Thursday, August 02, 2007

I Hate Blogs

Not all the time. But many days.

Here's how it works:

1) You post some lovingly crafted tome of cultural analysis, or some agonized personal reflections. Nobody responds.

2) You read your friends' blogs, who post about breast feeding, or the baby's hard turd. Four hundred forty seven people respond, and share their own loving baby poop stories.

3) You get depressed.

Today I hate blogs.

My kids used to poop in their pants. No kidding. Not for a long time, though.

26 comments:

Fred Kohn said...

hahahaa! THIS made me laugh out loud. Thanks, I needed it :-D

Fred Kohn said...

allow me to be the first to comment:

i hate blogs 2.

tony said...

Great Poop Story!:)

BenMc said...

It does feel like a high school popularity contest all over again doesn't it? Except this time you win with a baby.

I personally experience steps 4 and 5 as well:

4.) Convince yourself that the blog is only a "first draft" of writing practice that will someday make your writing better crafted and more organic in the distant future.

5.) Get depressed again. Who wants "organic" writing anyway?

Andy Whitman said...

Ben, many of the blogs are read are not only organic, but bio-degradable.

coltrane said...

Don't feel so bad, Andy. I talk about poop all the time on my blog and all I get is spam porn in my comments box.

mg said...

sorry andy, i was sick today and away from the blogging scene.

but i know exactly what you mean.

seems like live journal folks can write about something completely trite and insignificant and get 400 comments.

i've considered permanently disabling comments on my blog so that commenting isn't even an option. i've also considered stopping blogging.

it's dumb that comments become so important, but they do. and they stay important.

Joel said...

Ah, man. I actually made a blog post today that mentioned the new baby and poop in the same graf. Curses. But, I'll tell myself it's OK because the post wasn't really about that.

To top it off, it probably won't elicit a comment. I continually tell myself that's not why I'm blogging, but you're right-- they sure are nice.

Andy Whitman said...

Just so I'm clear here, this is really a post about my own pathetic insecurities, and not so much a post about my friends or their blogs.

Really, I'm glad that people have blogs. I'm certainly glad that they have kids, and that they have friends who like to comment about their kids.

Joel, congratulations on that poopy kid, my friend. I hope you and your family are doing well.

In the absence of potty training topics, though, I reserve the right to post occasionally about my own feces.

bd said...

Andy, I really like your posts. I read about 95% of them.

And I feel the same discouragement when no one comments about my posts.

see ya.

b

John McCollum said...

You said poop.

On another note, I titled a post "No Pictures of Britney Spears' Crotch" and received something like 400 more daily hits than usual for about a week.

Your blog posts often don't lend themselves to 'me too,' or 'you ought to try the one on Morse Road' responses that drive up other people's comment counts -- they're often more like short essays or columns.

I also think that most people feel a greater burden to put thought into a comment when the original post is thoughtful and crafted, which means that fewer people will respond to something that addresses, say, the decline in complexity in song lyrics than a post that begs a quick and discreet response.

Doesn't mean people aren't reading.

In the words of Stuart Smalley, you're good enough, you're smart enough, and God damnit, people like you.

John McCollum said...

Stay away from Facebook. That'll really kill your spirit. YouTube's no better...

The Guy You Thought Was Rude said...

Dude, I used to poop my pants. Maybe I'll blog about that!

Esther said...

That's true. I've been feeling rather discouraged about blogs in the last few months too. Of course, I also have had a bit of the problem of writing my true feelings and people telling me that I need to not be so honest about being down, and I need to just stop being sad or depressed or whatever and "just get over it and move on"... apparently when one is honest about one's lack of joyeux de vivre and the depth of one's sorrow it makes the people supposedly closest to one feel quite uncomfortable... and then when you post about THAT it doesn't make them feel any better and the comments one might receive become caustic and even more grumpy...

If it's any relief, when I googled Andy Whitman, your blog was the first thing that popped up!!!

scott said...

John M. said it best - a truly thought provoking blog comment takes too much time and thought to craft an apt response. Perhaps those reading recognize that they could not respond at the same level of clarity, and rather than embarass themselves by trying, take the time they would have spent writing a comment to continue to ponder the blog.
I'm just waiting to see what you have to say about the Dublin Irish Festival this weekend.

Anonymous said...

maybe NOT blogging while still having a site will become the new thing to do soon...seems like it might be very appealing to the ever-so-cool-but-trying-not-to-make-it-seem-so hipster crowd...if so, i my get some coolness points going

-teddy

Michael Krahn said...

Andy,

I have commented on your blog a number of times and I don't think you've ever followed up on any of my comments.

I get quite a bit of feedback on my blog and I can tell you a couple of marketing tricks that help.

Also, if you need another meager source of income, try putting a few posts up at www.digitaljournal.com

I signed up last week and made $20. Not bad for stuff I was going post on my blog for free anyway.

Michael Krahn
www.michaelkrahn.com/blog

Andy Whitman said...

Michael, I appreciate your comments, and I can assure you that it's nothing personal.

Believe it or not, I probably receive 5 to 10 requests per week from aspiring authors and aspiring singer/songwriters, asking me to listen to/read/review/critique their work. And I can't do it. I don't have time to do it, and although I enjoy a good online discussion as much as anyone (hence this post), I need to focus on my own writing. Not to mention my family, my friends, and the 50-hour-per-week job that pays the bills. But the number of emails I don't answer and the number of phone calls I don't return is staggering.

That said, I truly do appreciate your suggestions, and I'll check out the sources you mentioned.

Michael Krahn said...

I understand its nothing personal Andy. More of an FYI and a "Hey I leave comments!"

And I understand the time constraints. I work at least 45 hrs a week as a Quality Technician, have a wife and 3 kids under 5, and after that I try to write a couple thousand words per week, and finish a new album.

Since I've started blogging about atheism my inbox and comments section has more messages than I can possibly respond to.

Drop me a line at michael.krahn@gmail.com and I'll let you in on some promotional strategies that have worked well generating traffic and regular readers and regular comments on my blog.

CarolN said...

Yay for baby poop! Andy, what I appreciate about your blog is the way I read so many posts and then settle in for about thirty seconds of staring into space, pondering your wisdom and word smithing. I rarely leave comments on anyone's blogs, preferring rather to skulk in the shadows of cyberspace (how's that for alliteration?). But I really do appreciate your thoughtful writing. You're on my blog roll!

Julie Zickefoose said...

Dear Andy,

I sometimes find that the harder I work to say something meaningful, the less response it elicits. I completely agree that sometimes people stay mum because they don't feel comfortable adding to something that came to them all shiny and polished. But that doesn't mean they aren't reading.
When I get fed up with blogging I remind myself that I'm building this cool online archive of ideas, complete with test marketing. I go back and look at the posts that got a lot of comments, and it gives me a feel for what people like to read and respond to. I delve into it for essays and commentaries, and I'm really glad to have it. I keep expecting it to disappear.
It was also a surprise to me that people like to have you respond specifically to their comment, get a little conversation going. Which can be its own little time sink, and something I rarely do, because I'm already trying to cook up the next day's post.
You want to hear crickets chirping, try posting poetry.
When I get lonesome I post a few pictures of my dog, with some captions in his voice. Boom, I'm surrounded, the life of the party. I'm pretty sure about half of my readers are there just for Chet Baker. That's humbling.
Your blog is easily the most thought-provoking one I read. I don't read many, but I make time for yours. I'm sure you'd write engagingly about feces, too.

e said...

Ditto...the whole bit. And also thank you for leaving thoughtful comments on my blog when you have time.

Also, also: it's interesting how many comments you got about poop on this post, which was ostensibly NOT about poop per se... Freud would have a field day with this topic.

Andy Whitman said...

Scott, I'm passing on the Dublin Irish Festival this year. I love it, but I realized that I've already seen all the bands who are playing, most of them more than once, and it just didn't seem worth it given the 95 degree heat. That said, I still may reconsider in time to catch Flogging Molly later this evening.

Julie, thanks very much for your kind words. I wanted to pass along my congratulations on the big, multi-page article about you in the Columbus Dispatch from a few weeks back. Thanks for doing what you do.

Erik, re: all the poop references, I'm just trying to drive up the number of comments. I may toss in fart jokes for a little variety.

Anonymous said...

wait...floggin molly could be considered punk lol

Rob S said...

Andy,

I read and reread your post on aging and death inspired by Billy Graham losing his wife. I even passed it on to a few people to read. Thanks. I appreciate what you're doing.

Julana said...

I know how you feel.
Sometimes I have to remind myself there's a flesh-n-blood neighbor next door or an elderly relative that needs a phone call, and they're more important than a an unknown bunch of surfers behind a screen of pixels. Someone might be standing outside the front door with an empty cup.