Monday, August 11, 2008

A little housekeeping…

Or would it be called blousekeeping? Isn't a blog pun… a blun?… a necessity these bays […yes, I know]?

In the past few days I have posted well over 10,000 words here.


10,000 words.

And they are not always small words.

They are not always pretty words.

Indeed, they are mostly big, ugly words about, I think, very abstruse, abstract, arcane (but still arsome!) topics like free will, the soul, human nature, and the like.

I have some other things I'd like to post, but I realize I need to let what is on the front page stand for a while, maybe a couple of weeks, to allow the few ghosts that get trapped here while passing from one plane to the next digest the big, ugly, hard words I am responsible for.

So, please, be not afraid. I really do want you to read what I have posted.

It means so much to me to imagine (and then sometimes discover!) not only that real human beings read my 'stuff' but also that they can find it edifying and interesting. (Mom, Dad, sorry, but your support doesn't count.)

In the meanwhile, I would like to pull back the curtain from which my voice booms and ask a personal (or should I say, blersponal?) question.

It is about a topic that I have addressed at FCA once or twice before.

Why do my readers––whoever or whatever they may or may not be––leave pretty much NO COMMENTS on the things they read here?

I don't really mind the silence.

After all, why else have a blog if not to wallow in the sound of your own voice? (Whoa, not so far with the curtain!)

I am simply perplexed. Baffled. Dumbfounded. Confused. At a loss.

Now, I have heard different reasons proposed before as to why my hypothetical readers are so mute.

I have been told that, when I write, I assume a tremendous amount of knowledge on the part of my readers, so it may be prohibitively difficult to interject something into the torrent of intellectual jibberjabber emitted by FCA. By analogy, it's hard to "make a comment" during the annual "Polymath Sufferers of Tourette Syndrome" convention. Better to just let it happen and politely go about your business. (Well, my friend said that in different words, mind you.)

I have also heard it suggested that the topics I normally address turn off about 99% of typical human beings. (I did once receive a call from "Mr. Charlie" about whether my material could be used for some kind of, what was it?, waterboarding festival in Cuba, I believe it was. But that was just weird.)

So I'a big nerdy turnoff, eh? (Hmmm, know your audience… know your audience….)

Again, it's hard to "comment" on seeing a combination quilting demo/medieval-tax-law-lecture by Ben Stein, so I can sympathize with this explanation.

I have also heard it said, more optimistically, that by the end of my more substantive posts, I have either said well enough what others might say, so that comments are superfluous, or I have presented such a great amount of challenging material that the would-be commenter is just not sure where to begin.

And then there is the plain old intimidation theory. That is, a commenter who might like to contribute something is blocked by a fear, conscious or unconscious, that she will be wrong or heretical, and will thus trigger a torrent––uh, from my keyboard––of ideas and facts to set the record straight.

And who really wants to get into most of these issues with a guy who "likes to touch books" (yes, I wrote that as a personal description of myself for some application years back)?

Well, so much for proposed theories; I want to hear the vox populi.

I'm asking––no, just about BEGGING you to leave some kind of comment here about, paradoxically, why you don't leave comments here.

I'd REALLY like to know who you are. I honestly have no idea who the people are behind my reader statistics.

Obviously, you don't have to explain anything; but my curiosity has reached a tipping point. This post is not going anywhere for a while; this plea is my new header.

Read the stuff I have below at your, ahem, leisure, and then see what you can do about enlightening me as to why FCA is such a seemingly comment-unworthy blog.



Brad Haas said...

My dear Elliot,

Generally I don't comment because a lot of the material is over my head.

The "Wisdom from..." series was my favorite thing in the universe, though. Bring those back and I'll leave a thank-you comment on every single one.


Jeff Miller said...

Because most people are lurkers.

I get about 2000+ hits on my blog a day and under 20 comments per day normally. So less than 1 percent of people are willing to take the time to comment.

Chad said...

Sorry for letting you down for not visiting your blog more often. Here I left a comment. And I am trying to read all the 10,000 words now.

Anonymous said...

Read you, often with fascination, sometimes with profit (I'm a DRE, so I'm always seeking to improve my understanding and working on how to make presentation more effective) but I haven't time to do much more than say 'thanks.' But I haven't even taken the time to do that, so let me add it here--Thanks--you feed the faithful.

Yours in Christ,
Jim McCullough
Our Lady of Grace Church
Greensboro, NC