Friday, October 28, 2011

The Invisible Commenter

So there's this blog I like, a lot, actually (no, it's not yours) and I used to visit it all the time – happily dropping witty comments like breadcrumbs in a gingerbread forest. This blog has more commenters than cats have hairballs. And people don't just comment once, they comment over and over. Eventually the comments take on a life of their own that have nothing to do with the original blog post.

They're a family, these commenters. Close-knit, with nicknames for each other and seamless and sightless adoration for the blogger.

When first tossing my comment gems into the mix I noticed that nobody commented on my comments. I thought, OK, well, I'm new. It will take time to be one of the cool kids. Months went by. My comments continued to be ignored. After a while I thought, what am I doing here? Not that I wanted to be one of the in-crowd, not really, because I have my own cool crowd (love you guys, I really do) but it was the studious lack of involvement that made me feel like an interloper. So I stopped reading for a while.

I started again because this blog is a bit like crack and this morning I couldn't help myself: I left a comment. It was rather like sending a boy you like in school a love note to see if he loves you back. Sort of like that, I guess.

I went back tonight to see if anybody noticed.

It was there, alone, other comments walking over it and on it and through it like it wasn't even there. It was road pizza, this comment. All guts and glory in the middle of the highway while the cars go whizzing over it, its little comment face pushed up against the yellow line. Poor wee flat thing.

I don't tell my commenters here on the River how much they mean to me very often because I don't like to be all smarmy. But I really appreciate you taking time out of your incredibly busy life and reading my drivel and leaving a comment. I don't always reply because I'm geeky at replying – I always feel awkward. It's like, my blog was my comment and now I want to hear from YOU.

Do know my heart does a happy little skip when I see a new comment. Even from spammers!

But especially from you.




Are you?


  1. Hee hee, well Cathy I'm your first commenter and I know what you're talking about. This will come back and bite you, 'cause, er, I come here and visit you a lot. I fly all the way from Oz, but you must find me so incredibly boring so you just ignore me hoping I'll go away, (((snark, snark, snark))), but you're just so good girl that even if that close knit little group on the river ignores me I just keep coming back 'cause I find your writing incredible! (And I guess you still won't comment!!!!!!!!)

    I just love the blogosphere, dontcha?


  2. Oh Denise. That's what I mean, I am the WORST at replying to comments on my own blog cause I never know what to SAY. I go through bouts where I try to comment back, all the while thinking "Cathy, you sound like an ASS," then I lose enthusiasm and revert to secretly coveting the comments, reading and re-reading them... obsessive? Who me?
    Thanks for your comment. Thanks for taking such a long trip. You are one of the very nicest writers I have met through Friday Flash - no kidding. HUGS!
    And thanks.

  3. I know what you mean. There are a couple of blogs I follow and the commenters are a sort of community. I seldom comment because I feel out of place there. But I still like the blogs so I continue to read and occasionally "cast my pearls before swine" so to speak.
    Someday we will be the meantime...

  4. And Delores, nobody around here is as faithful as you. Don't think I don't notice that you're almost always one of the first comments (Denise got you beat this time). I have done so little blog reading lately that it's embarassing – my life is tied up with writing my novel, trying to lose weight and all the other regular stuff like family and a full time job. Ack. I'm doing the NaNo thing this month so my blogging activity will drop even more. Still, when I am out in the blogosphere, I try to drop by your blog and say hi. Not as often as I should, that's for sure. I love how into blogging you are; how supportive you are of other bloggers. You are an inspiration, girl. Thanks for touching down here.

  5. You know we love you Cathy. You'll always be one of the cool kids to me, my friend *Sniffs back tears*

    Good luck with that NaNo thing...been there, done that. If I write off the month of November my life will be mud...again...

  6. Sorry, forgot to use my Far East accent in my previous comment...

    You knows we loves ya, me little trout! Sure, your A-One wit us!

  7. Alan, what are you DOING up this late???
    Yeah, every time I think of NaNo, I think of what you told me... doing catch-up days and desperately and exhaustively keeping up with the word count. It scares the crap outta me, quite honestly, but the whole idea is to give myself a deadline - something I obviously need if I ever want to finish the first draft of this book.
    Thanks for the nice comment, my fezzy friend.

  8. Hi Cathy! I popped back (am I sad and have nothing else to do? nah, I'm just curious!) and I forgot to say I'm in the NaNo too. I look forward to the exhilaration every November. I'm 'parisden' if at some time you're lost for words and start fiddling with that 'buddy' thing.

    Good luck!

    I'm in the middle of so many writing projects I'm probably a fool to be starting a new novel, but, heck, you only live once (undead to the contrary...)

    Denise (my broomstick just broke so I won't be back for awhile...)

    After all that I forgot to say how happy I was not to be 'ignored' this time oh river writer.

  9. I'm Matthiasville, Denise.. in case the broomstick does a u-turn. I'll be sure to look you up. GOOD LUCK!

  10. Hi Cathy,

    I love reading your stuff it always makes me smile, you have a special way of putting things. I love to leave a comment and leave to read the replies. I also love getting comments on my blog - everyone is treated like they belong! Waving to you from Oz as well.


  11. Opps that second leave should have been a love ^__^

  12. I always read your blog, Cathy - but usually via phone and it's a pain to write out replies in that format...
    There - that's my excuse! ;-p

    I can appreciate your feelings of being isolated and on the fringe on some of these blogs - happens to me a lot of the time :-/ (although I have noticed that leaving a direct link back to my blog as part of my sign-off usually at least results in a few 'new' people commenting on my blog....)


    I, too, have signed up for Nano again - what was I thinking of? Hopefully I shall have some sort of 'inspiration' between now and Tuesday - all I have at the moment is a genre and a title...!
    (and if you want to buddy up - search me out as 'Library Maid')

  13. Ah, shucks, I love you and your blog. I know what you mean about blog communities, and I am pretty bad myself lately at responding back to commenters. But that's life sometimes, it gets in the way.

    I'm Nano-ing as well, really low-key, more in prewrite mood to get myself geared up for the actualy writing when this semester ends. Peace...

  14. I know exactly what you mean - and can relate to the picture you put up there in terms of bloggyland. I can't imagine anyone turning your comments into roadkill. You're one of the wittiest people I know!

    I'm not doing nano, as I'm writing madly away anyway. I did it once, in 2009. That's where Deadly Intent came from.

  15. You do have a way of making people feel warmly welcome, Helen. There is a warmth about you that radiates from your blog, your writing and, believe it or not, even your photo. I just know if I were to show up on your doorstep we would have a really wonderful conversation. Thank you so much for your kind invitation.

  16. Library Maid! I'm on it. Well, I'm gonna try to be on it. Fact is, I can't figure out how the Writing Buddies thing-a-ma-bob works yet. My technical skills are sadly wanting. I am so impressed that you read MY blog on your phone! I just now told my husband, "HEY! There's this girl? Named Sue? And she reads my blog on her PHONE." We both think that's very cool. I'm imagining you bent over your phone, a bazillion miles away, reading MY BLOG. The world is a crazy, awesome, weird thing that tickles me in the wildest ways sometimes. Thanks for the tickle, Sue!

  17. Life does get in the way, Linda. And work? Work REALLY gets in the way (stoopid need for paycheques). Lately I've been blogging in the morning before I go to work. Usually that means I dash off some inanity before I dash myself out the door, arriving at work in the (barely) nick of time. My job is busy-busy. I do leave my personal e-mail account open on my desktop so I get notifications if someone has commented on my blog and I read those happily – they really put a smile on my face. But I almost never open my blog to comment back. Work frowns on that and, anyway, I usually have too much to do. Stoopid deadlines. Stoopid pay cheques. Anyway, by the time I get home at night, I get busy making dinner, doing laundry, (hopefully) writing my novel and there is rarely any time for replying to blog comments. That's my excuse... I got a million of 'em. And I do know your life is absolutely just as busy as mine, if not busier. I understand that. And I do like your blog. It's a bit of zen in an otherwise crazy existence.

  18. Of COURSE you're madly writing, Laura! Man, I wish I had an ounce of your dedication and energy for writing. I've said this before but you absolutely are my inspiration for putting aside Resistance and getting the job done. (I've just started reading this book, the War of Art.. SO GOOD. It explains me! It explains why I find it so hard to put my ass-in-seat and get things done. I totally recommend it to anyone other than you, Laura, because obviously you've already fought off your own Resistance quite nicely. So why am I mentioning this to you? Who knows... it's early.. my coffee's strong ... )

  19. Just to give the lie to my earlier comment - here's a reply via iPhone :-p

    I have to say, Cathy, that I do have a quick 'round-robin' of what's on my blog list each time I go to my blog and if I view via the laptop it's easier to bash off a reply rather than battle with predictive text (as I am now doing >:-{ )

    Currently, in between sessions of grappling with this tiny keyboard/touchpad, I'm rolling around the floor in hysterics to hear myself described in your comment as a 'girl'!
    ;-) Ah, thoughts of youth tinged with sepia tones....

  20. We are ALL girls, Sue.
    Old girls, sure. But always girls!

  21. Cathy took the words out of my mouth...except I wasn't going to use the "old" word.
    Except for Alan...he's a guy, of course...with a strange dialect and snowy hair and bones that creak when he plays basketball with the other guys...but never old.

  22. Alan may have snowy hair - don't know about the dialect! But as he and I (possibly) share an an ancestral 'root' there's a chance I'd probably understand him ;-p

  23. I suck at small talk. I used to be uncomfortable replying to comments unless I had something specific to add or they asked a question I could answer. And then one day someone asked me what it takes to get a reply from me because, to that person, it seemed that I never replied to them. Since then I think I have replied to every comment, even if it's just to say "Thanks." I plan to continue that until the volume of comments reaches a number that makes it physically impossible to do so. [Which, let's be honest, I never expect the traffic on my blog to ever reach that point. But a guy can dream, right?]

    But it's different on every site. There are blogs I read, but never leave comments. Some places I will comment occasionally and know I will never get a response. Some places it's hit or miss whether my comment will garner a response. And there are a few places that I know I will always get a response to every comment. Even if it's just to say, "Thanks." It's all part of the fabric of the blogosphere. I'm OK with being a wallflower, because... I suck at small talk.

  24. I suck at small talk too, Tim. I seriously do. I'd say, well fine, we can just suck together.. but even as I write that I know it's just downright rude... so (OMG it's a good thing my kids think my blog is boring!). You've been doing such a great job at friday flash lately. All the best and hey, thanks for dropping by.

  25. "we can just suck together"

    Hahahahahahahaha! Best reply I've gotten in a long time!

  26. THAT IS EXACTLY HOW I FEEL ALL OF THE TIME!!! I love it when people comment, share, etc...and yes, sometimes i don't know what to say, or haven't realized someone's made a comment on my own blog. But I too have felt the sharp sting of a community of bloggers commenting and my dumb remarks being ignored...I mean, I know they're dumb...what can I say, I'm just not cool...P.S. I left a comment back for you that you left on my blog! :) Love reading you, Cathy!!

  27. I'm so glad you feel that way too, Lisa! Well, I mean, I'm NOT... but it's cool to think other people are feeling the same way.
    I love reading you, too. You have such a down to earth style. So approachable. Love that. And I am, in fact, right now, this second, off to see what wonders are going on in your neck of the woods.

  28. Cathy, I truly love your wonky sense of humour and totally get the road pizza thing. Unfortunately,in real life, we just can't do everything or comment on everything.


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