From Commenter Pan to Blogger Fire

Monday, October 24, 2005
Valery is the only agent in the world who has been officially outed three
times.

Some people just don't know when to quit.

Is that a joke? Well, obviously not. It is a comment I left in some thread at Tom Maguire's place. Granted, my comments are usually longer and a bit more thoughtful. But, the deal is, I'm trying to become a blogger instead of just a commenter.

And I'm finding it difficult.

Except for the occasional flight of fancy, a blog post that consists of only the first two sentences up there is not what I'm aiming for. They'd make a good introduction to a little screed but wouldn't cut it as an entire post.

Well, sometimes a post with limited words works. 'Indeed' has already been claimed though. (But, please note, I've been using 'heh' in email and forum postings for 18 years and I'm not going to stop now.)

I'm afraid of an overly breezy style for my blogging and tend to over work each and every blog post I've ever written. So worried about all the prepositional phrases, I find I've missed something important.

Like a point.

Like flow.

This happens with my artwork too. Overworking a scene is a bad habit of mine. I think I'm in the process of doing these things right here right now.

And it's like I feel I should back up every sentence with a link to prove I'm not making it up, and give readers something to do besides look at my words. Yes, a little exaggeration, but putting the occasional link in a comment is quite different from the way links are usually used in blog postings. The main difference is blog postings often have more of them. Now where the hell did I see that article?

What's worse, I now preview before I post. What a concept. But I rarely preview when commenting....I just type and post. Preview is scary. It's a psychological ploy to force you to do even more editing. Because it's the final ultimate last chance before your typos are shown to the world. It keeps you in the vicious cycle of preview-edit-preview-edit-preview until the cat demands her dinner and you finally, holding your breath, hit the 'Publish Post' button.

But a true blogger wouldn't dare not preview. I guess this trial-by-preview-fire is simply part of the transition from commenter to blogger.

But, even though it doesn't sound like it, this isn't about me. And I'm not fishing for anything. All of us here at YARGB started our lives as commenters only. And we've all been commenting in the blogosphere for quite a while. This blog posting stuff is/was new to all of us.

Just wondering how the transition feels to you all, and anyone else who might be interested.

Note: Aaarrrghhh. I never had to come up with titles before.

15 comments:

RogerA said...

Syl--interesting reaction, because that has been my reaction to blogging as well--Since I did college for 17 years, I lapse into being didactic (ugh). And I love to comment without the responsibility of having to lay out the problem for others to comment upon. So--same types of reactions to blogging--I suppose Glenn Reynolds is the gold standard for blogging vs commenting--heh!

Knucklehead said...

Syl,

The difference, it seems to me, is that when commenting one is simply joining a conversation already under way. When posting one wishes to start a new conversation about some topic. The latter warrants a bit more care - or maybe just makes us believe it does.

I find it interesting that this seems somewhat a reversal of actual conversation. When actually among a group of people provoking some conversation is remarkably simple and can be accomplished with little or no thought or preparation. Participating in the ongoing conversation is harder work.

I like to think of blogging and commenting as a form of conversation, which I do think it is, but the reversal of difficulty is interesting and possibly indicative of an essential difference. What that essential difference is I have no idea.

RogerA said...

And BTW, Syl--you have a heck of an iteresting diurnal cycle.

Rick Ballard said...

Roger,

Real women don't use Preeviw - nor do they sleep.

How do you think your mother always knew what you were up to? Until the teens, anyway.

Syl said...

1:06 am ain't bad, unless one lives on the East Coast where I posted at 4:06 am. :)

I'm a night person. But I think I'm originally from Mars. My natural cycle seems to be 25 hours or so.

So a few days out of every few weeks, I'm actually up during daylight hours. :)

BTW Happy Halloween! In case I forget to send greets on the actual eve.

gumshoe1 said...

miles davis said
the space
matters as much as the notes.

maybe that will help.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

Good points, Syl.

But one difference you should keep in mind is that when you click "submit" it's still not the final version. Unlike Roger Simon you have a real editor. :-)

It's interesting to see what form real posts take as opposed to comments. Glenn Reynolds is the master of the one liners. Roger Simon is the master of the three paragraphs and you're out style. I personally think Roger S. is on to something. There are people like Stephen den Beste who have done well with the extended essay. Perhaps we'll get all these forms on here.

Charlie (Colorado) said...

Since I did college for 17 years, I lapse into being didactic (ugh)

Yeah, THAT'S my excuse. besides, I only went to college for 14 years.

Charlie (Colorado) said...

I'm a night person. But I think I'm originally from Mars. My natural cycle seems to be 25 hours or so.

Actually, 25 hours is what most people have when they freewheel their circadian rhythm.

Not that this should completely eliminate the possibility that you're from Mars.

flenser said...

One big difference is "audience". A comment is a response either to a blog post, or to a comment left by another commenter. The "audience" is known, and is usually a single person.

A tricky thing in writing posts is deciding who the post is aimed at. Is it a response to a particular person? Is it aimed mostly at the other bloggers here? Is it aimed at "the world"? Depending on the answer, you may assume different levels of background knowlege from the reader.

terrye said...

I am a half ass kind of person.

Excuse me..... I mean a free spirit and I post like I do everything else.

shut up and get out of my way.

And preview is for sissies.

In truth I don't really do anything different. Maybe I should.

ambisinistral said...

It is not so much writing the original post that bothers me as settling on a topic and then framing it.

I find myself shying away from topics that are heavily covered for some oddball reason. The result is some oddball topics.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

Flenser is right. Picking who the audience is is essential for me to write. If I believe that nobody's reading it I can't write at all.

Ambisinistral, I like the oddball topics. Keep up the good work.

Rick Ballard said...

We are at over 200 posts now and I've read them all. I can't remember any that weren't worth reading. I like reading long posts but I hate writing them.

Syl said...

Audience

Good point.

At this point in time, my comments are read by far more people than my posts ever will be. But when I 'write', the broader audience is what I have in mind anyway.

I'm always aware of lurkers, though, in either case.