Monday, November 19, 2007

Q and A time again

Out of bloggable content, and a bit bored of my blog the way it is shaping up. I am throwing this space open for some "healthy" discussion.

My question is about "personal bloggers" (like your very own favourite deep_thought, for e.g.) i.e bloggers who blog about their daily lives and related insights, personal opinions etc.

1) What kind of expectations do you have from your comments space? Where do you draw the line at a comment being personal, and a comment being just that- a passing thought by someone?

2) As a commenter-when you read personal blogs and disagree with the author- how many times have you expressed it, and how many times have you walked away thinking "meh- his life his opinion"? How many times have you disagreed without disclosing your blog identity?

3) Why should it matter if the commenter (especially a dissenter) is anonymous or has a blog?

4) My point is, do personal bloggers actually favour healthy discussion on their blogs, or do they blog just to maintain a one-way dialog as an online diary and the comments are left open only for agreements ("oh i feel your pain, so true") type comments or praise ("oh tgfi you are so cool i love your blog") types or constructive advice ("have you tried this") type comments?

Plis diskass! Lurkers, this would be a good time to come out and say what you think. Anonymously, if you so please. :)


Janefield said...

for me:

1. no expectations, somebody surprise me! as for how personal a comment gets, that depends. we all have our touchy topics and lets-not-go-there zones. one can let it go or not based on whether one is pmsing at the time or not :D

2. have expressed at times, depends on how much the topic gets me going, and also who the blogger is :D very few instances of not having revealed identity, mostly around the time i wasn't a blogger.

3. ideally, it shouldn't matter if the dissenter is anonymous or someone with a blog. but it does at times, let's face it. if it sounds like someone you might know, or doubt that it is, indeed, someone you know, it can piss you off majorly 'coz you know the person is hiding behind the veil of anonymity only 'coz its convenient. so you get condescending with the dissenter and call him gutless and a coward and what not :D

4. not all bloggers are mature enough to handle the 'healthy' discussions. they would rather be patted on the back and praised to the skies.

my 2c!

Anonymous said...

Oh TGFI you are so cool I love your blog

shub said...

1. Can hardly say much on that, cos if something is terribly personal, it doesn't go up on my blog. There isn't much chance of the comments getting too personal then either, unless it's from a close friend who reads the blog - actually even in that case it hasn't ever come to that. Yet!

2. Depends on my rapport with the blogger in question. Even then 95% of the time, if I disagree, I do the his-blog, his-opinion thing and move on, unless it's something that I feel strongly about.

3. Doesn't really.

Sakshi said...

1. I would like people to leave more comments even if they disagree with me. On the otherhand, I am a lazy bum. Where would I find time to answer to all those comments (yeah, yeah,.. I am delusional most of the time).

2. Hmm. If I genuinely like the blog, I will voice my opinion. Sometimes posts lead me to rant (on my blog)when i think the person is making generalized stupid comments (Though I am informed now that I have mellowed :P).But most of the time, I will fwd the post to a few friends and diskuss (ensure I am not the only one thinking - KOO KOO)

3. It does not. Unless the anony-mice is making derogatory remarks. Then I get pised. Otherwise each person is entitled to privacy on these Internets.

4. Hey, I like debates. But I like them to be healthy. And with my ADD, I usually move on from the post in a day. So when people leave me comments after 2 days, I generally ignore. But otherwise, if I have time - i will engage you. Of course the flip side is that I never am serious. So anything on the blog is really not worth debating about. hehehhehehe.

Phew- you owe me about 50 comments Let me go and take a nap.

Born a Libran said...

1. We like the comment space being used... That is about it... As long as personal comments are used with the intention of cracking jokes (and then it becomes a matter of crossing the line with jokes), we do not mind how it is used...

2. Very rarely. If it irks me enough, we might send an email to the person concerned but we have rarely done that too... Never to the second question...

3. Well, we dont mind dissent. We just like to know who does not agree. An identity would be good to know where the person is coming from.

4. I like a dialogue - not a monologue (and that implies you gotta comment from now on :)).

Anonymous said...

if a blogger is free to express what he/she has on mind, "commentors" should also be given the liberty to express their opinions... and more often than not, i've seen authors of blogs take offense to a negative comment... what's the big deal?it's just a blog for cryin' out loud... just like a reportor's artile on a news website.. some people agree on the topic, some don't... you wanna prove the guy who made a negative comment wrong, do so, instead of saying things like.."try having a blog, don't be anonymous".. these responses are just excuses for not having a comeback in an argument... like nick naylor says, in an argument, i don't have to prove myself right, if i prove you wrong, i won the argument...

Anonymous said...

i posted the previous comment, i didn't mean to be anonymous

mazhalai said...

i lurk here :)

1.i read comments to get to know different povs. but dont expect any

2.i hardly disagree- to each its own

3.again it shouldnt matter- ignorance is bliss

4. some blogs i read do promote healthy dicussions.. but some don't - me included.. cos theres nothing to discuss - it might be super boring to discuss what i cooked last night :)

qsg said...

Most of my posts are expressions of thoughts going through my head at that time. I like to hear peoples' opinions - almost becomes a sounding board of sorts - I like the discussion, the arguments, and even validation of thoughts... I do get curious about anonymous bloggers... some are just plain painful and get obnoxious - but... then so are people outside the blogworld, no?

@$ said...

Most of the times i have nothing to say when i read personal blogs.I just take it as "their life,their experiences". I mean i just want to be a good listener to put it in a better way.But a good listener also has to butt in once in a while to show that he/she is listening.So i write comments once in a while when i have something valid to say.:)

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

Thank-you all for commenting

lol @ #1. I cannot agree with you more on the time of the month playing an important role. :p

LOL. and i love you too. :)

cos if something is terribly personal, it doesn't go up on my blog.
good call. :)

ok ma'am 50 comments it is! :)

point taken. :p
i think the "line" to be crossed is never clearly defined and is always changing..but oftentimes, a regular commenter's comment is well-taken while an anonymous comment in the same vein is chastised.

hmm. that's why i stressed "personal" blog. because often, the blogger has blogged her feelings out and its hard to argue that someone shouldn't feel a certain way, because nobody else is qualified to make that call. but yeah, i do agree that "go get a blog" is not always the greatest response, but _almost_ justified when the anonymous commenter is being nasty without need.

i also think people should be able to take disagreements in a civil fashion- that is the fun of blogging (i do think the un civil fights are a lot of fun too ;) )

:) thanks for delurking. yeah ideally it shouldn't matter that the dissenter is anonymous.

and food is never boring. discussing it may be, yeah, i'd rather eat all that yummy pav bhaji you posted on your blog. :p

so are people outside the blogworld, no?
sure! it's the same people, actually. :)

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

you are a darling for wanting to just be a good listener. :)

Klastos said...

Thank you for helping me waste five minutes of my life. Here you go:

1) I only expect that comments be intelligent and respectful. I have never hesitated to delete a comment that does not conform to these two expectations, but it's not a problem because I'm lucky to get one comment per month as a result of not advertising my blog and writing too much about nothing. I've never received a comment that I feel was too personal.

2) This depends on how passionate I feel about the issue at hand. If I feel passionate enough, I'll either respond with a question intended to provoke thought or with something scathing and/or sarcastic, depending on how much I like or dislike the person.

3) It does not affect the validity (or lack thereof) of their argument, but it is nice to know who is commenting.

4) I'm open to most kinds of comments, but I love a good debate about anything other than politics and religion. Unless you make me change my mind about the subject, I'll debate until the death.

Pri said...

i hate it when people go "lol" or "heh" or "interesting". like why even make the effort to type that out you know? unless they're being funny like if they said "heh" in response to a post about me losing my left foot in a tragic accident. i like it when people tell me stuff i didn't know. i like it if they're new and introduce themselves. i LOVE it when they tell me im funny. and i love long story type comments that are actually readable. like if someone reads my rant and is reminded of someone or something else and decides to bitch about it in my comment box i love it. i love it when people ask for updates. i feel special. ooh and i also love comments that aren't related to anything but that are so random they're funny. i love when someone gets something no one else did and then makes it a point to refer to it in their comment so i know that they know. and i kinda enjoy anonymous comments especially when the person has taken the time to make up some obviously fake name. in spite of everything i just said i have to say a comment make me ridiculously happy. any comment. they're still responses to all the crap i've written, by strange people all over the planet. so yeah ill take it.

ps. do u have a favourite commenter? hint hint.

musafir said...

dont get many comments on my space so
1. no expectations
2. if the blogger is someone i know or the topic is very close to me i comment otherwise walk away
3. doesnt matter

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

:) this blog is a professional time-waster. :)

i think those expectations are reasonable. i am glad you say that because once in a while, i felt like i was making a comment on an extremely personal post on your blog and wasn't sure if i should have, in retrospect.

yeah babe, you *are* my favourite commenter in blog world! just for that comment! :)

no expectations is good too. i just think that since we deliberately open up comments when we blog, we might have some idea of what we're in for..perhaps not.

Sayesha said...

1) Most of the time I expect nonsense in the comments space because I do write a lot of nonsense. But I like some of my posts and I like it when someone says what they liked about it. What I don't like is when comments become personal attacks that have nothing to do with the post but are about the person's perception of you. Criticism is fine as long as it has been put appropriately. "I don't agree with what you wrote." is different from "You're so full of yourself you think you are always right."

2) Sometimes I may disagree - especially if the argument is based on a factual error about Bollywood. Hehehe! Other times, I walk away thinking "His/her life/views." And I have NEVER EVER disagreed (or even commented for that matter) on a blog anonymously. I think it's part of commenting ethics. :P

3) Sometimes it matters. Especially when people who are blog-hopping with a permanent smirk on their faces. But of course, it's the tone and language of the dissenter that matters the most. If it's done with dignity, it's okay to be anonymous. If you're making a personal attack anonymously, you're just a low filthy creep.

4) I blog about many random things, many of which are to remind myself of things (most of my 'be healthy' posts are for me to carry out what I write. Sometimes it's fun to share and I invite commentators to tell me their stories "This happened to me. Haha! Have you ever come across anything like this?" type of a post so we can all read everyone's stories and laugh. :) Sometimes I need advice and I solicit that. Sometimes it's just an online diary to document a piece of my life. So the answer to point 4 is 'Depends on what kinda blog it is'. :)

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

reg #1: yeah, i think the key is dissociating one's personal opinion or image of the blogger from the post itself. and it's hard, considering its a personal blog!

as for "commenting ethics"- so that is a rule you set for yourself. i wouldn't expect it to be a universal rule..would you? i don't think there are any commenting rules in the www. its pretty much a free for all. good in some ways, not so good in others. of course, decency would make it a better place, but..

and reg #4: how is a commenter supposed to know what post solicited advice and what post was intended for the blogger alone and not open to discussion? unless there are clear tags for the same. ;)

Sayesha said...

//I think it's part of commenting ethics. :P

Oops, I meant it in the MY commenting ethics sense. I have a few rules I stick to. :)

As for your qn reg #4, the answer is - we can't know. Each reader interprets and identifies with the post in a very different manner. We just write whatever comes to our mind when we read it. That's where I follow my commenting ethics. :)

Anonymous said...

To write publicly is to expose yourself to insufferable fools. Having said that, how open a 'personal blogger' wishes to be on his/her blog stems entirely from the content of the post. Personally, I never make a post that solicits a response (such as this particular entry) but, well I admit, these are quite fun at times! :)

I've had numerous literary discussions with writers/poets/readers on my blog and I think it is very important to keep a thread of communication open (or to even incite one) no matter how personal your entries are. It doesn't matter if the commentator has a blog but I personally like it when I can identify them through a tag/moniker.

I've been reading your space for sometime and I quite enjoy what you put here. Thank you for sharing. I'll leave a footprint so as not to be anonymous.


The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

so true- different people identify with a post differently. point is, how will my "commenting ethics" prevent me from offending the blogger?

thanks for commenting. i also enjoy inciting discussions on my blog. they are a lot more fun than plain affirmations. but the lines are thin sometimes, especially on posts that are sensitive or too close to the blogger's heart. but as sash said, one can never tell.

Tiru said...

Good points to ponder, I feel:
1. A genuine blogger welcomes any comment, and if a comment stinks, the blogger deletes it.
2. 1 in 2. Only if the blogger seems worth it.
3. Shouldn't matter who comments and whether he mentions his blogs to give him back.
4. Aaaah, don't know about others but i feel a blogger expects some response when he/she goes public. Otherwise, one might just write, save and not publish. I am yet to come across someone like that!!