Friday, September 15, 2006

BLOG LINKS and BLACK CLOTHES


Chain, Chain, Chain
Originally uploaded by ozoni11.

Most of the links on my sidebar I found through reading blogs and getting so excited about what they contained that I wanted more. I wanted to read everything this blogger wrote. Or at least check in on a regular basis.

Not all of them though.

Three or four were added when an enterprising blogger wrote and asked me to exchange links. I usually comply. Just seems like the polite thing to do.

Most often the link traders have no real interest in my blog; and once they acquire another link in their chain, they're never seen again.

One link was added after I got a rather irate email from a man wanting to know why I linked all his friends, but not him. I probably should have ignored the email. But I felt bad that I hurt his feelings so I apologized and added his link.

Once he got me to admit I was wrong, he never visited again either.

A few times I've linked blogs and frequently left comments on them because I loved their words, and they always said something that made me want to yell YES! Loudly!

But they never visited me back or left even a stone in the comment box.

Maybe they were too busy or had no interest in the stuff I wrote. But I started to feel like the high school outcast. I dressed all in black when I visited their blogs. I sulked and said nothing--no matter how fast their writing made my heart pound.Maybe I even stopped visiting altogether.

If they didn't want to hang out in the alley with me in my black clothes, I wouldn't hang out with them either. So there!

Sometimes I even took their links down and exorcised them altogether like an ex-boyfriend who never liked you as much as you liked him.

I know it's not very mature, and I only denied myself the pleasure of some fine writing, but that's what I did.

Sometimes I take people off my sidebar because they've stop blogging for a while or because I have so many links and I can never seem to find the one I'm looking for.

There are several blogs I visit regularly, but haven't linked to. Not because I like them less, but because I got in the habit of connecting to them through a mutual friend's sidebar or through their comments here.

My blog roll is so diverse that if we all got together for a party, it might be a weird gathering. I wouldn't know whether to serve beer or blue martinis or double expressos. Come to think of it my life is like that, too.

And I like it that way. In my alley, anyone can hang out--no matter what color your clothes are.

What was the last blog you linked to and why?

52 comments:

Robert said...

Sites I link to are sites whose RSS feeds I have put into my RSS reader to check daily. It doesn't mean I necessarily comment on them all the time, but I do read their stuff. Often I will let them know (by email) that I liked their site enough to link to it, and ask if they'd be willing to do the same (but no pressure). So far, everyone seems cool with that, because I genuinely like their stuff and want to build a sense of community, and I think that comes through.

gulnaz said...

guess what, i totally relate to everything you have written here! YES!! :))

rdl said...

I too always feel that it's the polite thing to link back to someone who links to you, but most often it's someone's writing that I admire. My most recent link was, "http://doctoranonymous.blogspot.com/ for the first reason and I do enjoy his writing and blog alot. Then for the other reason,the blog most recently added is Just Write.

Bernita said...

I'm a tech-idiot. I have to wait until a tech-child's plate is clear to have links added.
~ so laugh at the post-Luddite, she's come quite aways, considering~
So I add new treasures to my Favourites and visit every day - whether I comment or not.

bevjackson said...

Hi Patry!! I'm baccckkkkkk! (I'm JUST getting out of boxes and still don't have furniture, but likely you'll see me around a bit more.) Sorry I've been off the map for so many months, and thanks for popping by to say hi.

xox
Bev

Anonymous said...

Patry, it's funny it's so true what you say about feeling the bite of high school in the blog sphere. I think a lot of people (well, I at least) fall into the trap of the popularity contest when you realise that you actually have an audience. It's seductive. But after a while, I think you settle in more comfortably, find your own voice, and everything follows - that's how it is with writing, too. (well, for me at least).

Cliff

Anonymous said...

Patry, it's funny it's so true what you say about feeling the bite of high school in the blog sphere. I think a lot of people (well, I at least) fall into the trap of the popularity contest when you realise that you actually have an audience. It's seductive. But after a while, I think you settle in more comfortably, find your own voice, and everything follows - that's how it is with writing, too. (well, for me at least).

Cliff

Dave said...

I refuse to feel guilty if someone links to my blog or leaves comments and I don't reciprocate. And I feel no resentment when people I have linked to and/or commented on for years don't reciprocate. I had a reciprocal links page for a few months, but upkeep became a chore so I gave it up. So I guess I'm coming from a completely different place than you are. (But then again, back in high school, I wasn't merely shunned by the popular kids - I was shunned by everybody! With the result, I guess, that I'm just not very good at maintaining relationships of any kind.)

But to answer your question, I guess the most recent blog I added to my links page was F*R*L. And I have about eight more that I need to add soon, because I've been reading their feeds for at least two weeks and like their writing.

I try to keep up with every blogger I subscribe to through Bloglines (about 75 who update regularly). That doesn't always leave much time for commenting.

Kathryn said...

The last day I added new links I added three. One was for TwoBlueDay, a brand-new blog started by a reader who recently discovered my blog. Another was to Steeping, a blog by a woman living in Georgia who had emailed to ask me some blog etiquette questions and who was starting up a new blog (after having shut down an old one). Lastly, I added ZeFrank, becuase I watch his daily show and he's brilliant, and his blog is full of links to other interesting things. I have a slight crush on him too. :)

I don't respond to requests to swap links, and if I get an email whining about why I didn't or won't link to someone, I ignore it. It's impolite. And I don't view the request to swap as enterprising as much as it is opportunistic.

The way I keep track of all the blogs I want to read is via Bloglines. Most of the blogs I read are linked in my blog, but not all. In fact, some are in my blog that I don't keep track of.

sfp said...

I do worry sometimes that someone will think I no longer read their blog when in reality I'm reading from bloglines that day instead of from my sidebar.

My most recent add: http://bloglily.wordpress.com/

zhoen said...

Long ago I had a few readers/commenters whose blogs were, well, not readable let's say. Did not want to be mean, but no way was I going to recommend them to anyone else. So for a long time, I had a no-links-policy. Sort-of relented, tortured myself doing the html to put up links, hated doing it. Some of them are now broken. I give.

I love wearing black, but those clove cigs are just awful for you, though they smell really good.

kate said...

. . . comments and links have been soooooooo on my mind lately, for the very reasons you posted about - all hail the wearing of black for blog surfing! :) I did a link purge a few weeks ago and removed the blogs that I no longer read or whose writers no longer visit my own blog. I like to think of my blog roll as a sort of tribe, The Tribe of DatingGod, not just to show who I read, but so that those who come and visit a lot can see their own contribution to it all. Just a few days ago a blogger who'd just happened upon my blog asked me to exchange links with her. And I said no, for the reasons above, though if she hangs out long enough, why not link??? :)

And as for comments, that's a whole 'nuther pack of C4, isn't it? A few hours ago I posted something along the lines of the format you follow here. (just hoping I can pull it off with a modicum of the grace and style you do it with :)

This blog stuff . . . it's the great frontier of writing in a lot of ways . . .

Diana said...

I am really picky about linking and only link to blogs I really enjoy reading. Although I often get behind on my blogroll updating and will be reading a blog for months before it shows up on my links. Also, I don't access my blogroll from my site but from Bloglines; sometimes I worry that my daily reads don't "see" me because I read their feeds (I read you every time you update, Patry!).

I've also moved my blogroll from my sidebar to a separate page, which also renders it less "important." I'm kind of tired of the whole blogroll concept, you know? I want to read who I want to read and not think too hard about it. :P

Tamar said...

patry, sometimes I just don't have the time to read everyone on my blogroll every day. It is such an interesting piece about blogging - the blogroll and why we link to who we link. I know one blogger, for example, who simply links to whoever links to him and if they don't, he doesn't.

Sometimes when I read posts I don't have a comment - but have enjoyed reading. It is a tricky business indeed. As you know, I have just been whining about "lack of attention" recently. Most of the time I don't much care if I don't receive any comments. It seems to depend on my mood or other life happenings outside of the blog.

It would be easier just not to allow comments. Then that tension would be gone! But then, would it be a blog?

Come to think of it, I've been wearing black for a long time. Am looking for colors lately.

Smiles.

paris parfait said...

I linked to another blog recently because she recommended my blog on hers. And she'd found me through a third blog. :) You're so right about a party with all of us together - what a diverse group of people. But that's what makes life interesting - and I'd be wearing black too. I read lots of blogs that aren't listed in my links, as time allows. But you're there, because your writing is wonderful!

Lorna said...

I've been slinking through Blog Alley lately too, wondering why I'm scuffling along on my own sometimes. I really need to get back to the basics of why I blog, and it was never to get comments or to leave comments, although I love both. I blog because I am. And scratching on tablets with sharp stones is out.

robin said...

Hi, Patry.

The last link I added was Susan Henderson's new blog, Litpark. Her post on Friday was especially amazing, if anyone hasn't seen it.

I know I need to be better about commenting. I don't know why I'm so uptight about it -- I find it very hard to figure out what I want to say. I worry about being redundant or boring -- or trying to be witty but coming off as a nitwit. Not to mention the fear of typos.

Which all makes me feel like the back alley girl in black, but for different reasons, I guess.

Okay, now I just want to go hug my dog.

On a lighter note, you should visit me. I might suck at comments, but I did do a nice write-up on you and THE LIAR'S DIARY.

/always a fan, even when I'm frozen in OCD comment Hell

Alexandra S said...

You know what? I can't remember who I last linked and I rarely look at the links on others' pages to see if I am there. Hmm....this is reminding me though about a recent post LizElayne had and someone commented that they felt the blogging world was very cliquey. After I read that, I did start to notice when people commented how close of friends they had become with some fellow bloggers and maybe a tiny bit of me felt left out or just wanting that too. I don't know, mostly I so appreciate every time someone leaves a comment, and feel guilty that I don't comment as much as I should. I tend to read much more than I comment, but then people never know I was there. But this post makes me want to be a more polite and thoughtful blogger!

Patry Francis said...

robert: That wonderful sense of community you speak of is the best thing about blogging. You're right; when you exchange links for that purpose, it comes through.

gulnaz: Do you have any idea how happy I am to see you around here again?

r: Those are two good blogs.

bernita: I do the same thing. I access lots of blogs through my favorites list. It's easier, and it's usually part of the transition of getting them onto my blogroll.

bev: So happy you're back. You've been missed!

cliff: It's hard not to track your own popularity with site meter--which would certainly be worth a post in itself. Site meter obsession. But in the end, you are right: You just open your mouth like the little bird in the photo and sing!

dave: Yours is clearly a much healthier attitude. Though I have occasionally linked through a sense of reciprical etiquette, those connections don't usually last long. All my current links are there because:

1. I admire the writing.
2. The blog provides important information about a common interest.
3. I like the person who comes through in the blog.

Usually, it's a combination of all three.

As far as comments go, the deeper one goes into blogland, and the more connections one makes, the more impossible it becomes to comment on every post that moves, challenges, inspires or teaches.

I try to leave something behind on my favorite blogs at least once a month to let them I'm reading and I appreciate what they do.

I realize however that not everyone comments, and I'm very grateful for any reader who invests their limited time in my ramblings--whether they ever leave a comment or not.

Kathryn and SFP: Before I respond, I want to check out the links you left. You both usually have some very worthwhile recommendations.

zhoen: Oh, but the clove cigarettes are the best part! And of course, part of the glamour of rebellion is the self-destructive element.

kate: It's funny you used the word "tribe" because that was in my mind when I wrote the post. I recently read that a "healthy" person has about 150 people in their tribe or loose social network. It was a particularly interesting statistic to me because it's also the average number of guests at the weddings I work. But i guess that, too, is fodder for another post...

diana: As one who's found a number of my favorite blogs through your sidebar, I admire your taste and discrimination. And I also agree that the longer you do this, the more you just want to read things you enjoy, and get away from the cliquish elements of it all.


More later because I want to do these great comments justice, and right now I need to eat lunch...

Fred Garber said...

Patry,
The main reason that I have links on my sidebar is for my use. The places that I have links to I want visit easily and often. There are lots of other places I visit that I just have not gotten around to building the links. The largest group of people that come to my blog have googled "How to Eat Pho". It is a post I put up last year and is a kind of poem about how to eat the most well-known Vietnamese soup...Pho.

LJ said...

The last I linked to was "Just Write"...because the quality of writing is wonderful and her entries make me think or touch me in some way. At the same time, I added two others (near the bottom of my links)because they seemed so unique.

Sometimes I link, not because the blogger is a fabulous writer (yet), but because the writing is heartfelt and honest - and I know the person needs to be read and encouraged to continue writing. But I most often link to people who are terrific writers. It gives me something to aspire to...

Sometimes it's photos or digital art that draw me.

I don't always agree, politically or philosophically with everyone I link to - but then who am I to demand everyone believe as I do?

I read at all the sites I link to quite regularly and try to comment, even if it's brief or just a stone left behind. It matters to all of us, I think, to know we're read. I know it did to me, back at the beginning when I wrote a piece saying I might as well be talking to the water in my toilet bowl - and an actual intelligent human being (as opposed to an ad-bot)left a great comment.

Still matters. Although I can't imagine stopping even if the comments did.

steve said...

Patry, I'm honored to be on your blogroll. I think yours was the last link I put on mine, though it might have been the dharma bums. I ought to add some more. Every blog I've read through your link has been worth reading.

Dale said...

I generally don't link to someone who asks me to link to them. Seems bad manners, to me. If I were talking with someone at a party for a few minutes and then they said, "would you announce to the group that you like me?" I would be... uh, nonplussed, and I would not feel at all inclined to comply.

Diana said...

I was thinking more about this today and realized taht I ahve been reading this one woman's blog for about three years, have linked to her all along, and not only does she not link to me she has never acknowledged the comments I've left, nor one email. (This was spread out over the three years; I wasn't stalking her, really!) But I still read her daily and I still link to her because I think she's wonderful. I think of it now like a book author not responding to a fan letter. So what? Would I not read his/her next book over that?

But I think (having also realized belatedly that I forgot to answer your question) that the last blog I linked to was Bloglily, like Susan. Definitely check her out!

colleen said...

I grapple with this all the time. Sometimes I add links to quickly and sometimes I wait too long. (Sometimes I hit it just right). Getting the links that reflect what I really read is coming along but I also feel bad if I cut someone after having linked to them and just changed my mind because the connection just isn't there. I know, it's so high school! About 75% of my blog link list I'm good with. 25% was like a bling date that didn't work out.

This is a great question. I'm going to read what others had to say.

Todd said...

sadly, I've yet to figure out how to make a blog roll on my blog. That darn technology stuff. But Simply Wait would definitely be on it, along with all the other blogs on my regular blog reading list.

Patry Francis said...

tamar: Unless they have only a few sites listed,I can't imagine who has time to read every post emanating from their sidebar every day. I think that the (internally generated) pressure to keep up with their blogging tribe as Kate called it, drives some people away from it altogether. I like your comment about looking for colors. Any shade in particular?

paris: The first thing I saw on your blog were the photographs of your apartment. The colors and the textures drew me in, but of course it was the writing that kept me there.

lorna: "I blog because I am. And scratching on tablets with sharp stones is out." I've never heard it explained better!

robin: I think litpark might be my most recent link, too. A very interesting place to play, for sure.

You made me laugh out loud with your "OCD comment hell" reference. I often feel that I'm neither as witty or wise as previous commenters on certain blogs--or the blogger herself. You included! (But usually I just go ahead and say something dumb anyway. Maybe I could use a little comment OCD.)

Thanks again for the kind mention of my book.


(A very interesting discussion, but it's 1:30 a.m. and even us insomniacs have to sleep. More tomorrow.)

Tamar said...

patry,
Any shade that isn't black or brown!

gulnaz said...

thanks pat! i missed your stuff!

robin said...

Patry -- To the contrary, I think you have a gift for leaving perceptive comments. I'm jealous.:~)

I hope the audio recording of LIAR'S DIARY is going well. Have you mentioned who's reading it?

Inquiring minds . . .

floots said...

wear black
i never wear any clothes when i'm blogging :)
(if you've ever been to scotland you'll know i'm joking)
like you i get various guilty or embarrassed feelings at times
but i enjoy blogging
i enjoy reading the words of others
sharing ideas and pictures
(real and figurative)

The Curmudgeon said...

I have two blogs -- the anonymous one which you've visited and a "public" one which I write under my real name. (That one's for the boring legal stuff.)

The first week that the public site was up, I received a comment (I was thrilled!) which included a request to exchange links. I went to the site to check it out... but, to paraphrase B.B. King, the thrill was gone.

This guy had a political site and after reading through it for awhile, I couldn't figure why he thought my site and his were -- for lack of a better word -- compatible. Except that, as I understand it, the more people that link to your site, the higher your site climbs in the search engines. How that really helps, I don't understand -- but I didn't want to play that game. I didn't link to his site.

At present I feel rather proprietary about links: I don't want to link to anyone I don't want to read. It's like inviting a guest into my home and showing the guest my collections: The guest may not share my taste, but that's not embarrassing for me; it may be a starting point for discussion with my guest. It may be something that my guest and I don't discuss again.

On the other hand, I do want mutual links. It's probably an ego thing -- maybe that's another "high school" aspect of blogging: Some of your commenters have pointed out the awkwardness of asking for links. Maybe it's not the same as being turned down for a dance.... I was surprised, though, to see that one of your commenters found it a breach of etiquette to even ask.

But the point is there are a number of blogs I read -- like this one -- where no one's asked to link, but that I bookmark and visit regularly.

Here's the part I don't get: RSS feeds? Bloglines? How the heck am I ever going to figure all of this stuff out?

Melly said...

YES!
Indeed, I feel the same. Or used to rather, before my nearly two motnhs ordeal and following disapearance.

I can't remember what was the last site I linked to. Why? Probably because I liked the site. (I'm not as nice as you are, btw, and definitely don't automatically link when asked).

I like your weird alley and am very happy to add to its colorfullness (?), assuming I'm a little colorful, that is :)

Anonymous said...

Severing blog links because the owners are rude IS the new black. I read it in New York magazine.

I'm every bit as immature, Patry. But you already knew that.

GREAT post!

xo,
Tish Cohen

Patry Francis said...

kathryn: I've now had time to check out your recent links--all interesting in different ways and one is even a Cape Codder!

Susan: You and Diana are right. Bloglily is a delight. (No rhyming intended.)

alexandra: Clique is exactly the right word. Summons up the high school angst I'm talking about.
p.s. I think you're a very thoughtful commenter already.

fred: Same reason I put up links: it reminds me to check out my favorites on a regular basis and makes it easy to do so. But since I also follow links from other blogs, I'm aware that it is also a form of recommedation. No wonder people google you looking for info about Pho. We had a Vietnamese chef at the place where I work, and everything he made was amazing.

lj: Heartfelt and honest carry a lot of weight with me, too. In some way, every blog is a story or a map of the blogger's inner life--sometimes a very clear and open map and sometimes a sly, invisible one. I return to my favorite blogs because I want to know what happened next.

steve: There's a lot to be said for keeping the roll small and manageable, though I obviously can't resist adding to mine on a weekly basis. I'm proud to be on your sidebar, too. You don't post frequently, but every time you do, it's worth reading.

dale: Your party analogy made me laugh out loud. I'm afraid I'm the kind of person who would immediately stand up on a chair and make the announcement...Any mental health secrets you might share?

diana: For me, that would depend on the blog. If it's a huge blog with thousands of readers, or a more informational blog, I'm not expecting any recipricocity. I, too, have commented and linked to blogs like that for years. But if the blog is a community where everyone is talking to each other and not to me, then I might be tempted to light up my clove cigarette (to use zhoen's great image) and slink away into the night.

Colleen: "A blind date that didn't work out". I like that one. I also think your ratios are similar to mine. I'm a fairly impulsive linker, and then once it's up, unless the blogger goes on hiatus or writes something I find offensive (which happened just last week, actually) I'm reluctant to take it down.

todd: I am very attached to my links. They're a convenient way to check on my favorites. But I also use the comment box, and my favorites list. In many ways, you are the truly unencumbered blogger.

tamar: Deep red and cornflower blue are my favorites, but I hear that people who surround themselves with lime green live happier lives.

robin: An actress named Marie Caliendo is reading it. She has done a lot of books for Brilliance, and if you're curious you can hear a sample of her reading on their website. Thanks for asking!

floots: Is there a ban on naked blogging in Scotland? Such unfairness! (And all this time I thought you were in England.)

curmudgeon: Yes, I guess that search engine placement has a lot to do with it. One blogger seemed to have sent requests to everyone in the blogosphere to exchange links (everyone I read, at least, which is a highly diverse group.) And because he has a very fine blog, he was quite successful.

melly: You are a bright red poppy! The alley just wasn't the same without you.

tish! So happy to see you here keeping me informed about the new black as usual. (And just when I was getting used to the old black!)

I'm not totally sure what was the last blog I linked to. But I know the one I'm going to link to next. Visited Debutantes today and it looked great!






lj:

steve:

dale:

diana:

floots:

curmudgeon:


colleen:

todd:

Patry Francis said...

Oh and Gulnaz, looks like I've got to get your link back up now that you're blogging again!

Lori Witzel said...

Pardon the long comment, but didn't have wit to be more succinct.

Found you via Via Negativa, Dave's blog, and had a really nice "I resemble that remark" chortle reading this post.

I link for tons of reasons strong and weak -- admiration for someone's work, amusement at their (more or less witty) audacity, a blush at their comments on mine -- but mostly because it makes a morning "stroll" easier for me, and it gives random folks a node by which to find each other.

What blog have I linked to last, and why?

Hard to say for sure (I get confused at times) but I think it may be Mise's blog.

I found the variety of his posts interesting, and his moment in life -- Irish living in the U.A.E. -- interesting as well.

I have links to folks who'd be the loud wake-the-neighbors guests at the party, some who'd enjoy the diversity and chat with a tumbler in hand, some who'd be wandering out back looking for a quiet room and a decent book to read while hiding, and a few who'd have left early to (a) wander off onto some backwoods trail or (b) get back to their studio or (c) blog about the party and flirt online.

A pretty motely crew indeed -- but an interesting mix.

Tarakuanyin said...

When I first started blogging, you were one of the first people to leave a comment on my blog, which Diana mentioned in hers. It heartened me, and I thank you for it. I linked to you early on, right at the beginning, and have read you since then. I don't comment much. I used to, at least once or twice a week if not every entry, but after you had commented on my blog two or three times, you stopped visiting. When I realized that my comments weren't being reciprocated, I didn't stop reading, because I like your blog, but I decided I'd invest my energy in commenting on sites where the readers do visit me and comment. I find commenting difficult because I'm convinced everyone else has said it better, so if I'm going to comment, I tend to reserve it for those writers who do visit me. However I read quite a few blogs without ever commenting. I give most bloggers a few comments, and if they visit me and comment back, then I comment. If not, I don't. Sometimes, I stop reading, but not because they don't comment, only because I've lost interest.

I also stopped updating my blogrolls after a month or two, mostly because of lack of time. I did have people on there that I lost interest in reading and who didn't ever comment reciprocally, and so I took them off. And then I just stopped adding people. I suppose I should add them, but I think my focus is writing and reading and ideas, not feeding into a kind of cliquey high school atmosphere, which I sense is indeed a large part of the blog world.

Also, when I first started, I didn't know the etiquette, so I didn't ask people if I could link to them, I just did. Now, knowing the etiquette, I think I avoid adding people to my blogroll because I don't want to have to email them and ask. And I would NEVER ask someone to link to me. I second Dale's party comment!

Brenda said...

This is a rich, full topic, Patry! I love your post, and read some of the comments... the relationships we create this way are indeed a hyperspeed version of ones in real life. It would make a good kind of Boccaccio tale, who I met blogging.

For me, reciprocity is what it's all come down to. I've blogged on various sites for some years, spending hours each day seriously and closely reading and commenting on posts while my own writing languished or was responded to not at all or in ways that clearly indicated the person hadn't really read the post but only the other comments perhaps.

I'm interested in the reciprocal relationship, in real life and in blogs. I don't mind linking to anyone, but it's unlikely I'll read them more than cursorily if they don't drop by once in a while. And, in a way, I'm glad my group of commenters is small. It's more intense that way, it's easier to put yourself more fully into a response.

I'd say that some of the relationships I've developed in this medium are among the most important in my life, and yet it's unlikely I'll never meet these people. Comaraderie, support, critique, mutual admiration and respect, sharing, all of such value!

Kerstin said...

Blogging can be very time consuming and addictive. I am still trying to find a good balance between posting, commenting and my 'real life' (ask my husband which usually wins!)

On my blog I only link to my very favorites and I read a few more in addition through my RSS feeder. That's enough because I don't really have time for more.

As far as commenting is concerned, these days I only do so when I feel I have something to say, or if a post really moves me or makes me laugh out loud. I equally appreciate a similar sentiment in comments left on my blog, preferring quality over quantity.

What I admire about you is that you comment on people's comments! It's a nice touch actually and yours is the only blog where I go back to check the comments.

Patry Francis said...

tarakuanyin: I tend to be pretty much an ADD style blogger. If I don't link right away, which I usually don't (here good old fashioned sloth comes into play), I can forget the way back.

I have read your blog, however, on a fairly regular basis--usually following a link from the comments you've left on Dale's blog or elsewhere. From now on, I'll make more of an effort to let you know I've been there.

lori: I love chortlers! And I love long comments--particularly ones as colorful and insightful as yours. If you ever do have that party, I hope I'm invited. It sounds like my kind of crowd.

brenda: This certainly has turned into an interesting discussion--and about far more than the original topic. It's made me realize there are two kinds of blogs--the first which
disseminates information or stories or art rather like a self-published magazine--without particularly inviting or caring about a response, and the other kind, which is all about relationships and community. Once a blog becomes a community, then the recipricocity and respect that you mention enters the picture.

kirsten: Now you've aroused my curiosity--which wins? The blogosphere or real life. (In my life, all too often, it's the computer!)

I like hearing the differing attitudes toward comments. Reminds me of the dichotomy between dog people and cat people. We dog people crave attention of any kind, while a cat person (as you and Brenda seem to be) prefers to wait for a quality stroking from their human of choice.

Sara said...

For anything that isn't a strictly commercial enterprise, I wouldn't dream of asking someone to link to me. I think that's weird. It's not just because of the kind of blog I keep, either. It's just weird.

I also don't take much that happens online personally. I have a life offline, and so do most other people, and though the life of the mind is big for lots of us, real life has to be bigger. I have also discovered that lots and lots of people are not who they say they are, and only realized recently that lots more don't even surf, post or comment while sober. (I don't know how they manage -- well, poorly, usually -- or why they bother. I can't even read or type when I'm tired. Geez.) You can drive yourself nuts worrying about the opinions of masked strangers. Who needs it?

That said, I do make a point of linking to blogs I love. It's not so much that I want to pat the writers on the head, 'cause (a) I can and do just tell them I love their stuff directly when that's the case, and (b) for the reasons outlined above, why should they care what I think? No, link lists are more for me about sharing the pleasure -- or in some cases the resource -- with others. If something makes me laugh out loud every day, I want to offer the same opportunity to others. If something changes the way I see the world every day, preferably grows my vision, yeah, same thing. Some people don't say much or talk about anything staggering, and aren't even particularly funny, but there's so much love where they are and they share it so clearly that I want to share it, too.

So, here are the last three blogs I added. I meant to do them all in the same day, but I was busy, distracted and tired in August. Still, I'm counting them all as "the last" because the intention to include them came about simultaneously.

your very own Mole of the comments (and not just because he said something nice about one of my own blog posts but because I really enjoy his writing and his eye, if that makes sense)

Toasted Suzy's Posted Musings because I think this Oklahoma teacher is funny, quirky, and a deeper thinker and sharper wit than you might expect from her blithe tone

Blue Lily, who is incisively intellectual and whose blog, from the quote in the title bar all the way down to the comments on each post, has grown my consciousness on all kinds of issues more than I ever suspected it needed to grow (as I told her when she tagged me for a meme).

bloglily said...

Why, you, of course! And that party? I'd like to have all three drinks on offer, so I can look around and see what impact each is having on the guests before making a choice. (I can't tell you how flattered I am to show up on your link list.) Best, BL

tinker said...

You know I don't have any links up; for a long time because I couldn't figure out the typelists way of doing it (and even now I'm not totally sure) but there are so many people's blogs I like, it would go on for pages. I'm thinking of just doing a blogpage of bloglinks like Melba (bealivevelievebeyou) did.
I know the statistics on my blog usually show the number of visitors is anywhere from 5 to TEN times the number of people who actually comment; and I always wonder 'Did they hate it, or me - Or did it just leave them cold?' And so I should be better about this myself. I love your blog, and I'll try to be better about commenting (sometimes I feel shy; sometimes I'm just in a hurry - but I always enjoy reading it!)

Patry Francis said...

sara: Mole was one of my first links, and I'm still consistently swept away by the originality of his thoughts and the beauty with which he expresses them. I also enjoyed your other two links.

This post, and the response it triggered has been very illuminating--and I've found so many interesting new places to visit.

Bloglily: Moi? I'm blushing...Thank you for that, and for your kind words. And yes, welcome to the party! The drink tray will be coming around soon.

tinker: I'm very much the same. I read and enjoy lots of great things without leaving a comment--sometimes because the other commenters are so incredibly witty (Jonny B's Secret Diary, for one.) Other times because the post says it all, and there's nothing I could add. Occasionally, I'll leave a brief one or two word sign that I've been there, but as I've learned here, there are some bloggers who'd prefer not to get those. They want a thoughtful response or none at all. It's interesting...And I wouldn't worry about having a blogroll. People will find you anyway because you always make the trip worthwhile.

liz elayne said...

i think about all of this a lot...and wonder a bit how people must be judging me lately as i have not been out commenting in, well, about the last two months now. i suddenly had more work than i imagined i ever would and found my free time being sucked up by more and more work, partly because of my own inability to balance it all. i have snuck around from blog to blog and not left comments sometimes because i want to take time with my comments. i have also connected with several bloggers in person and feel a "need" to read those blogs when i do have time because of the connection that is there (and guilt). it is hard to balance it all. the "blog roll" can quickly get out of control. and i so appreciate how it can seem like a high school cool kids table. even though i have been busy i keep writing on my own blog because that just feels like something i must do for me...but it has been interesting to see how my "traffic" and comments have greatly decreased because i can no longer comment on a daily basis. that is okay with me, but an interesting commentary on the clique-ishness of it all.

Patry Francis said...

liz: I saw that picture of your meet-up on Laini's blog and was SO jealous. It's so wonderful when the virtual connections become real live ones.

Interesting and a little sad that your traffic goes down when you don't comment frequently. But sometimes, I think people forget to visit and a comment spurs their memory.

Anyway, it seems like you have a healthy attitude about it all. You blog because you are, as Lorna said above. Who cares what table you're sitting at in the cafeteria, as long as you're getting fed, right?

Marilyn said...

A couple of months ago (or was it more?) I took my blogroll off my blog. I read so many blogs that I genuinely enjoy...and keep adding more to my regular reads...that maintaining it was starting to feel like a chore. That's when I knew it was time to take it down. And I tend to find a lot of new blogs through comments (on my own and others' sites) rather than via blogrolls.

Robert said...

I think when you put out positive energy and are genuinely interested in what other people are blogging about (whether or not you agree with what they are saying) -- it comes across. In a world where we are bombarded by spammers and scammers, now more than ever I think we can smell insincerity or ulterior motive a mile away. Link to stuff you like, comment intelligently on stuff that sparked an interesting thought, and remember: people will still get their feelings hurt in the blogosphere. Keep putting out positivity anyway.

Patry Francis said...

marilyn: I know what you're saying. A blog roll can become unweildy, and limiting. I like to follow the comment chain, too.

robert: A good philosophy--in life as well as in blogworld.

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