Monday, April 21, 2008

Commenting on Blogs

This post is prompted by a private correspondence I had with someone regarding commenting on people's blogs. It made me think.

If you read my blog and have ever commented on my blog I read yours. Every day.

Well, sometimes I accumulate them, but I read every post. I rarely comment, though. Most of the time I have a hard time knowing what to say. Many posts are consistently profound and deeply moving---I'm thinking here of Jessie, Kelly, Kate I, and Rick. Most of the time the only thing I can think of to say is "Wow!!" but that makes a lousy comment. Or "I wish I could write like that!" or "You're amazing, how did you get those feelings into those words?"---which also don't make the best comments.

Anyway, most of the time when I DO comment, it's because:
(1) I care about the person and want them to know this, and/or
(2) I can actually think of something concrete to say about the post that seems helpful.

If I DON'T comment, it's because:
(1) The post was uninteresting (not uninteresting in general, just to me---like if it was about sports or gardening) or trivial (by this I mean something that is interesting, but doesn't really solicit any kind of comment, but more of a "" type response), or more likely,
(2) The post was so profound I can't think of what to say! Everything I could possibly write seems so mundane.

You gals/guys are the best blogging community, so supportive.

Sometimes I can't think of anything to blog about, like yesterday---Sacred Sunday. A friend of mine stopped by who is probably getting divorced from a total-assholesque-but-still-loved-by-us-in-a-way spouse. You surely know people like this. LoveHubbie and I grieved a bit for both of them. I was creatively empty and tired and unable to blog, especially about gratitude. I had a killer migraine and felt tired and heavy and discouraged. My weekend of fun had gradually deteriorated and I just felt lost. So I was silent here.

But it doesn't mean that each of you don't touch me every day. And that I'm not uplifted by your triumphs and your struggles and your creative expressions. I so am. Each and every one.

~Photos by LoveHubbie Mark, editting by Me


Patti said...

Great pic Olivia, with your hat at a jaunty angle! You even look a different person when you're in Hawaii!

I don't comment on all blogs I read either, for probably much the same reasons as you. I comment a lot on your blog because I can relate to your feelings, struggles and your positive attitude :)

thailandchani said...

I like that picture of yours, too.

As for commenting, it seems to be becoming irrelevant. My site has gotten such a low comment count lately that I am considering shutting down. Since I don't have a site meter, it is the only way I have of determining what direction to send my own content.

It might be some other thing that is causing so many to not comment.

I generally comment.. sometimes it's just a "thanks"... sometimes more, depending on the content.

Touchy issue with me, I admit.

Olivia said...

Patti, I AM a different person in Hawaii :) Thank you, Patti. Your comments always are SO encouraging to me. Love, O

Olivia said...


I like, and it helps me to see who visits. Most of the time I have no idea exactly who it is, just that it's "someone from Cedar Rapids, Iowa" or who has an ISP there...but then I can see which posts get visitors and how many. I also can check my stats on YouTube for viewings. It does help me a lot, especially when you don't get comments and then you project what people are thinking!

I have thought about the relief of quitting as well, as Lisa from Groggy Froggy just did suddenly, which made me think. However, I would miss everyone too much. Plus I would have no one to share really important things with---things like values, attitudes, feelings---I don't have many people like this in my non-virtual life. In addition, I love "seeing what everyone thinks" about something I'm throwing around in my head. That's so much fun and makes the work with it. Oh, and there is all of the encouragement I get too. There's too much for me here :)

Chani, I know that I enjoy your posts greatly. They are intimidating in your authenticity, in their provocativeness, and in how they make me think. I really do hope you keep blogging!



thailandchani said...

Hi O...

All good ideas, of course. Sometimes I vacillate between feeling like blogging without feedback increases my isolation (because I also have the issue of having values so different than those who surround me) or feeling like I am being too vain about the blogging.

There's really a lesson in there somewhere.

I just know it doesn't feel very good to talk to people and have no one talk back.

I'm probably more external locus than most. :)

Thanks for your thoughts...



Rick Hamrick said...

O--my only encouraging words are that most people who blog prefer to know someone is out there (even if you are not feeling that you have a marvelously insightful comment to add) than to have the great majority pass in silence.

I'm with you 100% in that I don't comment every time, but I do allow a bit of leaning toward commenting vs. not. It's an important way to connect, and I have honestly confessed that I sometimes connect in a way that some bloggers would prefer I omitted! Still, at least they know it was me, and they know I was contributing from the heart.

Chani--my advice is simple: blog for your own enjoyment. Let the rest be gravy. I have eaten a great many dry potatoes following my own advice, but the gravy is all that more delicious if you write alone for awhile!

thailandchani said...

Hi Rick :)

Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, it would not work for me. I am already isolated enough as it is without putting my words out and receiving no feedback. That just makes it seem worse.

There's no joy in that for me.

And I blog to communicate. If I wanted to only do it for myself, I'd just think and skip the typing. :)

Still.. I thank you for replying to me.

Olivia said...

Chani and Rick,

We have a discussion going here---YEA!! I so do like discussions and they are a Huge Blog Gift!

I really really really like to feel heard. In virtual life and my non-virtual life. Being heard is important to me!

I couldn't blog just for myself. I do have a journal that I write in just for me, but even that is somewhat censored. Someone could read it, even if it's after I'm dead! I have my "life that can be shared" and my "private life that must be protected" and am always keenly aware of the differences between the two. Also, I feel that I must be sensitive to provide something that isn't boring or repetitive or totally depressive and whiny---all of which my journal is.

Rick, maybe you are just super transparent, which is so wonderful. Me and Chani are probably more alike than not in this way---in keeping our audience present as we write. I do know, though, that I'd like to become more transparent and open and authentic, so I'll take inspiration from you!

Thanks you two for a discussion here,

Love to you both,


GreenishLady said...

That is so lovely, and so well-put. I'm too often the one leaving the entirely inane comment, because I just want to say "Yes!". So.... YES!

Linda said...

Just popped in randomly because I'm trying to put the over 50 blogroll back on my page. There's so many blogs in this blogroll I have not visited.

I always try to comment to let folks know I've been there. I've developed a wonderful blog family by doing just that. And, I love comments, even if it is WOW or cool.

Rick Hamrick said...

I'm afraid I am guilty of the crime of projecting my own sense of things onto my impressions of others.

Of course, there are probably almost as many reasons for blogging as there are bloggers, so I was a little silly to offer Chani advice, advice which really may only be applicable to me.

Different direction now: I'm going to go see Chani at her blog, and see if that's better than offering advice!

Olivia--it is very kind of you to offer encouragement to folks talking over a topic in the comment section of your blog.

CrystalChick said...

Hi, very nice picture of you! I have stopped by before but I don't always comment. Depends on the post and my mood, etc.
Overall, I guess that I do enjoy visitors to my page but because I am all over the place with my posts there are some who will not know what to say I'm sure and that's fine. There is no theme to mine except on the jewelry/card page.

Some people prefer a certain theme and only put names on their blogroll of similar interests/people. I have a little of everything on mine so I am sure that some really don't know what to make of me. I will leave long funny comments on some pages, one or two I might say something a little naughty, on others it will be just a hello and still others a more thoughtful comment. I'm kind of complex at times I guess so I can switch gears quickly. I think initially I liked your blog because of the videos, something that I wouldn't do myself in that way. And I have had depression issues at times and it's helpful to see how others deal with life.
Sometimes I want/need to feel a persons genuine self shine through.
and so on....

Really just coming by like I sometimes do, to say hello and comment how happy you look in the photo on the boat. Beautiful water too!
Happy Earth Day!

Olivia said...

Hey Greenish Lady,

I'd love to see your: "Yes! So.... YES!" comment and would never view it as inane. "Yes" is a wonderful word.

Good to see you here again at the happyluau, O

Olivia said...


Me, too! A wow, a cool, a's all good!

Thanks for commenting, O

Olivia said...


Discussions are gifts! Huge gifts!

Your advice is always the very very least it generates discussion...which is a HUGE gift!

Thanks for being a big part of this, as always my friend,


Olivia said...

Thanks crystalchick and welcome back to the happyluau. Your presence is always welcome, via lurking, comments, or whatever you feel moved to do at the moment!

Thanks for the nice comments about my picture.

I am continuing to recover from depression, currently au naturel. Some days are better than others. But that's true of all of us, isn't it. I just feel blessed to be off drugs for now.

I felt incredible after Hawaii, and now with the cold weather, snow, and rain am more challenged, but I'm persevering.

Thanks for commenting, just for being here,


Jessie said...

i love ya, dear girl...even when you don't leave comments. ;)

i also love that beautiful smile of yours because it made me smile also! :)

Leah said...

i often don't have anything profound to say, so i'll comment with a "oh, that's great!" type of comment sometimes and sometimes i'll just pass through. i think many of us are that way. sometimes i just leave a short comment to let someone know that i'm there reading/listening.

love that picture of you, olivia!

Olivia said...

HEY Jessie and Leah!! I'm so glad you' liked my pic!

It's so good to see two comments from you two here. It was A YEAR AGO that I met you both via "Finding Water" (an online group, the first I'd ever participated in, based upon Julia Cameron's book by the same name). It was when I discovered that there were like-minded people in the blogosphere. People who blogged about stuff like...creativity...being brave...following your heart.

I love that we are still in touch. I am honored that you visit my blog, and triply, quadruply, sextupletly (?) honored that you comment.




Leah said...

hehe, it was a year ago! wow!

i'm very glad we're still in touch, olivia. you have an open, authentic, and kind heart. xoxo

mermaid musings said...

heyy dear sweetheart Olivia:
I know you do care about me A LOT
I know you are there for me and I am lousy with my English but please know that you have a big place in my heart and in my head too and I don't comment often but I try my best to get the details of your life because of you I know of alot of books and researches because of you I am inspired to get a house like yours where yo have that wonderful long path to go and get the mail and get to see nature.
You rock my world please know and something I just read in your previous posts PLEASE please please you have to cultivate self love and self nurturing if we do then the rest feel it and respect us even more and we can inspire too. Yes?
Love you!

Olivia said...

Wow, Leah! :) Blessings and love, O

Olivia said...

Carmen, You are SO right about self-love. I hear you! Thanks for your sweet comment...I will work on this. Love you, too, O

Lori-Lyn said...

Well put. I often don't leave comments -- usually because I can't think of anything to say. I love, love, love that picture of you!

Olivia said...

Thanks, Lori-Lyn. It's good to know you come by. I do miss you, and your videos! Love, O