For the past several weeks, I’ve been participating in the MotherReader kidlitosphere blog-comment challenge. And by “participating” I mean “dismally failing to reach any of my blog-commenting goals.”
That's right. Despite a worthy 5-a-day comment challenge and my best of intentions, and despite having spent much fun time these past several weeks visiting and getting to know better 100+ wonderful blogs, with the challenge nearly over my performance as a blog-commenter has remained as spotty as it’s ever been.
After much reflection and contemplation, I’ve determined that perhaps my commenting method may be part of the problem. Herewith is my usual procedure:
1. Read an interesting blog post.
2. Think to self, “That was an interesting blog post!”
3. Think to self, “I should comment on that interesting blog post.”
4. Click on ‘Comment’ button. Wait a microsecond for the comment box to open.
5. Stare at blank comment box for 5 seconds.
6. Think to self, “So. Well. What to say.”
7. Stare at blank comment box for 10 seconds.
8. Think to self, “Good blog commenters say insightful things. Say something insightful!”
9. Stare at blank comment box for 30 seconds.
10. Start typing something that aims for “insightful.” Type two or three sentences. Add a fourth for good measure.
11. Reread insightful blog comment. Momentarily think, “What an insightful comment!”
12. Reread insightful blog comment. Realize it’s not insightful. Realize it’s inane.
13. Backspace to delete two of the four sentences.
14. Delete one of the two remaining sentences.
15. Delete the last sentence.
16. Stare at blank comment box for 45 seconds.
17. Wish for a moment that blogs were like FaceBook, with “Like” buttons. “That would be so much easier!”
18. Reflect that this wish, if granted, would mean never getting to read other people’s blog comments, which are frequently insightful.
19. Retract wish.
20. Feel the urge to check FaceBook page.
21. Resist urge.
22. Check Twitter feed instead.
23. Feel guilty about avoiding comment box by checking Twitter.
24. Feel the urge to check FaceBook page.
25. Resist urge.
26. Resist urge.
27. Resist urge.
28. Check FaceBook page.
29. Return to blank comment box. Stare at blank comment box for 60 seconds.
30. Say to self, “Forget insightful. Go for witty! Say something witty!”
31. Start to type a comment that aims to be witty.
32. Pause midsentence. Backspace and try again.
33. Backspace and try again.
34. Feel inspired. Type a witty comment!
35. Reread witty comment. Laugh out loud.
36. Think to self, “I’m witty. And insightful! Witty AND insightful!”
37. Reread witty comment again.
38. Realize I’m not even remotely witty.
39. Backspace and delete my comment.
40. Stare at blank comment box for two minutes.
41. Check email.
42. Check FaceBook. Compensate for feelings of blog-commenting inadequacy by clicking “Like” on every status update in the News Feed for the last 18 hours.
43. Return to blank comment box.
44. Stare at blank comment box for 5 seconds.
45. Suddenly feel totally exasperated. Reflect on how ridiculous the situation has become.
46. Say to self, “This situation has become ridiculous!”
47. Say to self, “So you can’t be insightful or witty. So what? At least just be kind! It was an interesting blog post. You should say so.”
48. Type, “I really enjoyed this blog post” in comment box.
49. Stare at typed comment.
50. Think to self, “Oh, that’s so lame.”
51. Think to self, “But it’s better than nothing.”
52. Think to self, “No it’s not. It’s lame.”
53. Think to self, “Ah, but isn’t it better to have blog-commented and been lame than to never have blog-commented at all?”
54. Think to self, “What??? That made no sense.”
55. Think to self, “I’m supposed to make sense all the time?”
56. Think to self, “I think this is internal conversation has gone on long enough.”
57. Think to self, “Yeah, I’ll say!”
58. Think to self, “Stop thinking!”
59. Squelch internal dialogue. Play a round of Minesweeper.
60. Return to comment box. Stare at un-insightful, un-witty, “I really enjoyed this blog post” comment.
61. Say to self, “Just comment already. It’s not really that hard.”
62. Stare at ‘Publish Comment’ button.
63. Backspace and delete comment.
64. Stare at blank comment box.
65. Close tab.
66. Open a new tab. Return to list of interesting blogs. Visit another blog and read an interesting blog post.
67. Think to self, “That was an interesting blog post!”
68. Repeat steps 1 through 67.
69. Fifteen times.
70. Return to very first interesting blog post.
71. Say to self, “This blog post is just as interesting as when I first read it seven hours ago!”
72. Click on ‘Comment’ button. Wait a microsecond for the comment box to open.
73. Type, “Great blog post!”
74. Click ‘Publish comment’ button.
75. Sigh deeply.
76. Log off, exhausted.
After reflecting on all this, I’m thinking maybe, just maybe, I should streamline this procedure a bit. Seventy-six steps is, afterall, quite a few steps.
The only problem is, I really can’t think of any steps to trim!
Feel free to leave them in the Comments. :)