When do we stop talking and get on with our lives?

For of all sad words of tongue or pen, . . .

Where are all the comments in this here blog?

If you visit here much, you've noticed that there are few comments. I've noticed that too and have given it some thought. While comments are few and far between, I do receive the occasional email. This dearth of comments is something I could get defensive about. Why so few comments? Is it a good blog if there are almost no comments? Is it a bad blog? Must I come up with a reason for the lack of comments?

I don't know the reason. I realize that getting defensive about my blog's woeful lack of comments won't accomplish anything. I recognize that there are other measures of what makes a blog good than the number of comments received. I am appreciative of the nice emails that come in from time to time which give me reassurance that there are people out there in the world who are on the same page as I am as far as understanding what I write and why I write it.

The relevancy of the lack of comments aside, I would love to know why my posts attract so few comments. When I get responses, they are in the form of emails rather than posts. Why do people email me rather than post a comment?

I can think of a few reasons for emailing rather than responding in a comment. A major reason might be that emails are private while comments are public. No one except me can see who writes the email. Another is that I've had comment moderation turned on most of the time as well as requiring the commenter to be registered with Typepad. (Note: I've recently removed these requirements.) Also, an email address is required that is visible to me if not to the world. Commenting on my blog has not been as easy as writing an email.

Back when I had the weblog on LiveJournal, I received comments. Most were anonymous or were from my daughter. When I switched the weblog to Typepad, I turned on requirements for comments which effectively squelched commenting.

The common denominator of estrangements is that everyone who is estranged knows that there is someone out there who is estranged from them. It is a non-relationship of at least two people in that regard. Usually there are hard feelings involved. Often there is anger. The internet is a public place. Talking in public about estrangements means that the person from whom we are estranged may see our words, our email address, our name or recognize the circumstances so that they can identify us as being the person who pisses them off and then they have one more reason to be angry. Like they needed another reason to be angry? Public comments are a risk.

Another reason might be that I occupy the unenviable dual positions of being an estranged mother and an estranging daughter. I am someone about whom anyone in the "other"  position can be uncomfortable. Having perceived estrangement from more than one angle gives me a perspective on it that helps me feel empathy for both estrangers and estrangees. but having been on the opposing side of what others have experienced, even if they identify with me some of the time, makes it possible for everyone to dislike me or to feel uneasy. I don't know how much that happens and if it happens. But I think that it must happen with some people who read my entire story.

I know that the blogs where I see the most comments online are the funny entertaining blogs. The blogs where the authors are outrageous, witty, and humorous. I respond to them too! I confess that I haven't been responding with comments on blogs on serious topics until recently.

I visit some public discussion groups also (as opposed to blogs) occasionally and check which ones have the most responses. The ones that have the most posts are the ones where people are discussing sex or religion. I'm not surprised. I'll bet politics elicits a lot of discussion too. I learned early on in life not to get into arguments about politics and religion. If I want comments, then I should start a blog on politics and religion! Or maybe sex! Sex, politics, and religion - if a blogger can't get comments on those topics, they should hang up their blogger hat!

By the way, speaking of politics, Ralph Nader was on CNN tonight. Wolf Blitzer was interviewing him. That made me wonder what the heck is going on with Ralph Nader. He is always angry at someone whom I'd expect he might like. So I did a Google search and looked him up. Talk about estrangement! Not of the family kind but of the former friends kind. He has a lot of ex-friends. He is quite the estrangement-magnet! Almost a poster boy for estrangement! The most interesting article I found was written in 2004 on Salon.com: The dark side of Ralph Nader by Lisa Chamberlain.

So, speaking of politics, one thing I am sure of is that in the next presidential election I know whom I am not voting for! Anyone want to comment?

I guess until someone makes estrangement really funny or sexy or political I will be grateful for those of you who occasionally email me and give me a pat on the back. I"m grateful for you anyway and always will be even if I had a thousand comments!
Thank you!

Ginny

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