April 19, 2010

Blog Disappointment

This is something that I suspect the majority of bloggers go through. It is a malady is best described as being upset because you spent time composing a post that you thought would be outstanding.

A post that you were certain was so good that you wouldn't have time to respond to all of the comments because you knew that within an hour of putting it up there would be at least 15 and by the end of the day there would be hundreds.

Only the exact opposite happens. You upload your post and anxiously await your first comment but there is nothing. It is like being back in high school. Your parents went out of town and left you home alone with strict instructions not to throw any parties.

Of course as soon as they left you spent a ton of time notifying everyone about the amazing 16 keg Bacchanalian festival that you have planned and no one came. And then the disappointment and depression set in.

Why, oh why are there no comments. You tried so hard to be funny, to be witty and insightful. There is a very cool picture and that clever phrase you were saving for the perfect post. You know the one I am talking about. It is the phrase that you are sure is going to become the new rage. You'll be like that girl, the one who made "Dooced" a part of popular culture. The next Forest Gump movie is definitely going to include some reference to you/it.

But unlike in Field of Dreams, when you built it they didn't come. It is time to take off that special party dress. It is time to put the collar back down on your shirt. It was cool to wear it like that in the 80's and you thought that you'd bring back the trend but now you know you just look sloppy and disheveled.

My friend, you haven't even hit the worst part of this. The worst part is that at some point you are going to stumble onto a blog in which they have produced the same post. It may not be an exact duplicate. It may not be a word for word reproduction but essentially there are only minor differences but one big distinction.

And that distinguishing feature is that those million comments you had hoped to receive are all on this other blog and there is nothing there to show that you had the idea first. Not a link, not a comment, not a simple thank you for the idea.

Maybe Kohellet was right and there is nothing new beneath the sun.

But have no fear little blogging buddy. Life is a journey in which we learn from experiences. The measure of a person is how they respond to adversity, not how many comments they get or how much traffic they receive.

Live long and prosper grasshopper and may the blogger be with you.
(originally posted here.)

29 comments:

Kat said...

I've gotten used to it! It's a good reminder that I *should* be blogging for my own enjoyment anyway. It's a lot easier to "write like nobody's reading" when.... nobody's reading. :)

Aidan Donnelley Rowley @ Ivy League Insecurities said...

Love the sincerity of this post. We have all experienced this malady. And yet we keep charging on. Off to add this as an ILI charm :)

Rachel Cotterill said...

Ohhh, it sounds just like academia. Who published first? And even if your rival published later, did he get the bigger conference, the more highly respected journal...?

I came across from Aidan's post (thanks Aidan!)

Rudri said...

This post speaks to me as new blogger in the blogosphere. I patiently wait for the comments and alas, nothing happens. But when I receive that one comment, I think to myself, at least one person appreciated what I had to say. I try to not get too caught up on the hits/comments - some days are easier than others.

By the way, found you through Aidan at ILI.

Erica M. said...

I prefer to believe this: my post was so profound and moving, it stunned my readers into silence.

Kelly said...

I like Erica's perspective.

On the serious, though, I hate pouring my soul into something and getting no feedback. I guess we all develop a tough skin eventually.

Rachel @ MWF Seeking BFF said...

Yes! I have been there plenty. The "brilliant" blog posts may reach someone (namely, mom) and then one I write on the fly -- because nothing really inspired me and all I wanted to do was go to bed-- strike a chord. I'll never understand it. I've also felt the blog dissapointment of getting a great link one day, and hoping everyone will return the next day and the next, and some do, but perhaps more don't. It can be discouraging, but I choose to think its motivating. Or something.

New York Dad said...

Too funny and so true! That's why it's easier to be narcissistic about the whole thing... there's always someone leaving at least one positive comment :)

RobMonroe said...

I never get comments, so I've gotten used to it! (Okay, I get about three comments per post, but I know those people IRL so they don't count...) I have found that people comment through other means now - a quick tweet of "funny" or a comment on facebook. Damned technological advances!

Russ said...

OH DAMN! I was totally gonna post about this! (just kidding). I just recently had to force myself out of "comment watching". It was a massive time waster that took time away from putting actual content on my blog. But I completely identify with a need to be validated by the responses to my posts. But I'm working on that. :)

Belinda Munoz said...

Hi Jack. What a delightful post. I remind myself that few comments is preferable to hundreds because I can cultivate a meaningful relationship with each commenter. But I'm sure you know I'd be lying if I didn't say I'd love hundreds.

Found you through Aidan's awesome blog. Cheers and I wish you loads of comments going forward.

DaDa Rocks! said...

Happens to me all the time :P

this is a great reminder if you read something you like to comment on it!

TechyDad said...

I've had plenty of moments like that. I'll publish blog post after blog post and see no replies come in. (Not counting Russian spammers who reply to everything.) Then, just as I begin to wonder "Does anyone read this thing at all?!!!", in comes a comment or two. I've decided that I'm writing more for myself than for any commenter. I write because I enjoy doing it, not because I'm seeking the approval of a commenter somewhere. Though more people commenting wouldn't be a bad thing. ;-)

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

This sounds a little too familiar. I hate those posts.

Always Home and Uncool said...

Hence, I drink.

Jack said...

Kat,

The one thing that I know for certain about blogging is that the people who last are those who do it because they love it.

Aidan,

Thanks for the link, I really appreciate it.

Rachel,

Welcome. In many ways it is not that different from academia. Best doesn't always mean most popular or most successful.

Hi Rudri,

Welcome. For most bloggers it takes some time to develop a community of readers. Some people are really good at fostering discussion.Others, not so much. But if keep plugging away good things happen.

Erica,

I am with you. I think that I have stunned people into submission more times than not. ;)

Kelly,

It is always nice to get feedback. But really, if you don't do this out of love you probably won't last. Most of us won't ever become famous or wealthy from blogging.

NY Dad,

There is a lot of truth in that statement. Are you sure that you are a soccer fan. ;)

Rob,

I feel your pain. Really, it is not unusual for many of my posts to receive a handful of remarks.

Hi Russ,

Lurking is a time honored profession.

Hi Belinda,

It is the classic case of be careful what you wish for. I have had posts that received no comments and some that received hundreds. It is always nice to see that kind of response, but like you said it is sometimes hard to keep up.

DDR,

When I first wrote this post in 2006 I did it from a place of frustration and humor. This time around it is different. I think that there are far more distractions and it is harder to get comments.

TD,

I am a big fan of writing for yourself. It really makes the difference.

BMA,

I often laugh because posts about blogging tend to get more comments than the others.

AHU

Drink a few for me. ;)

Minnesota Mamaleh said...

comment craving, it's rather addictive isn't it? way to call it like it is jack! much appreciated, as always. :)

Amber said...

Boy can I relate. There is something addictive about comments!! Still, I have to remind myself that commenting isn't what I started blogging for. I started to write to express my frustrations, dreams, and practice writing. I began to blog to meet new friends and find support during a difficult period of my life. I continue to write and blog because it is therapeutic.

Still, I would love to see my comments increase to 100. : )

bernthis said...

I'm always amazed at what ppl find funny and what they ignore on my blog. Seriously, there are times when I wonder WTF? even I thought that was funny.

Christine said...

So glad to have found you through Aidan! Found this post really fun, and full of meaning actually. A good reminder to think about the REAL reason to blog. I try to keep it all in perspective on my own, but I can't deny it feels good to know when people are reading.

Jack said...

MM,

It is just one of those things.

Bernthis,

I share that feeling. I have had a few posts that I know were funny but never did generate a response.

Hi Christine,

It is something that many of us share in common.

Heather Kephart said...

I wrote this very post last Fall! You bastard! ;-)

Jack said...

Hey Heather,

that is me. I keep recycling old posts hoping they shine again. Sometimes it it works. ;)

Twenty Four At Heart said...

Your timing is impeccable. I was just thinking, "Maybe I should stop blogging," then I clicked over here and read this. There's no predicting what triggers comments. I've written posts about the most stupid things and gotten a ton of comments. Other times I pour my heart into a post ... and get next to nothing in response. Sometimes months later someone will tell me a post I wrote touched them in some way ... but they never commented or emailed at the time. It's a crap shoot - always.

Keith Wilcox said...

Yeah, that's sorta how it is I guess. It's really depressing sometimes. I've written every day for almost a year and it's always a struggle to get up for the next day knowing the effort you put in is not proportionate to the audience you'll get. Basically, I keep going because I'm practicing my writing and putting time in until the blog gets more search engine power.

Jack said...

24- Blogging really is a crapshoot, at least when it comes to personal blogs. It is hard to predict what is going to fly and what won't.

Basically, I keep going because I'm practicing my writing and putting time in until the blog gets more search engine power.

I hate to repeat myself, but six years of blogging has rewarded me with a nice amount of traffic from search engines.

Sire said...

Sometimes it's not good enough to just write the post and then expect people to come. You have to get out there and mingle with others, commenting on their blogs, leaving quality comments. Do that and you are more likely to have people visit your blog, and if it's as good as you thought then they will let others know and you will get your comments.

john cave osborne said...

so the post that laments a previous post's lack of comments gets pounded by comments.

is that irony? the vast majority of people misuse irony, and i am no exception, but i do believe in this case, irony is the correct word.

i think anyone who blogs has had that. the lack of rhyme or reason can be disheartening. the post i spent the least amount of time on got the most hits, and worse, still, it was a post w/ so many (attributed) quotes to my wife, that for all intents and purposes, SHE was the one who wrote it.

oh well. whether i comment or not, i always like your stuff, jack.

Jack said...

You have to get out there and mingle with others, commenting on their blogs, leaving quality comments.

Sire, I think that is the only true way to continue to drive comments and traffic.

John,

I use my irony to keep the wrinkles out of my clothes. That is what you meant, right. ;)