Do you have Craft Crushes (or Art Crushes, whatevs!)? I’m talking about those artists and crafters, with blogs or websites, flickr accounts or etsy shops (or D), that you look forward to checking on *every* day? Maybe they take gorgeous, envy-inducing photographs, or whip together great recipes, invent a new something every other day (you swear) or just plain seem to live the creative life you want to be living… that sort of crush? I totally do (see Blogroll on the right – tons of Crushes there!). ((FYI, my Crushes are primarily bloggers so that’s mainly what I’m talking about here.))
Do you ever comment on their blog or photos, or drop an email to say “Hi, I really liked xyz”? I’m guilty of this myself, but do you ever say something besides “nice post, thanks for sharing”? I guess you could say I’m fortunate enough to NOT have many commentors or emails, which gives me the opportunity to respond to every one I do get (and I think I still miss some!), but I know some of my crushes just don’t have the time (how could they, really?) to respond to every single message they get – think 20 to multiple 100s, *those* blogs. I bet you they enjoy reading your comments though. And I know they don’t have time to answer my questions most of the time, but I think it’s still nice to ask them.
Why not say something with meat? Something with legs? Something that tells them WHY you thought it was a “nice post.”
Hi, I really love the way you captured the light in that photograph…
Hi, thank you for sharing your thoughts about xyz, I find myself feeling that way too!
Hi, your story about xyz made me laugh, my hubby/child/mom does that same thing…
You don’t have to get all artsy-fartsy about it (all “the existential nature of your composition reminds me of the 16th century sculptor blah blah blah” – but hey, that could be entertaining, too!), or write a novel, just something nice or at the very least polite. Don’t get me wrong, the validation of “great photo!” or “nice post!” or “you rock!” is pretty sweet too and sometimes that’s all I have time to write as I squeeze reading some of my favorite blogs into my work day (I’m kidding, bosses, if you’re reading this = )
One of my rules, sometimes broken, is don’t offer advice unless it’s asked for. Don’t say “you should do this or that” without invitation. If you have a great idea, perhaps couch it in phrasing like “have you tried xyz?” Or “my favorite way to do that is xyz!” Maybe I’m dressing up advice in a different costume, but it works for me.
My biggest rule is don’t say anything on a *public* comment that you wouldn’t be willing so say to someone’s face, in public, in front of a group. That’s what this is, after all, a public group (usually; I know there are private, invite-only blogs out there too). If I have a beef with something my Crush said or wrote, or want to share a particularly private story, I try to find an email address for them and go that route. Or I let it go. It’s nice to get to know someone online through their blog/website/flickr/etc. but do you really know them? Enough to say that? And do you *really* want the rest of the world to know that about you?
My personal pet peeve, which I’ve only experienced through perusing other comments when I leave mine (great way to find other fantastic blogs, by the way!!) is the “nice post, why don’t you visit my blog at abc.blogco.com” Those comments leave me feeling like you aren’t enjoying the blogger’s post so much as looking for a way to promote yours. R-u-d-e. The Field of Dreams ideas is perfect here, friends – if you build it they will come. Perhaps not in the numbers you hoped and dreamed of, but someone’s going to find your blog (especially if they click over after reading your thoughtful comments!) Why *are* you blogging anyway? I’m tellin’ you, those commentors could have a perfectly wonderful blog that I’m missing but I find myself so put off by the self promotion that I don’t think I’ve ever clicked through to visit one.
Look at me writing all this crap like I know what I’m talking about. Naaah, just sharing some thoughts that popped into my head this morning while showering, then I had to snap out of it and remember I’m on a timeline people, and the dog needs to go out before I can take off for work so get a move on go! go! go!
For those of you who made it this far (saints, every one), another pretty ~~