Like many bloggers, I have a hit counter on my page to measure the traffic. Hit counters are a great thing since they let you know how many people come to your blog, where they are from, what hours receive the most traffic, and it helps you identify trends. And while I get a special thrill from seeing a new high on my daily count or watching my average daily hits trend upwards, it is the dialogue that comes from your comments that makes blogging really special for me.
In my blog travels I see a lot of blogs with post after post with no comments and I wonder what keeps them writing. While they may have thousands of hits, where is the reward of feedback that comes from a comment that lets you know that your post has inspired... or resonated... or even angered?
I know for the "big" blogs, commenting and responding to comments may be a burden. Hell, it is time-consuming even for this little missal. But to me, creating a community is what blogging is about. I make a special effort when I go to a blog with very few comments to find a post where I can leave a comment, because I remember how special it was to get a comment when they were few and far between. And when people take time to leave a comment on my blog, I always try to answer quickly, trying to hold up my end of the cyber-conversation. And I appreciate when others do the same. I am often disappointed when I ask a question on a blog and it seems to go into a black hole. While commenting and responding to comments does take time, even the more famous bloggers (Ruhlman!) realize the importance of keeping the dialogue alive. After all, if all blog readers wanted was to read, they could look at a book, or magazine, or column.
So for those of you who visit and comment... Thank you! It is what keeps blogging interesting not only for me but for other readers, and I will respond in spades to you. And if you stop by (not only this blog, but others), take a moment and leave a comment. Blogging is meant to be more of a contact sport than a spectator sport!