Alana Moore said to me 19 hours ago, “The current lack of engagement with these blogs is getting downright scary. I look at all this here, and think, you know all this really should be thriving.“
“TheConquestFiles” said to me 8 hours ago – and in response to a comment I gave on his blog about bisexual invisibility, “I like a lot of what you’re talking about. Generating a discussion whether people agree or disagree is ideal.“
Way back in Year Two of my blogging experience, a bunch of bloggers kinda got together and pondered the question of the lack of interaction on blogs; it wasn’t about who was reading and who wasn’t but, in particular, the lack of any kind of dialog other than maybe clicking the “Like” button. We all agreed that we don’t write our blogs for “fame and fortune” or because garnering comments is the only reason to write a blog – one of the participants mentioned that they weren’t an “attention whore.” What everyone was saying made sense because I had already noticed that whenever I wrote anything about bisexuality, the stats would confirm that few people were reading what I wrote and practically no one was providing any commentary one way or the other.
Many of the participants of this confab were bothered by the lack of input on their writings even though they also grudgingly acknowledged that, in essence, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink; you can’t make anyone comment and if they don’t, they don’t. I even remember asking which was the more important thing: The message or whether or not anyone’s “listening” to it? I felt that they kinda/sorta agreed that the message carries the greatest import… even if the messenger is speaking to an empty room.
Then came the Great WordPress Sexual Blogger Purge – for those who might not remember this, this was some fucked up shit; a lot bloggers found themselves locked out of their blogs for violating WordPress’s usage terms for free blog accounts; many people jumped ship to other blogging sites and quite a few free WordPress users became paid WordPress users because, apparently, if you’re paying for the privilege to blog, some rules don’t apply to you. Many bloggers didn’t get locked out of their blogs but found that they were now being “censored” by our host making certain blogs hard to find in the Reader or via search criteria.
It was a bad time for a lot of bloggers who were used to speaking up and speaking their minds and many just stopped bringing their respective messages or resolved just to lurk in the background, reading but not having anything to say. Still, while the Great WordPress Sexual Blogger Purge had its impact, people are still blogging for whatever reason they’re blogging and some are kinda uneasy because for whatever reason they’re writing, a lot of them are just speaking to an empty room; it discourages them and some have silently packed their “bags” and gone on about other things because they feel that no one’s “listening” or, worse, providing any feedback to them and nothing sucks more than not being paid attention to.
During all of this, yours truly was, of course, aware of all of this; I can easily go back to every blog I’ve written about bisexuality and see how much feedback I’ve gotten via comments – doesn’t matter if they’re good, bad, or indifferent – because while I’m not a blogger who is, as Rougedmount so nicely put it, not about self-promotion, it is kinda funky to want to establish a dialog with folks about a hot-button topic because (a) someone’s gotta talk about it and (b) um, I like talking to people. I spent some time thinking about how weird it was for me to write something about, oh, let’s say, being polyamorous or “plain old sex” or, really, anything that had nothing to do with bisexuality as a main theme and, wow, lots of people had lots to say, good, bad, and/or indifferent – and this is a good thing because, if nothing else, you know that your message is not only being seen but it gets people talking to each other – which I think is another good thing.
At one point, I was going to stop writing about bisexuality, not so much because there were few comments coming in but, yeah, in part because there are other bisexuals here on WordPress that I had hoped would add their knowledge to mine… but I guess they had better things to do. I realized that when I write about bisexuality, yeah, I’m passionate about it and it’s one of the many subjects that I can go on for days writing and talking about so, yeah, I did understand that I’m probably getting on a lot of last nerves or otherwise being a pain in someone’s ass because I keep preaching about something that few people have any interest in and, yeah, that can make you feel some kind of way.
So I was gonna quit… until I remembered why I’m writing this blog – it’s about what’s in my head at any given moment; it’s an outlet for the tremendous amount of shit that goes on in my head at any given moment; it’s even a form of therapy as I deal with the aftereffects of the stroke I suffered… and you’re damned right, it’s a soap box for me to stand upon so I can set a few people “straight” about what bisexuality is. I realized something my mother used to tell me and my siblings: “Just because I don’t say anything doesn’t mean I don’t know anything, okay?” so, yeah, just because no one is saying anything doesn’t mean that the messages aren’t reaching them and it’s back to that question I asked some time ago: Which thing is more important? The message or needing people to say something about the message?
It’s still about the message first and foremost. That few people comment doesn’t really surprise me: Sexuality issues tend to fuck with people big time because we’re never supposed to talk to each other about such things and it’s because of this ingrained behavior that bisexuality is misunderstood and there are people running around saying that we don’t exist, that we’re invisible, and that we shouldn’t exist… and all because we’d prefer to remain silent about what can easily been seen as nobody’s fucking business.
Now, I’d like for y’all to know that I’m not writing this because I’m “starving” for a lack of comments; if no one has anything to say, ya just don’t have anything to say so, please, don’t read this and think that I’m begging anyone to join my conversations because I need the attention or whatever. I’ve told everyone why I write what I write; I bring messages because (a) they’re an integral part of my life to date and (b) because I can – that’s also what WordPress is for, right? I made up my mind that, yes, getting feedback is a nice thing but isn’t a hard requirement for anyone to read or comment – the message still has to be delivered because as I’ve said here lately, someone has to do it because there are people out there somewhere who need to hear it… so I’m properly motivated to keep talking about it.
I decided to write something about this “phenomenon” because Alana is right: There is a lack of engagement about sexual and sexuality things that’s kinda scary and that such discussions are ones that should have a blogger’s comment stats going through the roof… and it’s still very much like speaking to an empty room. I decided to write something about this because TheConquestFiles is also correct because generating a dialog with others – and no matter whether they agree with you or not – is quite ideal, not as much because of the subject matter but because we’re talking to each other: Period.
I know I can’t make anyone read what I write about bisexuality anymore than I can make anyone comment on what I write and it’s terribly obvious that I’m still gonna keep writing about it if it happens to be in my head at a given moment or I read something someone else has written and their writing has inspired me to say a whole lot of words as well. It’s fun; it’s therapy and when it comes to bisexuality, given the current mood of things regarding this, someone has to say something about it because remaining silent is one of the reasons why certain people are fucking with bisexuals; too many of my bisexual brothers and sisters are all fucked up in the head because they can’t understand what’s going on with them… and because no one really wants to put that information out there and, if they do, um, let’s say that I’m a pretty smart motherfucker and there’s some stuff out there that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, okay?
The lack of engagement should never stop the message; if you engage, fine but if you don’t, well, no one says that you have to engage so there’s really no point in getting “upset” about that. And, yes, I am very much aware that when I write, I do it in spades – someone once said that I’m unnecessarily long-winded and no one wants to bother reading shit that’s too long. My response: “It’s my blog and I’ll write it any damned way I want to and, fuck no, you don’t have to read it if you don’t want to… so fuck you.”
Yeah, I remember this particular moment quite well. I’m long-winded (a) because it’s part of the therapy that keeps my fingers working decently and (b) I just love to write and (c) I know I’m also writing about something that has the potential to make some folks very uncomfortable – sex and other things sexual just aren’t supposed to be made public, right? But if I don’t talk about it, who’s gonna talk about it?
I’ve written all of this to send this message: If no one is commenting on what you’re writing, don’t be discouraged – just keep “talking” and even if you’re speaking to an empty room…