Friday, June 12, 2009

The effort/reward ratio

So I wrote three posts on Wednesday:

A long piece, filled with adventure and regret, about my adventuring in climbing a volcano in Guatemala some 30 years ago. No comments.

A "Guilty Pleasures" piece with Fearless Maria that is full of fun. 3 comments.

A one line post calling an elderly but evil man a "55-gallon drum of duck vomit." 20 comments and counting.

If you ever wondered about the relationship between effort and results in the blogopshere, there it is.


Gino said...

how do you define 'results'?

your well written volcano story added to the percieved depth of the writer's mind that a reader is hoping to find when he comes here.

Mark Heuring said...

I was thinking of you when I wrote this, Gino, based on some conversations we've had in the past.

my name is Amanda said...

Nothing generates comments like a good political tussle! I should write something controversial on my blog and get some comment action for once.

Sometimes I don't comment Mark, because I actually agree with you! If you can believe that. (Or it's something that's not in my sphere of interest so much, like all the sports stuff.) That's horrible, though. Maybe a hearty "I agree!" once in a while is warranted.

Gino said...

yeah, but i lack depth of mind, so the rules are different.

hey, we still gotta have a conversation this week.
what time you up?

Mark Heuring said...

Gino, you're right. I was supposed to call you on Wednesday but I got waylaid. I'm around this weekend and I'll give you a ring.

Amanda, I'm glad you agree with me sometimes. I agree with you sometimes, too! I'm just amused by the results of a one-line blog post. Sometime I'll have to recount the infamous Eric Carmen incident, which was one of the funnier moments in the history of this feature.

Night Writer said...

It's a long-standing conundrum at the NW. Deep-thinking posts on politics, religion and the meaning of life barely tweak the meter in comment terms, while the girls can toss off a cartoon or an off-hand observation and figuratively jam the phone-lines. (Not that I don't toss off less-weighty stuff myself at times or that the girls don't do deeper things as well).

Sometimes I just think there's an inverse-correlation between the amount of time and thought that goes into something and the comments that one gets. The more thought that goes into it the fewer comments; the less you think through something the more comments you get. Just ask Dave Letterman!

(Also, fwiw, the review process you have delays posting and hampers dialog...your duck vomit post notwithstanding. You lose a bit of spontaniety and engagement that could lead to more comments in response.)

Mark Heuring said...

Also, fwiw, the review process you have delays posting and hampers dialog...your duck vomit post notwithstanding. You lose a bit of spontaniety and engagement that could lead to more comments in response.

Yeah, it does, and I go back and forth on it. The incident that caused the change in policy was when an anonymous commenter started slagging a local political figure in the comments section. Unfortunately, some of the folks in town here don't exactly play by the Marquis of Queensbury rules and we've seen some personal retaliation for comments made on other blogs.

I haven't been writing much on local politics because there hasn't been much to write about, but we have a mayoral election in the fall and I expect to weigh in. So while I'd prefer not have comment moderation going on, I'll probably need to keep it in place, if only to control potential problems.

I've been vowing to make this blog less political for a long time, but it never seems to happen. It may be time to force the issue. A few things are going on elsewhere that might facilitate some longer-term changes.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mark,
perhaps one of the most momentous historical events in the last 10 to 20 years is taking place in Iran right now, and hardly anyone seemed to have noticed until some time on Sunday. There is so much to write about, I don't know where to begin. However, one thing stands out for me, and I know it's something you like to keep a close watch on as well: The utter flat-footedness of the MSM.

I have never seen anything like this. If the Mullahs fall in Iran, it will most certainly change the Middle East overnight. But with the exception of Fareed Zakaria's coverage, you would think that Adam Lambert's sexual proclivities were the most important story this weekend. It beggars belief.

If the first Gulf War marked the end of dominance for the Big Three networks, this may be a similar milestone for the Cable networks. The only decent coverage has been by bloggers such as yourself. The Internets are on the rise. And we can hope and pray that freedom is as well.


Mark Heuring said...

I agree, Rich. I think it's huge. Events have been moving so fast that I can hardly figure out where to begin writing about it, though.

I think it's 1989. But is it Tianeman 1989, Berlin 1989 or Bucharest 1989? It could be all of the above before it's done.