The practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, esp. privileges granted by one country or organization to another.
mutuality – reciprocation
Some might call it you scratch my back I will scratch yours. I simply call it good blogging etiquette. When I moved from blogger to WordPress for my hosting I had over 300 followers. Not a lot compared to some, a plethora to some who may have just started. What didn’t come with me was that number. Google decided it would no longer support that product for blogs outside of blogger. Like many bloggers I panicked, how was I supposed to know who was reading me? Then I realized that it really didn’t make a difference. Readers don’t really matter. I could have a follower count of 1000 but if they don’t comment on anything I have written what use is that to me.
I know many say well you get more opportunities for revenue based on readership. That’s great, because yes, I like to earn some money from doing what I love. Putting words together to paint a picture in your mind. I put my heart on my sleeve and throw it all out to the wind in the hopes that someone, somewhere, will read it. But knowing you read it isn’t the end of the story. Hearing your feedback, your words, is what keeps me as a writer, well writing.
When I began having issues with my email account not sending me replies when I commented on someone else’s blog I was worried. Worried that they didn’t get the comment or that I had offended them. So I changed my email. In that moment I also took a long look at my reader on Google. I was following over 350 blogs, many of which I had never seen on my own page. I found them through various friends or carnivals or simply clicking a link on Facebook. Sometimes what they wrote that day spoke to me and I followed, for the most part that desire to follow remained, because their writing drew me in that way. But I RARELY read a blog without commenting. Not just hey I was here kind of comments either. I READ the piece and I commented on the things that caught my eye. I go back , not just when they are participating in a carnival or a blog hop. I put them in my reader and I go when I see they have a new post. Period.
Sometimes, because life is life, I have to go a few days without reading posts or leaving comments. But I always catch up later. Because I know how I feel when people do not say anything. As much as we as writers say we write for ourselves, there is a flaw in that. No one does something solely for themselves, least of all a passion. A dancer may dance because she has a love for the art, but she also knows that when she steps on stage her body becomes a message for anyone who watches her perform. If she did not want to get that message out she would simply dance at home, in the quiet of her own studio or room. But she doesn’t, because her gift is something she needs to share. It is her way of telling others that she understands, in the sway of her hips to the point of her toe, she has been there.
The same is true about us as bloggers. While we put it out there for others to read, the comments are our applause if you will. The pat on the back that lets us know how we have affected you with our words. We want to have a conversation with you. Now I have a few people who are just as loyal to the commenting as I am, I know they feel the same way. I also know that cliques tend to happen in the blog world. We think, oh they are more my speed or think like me, so we follow and block out other people and blogs. This isn’t high school. This is the world people and believe it or not we are not all going to agree on everything. But that is the beauty of it. You comment, I reply, not as hateful mean people , but as adults who are open to communication with others on topics we shy away from, or don’t know a lot about. Because we are all still learning. Your take on it doesn’t make me wrong any more than my take on it makes yours wrong.
Sharing.. we put these buttons on here to allow people to share something that has moved them elsewhere. I share a lot. Because I think everyone has a right to be heard, period. Do I always agree with the people I share items from, nope, but that is the beauty of it. I openly say hey this gives me a new way to look at it, I never thought of this before. If you were to take a look at my reader you would be surprised by the names on the list. I have everything from big and small that cover all genres and all subject matter. I didn’t like cliques in school and I certainly don’t like them on the internet. The world is a much bigger place and our minds have to be open to all it has to offer us.
So comment more often. Don’t just visit because I played in your blog hop or carnival. Readership may help pay the bills but eventually those numbers will fall. Because like me, others often get tired of feeling like a number on a wall. Am I expecting 300 comments? Heavens no. But one is a start. Most importantly, keep up with who is following you, if you notice someone is continually reading and commenting appreciate that person. Return the favor. Trust me when I say there are days that I don’t feel like reading the whole post, but I do. Because skimming is rude and makes you look like a buttnugget when you try to comment. It just does.
I now return you to your regularly scheduled blog reading.
This has been a public service announcement from the bloggers of the world.