No comments + Few Likes

In my class at Bemidji State University’s online magazine Cre8here we came across a problem we were running into that led to a discussion. Why aren’t people commenting?

Our Facebook page gathers follows and likes but not many comments. Even when we gave commentors a chance to win a prize not many people would leave comments. Instead several will like a status update and the occasional rare comment usually from someone in the class or from the author of a certain published piece.

On Cre8here’s webpage administrators can see how many hits the website gathers a day and although it is a rather high number with viewers from all over the world, with such a vast community surrounding this solid foundation of creativity it’s surprising that it’s such a rarity to come across a comment.

It’s also frustrating because what do likes really mean? Do people really like a piece, or are the just liking posts in hopes for a follow back? When I first came across that idea, I tried it out and liked a bunch of different posts but then I didn’t have any more hits on my blog then usual so maybe I did it wrong but that technique didn’t quite work out for me. Same thing with comments, I went around commenting others hoping for a comment back, but that didn’t quite work they just replied to my comment. So those theories don’t quite always work, also I tried linking to a two different bloggers and they never linked back. I think every situation is different some advice works some quick tips are just spitting in the wind.

Either way, alas, no comments. But why?

Cre8here is fairly new, and I’m even newer to the world of blogging and online literary magazines. Our class came up with several ideas and then moved on to more work. Here’s a glimpse into what we discussed as well as my own perspectives of possibilities on why we weren’t receiving comments…(Depending on a blogs content I see how these could vastly differ so I suppose I’m mostly thinking about fiction blogs or creative writing here.)

  1. Reader wants to remain anonymous online for various reasons.
  2. Reader doesn’t want their comment to be taken the wrong way.
  3. Reader isn’t sure how they felt after reading a piece.
  4. Reader is afraid they might interpret a piece differently than the authors intentions.
  5. Reader doesn’t have an emotional response to the piece thus not worthy of time to react past a simple ‘like’.
  6. Reader sees so many other comments maybe the feel they are just repeating what someone else already has mentioned.
  7. Reader doesn’t want to be the first comment to break the ice.
  8. Reader doesn’t want to take the time.
  9. Reader doesn’t know enough to defend their point of view in a specific genre.
  10. “…………..”

What other options are there? What could another reason be?

-Sarah D. 🙂

Thoughts

befunkyme.jpgFinding it harder to find images that match my fictional posts. But I feel that they help draw in readers. Any thoughts on that?

Also just updated my character profile page and added Ryker to the list since he is starting to become interval for the plot.

Next week I’m thinking of either writing by Ryker’s, Alex, or a new female character. Any suggestions on what you would like to hear? Thinking I might head in a more young romance’ direction soon too.

Have a good one,

-Sarah D.

Research on Blogs

Get creative with Comments:

This blogger does an amazing job of using comments as another layer of the narrative in their fiction blog. This example I found in Axel Bruns’ book Uses of Blogs. (The example was pretty darn difficult to find on Google most likely because the post was dated for 2004.) These comments are hilarious. They weren’t mentioned in the book likely because of the foul langauge used. All in all, the comments seem to make the story more realistic as if the characters were really alive and argueing with each other and it’s fun to think we as readers can join in and be apart of their world.

(This sparked off ideas for my own fiction writing and I have a creative idea of how to use comments to add to my own narrative of Hardened Heart hopefully later sometime this week if not the next.)

Benefits for Emerging Writers:typeingedit

Simply fiction blogs are great place for experimentation. You can work with different styles until finding one that suits you best, explore opportunities to define skills, find a voice that works for your genre, and get immediate feedback from an audience–pray they are willing to comment.

A blog is a great way to keep yourself accountable as a writer. Your audience expects periodic posts otherwise you will loose their attention and they will move on to other more dedicated posters. Then again, I wouldn’t post too much, and fill up you readers RSS feeds. Those who are too noisy sometimes get ignored or ‘unfollowed’ if it is too much to keep up.

Best Illustration Example:

None one stands close to the artistic brilliance of Cheryl Moore. Wow! She does a fantastic job matching writing with her very own artwork. I could easily get lost in her weblog reading and admiring the illustrations that go along with them.

Finding/Editing Images:

Photoshop is sometimes just too expensive or time consuming. However pictures are important. An image should do several things with a piece of writing, it shouldn’t make a promise it can’t keep, give too much away, or be too weak for a piece. It’s hard to find free images though that work.

I usually take an image I find off of Microsoft clip art, since it’s free to use, then edit in the free photo editor at www.befunky.com. Which by the way, is the same photo editor the art group for the online literary magazine www.cre8here.com from Bemidji Sate University uses for their artwork. (I’m interning as one of the art contributors for this year) Befunky is a fun site to use and can easily become addicting.

-Sarah D.

Author Notes

jesus mem

My class weekly review of this blog is posted here.

Thank you all for your input this week has been great. Thinking about writing from the perspective of a different character for section two…hmm…Any suggestions? Please let me know in a comment, see you all again soon,

–love, Sarah D.

befunkyme.jpgP.S. Happy Easter! Ham and ribs for dinner, yum!

#1 Research: Starting a Fiction Blog + Gathering an Audience

What works and what doesn’t work when writing a fiction blog? First step I took was to take a close look at other fiction blogs and learn from their example. How did they organize their site? How did they utilize images? How long should a post be? Part of the blogging experience is to gain an audience. But how?

(*Note: Feel free to comment different ideas or conflicting opinions this research post is to generate ideas on what works and what doesn’t. My views are short sighted since I’m a beginner blogger)

Tags

When I first published my piece I got zero hits. I added tags, and presto, hits! Got some likes and a few comments. Life is good. Using tags was more of a learn by experience thing for myself. I searched WordPress topics under the tag names I used for my posts and saw how mine looked alongside others. Something I noticed right away is that pictures made a huge difference.

Organization

As I read through fiction blogs that I found interesting I noticed that organization either attracted me deeper into a blog or drove me away. If someone had 20+ chapters and I couldn’t find the first one, I had no desire to look deeper.

What I liked was when the fiction bloggers did a series of short stories and each post included a fraction such as orpheusfiction did on their blog using a 1/3 for the first, 2/3 or the second post, and a 3/3 for a third on their Fear of Dragon’s series.

Pictureskeyboard2

I was especially drawn to posts that utilized images in different ways. Humor is always attractive, artwork is impressive, mysterious is nice. What didn’t work I thought were those that were tacky or didn’t relate to anything the rest of the post had to offer. I appreciate pictures that somehow illustrate beautifully what a piece is going to be about without being too obvious or too cutesy.

Length

Now for length I am unsure. I found it was easier to read posts that are 300-500 words long, but my posts are usually quite lengthy being over 1000 words. Skimming is what happens all too often and that is why I bold good one liners of my piece in order to keep a readers attention onto key points, (maybe its distracting?)  Length, I guess, depends on who your audience is. If you’re a person who loves to read then a long post will be welcome over a short and sweet post that would have a reader begging for more.

Other Helpful Resources

I searched on google to find out what suggestions were out there for gathering an audience some of the suggestions I would have never thought about. Such as on this website I learned that there is a way to submit your URL to search engines I’m not quite sure how that works but that is an interesting idea that would reach a wider audience outside of the blogosphere. On a side note that website was called ’15 tips’ but only had ten so perhaps that isn’t the most creditable site to look at.

Or this article suggested to utilize different social medias such as facebook, or twitter, and advertise yourself so to speak.

Conclusion

A lot of it seemed to generate around the idea of connecting to other bloggers in any way shape or form. By linking, liking, and commenting on another’s blogs will attract those bloggers back to yours.