Saturday, May 26, 2007

Any Comments?

Because the Atheosphere is relatively small compared to, say, the tens of thousands of blogs about people’s cute pussies (in both senses of the word), many of us feel that we’re part of a community. I think that most of us read one another fairly regularly, if not by directly visiting a site, then through checking out the latest buzz on one of the atheist aggregators.

Some of us try to leave comments, when appropriate, on the blogs we’re fondest of. I, myself, do so whenever I have something smart — or smart-ass — to say. Most of us, I venture to guess, really appreciate getting these notes from one another. When someone takes the time to add his or her thoughts to mine, I know I'm not just some nut talking to himself. Maybe Descartes could have been satisfied thinking Bloggito ergo sum, but I'm not as fascinated with contemplating my own navel as he was.

The commenter also reaps a benefit. An interesting observation might draw readers’ attention to a new blog they haven’t visited before.

Well, I’d like to increase the odds that my commenters will get noticed. About a month ago, KC at Bligbi had a great idea. As part of a new look for her site, she began a blogroll of people who frequently leave their footprints. She included even those folks to whose blogs she already had a link elsewhere on her page. I’ve decided to follow her lead.

Unlike KC, however, I’ll list the commenters' names, rather than their Web sites. When a frequent commenter has a blog, clicking on his or her name will link to it. If the commenter has more than one blog, I’ll link to the one that I think is most relevant for my readers. In those cases of commenters who don’t have a blog, or who haven’t revealed their blogs’ URLs to me, the linkless name will be listed anyway. I’ll include the names of all frequent commenters, even those who regularly disagree with me — as long as they’re not blatant trolls with absolutely nothing to say. When warranted, I'll add new names. Of course, anyone who wants to be removed from this list, or feels that he or she should be added, or wants an entry changed, can contact me.

Think of this new blogroll as my equivalent of “Fan Appreciation Day.” If your name is on the list, I thank you.


tobe38 said...

A very nice touch. I completely agree about the importance of comments. As I've said before, some bloggers may just feel better for writing their thoughts down, but I do it to interact with people, and hopefully learn a lot from my commenters.

John P said...

Yep. There's nothing like pouring your heart into a post, and coming back to it he next day to see "0 Comments" staring at you. It doesn't really do this, but it seems like it's blinking on and off in bright neon.

From my "about" page:
"This blog is more for me, to test my thinking on relatively simple matters. The best way to test it is to hold it up to scrutiny. ... there’s nothing like trying to put one’s own thoughts on paper (or in this case, in cyberspace) to clarifying one’s thinking."

I hate to sound egocentric, but the feedback makes the post. Not just for me, but if there's a hole in the logic, someone will find it. And if the comment is signed {waves to Anonymous} there is then a wealth of new material to read.

So I'll lift my glass to comments too. Thanks.

yinyang said...

So, I scrolled down to look at your left sidebar, something I hadn't really paid much attention to, and I noticed Celebrity Atheists. Unfortunately, the link does not work for me on either IE or Firefox. Just thought I should let you know, in case there's a problem, or the website has died (and so this post isn't just a "hear, hear" sort of thing). :)

MothandRust said...

I always think it's rude for people to read and not leave a comment, but then I find myself reading through heaps of blogs and not saying a peep... Unless inspired (the non-devine type of inspiration)

vjack said...

That does sound like a good idea. I've started seeing widgets that automatically showcase recent comments, and I might have to look into something like that too.

One of the other things I took from what you said is that helping any one of us grow our visitors helps all of us. I say this because I think you are right about us being a community. What brings traffic to one of us is likely to benefit all of us through increased traffic.

KC said...

That's a great idea (using names instead of blog titles). I think I'll change mine to that also. Now to sort out all the Dans and Davids.