I was happily deleting a blog from my blogroll when I successfully managed to delete the whole lot.
Readers of my dog’s blog will be aware that although we (ie the dog and I) have moved our blogs over to WordPress, we still use the blogroll on Blogger to catch up with latest blogposts.
In fact, I rarely delete a blog, which is probably why I clicked on the wrong ‘remove’.
I have – or rather – had, a number of blogs on the list that hadn’t been touched for ages by their authors. It wasn’t that I was too idle to update the blogroll, but I left them up in case people decide to revive them. In some cases they did, so I smugly stuck to my policy.
In which case – why was I deleting one? It was a good blog, well written, with regular posts about (to me) interesting topics. I would hardly read a blog with boring topics now would I?
The blog was about that uncontroversial subject of feminism. The subject that even feminists can’t agree on amongst themselves, let alone with the rest of the (non-feminist) world. I say this as a veteran of at least three feminist forums, chat rooms and goodness knows what else where a big argument at least once a week was the default.
But this post is not about specifics, rather about the generalities of blogging, using this particular example of a blog I chose to delete from my list of links.
The blogger wrote a post about something where they (note grammarians – they!) were ambivalent and their closing point asked for people’s views. There was a comment before mine, and I then drafted my not-remotely-ambivalent view up and put it in the moderation queue. A few days later I visited again to read a new post and see if there had been any discussion on the previous one. No. Not even my comment. Hmmm.
Now, on blogs where there are only a handful or even no comments on each post, it’s hardly difficult to miss a comment waiting for moderation. I went back again yet days later, and eventually the penny dropped. My comment was not going to be published. Either that or it got lost by Blogger which I doubt.
I was somewhat miffed. Apart from the fact that I had taken some time to write it, read the relevant link mentioned in the article and taken that into consideration, I’d tried to be respectful in someone else’s space. Had it been one of the above
rowdy assertive (private) forums, I may possibly have considered saying; ‘Don’t be such a tosser!’
Clearly, as my comment was perceived as criticising the author, I was not to be published. I might as well have written ‘Don’t be such a tosser!’ If we are writing blogs, surely we should be able to cope with a) criticism (whether perceived or intended) and b) differences of opinion. Otherwise, my dears, quite frankly, my advice is – don’t bother blogging, certainly not on anything remotely controversial.
So why was I miffed? It wasn’t just because of that single unpublished comment. I had previously commented on a number of posts, and said – what I honestly thought – that they were thoughtful, considered, and raised important points. They were published. I had asked to link to what I thought was a particularly reasoned and informative post. (Nice blogging etiquette there – although said post on here with link is now deleted of course). Yet not once had I received a comment back. Perhaps this blogger thought my writing was poor, that I didn’t write sufficiently pretentious posts, that my choices of subject were too varied. After all, I don’t just stick to feminist topics (I’m not sure there are that many :D), but also, the only people who are going to read a totally feminist blog are feminists. And I’m not interested in preaching to the converted.
At which point, I asked myself why on earth I was bothering to visit this blog, and took the rare decision to delete it from my blogroll. Which is where this post started.
But compare this with another blog, where I had a different view to the blog author. NO! I don’t do this all the time. Just sometimes. Did they delete my comment? No. Did they continue to visit mine? Yes.
That to me is what blogging should be about. People have different perspectives, and I think that adds value to a post. If it generates discussion, great. There is nothing wrong with differing points of view so long as the comments don’t deteriorate to the ‘Don’t be a tosser!’ level of insult and abuse.
And the lesson learned from this whole episode is to be more ruthless with blogs, whether they are dogblogs or people blogs. After visiting a few times and commenting, and receiving not a scrap of acknowledgement – why bother with them any more? So I shan’t. When I put together a new bloglist, I didn’t bother with the ones who had never visited me. Ok, there’s always one exception and that’s a cycling blog that I enjoy reading.
One of the good things about importing my blogs to WordPress is that it has given me the chance to re-appraise how I approach blogging, and find new, interesting, and reciprocal contacts. People who regularly reply to your comments on their blogs and/or visit yours – and let you know they have visited, even if it’s only by pressing the ‘like’ button. It’s better than nothing.
It’s not too difficult when a new blogger introduces themselves to return the visit and say thanks for visiting my blog. Is it? As some have very recently. Whereupon, I need to disappear and show some reciprocity.