What Counts

You may have noticed that I’m slipping.

It’s probably no coincidence that my blogging mojo always seems to slack off around summer and BlogHer time. But it does. It IS. I’ve been so damn busy that when I get home the last thing I want to do is be on my computer. I’m so behind on blog reading that I have been marking all as read sometimes even though it pains me to skim or skip. Sometimes we just have to prioritize our off-line life. You’ve been there, right?

Do you think that the blogisphere has “summer hours” when June hits and that bloggers post less during summer?

Do you ever notice the correlation of being too busy to comment on other blogs and a drastic decline in your comments?

I remember a time when I was getting upwards of 75+ comments on a single post. I had NO IDEA why or where readers/commenters came from. Sincerely. I was floored. Flattered, floored. . . and confused. What did I do to “deserve” all this traffic? Did I strike some magical balance that created the perfect storm of comments/traffic/blogging mojo? To this day I still don’t know but I realized that like a lot of things in life, there is an ebb and a flow to blogging. Back when the comment section was bursting, I had a few loyal readers from my blogging beginnings mention to me that they didn’t feel the need to comment anymore because I got so many other comments. That stopped me in my tracks because THEY were my people, the ones who had been there through all of it regardless of if I was “popular” or not.

It was a double-edged sword really because on the one hand my ego loved the expanding number in my comment section and the rise in my stats. AndΒ  I was honestly struggling to keep up with responding to the volume of comments. On the other hand, the people who were my tried & trues were feeling on the outskirts of my blog which was the last thing I wanted to happen. I’ve always strived to create a community on my blog. That’s why I try to reply to every comment (when my life is not overwhelming me). That’s why I try to read the blogs of those who read me (I am unsuccessful at this most of the time due to time limitations- can we have 48 hour days?!).

I have absolutely no idea where all this is coming from except that I’m thinking about why I blog. I blog to connect with other people. I blog to share my life and find commonalities with other people. I blog to go deeper in my authentic experience. I blog to release. And somewhere along the line, I started to blog to be more ME.

The bottom line isn’t what Stat Counter says or what number the comment box reads, it’s that I am expressing myself and being true to me.

So, what’s your bottom line?


39 thoughts on “What Counts

  1. I will always read your blog, Sizzle, because you have a way of being honest to the core … and even on those posts where I can’t directly relate to your experience, I really do appreciate the loyalty you have to yourself to be honest. Even when it hurts. I think I learn from you in that way.

    I recently had one of my core peeps tell me that she didn’t think I’d notice if she didn’t comment. That she saw all these other commenters and figured I was good to go and that she’d focus her commenting time on blogs who have very few commenters. Believe me, that kind of stung (and I told her so). I’d drop all the numbers in order to hear from a few bloggers who I hold close to my heart.

  2. You know I am feeling this with you, Sizz. I have been thinking a lot lately that I wish blogs had a little check box you could mark just to say you are reading. Like, hey! I’m here and I care I just can’t think of a good, worthwhile response right now!
    There is one blogger whose post I read earlier this week and I haven’t commented b/c I wanted to recommend a magazine to her that I picked up over the weekend, but it’s at home and I can’t remember the name of it and by the time I get my hands on it she’ll probably have posted about 3 more times and it’s moot. 😦
    If I get caught up on commenting, my blogging or email or Facebook times slips. If I’m caught up on email, another piece slips. Etc etc etc. And I just can’t stress about it anymore. I can’t!

  3. OK, two things. First, the same thing has happened to me… comment numbers are way down. But daily reader numbers are up. So, I figure people have less to say, or they’re too busy to say it, or they feel like someone else has already said it, or whatever. And I don’t sweat it. And second, if I have something to say, I will comment, regardless of how many other people have already commented. Because I really don’t think there’s such a thing as too many comments on a blog post.

    My bottom line is that I LIKE blogging. I like writing, I like expressing myself, I like have a record of what was going on in my life, and I like the community. I like the interaction and the support and hearing other people’s thoughts on what I write, and expressing my thoughts on what other people have written.

  4. This is one of the blogs I’m sure I’ll always read. I hate to admit it, but of all the blogs in my reader list, I only ever look at five or six of them 90% of the time, unless a title catches my eye. That’s probably pretty crappy of me.

    I’ve thought about removing the comments section from mine a few times because I’m addicted to them like crack and seriously, WTF is up with that, but that would just be weird, and besides, I think people like to comment. I’m not even sure why I started blogging. I think probably boredom and the desire to see if I could actually write something I thought was good.

    At the end of the day, I blog because I can still make myself laugh out loud with it, and it feels good. When that stops, so will the blog, probably.

  5. Bottom line, is that a euphemism for butt crack? πŸ™‚

    I have noticed a slacking in responses but I assumed that like me, they are on vacation or what not. I personally have not commented on someone’s blog if there were a large number of responses, partly because I would not want to be redundant, or I didn’t feel overly strong about the topic. If I did feel strongly about it I’d comment no matter the number.

  6. Bottom line is I blog because I love to write, need an outlet for my frustrations or awesome moments, and keep my friends up to date with what I’m up to.
    But I do love the comments. I think most bloggers do. Then again when a blogger turns to blogging just for the comments, I think they lose a sense of why they started blogging in the first place.
    Oh and no need to apologize for not being able to blog or comment or what have you. Life is a lot more important and definitely trumps everything else.

  7. You hit it, my friend. Things ARE quieter in the summer (It’s not snowing! People are outside!) and you have to prioritize.

    My site is for me, regardless of who comes by.

  8. I meant to tell you for a long time that I REALLY appreciate that you respond to every comment on your blog, because that makes me feel connected to you (even though you don’t read my blog, I assume, and don’t really know me and my life).

    I’ve been working on a blog entry myself that deals with this subject: the blogs you read, the blogs you comment on and the people who come over to my blog and comment. Let’s just say: it’s not a direct correlation and it often leaves me wondering what kind of connection people have.

    I do understand though that some of your early commenters feel that there’s no need to comment when you already have upwards of 50+ comments on your blog. It makes your comment feel like “just another number”.
    I am far from having that many comments on my site (I am lucky if I get 10+), but that means that I have a closer relationship and connection to the people who actually do.

  9. If you have a loyal following, it doesn’t need to be large, right?

    (Large is nice, mind, but loyal is better.)

    Keep doing this for you, and for the ones that count. πŸ™‚

  10. i hear you. blogs need summer hours!
    if i go to a blog for the first time, and it has 75+ comments, i will be interested to read because i figure, there must be something worthwhile there!
    some of my favorite bloggers have also gotten up there, but ive continued commenting all the while, because i knew them when they were just a little blog that could.
    those blogs that i have come to know and love, ill comment regardless. 2 comments or 89 comments, im there, reading, and commenting when i can.

  11. I blog because I want to. It allows me to express myself. While I do appreciate comments and would love more interaction, they do not define me. People (readers) come and go. The loyal readers/friends are what’s important anyway NOT 50 random commentors.

    You put a lot of heart and thought into what you write. That’s why I keep coming back here.

  12. On some blogs, I never leave comments because they get SO many and never comment on my blog. But most of the time, I am just behind, and am commenting on blogs from many days ago.

    I blog for the same reasons as you do, but especially to release, like you mentioned. I just have to get things out sometimes!

  13. Get out of my head woman!! ;o)
    I was thinking about this too. I am so busy lately and the kids have me running about like a maniac that I’m skimming blogs on my iPhone at work in 2 minute smoke breaks and barely commenting like I used to. Yes my own comment numbers have crashed down too and that’s ok. If people are busy or feel that because I don’t comment then they won’t that’s really okay! I write when I can, I read as much as possible and I comment when I have the time. Blogging shouldn’t be about guilt now, should it? :o)

  14. I open my google reader at work, just to check to see if you have posted… even though our computers are being monitored. I read yours, comment and then close it. So it makes me happy that you appreciate those of us that have been around and commenting. It seems like everything has already been said, by comment 75. So if I don’t get in early, I generally don’t comment.

    Summer hours would be great. I am so far behind in my reading.

  15. I am excited when I get more than 10 or 15 comments. I don’t know what I would do with numbers like that!

    But I confess I often don’t bother commenting if I see too many other comments on a post. I kind of assume that everything will have already been said- and is the writer really even going to care at that point?

    As for the summer? Maybe a little- if I go on holidays I find it impossible to catch up with my reader and I mark all as read. It’s kind of devastating to me when I do it…

    I don’t think you should feel obligated to post daily though – that’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself!

  16. I read your blog because you have a sweet ass.

    Blogging is a writing exercise for me. I am attempting to do something specific that is actually worth reading to somebody who doesn’t know me intimately. As a result, there are periods of time where I am unable to formulate the thought. However, I also find that when I am in the groove of daily posting, it is easier to post daily. when I start to fall off, I have difficulty getting back to it. It’s like the gym that way.

  17. I switched to google analytics, and now my stats are so difficult for me to decipher that I have no idea what they are. It’s quite soothing.

  18. I blog to express myself – to get things off of my chest that I can’t really share with my friends. I can only hope that eventually my blog will become a community – a place where I can connect with other people who can (or can’t!) relate to what I’m going through. I try to comment on other blogs as much as possible – but I do agree – summertime is so busy, I feel like real life often takes priority over blogging!

  19. Bottom line for me, especially right now is this…I write what I want to write, when I want to write it and it is all for me. I comment when I feel like commenting these days too, not because any one person is less or more important than the other but because I can only get so far before I just give in.

    I’ve noticed that thing you mentioned…old time people don’t comment as much anymore because new people come in and comment constantly. It’s like a shift or something. Foo said something interesting to me the other day, which is that it seems like after having grown my blog, it feels more like I am writing *to* people than for myself. Maybe that is part of the reason that I like my Weight Loss blog so much…it’s like the “oldies but goodies” all come around there and it feels sort of like home.

    I don’t care about my stats. The only time I get squiffy about no comments is when I pour my heart out and no one says anything. I guess I feel like people are silently judging me when really they don’t have the right words to say.

    Holy crap, sorry for the book. I may write a post about this later on.

  20. Blogging is a fairly time-consuming hobby, especially when you are trying to write your own stuff. It is weird how so many of us are writers worrying about reading each other’s material. I come and go from reading your blog, sometimes more and sometimes less, but I think we all agree that if we could — we would all just hang out all the time and read and write online. Twitter is another matter.

  21. Considering my lack of readers, I think I can say I blog for myself. Sometimes I make time to post, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I am funny, sometimes I am boring, sometimes I don’t care either way.
    Altho some of my most popular posts have been about my mole removals, so if I have encouraged even one person to go to their dermatologist to get their moles checked out, then I am happy.

  22. My bottom line is to document and make some sense of my life, which ALAS! I have not been doing so much lately.

    I’m in total summer mode right now…

  23. I’m with you. More than with you, even — I’ve nearly stopped blogging. Not consciously…I’ve just been so busy doing things that I feel like I’m out of time and energy (and want, more than anything) to write about them.

    I think I blog more when I’m angsty.

  24. My bottom line is similar to yours. I just need to get it all out. I’m an emotional kind of girl and sometimes everything is just roiling around in my head and writing it makes it so much clearer. It doesn’t necessarily FIX anything, but it makes me more aware of what is upsetting/pleasing/exciting/depressing me. I’m not going to say that comments aren’t nice, but I’m not necessarily in it for the comments.

    However, I have MORE time in the summer (yay! for summer break) so I’m more likely to comment in July than in October or November. I am here to break cycles!!

  25. Thank you for writing this. I think we all struggle with the ebb and flow and popularity vs. need to connect. I have noticed a decline in comments not just on my blog but many others I read and yes, I think it’s due to summer. You’re right: It’s hard to keep up when you have other summer activities to tend to! I may be sporadic in my reading the next couple months, but I’ll keep comin’ back forever… πŸ™‚

  26. Hmm. I suppose comments are a bit slow this time of year, but I don’t have a large comment troupe to begin with so I don’t really take notice of it. Last month I had a lot more hits than usual, but I was also posting a lot more. Also have some more hits coming in since I started using Twitter.

    I write/post what I feel like, what amuses me, or what I think others might find useful. Bottom line: blogging fulfills my need to put it out there.

    As for commenting, I am less likely to comment on blogs that get tons unless I have something new to add. However, I don’t think my habits have changed too much here except that I don’t have time to read the other comments, so in that respect, it’s less group interactive.

  27. My bottom line is that I love reading your blog! I’m finding also that summertime brings more to do and less time on the computer, so I admittedly don’t read every day or comment as much but I will say that when I’ve missed a few days, I always read the ones I’ve missed :o) I’m glad to come here as often as I can!

  28. I have to admit to not always commenting on your posts cos there’s so many comments before mine πŸ˜‰ I certainly don’t comment so that you’ll comment me back though so don’t feel that way. I like to comment on things – I am a comment whore hehe. I was recently saying on my blog that I like the fact that my stat counter says a lot of people read and yet very few comment. I’m still toying with the idea of switching off my comments cos they sort of freak me out a bit hehe. yet is that me being hypocritical cos I love commenting…?!?!

  29. I don’t blog. I have a few selcet blogs that I read and yours is one of less than 10. I read your blog because I like you. I like what you have to say. Whether it is a funny day, sad day, emotional day, frustrating day, a celbratory day, it is always a Sizzle day. I can relate to you on different things you are struggling with or celebrating. I read your blog because it makes me feel good. I rarely comment, and understand sometimes it is probably easier for you to blog than others. I for one am just always happy to see something from you.

    I get to my desk in the morning, pop a diet mountain dew, check email and look for Sizzle. You are a part of my day.

    Know this, in Septemebr 2007 I weighed 350 pounds. Today I am 145. No surgery, no fad diets, just getting healthy, diet changes, excercise and will power, and you can do it too Sizz πŸ™‚

  30. I could have written most of your post. The sense of community I get from blogging doesn’t exist with Twitter and only exists because of the commenters and readers interacting with me and each other through each post I write. Even if I was only getting 5 or 10 comments a post, though, I’d keep writing. I do it because I like it.

  31. Girl, you KNOW I get this. My summer posting is always sporadic at best, and I’m a terrible commenter. Be that as it may, I think the blogging community is really “what it’s all about,” and I’ll always be reading!

  32. I clearly don’t have a bottom line other than – I do what I please. If I go a month without posting, so be it. If I’m in the mood to read and comment on other’s blogs, I do. Like Neil said, it really is a time-consuming hobby. I like it a lot, but I do often feel overwhelmed by it.

  33. I don’t know how to read my statcounter results. I know. Please don’t teach me. I can figure out what funny things people Google to get to my site and that’s it. I don’t want to know anything more. For the first year or so of blogging I didn’t even have my comments e-mailed to me. I didn’t know how. All of this ignorance helps me stay in a place where, for the most part, I’m doing it all for me.

  34. Blogging, commenting and reading other blogs can be both fun and totally exhausting. I believe in doing whatever fits with your life situation and desire.

    And yes, summer is a slow blogging time for many of us!

  35. i think we are all lazier in the summer and don’t worry, when you get back from BlogHer, you won’t be able to keep up with all the NEW commenters. but you knew this already.:)

  36. Yep, I get too busy to read too πŸ™‚ I usually only read while at work in down times or at lunch, as I’m too tired of being at the computer at night to keep reading blogs. My blog reading (and posting) is in proportion to how busy I am at work, so it’s pretty down for the past two weeks. And yeah, my comments adjust proportionately as well. I was never in your numbers but I used to get about 25 – 30 comments a post (I used to post 5x a week) and now I average about a dozen per post at only twice a week. A lot of my regular readers are no longer blogging or have succumbed to Facebook and I haven’t made much of an effort to find new ones.

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