Monday, 1 September 2014

THE LAST POST?



As I gad about the streets of Glasgow, one overriding thought
haunts my mighty mind - how can I make my blog even better than it
is?  ("Shouldn't be too hard," some of the more witty amongst you may
even now be thinking.)  I enjoy doing the blog for its own sake, of course,
but it's nice if others enjoy it too, 'though one can never quite be certain.
Some posts get many comments, some get none, yet sometimes I'm
not always certain that the posts which generate reader response
are necessarily the ones most deserving of it.

Do you comment because you want to, or because you feel
obliged to?  Would you prefer not to feel as if you have to leave a
comment when you can't think of anything to say?  Would you still visit
this hunble blog if I did away with the commenting option altogether, as
I'm considering doing?  You see, sometimes, having spent ages scanning
something and racking my cataclysmic cranium for a subject with which I
can thrill and enthrall you, if there is little or no response, I feel I've failed
to deliver - disappointed you in some way.  If there were no comments
section, then I needn't worry that the absence of any kind of response
was an indication of my having failed  to deliver an interesting
or worthwhile post.

"But surely the number of visits that each post receives tells
you whether it's struck a cord or not?" you ask.  Sometimes yes,
but not necessarily so.  A particular post might get a fair amount of
hits, but while the title or illo was perhaps interesting enough to entice
visitors to take a look -  it doesn't reveal whether they stuck around to
read the whole post or bailed out three words into the first paragraph.
Only comments can do that, and the absence of any tends to suggest
indifference to the subject.  So, while I'm grateful to all those who
do regularly comment, if you only do so because you feel you
should, then removing the option may be a relief to you.

Anyway, fully aware of the inherent irony in asking you to
comment on whether this blog should continue having a com-
ments option, what do you think?  Should I leave things as they
are, or do away with the commenting option altogether?  Yes,
no, don't care, get a life?  Vote now.  (If you want to.)      

36 comments:

Andrew May said...

I always like to have the option to comment on a post! But often with your blog there are other things I'd like to do, but I can't because (as far as I know) you're not on Facebook or Twitter. If you were, I could click the "Like" button on Facebook or "Favorite" on Twitter (particularly with Babes of the Day!), or if it was something I wanted my friends/followers to see I could click "Share" on Facebook or retweet on Twitter. That sort of thing would help you, too, because the number of likes/favorites and shares/retweets gives an unbiased indication of how genuinely popular a post is. You would also reach a potentially wider audience that way.

Colin Jones said...

A blog without a comments section - that's ridiculous ! What about when you say something controversial about Alan Moore, gay marriage, society's moral decline blah blah - there'd be no way to agree or disagree. I don't feel obliged to leave a comment but I admit that I do feel a tinge of guilt when I see "0 comments" under the post as I realise the effort put into it however I mostly read the posts but some of them don't mean anything to me as they are comics from the '60s which I'm too young to remember. I do wonder what percentage of blog readers also read the comments (on all blogs) but I enjoy reading the comments as much as the original post. Also Kid, you are one of the few bloggers who answers all the comments (much appreciated) and your comments section always feels like a conversation which is what a proper comments section should be. So I hope you will continue to allow comments and anyway I think you would miss the interaction with the commenters. You should also drop comment moderation and let people say what they want - just ignore the abusive comments, we are all able to recognise silly abuse for what it is.

Kid said...

I don't really fancy Twitter, Andrew, and 'though I once joined Facebook so that I could see a friend's photos he'd asked me to look at, I quit because I never used it after that. Isn't it possible, 'though, for those on Facebook to post a link to someone's blog without that person being on Facebook themselves?

******

Well, people could (and will) still disagree with me even if they weren't able to express it on this blog, Col. In fact, it might even inspire them to create their own blog in order to address a controversial point. As for abusive anonymous comments, I got a certain satisfaction from knowing that they were frustrated at their comments not getting published.

Andrew May said...

You're right that I can share your posts on Facebook, and I've done so in the past. But "liking" posts is a different matter, and it would give you the sort of feedback on the popularity of posts that you say you're not getting at the moment.

I'm one of those people who is always saying "I hate Facebook", but after four years I've come to see it as a necessary evil that does have some very good points. It's an excellent way to keep up to date with people you know in the real world (sometimes people you haven't seen for decades), and to exchange thoughts with others of similar interests. As Colin says, your comment threads are like an intelligent conversation, but that's very unusual for a blog. I see much more of this sort of thing on Facebook. And unlike blog commenters, you can choose your Facebook friends, so they'll always be real people with real names and real faces - not the silly nicknames and avatars you so often see on the web.

Not everyone is into social media, but if you do want to give Facebook another try I for one would be very pleased to see you there.

Graham said...

I've had a blog for over four years now, and maybe 60-70 comments total over that time. My blog is a music blog, just facts and not much controversy, so I just assume that most people just read it and leave, but it would be nice to hear about what they like and dislike about the blog sometimes....whether I should link to video or audio tracks or just do pictures. I have to admit it did bother me a bit at first, but people continue to visit, so I guess maybe some of them enjoy it.

I don't comment here very often, but I do visit regularly and I enjoy your thoughts and appreciate that you take the time to respond to the people who do leave comments.

Andrew kerr said...

Yes. 'Nuff Said!

DeadSpiderEye said...

Comments, seem quite lively here compared to most blogs I visit, where comments are rare, if they do appear, they're limited to a couple of nodding responses. I think probably comments are more likely to arise over opinion or subjects of contention.

Kid said...

Andrew, if I rejoined Facebook, would that mean that people would be leaving comments about posts there rather than on the blog?

******

Graham, I've added your site to my blog list on the offchance you may get a few more hits.

******

DSE,I'll have to try and be more contentious then. Wonder what I can come up with.

Andrew May said...

With regard to the balance between blog and Facebook comments, I get more via the blog itself than Facebook, but with several other bloggers I know it's the other way around. I guess if people see the post on FB first, rather than Twitter or Feedly or whatever, they are more likely to comment via FB.

But you implied you were toying with the idea of switching off blog comments altogether. If that's because you're fed up with getting rude or ignorant comments from faceless people you don't know, then if you did set up a Facebook account, and friended all the people who regularly place intelligent comments on your blog (assuming all or most of them are on FB), then you could go ahead and switch off blog comments and still have the best of both worlds. Just a thought, anyhow - no guarantees it would work out in practice!

karl said...

I think your blog should be left just as it is, Kid...theres nothing inherently wrong with it whatsoever. It does a good job of dissecting what we miss about the comics and things of yesteryear, while giving us some good images to peruse.
Im on Facebbok and my page/wall [whatever they call it] is 90% FF oriented, as comics are my thang on there. But io do agree with others that to just 'like' something does not really endorse anything, and besides more often than not any response on there [or Twatter] only elicits a criticial reply. Few go on there to say 'well done!'.
I think if you want to 'refresh' your blog [which you don't need to imo] is perhaps devote a day/week to one topic like old toys [like Thunderbird craft] or a piece focusing on a particular artist/writer, as most peoples replies then would be more frequent, as everyone has their opinions on 'this writer' or 'this artist' etc.
I do think tho that people should reply, or at least make the effort to, if ones blog is good enough, certainly if you've taken enough trouble to post something then we should make the effort to reply, whether it be positive or negative [which it hardly ever is]. Ive been on some blogs on the 'net that are positively bear pits for spite and bad behaviour, and yours is polite and modest by comparison.
One thing does confuse me though...they still have postboxes in Glasgow?!? LOL!

Kid said...

Andrew, I think I've probably been spoilt by all the thoughtful, well-considered comments that some posts receive that I feel I've posted a clunker if no one responds, and I just hate the thought of disappointing people as regards content on the blog. If people weren't able to comment, then I'd not be expecting any and therefore wouldn't equate their absence with a lack of interest in a post.

******

Karl, yup, we still have pillar boxes in Glasgow - and the rest of Britain. Glad you enjoy the blog. Just thought I'd hoist the idea up the flagpole and see what Criv-ites thought about it. I'd hate for people to see it as a chore to respond but feel obliged to, so for that reason and the one I explained in my above response to Andrew, I wondered if it might be better just to do away with the option.

Also, the fact that some people who used to regularly comment but no longer seem to do so (while still responding on other blogs) made me wonder if my posts were failing to hit the spot with some readers. As I said, if people can't comment, then the lack of them doesn't reflect on the quality of the posts and I could soldier on under the impression that I'm doing something worthwhile.

Gey Blabby said...

On holiday in Glasgow (and beyond) just now, Kid, so struggling to find time to reply - I think I passed that post box yesterday, by the way.

John Pitt said...

Kid, please leave well alone with the comments option. I really enjoy our chats and reading other readers' comments. I comment as I like the interaction AND it makes me feel part of an elite number of comic lovers. NOBODY offers the personal 1-1 communication you give.
I would comment to more posts, but often I feel I cannot add anything to others' comments.
We are all a group of mates on this, OUR blog!

Graham said...

Much appreciated, Kid. Every little bit helps. :)

Steven Docker said...

I visit your blog every day and while I have only made a comment a couple of times if the option wasn't there I would probably eventually stop reading. A blog without the ability to give feedback to its owner (and to get feedback on whatever I decide to comment on) is pretty pointless, so please keep the ability to allows us to make comments.

Steve Docker

Kid said...

Well, going by the responses thus far, it looks like most people want the comment option to remain. I guess the only ones who haven't commented are the ones who don't care one way or the other. Thanks for commenting, everybody. I'll leave things as they are for the moment.

Colin Jones said...

There's a red postbox at the end of my road. Kid, I don't use Facebook either - like you I joined Facebook very briefly (just out of curiosity) and then left again after just a few days because I didn't have a clue what to do with it. As for meeting up with "old friends" from decades ago....er, no thanks - let sleeping dogs lie as far as I'm concerned. The fact that you always answer the comments makes it more likely that I'll leave one - there are other blogs where I wonder whether to bother or not because it's 50/50 whether it'll be answered (or in some cases never).

Dunsade Dave said...

I'd much prefer the comments to stay too.

This, like all good blogs, generates comments which often turn into discussions just as interesting as the original posts.

I've thought about starting a blog myself, possibly on the topic of weird stuff I've found inside secondhand books (50 year old bus tickets, a receipt from a vet half way around the world, baby photos, and lots more) and I'd like to think that if anyone was interested enough to read it, they would comment and spark off further discussion.

Also, I agree with what Colin said above- there aren't many blogs other than this one where the author acknowledges and replies to every comment, and it is much appreciated.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

I agree keep it as it is "Crivvens" is one of the better blogs and one of only 3 I read almost every day, although not all post daily another plus that you have -( ie you post daily and even 3 times on 29th August etc) it's also really good that you take the time to reply (most don't or only do if its one of their pals - not mentioning any particular blogs lol). Also whilst I may not fully agree with a lot of your comments etc they are almost always interesting, well thought out and the replies from you blog "followers" are almost always interesting nd informative as well.

I wouldn't worry re any downturn in feedback I think most folk do read your posts but not all (as they have noted) feel the need to reply (they may not have a big interest in the topic, have already commented on similar posts etc) but can enjoy what you post - for example in my case:

The recent TV Comic, Lady Penelope, TV21 and Dr Who posts - I have no real insight or interest in any of theses comics / TV Shows BUT I enjoyed most of them a lot as there was some great artwork (I loved Ron Embleton's Fireball XL5 art) and would enjoy seeing more if you posted them (I'm not a big Dr Who fan so I have limited interest in his TV show etc but that's just me).

Babe of the Day - yeah keep that I do enjoy my daily "Babe" but I haven't a lot of knowledge on most (not all) of the recent "babes" film work etc to comment on (and too many "fwoars" mean when I really mean" Fwoarr" its diluted -I'm nothing if not a considerate dirty old man)

Alan Moore - to be honest I really love his superhero , Swamp Thing, 200OAD etc work (not his recent arty stuff though ) and didn't listen to the clip you posted cause deep down I do agree with you in that he is bit up his own "bahookie" (no one like their heroes to appear like that even when it may be true ) so didn't have anything to say there other than I like his work (I don't really get into the nitty gritty of these arty types and how great they think they are unless they end up gibbering right wing maniacs etc).

The Thing Big Ben - I really enjoyed seeing these but again had commented in the past and it is what it is plus it was a comic I don't think I bought either the US or UK versions off so had little knowledge of it - but always love seeing UK Marvels

Your Musical tastes - ok I will have to plead the 5th on most of them Kid lol (Jim Reeves I will agree though has had some great tunes)

I think its also worth noting that it is the holiday period for most folk so I can see a downturn in replies - and for me personally I have been putting in 12 - 15 hour(plus) days at work for the last 2 plus weeks so whilst reading most of your posts on Saturday I have not really had time to reply (think I have only posted a few one liners on another blog or 2 recently )

SO IN SHORT KEEP THE COMMENTS SECTION its the most interesting blog for content and feedback on the web for comics/ nostalgia bar non

cerebus660 said...

OK, I'm late to the party and it seems like you've already made your mind up... but... please keep the comments option. One of the best things about blogging for me is the feedback and interaction. I always enjoy visiting this site and commenting when I have something coherent to say :-)

On my own blog I often get disheartened when I've sweated over a post, refining it, editing it, choosing what I think are eye-catching pictures - only to get no comments. Zip. Zilch. Sometimes it really feels like you're just talking to yourself, but then somebody pops up with an interesting / witty comment and the rain stops, the sun comes out etc. etc. I'm easily pleased...

Kid said...

Col, that's why I usually always reply (any I miss, it's sheer forgetfulness), because I can't help but feel slighted when I've left a comment on someone's blog and it's left to sit there in isolation without even an acknowledgement.

******

DD, such a blog already exists - (although that's no reason for you not doing one). It's called The Age of Uncertainty and you can find the link to it in my blog list. I think you'll love it.

******

McScotty, yours is the type of comment that other Criv-ites find so enjoyable (as are theirs) and I still feel that you've got a blog of your own in you. I even learn things myself through other people's responses. For example, if I'd ever known about Blockbuster monthly (a U.K. Marvel comic), I'd forgotten all about it. (Thanks to JP for mentioning it.) Hopefully, I'll be able to keep up the standard that you're all giving me credit for as regards the posts.

******
Cerebus, I must confess to feeling guilty about not commenting on your recent Doctor Who post about Capaldi's first episode. I was going to, but because I didn't agree with you (in a friendly, caring way, of course), I thought that some people might interpret me expressing my dissenting opinion as sh*t-stirring, as has happened to me in the past. However, I visit your blog fairly regularly and your posts are always interesting.

Thanks once again to everyone for the interesting comments.

John Pitt said...

I echo what you say about McScotty having a blog in him!

Kid said...

I thought there was an echo in here, JP.

baab said...

I think about this whenever I don't make a comment.

I visit every day.

I know how much effort goes into maintaining a blog,I fail miserably on my own blog,

I comment when I feel I have an anecdote which may spark another readers memories or a link to some extra info or something to make someone chuckle..
I don't comment on some of the more dramatic posts nor do I comment on anything to do with Stan Lee.
( I know who the King is!)



Kid,there is a lot more going on here than a comic book blog.
There is drama and emotional stuff all staged on your blog with your own attitude and fervour.

I think one of my very first comments here was a curse to you for teasing me with my own suppressed memories,I was going to wait until I could no longer do much else in my life, and then I would reminisce,but you had a hand in changing my mind.

And its been a good thing.

In the old days of high adventure when boys left home at sixteen to see the world,they would write to a few people and possibly keep a diary.
Blogs are like that, only better.

We are corresponding ,its great.

B Smith said...

As Bowie said of Scotland - stay with us.

Ken said...

I would have thought that interaction with readers was one of the main reasons for blogging. Those of us who do not comment often do I am sure still enjoy reading the comments section as well.

Ken

Kid said...

Baab, BS & Ken, I didn't set up a blog in order to 'interact' with readers, to be honest - that just seems to be something that developed of its own accord that I never anticipated when I started. Sometimes when I visit a blog, I feel I should leave a comment, but if I can't think of anything to say, I feel a bit guilty and find myself thinking it would be easier if the option wasn't there. I imagine that some visitors to my blog must feel the same on occasion and therefore wouldn't miss the comments facility, so that was one of the reasons I thought I'd see how readers felt. Don't worry, it's here to stay. I'll just have to accept that any posts which receive none aren't necessarily uninteresting. (I hope.)

John Pitt said...

Without wishing to draw things out, there are a couple more things that I wanted to add. When I discovered the internet I was overwhelmed by all the websites and blogs that people had painstakingly and selflessly put on the internet just for our pleasure/entertainment/education and I get all manner of rewards from visiting them. You asked, " Why do we comment? " - Well I see it as only common courtesy on my behalf if someone has gone to all this trouble just for us, to let them know you have enjoyed it, you appreciate the effort, or simply a quick " thanks for posting! " A bit of feedback is the least we can do in return.
Sometimes though you can enjoy a post and others' comments have said what you would have. I am often late catching up with your posts if I have been working on the house for 2 or 3 days, but thenI get the benefit of reading more comments.
So don't get disheartened by any lull in comments and don't worry if you can't think of anything to post - something will crop up!
I suspect there are many of us who read ALL of your posts and many of us who make this our FIRST stop of the day.
We do so for the content and the friendship we receive.
Finally, for any new readers out there I strongly recommend going back to the start and read the whole archives. When I did this it took me on an amazing journey back and forth through time like a TARDIS!

Kid said...

Thanks for the kind words, JP. Thing is, this post has had so many responses, if my next one doesn't, I'll suspect it was clunker. I'll just have to learn to appreciate the responses when they do come in, and not view it as lack of interest on the readers' part (or lack of accomplishment on mine) when they don't.

TwoHeadedBoy said...

Another "latecomer" here - I read more or less everything you write, and LOVE the comments equally (or more so sometimes).

I don't always comment, mostly because I've got nothing to say on the matter. As has been said, I'd happily give each article a "thumbs up" if that were the case...

Similarly, I try to respond to every comment on my blog, but sometimes I just don't know what to say!

Kid said...

Nice to hear you enjoy the blog and the comments, THB. Even I have to admit that the latter are/is (whatever) sometimes better than the former.

Kid said...

McScotty, you meant Mike Noble's Fireball XL5 art; Ron Embleton drew Stingray. I'm sure you enjoyed both 'though - I certainly did.

joe bloke said...

if it ain't broke, don't fix it, matey. I don't get to blog or visit other people's blogs anywhere near as much as I used to, but, when I do, yours is one of the three blogs that I make a point of going to. there is, if I'm right, a blogger app or add-on that allows readers to select a "cool" or "not cool" option, so you might wanna see if you can find that, but, other than that, Kid, I can't think of anything you could do to improve the quality of Crivens!

Kid said...

Thanks, Joe. High praise indeed. Incidentally, the blog does have the option of marking it as funny, interesting or cool underneath the post.

Anonymous said...

I comment when I have something to say about a given topic. When I don't comment, it's usually because I don't have anything to contribute to that particular post.

For example, I've never posted comments about TV21, Beano, or Dandy, because (being American) I'm unfamiliar with them. I often comment on 1960's comics and TV series, subjects that I know fairly well. (Conversely, Colin may not comment often on Silver Age comics, which were before his time.)

On balance, I would prefer to keep the comments option open, even though I don't post every single time.

-TC

Kid said...

Don't you worry, TC - it's here to stay (for the foreseeable future).

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