Blogs are all about connecting and sharing. And as much as we love to talk about how people who write blogs only want to show the best part of themselves and their homes and their lives, blogs are ultimately about real people. We love sharing real ideas--however big or small they may be--while we make real connections with real people. The great divide between the writer and the audience is so thin. We have the opportunity to share our thoughts and opinions and support on virtually everything we see in the blogging world. And that is special.
After all, when I see something great in a magazine I can't instantly thank the author or photographer for sharing their work and time and talents with me. Nor can I ask them questions I may have or talk about why I connected instantly with their work. So to be able to write in a comment form and say, "Hey, I like your stuff," is special to me.
When I think about blogging I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It has done so much for my own personal growth. As I've blogged for the past several years I've grown as a photographer, creator, and as a writer. Over time I've made several wonderful connections and built long-distance friendships with other bloggers out there. Sometimes it seems like there's so much to compete with in the blogging world. But, the truth is, there isn't nearly so much competition as there is support. To be able to bask in the friendship of others who share the same passions I have is such a gift.
And so it is out of loneliness and not ego or complaint that I share with you some of what I've been feeling lately.
As a blogger--but more importantly, as a human being--I thrive on your feedback. I look forward to it with happy anticipation. I love your comments. I love the funny things you say. I love the helpful and inspiring ideas you share. Even the short little, "I like this!" and "So fun!" comments brighten my day. The comments you share make my e-mail inbox a treasure trove of happiness. Thank you so much for that. I know it takes time and some thought and a bit of your heart and attention to leave every single comment. I'm honored by each and every one.
And so, it is with a sad heart that I talk about about the way comments are trending. People are leaving less of them. And that makes me sad not only for myself but for everyone--bloggers and readers alike. In our effort to pin and mark and organize and get in as much as we can get and capitalize on the little time we have to spend, we are trending toward pinning more and commenting less. Beckie talked about this on Infarrantly Creative and she put it all so well. As bloggers, we want you to pin the things we share. We're so flattered by it! But seeing projects pop up over and over again on Pinterest and watching the corresponding blog stats skyrocket doesn't do the same thing for my soul as your personal words do.
Climbing blog stats are nice.
Your company is nicer.
I hope you won't feel guilted by what I'm sharing here. This is not a guilt trip. It's just something I've been thinking a lot about lately. I know we can't possibly comment on every post we read. I know I can't. And I can also relate to the fact that sometimes I read something, enjoy it completely, am inspired by it... and then don't feel like I really have anything to say in reply. That's natural and I think that's okay.
But I think more than being sad about the trend of declining comments in the blog world, I'm sad about the opportunity for connection that's lost.
I've been noticing the significant drop in comments on my blog lately and, I'll be honest, it hurts. It feels lonely to spend time writing up a thought or a project only to be met by... nothingness. I think a lack of feedback is harder even than negative feedback.
Anyway, I thought maybe you all just weren't as interested in what I had to say. There have even been several times lately when I've thought of writing about things and I talked myself out of sitting down to write up the posts because nobody seemed to be all that interested in what I had to share anyway. But a few days ago when I read Disney's post on this subject on Ruffles & Stuff and Ashley's post on Lil Blue Boo that's similarly related and then today when I read Beckie's post I began to realize that it probably has less to do with me personally and more to do with the way things are trending. Which is a bummer. Boo to this trend, I say.
Anyway, I won't beg for more comments. And I won't even tell you that you should comment more on blogs in general. But what I will do is encourage you to think about the people who write the blogs you read. Just think about those people once before you click off the page. Because I can tell you that we think about you readers all the time.
In closing, I just thought I'd share this part of the comment I left on Beckie's post because I think it sums up what I'm trying to say.
Anyway, I’m never sure exactly what to say about comments and the lack thereof, despite increased page views and readership. I love the extra traffic from Pinterest, but there are days I think I’d choose comments over pins. Growing stats are exciting, but lonely. Comments are more than statistics. They’re company. And being in the good company of my readers is the real reason I blog.
I think you guys are great. I hope you know that. I miss it when I don't hear from you. I love love love it when I do.