Monday, April 20, 2009

Questions & Answers


Thanks to everybody who participated in my recent poll and responded to my post Who Are You?. In that post I wondered out loud just who was reading our art blogs. Wondered if we were a community unto ourselves...writers and readers one in the same. Or if non-bloggers actually read our blogs as well? I think this question touched a chord because it elicited 78 comments...even more than I received for my last giveaway!


The results of the poll remain on my sidebar. The findings are clear. After 236 responses, 80% of those who answered either have a blog or website or both. 20% do not. This outcome seemed pretty obvious to most people who spoke to this issue in their comment.




I found it interesting that many who left comments focused on the issue of comments rather than on the issue of readership. Although not universally true, it seems that most bloggers are inspired by and love to get comments. No surprise there. This seems to be connected to the desire to create and maintain a community of art bloggers.

Other interesting findings gleaned from the post's comments:



1. Most people list time constraints as the biggest obstacle to leaving comments.



2. Many noted that non-artists, family members, and personal friends tended to not leave comments but to email instead.



3. Of those commentors who spoke to the issue, an equal number preferred to read posts and not comment as preferred to read posts and leave comments.




4. A number of people wrote that they tended not to leave comments even though they love to get comments on their own blogs.




5. Many people noted that the use of RSS Feed Readers lessened their likelihood of leaving comments. On the flip side, use of these Feed Readers gave them the ability to follow many more blogs as a result.


Anymore thoughts?

24 comments:

Evidence of an Artistic Life said...

The ability to look at 100 plus blogs a day is wonderful for everyone except the blogger. Love the inspiration-hate to come off as a lurker, so comments on blogs are somewhat measured especially when there are followers with recognizable art and names. You just don't always know if the individual blog responder matters, or if folks are looking for the names. Or, worse, if you respond too much, are you a stalker. My 3 cents. I do love your blog-have subscribed fairly recently.

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I am still relatively new to this connection we now value and know as personal blogs. I do not always recognize the names of people but I do love to read several blogs that share their processes and journeys in the art of making sacred marks. I do value the few comments I receive but I doubt if that is the only reason I work on my blog. Usually I focus in the evening on the process I have made in my own life and I discover the joys of seeing the works of others and learn a little each day from the generosity of these sharing individuals. Even if I never learn others mark makings I do so love vicariously receiving their gifts. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Candace said...

I admit it, yes. I am a stalker/lurker/commenter. I go to blogs and read for the joy of it and the connection of it and while I don't leave comments immediately, I usually end up making contact if only to thank the artist/photographer.
While I enjoy comments too, that is not why I blog -- I do art and I write because I cannot help myself. And I do enjoy the commonality as well as the uniqueness of each post of each blog...

This is particular to artists and writers, I think, who know time is almost always dear yet who need that connection with kindred spirits.

This was fun! Thanks, Seth.

Terry Rafferty said...

Thanks for sharing the summary of the comments on your survey, Seth; very interesting. I have to agree with #1 - I'm now limiting my blogging/email time to 30 minutes per day - otherwise I don't get my own work done. So - that means I leave fewer comments. And yes #2 is exactly my experience - those groups of people send me emails. And for #5 - I'm new to using RSS, which I am liking for the ease of following many blogs, but which does seem to create a barrier between me and the blog. I don't feel a connection or a responsibility in the same way as when I go directly to someones blog.
You didn't mention the images you posted here - tell us about them! Love both the chairs and the gas pumps... they definitely have a history.

femminismo said...

Hi, Seth. Very clever, the numbers (percentage) on the gas pumps. And the other numbers too. I like to leave comments, but I find I can't do too much dashing from blog to blog. Just don't have the time. I love the connection and just limit myself to a few blogs that I visit regularly. There's so much wonderfulness out there though, it's very difficult to put restrictions on one's self. - Jeanne

Gillian McMurray said...

I would say that's a pretty fair assessment of what I have found on my blog. I can never be sure who my readership is though. Although I have a visitor counter on my blog I don't know who the visitors are. On the subject of RSS feeds though - when I read a blog post that inspires me I immediately go to the blog and leave a comment. I just can't help myself.

Kim Mailhot said...

You are quite the researcher, Seth ! So cool to peruse to info. you have gathered about our Blogland community !

I was thinking about my commenting "style" as I read. I remember starting out writing comments pretty well every where I visited when I first started reading blogs (well before I started my own). Sort of an "I was here" type thing. Now I am much more choosy about what I comment on. I want most of my remarks to mean more than just a "Hello, your art is nice." kind of message whenever they can. I want the connections I make to go deeper than that superficial level. Of course this can't happen every time or with every blogger but that is the real joy and real value of the blogging experience for me. But it takes nurturing from both sides, as the blogger who creates posts with "food for thought" and the reader/commenter who "connects" back and lets the author know they have enjoyed the "meal"!

Feeling well satisfied today, Seth ! Thanks for the goodies !;-)

Gail P said...

not only was your curiosity about bloggers answered, very investigative of you, but the photos and way you summarized the replies is why so many of us return to your blog. Im' guilty of not leaving comments on blogs that I love unless I know the person in some capacity. For me it's a time-crunch thing, pursue my own art or comment . . . I try to at least comment a couple of times to let a blogger know that I'm a fan, maybe that's the best any of us can do.
Thanks for yet another inspiring post!

*jean* said...

here i am, reading your blog, and thinking "he is so very curious" and how wonderful that is...and how i would not have "met" you had it not been for this wonderful online community...ooo not to sound like a "stalker"....just an art friend...blogging what you really think can be odd sometimes...

but i couldn't leave without a comment...

:o)

alteredbits said...

thank you for the summery of your findings, seth -- and for displaying it so artfully. i find myself being one of the middle of the road people. i read about a dozen blogs every single day, several dozen others a couple times per week. there are only about five that i consistently comment on so i'm only part stalker, i guess.

Debrina said...

Comments are important because they give you a sense of community and validation. Having said that, I certainly don't maintain my blog for comments. My blog is for self-reflection, networking, swaps, giving, and being part of a global community of like-minded people whom I often count as friends. I look at other peoples blogs for inspiration and friendship, the exchange of ideas, wisdom and understanding. I leave comments because its a chance to say: I get what you're doing or, I feel for you, or, wow that's amazng!!

Seth, as you know, I'm one of your stalkers. You fit into all the comment categories I just listed. Of course, I can only stalk you this way...through your blog. NZ is actually a long way from NY (geographically speaking)...but actually, consonant wise, we're actually very close! Lol!

Debrina said...

Did I just write "actually" 3 times in 1 sentence? My English lecturer of times past would have given me D for that!

3rdEyeMuse said...

thanks for the great wrap up Seth ... I believe I may actually have learned something. :)

vivian said...

loving the pictures that come with the poll results.. superb.

Lisa H said...

My I.T. guy says that someday tracking software will identify you, your name, shoe size, measurements and favorite ice cream flavor.
Lurkers will be exposed and may start to get email BACK from the Blogs that they visit and choose not to communicate with.
Hello George Orwell.
Who doesn't have time to leave a fast comment on an inspiring Blog at least occasionally?
Would you eat in a fantastic restaurant and not compliment the chef?

Evangeline said...

Yup, time constraints. I had intended to comment on your OP, but ran out of time! I did vote though. This was really interesting. I am new to blogging myself, but am really enjoying the sharing, the sense of connection and community, and especially the inspiration. I like to comment, but often run out of time...or maybe feel that the quick "dude, that's so cool!" comment that I have time to make, is a little out of place beneath someone else's articulate and well thought out response.

rachel whetzel said...

Funny!! I was too late to weigh in, but after only making it 50% of the way through the link for the disintegration project today, and leaving comments on all the blogs I have gotten to to date, I have to say. Word Verification is my enemy. ESPECIALLY when paired with Comment Moderation. I tend to avoid leaving comments on sites with WV when I can. I have to REALLY like you a lot to go to that trouble.

mansuetude said...

i agree with Rachel, that word verification... a big pain in the ... ape in me! :)

i think i am dyslexic...
but it adds adds too much extra time.

mermaid musings said...

I enjoy (thank God I found it!) my google reader, i get to read all of my favorite blogs unfortunately commenting is not included in that feature but once in a blue moon like today I come to say hello Seth, it is very nice to comment today ;-) LOL

JeriAnn said...

I agree with your findings and the observations here, Seth. I can't speak for others, but for myself there is a degree of shyness when commenting at first, a feeling of "will this be seen as an intrusion?" Sort of like being the new kid in the cafeteria and everyone has already chosen their tables.

However, given my personal time constraints, commenting on blogs has opened up a world of kinship for me with fellow artists from around the world. I'd be interested to know among your readers what percentage made friends -- both real and online -- who have added joy to their lives and a sense of community.

Jude said...

I had to laugh because #4 captures me completely! (so of course I had to challenge that right here and now) But, then, of course #4 is tied to #1...

One point I didn't see made anywhere (sorry if I missed it) is about images versus text. I have found that I prefer to post images with no or very little text. Some people tell me they don't usually read the text on art blogs anyway. But perhaps other people are less inclined to leave comments when they see only an image? This whole issue of words versus images interests me a lot...

Robyn said...

I don't have Broadband so everything is sooo slooooow especially when there are many photos but I love to see what people are creating and feel leaving a comment is a way of thanking the blogger for making my day just that much better. The buzz that I get when witnessing/feeling creativity blossom is priceless. Innovative art gives me butterflies. I just LOVE it! Receiving comments is also a joy. It's about the connection with creative people from writers (all bloggers are writers) to artists in every sphere.
This has been such an interesting read....thanks Seth

Kathy McCreedy said...

Hi Seth! Great poll, very interesting questions... I appreciate how you nudge us to think about things differently... I agree, time is a huge constraint to visiting other's blogs, let alone leaving comments! But personally, I feel it is sort of like the Golden Rule... I make it a point to always leave positive comments to those blogs I visit... because I really appreciate receiving comments on my blog! It's a wonderful community of supportive artists, and a great place to go for inspiration.

Sharmaine said...

Hi Seth I finally came back today so I could see how the poll turned out. Again thanks for asking the question and for writing up the results. Something that i have recently been thinking about is that a friend of mine once said that if she doesn't like what someone has created, art wise, then she won't comment. She doesn't comment on my blog anymore but does read it, so that had me thinking, doesn't she like my creations anymore??? Not so true lol. Something else I have been doing is actually visiting the blog of someone who leaves a 'new' comment and leaving them one too. Usually ends up with me adding to my overflowing bloglined blogs because I like theirs too lol But I think it's important to respond to visitors as I see it a way of building relationships and inspiring each other. For those that just read and don't comment, that relationship can't be kindled.
Ok enough dribble, just my rambling thoughts ;)