Site visitor statistics don’t tell me who visits here. They do report a total of how many people visit by home country. Statistics are all I see unless a visitor happens to indicate they like a post or page. Statistics are granular to the blog or page level, but then there is no reference to home country of individual page viewers; there all I see are cumulative totals.
Naturally, if a visitor indicates a “like” or graciously comments on a post, that visitor is identified. By the way, I personally consider comments taking exception to what I write, or with constructive criticism, also “gracious.” I am happy the commentator took time to express their thoughts to me.
There is nothing except common sense and a sense of propriety ruling-out comments should one not like a particular post. Within reason, if one does take issue, comments are legitimate and expected. That is part-and-parcel of social interaction. A blog is, more-or-less a social forum, albeit somewhat one-sided. As easily as when agreeing, or expressing enjoyment, one can comment to disagree, chastise, or correct. One hopes a commentator in the latter case will apply rules of social decency to any comment – appropriate language, content, and temper.
One-sided, but not entirely. The one-sidedness goes away if you’d care to view it that way, as I am free to rebut a comment. I intimated earlier in the “home” page banner that comments can be a learning process for anyone willing to pay attention, to open their mind to possibilities, and to logically consider arguments. That includes me. Especially me.
No. I have not received many derogatory comments. Not to date. I will go on record that if someone disagrees with something I write, they should not hesitate to let me know by comment or by using the “Contact” Page. The difference is that “comments” are public and will reflect not only on the blog author (me) but also on the disagreeing commentator. If you have something you feel could be embarrassing to either you or me, the “Contact” Page – via email – keeps any “conversation” private, which allows a greater freedom. “Greater,” freedom not “complete” freedom. Decency must prevail.
Now here’s the bone I have to pick1:
If you are just passing through the site, and are not impressed enough by what I write to like or comment (good or bad) I have no way of knowing a specific audience segment viewed a particular post and that post did not positively impress, educate, or amuse them or give them reason to think about something differently. Lacking a “don’t like” button, a “Meh. I’ve heard this tale more interestingly told” comment is for me educational and I will pay attention. Say for example, I am trying for humor, and someone viewing from Australia thinks I’ve stepped on Australian toes, I need to know.
An aspiring creative2 writer, it is important I understand what works and what does not. Otherwise I cannot improve, indeed won’t be able to recognize genres, subject, and styles I should abandon altogether! If I misspell, or am unclear, or ineffective, go ahead and hurt my feelings with a comment. If you’re bashful, send me a private email – from the “Contact” Page. I’ll make time to respond to email. I’ll react to comments either to thank you for the additional time you gave me, to explain, or to show my red face3.
The creative pieces, which many visitors ignore, are the reason I blog. [Brazen admission of ulterior motive:] I blog to get people here, hoping they will abandon the blog drivel to investigate those creative pieces. I’m going to draw conclusions one of two ways.
First, if I do get people to read and comment and comments suggest I should learn to lay bricks, that’s an inescapable conclusion.
Second, if people continue either to read and not comment (for whatever reason) or don’t read, that’s a little fuzzy, but still a conclusion. If not masonry, perhaps I should consider hiring out as a farm hand.
If there is some bashfulness holding you back, let me assure you, my readership is so puny right now, chances of someone you know seeing you comment are about as slim as they are for attaining world peace by the close of 2020. Go ahead! Comment. “Meh” is legitimate. And valuable.
Excuse me, I am going to see when trade schools will open-up. Brick laying or welding. Maybe I’m already pretty good at laying bricks4.
Say. This is close to what I’ve been blathering-on about today. If you want to check-out another blogger’s take on the art of being older I’ve got one for you. This UK gent, Mario Roncaglia, spends a lot of time in Italy. He posts impressive single pictures of places, people, and things. What I’ve seen so far is usually a single make-you-wish-you-were-there, or gee-that-looks-just-like-home picture of what he describes. His blogs are an entertaining, swift read. If you’re like me, you’re interested in regular life outside the US(of)A, the retired bloke is a bit of international education. You can become a citizen of the world, not just St Cleophus Arkansas. Better than watching cable news in the morning while you eat your oatmeal and sip your coffee.
*1 “the bone I have to pick” An idiom for “here’s what’s bothering me.” Or, here’s what you did or did not do that disappointed me or left me unsettled. An issue I feel (you may disagree) that needs to be resolved.
*2 creative. Some would effectively argue that. And frankly, per this post, I wish they would.
*3 show my red face: acknowledge my embarrassment.
*4 “Laying an egg” is an expression of failure. Laying bricks is masonry. That’s a goofy turn on both laying an egg and laying bricks. Perhaps my attempts at fiction or storytelling can be summed up, “I’m pretty good at laying bricks.”