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541st Friday Blog Roundup

I read a post a few weeks ago about the idea of closing the comment section on a blog in order to move the conversation to other social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook.

He makes some excellent points about the comment section: “The system is built for individual comments, not for discussion threads … Commenting on something that’s more than a couple of days old guarantees that apart from the blog author only a handful of people will ever see the comment, and starting a discussion about a post that’s several months old is pretty much always a dead end.”

I guess what I like about the comment section is that if I find a post weeks later, I can still see the discussion because it’s dangling under the post.  And yes, there are plugins that enable you to run tweets under the blog post, but I assume the tweets disappear if the person removes the plugin or the commenter deletes their Twitter account.  It feels less… permanent.  Beyond that, 140 characters often isn’t enough space to respond to a post, though it is enough space to acknowledge a post.

Commenting has definitely dropped in recent years as more people read from mobile devices and more people blog.  I think when the blogging community was small, you felt obligated to comment and let the person know you read their words.  You also had fewer places to write your thoughts therefore you felt a deeper impulse to comment and use the commenting space.  Now, you can jump into conversations about a post in a wide range of spaces, which dilutes the use of each individual space though the commentary is probably at a similar level if one considers all the places someone may have aired their thoughts.

What do you think of closing down the comment section in order to funnel people toward social media for conversation?

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Stop procrastinating.  Go make your backups.  Don’t have regrets.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

As always, add any new thoughts to the Friday Backup post and peruse new comments in order to find out about methods, plug-ins, and devices that help you quickly back up your data and accounts.

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And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

I actually had “Draw Your Infertility” by Because I Can’t Have Babies bookmarked for this week because I didn’t read it until last weekend.  So I decided to put it in both places mostly because I think the exercise she did in the workshop is so helpful and applicable to a large range of emotionally-charged situations.  And yes, I am going to make you click over to see what she did in the workshop.  Believe me, you’ll want to bookmark the post, too, and return to it on a day you need it.

Persnickety Chickadee has a frank post about dealing with depression.  She also points out this fact about carrying your traditions and expectations with you: “Everyone’s expectations around home behaviours are different.  And because it’s something learned at home, where everyone else does it, it can be hard to explain it to someone else.”  This is why I read blogs and write a blog: because reading about someone else’s experience makes me feel less alone.

Unpregnant Chicken is struggling with the question many of us grapple with at some point in our treatment journey: reconciling her political beliefs about conception with her heart’s beliefs about conception.  It’s an interesting read.

Invincible Spring has a beautiful post about what a difference a year makes.  She writes, “During all those long years of loss, infertility and loneliness, I often comforted myself with the thought that life can change profoundly and unexpectedly in a single season, in the blink of an eye. ‘Everything could look completely different this time next year‘, I told myself, hoping it might be for the better.”  And isn’t that the hope that fuels us to put one foot in front of the other?

Two Adults, One Child kicks off her post with a venn diagram and then asks the eternal question: how does someone find their purpose?  It’s not just an interesting post that will encourage you to take a step back and look at your own life, but an interesting discussion is taking place in the comment section, too.

Lastly, The Road Less Travelled has a moving post about the plot next to her daughter’s grave finally getting the plaque on it.  You should read this post precisely because it is a hard read.  Because hard reads are usually important reads because they force us to look at the truth about living and the time we have.

The roundup to the Roundup: What do you think about moving commenting to other platforms?  Your weekly backup nudge.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between April 10th and 17th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.

22 comments

1 Valery { 04.17.15 at 9:51 am }

Last i heard you cannot have an anonymous FB account, so that would limit options for some of us. If you did this you would lose me as a commenter as I do not have twitter or FB.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to expand the options for commenting?

2 Mel { 04.17.15 at 9:53 am }

That’s what I think — that more places would be better, meeting everyone’s preference. But I also thought that post was interesting.

3 Kaeleigh { 04.17.15 at 10:50 am }

Thanks Mel, for including my embryos vs babies post! XOXXO Love to you as always!

4 Ann Z { 04.17.15 at 11:00 am }

I think that if your goal is to have more (only) social media engagement, then absolutely send people somewhere else to discuss. Most of the community for my blog is now on facebook in a group, but I haven’t closed comments because I think the immediacy and anonymity and flexibility of comments is still important.

5 Catwoman73 { 04.17.15 at 11:10 am }

Thank you so much for featuring my post, Mel!

6 Lori Lavender Luz { 04.17.15 at 11:40 am }

I value owning the real estate (virtual estate) that the comments come in on. I am averse to encouraging comments on a platform that someone else (like Mr Zuckerberg) owns at the expense of having them in a place that I have more control over.

One of the many things I love about our community is that we are still generous with comments. We still value the simple act of saying, “I’m here. I’m listening. I care about what you wrote. I value your space.”

7 Lisa { 04.17.15 at 12:10 pm }

I think the idea of moving comments to social media is smart for certain types of blogs, but not ones dealing with such sensitive topics as infertility, loss, adoption, etc. I have a feeling a lot of people would avoid using social media to comment on those topics because they don’t want everyone in their network to read them.

8 Rachel { 04.17.15 at 1:18 pm }

I am not FB or Twitter open about infertility. So I would not link my accts with yours and would certainly miss the opportunity to comment. Although I do understand the idea behind it and, should you move that way, I would create a new Twitter so I could comment.

9 loribeth { 04.17.15 at 1:35 pm }

Thanks for the mention, Mel! 🙂 Re: your question: It would be nice if more blogs were set up so we could respond to each others’ comments & carry on more of a discussion. But that said — I don’t see the sense in having a post in one place & comments in another. If I’m really interested in the topic &/or what others have to say about it, I tick the “notify me of comments” box (if there is one), or I mark the post as unread in my blog reader & return to it again in a day or two to see what else people have said.

I agree with Lisa that I don’t always like or comment on people’s blog posts in my Facebook feed because I don’t want the rest of my network to see it. And I am not on Twitter. Also, as you said, if the point is to open up more of a discussion, how much of a true discussion can you have on Twitter in just 140 characters?

10 kirstenkarch { 04.17.15 at 5:54 pm }

I think everyone is over comitted these days. I know I can easily feel that way and taking the time to comment on a post can feel like one more thing to do if we forget that sharing ourselves can be a way to not only express our unique perspective on the world around us, but also allow us to work through our own thoughts and opinons on our general philisophy. I am actually saddened by how few people leave comments because I have learned a great deal from reading what people have taken the time to share. I get it! I havent been sharing hardly anything for the last year, but am excited to get back into the swing of things.

11 Mali { 04.18.15 at 1:28 am }

One of the reasons I might not comment on a post is if commenting is difficult – for whatever reason – at the time. So clicking on another link to go to Twitter or Fb, or worse – as suggested in that original post – to a messageboard to start your own thread, would seem to make it more complicated. I don’t think I’d even bother reading a blog that was so inhospitable to comments.

I’m like Loribeth – if I’m keen to see a developing conversation, I’ll tick the “notify me of comments” box, or will make sure it is unread in Feedly, so I can go back and check.

And although I share most of my Separate Life posts on Fb, I don’t do that with my No Kidding posts, so I’d have to get another Fb account as Mali from No Kidding, and it would all start to get too complicated.

I think this community is much more about community – both our posts and our comments – and I don’t think that particular blogger’s conclusion applies here. It would be interesting to hear from him in a few months – is he getting more discussion about his posts on Twitter or his ridiculous messageboard set-up, or less?

12 earthandink { 04.18.15 at 3:41 am }

I like comments in blogs. I can see, at some point, adding a plug-in to allow a bulletin board of some sort, if I were to develop a big community that might like more control over talking to each other. But the bulletin board would also be part of the blog, not offsite, and definitely not part of a huge company that can do almost anything with the content there. I’m not a FaceBook fan and I probably wouldn’t comment at all there. I’m a tiny bit better about Twitter, but not much.

13 Queenie { 04.18.15 at 8:07 am }

Actually, it bugs me when I see that comments have been closed. It makes me feel like the blogger doesn’t value what I have to say. I get that the person may want to drive the discussion elsewhere, but that in itself feels very controlling to me–like the person is only willing to hear me on their terms.

14 Amber { 04.18.15 at 11:30 am }

I like the idea of furthering conversation, but not at the expense of closing the comment thread on a blog post. I understand closing Comments if it is something that became controversial or something like that, but that doesn’t seem to be what this is about. Twitter conversations don’t really seem possible with a 40 character limit, so that really only leaves Facebook. It’s an interesting thought to being able to expand conversation. I wish it were more possible in the blog setting.

15 apluseffort { 04.18.15 at 9:27 pm }

I’m always a touch disappointed when people tweet to me about my blog posts because their comments won’t be attached to the posts for me to read again later.

16 Josey { 04.19.15 at 9:10 pm }

I definitely prefer when comments are on the blog post itself, and like Lori, as a blogger myself I value owning the real estate on which the comments reside. Comment sections have come a long ways, and I love when you can actually respond to individual comments in the section (like on wordpress) as opposed to the way most blogspot blogs are set up — and how as a commenter, you then automatically get notified when someone replies to you. I usually won’t see the response otherwise.

17 Jess { 04.19.15 at 9:49 pm }

Oh no, I don’t like the idea of moving comments to social media. I love comments and have tried over the past couple of years to be a better commenter even if I am busy. I get overwhelmed by social media and feel that it could take me down a rabbit hole. Comments on the post are so lovely, and I have seen conversations take place. I’m not even on twitter, so I wouldn’t know how to follow things there (but I guess I could learn…but again, overwhelmed by all the social media!). I have found it easier to know when people are commenting so I can respond through comment moderation, although that’s not why I activated that feature it is a nice benefit. (Evil ex-people found my blog so comment moderation was a necessity for my sanity and keeping their nonsense off my space.) I guess my vote is to please keep comments sections open for non-social-media-savvy people like me, and because it’s still nice to know that people are stopping by and thinking on a particular post. I love reading the comment threads in other people’s blogs too, because sometimes those are as thought-provoking as the post itself.

18 Noemi { 04.21.15 at 9:30 am }

I really loved this post, and I’m sure you did too:
http://earthandink.com/2015/04/21/the-wonder-of-a-talisman/

19 Geochick { 04.21.15 at 10:51 am }

I’m definitely old school and prefer the comments on the blog. Ps. Commenting on your blog is a breeze now that you have a mobile version. Thank you!

20 Isabelle { 04.21.15 at 9:18 pm }

A.’s painfully beautiful and heart-wrenching tribute to her son. This post will stay with me for a long time:
https://theempressandthefool.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/mother-to-son/

And this one:
https://theempressandthefool.wordpress.com/2015/04/19/pants/

21 Elisha { 04.22.15 at 11:39 pm }

I love leaving comments on blogs!

22 Elisha { 04.22.15 at 11:40 pm }

Sometimes in this struggle to conceive, we think our husbands have checked out or don’t care. But I believe they do. They just have a different way of showing it.

http://waitingforbabybird.com/2015/04/15/to-my-fellow-infertility-wives/

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