Do I post too often? …

Do I post too often? There seem to be fewer and fewer comments here, and I don't know if y'all are just sick of all the house / shopping stuff (trust me, I am sick of it too), or if I am boring you in general, or everyone has just gone away. Do I need to talk about writing more? Or teaching? Or politics? Or relationships? Or chores?

Do I need to talk less? Maybe I am overwhelming you with too many posts and too much reading...

I also thought there would be more comments in response to some of my photo / writing thingies, but no. Like the whole front yard thing, with the prairie vs. others. Do you just not care? Or is there something about that format that makes you think you aren't supposed to comment? I would be delighted to have people engaging with the ideas in the pieces, even if you don't want to comment on the poetry as poetry, etc.

Clearly, I am feeling unloved. Which might have something to do with the copious piles of vomit-stained laundry I have been struggling through. Kavi is done vomiting (we think), but Kevin started this morning (argh). I am just hoping to blazes that I don't get sick. I can cope with nursing them, but I do not have time to get sick now. I just don't.

Hello? Is anybody out there?

35 thoughts on “Do I post too often? …”

  1. Oh, please don’t change a thing! I read everything you write and enjoy it all! I feel bad for not commenting more, actually. It just seems I’m often reading while I’m holding/feeding the baby or reading on my iPod Touch (which makes for slow typing and numerous typos because I’m not adept at the touch screen typing). I’ll make an effort to comment more often! I

    I’m loving your Oak Park posts. We will actually be in Chicago next week to visit my best friend and hope to spend a day exploring Oak Park!

  2. I’m here! I can relate to this. No vomit-stained laundry, but my dayjob leaves me feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated, my kids leave me feeling alternately overjoyed and overfrustrated, everybody was coughing at church yesterday — and wet nasty coughs that really should have been kept at home, at that — then I’m still finding my niche with my blog and feeling definitely ‘unloved’ in that area of life.

    I for one don’t think you blog too much, and even though I don’t always contribute, I like the variety and the glimpses into real life.

  3. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Thanks, you two. Kimberly, I’ll check out your blog, although I admit, I am a terrible hypocrite, because I only keep up with a dozen or so blogs and hardly ever post comments.

    Kristina, do you have time to meet up? I would be delighted to buy you (and family?) a cup of coffee and show you around my corner of Oak Park.

  4. You need a journal front page that shows more than five and a half words, and doesn’t require extra clicks for a reader to decide how interested that reader is in a particular entry.

    But I think I already had this argument before with you or Jed or possibly both. 🙂

  5. Ahahahhahahha . . .. .

    That is me, laughing in SYMPATHY. God knows, I don’t get comments on my blog, except rarely.

    I think there’s something about the Blog format, honestly. I once read someone smarter than I am about these things say that the blog-comment stifles conversation — because it ends up being a parallel series of conversations, all between the poster and the commenter. As in, people apologize when they address other comments instead of the original post. So it’s not like a, a party in a room with interesting people, it’s more like being on hold and eavesdropping on others while you wait your turn for a reply.

    The other thing I have noticed is that blogs differ from things like LJ and DW and, god help up, Facebook — in that, one must “log in” to make each comment on someone else’s blog. On the other social platforms, you log in once and you’re set — comment away, to anyone, anywhere. It makes trivial remarks easier to send, if that makes sense? With a blog, there’s a “well, is it worth it for me to just say I like the picture and not say anything substantive? Isn’t that just cluttering up their comments? I’ll wait and comment when I have something more to contribute” sort of sense.

    That said, I read all your posts, and enjoy them. And I truly hope the vomit ends soon. When my kids were two, the whole family EXCEPT ME caught norovirus. Ugh.

  6. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Heh. I took a poll on that, David, and you lost, I’m afraid. Which doesn’t mean I might not do it eventually, but no time to implement changes right now.

    Actually, I think it might be relatively easy for Jed to modify the code so it shows more like 10 or 15 words. Would that help enough to be worth doing?

  7. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Sigrid, when I type M into my comment Name field, it fills in the rest automatically. Doesn’t it do that for other people too? The internet, it confuses me…

    Now I totally want to know where all your blogs are. Kimberly, I tried to follow the link back to yours, but it failed. What is the address again?

  8. Oh, that would be lovely! Husband and baby (10 months old! Unbelievable!) will be with me. I’m not sure of our schedule yet and we don’t really have anything planned, so is there a particular day that is better for you? We’ll be in Chicago Wednesday (the 20th) through Monday morning.

  9. Yes, when I type D (or even d) into the name field here, my computer puts the rest of my name in automatically. Your journal is easier to comment on than any other blog I read.

    I comment when I think I have something interesting to say. This is a proper subset of when I am interested in the entry.

    Your homepage does have longer initial parts of entries than the Most Recent Entries page does, so it is available if one wants it.

  10. I realize this makes me incredibly lazy. But half the time I don’t want to click on “view and post comments” and just comment on facebook. As the window is already open there. Maybe if you could get rid of that step and just have the comments viewable on the page and have the comment box already there I’d comment more. Again, I’m incredibly lazy.

  11. I’m a total lurker, but I read all of your posts. And your frequent posting is part of what draws me back. You are appreciated by me, just silently. 🙂

  12. I read your posts and have for about a decade! And I don’t comment cause I don’t feel like a friend, (well I’m not, but you know…) so, I don’t want to feel like a stalker. It’s a strange thought process I see as I write this, but, yeah… When busy, I like to ignore your reminder that you’ve updated for many days then when I have leisure time, read a bunch at once. I like that. Once I didn’t read for over a year and was completely shocked that you had a child…

  13. 1. I feel like I post comments on here too often so if I read 5 posts at once I might only comment on 1-3 and not all 5.

    2. Have you noticed more ‘likes’ on Facebook? I have found that people often will comment where they came from. Meaning, I they followed your Twitter link they might comment there or FB if that is where they originated your blog from.

    3. People on the whole are not commenting like they were 1-2 years ago or more. It’s a social media shift.

    4. You have enough variety that if one were to scroll, they will find something of interest.

    5. Nothing like a woe is my comments post to kick up the comments, eh? (Can you tell I just got back from Canada, eh?) I should try that… 😉

  14. It would be trivially easy for me to modify the code to show more of each entry. It’s currently set up to show the first 30 characters (and line breaks count as characters, which is probably a design flaw); I could extremely easily change that to any other number.

    It would mess with the layout a bit, though; it would mean almost every entry on the main journal page would appear as two lines of text instead of just one. We could probably finesse that by changing how we’re dealing with change of browser-window width, but that starts to get a little messy and complicated.

    …Okay, instead of just talking about it, I decided to do it. Take a look at the longer preview text version and let me know what you think.

  15. A couple of other thoughts about comments and blogs:

    Over the past couple of years, comments on my blog entries have moved more and more to Facebook. (Though even with that, I think I get fewer total comments than I used to.) I have things set up so that my entries appear on Facebook as well as in my own blog; I seem to recall that you didn’t want to do that, but if at some point you want to try it, we could set that up fairly easily, I think.

    But I also agree with WW: I’ve been seeing less commenting on other people’s blogs, and less blogging in general. I think FB and Twitter are probably the reason for a lot of that, plus life busyness.

    Sigrid: I think different blogs differ in the tenor and style of their comment sections—I think there are a fair number of blogs where commenters do discuss things with each other, for example. (Though that may also have to do with whether the commenters know each other in other contexts? Not sure.)

    I think I also don’t see so many blogs that require logging in. Though, yeah, when I encounter a blog that makes me set up a whole new account just to comment, I’ll almost never do that.

    I do like the various systems (mostly related to FB and LJ) that let you log in to an existing major-social-network account in order to comment on an individual’s blog entry or article. There are potential privacy issues with those, but they sure are convenient.

    But regardless of logging in, I definitely agree with you about the overhead involved in posting comments. One of the things I like most about FB is the Like button; it enables extremely low-overhead lightweight reactions/feedback, without having to spend time and energy coming up with words or substantive comments when one doesn’t have any.

    Mary Anne and David B: Most browsers these days have settings to remember names and email addresses and such to auto-fill web forms. So if someone has that setting turned off, or if the browser doesn’t recognize the form as one it’s seen before, then it won’t do the autofill.

  16. *waves*

    The blog is fine. Personally, I’m hoping for more writing-related stuff but that’s me.

    It’s been my experience that in blogging, unless you’re asking a question in a post or writing something controversial, people are happy to read it and not comment. Just because we don’t comment doesn’t mean we’re not listening.

  17. Sorry. I don’t even have time to read the above comments to see what other people said, but I read all the time and don’t often have anything to say in response. Doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy your blog or heart you dearly. I like the little nonfiction pieces with the photos. They’re like mini-essays.

  18. I agree with the posters who say the process is much easier on LJ — I started reading your blog through a syndicated feed to LJ, as a matter of fact, but then I have to take several extra steps to comment! Which doesn’t keep me from doing it, perhaps too often. 🙂

  19. I’m still reading! Though I usually do it on LJ, and rarely make the leap over here to comment. (Plus I usually don’t feel as if I have anything to say. I’ve never done any home furnishing on the order of what you’re doing…)

  20. Hi again Mary Anne! I wouldn’t feel bad about not always commenting on the blogs you read. I’m the same way. I use Google to see my blog feeds, and I don’t even always read everything. Some days I just look at the post titles and read maybe a tenth of what’s in my feed — and comment even less. Today I commented on something because it really resonated with me.

    I guess, for myself, I need to realize that people are only going to post comments on my own blog when what I say resonates with them too. (Which, the more I think about it, seems to actually be the case most of the time.)

    Anyway, hopefully this time my link works!

  21. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Jed, I like pulling more — in fact, can we try something else? Just show the last 5 entries on the page, but pull notably more text? Say, 200 characters? Can I see what that would look like?

  22. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Kristina, drop me an e-mail (, and we can figure it out from there. 🙂 We’re very close to downtown by car — 15-20 min. Although if you’re near the Green line, that may be even easier for you.

  23. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Hey, lurkers — lovely to hear from you; I generally feel like I have a sense of which 20 people actually read my journal, and it’s just a delightful surprise when I discover there are more that I don’t know about. 🙂

    Part of my frustration, I think, is that I do think my readership is dropped significantly, and it has to do with how my life has changed. Back when I was writing erotica, I had a lot of readers because, well, erotica. Sex sells. And when I was editing, I had a lot of readers because eager young writers read editor blogs and comment. 🙂 And back when I was publishing my own work, I got responses to that. So mostly, I think I’m frustrated that I’m not writing and publishing more fiction — I get envious of other writers’ blogs, especially when I know that their popularity is driven in part by the popularity of their fiction. Sigh.

    With any luck, that problem will correct itself, now that the kids are not quite so small and I’m getting back to writing regularly. Fingers crossed. Maybe I’ll even have time to edit again someday. And certainly, with the knitting / parenting / house stuff I’ve picked up some readers who weren’t interested in the previous stuff, so maybe it’ll all even out in the end.

    Lakshi, etc — I don’t actually mind when people comment over at Facebook instead of here. EXCEPT that I think Facebook lends itself to shorter comments. It feels like it, anyway. And of course, then you get two conversations instead of one, so there’s less cross-pollination between commenters…they’re talking more to me and less to each other. Which is a bit sad.

    I also wouldn’t mind comments showing up on Livejournal, but I guess that doesn’t work with the syndicated feed? Too bad…

    Anyway, thanks everyone for the reassurance. I’ll try not to freak out again about how nobody loves me for at least three months. In two months, this blog will turn 15 years old. Crazy!

  24. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Hmmm…I don’t mind bopping over to check, but I would never think to do it unless I got a message telling me there were comments there…

  25. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Jed, let’s change it to that. Thanks!

    Is it possible to put a little more space between each entry, so they don’t run into each other so much?

  26. Far as I know, there’s no way to get LJ to notify someone about comments on a syndicated feed.

    I used to automatically add a note to the bottom of each LJ entry saying that I wouldn’t see any comments posted there, and directing commenters to the original entry. And a couple of friends of mine keep an eye on the LJ entries, and when someone comments there, they post a followup pointing out that I won’t see the comment. Sometimes the commenter comes over to my blog and re-posts, sometimes not.

    At some point I removed that notification ’cause for some reason I felt it was no longer necessary; not sure what my thought process was there. But when I check my LJ feed, people almost never comment these days.

    But if you’d like me to add an automatic notice to the end of each of your entries in the feed reminding people to comment at your blog instead of on LJ or wherever, I think it would be easy to do.

  27. Oops, didn’t see your response til now.

    I’ve now replaced the blog’s main page with the new version, and added some space between entries.

    Lemme know if you want any further tweaks.

  28. I would also note that entries on LJ syndication feeds disappear after two weeks, taking their comments with them, making it less than desirable to encourage comments there.

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