they came back to tell me about it.

I have never judged any blogs by the amount of comments they have because there are many blogs that have far fewer comments but I just find their style amazing and will visit them more regularly then those that have maybe 140.

What has started to get to me is the actual fishing for comments. It increased as time went by to the point that I was not sure if this was normal. Ilva mentioned it as being rude. See, I did not see it as being rude at the time. But now that it has been mentioned I agree. I find it rude that I am made to feel guilty for not visiting all the blogs. I would like to but I just do not have the time to spare. I am not too sure how to always handle such cases. Because I am sure to get a mail telling me that I did not bother to answer the mails - never ending story you see. Believe me I am very patient but sometimes......

The next issue was the fact that I was a bit disappointed and found it strange that people would copy my reading list from Google Reader blog for blog and others would copy the layout. I understand that there are only so many various ways one can create a layout with the tools offered and THAT does not get to me too much (only when it started to look exactly like my blog). The point in my post was really about finding it weird about the Google Reading list. It made me feel uncomfortable - like I was being stalked or something - I am purposely exaggerating here. But again your advice helped me and I am willing to give the person the benefit of the doubt and hope for the best. I actually like this persons blog very much.

Kalyn's Advice is great. I will take it as a compliment and I think I should KTF (a dear friend who wrote an email to me regarding this post told me that it meant KEEP THE FAITH) ;-)

Oh and before I go --- Happy Commenting everyone LOL!!

Anonymous said...

I've found that if a new blogger is fishing for comments or begging for blogroll inclusion (especially if they start fishing before they have a month of posts in their archives), they're not long for this food blog world. Bloggers who just want to be popular should go talk about politics or pop culture where comment threads 50 comments long are common.

As for style copying, it used to bother me when I'd see the same blogger template over and over, but I've realized that most bloggers do it for the fun of whatever they blog about, and fancy web design shouldn't be a requirement to blog.

Copying ideas is just part of the format. And apart from image stealing or outright plagarism, the 'open source'-creative commons type sharing is what makes the web the web.

And I remember adding a little turkey to my header in my original blog way back in November of '99. So, Dibs!

G said...

I have not really read through the comments but I am horrified that someone would email you and ask why you have not commented in a while. Just mind boggling.

Parisbreakfasts said...

I wish I'd seen this sooner.. especially before I was a blog of note. You become the target of link seekers, newbies minus blog manners. Plus countries where $ scams proliferate.
I concur with Sam. When I see a jaw-dropping photo, I must comment. Even if the poster is incapable of producing an ordinary photo, I never tire of seeing beauty.
I love the interactivity of blogs so I'll quote a comment in a post if I'm inspired to do so.
The bee in my bonnet is email-length comments usually ending with a self link :(

Rachael Narins said...

OMG, how on earth could someone find you that way? What an insane waste of time, and as other note, crazy rude.

Now, as for photo compliments, I do it all the time. I cant help it, I just go mad for some of the photos I see and have to say as much. I had no idea that was considered bad form. Oh well, I certainly am not going to stop.

And on that note, I have also linked my site via a comment when the writer and I have a similar recipe. Personally, I find it interesting to see different interpretations of the same idea. ANd since I could not possibly care less how many people read my site, there is no way someone could accuse me of doing it to drive traffic. Pity that sort of thing happens at all. Sigh.

Sorry you had such a bother Meeta, but I hope you gave them a word or two in advice after all this was posted!


Meeta K. Wolff said...

I think the thing about commenting is that it is a bit personal. One does it when one wants to share his/her feelings about a certain story, picture, recipe etc. The owner of the blog feels honored and pleased about it. I am not sure if this might even have to do something with the ego/character of the blog owners sort of along the lines of "Look I have so many friends!"

I do know that there are some bloggers who spend an enormous amount of time blogging, commenting, promoting.
In return they probably expect to be rewarded with attention for all their work.
Comments are most probably the ultimate confirmation.

Rachael Actually I did mention it as diplomatically as I could to that person and to be honest all hell broke loose. This person was a bit offended and began leaving comments on other blogs about how she got a very discouraging email from a person she thought was a friend!!!
I just left it at that and can't be bothered about playing in the Kindergarten group. I am ignoring it as far as my patience will allow me to. Besides that I do not have the patience to go into it.

Let's see how things develop!

Jeanne said...

Clearly I'm not A-list - nobody has ever begged me for a comment (as far as I can remember!!)

I do occasionally get people asking for links or new bloggers commenting with their URL displayed very obviously in the comment, but I won't link to somebody unless I like what I see on their site. And I'm sorry to say but I don't usually link to people who have only been blogging for 2 months. I know this sounds unfair, but experience has shown than so many blogs start up, realise it's hard work and an over-saturated market and then fade away. And I don't have time to update my blogroll every 5 minutes!

I will comment when a photo takes my breath away, every time. I know myself - I thrive on comments, even the "Great pic!" kind. There is little in life that is more disheartening than spending days researching an information-dense post, being really proud of the piece and then getting 1 comment. But then, you post a picture of some vegetables that look like boys' thingies and you get a flood of comments. Go figure. Maybe I need a reliable source of rude-shaped vegetable pics :o)

As for design, there is always going to be a degree of "sameness" as long as there are people using the limited number of Blogger/Typepad/etc templates, so I was surprised that one commenter who was bothered by seeing the same template over and over - it's kind of the nature of the beast! The whole beauty of blogging is that you no longer have to be a techie (or pay a techie) to get a site up and running before you can start writing. It literally takes you an evening to get your site up and then you can write to your heart's content. The ease of it is certainly what attracted me to it - and samey templates are part of what makes this possible. I think once you have built an audience and you want to take your blog to the next level, then you can think of learning (or in my case, paying for someone else to do) CSS or similar and customise your design. BUt before that - focus on the words. Write it well, and they will come.

Nabeela said...

OMG Meeta, I know exactly what (and who!) you mean....I've been getting the same kind of fishing-for-comments-on-MY-blog gets very irritating after a while!

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