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Say something

September 7th, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Somebody once asked me: “What do get out this blogging thing?” My immediate answer was: “To share the music,” just about restraining myself from rounding off my statement with an emphatic “maan”. My friend knows me as an obsessive mix-tape distributor, and so my agenda was understood. I might have added that I get a kick out of writing about music, hoping my prose and insights find as much favour as the music I discuss. And I love it that blogging puts me in touch with fellow music obsessives, some of whom I would love to have a beer with if I ever find myself in Minnesota, Georgia, Bielefeld, London, Slawit or wherever.

There is another reward to blogging: receiving comments. Any writer thrives on feedback. Unless you are Stephen King, Michael Moore or you blog on US elections, the writer never gets enough of that. For the blogging writer, feedback comes through comments. When a post gets few or, God forbid, no comments, the blogger feels very much alone and unsure of whether that post was spectacularly misjudged or just impoverished in quality. On a music blog, a song might get more than a hundred downloads within a couple of days, and three people might comment ““ mostly fellow bloggers (whom I wish to thank explicitly), two of whom already have all the songs you posted.

I asked another friend (well, the other friend), who is a blog trawler and enthusiastic downloader of music. “Do you leave comments on blogs you download from?” I asked. “Er, no, not really.” “Why not?” “Don’t know, sometimes I’m in a rush and forget. And sometimes the blogger has said everything already so well, I don’t have anything useful to add.” And sometimes my friend feels intimidated, as if congratulating the blogger on an excellent post is like telling JM Coetzee: “Well done, nice bit of writing. Props, pal.” I understand my friend. There are blogs I enjoy reading, but I have nothing constructive to add. I am grateful that I have learned something new, or that I’ve been entertained, but don’t think just to say “thanks”. And to say “thanks” to every single post on the blogs I read regularly would seem a little silly.

And yet, it would be a good habit to get into. I certainly do appreciate any comment, even if it’s just a note of thanks for a song, or a brief reaction to my writing, or even a bit of criticism. Just to make me feel that I’m not whispering in the wind. OK, Google Analytics shows me I’m not, but it would be nice if some of the other 98,72% of visitors took two minutes to say hello…

And to entice them, here are a few songs that have absolutely nothing to do with comments on blogs, other than a tenuous relationship in their title…

Wilco – Comment (live).mp3
John Mayer – Say.mp3
Bee Gees – I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You.mp3
Rosie Thomas & Sufjan Stevens – Say Hello.mp3*
Lisa Loeb – What Am I Supposed To Say.mp3
The Lemonheads – If I Could Talk I’d Tell You.mp3

  1. Lizzle-ba-Dizzle
    September 7th, 2008 at 17:48 | #1

    Okay, I confess: I read your blog regularly – some may say religiously – and I never comment. That’s mostly for the reason you mentioned in your post: I have nothing constructive to add. I’m no music expert by anyone’s definition, but I really enjoy this blog. I often sit in the living room with my laptop, reading your posts aloud to my computer-illiterate aunt and we listen to the songs together. That’s one of the few things we *do* do together, actually, so thanks for that! And keep it up! :D

  2. Any major dude with half a heart
    September 7th, 2008 at 19:51 | #2

    Ah, see, that’s a most constructive comment, because it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. A bit like Sally Field at the Oscars.Thank you for your comment, it’s lovely to know that I’m BIG in Winnipeg. Say hello to your aunt, and I’ll go over to your blog now to read about going Back to School.

  3. Uncle E
    September 7th, 2008 at 20:07 | #3

    Us music obsessives DO enjoy feedback, AMDWHAH! Although I hate to admit it, all positive feedback kind of validates our choices, even though we shouldn’t need it. But FAH!, we’re only human, right? I even enjoy the ornery comments as well, those ramblings that question my taste du jour. Constructive discussions can lead to discovering a new band or album that becomes a new favorite, which is an added bonus to this whole blogging thing. I don’t often leave comments, but I’m not sure why. I guess I subscribe to the concept that “if you don’t have anything constructive to add to the discussion, don’t” thing.Anyway, I always enjoy reading your posts. Keep it going.

  4. Hugo Vogel
    September 7th, 2008 at 20:52 | #4

    Yes, me too, love reading your posts. Two weeks ago I was on my way to Liverpool (holiday) and played one of your Beatle-compilations on the way.Thanks!

  5. Smudge66
    September 7th, 2008 at 22:16 | #5

    Like Dizzle above i too religiously read your blog, which i discovered this summer & have downloaded most of the comps. Loved the Beatles & Songbirds/Guys comps from earlier this yr. Have to say massive thank you for introducing me to Hello Saferide through the Songbirds comp & have tracked the album down & its been on repeat in the car for the last month or so.As a Serie A obsessive too thks due for the discovery of the Spangly Princess blog which i discovered from your links which i have spent many an evening backtracking through. Great Wilco track too, one of my fav bands.

  6. dizzy von damn!
    September 7th, 2008 at 23:06 | #6

    i read you via RSS but never comment because i don’t have anything interesting to say.but thanks for what you do!

  7. Anonymous
    September 7th, 2008 at 23:28 | #7

    SNOOD is guilty of being lazy when it comes to comments , but ur blog posts and such are greatly appreciated.. Thanks again, SNOOD

  8. Urban Gypsy
    September 8th, 2008 at 06:33 | #8

    Oh but you DO leave comments, most encouraging ones! Thanks so much for dropping by my fledgling blog to lend your support and kind words! You sure do practice what you preach! Thanks for reading and also thanks for your wonderful posts and tunes!

  9. Guy & Lisa's Baby Blog
    September 8th, 2008 at 16:13 | #9

    Thank you for sharing your words and the music. I’ve discovered a few likes that surprised me. And, though I often don’t comment, it is exactly as your friend explains. I nod my head and say, “Yep, nailed it.” Or, I am hearing something new (a process which, for me, requires multiple listens) and contemplating. In any event, I do read, and appreciate your posts.

  10. Stephen Kuykendall
    September 8th, 2008 at 17:37 | #10

    Big thanks for all the songs, mixes and words. Funny enough I found your blog through Google Analytics as to your kind words and linkage to my blog. I tend to be a lurker as well, despite the joy of reading comments when others do so on my blog, even if it is correcting or in some way dissing what I’ve written. Speaking of Wilco and covers, I’ve heard the Wilco cover of “Any Major Dude Will Tell You” recently on the old iPod mix and thought of your blog, great cover.

  11. Anonymous
    September 8th, 2008 at 21:31 | #11

    Yours is the first music blog I read every day and I always enjoy your insights and the music selections. What I particularly appreciate is your ability to explicate your developing taste in music from childhood to today and how certain immature enthusiams carry over despite the fact that they may seem a little “embarrassing” by current standards (cue the taste police). Plus, as a big fan of cover songs, I really enjoy your devotion to detail. Keep up the great work.

  12. Trustar
    September 8th, 2008 at 22:13 | #12

    Don’t let it get you down. We all have had times where we say “Is that all there is?”Several thousand d/l’s in the last week but only 2 comments (both from other blogger friends). I, too find myself not leaving a comment on all of my d/l’s but try to at least say Thanks to as many as possible. We should not get too hung up on it but it is always an affirmation of a posts selection when you get some notice. Keep up the good work. There are those of us who are rooting for you.TrustarTrustar Vibrations.

  13. JonnyB
    September 8th, 2008 at 22:26 | #13

    OK – I leave comments occasionally but a) I am also of the ‘if you haven’t got anything to add, don’t add it’ school, and b) I don’t read daily these days, so conversations are old by the time I get to them.So my addition to this post is a) this is the only music blog I really read, as I really like the writing and we have the same sort of music background, I guess;and b) ‘I’ve just Gotta Get a Message to You’ used to be my regular karaoke number. It really is surprisingly rousing in a room full of joyous drunks.

  14. whiteray
    September 9th, 2008 at 00:46 | #14

    As soon as I see the title of the Bee Gees tune, I see the old yellow cover of “Best of Bee Gees,” which once upon a time, long ago, was my favorite album. Thanks for sparking the memory . . . and know that your readers are out here!

  15. Gentoo
    September 9th, 2008 at 02:37 | #15

    Yes, another guilty lurker here. I fear that I am becoming an obsessive downloader but am trying to be a bit more selective recently. What I enjoy about your blog is that you take the time to express, in a really good way, how you feel about the music. I feel that I get to know a little more about you through the posts and the music and I guess that’s the original point of blogging. Keep up the good work and I’ll try to lurk slightly less and comment slightly more in the future. Thank you.

  16. Dane
    September 10th, 2008 at 06:01 | #16

    Another lurker who is also tryng to get into the habit of leaving comments. I love your blog – I love your writing, and also the fact that I recognize the music you post; I don’t own all or even most of it, but it’s from my era and I do enjoy it, and you hook me up with some cherished memories with every post.As a blogger who’s been considering ditching my own blog because of low readership/lack of feedback, I sympathize. Please know that what you do is appreciated!

  17. A.
    September 10th, 2008 at 06:41 | #17

    I check your blog daily, but am a dirty lurker. The combination of the songs and writing is unbeatable, and your taste is impeccable. The African comps are in pretty heavy rotation around my house.Thank you!A.

  18. Beth
    September 10th, 2008 at 09:57 | #18

    Yup, I suppose I'm guilty too – I sneak in and read & download more than I comment…but it's really hard trying to think of something more interesting than 'Oh yes, you're so right there…' I'll start looking out for things to quibble over so I can start a fight, if you like…

  19. ib
    September 10th, 2008 at 10:22 | #19

    late to the party – as per usual – but very succinctly and eloquently put, AMD; as per usual, at the risk of repeating myself.Keep on!

  20. Spangly Princess
    September 10th, 2008 at 19:38 | #20

    nice guilt trip! only a lurker with a heart of pure granite could fail to post at least some kind of comment on here.It is very disheartening when nobody comments on stuff you write, I know. But I am pretty lazy about commenting so I understand. This is where sitemeter or googlestats or somesuch is your friend.

  21. Kippers
    September 12th, 2008 at 13:20 | #21

    I’ve only recently discovered your blog but I wouldn’t be without it now. I love the eclecticism of it all.As for the comments thing, I secretly get a bit fed up about not receiving many as well sometimes. It’s just an inevitable part of blogging life, though, I suppose.But kudos to you on an excellent blog – and keep up the good work! :)

  22. pissy
    September 13th, 2008 at 16:41 | #22

    Checked my Firefox "most viewed" history file just to be sure but, yes there you were (below Drudge & right after Metafilter) top O' the blogger sites you and that guy from St. Cloud MN http://echoesinthewind.blogspot.com. Excellent, dedicated writers. Of course for him, winter is now coming and for you it's sum, sum Summertime. Palm trees in Capetown? (Was there last September) Lions and Elephants and Hippos, oh my!David, Manhattan

  23. billie
    September 16th, 2008 at 05:06 | #23

    Love the writing, the wit and humor, and the music, though I don’t comment as often as I should.You should know by now that someone in the Philippines loves you, and I believe I’m not the only one!Thank you and keep on keeping on!

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