Comment Confidence

Posted: September 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

During my short stay at Google+ I read something. For those of you who don’t know what Google+ is, it is another social site similar to Facebook. What I read bothered me and made me wonder about my abilities to properly convey thoughts after reading a blog post. Way back, a couple of years ago, I commented for the first time on a post. I was scared and felt out of my league. Careful to spell and punctuate correctly because I knew that not only the writer of the post would see it, others would see it too. I entered the blog arena cautiously and carefully. It was something new and unfamiliar and I wanted to make a good impression. As time went by, I became more confident and comfortable. I felt part of things and had no second thoughts about my written reactions to what I was reading. I felt that what I had to say meant something, not only to the writer, but to the other people who came to read as well.

What I read on Google+ was a post by a photographer. He wrote about another photographer who shared his works in a format which allowed people to comment. This person, this photographer was complaining about the comments he was receiving on his works. Apparently people who were not professional photographers were leaving comments such as, “Wow, great shot!”. This person felt that these words were inappropriate. He desired more professional comments that showed him his viewers understood and appreciated photography, noting aspects that perhaps a layperson would not know how to describe.

This bothered me and made me wonder about whether or not my words were welcome and appropriate. It shook my comment confidence. Could this be a rare and isolated attitude, or has the blog world actually come to this place of criticism? I certainly hope not. I so enjoy reading what other people have to share. Much of it touches me deeply or entertains me. I enjoy offering an opinion or praise for what I have read. This may be a case of that one bad apple spoiling the whole bunch. Never the less, it has been on my mind and it did affect me in a negative way.

From here, I’ll be cautious for a while. I will choose my words carefully until my confidence returns. If I love something, I love it, and if I can’t express that to someone’s satisfaction, it’s the best I know how to do. Comment confidence, what a silly thing to worry about.

September 17, 2011

Coventry CT

  1. Toni says:

    I’m a little late to the party, but just wanted to jump in and agree with everyone else. I LOVE it when people comment on my blog, cause then I feel like at least someone has seen what I had to say and had a reaction, any reaction, to it.

    Sadly, I don’t comment enough, mostly cause I read posts from my phone where its just that much more difficult, or when I only have a few minutes in between this and that and so don’t have time to really frame a response that says what I mean. Maybe I should start putting “I’m here” comments; I like that!

    Don’t ever stop commenting, its just one more way we all stay connected.

    • Thank you Toni for that amazing comment. I agree wholeheartedly that we do stay connected with our comments. I try to always leave one where ever I’ve been, just so the writer knows that they reached me with their words. There is nothing more special to a blogger that seeing a comment appear. No matter what it says, it’s a comfort to know that someone took the time to stop by. 🙂 and xoxoxo

  2. Miguel says:

    Nice post!

  3. j says:

    Wow. Okay, in my new “what would Sugar say” mentality, I won’t go on and on about how terrible I think that photographer’s response is. If I’d read that, I would stay away from his work because clearly he isn’t taking pictures for me. (Only for other photographers, which is frankly, a little weird and masturbatory.)

    Wait. I wasn’t going to talk about him. So I’ll talk about you instead. I think you are such a wonderful commenter. On ZS, I want people who question, who further the conversation, who add to it by telling me of their own experiences. My favorite thing is when a comment thread bursts with spontaneous discussion… and your comments cause that all the time. Don’t hold back, Joanne. If you do, the blogosphere will be a far less interesting place.

    • Thank you Judy!! My comments are important because I feel if someone took the time to write and share something for me to read and enjoy, in turn, I should write something thoughtful about my experience there. The blogs have opened up my life in the past two years. Being able to read about how other people feel and think. Being able to see their creativity shine. So much of what is written resonates with me because my life has been very full and I have experienced so much. Good and bad. Life and death. Love and Loss and everything inbetween. The photographer in question must be seeking something very specific and I hope he or she finds it. I reacted so negatively to that because, in thought, I saw myself in an art gallery, with someone behind me criticizing what I had to say about the work. I am not or never have been an art major, so I would not be able to critique something on that level. I said I loved it, or the colors are great I would hope that means something.

  4. terrepruitt says:

    That is odd. Poor photographer, I feel he was seeking something from his blog that he probably will not get. Sounds like he has deep “issues”.

    I will say that I do not care for people that just pop on my blog and say, “Nice post.” with links and ads to their site and their information. To me they are just doing that to get their information out there and I often feel they didn’t even READ the post. But then there are others who just drop by and they don’t even have a website as part of their information and they just say, “Nice job.” And I actually believe they read the post and they think it was nice. I don’t mind that.

    Then there are people who comment often, and when they say, “Nice.” or even just “I’m here, I’m reading.” I am great with that. Often times I want to let the writer know I am there and I read it, but I don’t have anything I feel I can contribute to the post so I post “I’m here.” But only on people that I read all the time and it has been a while since I commented.

    We all blog for different reasons, just like we are all on other social networking sites for different reasons. So I guess maybe we all have different expectations of what our commentors should comment? I am happy when I get what I feel is a legitimate comment — and by legitmate I mean someone not pushing his supplement, sexual enhancer, or super food. I love “Nice job.”

    • Nice job ;). Thank you for your very well thought out comment. I’m not sure why this had bothered me so much, pehaps the ingratitude that the photographer had towards the lay people who did actually like his work but were not up to his standards with their comments. Reading everyone’s thoughts here have helped me put in into perspective. I truly believe that most writers, the ones I read anyway, are grateful and appreciative for their readers. I also love what you said about leaving and “I’m here” message. Sometimes we read and don’t feel we can contribute, yet still want to offer our support.

      • terrepruitt says:

        You said, “Sometimes we read and don’t feel we can contribute, yet still want to offer our support.” And that is EXACTLY what I meant! Thanks. 🙂

        Maybe you were so bothered by the comments because you might have gone to a photography blog and written, “Beautiful shot!” “Gorgeous photo!” “Oooo!” “I love it!” I know I would have. I am not a photographer. I can’t give a critique of pictures, but I can say when I think it is beautiful, gorgeious, or it inspires me to go “oooo”, and when I love something. So maybe you were a little wounded. Even if I were a photographer I don’t know that I would jump on someone’s blog and start critiquing it. I think that photographer had issues. I am learning to try to pause and try to figure out WHY the person is saying what they are saying before I become bothered. People speak from their “place”, so sometimes I like to figure out where they are.

      • That is an excellent way to think. People are coming from their own place and unless we know where that place is, we have to give the benefit of the doubt before reacting or taking it too personally. Just posting about this photographer’s attitude about his comments helped me realize that it is not the way most bloggers are. I’ve regained my comment confidence from all of the thoughtful and supportive comments I have received. It really does pay to get something off of your chest. Thank you~! 🙂

  5. dani says:

    don’t you find that people who complain like that or brag about themselves are very insecure people who need to make others feel bad in order to feel good about themselves? i pity them but have no time for their “opinions.”

    it really upsets me that an a-hole like that could cause someone as sensitive, caring and talented as you to doubt yourself in ANY way! as Simon said “Don’t let some nitwit prevent you from shining like the wonderful writer/poet/photographer/PERSON you are”

    your comments are always sincere and to me that’s the most important attribute ~ not what technical terms you use. i feel totally unqualified to comment on anyone’s writing, photography, art or poetry as to technique, etc. but i know what i like and if someone touches me with their talent, i want to let them know. and i appreciate visitors to my blog taking the time to leave a comment, no matter what they say.

    and you know i have a bad habit of leaving comments which are toooooo long. {smile} i love your writing and photography and comments and i love you, bunny! ♥ *sparkly squishy full of love hugs*

    • I think it was an isolated incident. I just can’t help the way it affected me though. I love the blogs and being part of that world. Just clearing something up that was bothering me. I hope people don’t take it the wrong way. Thanks hunny. Sparkly love and hugs back to you my bestie. xoxoxo

  6. I always enjoy reading your words and seeing your pics and I think the overly sensitive photographer has it wrong (and if he was only looking for professional comments, isn’t that what the Google circles are for ~ to filter posts in order to let certain people see them?) ~ I love ANY comments I get. the photographer should be thankful that someone has looked at his work.

    Don’t let some nitwit prevent you from shining like the wonderful writer/poet/photographer/PERSON you are

  7. Pamela Carlson says:

    I remember reading that story also. My thought was that the photographer had it wrong. If you’re posting your work somewhere primarily frequented by professional photographers and gallery owners, maybe simple comments such as “great shot” would be disappointing. If you’re posting photos to a general audience, it’s crazy to expect a random assortment of people to comment as if they were photographers or gallery owners.

    I’m not going to feel required to live up to crazy expectations, and will indulge in my “great shot!” comments as liberally as I wish. (So there, snooty photographer dude.) 😉

    • Thank you Pam! I’m glad I am not the only one who read that. The details were a bit vague but the impression it had on me were and are very clear. I appreciate your thoughtful comment and I agree wholeheartedly. I think that person has crazy high expectations and is snooty as all get out. He must be so famous that he no longer can be bothered with people who are not on his level, photographically speaking. I love your attitude. xo

  8. Becky says:

    I have extreme blog phobia right now. For all together other reasons. I think my comments on blogs, a while ago, were looked at too closely. Too much meaning placed on my comments. I think being able to visit here and other places where I feel safe, where I know other commentors aren’t analyzing my short thoughts, is very special.
    I’ve been gaining my confidence back — visiting archives and taking the necessary baby steps back to be seen as a commentor just trying to add a thought.
    Thank you.

    • I am so happy that you feel safe here Becky. I am sorry for the delema you are having, in a way, it is similar to my own. Something I love to do is in question because of my own reaction to what may very well be an isolated case. Let’s gain our confidence back toghether, shall we? Feelings are so fragile, when they get hurt it takes a while to mend them. xoxoxox

  9. Joanne, Joanne, Joanne…You are so sweet, giving so much thought to everything
    you do and say. I actually feel just the opposite, If I take the time to read someones
    post, I really expect that person to appreciate the time and energy and thought put
    in to my comment and acknowledge me! I have actually stopped following someone
    for that reason…they (he, in this case) failed to give me a reply….and, my dear that
    is how I roll!

    • I completly understand and thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I don’t blame you at all for unfollowing the person who did not acknowldege your comment. We go out on a limb for others, a bit of appreciation in return is a good thing. xoxo

  10. Poor person, who looks their nose down on any comment by someone kind enough to take a moment to appreciate one’s work. Feel free to comment anytime on my pages, as you do quite often 🙂 Every single one is appreciated.

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