On old blog commenters

Exfoliate. 8 Feb 2023 Camera: Olympus XA Film: Fuji C200

2023 will mark eighteen years of the Urban Adventure League blog. (It’ll be voting age in the US!) The blog has gone through a lot over those years. The first half-decade was primarily a sprinkling of upcoming rides and then ride reports. Besides a more fleshed out post here and there, I used the UAL Blog Mark I mostly as “social media”. It wasn’t until 2010 where I got “serious” about blogging, and UAL Blog Mark II came into effect. Then at the end of 2013 I switched from Blogger to WordPress (UAL Blog Mark III? Or UAL Blog Mark II v 2.0?) So this blog has lived at this url for almost a decade, but thanks to WordPress’s fab integration, all the old posts are on this url too.

Over these eighteen years I’ve seen a lot of different blog commenters come and go. In the Mark I world, there were a few regulars, but I mostly got scattershot comments, some of them snarky and rude. (Thank you, internet anonymity.) In the Mark II universe, where I really started to interact with other bloggers, I got a new stable of regular commenters, some from other blogs, and some who just commented on blogs.

I’m reminded of these old commenters when I happen upon these old posts. I do this periodically to link stuff to current posts. I’ll glance through the comments and wonder what happened to the likes of dexey and TheDC? Bicyclist Abroad? Big Dummy Daddy? Sometimes I’ll do a cursory internet search to find their Instagram/Facebook/what have you and see that they are still out there. Whew.

I miss hearing from some of these folks. We were having a long conversation via blog comments, and now the conversation has stopped. What happened to these folks? Maybe my current interests don’t interest them anymore, even though the whole “bike adventure/bike nerd” theme here remains strong. Maybe their interests shifted? Or maybe they just don’t read blogs anymore? I know that’s happened with a lot of folks. The two wings of the Metaverse plus the li’l blue borb demand more attention in some ways (the sheer amount of stuff to follow) yet less attention in other ways (ever try to read a long Instagram post? No? It’s because IG isn’t designed for that.)

And unlike IG, it’s hard to follow a lot of blogs. I remember ten or so years ago, when my blog reader was filled with lots of blogs, many that posted daily. I tried to keep up, but couldn’t. So the less interesting ones got weeded out. Perhaps that’s happened with my blog to others?

I know that one reason I don’t get as much engagement in the comments anymore is because of WordPress’s “like” button. Blogger didn’t have that, you would have to comment to say you liked a particular post. But hitting the “like” button is scads easier than typing out something. I mean, I “like” a lot of blog posts too. It’s the one thing that’s similar to how we interact on Instagram (and even flickr too.) I don’t want to be one of those bloggers who disables the “like” feature (you can do that!) but also wish that there was more engagement in my comments section. It gets a little disheartening to feel like you are writing some engaging blog posts and just get a bunch of likes and no comments.

So old commenters, you still around? If so, drop a line. You know where to find me. You don’t have to comment (though it’d be nice if you do) but you can always email or write via post. And new commenters? I still want you around too. Feel free to chime in.

And hi Norm!

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11 thoughts on “On old blog commenters

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  1. Totally hear you!! It’s a nice reminder that I’m not the only blogger out there that enjoys comments. Maybe it’s a confirmation that the entry did not just get sucked into cyberspace!!

  2. Have a comment on me! 🙂

    I’m not an old commenter, and I’m not much of a cyclist either, it’s your photography that draws my gaze, such as that lovely milky blue sky and the rich browns of the tree trunks today.

    Sometimes though, it’s just nice to get a glimpse into someone else’s life – it’s a big world with a lot of people, most of whom I will never cross paths with in any form whatsoever – but it can be fun to hear what some of them are up to. The things they talk about can often seem intriguingly exotic when you’re reading from halfway around the world, even if those things are everyday and mundane to the author.

  3. I also often wonder about blog comments. In a kind of different way, since you post much more regularly than I do, and have more of a thing going, so I don’t really have “old commenters” like you do. But I always wonder why some people either than I know or don’t know will say something sometime–what is it that makes someone stop to type something out as a response to any one given post and not others? More to do with the place they’re in–do they have time? Are they feeling thoughtful? Did some random thing touch on something they feel strongly about? etc etc?–than anything I write, I think.

    As a side thought, actually writing things and forming coherent thoughts in response to someone’s words is much harder than pushing a like button, and takes actual investment–which I feel like is kinda hard to come by on the internet but is a real gift when it happens. (Unless it’s just snark, in which case it’s just snark, but actual respectful-engaging-with-your-thoughts comments are true gold:)

    1. Yeah, I feel that the bar for blog commenting has been set a bit higher now, especially when hitting the “like” button is painless. I got more comments during my Blogger era, but often it would be “cool post”.

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