Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Blog disappointments

As a nigh on  twenty year blogger, I've experienced it all. Bloggers fade away. Some stop abruptly. I can feel strong connections to some and then without a puff of smoke, they are gone. Some even die, as Debby has recently experienced. 

Blog hurt level at the lowest level is someone you thought was close to being a good blogmate and then suddenly it all ended, in spite of your commonality. It does hurt when you feel a connection with the person, but clearly I must have written something they must have thought was wrong. A blogger in Spain comes to mind

In the early days of the highriser blog I warned a commenter so many times about his inappropriate comments, even though he had a fantastic historical knowledge of inner Melbourne. Other bloggers at the time were a bit scared by him.  I no longer accepted his abuse and threatened to report him to the police. Thanks to another blogger I knew where he lived. 

I threatened to forward the hateful, vile and homophobic email another commenter sent me to his personal friend who did blog and still does. I didn't tell the person directly but she had a good idea of what he was like.

That was all so long ago. 

There was an Australian blogger, who I found interesting and we had some good interactions. I don't think she liked my political and social views and her comments on my blog eventually led to me saying to her, if you have such issues with what I write, then why bother reading what I write. That was the end of that connection. 

After the destruction of the highriser blog, one European/English blogger did not renew his 'fellowship'. I would guess because I am of a very different class, educational level, wealth and our politics are just so different, and so he seized the opportunity. That's fine. He was never offensive or unkind.

But now an English blogger has been rather unkind to me as she replied to what I thought was a nice enough comment, with me showing some concern for her health. It may well be for the same reason as the person in the comment above. Class differences in England are rigid.

But you know, when you read someone's blog for a time and occasionally comment, such rejection and a nasty reply to a comment really hurts. 

58 comments:

  1. It does. I had no idea when I starting blogging (much more recently than you) how personal the interactions could become.

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    1. EC, it wasn't something I thought about when I began either. It became the principle reason for starting this newer blog.

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  2. I try to just shake off such things but it's never enjoyable. My worst experience came from a fellow writer. I used money I actually earned from a published short story to pay for this mentorship and received three replies: show don't tell (duh...), remind yourself that you don't suck (???), and how sharing my experience (calling a turd a turd) would be unprofessional to the point of damaging my reputation (?!?). I like to believe this person was going through rough times but it took years before I began writing again. Best wishes, Andrew.

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    1. Darla, that is a terrible story and I am sorry you went through that and very pleased you restarted writing.

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    2. Thank you. It's obviously still a sore spot. Funny enough, I have really only been writing for my blog the last couple of years. That's okay, though, because I've met fellow bloggers like yourself. :D

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  3. I find it difficult if I've commented regularly on their blog but they don't comment on mine. My head knows I can't expect people to always reciprocate but my heart just feels ignored.
    In general I've had a great run but I understand that blog relationships are real and they can be as uplifting or damaging as any face to face relationship

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    1. Kylie, it really does have to be a mutual thing. I always look at a person's blog if they comment on mine but sometimes their blog is just of no interest to me at all. In times past I might force myself to comment and see what happens but now it has to feel natural for me to reciprocate. Just a few days I looked at your blog and you haven't posted since 2021, so I am a bit puzzled by your comment.

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    2. You've probably got caught up with my multiple blogs. The main one is kylie-sonja.blogspot.com.
      It's unlikely to be your thing but you're welcome to look

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    3. Kylie, how could I know that? I just clicked on your name and the blog your name linked to. Got your current blog now, all good.

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  4. I hope that I have not caused you any offence Andrew as I like to joust and jest with my blogmates. For nearly all of its eighteen years, my blog was open to all comments. They were not moderated. But two or three years ago I decided to switch moderation on as I kept receiving some nasty remarks from three particular gobshites who seemed to think that they had licence to pass judgement on anything and everything I wrote. Occasionally, they still leave comments but I never read them and delete them as soon as I spot them.

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    1. YP, you know you haven't. I try to give as good as I get but it is hard to beat a master. Only once did I turn on full moderation and I think it was because of terrible spam attack.

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  5. I have only been blogging for a relatively short time but I have seen some comments on blogs that have made me stop short. I blog in order to enjoy online friendships, lighthearted gossip and learn about other people and their lives. I would never dream of being rude or nasty to another blogger, whatever I may think of their politics or views. If I disagree strongly then I just don't comment. I hope that your negative experiences do not put you off blogging as I enjoy reading your posts.

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    1. Kind words, thank you JayCee. Yes, if there is something I don't like on someone's blog but I find them generally ok, I don't comment either. You do have the luxury of a private blog, but do you still get new readers?

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  6. I wondered if you’d seen the reply to your comment. What she said to you was downright rude and unnecessary and I see that post has now been removed.

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    1. Thanks heaps Cathy. I really wondered if I was being too sensitive, but the more I read the reply, the more sure that it wasn't very nice I became. Your comment here has helped.

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  7. Stalker
    Andrew being a latecomer to your blog and now an occasional responder….wonder if I am actually a stalker as my pen namer indicates! I love some of the subjects you present particularly photography , trains old buildings .travel and Melbourne and became particularly attached to your writings about your dear Mother . Just as you have a wonderful forever same sex partner so do I . R and she would be able to discuss menus.!
    My political and religious views belong inside the four walls of our house and that’s where they remain, although I hate all injustice, war and disrespect of peoples beliefs. I choose not to comment on these topics because I think a blog is like a family friends letter sharing interesting snippets of their daily life.
    I must confess though I am a regular commentator on newspaper articles in both the Murdoch and what used to be the Fairfax press. Most people have pseudonyms, you would be foolish if you did not Thats where you can offer an opinion and it will be censored if it is considered abusive or contains words and phrases that are triggering . I get quite a few rejections which of course I expect!
    As a final note I hate our local council but I did get them to plant the tree I had written letters about for two years . I kept all the correspondence and forwarded it to the mayor . The tree was planted within the week !

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    1. Stalker, I think your attitude is good. I make no bones about my dislike of religion but I respect those who do believe, and I know it is much a cultural matter rather than purely religious. As for politics, people can easily guess how I vote.
      I at times get a comment published in The Age. Like you with the tree, I have made small changes to the world. My main focus now is public transport, very important to me, and it is the proverbial pushing something uphill. I do enjoy your comments on my blog. Thank you.

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  8. As real as blog relationships are -- and they ARE real -- they are also prone to misunderstandings because we don't have facial expressions and tones of voice and other normal cues to better "read" each other. We're relying on the written word, and what is meant casually or even humorously may be interpreted much more seriously by someone else. I'm not saying that's the case in any of your examples but whenever I'm bothered by what someone's written I try to look at what they've said in the most charitable way possible. Sometimes that helps ease the hurt, and sometimes not!

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    1. Steve, while essentially I agree with you and we do need to be careful that we don't offend, that was not the case this time. It was blunt and direct. I hope I've never made a comment on your blog that offended you, well serious enough for you to remember. I do worry about being seen as anti American.

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  9. I like the give and take, and the agreements and disagreements, unless it gets nasty. Conversation is good, abuse, even blogger written abuse, is not worth the time.

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  10. I understand your disappointment.

    I remember once that I was (I thought) joking back and forth with a blogger. He blasted me. I apologized immediately, explaining that it was not my intent to be offensive. He did not acknowledge it. It gave me a bit of insight into his nature.

    It is disappointing. I understand your shock. Although you only see my blog back to 2020, I've been blogging since 2008. In that time, I've had people come and go. It's always a bit awkward to be made to feel as if you've done something egregiously wrong, but in the end, it says more about her than it does you.

    You just keep doing you. The rest of us are still out here.

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    1. Debby, I had something happen in real life as you describe and I learnt that just because someone uses self deprecating humour about themselves, for friends to do the same about the person can be hurtful. I wonder why you shut down the older part of your blog? Family? Never mind. You have my respect for your blog and your comments.

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  11. Hateful, vile, racist and homophobic! I would never accept that in spoken conversation nor in blogging. The only advantage with bloggers is you can block them.

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    1. Hels, you may be able to block people but I never have. I like to see how far people will go and challenge them on their behaviour. Your blog and my blog are quite different.

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    2. Blogger Content Policy says: We rely on blog readers to report content that they find inconsistent with Blogger's community guidelines (which are spelled out in detail). Reported content is reviewed by human reviewers to verify that it violates those community guidelines. If it does, it is removed from Blogger.
      https://www.blogger.com/report
      I wonder if anybody knows if this works.


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    3. Hels, I would see that as a last resort. You and I can deal with things as they arise.

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  12. I often wonder if people would say these things to your face. I think we tend to share a bit more of ourselves from the relative anonymity of the keyboard and that does make us vulnerable. But I really don't understand the person who seems to get a kick out of being cruel.
    I was so worried when it looked like you were going to give up blogging after the great debacle as I would have felt I had lost a friend.

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    1. Merlot, yes that may make us more vulnerable but we still have the relative anonymity.

      You are such a charmer. Thank you.

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  13. I always try to not offend and if I unwittingly do somehow I would hope the blogger would tell me so I could apologise.
    I have gradually been stopping reading of a few blogs where I comment but they never visit my blog.

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    1. River, I think blog interaction has to be that, an interaction unless it some kind of specific blog, of which I read a couple. No comment on your blog, they are not interested, so unless you really want to, don't comment on theirs.

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  14. I saw that comment and reply and was so gobsmacked I didn't even know what to say or how to call it out. I have wondered if that blogger may be on the autism spectrum because while quite bright they do not seem to have a grasp of social graces; they state their mind, period. I try to avoid conflict and just move along if I don't like the vibes but I am also torn because that person was kind to me at a time I needed it. What to do? I don't know. Just know I did not find your comment warranted the abuse and I wish it had not happened. I also wish I had spoken up, but there is a fine line between sticking up for someone and becoming a thorn in the side of the blogger who committed the offense. For what it's worth, I find you to be one of the most accepting and diplomatic bloggers I've read. You reply with grace every time.

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    1. Jenny, if you haven't seen it, Cathy above in comments also saw the comment reply. You may be right about autism but she seems like a kind enough person in real life, as she paints it. You are right to not say anything. I replied to her comment and hence the three comments were deleted. Your compliments are very much appreciated.

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  15. You spot on with the social mediums. I quit blogger in 2012 when I learnt my blog was hijacked by a scammer. It was an aweful feeling that I lost all the contacts.

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    1. Roentare, that must have been awful to lose contacts. You are late commenting today. Are you feeling a little 'tired' after your birthday dinner? I'm glad you are blogging now.

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  16. I'm sorry Andrew, it does hurt when that happens. I have so few people who comment, the majority being Australian, that I don't worry much, since I feel like you and EC are now family

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    1. Strayer, you aren't the only US blogger who has a disproportionate number of Australian readers. I wonder why? You are so sweet. Thanks.

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  17. As you know, Andrew, I prefer to blog about the world around me and not my personal life, but that doesn't always stop someone from pushing for the latter. Case in point: soon after I started blogging, a long-lost half-brother (he moved out-of-state when we were just children) shows up in the comment section wanting to know all about my life and what I'm like. I would have been happy to tell him via email, but he wanted this communication to take place solely on my blog. In other words, he wanted my posts to be directed towards him, for his benefit, about personal matters, in what I, rightly or wrongly, consider a public forum. Eventually, I did have to get kind of rude to him. He's since deceased, and I regret never having talked to him face-to-face (as adults), but I don't think it would have gone that well, even if we had.

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    1. That's interesting about your half brother Kirk and I think you reacted correctly. Given your blog is not personal, it seems a strange thing for him do. I also think you were correct to not meet him in person. In the case I wrote about, always trust your first instinct.

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  18. I am really sorry to hear that once again you have been abused on the blog. When I first started blogging I had no idea that it would become such a big part of my life and that fellow bloggers would become dear friends. Know that you are loved by your true blogging friends and block the rest.

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    1. Thank you Marie. As you know, I treasure you as a real friend along with being a blog friend.

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  19. Oh my Andrew, how dreadful of the other blogger. I had no idea this type of nastyness was on blogger by others. Sometimes people can take things the wrong way which once happened to me, but it didn't hurt me in anyway and I wasn't upset at all.
    People come and they go, and I wonder where they have gone all of a sudden, but that's their choice - and blogger friends to me are like family.

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    1. Margaret, it really did come from left field but hey, you get over such things. As far as I know, I don't have one reader that I had in the early days of my blog.

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  20. Andrew, I am so sorry you have been hurt. No matter how many nice comments you receive, it is the hurtful ones that seem to make the most impact and are the most difficult to overcome. Who knows why people do these things? Anyway, keep on keeping on . . . Janice x

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    1. Thanks hon. There are plenty of tossers out there but when it is someone who you respect...

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  21. I was saddened to read this. I can't comment further at the moment because I'm just leaving the house to go into hospital for a few days but I shall return to the topic when I get out.

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    1. I hope it goes well for you Graham.

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    2. Thanks, Andrew. It went well. This morning over my third cup of coffee I have read the post and comments from beginning to end carefully. Obviously I'm fairly new to your blog but I wouldn't have stayed with it if I hadn't found it interesting and you someone with whom I felt comfortable. I now understand the situation better but it saddens me when people cannot have a rational discussion and become abusive. That is something I won't tolerate but my blog is quite different to yours and was set up for a different purpose.

      I wish that people would be more understanding of the views of others and would argue rationally and never abusively. Good luck and may the blogging non-religious gods go with you.

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    3. I have just spent over an hour reading your blog post and considering the issue which I consider very important. I wrote and re-wrote a further response and it disappeared when I sent it. Arghhh. I'm off out now.

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    4. Graham, to stop spam I have to approve comments older than four days. Thank you for your kind words. Several days later, it now feels like history and I am not troubled. But I must say, it was not about different opinions or views, but just a plain nasty reply to a polite comment from someone who I had some respect for.

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  22. Blogging does build a community, and like any community not all are kind to one another. I try hard to say something insightful, or mildly sarcastic (I should be more careful there, humor gets lost in cultural translation.). Your posts reflect your life, and the culture you live in. If you say something in a way I wouldn't, it is a because you are a different person living in a different place, than I am.

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    1. Yes TP. As a young person I would have never thought of a cultural divide between the US and Australia but I have come to understand there is. But I also have to take into account my age. Young people here are so tuned into the US.

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  23. I'm sorry you've been verbally smacked by folks you trusted on blogger. Life is tough enough without people making it worse.
    Sandra sandracox.blogspot.com

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    1. Sandra, thanks to comments here and a couple of emails, I feel a lot better about the matter. It's good to share at times.

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  24. I have made some amazing friends through blogging and met many in the flesh. Some actually stayed with me as PGs when I had my little inn. The nasties I have let go of. I am grateful to Pants who stopped blogging but who introduced me to you, Andrew. I have a few who directly email me which is wonderful. the sad part for me is the countless ones who have died. A few cherished ones sent me personal cards who they knew they were going to go - usually cancer. Some like one in Spain sent me many cards and dropped off the face of the earth for unknown reasons. Many families removed the blogs of their RIPs. some left them as memorials which i revisit periodically.
    I think the smackdowns give thrills to the smackers. I'm sorry this has happened to you too but blocking is useful.
    XO
    WWW

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    1. WWW, I do wonder at times why some people find my blog and that you did via Pants is interesting. As I'm sure you know, we know her quite well now. I've not experienced many blog writer deaths but at times you never know what has happened to someone. There would be times to block someone but in this case I expect we will just ignore each other.

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  25. I have had some peculiar experiences with bloggers over the years. Like you, I have been in it for decades (although I am not half as prolific a writer as yourself). I recall receiving the most abusive feedback to what I thought was a positive reflection on a person's post once and I still remember it all these years later. I have also had the strangest comments from people with various conspiracy theories or who have decided to attack my career (which always bemuses me) but thankfully nothing that has necessitated a call to the police.

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    1. Your thoughts are interesting Adam. I do not like comments where tries to upset someone, which does at times work. I hope they take some time later for reflection and wonder why they were mean.

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