Lotsa brown
Back to regular And She Knits Too! programming

Well...

That last post didn't go as I expected.  But it does lead into more of my thoughts about blogging.  As a Sociologist who studies media and communication, blogging has become an increasing interest for me (you know something I'll research "when I have time").  As a blogger, part of a lively and interactive knitblogging community (who also participates in some feminist blogs, but more on the sidelines), I also spent some time thinking about what blogging means and what it feels like to be part of a subculture.

The knitting subculture is vast and diverse but also has some unique/special elements that I really like.  It is a virtual community that links to real geographical spaces and real people.  Some people you "know" in cyberspace only, others in both worlds and some you know in "real life" but may not read their blogs.  It's also a generous, encouraging, vocal community.  We read the blogs, comment on the posts, participate in message boards and Yahoo groups and also in local stitch'n'bitches and knitting circles.  We knit for charities together, send bloggers secret pal gifts, knit each other socks, swap yarns and patterns, run contests, participate in challenging feats and mix the real and the virtual.

Some of us also share in life's more personal triumphs and tragedies and mix knitting life and social life.  Hell, we even drink together.  There's something unique about it in my limited trollings of the virtual world, and I'm quite happy to be part of it.  Maybe there are legions of other crafters and artists who do this too, frankly I haven't really checked.  But I don't see the same connections in the feminist blogs--people don't plan protests and consciousness raising groups together or make those "live" connections through the virtual ones so openly as in the knitting online community.  And I know what counts as live and virtual is sometimes blurry, but I don't think we've hit the world envisioned by William Gibson yet where there is nt distinction.  I think human connections in the real world matter, even if their beginnings are forged through the internet.

And honestly, I don't think I would blog if people didn't come by and say hello sometimes.  I do my best to reciprocate on the blogs I read which is partly how I maintain the readership I have here.  Blogs can also be about networking and putting in the time to communicate with others, just like other relationships.  Commenting is a way of saying "hey, how are you?" and often makes me click over to the commentor's space to see what's up or drop a friend an email to say hi (because I know not everyone has a blog). 

That's why I find commentless blogs sort of startling.  Sure people can blog without comments--why not?  But if they're just for you and some friends, why make them public or have a comment function at all?  What are people's motivations to blog?  Do they want interaction or just a space to write and think?  Do they want the comments to all be supportive or a space to exchange ideas and discuss and debate or can it just be a free-for-all (I'm good on the discuss/debate part)?  I don't have the answers, but I sure think a lot about the questions.

Comments

If one weren't willing to blog for at least a little while without comments, no blog would ever get started...

In addition to that, one of the reasons I blog is because I like reading about other people's knitting and the pieces of themselves they are willing to reveal online, but I don't always feel like commenting. Having a blog of my own is a way of reciprocating (just like leaving a comment is) but in a much broader sense.

Also, as someone who isn't in a large city, many of the people I knit with aren't also bloggers. The blog makes that community more interactive--they see projects I don't haul to knit night with me--even if I receive the comments in person instead of online. The community and network is still there, but it functions quite differently from the one you are used to.

Just a little different perspective....

I'm sorry your comment in the previous post wasn't received in the spirit in which you sent it out there into blogland.

I've written a lot about the limitations of our voices in blogging - how we write things that are read in a wholly different way than intended. I, for one, did not feel you were being snarky with your comment - I thought you were sincerely questioning what you felt was A DIFFERENT WAY of thinking about blogging than what you think about blogging.

Honestly, I can see all sides of it. Lately I've been wanting feedback I haven't felt I've been getting - so I've been trying to think about what it is that I want from my blog. Which, by the way, I think changes regularly. I'd like to think I'd still be writing my blog even if I didn't get comments. Sometimes it would be harder than others, but I now I'm sort of addicted to putting it out there.

Without comments, though, I would NEVER have found the excellent friends I have now. By its nature (the very idea that you CAN comment) makes blogging something of a reciprocal relationship, rather than writing in a void. Whether you choose to engage your readers on a one to one basis (ie comments) or not, you are still putting yourself out there and I have assume, wanting to be read.

Thank you for the engaging discussion. I'm sorry for taking up so much space in your comments. :)

Ugh. Should have previewed first. Sorry for all the typos. Hopefully my ideas will still come across even though I sound illiterate. I will stop now. Have a great day Steph!

I've been doing this online stuff for a long time. For every person that posts a comment or posts to a bulletin board, there are 10-20 or more people who just read and don't post for a variety of reasons.

When I first started my blog, I really didn't expect any comments at first. Although it led to this strange talking to myself feeling, I did it because I wanted a place to get my thoughts down and record my progress. In fact, those first comments were kind of startling. Although if no one ever commented, I'm not sure if I would have kept up the blog.

I've noticed the same thing in many non-knitting blogs. There's very little commenting and interactivity. Maybe there's just not enough blogs on a particular subject to get a regular crowd of commenters. Some of it may be due to the type of people attracted to that particular subject. A predominantly introverted crowd might not interact that much. Maybe some people don't know how to navigate the blog society yet. Kind of like learning to make conversation at a cocktail party.

most of those bloggers WANT comments and connections, but unfortunately, the knitblogging world is cliquish and sometimes snobby (and quite frankly, a lot like high school) and unless you really stand on your head for attention, the average knitblogger can't really compete with the 'popular kids'. yet we all keep trying because we want to share with everyone else our triumphs and sorrows and new yarns and so on, just in case someone does pop by and say hello.

so did you comment on those sad commentless blogs?

"so did you comment on those sad commentless blogs?"

I didn't comment on those blogs. But for good reasons. First, the posts were old--I was looking for something particular. Comment threads can get stale and it would make no sense to comment on something from six months ago. Second, the content was a tad touchy--I was looking up something about men's grooming practices (specifically shaving their nether regions) for my women and body image class and most of the blogs I looked at were written by men and were sorta creepy on this subject--there was no way I would comment.

Blogs also have to work to make commenting something welcome if comments are desired.

As for the knitblog community, you're right it is big and there are stars. And the whole linking system means you need to be in the queue to be read and found and commented on. There's a start system too which can be part of another aspect of blogging that I'll save for another time.

I need to run and teach!

I didn't find your last post offputting at all either. It's interesting to read other's comments to the post too. I guess I'm not one of those people who would enjoy blogging without comments. Not that I'm a comment ho, but I also blog pretty much a/b my knitting and not that much about my personal life, so it's not my journal, just my knitting exploits, which are only one side of me. Sometimes I do want to blog about other things, but since this is a knitting blog (for me), I don't blog it elsewhere, nor am I interested in keeping up a separate blog. If it were purely personal, I could see why you might just need to journal/record something for yourself and not require comments (and sometimes not want them either). It's obvious that others blog for other reasons than mine.

If I had solely a knitting blog with no comments, it would be disheartening to me. Sometimes I do comment just for that reason. When I first started my blog, I wanted to announce to everyone "I'm here." It took me a little while to figure out how to get others to comment (by reading others' blogs and commenting) and after awhile others might read my blog from rings or how, I don't know.

I do disagree with rachel m who says that most can't compete with the popular kids. While we may not all be a Yarn Harlot, Wendy Knits or Knit and Tonic or others, I think if you read blogs and comment, that's the easiest way to get others to comment. Plus people that you like to read, read some of their favorite reads and comment there too. If you join KALs, there are usually good people that read others blogs and make it easy for others to read you by offering a Bloglines or other feed aggregator sign-up button on your blog is good too.

I'm by no means a hugely popular blogger, but I do okay and I'm happy that others might like to read my blog as I do like reading others too. Most people that comment on my blog, I try to stop by their blog, at least once and leave a comment. If I like them, I'll add them to my bloglines list and read them often. I try to comment often, but it doesn't always happen that way.

I'd love to get more comments, and when I do get a few occasionally it's very exciting. My biggest day was 5 comments, and I could hardly believe it. I write my blog for the opportunity to share something I love to do in a life where I don't know a lot of people that share my interest. I put it out there and pretend that lots of people are reading it, and it helps me to feel involved in something. I know that some of my friends and family read it too, and that makes me feel good.

I don't know, it's an interesting question. It's not for lack of wanting comments, that's for sure. I held a contest to see if I could call any lurking knitters out of the corners... only two people participated. Oh well. :)

It's an interesting sociological phenomenon that I've noticed, too. I've tried explaining it many times to Typepad -- as to why we knitbloggers who use Typepad get a wee bit out of sorts when the comments are not working properly -- because I don't think we knitbloggers are understood. We DO seem to be very different from all the other segments of bloggers I have observed -- in that we are extremely interactive. You go to some of the most highly read political blogs, for example, and see that comments are indeed open, as you mention, but there are NO comments. I find it fascinating. We are truly different.

I tend to ramble so I'm goign to try and keep this short.

When I first started my blog, I wanted it to act as my own personal crafty album. Something that I can use to look upon all of the crafty endeavors I've accomplished (and failed miserably at). I just hit my 1 year mark and It was surprising to see the progression my crafts have taken. I think without the online knitting community, there is no way that I would have the courage to try and dealv into other crafty mediums.

The reason that I don't turn off my comments is due to the fact that over the past year, I have become so accustomed to this community. It's so inspiring and uplifting to read a comment from someone who actually "gets it". I don't have a lot of crafty people around me so being able to talk to someone who relates is the best feeling in the world. Now that I'm a part of my small little knitting community, I wouldn't have it any other way.

I am an avid blog reader, and sometimes commenter - but only if I really have something to say, or if a post hits me in a way that makes me want to comment. That said, I would never even consider leaving a less-than-positive comment on someone's blog - because I don't like to be mean and I figure, if you don't like what someone has to say, quit reading. In any case, I have thought about blogging for going on a year, now - but if I ever did, it would be only for myself, and a few "invited guests" as I am a pretty private person, even about knitting ;)

I picked up my sticks again about 2 years ago, and I am sure I wouldn't have got so sucked in to the whole knitting thing if it were not for the amazing online community I found. I don't have too many friends who knit or who I could share my knitting excitement with, so it was great to see all of that inspiration out there. I started a blog, and it is not read by many, but it was more as a way of keeping in touch with those wayward friends more than anything else.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. People need to get a grip. Good grief! If someone has an opinion let them state it. We do not all have to agree nor do we have to attack the owner of the opinion.

I found your blog through January One. Keep on blogging, no matter what other people say or think!

I just found you via Cara's blog. I am a little surprised by the reactions you have gotten from one offhand comment. It didn't sound offensive to me, just an observation.

It has spurred an interesting conversation. I probably wouldn't continue to blog if I didn't get a few comments. It is very hard to put oneself out there and get no response.

As for the "stars", I rarely go to their blogs. I am looking for community. I don't feel a need to be one of hundreds who comment on a single post. Why should I comment if the blogger won't read my comment? Or maybe they do, but it feels one sided. I comment to participate.

Thank you for the conversation.

I'm in a middle area in this blog comment thing--I met a slew of knitters (and, by now, most of my friends) by joining an online knitting community when I moved to Philly. I keep my knitblog public so I can potentially meet other people that way, but I tend to get more comments in person than actually on my blog.

I'm celebrating three years blogging today. I'll never forget finding blogs... I didn't know what they were. I could tell that I wasn't at regular websites because of the comments and linking and interaction. Oh! How I wanted to be a part of that!! It wasn't long and I hardly gave it a thought before signing up for my own Typepad account. Baptism by fire. I've found my voice and lost it and fumbled around a lot, I've suffered, triumphed, traveled and lived my life on the blog -- sometimes I wish I was still more anonymous -- but it is what it is.

I wouldn't do it without the interaction. I'm not always the best at keeping it up -- it can be a lot of work -- but I try.

For my "blogiversary" I ran a little contest involving numbers... of posts and comments. I get comments, usually, on every post (though my first few months were l.o.n.e.l.y, indeed), but never in the stratosphere. One of the reasons I like having contests is because so often the lurkers come out and I was absolutely astounded to see that of 101 comments, the great majority were from people (many of them bloggers) I'd never heard of before! (Granted, some were sent by Cara, but still...)

I started blogging about my knitting a few months ago. I don't get many comments, which does bum me out a little (I will freely admit that I'm an attention whore), but on the other hand, I know people do read my blog. I can see from the stats that people actually subscribe to it, which really blows my mind!

I make a point of commenting on other people's blogs, online communities (bulletin boards), joining knitting blog rings, etc. I also post just about every other day - some weeks are tougher than others. This has helped increase my views and comments.

The other thing I do is read the popular blogs and sort of emulate what they do. I don't copy but I consciously note the style, and try to improve my writing. Sometimes I even think I succeed!

My blog is almost like my own personal magazine. I alone determine what goes in it and I alone get the kudos or tomatoes.

I've had a blog for a couple/three years off and on...but I've also moved it around a few times and each time it moves, it seems that fewer people read it. This last move to blogger has proven that point quite well. I firmly believe that much of it has to do with the fact that while I'm a heavy blog-reader, I'm pretty light on the comments most of the time.

I still post, though currently not very often, because I like to look back and see how far I've come. My blog is more of a dumping ground for me, to let out things that are bugging me or to post pictures of projects. I find myself using it a lot like I use lists in my "real life." I like to have tangible evidence that I've accomplished things. Most of my crafted items end up going to others as gifts.

Posting them online keeps me from piling them all over the house. I don't do it for the comments at all, although it's nice to see them pop up here and there.

Your post reminded me that I wrote a research paper on the knitblogger community for my sociology course a couple of years ago. I wonder if I can still find that somewhere? I doubt it greatly, but it would be interesting to see how far the community has come since then.

I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that I've been reading your blog off and on for quite some time and this is probably my first comment.

I sometimes wish I had more commenters, but I mostly write for myself. If I put it in a physical print journal, I tend to stop writing (even if it is a very knitting-centric journal).

I have some friends who read my journal and every once in a while my mom will stop by and look at what I'm doing. I try and include some extra information that she would enjoy. She doesn't comment, though she sometimes refers to things I have posted. My husband reads it and will comment at home (usually wondering why I used the dorky picture of him), but I find the most useful thing about knit blogs is seeing how something knits up, difficulties with the project, how it works with a different yarn, etc. I know when I make Fiery Bolero, I'm not going to be using Cathay, because all of the knit blogs I looked at complained about how splitty it was. Knitblogs even un-commented ones can be a useful tool for the rest of us.

I think most knitbloggers would like comments. They may be wondering just what you said: "Why am I doing this if no one is commenting?" I am skeptical about the "I blog for myself" statement. It may be part of why we blog but I doubt that it's the sole reason.

With so many blogs, it can be tough for bloggers to find an audience. Even those who have a small audience like I do(I just looked up some stats and I have about 65 bloglines subscribers and get about 80 visitors a day) may not get many comments. My last post has been up for a day without a single comment.

Interesting conversation.

I also found this discussion through January One :) Great discussion. I've seen some bou-ha-ha about different aspects of this phenomena here and again, particularly about the supposedly "cliqueish" nature of the blog world and not be able to compete with the "stars".

I return to the same conclusions, for myself. A - different people knitblog for different reasons, which can change over time, B - your perception of the online community can be similar to your perception of the real world (i.e. if someone feels like an outsider in the real world they may perceive a lack of comments or links to their blog as the entire knitting community being a clique they can't enter) and C -to a degree, you get what you give. A well-written blog with interesting, frequent content, and/or good pictures, and/or good links will have greater readership than one without. Also, you do have to put yourself out there. I joined webrings at first, and started commenting on other blogs. I (tried) to have good content, as I was specifically trying to enter this community, and felt a responsibility to make the trip wothwhile, if you will. To my surprise, I started to get comments. Then to get linked. I met people in person, and then learned of more blogs, that I then commented on. I read and sometimes commented on blogs that commented on mine, and vice versa. As these things are all interrelated, I started to see a snowball effect. To my continual surprise, I have a regular readership that continues to slowly and evenly grow with time. But I do think that part of it is that I made the effort to make these connections and contiue to put the effort into maintaining relationships, and part of it is just luck. Apologies on the long comment. It's just such a darn interesting topic!

I think this whole discussion is fascinating. I struggled with the decision to start my own knit blog (finally did last month) because while the virtual knitting community is remarkably friendly and supportive, it is also HUGE. I was feeling an urge to take a more active role in contributing (after being a reader and lurker for years), but I wasn't sure what I had to offer. There are so many knit blogs, nobody can read them all, so how can I even hope to get readers, much less commenters? And yet, if I wanted to take steps to really join the community, I would have to speak up and put myself out there. Knit blogging is an interesting and dynamic medium and as I said in my first post, I want in on the fun.

So I started my own blog hoping to meet other knitters and make connections and share the joy we all get from knitting. I love getting comments! It's how I know I'm making those connections. But I must admit to fearing having so many readers that someday I'll say something which will tick someone off and they'll leave me a hostile comment in retaliation. I don't know how I would (will?) handle that. So while I want readers and commenters, there's a part of me which is relieved to know I'm only playing to a small crowd, so to speak. (8 comments is my record high.)

And as far as commenting on other blogs, I find I'm more likely to leave a comment when there are few commenters. When someone has lots of comments, I'm reluctant to add my two cents unless I feel like I have something unique to share. When someone doesn't have many comments, I'm way more likely to leave a quick note, drop by and say hi, as you said.

Maybe it comes down to personality types. You know how there are people who have tons and tons of aquaintances but very few close friends. And then there are people who have a few close friends and hardly even know anyone else. I suspect that those personality difference must somehow translate into the what people put in and get out of blogging, reading and commenting.

knitting/crafting blogs are special. i have two other blogs, one literary/reading, the other foody, and those communities are dissimilar to the knitting/crafting blog community. it seems that the community creates the experience for its readers/users/members and this community is mostly warm, welcoming, encouraging, and ultimately creative as hell.

i've found satisfaction with my knit/craft blog that i never got from my other blogs simply for the connecting with others who share my interests and developing bloggy and personal relationships with them.

and my other two blogs, why still bother with them when they're somewhat unsatisfactory? Habit? Investment? I have 5 years of literary/reading blog behind me. i'm not about to stop now. why not continue writing in a vacuum? it's mostly for me, anyway. i have to keep track of the books i've read, otherwise i might read them again or buy another copy of something i already have. and the foody one, likewise, i have 2 or 3 years of posts and photos invested in it, with few comments.

much of my compulsion to blog stems from my love of documentation. i keep track of it all for me? for prosperity? to be part of the historical record? all these reasons and more.

thanks for posing the question.

I just stumbled on your blog too. I think I would agree with some of the others that I would like to get more comments than I do-- mainly because I like the people that I've become comment-friends with via the blog. On the other hand, when I started blogging over 4 years ago, it wasn't quite the online community it is now, and I did begin it as a personal journal that I wrote for myself because I am more likely to be at my computer and write somethign and keep track of it than to use a tangible journal which will get lost in moves, rediscovered mid-new journal, etc.

Since then, as the blogging community and the communities that I blog in have expanded and I find myself more likely to write to an audience; but one of the reasons I think I don't get a lot of comments (while I have a number of regular readers) is that I blog about so many different things on one blog. I blog about grad school, about politics, about knitting, about every-day life, etc., all on one blog, so my readership consists of grad students who don't knit, married women who do knit, a couple of guys who aren't in grad school, aren't married, don't knit and don't have pets and so are only interested in some but not all aspects of the things I blog about. I think they're less likely to comment often if at all, though they pop in frequently. I could create 4 different blogs that are specialized, but since my blog is MY personal endeavor and it's easier (and makes more sense to me personally) I write one blog that deals with all of these things.

As someone with light readership, I didn’t think that your comment was off-putting at all either. It is a legitimate question to be asking. It was clear to me that your question comes from the view that the knitting blogosphere as a community, and that commenting is an important part.

I get comments now, but I didn’t always. Why did I do it then? Well, it started as a way to keep a photographic journal of my projects. As I became more involved in the community, and I began to get more comments, I started to view it as my own contribution to the great marketplace of ideas. For example, I heavily modified Glasgow Lace from the Fall 2006 Interweave Knits, and it is one of my favorite finished objects. I used my blog to share my modifications to the pattern and, potentially, encourage people to make their own modifications. I used knitting bulletin boards to alert people to my post on the finished sweater and the modifications, so that particular post got many more readers than most.

I blog because I value the online knitting community, and I want to add my own small voice to the conversation.

Also here from January One :) What an interesting discussion! I'm a new blogger too (about 6 weeks) and I have to say that the comments are a real motivation for me. Each one is a little bit of affirmation. I follow that up, however, with making sure that I regularly comment on the blogs I read.

One thing I noticed when I was blogless... I was much more likely to leave a comment on a blog when the blogger wrote me back, even if it was to just say thanks.

Hey Steph, Cara suggested I post my comment to her post of today (oye, this comment already stinks) here since I think this is what originated it. anyway: "...I believe you are right about the relationship thing and that's why I very RARELY drop my blogs addy when I comment. I'm awful with reciprocation (even with those I'm very close with-I know I'm a crapper), not by choice but rather by "issue" (still working on finding a therapist for that). When I blog, I goal is to post because I want to--not because I feel a need to. When I've gotten comments (and I know this sounds COMPLETELY nuts), I suddenly feel obligated to continue posting, and to try my hardest to make it good or funny or whatever. And that just doesn't work for me, I end up completely abandoning my blog for long stretches of time. I honestly hate that result. I blog (such as it is) as a multimedia form of journaling, or I'd like to think so at least. It's cool to hear opinions (I'm a big lover of the almighty opinion, I have tons of them!), but they can also at times freak me out a
bit. This prob makes close to no sense whatsoever and I've taken up enough space, so I'll end it here. In short (snort), I agree with ya." So... that's another POV on the whole comment/no comment bloggity blah thing.

I blog for a lot of reasons - I like writing, I like writing about and photographing my knitting, I like using it as a way to track my progress, and I like having a blog that my RL family and friends can read and keep track of me with in some small way (most of them do not comment. I am gradually building a readership, and I do comment on others' blogs and try to network a bit, but it's very hard in the beginning to blog _and_ get comments. I wouldn't be surprised if many of these commentless blogs are simply trying to get their feet in the door and haven't found their clique of readers yet. They may be hoping and wishing for more comments and just coming up empty handed.

I can unequivocally say I do blog for myself but I'd be lying if I didn't admit to loving the comments I get. It gives me postive feeback that says others enjoy my contributions as well. If the comments stopped would I be sad? yes! would I stop blogging - probably not but who knows?

When I visit blogs I see leaving a comment as comparable to bringing a bottle of wine to my hosts' home - I'm showing my appreciation of having been ALLOWED to visit. Guests who never bring anything to the party don't get invited back so I try to be generous in my commenting to support all the bloggers efforts and you do get what you give in this microcosm of ours.

As far as the "cool blogs" go I imagine it's tough to respond to over 100 comments every day but honestly there isn't a blog I've posted on that hasn't responded most of the time. I think as another comment said, those that may feel on the outside of the clique in real time may transfer that sentiment to their blog experiences. Me, I comment wherever I feel I have something to say :)

For me, commenting goes in cycles. If I am super busy, I blog less and comment less. If I am looking for something in particular and find it, I almost always comment.

I started my blog because I needed it for a Secret Pal exchange. I keep it because I have a great knitting group - most of us have blogs and we track progess on projects there. I also keep it because it forces me to keep pictures and details of projects, that I probably wouldn't do if I weren't blogging.

I, like so many others here, stumbled over from January One and thought I'd throw in my two cents as a blogger who rarely gets comments. I started my knitting blog for a variety of reasons.

(1) I had (have) a LiveJournal where I wrote about everyday stuff - all of my friends and family (and then some) read it, but relatively few of them were putting up with my occasional knitting posts. A dedicated knitting blog was a way to write about all that without pissing off my friends who didn't care about it.

(2) It's a mother-daughter blog, and it's a fun way for us to share pictures of my recent endeavors with each other.

(3) It's a personal record of the things I've made. It's FUN to go back and look at pictures of a WIP and compare them to the FO. Or to look at your first attempts at a certain technique.

I don't get many comments (and those I do get are usually from non-knitting family and friends), but I never really expected to. At least not yet - it's a relatively new blog. I figure in time, I'll gain a bit of a readership. And til then, I just keep blogging because ... it's my only outlet for knit-talk. :)

I think that many "new" bloggers continue to post without commetns becuse, even without, there is hope. That there are "lurkers". That the posts are being read, and thought about, even if they are not being discussed. That someday a post will generate conversation. And until that day, the blog continues for the few friends known to read the blog and for one's own self.

In my case, I've been blogging on LiveJournal for many years, but not much about my knitting. As I began to read more annd more knitting blogs, however, I began to want to leave comments. I began my own knitting blog so that I'd be able to have a place where, should the original blogger want to see a bit of who had commented, s/he could come and read about my own knitting life. Perhaps comments will some day be reciprocated, but for now I just feel more comfortable being able to commment myself without being annonymous.

I started my blog (almost exactly a year ago) to connect with other knitters, make friends, and get comments and advice on what I was making, like I had read about other bloggers doing.

This still hasn't happened. Granted, this year has started off rather well, 20 comments to date, which is more than the whole nine months before, so maybe things are changing.

I got over the fact that I'd never be a popular blogger, or even noticed in any way, so I've come to love my blog as a record of what I do.

One day I may meet another blogger, but from the response (or lack of it) I've received so far I don't think I'll ever make friendships like some people post about that complete their lives and are perfect in every way. Yes, I feel like an outsider, but I'm used to that.

I've come to accept the fact that what I write and how I write it is just too dull for anyone else to care.

I still love reading and commenting on other's blogs, and it's a much happier process now that I expect no comments.

I started blogging as a way to track my knitting. I continue to clog because I enjoy the creative outlet it provides.

By commentless blogs, are you talking about blogs where leaving a comment is not an option, or blogs where no one leaves comments?

I do try and leave comments, but only when I have something to contribute to the conversation. Somehow it feels awkward to add a 'me too' comment to a stranger's blog. And I rarely comment if I disagree with the original post.

I'm not sure anybody actually sees my blog. I'd be delighted if they did, but I'm not especially perturbed that they don't. It's kind of like a journal for me, and I feel like I'm still finding my voice. And as others have said, it's a great venue for logging my knitting exploits. I guess I've found that comments are optional!

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Blogs remind me of soap operas - tune in every day to see what your favorite characters are up to! Many start blogs in order to join the soap, if only as a walk-on part. Yes, we'll say we started a blog to chronicle our knitting exploits, but we can do that without hitting the publish button. No, there's a strong desire to join a community and most of us know commenting doesn't equate with readership. I'd bet the Yarn Harlot's readership is astronomically higher than the 200+ comments she gets daily.

I can't help but think that any blog, even one without comments, is a way of putting a part of yourself out there and hoping to connect with others. It's a daring thing to do, even moreso when a large number of comments are not immediately forthcoming. It's a bit of a gamble, and part of me thinks that's quite exciting -- the idea that someone who does not know you at all will stumble upon your blog and a connection will be made. And it certainly answers that question about if a tree falls. . . !

i didn't find your last post "offputting" at all, either. that wording sounded very defensive, no?

i don't get a lot of comments, but i also usually don't blog about anything terribly interesting. anyway, i'm okay with that. if i were as popular as...say, grumperina, eunny, or the yarn harlot, there would be way too much pressure to blog well and blog often. my blog posts tend to be quite random, i go off on tangents quite often, and i like to blog as i please. my readers would be way too disappointed!

I don't comment very much on blog posts. It's probably related to the fact that I tend to overthink everything . There are many times when I start to write a comment and then decide not to post it because it "didn't come out right".

My blog doesn't garner very many comments, either. It's not terribly well-known in this knit-blog world. I've been trying to put myself out there more - comment on other people's blogs and joining things that interest me - but it's not always easy going.

I blog because I am not a part of any local knitting community (there isn't one that I know of) and it gives me a place to talk about my projects and ideas without boring the non-knitters in my life to death.

I don't comment often, but I'm here to offer what I think is a pretty valid reason for people to blog regardless of comments. As a catalog of one's life. I've been blogging at various places since 1998. My current blog only goes back to 2003, because I later decided that the public catalog of those early years didn't need to be there. I may decide the same thing with the current blog someday. I think the real kicker for me and why I blog was when my sister was in a coma. I blogged so I could make sense of the mess. So I could write down what I was thinking and feeling. So that if she didn't make it [she did!] I would have some tangible record of the whole thing so as to never ever forget those last days. And then I moved away from my friends and family and started telling people it even existed and to help them keep up on my life as it moved in very different circles from their own.

I also have to say that I've seen the same type of community in other genres of blogs. I read lots of different types--techie/geek, "mommy bloggers", knit blog, craft blogs, food blogs, and I do see similar things happening at a lot of those places. There is less swapping in tech blogs, but that doesn't mean there isn't an established community who gathers and shares and discusses in much the same way knit bloggers do.

Wow! I think you have hit a nerve. I started reading all of the comments but I finally had to just scroll down to leave my thoughts. I started blogging a little over a year ago as a means of chronicling my knitting. I had recently discovered the world of knit blogs (I know, I'm late to the party) and was having fun reading other blogs. I am quite the lurker though and soon realized that if I leave comments, other people may read my blog and comment every now and again.

Right now I have about 4 or 5 people who read every post and comment when they can or when they have something to say. I'm never going to be a "popular" blogger and that is perfectly fine with me. My knitting has grown and changed since I have started blogging. I've learned so many new things, I've gotten a glimpse into other people's lives and I've even met some bloggers in person.

I am fine with nobody commenting because I don't do this to get comments, although I am pleased as can be when somebody takes the time to say hi.

This has been a very interesting conversation (both here and at January One). I myself get very few, if any comments on my blog; mainly because I don't have the time or energy to do the things necessary to build readership. My lack of time/energy to read and make comments is unfortunate because I would like to participate and be part of a knitting (especially) community (and also I have found some very interesting blogs and websites via comments I have read). And often I am too shy to comment.

Mostly, I blog, even with the lack of comments, to show friends and family who don't live near me what I am doing, to work through problems, knitting and otherwise, to blow off steam. When people find their way there, I'm glad. If not, that's the way it goes.

Wow, I have only been seriously blogging since last summer. I didn't even know about comments for a long time, and then I got it - the thrill of commenting. When I see something I am looking for and especially if it can help my need, I don't care how old it is, I comment. I am just grateful that someone took the time to explain. Then if I am inspired or just love the eye candy out there, I comment. It's an interesting web we bloggers weave!

I would find it disheartening and stop blogging if I didn't have any comments. I mean - it blows my mind that I have 40 bloglines subscribers! 40 people out there actually read my thoughts! I know that's not anywhere near the 7,000+ the Harlot has, but then again, I'm not the Harlot.

I agree with those who say you get out of it what you put into it. I try to comment on blogs I read, but not if I'm just another voice saying, "nice sock!"

This is a very interesting question you've raised and the ensuing discussion has been very thought provoking. Thank you.

I have always conducted myself by this rule: "If you've nothing to say, don't." So if I read my daily list of subscriptions without leaving comments (rare as that is), it's generally for a good reason.

1. You've already said everything I would.
2. I wouldn't be able to say anything nice in response, and I don't generally go around being snarky.
3. I'm in a hurry.
4. I'm stuck under something heavy and can't reach the keyboard.

That I don't wade through a plethora of comments on my own blog doesn't offend or disappoint. I just chalk it up to the above reasons. Some of my posts can rub readers the wrong way. Some of my posts are quite clearly me just organizing my thoughts "out loud," and not comment-generators. Will I change my style to change that aspect of things? No. Lurkers are very welcome in my virtual living room; bring your knitting and we'll just hang out. : )

As TheBon says, writing (and hence blogging) is, for many people, a way of working out how they think and feel about stuff that happens. I certainly use it for that. Additionally, for those of us who make things (or renovate), it's a record of progress and completions. And when you look back over time, you can see patterns, which is an interesting reflective exercise. Finally, it's a way of sharing info about technical issues, community events and personal achievements or problems.

truly, I thrive on comments. I don't think I would have tried my hand at designing or continued with it if I hadn't had such positive feedback, and I imagine I'd find it difficult to write for the blog if I didn't have a sense of who was reading.

Maybe that makes me needy or insecure, but I'm grateful every time someone takes time to say hello. That's why I try and answer them all, or reciprocate with a comment on the commentor's blog, at least that is the aim even if it is not always achieved. Of course, sometimes I get behind on email and have to delete a whole slew, but that always feels bad.

Seems to me if a blogger doesn't want to have a comment section, that person should stick with a journal. Inviting people in to view your work and then not letting them comment on it is kinda like having a *discussion* where you state your piece and then plug your ears, close your eyes and hum loudly while the other person states theirs. lol It just doesn't work.

I read lots of blogs even though I don't have one of my own, for various reasons like having a peaceful non-eventful life and not making having a digital cam a priority. I learn a lot from them and I get a lot of inspiration from them. I laugh with them and sorrow with them. Some I even comment on...

...and so here's something else for y'all to think about. Yeah, some of the blogs with big readerships do seem kinda cliquish but I used to read a fairly new one where the blogger wailed about not having much readership based on her comments and when I commented, several times on several different posts spread out in the course of a month, I noticed she acknowledged every_blogger's_comments and ignored the blogless. Now, I don't know if she emailed the other blogless--but I know she didn't email me or acknowledge my comments (constructive or otherwise) in any way. She promptly lost my attention.

I love the blogs. Like I said, I value them as learning and sharing experiences...and I appreciate when someone that I comment to is courteous enough to comment back to me---even though I am not part of the *club*. If you're gonna comment to the other bloggers, then please remember that a lot of the lurkers are blogless and when they comment, treat them the same. It earns you a certain amount of loyalty and keeps them coming back as well.

Probably more than you wanted to know from me. lol

I too find this an interesting topic for discussion. When I started my blog, I was really excited to get into the online knitting community. I joined a slew of swaps and a couple of knitalongs hoping to generate some traffic to my blog, and while I got a few comments, even a year later I'm lucky to get any comments when I post. That said, I know people read my blog and that most of them just don't comment. I think many of my readers are not bloggers themselves, so unless a post is particularly compelling, they don't bother to comment on it on the blog, although they may mention it to me later. I also think many people who are not bloggers might not understand how to comment, or why they should, or are just confused about the whole thing, so they simply read and enjoy without letting us know. I would LOVE to have more comments, but I figure it takes time and I don't comment on that many people's blogs myself, although I read many, many, many blogs every day...

Great discussion! I think it's an organic process, and like Cara said, you get from the community what you put into the community.

I've had less than 50 comments in the 1 year I've been blogging, but I didn't start to get comments and I've kept a little less active in the community in order to build up my readership slowly. I wanted to establish the habit first, make sure I was truly commited to blogging on a regular basis before I brought much of a "readership" along for the ride.

Now that the habit is established, I'm becoming much more active because I know that I'll stick with it and show up on a regular basis. I'd hate to start building relationships and getting involved in the community only to get bored with it and wander off leaving someone disappointed in my wake.

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