I'm beginning to believe that blog comments are highly overrated.
People post to blogs for lots of different reasons--to keep friends and family informed of the minutiae of our lives, even stuff they don't really want to know; to create rough drafts of that next best-selling novel and get some input from perfect (and imperfect) strangers; and sometimes to express somewhere those thoughts about life, people or the horrible circumstances of one's life, just as a place to say what one really thinks without having anyone sit in judgment about it. Those blogs are best kept unpublished.
The "public" blogs seem to acquire a certain amount of egoism. At first you just write stuff down. Then you discover stats and see that finally someone else is starting to read your stuff. Then it becomes an obsession--the more readers you get, the more you want. And what do they think of your blog? Who knows? Until they start to comment. Then the obsession sets in about getting comments; the more the better. And then you learn about "comment etiquette," like it's considered rude if someone posts a comment and you don't reply to them. What happens when you start to get 50+ comments on your posts? If you reply to all of them, well, there goes a perfectly good couple of hours. Daily.
There have been a couple of interesting posts about comments lately.
For example, Heather Armstrong ("Dooce") was approached to give away five of the new fitness Wii systems to random commenters to her blog. On that post alone where she talked about it and made the offer, she received well over 42,000 comments. I'm amazed the server didn't crash. Does that mean that every single commenter loves her blog? No. It simply means that she was giving away something they wanted, people told each other about it, and thousands of people went there and posted a comment because the drawing was random and they figured they had as good a chance to win as anyone.
Then there's "Grandad," an Irishman whose blog I've recently started reading. He's amusing and somewhat bawdy, and he doesn't clean up his language at all. "If you don't like it, you can bloody well go somewhere else." He wrote a post about comments and asked some questions. Silly me. I was interested in some of the responses, so I subscribed to the comments, which meant that they all got sent to my email. I won't make that mistake again.
Finally, I've been simmering since Thursday. I've been reading someone's blog for a while, and he's quite a smart-aleck and pretty sassy. He wrote a smart-aleck post and I wrote a smart-aleck comment, which he did not find amusing and let me know. The guy has a category for his blog posts called "smart-assery," fer cryin' out loud. What does he expect? So it's okay for him to be a smart-aleck but nobody else can? He can dish it out but he can't take it? I've learned that people respond to what you write in the same vein that you wrote it.
I immediately deleted his email and took him off my blog roll and out of my feed reeder. And his wife's blog. And her friend's blog.
As for all the rest of it?