I’ve had the same scenario happen many times since starting this blog—a colleague or friend I haven’t seen for months will run into me on the street or at a gig. They remark on how much they enjoy my blog, sometimes even quoting specific passages from different articles or cite specific posts, videos, podcast episodes, or the like.
My first reaction is always surprise that they have been following my blog so avidly, followed by the inevitable question:
“If you like it so much, how come you never leave a comment, send in an e-mail, phone in a podcast message….?”
What bloggers frequently forget is that there are many different kinds of audience feedback, and that just because you don’t get a certain type of feedback (or even any concrete feedback at all) does NOT mean that people aren’t following and enjoying your output. The way many bloggers gauge their audience’s enjoyment of a blog is by the number and type of comments they receive. While I fall prey to this tendency as well (I always love seeing those comments come in), over time I have realized that there are many different types of comments. Sometimes I wonder why nobody is commenting, only to later open my e-mail and find several messages from readers regarding specific topics, suggesting ideas, or just offering their appreciation. These are also comments, and they are every bit as appreciated and valued as comments on specific posts within the blog.
Many people, after all, feel more comfortable sending a private message rather than leaving a public comment. Also, there are many types of comments which ARE best served up as a private e-mail. I get a lot of correspondence with readers via e-mail, and I appreciate all of it. Finally, certain types of posts seem to generate public comments, while others seem to prompt people to send private e-mails. I’m not sure exactly what reaction any post I put up will generate, and it is interesting to see how these reactions differ.
Also, when I question why someone expressing enjoyment of my posts hasn’t left a comment, I tend to forget that the fact that we are talking about the blog is in and of itself a comment. Blog comments, e-mails, talking to me in person, phone calls—these are all forms of feedback, and all are equally valid and appreciated.
Finally, I know that many people are avid readers who just aren’t into leaving comments or feedback, and that is also completely valid. I actually fall into that camp on most blogs I read and podcasts I listen to. I have been listening to the excellent podcast Filmspotting for years now, and I have never once sent in an e-mail or left a blog or phone comment. Why not? I always listen to that show the minute it comes out. Well, I’m often listening to it in the car and not in an ideal position to leave a comment, or I just get busy and forget about it. It doesn’t mean I don’t like the show. I really LOVE the show, in fact.
This is just a long way of saying that I really appreciate the feedback I get (whether it be in the form of blog comments, e-mail, phone calls, or person-to-person interaction) from readers, and feel free to get in touch with me anytime with comments, suggestions, story ideas, links, videos, and anything else that’s on your mind (including any stories of your own that you’d like to share). Your comments, suggestions, and contributions help to make this blog better and more relevant to people, and I appreciate all the many people that have contributed over the past couple of years.
And if you haven’t gotten around to leaving feedback or just aren’t into it, that’s completely cool as well. There are people that like to interact and people that just like to read and listen, and both are totally valid ways to interact with this site.
If you do happen to like leaving feedback, here’s my contact info in a nutshell:
Blog comments: just click the ‘comment’ link at the bottom of each post
Phone (24-hr voicemail): 206-666-6509
In person: I am often seen walking my two cats in
P.S. – If you’re wondering what on Earth is being depicted in the drawing at the beginning of this post, you can click here and read all about it.