Monday, May 4, 2009

Shark jumping

I'm starting to wonder if Hijinks has officially jumped the shark.

Over the past couple months, comments have plummeted. I know, as someone with some semblance of a writer, I shouldn't get all in a tizzy about comments. But, still, outside of the immediate sting of a diminished number, I am wondering if I should be viewing it as a clue of some sort. For instance, if, as a singer, one of your albums sold a bundle, and the next was a relative flop in terms of numbers, wouldn't you wonder if your music had stopped speaking to people?

I have tried running reasons through my mind for this drop. It could be that my relatively busy schedule has led to less consistent commenting, and thus less reciprocal comments in turn-- which is way too systematic for the whole spirit of writing, in my books. It could be that all the cool kids are Twittering now, and I haven't the time to even think about consistent witty updates on my life. But I keep coming back to the same thing... maybe it is my writing that has taken the tumble in quality. Maybe I'm just not inspiring anyone to actually have anything to say.

I do wish this didn't matter to me. This little blog is an important part of my life, and I like having a place to leave my thoughts. At the same time, though, I don't want to be that singer who should have retired long ago, who should realize it is time to move on. And then I flip back again- who cares if I have a horrible voice, cliched lyrics, and sell no albums, if I have a passion for music?

I just don't know anymore. I'm wondering if I should take some time to figure out what exactly I want from blogging, to figure out if I need a change, if I can get some perspective, if there is something missing. 

(PS. And, please, don't take this as a plea for reassurance!)

48 comments:

distractedspunk said...

There's nothing missing. I think...everyone's just sort of done the whole, "OMG COMMENT!" thing, and now it's more a matter of reading because we enjoy reading one another, but not necessarily commenting. Also, consider how much of the blogging community has expanded to beyond blogging. That might play a huge role in it as well.

tmamone said...

No, you haven't jumped the shark (what would the blogging version of that be called?). I know the feeling, though. A couple of weeks ago I lost half of my subscribers and went into full panic mode. These things happen. And like Jess says, the blogging community has expanded beyond blogging. I think everyone at 20SB is following each other on Twitter now.

So keep the hijinks coming!

miss. chief said...

please don't stop writing. or if you do, try starting a new blog. i just did it and it feels new and strange, but refreshing

Just Playing Pretend said...

It's hard not to be hopelessly devoted to the comments. It's just a fact.
I'm new here so I can't really share insight into a change in your writing. I'm liking it and I just got here. Take that.

Mandy said...

I dont think your writing has been lacking in quality. I love reading and will continue to do so as long as you write. I think that everyone is just doing more reading than commenting. I've been getting more hits, not necessarily more comments. I think many of us are trying to disconnect from the internet too, so I know I have been just reading a lot.

Mrs4444 said...

Your writing never disappoints. I have more than 150 blogs in my reader; I'm just more likely to read yours when you stop in, but I eventually get here regardless :) And I am rewarded....

A Super Girl said...

So I'm a new reader, but I've noticed this a bit on my blog as well. Granted, I've gone from 5 or 6 comments to 1 or 2, so it's not a huge drop, and I attribute it to a lack of posting lately. But, I wonder if others have a point that commenting is so last season ;-) I know for me it's getting harder to come up with witty comments to people, but I'm still reading them and wanting them to keep writing!

Abbey said...

Interestingly, I stopped commenting because you had so many comments and often, someone had already said what I'd planned to say. So, I'm still reading. Just commenting less often unless I'm in the first handful or so. I was just thinking this weekend that I wish I had a blg as cool as yours. To often I'm that person that just talks about day-to-day, whereas you have great stories.

Princess Pointful said...

Thanks for all the kind comments, everyone. I'm just happy to know people are still reading. And I feel a bit like a whiny baby now... *blushes*

Kylie said...

I'm still here! ;)

I don't think your writing has changed and I also don't think you should change to get more comments. I think your style is really easy to read and relate to. Keep up the good work!!

PS~ Blame it on the NBA & NHL Playoffs!! ;)

Michael said...

Princess-

I know you're not looking for reassurance, so I'll try not to give you any. :-)

I comment when I have something useful to add. I follow a lot of blogs, so sometimes I don't comment because I missed the post. But I'm always reading, if sometimes a few days late.

I understand if you don't comment on my posts-some posts are too boyish or too sportsy or too whatever-that's fine.

I blog because I have to-I need to get these thoughts out of my head so they don't eat my brain.

I hope you keep it up, too.

(Darn it! Wound up reassuring despite myself!)

poodlegoose said...

Eh, don't feel like a baby. I agree with Ms. Spunk. We've all felt like this before, and I've gone back and forth with where I want my blog to be.

And I almost just deleted my comment (as I've done a countless number of times) because it doesn't say exactly what I want it to say. I just left it here :) And that is the main reason why I haven't been commenting.

kacijohanna said...

I have nothing to add that people haven't said already...

but just thought I'd leave a note anyway. :)

ween52 said...

not trying to give u reassurance,
but i love your blog. actually it is my favourite blog to read.
u always have something different to say that makes me really think, or u have pinpointed exactly the same thing i have been going over in my mind.
please dont stop this blog, cos i really really enjoy it and your writing.
ps. i feel bad now, but i have never commented, nothing to do with u, i just generally dont comment? doesnt mean im not reading!

miss button said...

I'm always reading. BUT hardly ever commenting. Not really for a real reason, just because I've been a super slack commenter lately.

So keep writing! (And don't worry, it didn't come across as whiny!!)

Ant said...

I still read but hardly ever comment these days.

Your writing hasn't jumped the shark but I find myself tearing my hair out (again!) at how much you worry about your comment numbers. For starters your numbers are fine (they hardly dip below 10 per post) and secondly if your audience does become a bit more streamlined in the face of non-reciprocation then that can only be a good thing.

So get on with it and stop whining!

PS Work trip to your city at the end of August is looking likely (though still to be confirmed properly) - wanna meet up?

Hope said...

The second I began to use Google Reader I stopped commenting as much as I used to. I'm pretty sure if people could comment from there, none of us would be noticing this decrease.

I find myself having the same thoughts as you; is it me? Does my writing suck? Is my writing not speaking to anyone anymore?

I doubt that is the case with you. :)

Amy said...

I think I've only commented maybe once or twice before, but I do want you to know you're in my Google Reader and yours is one of the first blogs I will click to read. Just because people don't comment sometimes doesn't mean you've jumped the shark :)

Kristine said...

The whole blogging thing is hopelessly wrapped in the comments. And while they are a wonderful, important aspect of this kind of writing, they also create this kind of social atmosphere that sometimes makes me think I'm reliving my high school days. I don't think there's an easy solution here. If the writing doesn't feel good anymore, stop. But also, like Miss Chief said, taking a break or starting a new blog helped me. Good luck.

Loretta said...

I enjoy your blog. Do you know if your total number of hits is declining or just comments? Regardless, you should keep writing even if no one reads it at times. Otherwise you get out of practice.

Tough Girl 101 said...

Mine have gone down too.... ugh. I'm back down into the single digits. Talk about ouch! i'm not sure if it's me or not though... maybe it is. I don't know what it is.

All Mod Cons said...

I've noticed this happening too. Although I've never even been in the same stratosphere as you when it comes to readers/comments.

I put mine down to 2 things. Firstly, the leaving of comments elsewhere. I generally don't leave a comment unless I've got an immediate point to make or I've got something funny to add, which rarely happens. Leaving less comments in other places does reduce your readership. Secondly, and this is one reason for the lack of comments, is the creation of Google Reader. Instead of physically going to the blogs I read, I just use Reader. Consequently, that extra little step of going to the blog seems to have waned. If I'm on the blog, then I'll comment.

I also think I'm the only person that's never heard the saying "Jumped the shark". No idea what that means at all.

Oh, and Twitter Schmitter. Never even been to the site. Or whatever it is.

Matt said...

awww pointful... your blog is still tops!!

Lauren said...

I agree with what distractedspunk said. When we all started blogging, we were crazy about commenting. Now, we appreciate the posts without always telling the author. Maybe it's because we assume they know we're reading. Maybe it's because we just can't due to work. It's not because we don't love your blog. :)

I have the same thoughts as you do, so no worries!

Jenn said...

I'll jump on board and agree with distractedspunk as well.

I've noticed the drop in comments and readership and I've heard the same thing from other bloggers. It's definitely not you :)

myself said...

I just went through a big blogging lull myself, lucky that I managed one a week, I just wasn't feeling it. The beautiful thing about the those "readers" is that each time someone has posted something new to their blog, I know about it and can go read it, so even if it's sporadic...I keep reading. I just don't always comment....

Everything cycles, including blogging, life gets busy sometimes...

Yoda said...

I'm not really commenting. No, not really.

TMC said...

I'm still here! I've just been bad about commenting. Honest!

The Clandestine Samurai said...

But if you're constantly writing whatever will keep comments coming, would this still be a place for your thoughts? Or a beacon for attention? I think you should continue to write what you love to write. And read what you love to read, and comment there. Comments ebb and flow. Sometimes a lot will come, and sometimes not. I think it depends on the moment the title of your new post shows and how many people come across it at that time.

sonrie said...

i have noticed that some entries of mine garner a larger amount of comments than others; why this is, I am not exactly sure. I also know that I read several blogs that I enjoy, but don't always feel compelled to comment on each entry...though I am not sure what it is exactly, that makes me want to comment. I think having some free time helps.

Hang in there. Think of the great Justin Timberlake lyric, "What goes around comes back around."

PS - I think a lot of Bloggers (and people in general) belong to many outlets (Blog, facebook, twitter, etsy, ravelry, flickr, etc etc etc.) and find it difficult to maintain an adequate presence equally.

Sheila said...

I blame feed readers - I often read, but have become complacent when it comes to actually commenting.

I have seen a drop in the number of comments on my blog as well. Whenever I get too concerned about it, I remind myself of why I began my blog in the first place. On a good day, I shrug my shoulders and say "whatever", on a bad day, well I pout a little... then eat some chocolate.

I joined twitter and facebook because so many of my friends had, all the while thinking it would be for the best. I seriously don't know how they keep up with it all because I can't. :)

Katelin said...

i think your writing has been as awesome as always :)

LiLu said...

I just found you recently, so I don't feel qualified to say anything more than I like it!

xoxo

Emily said...

honey, i can assure you that you are doing nothing wrong. i'm right along with you in the plummeting comment department but sometimes the blogosphere gets like that. just when you're feeling discouraged and ignored one post will warrant 40 plus comments and you realize your readers were here all along.

don't worry, love. we all go through it.

Tia said...

i feel you...sometimes i feel like my very best posts get the least amount of comments.

i just try to focus on loving what i'm writing, and not on the statcounter or comments, but it's hard.

you rock, regardless. and i'm totally guilty of lurking. sorry.

Roshan said...

I thought your blog was getting even more enjoyable to read in the past few days. Do not stop sweetheart. Blogging is in your blood.

Meghan said...

We all get intot hat funk or stride. Don't stop writing. We love your hijinks.

Andhari said...

I love your blog, some posts are always will be getting more comments than others. Depends on the traffic or people log on or not, it's not all you. Keep writing, and moreover, write whatever you want it's all for you in the end :)

Surfergrrl said...

Well, considering you have 38 comments on your post, I'm not sure what you're worried about. Don't wrap up your self-worth into comments. If you do, you stop writing for yourself. As a matter of courtesy, I do tend to read people's blogs who comment on my blog first. After that I read people's blogs who are interesting to me (yours). I just don't have time (and yes, even the unemployed don't have time) to sit and read and comment on everyone's blog. And like someone else said in your comments, you get so many comments I figure someone already posted what I would want to say.

brookem said...

im still reading:)
i just haven't had a chance to actually sign in to many blogs lately, so i catch up on them a lot through my reader. i always like what you have to say, so i hope you won't make the decision to stop writing!

Paula said...

I think we're all just so consumed with other things at the moment that commenting in general is just going down. When the weather is nice, its hard to sit in front of a computer screen. Even for ME! :)

Larissa said...

I'm still reading, and commenting when I can.

But I do think it's a good practice for bloggers to evaluate their reasons for writing every now and then. It couldn't hurt, if only to gain a personal sense of vision for your blog.

closetsareforclothes said...

commenting has achieved 'overrated' status. sucks for us, but also, i think its a trend in the entire world of blogging, no?

either way, i still love you.
obvi.

Brett said...

Just like to highlight my post about the UK governments treatment of the Gurkha's, please give it a quick look. http://365to42.blogspot.com/2009/05/what-price-honour.html

Hannah said...

I just discovered your blog and love it! You have yet to jump the shark.:)

Princess of the Universe said...

I totally feel you on this- I've actually been thinking about taking a blog break lately cause no one seems to read it or comment anymore.

But yours is consistently fabulous, and I agree it might be a google reader thing. I comment less, especially when I get overwhelmed with 100+ posts to catch up on which seems to happen so much lately...

xo

Ronnica said...

I've been seeing comments drop recently, and I think part of the reason is this time of year. People are spending more time escaping outside than inside their computer!

Therapeutic Ramblings said...

It was a bit of an ego hit when my readership plummeted when I cut down on my posting, but the people who stayed around are awesome....and that is what matters.