May 27, 2003

Abort Comment! Abort!

I just want to say this: every one of you readers whose blogs I've never left a comment on, yes I have too. Well, I've most certainly started a comment on your weblog. And one time in 15, I've actually posted it; and then, probably immediately regreted it. I don't know. There is a certain dis-ease when I am faced with an empty comment box. Oh my gosh, here I am in the spotlight, poised to make a pithy comment about someone's well worded and tightly reasoned post. Here are all these other intelligent reply-ers that obviously know this blogger way better than I do, know the subject way better than I do, have those huge vocabularies that come from the real world out there, where I don't live. Nah. That first sentence you wrote there, Fred, is really lame. She's certain to take your attempt at humor as insensitivity. He'll think your comment comes across as superior; or stupid. Abort! Abort!

With this fact in hand, my statisticians have projected that, at this one to 15 ratio for sent-to-aborted comments, when I get one comment on a given day, another 14 of you have almost written a comment on Fragments. The same, I'm sure, is true for the other weblogs you browse. And you feel as bad about this as I do, bless your little heart, don't ya? I see those hands. I feel those good intentions, brothers and sisters. You're hereby forgiven of your indecision and your failure to reach out and touch a fellow blogger. (And no, this is not begging for comments here; you folks are all good lookin' and above average.)

Be free of your oppression and guilt! Send those jettisoned comments to your daily blog-reads. Send them, dear hearts. They may tend toward the haughty, the stupid or the silly end of the spectrum, like mine. (Nah. Frankly, I think I've pretty well cornered the market on comment ineptitude.) Or your 'serious' comment may make your reader spew coffee all over his or her new flatscreen monitor. Even so, if you'll lower your comment-writing standards, I'll do the same, and damn the torpedos, off go the comments. And let the commentee beware!

Posted by fred1st at May 27, 2003 05:40 AM | TrackBack

I start so many comments, then delete them. Somehow I know what I want to say, but it comes out a garbled mess. Then there are times that I think I have a great comment, to find that everyone else has gone an entirely different direction - so I don't even start to write the comment.

At least I'm not alone!

Posted by: bogie at May 27, 2003 06:23 AM

You're not alone, Fred. There is a tendency to think that one's comment should, at least, rise to the level of the post itself.

Add to that the old Usenet proscription of "me too" comments and, for me, there often isn't a lot to say. Heh

Posted by: Jim (aka JC South) at May 27, 2003 09:38 AM

I'd say your stats are about right for me, Fred. I've jettisoned whole comment-essays on the conclusion, after re-reading, that they were:
--too trite
--potentially inflammatory
--adding nothing to the conversation.
I should just hit the danged "Post" button more often.

Posted by: Curt at May 27, 2003 10:11 AM

hey, i was just thinking about comments too. i was actually thinking how my comment 'style' seems to change depending on whose blog i'm commenting at. maybe i try and 'fit in' to a blog's tone, although it's definitely not a conscious thing.

i also find that i tend to shoot off responses without a lot of thought, which means that there's that 'comment in haste, repent at leisure' feeling, as well as the desire to be able to edit your own comments!

i reckon there's a lot of possible motivations behind commeting: because you genuinely have an opinion on what someone wrote, because you want to be clever, because you want to be funny, because you want to publicise your own blog, because you like the person behind the blog, because you are bored, because, because, because.

Posted by: Gianna at May 27, 2003 11:56 PM

I abort about one out of three, mostly because I find myself getting too long winded. Othertimes, well, I find myself not wanting to edit my natural tendencies toward profanity while being acutely conscious that the blogger wouldn't appreciate it. The rest of the time, I just turn it into a blog entry on my site and hope that suffices. ;)

Posted by: Venomous Kate at May 28, 2003 06:04 AM

And here I thought I was one of the few to ever do this. My ratio is very similar to yours, Fred, and Curt very well articulated my reasoning.

(I guess that makes this a trite, me-too comment, adding nothing to the conversation)

Posted by: Jeff at May 28, 2003 11:29 AM

Happens all the time, Fred. All the time.

Posted by: Da Goddess at May 29, 2003 02:11 AM

Get this! We just went for a Jamba Juice with a Brazilian blogger here in Davis ( and she said that last year a woman in Brazil was actually *selling* comments -- a service to pad your post with something more interesting than just "me too" comments! I don't know what this says about her, but it sure says a lot about the insecurities of bloggers who look wistfully at empty comment boxes and wonder where everyone is. I suspect this insecurity is not merely limited to Brazil...

Posted by: Pica at June 1, 2003 06:55 PM

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