The Voice

Thursday, May 24, 2012 Permalink

Ha! Fooled ya! I bet you thought this post was going to be about the international singing show – the Aussie version of which is ratings’ gold for its local network. (As an aside, although I’m not much into reality television, I must confess I’m enjoying the show and am now a belated Keith Urban fan. Not of his music, just his niceness!).

Rather, this post was inspired by one I did in my Diet Schmiet blog which was essentially a ‘why I like the blogs I like’ post.

It all started following an online conversation I had with someone from the weightloss, health and fitness blogging world about the sorts of blogs and blog posts we prefer.

In case you don’t read my other blog post… essentially I bitched about commented on the fact that I follow A LOT of blogs. I do this via Google Reader and divvy them up into three categories: writing and blogging; weightloss, health and fitness; and blogs I just like.

As blog reading and commenting have been taking an increasing amount of time (eating into my lolling-about-on-the-sofa time; and reading-in-the-bath time – not to mention my own writing time) I’ve started to cut back on my commenting… and I’ve started skipping over the odd post or two if they’re of little interest: both of which require me to be a bit more discerning when Google Reader starts to overflow!

In my other blog I wrote specifically about weightloss and health and fitness blogs; so given that THIS blog (Debbish) covers the non-dieting / weightloss part of my life, I thought it might be worthwhile to talk about my blog reading and commenting preferences in relation to the other blogs I read. (Cos I’m sure you’re all waiting with bated breath, sitting on the edge of your seat etcetera etcetera. And I wouldn’t want the bloggers amongst you to suffer sleepless nights wondering if your own blog meets my exacting standards!)

In Diet Schmiet I said that, while I hate overly-technical posts in my weightloss world, I’m more than happy to read them when it comes to writing and blogging. In fact, before I focussed on blogging (as the type of writing I wanted to do), I used to follow a myriad of writing-related blogs. Now I tend to follow blogging and social media sites to get my ‘what-I-should-be-doing-that-I’m-not’ fix. I’m okay with a bit of ‘this is who I am’ type of rhetoric, but am just as happy to get my ‘top tips’ or ‘lessons I’ve learned’ from these bloggers with minimal personal insight.

But…. my fave category is probably the ‘bloggers I just like’ category. Bizarrely, most of the bloggers I read are Aussies (although perhaps it’s just that I don’t know prominent bloggers from o/s outside of the writing / weightloss world); but my Google Reader includes most of the bigger names in Oz blogging, plus a few others I’ve come across and like. Naturally I also follow those who follow me or comment on my posts etc. (Quid pro quo anyone?)

So, what is it I like, or don’t, in the ‘blogging about whatever’ category?

As I noted in my Diet Schmiet post, my ability to relate to the subject matter or content is key. Although I follow a few of the so-called mummy bloggers, I often skim over blog posts solely about parenting. The funnier ones I’ll read and chuckle over, but I’ll rarely comment (as a non-parent). Similarly those about fashion or lifestyle or cooking; I’ll comment only if I have something to say.

In my weightloss world there are quite a few blogs I comment on NO MATTER WHAT, and similarly those bloggers always comment on my posts. And then there are the myriad of blogs that I comment on irregularly – but only when I have something to say.

However I have noticed that when it comes to the mummy, lifestyle, fashion or ‘just stuff’ bloggers, I do a lot more lurking. More so if the blogger in question is a ‘big’ blogger and has a lot of regulars!

I suspect I get intimidated, thinking I can’t / won’t be as witty as others leaving comments, so am loath to do so.  I must confess there’s also a sense of not being part of the ‘in crowd’ but I realise this is unfairly cast, as it’s more about me not feeling like I ‘fit in’ (or that I’m good enough) than the way I’m ever treated! Indeed, I’m sure most bloggers – even the biggies – probably still appreciate receiving comments and angst over those posts which attract fewer readers. Perhaps I have a sense of awe when it comes to the ‘big’ bloggers; and certainly I rarely comment/ed on some US writing/publishing blogs for a similar reason.

The blog posts I most love to read are those which are well-written AND funny. Witty gets me every time. I’m reticent to name names (because I follow SO MANY blogs) but in the funny stakes, Mrs Woog and Kerri Sackville are two bloggers I will read no matter what. They may well be writing about bowel movements (and probably have!), but I’m ‘in’!

I confess to being a bit of a grammar Nazi (and apologise in advance if there are any typos in this!) so cringe at some blogs, though will overlook the occasional error if the writing and content is addictive. (I’m not THAT anal. Really! I swear!)

The original Diet Schmiet post came about as a result of the blogging conversation I mentioned earlier, but also because I’m in a bit of a quandary about my own blogs. Like many bloggers, I have a habit of comparing my stats with others. Similarly, I compare the numbers of comments I receive to those of other bloggers and wonder what the f*ck I’m doing wrong.

Last year I wrote almost daily in Diet Schmiet and its readership grew (from the previous year’s readership of ZERO!), and indeed it outgrew this – my original and primary blog. But it feels like enthusiasm has waned, or perhaps that’s just me.

And as far as this blog goes, I can’t help but think I’m yet to find my ‘voice’.

Initially this blog (in its previous incarnation) was all about the stuff I love: television, books and so forth. But I’ve found myself wanting to write about day-to-day crap, most of which wouldn’t fit my diet blog or appeal to its readers. So, while I’m trying to move down that route in this blog, I’m struggling to engage my readers and find a voice that I’m comfortable with.

Those commenting on my Diet Schmiet post agreed that a blog should reflect the personality of its author, and suggested that a blogger’s voice is all-important in attracting readers. And I think that’s true. I guess I just need to find or rediscover my own.

  • Kerri Sackville
    May 24, 2012

    Well thank you!!! I am very chuffed. Having said that, I now feel quite pressured to write about bowel movements in a humorous fashion……. xx

    • Debbish
      May 24, 2012

      You’re welcome Kerri, and I must say a poo post would also be most welcome! I suspect my subconscious suggested it because I’ve been longing for someone to write on the topic!


  • Kerryn Woods (@kerrynwoods)
    May 24, 2012

    I think we all get a bit intimidated by “big” bloggers when it comes to commenting. I don’t automatically assume that they won’t be interested in what I have to say, but I do realise that if there are 193 comments, it’s unlikely they’ll be responding to every one of them.

    The main thing that stops me from commenting on blogs is when I’m late to the party and everything I’d intended to say has already been said by others. Which, by the way, happens a lot – sometimes it seems as though everyone else has nothing better to do all day. Am I the only one at work? 😉

    I did have a point here, but I’ve been interrupted three times while writing this and I now have no idea what it was… Typical.

    • Debbish
      May 24, 2012

      That’s probably part of my problem as well Kerryn… there are a gazillion comments and I wonder if there’s any point in also leaving one. I must confess I don’t mind a huge amount if people don’t respond to comments I’ve left, particularly if they receive a lot.

      I can’t imagine getting a huge number of comments… that’d add something else to my ‘to-do’ list (read and respond to comments!). Argh!


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