Friday, December 21, 2007

Is commenting necessary?

The other day, I was reading a friend's blog. He was posting about the attack on Pearl Habour. I read it (sort of--I was tired) and looked at the pictures. But I didn't leave a comment.

Now, I did leave a comment on his post on why TV shows go bad. So, he does know that I was there. He sends me a note asking me why I didn't leave a comment. I sent him some answer back (basically I was tired that day), but it did get me to thinking.

What is the proper etiquette for reading blogs? Should we post comments to everything we read? Or is the mere fact that we are reading the blog be enourgh?

Both me and my friend came out of the Amateur Press Association scene. One of his pet peeves was the fact that many members would just write "RAEBNC." For those who haven't been a member of an APA, that means "Read and enjoyed, but no comment." Now, this was one of the reasons that he got out of the APA that we mutually belonged to; I left because I saw the writing on the wall (I had started to write about Golden Dawn in my zine) and realized that it was the wrong audience for me. That and I was starting to tilt at the print market.

One of the reasons that I don't leave comments often is that a lot of them would boil down to RAEBNC. I don't even leave comments for the writers who take part in the Weekly Page View Reciprocation List. I figure if I make time to read the articles that should be enough to satisify them. I never actually bothered to ask the members there exactly how they feel about this notion of mine.

Truth of the matter is that I have a hard time coming up with useful comments. What use does RAEBNC have to your typical writer or blogger? And if I can't help you write better (and some people really don't want the help), why should I leave a comment? Oh, occasionally, I will leave a "Wow" on some people's work because they wrote something that I wish that I would have done.

I am not the only one that has a hard time leaving useful comments; the Creative Writing class I took a couple of semesters ago was full of people who had to learn how to give useful comments (there was one student that never did learn the knack of that one).

There is also that whole backlinking to one's profile. I understand that it does help your ranking in the search engines, but when does it become spam (remember spamming gets your links slammed by engines; they have limits and then they declare it foul play) and do you want to look like a spam artist?

But ultimately, I think that comments should be restricted to Wows and useful comments, not RMP (read my page) and RAEBNC. Besides who am I really writing for? If I am just writing for myself, comments are just going to be generally ignored anyways. And most of the time, my writing better be pleasuring to me because that is the only audience that I am sure to have.

I am not sure who he thinks that he is writing for. I am also not sure what he thinks being a blogger is about. In my world, comments are nice, but they are not really necessary.

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