A Post About — Comments!

There’s ham and eggs, brownies and milk, winter and summer, and POSTS AND COMMENTS.  The one makes the other go, the other pulls the one along. I’m sure I have the most thoughtful, interesting readers anywhere. Your lively comments can enlarge my small offerings to something new and wonderful — even to me.

I no longer write to hear myself think. I’ve been writing all my long life and I mostly know what I think already. I write to hear what OTHERS think. What YOU think. It’s new to me — fresh and refreshing and unpredictable.

My own image is a post as a springboard over a deep body of water —  Readers walk out on the springboard, and some of them dive in — And then there’s a whole bunch of people frolicking in the water or seriously swimming — in a CONVERSATION, and that’s my highest form of praise.

Why do I think it’s necessary to post this? Well, to say thanks, for one thing. But mostly because I’ve discovered that lots of people aren’t even aware of comments, let alone as their often being a vital part of the post. There they are, stuck away at the bottom in small print in a parenthesis (xx Comments), and so what?

So what, Reason one: I reply to every single comment, which means at minimum, a short dialogue’s going on.

Reason two: Other people comment and I reply, and you’re overhearing a dialogue.

Reason three: Read two comments, and you’re eavesdropping on a conversation.

Reason four: If something strikes you, you can dive in and then you’re right there mixing it up in the pool, an active part of the conversation.

Exhibit A: The posts Buddhas — and Ordinary People and Doubt? Or Certainty, both recent on this blog. There are lots of others. Take a look —

Exhibit B:  Weekly Photo Challenge, BROKEN 2, on my second blog A View From the Woods. The discussion is just opening up, and already pessimistic views are shifting from BROKEN to BEGINNING to BELOVED — Now how is that happening? And what do you think about brokenness anyway?

If you don’t normally pay attention to comments on blog posts, remember that you’re only getting the part and not the whole, and check ’em out when the subject interests you. As a lure, here are two images prompted by that current discussion of BROKEN. They’re of mosaic benches (adorned with broken shards of ceramic, right?) in Barcelona’s Parc Guell, designed by the eccentric and colorful Antonin Gaudí:

There are the benches as art objects; and in use:

Come on and dive in. The water’s fine!

(Sorry I couldn’t find a larger image: I was in Barcelona before my computer, my camera, my blogs — 😦

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38 Responses to A Post About — Comments!

  1. Jen Payne says:

    One of my favorite things about your blogs – and about you! – is that you DO respond to all of your comments (and you post thought-provoking comments elsewhere as well!) I believe that’s what this (blog world, internet world) is all about – making those connections and conversations happen! So THANK YOU for showing us all how to do it!

    Like

    • Touch2Touch says:

      Hey, Jen! Queen of inspirational thoughts and art!
      We’re all in this together, sounding off and listening to what and who comes back —
      I think the blog world is about a lot of stuff, but basically at bottom is about sharing — could be poetry, photographs, art work, recipes, quotes, lots of stuff.
      But my favorite is small groups of conversations going on about random thoughts, and you guys are all game to dive in. THANKS!!!!!!
      🙂

      Like

  2. Pauline says:

    Often in blogland, a comment and a conversation are two different things. It depends on the post. As an example, my poetry draws comments, and though I make an effort to respond to everyone, conversation seldom ensues. On a number of blogs I read, comments are merely that, a sort of I-like-what-you-say-and-I-agree or -gee-that’s-lovely- generic acknowledgment that one has been there and read the text or looked at the photos. To get a conversation going, one needs encouragement, which you supply in quantity. Interaction on a blog is a lengthy process. There’s a modicum of waiting involved and often folks don’t take the time to go back to see if their comment was commented on. Reading here and at A View From the Woods is always stimulating because you do pursue conversation. You’ve made your blogs worth coming back to.

    Like

    • Touch2Touch says:

      Sometimes I feel like Tigger in Winnie the Pooh, Pauline — bouncing around exuberantly and bopping people inadvertently from time to time!
      There are lots of different types of blogs — as you say, and only some are suited for conversation.
      Your superb blogs, almost invariably poetry with or without photos (although not always) receive comments, but don’t usually lead to discussion. That’s not their purpose.
      “Likes,” which I use sometimes myself, I think of as “calling cards” that ladies left in more leisured times when they made morning calls. “I was here and send regards…”

      Conversation — as you know from the rare times we can get together — is nourishment to me. How incredible is it that people in D.C. and here and Nova Scotia and England can join in a discussion!
      The Internet has miraculous potential, and sometimes it lives up to it.

      I know it takes time that busy people have little of, and I am grateful for every comment made!!!!!!!

      Like

    • tms says:

      Pauline, I completely agree with you. I would just like to share a different angle: Blogging in order to share pictures, I am always absolutely happy about comments that hint at what somebody sees in a picture because it helps me figure if (or how) the picture works.

      But replying at length – or in depth – I often feel like I am walking on thin ice because I tend to offer interpretations of my own stuff, directing any future spectator’s gaze … and then I will never find out what other people really think.

      Thus I confine myself to a simple “Thank you” – even if that does not seem to encourage conversation. It is the best I can think of at the moment.

      I hope this is understandable (what with my writing in a foreign language; being clear yet friendly in a different culture unfortunately is not always easy).

      Anyways, blogs like this one here often come as some kind of relief – thanks to a wonderful, inspiring hostess: Here’s a “blue moon” for you!

      Like

      • Touch2Touch says:

        Tobias, Thanks for joining in! Pauline’s comments always go straight to the mark — I’m glad you two have “met.”

        It did occur to me after the fact (impulsive, impulsive!) that a photography blog, like a poetry blog, has different characteristics. You are very careful to put your photographs out there strictly for your viewers’ OWN interpretation — and they are very intriguing indeed! Anyway — thank you for the blue moon 😀

        Like

  3. Rebekah says:

    Have been blogging since 2004, I realize and appreciate the importance of comments. Quite often, they are what keeps me going, even though I’m aware of that it isn’t always easy for a person to comment on everything. Sometimes you have nothing to say, really and other times the subject is totally beyond me. In general, though … it’s such a vital part of the blog and the best thing that can happen, is when the comments section turn out like a discussion — sometimes even amongst the commenters themselves.

    Like

    • Touch2Touch says:

      Amen to that, Rebekah!
      Yours is quite a measure of perseverance and commitment, be blogging since 2004. Very impressive!
      The pinnacle of conversation, as you point out, is when commenters themselves begin discussing with each other. That happens, in my experience, as rarely as a blue moon. But, boy is it great when it happens.
      To more blue moons!

      Like

      • Rebekah says:

        I don’t know that I’d say that [perseverance and commitment] … it has been on and off, different blogging platforms and so on. One thing’s for sure though — I’ve seen a lot of weird, human behaviour. No wonder there are wars going on in the world, when people can’t even keep peace on a simple, online blog. 2005 — 2008 I was at Yahoo360, and saw more drama there than I’ve ever seen in my life. That was more of a community, though, than what we see here.

        Like

        • Touch2Touch says:

          I’m a Jenny-Come-Lately, only blogging since July 2010. Your on and off, different blogging platforms, don’t un-impress me. It takes perseverance and commitment to keep going, and to keep on keeping going may take even more!
          But your hint of high drama at Yahoo 360 (and what was that exactly?) is startling and intriguing. I can’t imagine an unpeaceful WordPress community. Maybe that’s what you mean, though, about it being less of a community? After all, once the original community, The First Family, has become four (Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel) the next thing that happens is —-a murder!
          Always made me wonder in a lot of different directions.

          Like

      • Rebekah says:

        there won’t be any until August 31, 2012 😀

        Like

  4. Patti Kuche says:

    This is such a wonderful and timely post. The photos are a lovely collection of so many broken, colourful pieces that curve and wind like the threads of a good conversation that is so treasured beyond the measure of fat stats! In order to gain, we need to give and I am always so touched at the perspective your thoughtful posts give me. Thank you so much.

    Like

    • Touch2Touch says:

      Thanks, Patti. And especially thanks for the times you’ve joined in the conversation. Breath of life!
      Your blog has lots of meaty stuff too — and you’re not afraid to mix it up in the comments department either!

      Like

  5. Rebekah says:

    Well, I think it was the fact that it was more of a community-like experience, that caused all the grief. There were drama queens, others seemed to think it was a popularity contest … gathering as many ‘friends’ as possible. You could see statements like «I’m cleaning up my friends list!» Imagine the ones that were deleted … they were angry and felt offended, so they started going after the first person … possibly under a different ID … bad-mouthing him or her … most often her.

    Could have been an interesting research object for a sociological project or so 🙂

    Like

    • Touch2Touch says:

      Ouf! A little like Facebook drama? Friend-ing and UnFriend-ing — strange world, eh?
      Actually — sounds like it would have made a GREAT project for some sociology or psych major! Up your alley????
      😉

      Like

  6. thirdhandart says:

    You are such a good author. And, the comments that I’ve read on your blog are very intelligent and well composed. My opinions and thoughts can usually be found in either the post or the ensuing comments. Even though I don’t leave many intellectual comments myself, I love the intellectual stimulation and lively discussions. So, I guess I eavesdrop sometimes, but I do it in order to learn. I love to learn. Thank you! -Theresa

    Like

    • Touch2Touch says:

      Loving to learn? That makes two of us then. As occupations go, lifelong student is not a bad one!
      I forgot to mention eavesdroppers —
      I know (because some are friends who tell me so) that some people always read the blogs but never say anything. (Sometimes in blogspeak they’re called lurkers, which sounds so sinister!)
      Until one day, seemingly out of the blue, there comes a comment from one. Sharp, astute, well-phrased. Often making a point that I never even thought of in writing the original post. It’s so delightful that it makes me greedy, wanting more of this richness that’s just — well, just LURKING out there!
      Thanks very much for your comment, Theresa. (And I’m on your RSS feed, so I’m lurking too.)

      Like

      • thirdhandart says:

        Touch2Touch- I didn’t know that you were from Brooklyn, New York. My husband was born in Brooklyn in 1952. He lived in a townhouse on Sutton Street until 1966 when his family moved to Miami. Wow! Sometimes, ‘It’s a small world after all’. Take care. -Theresa

        Like

        • Touch2Touch says:

          Hey Theresa, I suspect it’s ALWAYS a small world, we just don’t always find out about it!
          There’s a special bond among Brooklyn people, so say hey to your husband, too!
          (In 1952 I was graduating from high school 😉

          Like

  7. Rebekah says:

    Oh, I love my brown leather Filofax and could never get rid of that…

    Like

  8. Rebekah says:

    Tomorrow, when the light is better, I’ll take a shot of my beloved, unbroken Filofax 🙂 That gives me something to write about too, so thank you, Din.

    Like

  9. john tugano says:

    ..Sometimes I forgot to reply on comments on my blog but now I realized how important it is..credit to this post of yours..Comments can also make good friends and thats what I’m eying here in WordPress.The connection we get from blogger to blogger is much important than the post we make,I believe..

    Like

    • Touch2Touch says:

      For many bloggers, that possible connection is why we post! (Although there are lots and lots of reasons, really.)
      Thanks for all your previous visits, John, and special thanks for taking the time to comment!!!!!!

      Like

  10. Christine Grote says:

    Great take on the broken photo challenge. Beautiful benches.

    I agree, comments make the blogs go ’round.

    Like

  11. I love that people leave comments and I reply to each one of them. I also try to leave comments on blogs wherever I go although i do at times just “like”. It’s my way of saying “I was here and thank you.”
    blessings to you for all those who reach out to you and you reach back to.

    Like

  12. Stef says:

    I love your “Reasons One Through Four” re. comments; awesome.

    And the pictures of those mosaic benches are terrific! Small or large, the images are stunning.

    Lovely. Just as I would expect from you. 🙂

    Like

  13. 2e0mca says:

    I think that’s the right approach – reply to every comment and have a dialogue. It’s important to appreciate and welcome those who visit out blogs 🙂 Yes, this was a good and important post – well done for broaching the subject.

    ps – Loved the shots from Parc Guell 🙂

    Like

    • Touch2Touch says:

      You’re very good about encouraging the dialogue on your blog. I certainly try — because what matters to me most is the conversation.

      As for the Parc Guell, I had to get those shots from the internet (where there are surprisingly few excellent ones). For some unapparent reason, I didn’t have my camera with me when I was there several years ago. We had the incredible good fortune to see it with friends who live in Barcelona, and who as children actually played there, and enjoyed pointing out which particular “grotto pillar” they hid behind, etc etc. Great fun. So glad you are an aficionado of it as well!

      Like

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