A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

My thoughts on blogging..

Posted by Pepper on January 28, 2011

A more fitting title would have been, ‘Confessions of a blogger’. Because more than voicing my thoughts and opinions, I am making confessions that I haven’t made before.

1)  Going by my observations, the blogs I end up really liking are the ones that have a distinct personality. The writer has a signature style of writing, which distinguishes him/her from the rest. Some bloggers are funny. They rely primarily on humour. Some others only write about deep analytical stuff, like feminism, current affairs, etc. Some expose a completely personal nature. It’s not just the content, but I always believe my writing lacks a personality, which is why I wouldn’t rate it too well.

2) Bad Grammar completely turns me off. And I come across way too many blogs, where the blogger doesn’t respect Grammar. Punctuations and articles are often missing. The writing seems haphazard. At first, I’d judge these bloggers and think they are not worthy of my time. I still judge them, but  now I read them, and even comment on their posts sometimes, even if I think they are shabbily presented. I don’t know why. And yes, at times when I read such blogs, I can’t help but feel my writing is superior. Perhaps I should stop being so snooty.

3) I have come to realise that the content, style and quality of your writing has very little to do with how popular your blog is. Some times I discover brilliant blogs that have very few or no comments trailing their posts. Other times I come across blogs which seem very mediocre, mundane, or sometimes even poor and incoherent and yet they have trillions of comments glorifying their blogs. It all comes down to how much you socialise in the blog world. It’s all about making your presence known. This does not apply to very popular bloggers who have carved a niche for themselves, but for the majority of us, it’s true. A lot of times, I don’t have the enthusiasm to comment, even though I read the posts enthusiastically.

4) Comments are addictive. When I didn’t have them, I didn’t miss them. Now I enjoy the interaction. But I do think people comment on my blog mostly because I comment on theirs. The day I stop, I’ll hardly have any comments on mine. There was a point, when I didn’t comment on a post if I had nothing worth while to say. Now I do. Even if it is a lame ‘Lol’. The comment is more like a stamp of my validated presence on their blog. Like signing the attendance register of their blog perhaps? I have the time and the patience to do it now. The day I don’t, I’ll stop. I am quite comfortable with the idea of having a blog with zero comments. I do, and will always continue to write for myself.

5) Using too many emoticons while writing blog posts bothers me. Facial expressions like :), :D, :P, etc are alright while chatting. But when you write, I like using only words to express myself and convey how I feel. It’s harder, yes. Emoticons definitely go a long way in depicting your mood and tone. But I like the challenge of translating my emotions into words. And isn’t that the whole purpose of writing? Note – I see a lot of bloggers using  numerous emoticons in their posts. I don’t mean to judge them. This is simply my opinion, an honest confession of how I feel.

6) I heart mommy bloggers. Some of my favourite bloggers are about 8 to 10 years older than I am. They have kids who have moved past toddlerhood and are now little adults. It’s been fascinating to watch them grow. These blogs have made me think of my parenting philosophies, broadened my perspective and made me grow as an individual. What saddens me is that I continue to be a lurker on their blogs. Or even if I am not, it continues to be one way interaction. These bloggers are usually too busy to blog hop. A lot of times I’ve wished they’d read my blog and get to know me.

7) I am extremely jealous when I see such solid bonds of friendship amongst bloggers. Seeing them plan surprise birthday themes, baby showers, sending gifts across different cities and countries, being on each other’s speed dials makes me eye them with severe envy. Because I’ve never been the recipient of such blog love. Nor do I see it happening. Alas.

8 ) My stats always tell me I have a lot of lurkers haunting my space. I can relate to these guys well, considering I’ve been a lurker myself for the longest time. At the same time I do wish I’d get a chance to say hello to these folks .

9) I usually skip commenting on a post if I see more than a 100 comments there. It’s intimidating. And here, I talk of genuine comments. Not cases where your comment space has turned into a  mini chat room.

10) One thing that makes me instantly judge a blogger is him/her ignoring a comment in which he/she has been praised for his/her writing. I find it extremely rude. Imagine someone complimenting you for some reason in real life and you just ignoring the said person? The least you can do is say a ‘Thank you’. In my eyes, nothing justifies the silence.

So that is it. My true opinions on blogging that are usually concealed from the blog world. They are thoughts that lie unspoken, because it is either rude to talk about, embarrassing to admit, or politically incorrect. Do I come across as rude? I hope not. But if at all I do, I’ll live with that label. But if I can’t be honest and outright on my blog, where can I ? This also makes me wonder if I am the only one who has such fierce opinions on this medium, or am I the only one who voices them..

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66 Responses to “My thoughts on blogging..”

  1. kloppenmum said

    Thought I’d let you know that I have read and enjoyed your post. Lurkers confuse me: did they look and dislike what they saw; or were they too busy to say anything. Maybe, I am so brilliant that they’re intimidated – not likely. Don’t know what you’d think of my grammar, I use ellipsis way too much…

    • Pepper said

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to sound like some grammar nazi. I don’t suppose you know the kind of grammatical errors I am talking about. They usually murder the language.
      I don’t know why people lurk usually. I do mostly because I have nothing valuable to add or say, or I think the blogger is brilliant and I am intimidated 🙂

      • kloppenmum said

        I lurk for exactly the same reasons. Or if I have the time to read and admire, but not the time to leave a reasonably considered response.
        I understand what you mean about grammar and punctuation: it’s difficult to understand what people are trying convey sometimes, which, I guess, is the point of having some sort of common ground rules.

        • Pepper said

          Yes, it is the incoherency that annoys me. But by now, I’m used to it and have learnt a way to figure out what the person is attempting to convey..

  2. Chatterbox said

    I agree on most of these 😛
    Giving a personality to your blog is something that takes the most effort but sadly most blogs I’ve seen believe being “random” is the core ingredient of blogging as they feel it sums up their variety of topics.
    I have so often been tempted to write a post on this but never could list my observations so wonderfully as you did 😛

  3. Tanishka said

    A very honest post and you don’t come across as rude but honest and genuine 🙂

    I too believe that writing has got very little to do with popularity…
    I love to use emoticons… I find them cute. But again its just an opinion 🙂
    Even my fa bloggers are mommies… Comfy n Smitha top the list… 🙂

    • Pepper said

      If you love using emoticons, you should go ahead and use them. We’re all free to have our own opinions 🙂
      There is something about mommy bloggers, isn’t there? Some strange ingredient that is missing in the rest.. 🙂

  4. Ditto on 5! I am guilty of using them still but I try to avoid as much as possible.

    Ditto on 9. For the same reasons 🙂

    Ditto on 10. 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Using emoticons sometimes shouldn’t make you guilty. And I am not talking about the occasional use here. Sometimes I see blogs where almost all the posts are only full of yellow faces. That’s what I don’t approve of. 🙂 But again, that’s just my opinion.

  5. ok u know what pepper…i totally agree with u on all points…especially on point 4,6,7 and 9 and 10…!!!

    and i guess u are the only one who voices it 😀

  6. Scribby said

    You sounded honest not rude 🙂 No and I’m not saying this to please you so that you continue coming to my blog and mark an attendance..oops a comment I mean 😀

    Every person has his/her own perspective about everything under this sky which is same for blogging as well. There are several reasons why people start blogging and what’s their objective ‘now’. It’s like a journey you see…a long one where in you meet strangers..some become your friends and some don’t click or some click but not for longer duration..so the objective of starting this journey may be different than what it is now when you’ve been here and done all that….

    in this whole process some stick to the travel and some are left behind….all in all blogging is a medium which has so much to offer to every kind of blogger 🙂 that’s the beauty of blogging,isn’t it? 🙂

  7. ajay said

    I agree with most of what you’ve said here. I think blogging should be fun and it’s more so when you share good vibes and bonhomie with your fellow bloggers. It’s a different kind of social networking and I like it. It’s guarded, there’s no intrusion, no hurry to read and comment and you can write and say what you want to without any inhibition. Your opinions are neither rude nor fierce but normal, candid. And if I were to associate one characteristic with your writing, it would be simple, plain honesty and candour.

    • Pepper said

      Precisely. It’s this one medium on which you are ready to strip your inhibitions and be yourself without any reservations at all. Thanks for seeing the honesty in my writing Ajay. If my writing is not honest and heartfelt, I see no point in carrying on..

  8. Titaxy said

    1) Your writing doesn’t lack personality, not at all. You write very well and yes, you have a style too.

    2) It used to bother me bit years ago, but it doesn’t anymore. Many people might not have learned Eng right from their childhood and maybe they are still in the learning process. So I don’t let it bother me anymore. As long as I understand and like the content, it’s fine.

    3) Agree.

    4) Agree that commented are addictive. I look forward to reading them as soon as I publish a post. But that is not to say that I write to get comments. I write what and when I feel like. While comments add to the fun, I will surely not stop writing when I have no comments. Also, I do NOT read/comments blogs expecting that blogger to reciprocate. I solely base my comments on whether or not I like the post. If I have something to say, I will, even if that blogger doesn’t read me.

    5) Agree. I might have done it myself in a post or two in the past. But, as you rightly said, I would like my writing to do the talking and so, I refrain from using emoticons in my posts. I do use them quite often in my comments, though.

    6) Don’t know…can’t comment here. Comfy was the first mommy blogger I read religiously. I read a few others on and off, but only Comfy had me hooked to her blog.

    7) The bonds formed here are precious no doubt. I never thought I would find a few good friends in blog world, but now that I have, I am so thankful for it.

    8 ) I seldom look at my stats. And even when I do, it doesn’t bother me much that there are lurkers. It only makes me happy that there more people reading me than I think. Comment or not is totally up to them.

    9) Agree.

    10) I go back to blogs where I’ve commented to see if there’s a reply to my comment from the blogger. I like it when it’s a two way st. I love reading their responses as much as I love the posts themselves.

    Wow, this has become a mini post in itself. Sorry for hogging your space…

    And oh, you didn’t come out as rude at all. 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Thanks T, for the elaborate response. Regarding what you’ve said

      1)Thanks so much! 🙂
      2)You’re right. And the bottom line is that everybody has the right to write. 🙂
      7)Touch wood.
      8) You seldom look at your stats?! Wow, wish I could be like you. I obsess over mine 😀 .. And always have the desire to know the people who know me through my blog
      10)This is the one thing that I really can’t accept. It speaks of such a high handed attitude.

  9. Brilliant… very well-thought out. I have to totally give you credits for points 2., 5 and 7… I feel along the same lines most times when I visit such blogs as the ones you’ve mentioned about!

    bad grammar/too many smilies are two of the things that i’ve somehow not managed to accept as something to be used in ‘writing’!

    hear-hear!

  10. Thought I’d pop up and say ‘Hello’, I stop by occasionally and enjoy my visits here 🙂

  11. Smitha said

    Wonderful post, Pepper!

    Agree with most of your points.

    Grammar and spellings are things I am no longer bothered about 🙂 Ever since I started blogging, I have stopped bothering about it. Some people have such wonderful ideas, even if their language might not be the best, you know.

    As for emoticons – I love them 🙂

    Blogging is just wonderful, I do lurk on some blogs – some because I don’t feel comfortable commenting, or just because I am shy or some because I have nothing to add 😦

  12. Rajlakshmi said

    grammer and content really matters … I agree…
    as for replying comments … I really lack in that department 😛 coz I usually reply with a thank you all at the end …

    • Pepper said

      I didn’t say I expect people to reply to every comment. It is only when some person takes the time out to tell you how much they like you.. and at least you say a thank you all in the end right? 🙂 Their praises aren’t met with silence..

  13. Kartikay said

    Umm .. lol?

    • Pepper said

      Haha.. is that in response to what I said in point no. 4? In that case, I only bring out the lol if it is in context with the post.
      Or did you genuinely find something funny here? 😀

  14. Bwahahaaa! 😀
    Pepper, girl, I loved your post! You could not have been more spot on. I agree with you on points 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 10. So, pretty much the whole post!
    I read all your posts on Reader. I don’t comment all the time because I am just lazy. That’s all!
    And that’s a horrible thing to do on my part, considering I love the few comments I get on my blog! 🙂

    • Pepper said

      A lot of times my ‘no comments phase’ is attributed to laziness. So I won’t blame you at all 🙂 .. But hey, it’s good to know you have me on your reader 🙂

  15. kloppenmum said

    Agree, it’s just manners – when all said and done.

  16. Rajita said

    Dont know how I stumbled here, but I agree with you totally on people not replying to a comment which praises them (or even otherwise, i.e. evenif its not a praise but just a thought sharing comment. I make it a habit to reply since someone took time out to write on my post, I owe that much at least).

    I liked what I read here, pretty much my thoughts, except that I would not comment unless I felt like. And I would comment even if that blogger never comments on my blog. Its a very spontaneous thing for me.

  17. Bikram said

    1. Na i dont think your lacks any personality or anything.

    2. bad grammer ooops ooooopsssssssssssssssss 🙂 I guess mine is like that a lot and i do a lot of spelling mistakes 😦

    3. Ok now at least i know when there is a comment from THYself on one of my articles, its good cause you commented 🙂

    blogging is good I have met so many good people and talked with some lovely people , had a joke or two with many .. the best thing is no one gets angry which is good and its quiet a healthy discussions sometimes on some points …
    Now now how can you say you have not had that love to your blog.. thats so wrong , so many people comment and read ComeON …

    I am so new to wrodpress i still got to discover how to use the Stats..

    I got to be more aware of my languages and mistakes now that you have pointed it out …

  18. vishalbheeroo said

    Hi Pepper
    It is a pleasure to be back into your world.It is a sharp observation.Hmm!Looks like I have to apy more attention to grammar.I do miss it when I expect comments and dunt get it.Keep the faith!yes,we must write for our own creative satisfaction.
    Check out http://www.vishalbheeroo.wordpress.com

  19. Deeps said

    Oh no you’re not the only one, Pepper, I pretty much feel the same way about blogging as you do. Yes, you’ve expressed them much better than I could have.

    Loved this post!

  20. VJ said

    Have been lurking your blog for last few months. Can totally relate to everything you have put down especially about friendships, personality and not replying to a compliment.

  21. Honest post! I totally agree with the “The comment is more like a stamp of my validated presence on their blog. Like signing the attendance register of their blog perhaps?”. In my case, I feel a bit guilty that I’m not reading the posts of people who are regular readers of my blog.

    Now, what you’ve said about emoticons makes me think. May be I should try refining the words to convey the expression spot on.

    • Pepper said

      Spot on. I feel guilty too if I’m not reading posts of people who are regular on my blog.

      • But blogging should be fun…not about guilt or pressure. We come here to destress. i wonder if some people go on blog holidays is because of this pressure to comment, read etc 🙂

        What say Smartie ? is that why u went on a break 🙂

        • no no, nut. i comment only on blogs I like and follow. All the same, there’s guilt when I don’t read blogs of people who are regulars on my blog.

          in my case, the pressure was with respect to writing. i went on the break because blogging was affecting the way i was thinking and speaking in my natural world. If something even slightly out of the ordinary happened, there would be the blog demon storing it away immediately, which somehow reduced the glamour of the moment – in the here and now. I want blogging to work as a memory dig or like an analyzer or simple recording or sharing for me, not like a perpetual thought on my head. whew, long explanation, but that’s why i went on the break 😀

  22. Quite a candid post, and despite it length I read it all 🙂

    I completely agree that some of the best posts have no comments…weird, but somehow that also makes them exclusive. Only a few lucky ones get to discover them 🙂

    • Pepper said

      You read it despite its length? LOL. Perhaps you shouldn’t hang out here. Cos I am not a woman of few words, and almost all my posts tend to be lengthy 😀

      Agree with you, the few or no comments adds that element of exclusivity since they are rare discoveries 🙂

  23. meandmythinkingcap said

    If you respect honesty here goes mine, [I like your blog actually and I need to read more posts to make any judgement][every1 is entitled to their opinion rite?]
    1. It is easy to tag a level 2-rude label to this post.why?
    a. It can easily interpreted as warning to people who have little trouble with English. I have followers whose first language isn’t English and yet they translate their blog in their language and take pain to comment in blog.It is the thought that counts rite?
    Pepper: That certainly is not intended to warn people who aren’t fluent in English. It is an honest confession of how I feel. Bad English does not appeal to my tastes. Period. I can’t do much to change that. If I didn’t like the taste of a new dish my mom tried out, it does not mean that I didn’t appreciate or respect the effort she put into learning and cooking it, neither would I want her to stop.

    b.Emoticons- I usually use emoticons, sometimes what I wanted to say mite have been penned down wrong or in a way which could be taken in wrong tone. Not only CAPS convey rude message but depends on the eyes of the beholder.;-)So, I feel adding a smiley would clear the air.
    Pepper: I already put up a disclaimer in the post regarding this. I know a lot of bloggers use them and I have nothing against them. If you go through any prose, text or any literary work, you will not find a single smiley used. Maybe using one smiley might clear the air but using ten can be a distraction. Personally, I prefer relying on my words to convey how I feel. If you feel differently, you are free to use as many smileys as you want. 🙂

    c.SMS language – During my school and college days-incoming calls and outgoing calls were pretty expensive and SMS was free.And from the phones typing A and C was a pain. So I started to substitute K for c like Kan etc.,
    Pepper: I think this sms lingo is killing the English language. While it might be more convenient and easy to type the shorter versions while sending a text, I see no reason to type like that on a full keyboard while communicating online, or writing a blog post.

    2.I agree with you completely. Popularity has nothing to do with quality. but I guess people who can write ,do and people who have time , take pain to visit and comment.
    And I feel that it is basic etiquette to acknowledge your comment and reply back and comment back in their blog as well. And I am not a big fan of “good post” -plain formality comments as well.
    Pepper: While I agree that it is good etiquette to acknowledge and respond to comments, I do not think the same holds true for visiting and commenting on their blogs in return. If I felt forced or obliged to visit each blogger who visited me, then blogging would become just another stressful chore. I am by no means a popular blogger, but there are some others who get 100 comments per post. How is it even possible for them to visit, read and comment on every one of their blogs?

    3. I dont like blogs which moderate too much and which deletes the comments which they dont approve of. this way you arent handling brickbats well and you are just sick. I stay away from those kind of blogs.
    Pepper: I am all for healthy debate and value each person’s opinion, even if it is very different from mine. However, if the person commenting is rude or malicious without reason, or says things that are completely irrelevant to the post, then I would choose to not entertain them.

    To confess, I was quite a grammar-police myself but after working with people from different countries and backgrounds, I realized that grammar has nothing to do with one’s potential. It is not that they haven’t taken pain to learn the language but it maybe important to sticklers like us but for them – the priority may be different for them and we cant judge that. I have one co-worker of mine from China and she is excellent in her job and it is pretty hard to find a dedicated ,hardworking worker like her and yet it takes lot of pain to understand what she says in calls and also in mail. Sometimes we call her and rephrase what we understood and get confirmation back from her. But I wouldn’t trade her for any other resource with volubility.:)
    Pepper: I think context is important here. You can’t compare apples to oranges. Communicating clearly in English does not affect your Chinese colleague’s job performance. So obviously I wouldn’t judge her potential based on her grammar. But bad language does affect the appeal of a writer.

    • Thanks for taking time to respond and appreciate the same. And thanks for protocols and instructions and warnings as well..:)
      I blog for fun and I am not really not a big fan to follow rules and regulations.

      I take the warning you gave to the other follower “Perhaps you shouldn’t hang out here” , it suits me as well.
      Bidding adieu with leftover dignity. All the best!

      • Pepper said

        I think you’ve misunderstood me again. These aren’t protocols or instructions to be followed by anyone. I have only been honest about my likes and dislikes. No reason for anyone to live by them (other than hubby dear of course :P)

        Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts 🙂

  24. revsjoiedevivre said

    The reason why each of us choose to have *our* *own* blogs is that we can choose what we want to do in that space, right? Otherwise, we would all be writing in a common forum. Whereas here, we have a blog that we can call our own and as decent individuals, we dabble with writing. And let’s face it, we all have opinions and pet peeves. And to me, a blog is a place where I have the freedom to express it in a way I don’t offend any particular person. Having said that, let us say that there is a particular characteristic that I can’t stand in people. Just because I mention about that on a blog doesn’t mean I am laying rules and regulations or anything. It’s just me saying that I like oranges better than apples. That wasn’t intended to offend or defame apple lovers.

    And as the author of a blog, I think we all have that extra bit of freedom of opinions and thoughts in OUR OWN blogs. And even if we blog for fun, we can have as much fun on our blogs. But when we step into others’ space/blogs, I think as educated individuals we follow an etiquette. We don’t follow that in an ‘uncool’ way, rather in a way where we give respect and take respect. For rants and rude words, we can go back to our own blogs and crib and bitch as much as we want, right?

    I also agree with you on not having to go read and comment on blogs of all those who have commented on ours. From what I’ve seen, most bloggers write for the love of expressing and writing and although everyone enjoys the interaction they have with the people who read them, no one really is THAT desperate. So I don’t think people would actually expect you to read and comment on theirs just because they read yours.

    Just my two cents 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Thanks Revs. You’ve said it better than I could. This is exactly what I meant – I am only expressing my opinions, likes and dislikes on my blog. They aren’t rules or regulations meant to be followed by anyone who reads it 🙂

  25. Sands said

    Really liked this post. I agree with every single thing on your list. I probably do a lot more of 5 just because it is easier to convey how you feel rather than taking 2 extra lines to do that.

  26. […] wrote about her blogging confessions here. I remember reading about Pepper’s take on blogging some time ago too. Borrowing the idea from these two ladies, here are my thoughts on […]

  27. kinmin said

    Came to this post from Maya’s blog today! I just want to say that I really like your blog and your style of writing! 🙂 And I feel like I know you and your family.. I’ve been reading your blog for several years (maybe when you were in California) and I have always been too lazy to comment.. I have related to so many things over the years in your blog.. And reading your and Mint’s story, I actually started looking for blogs by guys, hoping to find the kind of guys I’m looking for! 😉

    • Pepper said

      Hey Kinmin! Thanks 🙂 I know you’ve been reading the blog since we were California, because you’ve commented a few times in the past. 🙂 And I do hope you find your special someone soon 😀

      Btw, I hardly find good male bloggers these days! Those who write well are married 😐

  28. Sana said

    Love this post of yours!! Agree with most points. And the trailing detailed comments obviously tell you how much you are loved so dont be jealous honey, you have a vibrant social group in blogworld too! I’m here for the first time and will surely be visiting again. Maybe one of the lurkers 🙂

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