The 2010 Blog Survey

I’ve often stated that I write my blog primarily for me. That’s true, but I have my narcissistic side too – there’s nothing wrong with having a few people following along. Although the numbers of visitors that the Blog Stats page are a bit meaningless to me, even if they are interesting to a degree. A single comment, even one that disagrees with a point I make, is worth a 1,000 anonymous visitors. Although having said that, I guess it’s possible I’ve written something that has helped one of those anons out somewhere along the way. That’s cool.

But anyway, yes. I am interested in people who come to my blog. But the stats I have access to don’t really tell me what I’d like to know. That being, what people come here for, how often they come, how they found it, what they think of the posts I produce. I know how I find blogs and I know what I think makes a good blog that I’ll continue reading.

I do think bloggers should take the time to respond to people who comment on a post, even if it’s just a few words to acknowledge them. If I write a comment on someones blog, especially with a question, and it’s ignored….chances are I’ll not bother writing anything again. I might even get huffy and not return at all. Depends how much of a snob I’m being. If a blogger isn’t going to respond to comments, then don’t blog. Host a website instead, and preach from there. For me, blogs can be fun, informative or entertaining (or all three) places that develops a little community of friends or acquaintances. That happens through conversation.

I won’t reveal what else I like in a blog, because I wouldn’t want to prejudice my poll over there in the sidebar. For all I know, I don’t have readers but stalkers, who’ll just agree with everything I say. If that is you, please send $10 to my PayPal account – email me for details. 🙂

But anyway, the poll. Go on, take a minute. You can click all the boxes that apply. There’s no trick questions. Although my mind did wander, and in between remembering serious questions, I thought up some nonsense. It’s turned into quite a long selection of questions….

Edit: If you write something witty in the ‘other’ section, it won’t appear on the blog. But I do receive the message – I’ll publish it later!

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  • hi there. I’ve read your blog for a while now and I’ve never commented. I read a lot of blogs and many times I don’t comment because my comment would be something along the lines of “Yes! Me too!” It seems silly, I guess. But whatever. Actually my comment is regarding feeling at home once you’ve been abroad for a long time. When I moved to France from California, it took a while but within 2 years I felt at home there, very much so. I didn’t have a house, partner or career, but I felt completely at home and moving away was dreadful. I then lived in England and did NOT feel at home, even after many many years. Ireland was easier, but I didn’t feel at home there either. It is strange because I spent 7 years in France and it was definitely home, and that didn’t happen with other places. Moving back to California has been strange. I feel at home because I lived here in childhood and my parents live here now, but it is only when I visit France now that I feel at home.
    Anyhoo, I love your blog, keep up the good work!

    • I know exactly what you mean. I have about a couple dozen blogs in my RSS feed that I keep up with. About half of them get unsubscribed now and again, to be replaced with new ones. The other half I’ve been following for years. I’m a pretty sporadic commenter myself. If there’s a question posed that I have an answer to, or a disagreement I want to voice, or a worthwhile point I have to make, then I’ll do it.

      Often the blogger knows more about what he’s writing than I do, or it’s an experience he’s sharing…it’s difficult to reply with anything more than a ‘cool post bud!’ kinda reply – so I don’t bother.

      I like the concept of ‘feeling at home’. Perhaps that’s different than feeling you ‘are home’. If there is, then that’s the difference for me regards Mexico and England.

  • Hola Gary,

    Well, you already know what I think: Great Blog!

    I read it almost every day, and if not, I read to catch up with the posts I’ve missed.

    On comments, I’ve found that I lose interest in blogs that don’t respond to my comments. Frankly, if I want to read something one-sided (i.e. no two-way conversation with the blogger), I can read the New York Times, which is interesting and far better-written than the average blog. Or I can read some other professionally written paper or, (Gads!) even a book!

    I don’t need a response to every single comment, but part of the fun of blogs (in my view) is developing a sort of conversation with the blogger, and if I’m lucky, someday meeting him or her.

    I love your posts on Mexico because they are truthful and unvarnished, about both the good and the bad.

    As for the issue of writing from London, I think I have a neat solution.

    Stay in Mexico!

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we are trying to figure out how to get the time for a motorcycle tour of Mexico.

  • I just found your blog yesterday…sad to hear you’re leaving Mexico, but I definitely hope you will keep it up in the UK. I am a Mexico-lover, but never lived there. (Does Texas count?) 🙂

    Anyway, nice to meet you and best of luck!

    Julie

  • I have no idea how I stumbled upon your blog; probably through another blog, but I’m so glad I did. I’ve lived in Mexico years ago and spent almost every summer there when I was young. I just returned last November for a one week vacation and realized how terribly much I miss it. Your blogs are a balm for my soul. Thanks for writing. Oh, and I only wanted to bop you on the nose once. Pretty good, don’t you think?

    • So far I’ve found three people who want to have a pop at a bop on my nose! I must say something controversial now and again, even if by accident! I should have added the option “I have on at least one occasion wanted to punch Gary on the nose for something he wrote about SMA” given my post a couple of days ago!

  • I’m in the “if I comment, please respond” school. And I always feel guilty when I allow the comments to go for a day or two (an eternity in blogging) before I have an oportunity to respond. I always appreciate your prompt responses — even when we disagree now and then.

    • Sometimes I leave comments unanswered for a day or three too, but I usually get round to them. There’s also the benefit of making my blog look popular by my doubling the comments tally from replying to each and every one!

      And disagreement is essential now and again, to maintain a conversation!

    • P.S-Thanks for consistently responding to my comments. I think you’re right. I find myself commenting more on the blogs that people respond back on. Oh and I think I may be inflating your visitors hits a bit! I’ve been having this issue with firefox where if I so much as accidentally hover my mouse near the rss feed I have for your blog…it automatically goes to one of your posts, as if I had clicked it. Or it keeps refreshing and I’m right back to the same page. As if my visits to your blog weren’t already bordering on stalking 😛 I would say sorry, but I don’t think I’m hurting your blog, so….you’re welcome!

    • I’m sure I will give it a go when I’m in London. It’s something I’ve been pondering. I have a related post coming…

      And I don’t often look at stats, but when I do, big numbers are good. Keep up the artificial inflation!

  • Gary – I enjoy your Blog a lot and read it all the time. I comment occasionally.

    The truth is people that read almost always do not leave a comment. You will find almost all comments come from other Bloggers.

    My Blog has over 2500 unique IP addresses per week (occasionally MUCH more) and yet comments are slim – probably average 6-8 per entry. The occasional controversial entry might get upwards to 30 comments.

    Like you I try to respond to most of the comments – readership analysis is probably way better than comments – some entries and some Blog types elicit comments more than others – when you really cover your subject – there is little reason for a comment I think.

    In any case you have an excellent Blog – will read it less if you split the country as my focus is Mexico.

    • I wouldn’t expect everyone to comment on every post. I know most people are unlikely to comment more than once in a while if at all. And, sad as it is to say, I will lose most of the small community I have here when the Mexile becomes the Londile….

      (Not that I have any intention of changing the name of the blog to something as crappy as Londile…)

      Anyway, thanks for the comment – the cheque’s in the post 🙂

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