Sunday, March 31, 2019

Responding to Reader Comments


As described here, my only goal for this blog is to post four times a month. This morning, March 31 with the pressure on, I had no ideas. In desperation, I searched the Internet for prompts and found “101 Blog Content Ideas To Make Your Blog Post ‘HOT.’” One of the prompts caught my eye: responding to reader comments. That’s the subject of this post.

I don’t have time to reply to all reader comments, of course, but in the spirit of Frequently Asked Questions I’ve chosen the most representative ones. Read these and you’ll feel like you and I are having a cordial face-to-face conversation!

But first – the non-starter blog prompts

Before I get into the reader comments, I want to showcase a few of the “101 Blog Content Ideas” that fell flat. Consider idea #49, “Show off your personal stuff; car(s), house, accessories” to create “a motivational blog post for someone who doesn’t own those kinds of things.” So I should make my readers envious, so that they’ll knuckle down and go make enough money for their own 2006 Volvo wagon or wooden-handled rubber spatula set? I couldn’t really get behind this idea. After all, in my very first blog post I recounted how the first blog I ever saw, in the late ‘90s, “was the web equivalent of a grade school kid shyly showing a friend around his house, showcasing his room and his toys. It seemed sort of sad, kind of a ‘this is my bike, do you like it?’ thing. So I was aware, very early on, of the risk of self-indulgence that a blog presents.”

Even less promising was prompt #51, “Create a blog post about your bad habits,” which said, “Smoking, alcohol, drugs, yes they could be blog ideas too! Tell them something shocking!” In general, not just with my blog but in life, I try to avoid incriminating myself in writing. Meanwhile, my bad habits are not exactly shocking. Sometimes I go to bed without flossing, or get crazy and have a second beer.

Continuing through the “Content Ideas” post, I hit pay dirt with #54, “Answer to every single comment personally.” I’m told this will make my “readers feel special and honored” and that through this kindness I can “get new friends, co-authors or even business partners.” Now, the obvious way to answer comments would be to email the commenters directly (where possible) or post a response directly below their comment, in context, as I’ve done here:

The problem is, if I answered below each comment, I wouldn’t get a new post out of it, and you wouldn’t get to see everything lovingly curated and distilled into the Comment Response Platinum Collection you see here. So I’ll just have to hope those commenters find this post.

Comments on “Nash Bridges Towed My Car

Jeson David: “Incredible articles and extraordinary format. Your blog entry merits the greater part of the positive criticism it's been getting.” elia and ponto michigan auto accident lawyer

Dear Jeson: I’m really glad you like my post, and thanks for saying so. However, I feel a bit awkward being told that my blog format is extraordinary. To be honest, when I was first starting out as a blogger I went with the stock template that Blogger provided and, other than adding an image-based masthead, I never got around to changing a single thing. In other words, my blog format is about as generic as you can get. You should be praising Blogger! Oh, and one more thing: on the topic of the link you helpfully included, to the law firm of Elia and Ponto, I should probably be completely transparent here and let you know that my blog doesn’t necessary reach very many readers in the Detroit area where Elia and Ponto practice. I’ve never catered to a regional audience; in fact, over 60% of my readers are overseas, with some 20% hailing from Russia and the Ukraine. I hope using my blog to promote Elia and Ponto hasn’t been a letdown for you.

Lizza Kim: “If somebody wants expert take on the main topic of blogging next I advise him/her to go to this site, continue the fussy job.” car locksmith Dallas

Dear Lizza: I think with the phrase “fussy job” you have captured the very essence of my blog, in a concise and eloquent way. If I didn’t rely on the momentum that the search term “albertnet” has built up over the last decade, I might strongly consider changing the name of this blog to “Fussy Job.” In fact, I’ve just confirmed that the domain name is available. Since I’m too busy to do any rebranding at this time, I give you my blessing to take for yourself! Perhaps this would be a good name for your locksmith service in Dallas, and (frankly) a better way to promote it than linking to this blog.

Genious Person: “Pretty good post. I have just stumbled upon your blog and enjoyed reading your blog posts very much. I am looking for new posts to get more precious info. Big thanks for the useful info.” Mobile diesel mechanic tampa

Dear Genious: I have to be honest with you, I’m feeling a little hurt that you only found my towed car post to be “pretty good.” Since we’re being candid with each other in the realm of self worth, I think my post is nothing short of brilliant. To have it so tepidly acclaimed by a self-possessed genius who spells “genius” wrong kind of stings. (Yeah, I know it’s possible you’re being ironic with your spelling, but that doesn’t really give you the right to damn my work with faint praise.)

Mia Simth: “Our credit repair services work to fix past credit mistakes and verify credit report accuracy. Talk to a credit repair expert today!”  Hungary Grand Prix

Dear Mia: Thanks for writing in. It’s hard to make my reply very personal because in your comment you haven’t really opened up about your feelings on my blog post, or anything else, though I guess I appreciate your helpful attitude. It just so happens that my credit reports are a mess due to a data breach that compromised my SSN, but I didn’t get very far following your link. It took me to a website dedicated to Formula 1 car racing coverage. (At least this ties in nicely with my post!) Now, because I like to get to know my readers, I’d like to ask a kind of personal question, if you don’t mind: are you married, by any chance, to Max Simth, who posted a comment on my Bike Helmets post? The reason I ask is that “Simth” is kind of an odd name. I wonder if there’s some charming story about a bureaucratic goof at Ellis Island when some ancestor of yours or Max’s first came to this country. Please do share!

Comments on Bike Helmets

Max Simth: “I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.” Best Mountain Bikes Under 1000

Dear Max: If I guessed wrong about you and Mia (see above), perhaps this is a great way for the two of you to meet! What a nice pair of coincidences: you both have this strange last name, and you both enjoy reading albertnet! And there’s yet another coincidence: even though my Bike Helmet post is over eight years old, and my Nash Bridges Towed My Car post is more than six years old, you and Mia both commented just last month, within a week of each other! When the coincidences pile up like this, it’s hard not to suspect that Fate is at work here. It’s time you and Mia met! Please let me know if you’d like me to make an introduction.

Chaddi Gang: “Please continue this great work and I look forward to more of your awesome blog posts.”

Dear Chaddi: Glad you love my blog! And speaking of amazing coincidences, do you know Jeson David? Like you, he recommended the Elia & Ponto law firm via these pages. It’s tempting to think you guys are neighbors in the Detroit area, but I note that your blog, Chaddi Gang, is written in Urdu. Maybe it’s just a coincidence you both like Elia & Ponto and albertnet? Anyway, have a great day!

CompanionLink: I as of late ran over your website and have been perusing along. I thought I would leave my first remark. I don't realize what to say with the exception of that I have delighted in perusing. Decent blog. I will continue going to this web journal regularly.” google sync outlook

Dear CompanionLink: Thanks for the kind words, but I have to ask, what the hell kind of name is “CompanionLink”? And where do you get off committing blatant plagiarism on my blog? The semantic similarity of your comment to Max’s, above, cannot be written off as coincidence. I can’t help but wonder if your text is just boilerplate, as a way to hijack my blog to promote your tool for syncing Google with Outlook. Even that doesn’t seem original, since another commenter on this post, John Butler, has his own blog called “outlook android sync.” All this brings to mind an interesting question: if you and John Butler were to engage in a swimming race from Cuba to Iceland, who would drown first? (Answer: Hard to say, but it’s definitely worth trying.)


Okay Jeson, Lizza, Genious, Mia, Max, et al … I hope you feel special and honored based on my heartfelt responses to your comments. Dare I dream that you and I might become friends, or perhaps co-author some blog posts or comments together? Shoot, maybe we can even become business partners, or those of you with connections to Elia & Ponto can put in a good word for me! I’m so grateful to all of you for your loving attention to my blog. All of you except CompanionLink, that is … CL, you can just get lost, and don’t ever comment on my blog again.

For a complete index of albertnet posts, click here.

1 comment:

  1. As of late really liking your fussy blog. Clearly I need to be coming back here on the regular and thanks for the excellent advice. Very okay blog. i will talk to a repair credit expert about this!