It’s late. I can’t sleep, due to last night’s freak 24hr flu virus, and a subsequent 14hr sleep. My fiancée has however successfully packed, and boarded her flight to Dreamland. She sleeps under the cushion of her unmistakable light trill; the sound that is too feminine to be a snore, but is loud enough to inform me she is alive. Like a standby LED in vibrato.
Before drifting off, I was describing my new found love for blogging. She asked whether I am building a following. I replied that I have a handful of followers (I love each and every one of you!) a few sporadic comments and the odd like. She asked whether it was like Flickr. I should qualify that. You see my fiancée is sure that there are some on Flickr that follow and comment on her images, with real sincere and genuine appreciation for what she does. She also believes that some (a minority) simply do it as way to receiving reciprocal comments. I replied in a defensive, knee jerk way, that WordPress and ultimately blogging as a medium was less open to ‘comment chasing’. When the love of my life asked me to substantiate my defence, I came up with the following feeble argument:
Photography, not to take away from the skill and artistry involved, is a more instantly gratifying form of art in my opinion. Of course those with a real passion for photography or those with years of training can deconstruct a photograph and probably write a 5000 word critique, citing theories of semiotics and reflections of classic oil on canvas compositions, but your average consumer will make a judgement on any given photo within seconds. ‘I like it!’. This speed of consumption lends itself perfectly to the comment chaser’s cause. ‘Nice portrait. I have one quite similar. Come to my page and have a look.’
‘Blogging is different.’ I said. It demands a little more investment on the reader’s part. They have to on reading the title and maybe the first few lines, decide whether they can be bothered to donate two to three minutes of their life to your thoughts, complaints or observations. To hit ‘like’ (I’d like to hope) the reader would have to at least have read the post in its entirety (not necessarily digesting it fully, but at least have read it); I mean, I could start a post talking about fluffy bunny wabbits, and in the penultimate paragraph pledge my undying support to the slaughter and eradication of all big eyed puppies and kittens, who through being alive, consume valuable pet space for all the adorable bunny wabbits I talked about in my intro. And surely to leave a comment, would require some thought, analysis and even imagination. I don’t think ‘Nice words. I used some of those words in my latest post too. Come to my page and have a read.’ is gonna cut it here.
Now that she’s asleep and with hindsight installed, I can probably admit that I was talking complete nonsense. Maybe I was just showing my blog greenness or general day to day optimism. I know the same ‘comment chasers’ that cut and paste comments into boxes on Flickr exist here too, but I’d like to think they’d be easier to spot. And if you are such a person, step away from ‘CTRL’ and don’t even think of tapping the ‘V’. I’ll survive without it!