Today I’m going to rant to you guys about blog etiquette. I know, you’re looking at this and going PFFT. Alice is gonna talk to us about etiquette like she’s freakin’ Emily Post? Yeah, okay, I realize I’m not the best at this kind of stuff. But there is one thing that bugs me about some blogs. And that’s when they don’t answer comments.
I realize this is controversial to some. Like making a “thanks” or a smiley face in response to someone’s comment takes TIME, folks. I realize that people have lives (what is this life business?) and I don’t think you should have to respond immediately. Maybe it will take a few days. Or a week. Or a month. Especially if you become Queen of the Mucus People, or you know, you just don’t feel like it. Or if you’re someone who gets eleventy billion comments on every post. But eventually, it just seems polite to at least acknowledge that the person acknowledged you.
I guess I’m just still so thrilled that people read me and find enjoyment in what they read. And as I’ve said before, the comments can be funnier than the posts themselves. You get to know people that way. And I don’t think you should ever stop trying to get to know people, no matter how big your blog gets. I got some new followers with the pressed business, and I am working on checking out their blogs. It will take me a while, but I promise to visit each one. Because, well, I just think I should. Who knows? Maybe I’ll find a new blog to read. I always need new reading material because I have the attention span of Squirrel and cannot seem to concentrate on anything longer than a blog post or a Cosmo quiz.
I’m not saying that you have to follow everyone who follows you, or that you have to go be best buds with someone because they left you a comment. But gosh, is it so hard to be polite? If someone gives you a present, do you just toss it aside in a pile and say nothing? If you do, are you related to the men in my family? Anyway, that’s the way I look at it. Comments are presents. Maybe the present isn’t just what you wanted (I don’t like being told I’m not Queen of the Internetz) but it’s the thought that counts.
I rarely follow blogs unless the bloggers respond to comments. It’s just so much more fun that way. There are one or two that are just so good that yes I follow them even though they don’t answer comments. But not very many. Most of my blogger buddies are awesome about responding to comments, and some of these bloggers have huge readerships. I respect that.
There must be some reason why some people do not respond to comments. Maybe they’re shy? I realize a lot of bloggers are introverts. That’s why we’re here. I am much more introverted in real life, at least I am when I don’t know you. If I get to know you and I like you, I will never shut up again. But I guess I could see how this might be a problem for some people who don’t have split personalities (ie extrovert online and introvert offline). Still, I would encourage these people to push past that fear. I had to push past some fear just to make my blog public. But what incredible rewards I have gotten in return. And I’m not talking about my blog bling, not even the big blue blog bling up there in the corner. (With the hearts. Yeah, that one.) I’m talking about the community of readers. I’m talking people who lift me up, who tell me “Hey you not only don’t suck, you’re pretty awesome.” That is the reward. And you miss it if you don’t engage with your readers.
And though I’m grateful to have been acknowledged by the WP gods and to have gotten new readers, my best bling is handmade. I’ve gotten personalized awards for covering that crappy 50 Shades series. I had a blogger draw a picture of my blog and write a poem about it – it’s up there on my All About Alice page. It even has Sad Pony and Squirrel! Heck, my readers are so cool they acknowledge my delusions and even have pretend relationships with them. You can’t find this kind of crazy awesome just anywhere.
So I figure the least I can do is respond. I also try to visit the blogs of my “homies” (Alice in da hood) and leave comments there. It’s not a chore. I love reading their posts, so I usually have something to blab about. Sometimes my comments are longer than their posts. But it’s my way of showing appreciation, especially since I still haven’t figured out how to make blog bling.
Admittedly, part of this is my OCD in action. There is a comment and I must answer it! Not only that, I want to answer comments on the blogs of other people. I even pushed my real-life blogger pal to go answer her comments on her blog because it was driving me crazy. It’s like going to a bookstore and OMG their books are not in order, so I start rearranging them and WTF I don’t work here! So possibly some of this is just the madness of Alice.
But it’s a good madness. Join me, won’t you?
As you probably know, WordPress offers a weekly writing challenge. I thought I might try it out, because hey it’s a blog post and they hang that “FP” carrot over your head so effectively and I am not obsessed about that at all. Anyway, I need some help deciding what to do. Here is the challenge:
So this week, we challenge you to step outside your blogging box and try something totally different:
- If you normally write non-fiction, try fiction.
- If you normally write fiction, try poetry.
- If you normally post photos, try writing.
- If you normally just write, try including photos.
Well, I write posts with photos and writing, so nothing different there. My fiction’s too long to post, and my poetry? Hahahahaha. Once they made me write a poem at a church ladies’ retreat. They thought I’d be great what with my English degrees. Here is what I came up with:
Roses are Red / Violets are Blue / Jesus is great / And so are You.
Fabulous, I know. On the plus side, they never asked me to write poetry again. Anyway, they do offer some more suggestions below. I added my own commentary to it:
Need a little more guidance? Check out these post types, and pick one. Don’t opt for something that seems immediately doable; go with something you’ll have to work at a bit:
- That’s pretty much every post.
- Short fiction
- I don’t write short fiction. Fiction yes, but not short. Some of my blog posts could count as “creative nonfiction” which I define as making up facts whenever they suit me to prevent actual research. Example: Canada is our largest state.
- A day in the life
- How bored do you want to get?
- Instructions on doing/making something
- I could do a cooking post. Those are popular. But I’m not sure if someone really wants to read the back of a “Hamburger Helper” box.
- Top ten lists
- I’ve written lists of stuff I hate before. I don’t remember if there were ten of them or not.
- An open letter
- I wrote an open letter to WordPress, but they never wrote back. Hmmph.
- An explanation of a topic you know a lot about
- I know a lot about a lot of stupid, useless stuff. I can’t think of anything at the moment, though, because 50 Shades has wiped my mind. Wait, I know about 50 Shades! That’s so sad!
- A walk down memory lane
- This way you can be bored by my past too.
- A rant
- Again, pretty much every post.
- News/current event analysis
- Ack, then I would have to watch the news. I’d rather watch The Exorcist than any speech by Romney or his sidekick Ryan.
- A book, movie, or music review
- I’ve done book reviews. God, have I done book reviews. But not movie or music yet. I love writing reviews, though, so I guess that’s not stepping out of my comfort zone.
Yeah, so anyway, what do you think? What would be out of my “comfort zone”? Do I have a “comfort zone”? If so, why would I want to leave it? I’m just so confused. I ask you Freshly Freshly Pressed peoples for assistance, for you are the chosen ones. And I’m sure you know why they chose the particular posts they chose rather than the millions of other wonderful posts you have written before. Not like there is anything random about it at all.
Any suggestions? If so, feel free to use the comment section below. Or don’t. See if I care.
P.S. Yes I do care. Comments please. Or I’ll keep drawing carrots. I might even write a carrot poem.