What is With the Bloggernacle?

October 4, 2004 | 45 comments
By

I am not proud of this, but I have to confess that a very substantial part of my entire self-worth is tied up with how many comments my posts get on Times and Seasons. Unfortunately, I just don’t get it. By what criteria do the commenting bloggernaclites choose one post over another. A silly, throw-away post that I dashed off in a about 15 seconds because I figured I ought to post something, just hit the top of the most comments list. On the otherhand, what I thought was a much better and more interesting post seems to have sunk into complete oblivion. This is not meant as a rebuke to anyone. I am, however, genuinely curious about what people find interesting and comment-worthy (are the two identical?) and why.

Tags:

45 Responses to What is With the Bloggernacle?

  1. danithew on October 4, 2004 at 8:25 am

    I think one of the main tricks is to write something that people will argue about.

  2. danithew on October 4, 2004 at 8:30 am

    By the way, last week (I must have been really bored) I did a little tally of who wrote the most popular posts. The writers who appeared most at that time (assuming my recollection is working at all) were Matt Evans, followed by Kaimi. There was a sprinkling of others as well. Perhaps the most popular posts (for ego-boosting reasons) ought to list the names of the authors as well (if possible).

  3. Rusty on October 4, 2004 at 8:59 am

    Funny you mention this, Nate, because I have been thinking about it (albeit on a much smaller scale on my own blog), and Ryan Bell posted about it as well here. I think Dan is right, it needs to be a bit controversial. Two recent posts on my blog received more than quadrupled the comments than anything that I had previously posted. They were both topics in which people had very different points of view (it also helped that T&S linked to it as well). My blogs generally make a point and people’s comments say something along the lines of, “That was nice. I hadn’t thought of it like that before.” I’m fine with that though. Any feedback is great though. Therefore, I think we can all be grateful that we have Danithew to make all of us minor-bloggers feel better.

  4. Russell Arben Fox on October 4, 2004 at 9:24 am

    All I know is that, if you want comments, and you’re writing about sex on T&S, ditch all that spiritual stuff about “healing”; the people have spoken, and they want orgasms, baby.

  5. BTD Greg on October 4, 2004 at 9:42 am

    A post’s ability to draw comments might have something to do with it’s completeness. Write something comprehensive and well-thought-out, and people may read it, nod, and fail to comment. Write something sketchy and incomplete, but interesting, and everyone will want to add their two cents. This is something I’ve observed in internet fora globally, not something particular to T&S.

  6. danithew on October 4, 2004 at 10:02 am

    Therefore, I think we can all be grateful that we have Danithew to make all of us minor-bloggers feel better.

    LOL. Someday a compendium of scripture will be put together from blogger posts and there will be divisions between the greater and lesser bloggers. I visit a variety of the “lesser bloggers” (I also being from that category) because they offer interesting thoughts and have some nice posts … I also operate under the theory that if I visit others they might visit me. My theory doesn’t always work but it’s better than doing nothing.

  7. Bryce I on October 4, 2004 at 10:03 am

    Sometimes there is a shadow effect. A hot topic may draw attention away from other topics posted at the same time.

  8. John David Payne on October 4, 2004 at 10:07 am

    Doesn’t it make sense that people put their own two cents in more when your post is half-baked? If the post can’t stand on its own, the hive mind completes it through commentry. But if you’ve already said it well, people may be content simply to read and be edified, rather than feeling the need to contribute to the conversation themselves.

  9. D. Fletcher on October 4, 2004 at 11:01 am

    I think it’s funny that Nate, of all people, would get caught up in “are people reading my posts, or what?”

    LOL

    I’d like to be thought of as innately brilliant as Nate (to coin a phrase). After I post here, I’m stuck coming back for hours, to see what people have to SAY to me.

    I’d like to be an IMPORTANT poster. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want people to think I have nothing to do. Better not post today.

    LOL

  10. Kristine on October 4, 2004 at 11:09 am

    Nate, for me, at least, part of the problem is that I’m slow–if you post something meaty, I have to think about it for a long time before I have anything halfway intelligent to say (if, in fact, I ever get to that point). Today, for instance, I finally have a couple of questions I might want to ask about your authority post, but everybody else has moved on, and it seems dumb to comment there now. Don’t forget that you’ve probably been thinking about your “big” posts for a little while before you actually write them, and the rest of us have to catch up. The bloggernacle’s actually not a place that allows much for that catching up.

    That, and we’re all just shallow twits who like to get our rhetorical jabs and flourishes in on things that don’t take much thought :)

  11. Nate Oman on October 4, 2004 at 11:11 am

    “That, and we’re all just shallow twits who like to get our rhetorical jabs and flourishes in on things that don’t take much thought ”

    But I am a shallow twit enamored or rhetorical jabs. I want to know how to better attract likeminded individuals.

  12. Bryce I on October 4, 2004 at 11:12 am

    Kristine has a good point here. In a forum-style discussion, one can bump a topic to the top of the list simply by posting on it, thus drawing the attention of the rest of the readers.. Here, the march of time pushes posts down into oblivion, no matter how much interest there may be.

  13. ed on October 4, 2004 at 11:28 am

    The “recent comments” list can still draw attention to an old post.

    Speaking of which, there used to be a longer list of recent comments available, but it went away with the move to Word Press.

  14. Russell Arben Fox on October 4, 2004 at 11:56 am

    “But I am a shallow twit enamored of rhetorical jabs. I want to know how to better attract likeminded individuals.”

    You could start by insulting Canada.

  15. Kim Siever on October 4, 2004 at 12:22 pm

    Stop your bellyaching. At least you get comments. I am lucky if I ever get eight comments like your “throw away” post did.

    :)

  16. Nate Oman on October 4, 2004 at 12:26 pm

    Russell,

    Perhaps I was insulting ignorant Americans, eh. Who knows?! I may have hidden, ironic depths that you know not of. Or not…

  17. Russell Arben Fox on October 4, 2004 at 12:27 pm

    Ooh, could use of the “eh” there. All is forgiven, then.

  18. Jen J on October 4, 2004 at 1:33 pm

    I’m as stumped as you are. I rushed out my post about hating to go to church on BCC and then was afraid to look at it for a week. I was sure there would be no comments, or the ones there would say “Grow up and stop whining.” or something like, “This is the worst post I’ve ever read on here.” BUT, when I checked it on Saturday there were something like 75 comments!! That’s the most comments I’ve ever had.

    It probably has to do with people’s emotional response to the post. If it affects them for good or bad then they’re more likely to comment. (I’m speaking of my own commenting experience.) The other thing is probably the expertise factor. No one wants to sound stupid, we have our bloggernacle reputations to maintain afterall. So a post about a very interesting subject which no one else knows anything about will not get a lot of comments. But a post about going to church will because we’re all experts on that. I’m just speculating here.

  19. Kim Siever on October 4, 2004 at 1:53 pm

    Are you insane, Russell? That is a poor use of “eh”. Anyone remotely versed in the proper usage of “eh” knows it turns statements into questions and thus needs to be followed by a question mark.

  20. Frank McIntyre on October 4, 2004 at 2:22 pm

    Russell’s insane, eh?

  21. Steve Evans on October 4, 2004 at 2:43 pm

    The misuse of “eh” only sounds more hollow when it comes from a bunch of hosers like T&S.

  22. Russell Arben Fox on October 4, 2004 at 3:00 pm

    Eh? He did turn it into a question! What, you’re worried about the lack of a concluding question mark? Take off! I knew all the cheesers growing up in Washington, and they’d no more mess with the question mark than doff their toques. You’re the hosers.

  23. danithew on October 4, 2004 at 3:39 pm

    Interesting point Mr. Siever. I couldn’t agree more. A lot of us could only dream of breaking 50 comments, never mind 200. :)

  24. Adam Greenwood on October 4, 2004 at 5:33 pm

    Kristine,
    I would go ahead and post your comments on ‘Authority.’ It’s turned into one of those perpetual posts that keep drawing thoughtful comments long past the post has gotten over its initial rush. And Nate O. keeps responding. This is your chance for a private colloquy.

  25. Adam Greenwood on October 4, 2004 at 6:01 pm

    I keep looking over to the sidebar and seeing ‘What is with bloggern . . .’”

    ‘Bloggern’ strikes me as a far better word for participants in the bloggernacle that the previous ‘bloggernaclites’ or whatever it was. ‘Bloggern’ just rolls off the tongue.
    “The bloggern are feisty today,” one could comment to one’s wife in the morning over breakfast. “Look, they’ve already commented on yesterday’s Beards post 500 times. Plus they’ve conquered Canada.”
    “Those bloggern!” one’s wife would say, shaking her head ruefully.

    ‘Bloggern’ can take its place besides such bloggernacle classics as ‘bloggernacle’ itself; ‘reggolbocs’ (as yet undefined); ‘cob logger’ or, less commonly, ‘cobjack,’ (used to refer to a poster on a group blog, as in ‘seasonal T&S poster Jana Reiss is Paul Bunyanesque’); and of course the various neologisms coined to replace ‘Jack Mormon,’ which have yet to take off.

  26. Adam Greenwood on October 4, 2004 at 6:03 pm

    Or rather, seasonal T&S cob logger Jana Reiss . . .

    Yearrghh!

  27. Kristine on October 4, 2004 at 6:53 pm

    Adam, “bloggern” is a verb:

    ich blogge, du bloggst, er bloggt,
    wir haben den Tag ganz weggebloggt!

  28. Jonathan Green on October 4, 2004 at 8:42 pm

    If you want to generate on-topic comments, don’t include a link in your post to a website that is an even bigger distraction than T&S. Geosense, anyone?

  29. gunner on October 4, 2004 at 9:44 pm

    I try to do good posts. I get few readers but once in awhile I get a good link. Last week I did a small post about an email I got from OSCE in Europe. With normal numbers of 60 average I had over 1900 hits in one day and 500 the next. One just one post I thought was filler. I guess we think we write for ourself, but the readers are the ones who judge the writing.

  30. john fowles on October 5, 2004 at 1:21 am

    Adam, I have to say that Kristine is right. “Bloggern” just can’t be a noun–it would be too wierd. It is definitely a verb!

    (But I think she misconjugated it in the present tense–should be ich bloggere, du bloggerst, er bloggert; wir haben . . . weggebloggert. To embellish I would add the preterite–bloggerte, bloggertest, bloggerte–but that’s a no-brainer!)

  31. Sara Greenwood on October 5, 2004 at 2:48 am

    I meant that it would be a noun in *English*

  32. Jonathan Green on October 5, 2004 at 8:45 am

    Adam, ‘bloggern’ won’t work. I can’t think of any analogous word formation patterns in English. Instead, try ‘bloggren,’ with its audible and orthographic allusions to the anomalous English plurals ‘children’ and ‘brethren,’ while fitting neatly into the series of aesthetic crimes that is ‘blog,’ ‘blogger,’ and ‘bloggernacle.’

  33. Bryce I on October 5, 2004 at 10:25 am

    On the other hand, think of all the singular nouns that end in “ern”: slattern, intern (Monica Lewinsky), Howard Stern. Wouldn’t we want to trigger those associations?

  34. Kim Siever on October 5, 2004 at 12:40 pm

    I prefer “nacker”.

  35. Adam Greenwood on October 5, 2004 at 6:58 pm

    Ah, you bloggern.

  36. danithew on October 5, 2004 at 7:03 pm

    “Bloggern” has a sort of Scottish or Irish feel to it. I’m not sure which. I’m sure the Scots and the Irish would be glad to hear that. Especially the ones that are my ancestors.

    I still like Bloggernacker.

  37. Ethesis (my computer is broken) on October 5, 2004 at 9:43 pm

    You need to remember that your “great” post left people with little to comment on, your “toss away” post gave a great deal for people to look at and talk about.

  38. Jonathan Green on October 5, 2004 at 10:55 pm

    Mmmm, nacker. Homophonous with ‘knacker,’ with its connotations of repurposing worn-out material, and with unmistakable visual reference to ‘nackert,’ a German baby-talk synonym for ‘naked.’

  39. Kim Siever on October 6, 2004 at 1:06 am

    Jonathan Green,

    That sounds perfect given the boobs thread.

  40. Chad Too on October 6, 2004 at 10:09 am

    Shouldn’t it be “Bloggernacler?” Rhymes with “Tackler?” I’m confused. “Bloggernacker” leads my mind to “hacker” which makes me remember much of the “hack” writing I endure every day and “hacker,” which makes me think of people trying to break into websites and given Kingsley’s recent declarations of the ‘firmness’ of his testimony of truth, I’m not sure I want to know which sites the Bloggerhackers are trying to get into. ;-)

  41. Kristine on October 6, 2004 at 10:20 am

    John, you’re right, of course; I was just checking to see if you were still reading ;) (and I did think about it for a while–the double “g” would seem to require the ert ending, right? or else it would have to be “er blogt” Anyway, I did know I was uebershortening, but bloggere seemed awfully awkward, too, und nicht ganz Deutsch)

  42. Adam Greenwood on October 6, 2004 at 7:47 pm

    Bloggern, bloggern, bloggern.

  43. Kim Siever on October 7, 2004 at 12:03 am

    Nacker, nacker, nacker.

  44. Adam Greenwood on October 7, 2004 at 12:07 am

    Give a dog a bone. This old man came rolling home.

  45. Jack on October 7, 2004 at 12:45 am

    Do bloggern and blaggard (also spelled blackguard) share the same root?