Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Enough About Me, Let's Talk About My Blog

Subtitled: A Word About Comments

I have disabled comments on recent posts and many of you have been kind enough to email me and ask why. It seems every time I respond to someone on this matter I have a new take, but I think it all boils down to this...

Comments can be distracting. Good comments, bad comments, nice comments, nasty comments, lack of comments, too many comments can distract a busy mom from her real life obligations in a great variety of ways. I realized that if I am to keep blogging--which I would like to do--I needed to limit comments to selected posts.

I have really enjoyed "meeting" many of my readers through comments and I hope this change doesn't appear ungrateful for your thoughtful and often funny responses. I do hope you will continue to email me if there is something you would really like to say, or if you have a question, or an idea, or anything. I would love to hear from you and I will make every effort to respond.

Also, I plan to continue reading the blogs I do now and leaving comments as I always have. I'm not advocating that everyone turn off comments. I'm just doing what I need to do for my own peace of mind.

That said, I don't think I'm special at all or alone even in my feelings about comments. I've read enough posts from others that indicate otherwise. Comments, I'm learning, can cause a variety of troubles.

I would encourage anyone who feels owned by their blog in any way at all to make whatever changes necessary to keep it in its place. Your blog should serve you, not the other way around.

Comments Open...

27 comments:

Margaret in Minnesota said...

Yes, I've followed some of the discussion about comments in our corner of the blogosphere, and yes I've wondered about your decision.

I didn't doubt it, however; you're a smart young mom and I trust your judgement.

In truth it is easy to say that we all have to do what's best for us spiritually & practically, but in practice it can be very very difficult. I love the sense of community and affirmation that one gets in the giving & receiving of comments, but I hate that a no-comment post can be such a bummer or, conversely, that a multi-comment post can be such a source of pride.

I'm discerning.

Michelle said...

Hi, Suzanne. I liked your elf dancers.

Sue B said...

Closing comments is all the rage these past few weeks. All the cool bloggers are doing it! :)

If I'm feeling smart enough to figure out how to "scrape off the spam" (wondering: does she mean literally or figuratively?), I'll send my insightful "agreements" to your posts by e-mail.

I enjoy your blog very much. You post a lot of great information -- especially on home schooling. I expect that I'll check back often.

Suzanne Temple said...

Oh thanks, Michelle. And thanks for the link. That was fun.

Margaret, I agree. The sense of community is the main reason I didn't limit comments earlier. That, and the worry that other bloggers might consider my move unfriendly or even snobby. I like all of you, but the things you've written that have been most influencial on me have been on your own blogs, not in my comment boxes . Now you are a very thoughtful commenter, Margaret, and I've always appreciated your remarks. I hope you will continue to comment here when I open posts that lend themselves to discussion.

Mary Poppins NOT said...

I did the same thing during Lent, to keep me from compulsively looking for feedback on my brilliant and witty posts (snort). It was out of control.

That being said, for me, without comments at all, I wouldn't even want to blog, because it is the "conversations" that I like.

But limiting the comments to issues that lend themselves to conversing, as well as to times when the blogger can attend to the comments, now that is just smart.

What I miss most is your blogroll, as I have been to busy (lazy) to reconstruct my own and have been "borrowing" yours for sometime. Guess I'll have to get on that, eh?

You are a woman whose priorities are straight, and that is why your posts have such credibility with your readers.

Until next time...

Elizabeth said...

Dear Suzanne,
I pray that your decision brings a sense of peace and renewed joy to your blogging. I am so blessed by your writing!

Anonymous said...

I wondered where the comment box went. I have only commented occasionaly and don't tend to read others comments anyway. Your writing is sufficient reading for me. You do a brilliant job of balancing the humorous and the serious and I enjoy your blog tremendously.

Anonymous said...

I noticed you took your blog roll off, too.

Beck said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean - I now judge my posts by how many comments they get rather than how satisfied I am with them, and it feels like I'm a million miles away from why I blog at all.
So GOOD for you do doing what's right for you. I'll keep reading.

Anonymous said...

I miss your blog roll the most,too.

Jen said...

I miss your blog roll as well. I enjoy your blog, with or without the comments. I do have to say I've seen a trend on a lot of the blogs I visit, and hope that it's something people are doing for themselves and their own benefit, and not to do just because someone else is doing it. I'm glad turning them off on your own blog is helpful to you. I'm with Margaret, in the fact that I love the comments because I need the sense of community some days. Being in the house all day with little ones can be difficult, and adult conversation, even in the form of a little comment, makes me feel like I've just had a nice phone message left from a friend wanting to say hello. It's uplifting.

Ellen Connolly said...

You make a lot of sense. I hadn't thought about it like that. Thanks for explaining, too. I had started to imagine a horrific story that a series of mean comments had been left and that you were standing up to some cyber bully. (Well, no I really wasn't thinking that but if there ever were I have no doubt that you could take them head on!)
And its funny... I had joked with a friend that I was going to email you and ask you why you made your changes bc you know, we are best buds and all.. and then I realized.. wait, no we have never met... So it is pretty darn cool that a lot of people DID email you... it is neat how far our thoughts reach into other people's homes... I do like this technology age.
And... it is nice reading your posts... You are being a great role model for me and some of my friends...

Jill said...

I, too, have been seeking peace about blogging. I decided to go private with my blog and that has been a lifesaver. I don't have to worry about who is commenting, and I feel like I have a small group of readers that I can share my life with.
Like you, I don't feel my way is the 'way,' but it's just another thing to throw out there for people who wonder what route to go with their blogs.

Suzanne Temple said...

Thanks for adding to the conversation, Jill, I think you make a great point. There are many ways to make your blog your own. There are options here. I think it is important to realize that there are no hard, fast rules about blogging. We should all do what we need to and encourage others to do the same.

Suzanne Temple said...

Ellen, Your comment here really made me laugh. You are so funny. Feel free
to email me at any time!

Suzanne Temple said...

jen, I suppose it has become something of trend. I didn't really see it that way, but I think it is good trend if it helps people who would have wanted to close comments earlier, but felt they would have been perceived as unfriendly. I also understand how a kind comment can really pick you up and if leaving comments open gives you the encouragement you need, that's wonderful. You're making your blog work for you.

Jane Ramsey said...

Suzanne,
I did not email you to ask, because I totally understand. In fact I sometimes think I should have done the same, or made my blog private, as Jill said (instead of deleting it).
I think you are very wise!
Much love,
Jane

Rebecca said...

Suzanne, I have gone back and forth in my mind with comments as well. When I began blogging again, I did not open comments because I feared I would not be disciplined with my computer time. I reopened them after a couple of weeks and have enjoyed the interaction with the people who have visited. So far it has been going well for me.

Whether you open comments or not, I will enjoy your blog and visit often! :)

Johane said...

I understand completely what you are talking about Suzanne. It's very easy to get pulled into a conversation and "forget" about everything else around you. (Although I'm sure you don't do that yourself...) With the new liturgical year very quickly coming up, and the Holidays swiftly following, there are more important relationships to foster than the ones online.

I thoroughly enjoy your blog. I've even added your e-mail to my address book in case something did come up and I wanted to drop a quick line. Having the comments board up, it's easier for us to leave a quick "That's so funny!" or even "Your boys are so adorable!" What we tend to forget is that each of our comments pulls you away from your family for a minute or two. Soon 10 comments can become 30 minutes on the computer as you read all and respond to some of the comments left for you.

(I'm sorry, the dramatics in me are getting the better of me at this late hour... Or maybe it's watching too many Carol Burnett clips on Youtube...) "We are all just thieves. We steal you away from your children. We steal you away from your husband. We steal our own time away from our own families! Leaving comments on blogs is making thieves of us all!" (I hope I am no longer channeling Tim Conway!)

I know you enjoy our comments. I enjoy receiving comments on my blog. I can't imagine that you would be so different from me.

Leaving comments though is almost like using a credit card to pay for something. It's easy to swipe & sign and forget about it. Someday though we still have a bill to pay. Writing an e-mail? Well at least for me it's like writing a check. When I write a check I have to think about the amount of money I have in the account, what is going in/going out, who am I writing it out to? An e-mail? I have to think about changing web page, referencing the proper post, did I get your e-mail right? (even if it is in my address book)... (Ok, I know... don't surf and yawn... I'm starting to ramble...)

All this to say, that I may not write e-mails as often as I write comments, but please know that I'm thinking of you and your boys daily.

Kimberlee said...

Helllloooo Suzanne! Just saying hi because I can, hee. ;-)

Suzanne Temple said...

Johane, You are too, too funny. I particularly like the credit card, check book analogy. That's great! Please do email me any time.

Suzanne Temple said...

Hi to you too kimberlee, up late again I see. Like me.

gretchen from lifenut said...

Suzanne, I welcome this chance to say hello to you, too.

Glad you are well.

Sarah said...

Such wisdom in this post...especially about the blog serving you, not the other way around.

I find that, for me, the good conversations get done via email, not via comboxes (though with the new "email me follow-up comments" option, it's easier to keep track...).

But thanks for keepin it up. I really enjoy your blog and the resources you share and the humor in raising those boys of yours.

Anonymous said...

Hi Suzanne, I can completely understand turning off the comments. Actually, it takes pressure off the readers, too! When I started visiting blogs on a regular basis, I spent far too much time composing comments. I would read a wonderful, thought-provoking post or see a clever picture, and I wanted to tell the blogger in detail how she had inspired me or how cute her children looked. Did I really have to be the 17th person to wish the blogger's baby a happy birthday? I would put myself in the blogger's place and, thus, feel guilty if I didn't do justice to the blogger's or my own thoughts. Sometimes, in fact, my favorite posts were the ones that went uncommented because on a given day I knew it would take longer than I could spare. (That tendency cemented my hunch that I myself was not cut out for blogging!) Anyway, I would also like to add (and this may very well be why you chose to close comments), you have always been a very gracious hostess at your blog, and I always appreciated your frequent and prompt acknowledgement of individual comments within your comment box. It always struck me as thoughtful.

J.C. said...

Oh, I didn't mean to be anonymous above! But just in case--J.C.

Alice Gunther said...

Suzanne, there is no real need for comments--after all, when you post stories as hilariously funny as the "making room for pizza" tale, you undoubtedly can hear my laughter booming out across the Long Island Sound!