Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Are Blog Commenters “Real” Writers?

A few weeks ago, there was a raucous argument online over the unimportant question of the day — are bloggers “real” writers?

I have my own thoughts about this, but I’m all about spreading the love, so for all practical purposes, I edge towards saying “yes.”  If you write, you’re a “real” writer, whatever that means.  A “professional” writer might be a better writer, but then again, there are a lot of shitty books published about cats.

The problem is the word “writing,” which like “blogging” is too broad and meaningless.  A doctor is a doctor, but you don’t want a pediatrician doing your heart surgery.  Blogging is a new art, and a singular discipline.  A good blogger might write a boring book.  On the other hand, I have read blogs written by novelists that bore me to tears.  These professionals  just don’t “get” the community aspect of blogging, or the soap opera-ish, episodic nature of a personal blog.   No writer can write anything.  Screenwriters are considered the low end of the writing totem pole, but both Hemingway and Fitzgerald took stabs at screenwriting, with awful results.  Every art form is different.  A play is performed live.  A movie uses editing.  Blogging is writing.  But writing isn’t blogging.  And really — who cares?  The whole conversation reeks of insecurity.   I’m not ashamed to say I am a blogger.  I’m ashamed to say I make NO MONEY blogging.   But I am proud to blog.   I love it!

When we talk about “real” writers, I’m assuming we are all thinking about someone like Jonathan Franzen, a guy who writes BOOKS you can buy in a store.   Of course, I only mention him because other bloggers are talking about him, which just proves that blogging is all about immediacy.

Yeah, I hear you.  Blogging is exactly like writing.  For every person who says that blogging is real writing, I wonder how many times you have gone into my archives to read my “writing,” as if my blog was a collection of short stories.   Never!    Gotcha!

In some ways, bloggers are not “real writers,” in that blogging is just plain different.  Bloggers use links.  Links are as revolutionary as editing in a movie, and completely unique to the online experience.  You never see links in a traditional novel.  Imagine a novelist describing Doctor Zhivago’s house, and then including a link to a photo in Flickr.  Bloggers play off of one another, like improv players.  Someone writes an angry post.  Two hours later, someone writes another post responding.  Blogging tends to be topical and immediate, like my name-dropping of Jonathan Franzen.  “Real writers” write in isolation, their beards growing gray as they toil over their masterpiece for ten years in an abandoned cabin in the woods.  And here is the real big difference, at least according to me:  most bloggers allow COMMENTS!  Not too many “real writers” allow comments on their novel, unless you are one of those crazy readers who scribble notes to the author on the side of the page.

“WTF?!  Are you saying that his wife is his OWN SISTER?! You are a perv!”

If you want to feel like a “real” writer, shut down your comments and let your beard grow.  If you want comments, and enjoy the adoration, you are a blogger.  Be happy.

Of course, as times change, so will our ideas about “writing.”  In ten years, all books might have “links” embedded, as we read them on our Kindles.

Which brings me to the real point of this post — blog comments.  If you are one of those people who shook your fist and shouted “Bloggers can be REAL WRITERS!,” I have a another question for you.  “Do you consider commenting to be real writing, and if no, why not?”

I do.  I consider my comments an integral part of my post.  The comments on one of my posts can be more interesting than my post.  They are very important in humor blogging.  Have you ever read the comments on The Bloggess?  They are hilarious.  Her blog would not be half as fun without her comments.  Jenny and her commenters FEED off of each other.  In fact, their relationship is so strong, I think she should SHARE all of her advertising dollars with her commenters.

I see many bloggers complaining about a lack of comments.  They usually blame Twitter and Facebook.  I say, it is your own fault.  You don’t respect comments as “real” writing.  You consider stupid one-liners on Twitter as “writing,” but the comments on your blog as an appendage to YOUR brilliant post.  Is it any wonder that there has been a brain-drain from the comment section to the Twitter stream?   There has already been a book on Twitter Wit?  Can you imagine a book of blog comments?  Can you imagine anyone getting a sitcom deal or book deal from a blog comment?  Of course not.  No one really respects the blog comment.

The first lesson I learned at film school is that the auteur theory of film-making was hogwash, created to fulfill the need for critics to analyze a movie in the same way that they would a book — written by one author.

We tend to view our blogs under this same “auteur” theory, dissing the community aspect of the medium.    Of course, this doesn’t stop us from pimping our blog posts on Twitter, or constantly networking.  Blogging is not only writing.  It is part circus, part Borg.

I write my blog.  It is my words.  But during my five year writing journey, I have been guided by YOU as much as by my own life.  YOU have been part of my experience.  We all have been part of each other’s blogging life.  This is what we mean when we talk about this “community.”  If we all just want to write on our own and think of ourselves as “writers,” then let’s drop blogging and write our books.  But if we are going to blog, we should embrace “blogging.”

I am not a good commenter.  I am more comfortable talking about my own life, than reflecting on yours.  I consider this a fault.

Commenting is a skill.  It is real writing.  I greatly appreciate smart comments.  For the longest time, I have wanted to come up with some sort of blog award, solely for comments, something that would undercut the typical “Best Blog of All Time” idea, a concept that would embrace the community, not just the individual blogger making believe she writes in complete isolation.  Perhaps by enobling the comment as an art form, as “real” writing, we can energize commenting again.  Wouldn’t it be great to see a session at a conference where the speakers doesn’t suggest ways to “get MORE COMMENTS” but instead — “how to write more meaningful comments on the blogs of your friends?” — taught by some of the best commenters amongst us.

If I actually started a Commenting Award, my personal nominee would be Headbang8.  When he comments on one of my posts, he takes my topic to another level.   This is, despite the fact that I rarely comment on HIS blog, mostly because he lives in Europe and isn’t in my usual circle of friends.  I can tell that this isn’t a reader who has zoomed though 100 blog posts in one morning.   He has actually thought about the subject, and when he writes a comment, I consider him to be a collaborator on the post.

And just to show how much he means to me, I will now share all of my advertising dollars with him.

Here is one of his recent comments on my post about my “big ears.”

Americans are plastic people. Often, in the best sense of the word.

Live your dream. You want to be an astronaut? Sure! A doctor? A scientist? A millionaire? Anybody can be anything they want to be. I was born in a log cabin but grew up to be president. I was once a football player and now I’m an actor. I was once a cheerleader and now I’m a movie star. I was a Catholic, now I’m a Buddhist. Live your dream. If you don’t, you have only yourself to blame. You didn’t try hard enough.

That sort of thinking spreads to your body. If I have only one life, let me live it as a blonde. You can shape your body. If you’re fat, it’s your own fault.

I once worked on the advertising account of a product that had to do with teeth. My god, what baggage teeth carry! If your teeth are bad, it’s a marker of poor discipline (did you brush right as a child?) or social class (could your parents afford braces?) or old age (yellow = old and decrepit). People around the world shake their heads in amazement about an American’s obsession with his smile.

Amidst all this obsession about be-the-best-you-can-be, it comes as a comfort, from time to time, simply to say “I am what I am”.

That’s what your tribe is for. The people amongst whom you feel comfortable. Who know your experience. The people with whom you can let your hair down.

Generally, we are born into a tribe. Few of us change ourselves to be part of a tribe to which we don’t naturally belong. We see or find people like ourselves. And discover that though we may differ, the thing we have in common makes those other differences unimportant. That’s a source of great serenity, self-confidence and strength.

The big-eared. It may seem slight to build a tribe around. But it was enough to make you feel bad about yourself growing up. It had an effect on you.

These wing-nuts, these head-kites, these flesh-made Flying Nuns, these Basset Humans, these Dumbos are your people, Neil. Embrace them. Love them. May you never have to grow your hair long, ever again.

Now THAT is “real” writing. In a comment.

57 Comments

  1. After that post I should come up with something really witty and insightful. Instead I’ll say something, like my it is really hot in Los Angeles now.

  2. I just fell in love with a man named headbang8. And I blame it all on you, Neil.

    I tend to only read comments on certain blogs. Yours are always good. I thinnk it speaks volumes about the writer when his commenters care enough to pause in their online wanderings and write like that.

    It is good stuff.

  3. I am so glad you mentioned my book, The Shitty Book About Cats. It is all about hairballs and other cat digestive issues. Thanks Neil, I really appreciate that.

    For the record I do not consider myself to be a writer. I am just a smart ass, but you Neil are a writer for real.

  4. When I am over at The Bloggess, I feel the pressure to be funnier than the last commenter. Now that you have elevated commenting to the level of writing, I am experiencing some serious performance anxiety.

    I will just quote Confucius then.

    • I’m not saying commenting should be a contest. I will still love you if to write a crappy comment. My own comments usually suck. Just saying that those who say something special can be considered as writing.

  5. I as a blog owner and a blog commenter I do not consider myself a writer. I constantly question why on earth I continue to own a blog. I’m awful about commenting, I really should comment more but I’m usually not witty enough to scrape together more than “lol, me too” so more often than not I lurk.

    There are so many wonder writers out there with blog posts that leave me weeping compassionate tears or laughing so hard I snort or writers that craft such moving words that I am left moved beyond words.

    It’s taken me almost 10 minutes to string together this comment and I wish I had a clever way of wrapping it up but I don’t. Yet another sign that I am not a writer.

  6. Near 90% of the time I leave a comment I’m trying to make it stick. I’m not always trying to be a writer about it, I think, more an expresser of thought trying to overcome the fact that I have to use words to do it. But I am trying to export me into someone else’s face, and usually to have them enjoy that I’ve done so.

    If real writing is work, then I suppose my comments are real writing; and that’s why I do so little of it now.

  7. I am horrible at being succinct. Twitter, texting. I struggle. I’d much rather waffle on just to be sure that my point is driven home to the reader 10 fold. Which is why I often don’t comment. If I don’t have something short and sweet to say I don’t say anything at all. However a page long comment will run through my head all day. But seeing Headbang8 ‘s awesome and long comment and with your encouragement Neil. perhaps I should just let loose.

    I don’t know – wouldn’t some people feel that leaving a super long comment stealing the blogger’s thunder?

  8. I usually leave something pithy, snarky…rather like my IRL personality. I am newly turned 47, and feel like I am just now learning to communicate. This blogging/commenting thing can be quite powerful. It’s certainly more engaging than any “regular” writing class, and what a wonderful creative outlet!

  9. Of course the flip side to “comments are writing, too” issue is that on some blogs (not this one, and I won’t name the one I’m thinking of because that’s Not Nice) you get such ridiculous flights of fancy and purple prose in the comments that reading them actually spoils – for me anyway – the initial post.

    I think sometimes people try so hard to have the comment live up to the post – especially if the original blogger is a far better writer than the commenter – that you end up with some very peculiar sounding responses.

    Like this one, maybe.

    So, rather than trying to be clever, I will just say that I liked this post and it made me think.

  10. Your blog just yelled at me. It said YOU ARE POSTING COMMENTS TOO QUICKLY. SLOW DOWN.

    I am prolific.

  11. The aversion to social media in general that many “real writers” seem to have is getting old. I’m taking an on-line writing class and working with a local writer’s class/group and the blog snobbery surprised me. I was proud of some pieces on my blog, but my effort and work seemed negated to this group simply because I wrote for my blog.

    You’re right, blogging is a unique art form. People can suck at taking pictures, but they still call themselves photographers. I say if we write, whether it be a blog, a comment, a tweet, a comment, a haiku, and even if we’re not very good, we’re writers.

  12. *inserting tongue into cheek*

    I personally think that what we really need in the blogging community is more judgment and in-fighting. There isn’t enough of that.

    A well turned spiteful phrase can be so useful in weeding out the *real* writers from the *want to be writers*. After all, it’s not like the joy of blogging is about freedom of expression and community. *Fight* she roars.

    We should categorize bloggers: terrible writer, meh, somewhat interesting but forgettable, pretty good, fascinating and “serious blog crush who I want to meet and do unmentionable things to due to their acerbic wit and way with words”.

    *removing tongue from cheek*

  13. Your blog is an oasis of sanity and rational thought amidst the middle school shenanigans of the interwebs.

  14. That really was a great comment. I am going to have to see if I can follow his writing now. Thanks for sharing.

    By the way, you were cracking me up on Twitter yesterday. I hate to sound like a stalker or something, because I’m not. Just a mom who doesn’t have time to blog yet, but keeps up with lots of bloggers on Twitter.

  15. I object to you bringing up my gray beard

  16. I love your blog, Neil. I’ve loved it since the day I stumbled across it(I think via Mr. Linky on Momspective). I’m probably one of the few freaks here that have actually gone back through your archives and read most of your posts. I tend to do that anytime I find someone, whose writing (blogging) style I enjoy. I consider you a mentor because you do inspire me.

  17. “If you want to feel like a “real” writer, shut down your comments and let your beard grow. If you want comments, and enjoy the adoration, you are a blogger. Be happy.”

    Ha ha ha. I’m thinking of someone in particular who is quick to say, “I’m a WRITER, not a BLOGGER.” But she is not above incessantly pimping her work on Twitter and begging for comments or publicly plunging into the Depths of Despair when they don’t meet her expectations. She thinks she’s too literary for her readership, but when the comments are flagging, she dies a little inside. So yes, that one line from your long and insightful post is the one that struck me as best.

    P.S. You’re right. YOu’re a crappy commenter, but I like you anyway. : )

  18. I’ll be honest: I used to feel pressured to like your blog bc you’re such a hit with many of the other bloggers I follow. It didn’t click for me for a long time. Something changed, though, and now I’m a fan. The new header, perhaps? Or the stories about your in-laws in recent months? Anyway, thanks for this thought-provoking post. My children have sucked my brains out through my ears; otherwise I would leave a much more provocative comment.

  19. I’m not exactly what I was trying to say — and I know it is against the grain of individualistic culture — but what I find MOST interesting about is the fluid nature of writing and authority on the web, and it would be a shame to turn online into a mirror image of the offline world. It IS writing, but it is hard to place our work into categories, as if we were on a shelf in a bookstore. Since so much of our writing is based on the personal, our lives connect with our writing. When my in-laws passed away, I’m sure my writing had a certain maturity to it that I didn’t have when I am writing about my penis. Some of you are not writers at all, online mostly to swap coupons, but then something happens to your life — and boom, you write a blog post that blows everyone away. There are famous writers who use their blog to promote their books, and never say anything personal, and only link to other famous writers. Those blogs totally SUCK. Our writing online can be a blog post, a comment, a tweet. By only focusing on the individual, as if we write our blog posts in isolation of each other, diminishes the uniqueness of blogging. Sure, some writers are more consistently better than others, but can you really say that someone like Dooce is more important to your personal blogosphere than the person on Twitter who DMs you with a cleverly written greeting of hello. Which “writing” touched you more? Who is the better “blogger?”

  20. I’m not a real writer.

    I’m totally imaginary. As is this comment. Carry on.

  21. Tanis — have you ever seen Sullivan’s Travels by Preston Sturges. One of my favorite movies. Watch it. This is about you. It is about an ultra-popular comedy director in the 1930s who feels the need to be a “real” director by making a movie about hobos, until he realizes at the end that he does more of a service to humanity by using his talents to make people laugh. Humor is the highest form of writing.

  22. Loved your thoughts about what “writing” is. In my mind any time you put something onto paper or screen, you are a “writer” of that thing. I am a blogger, a journaler (in the early days, there was a distinct difference, at least to us high-fallutin’ journalers), a theatre critic, a writer of pithy comments, a Facebook status-updater, a rare tweeter, a letter writer and a maker of shopping lists.

    In each of these instances, the writing style and content may be different, but I still consider myself a “writer” when I am writing them (except maybe the grocery lists).

    I think sometimes we worry too much about the style and content. If we would just let the words fall where they may, I suspect we would all surprise ourselves with their readability.

  23. (BTW, nice mention of Cliff Pletchet, whom we knew a bit when were lived in Oakland in the early 70s; we would see him and Fran at Mass at Corpus Christi on Sunday mornings. I lost contact with them years ago, though my good friend was still in touch with the family.)

  24. I have never really compared bloggers to book writers, nor commenters to writers. Some have writing skills, some don’t. Even some book writers don’t, but they have good agents who sell their books. It does not seem that there are any connection between the fact one is a writer, or a blogger, or a commenter, or the three of them at the same time and the fact that they make a living.

    I love writing, and I hate that I don’t have the skills that would let me be a writer, someone who can proudly say: “I am a writer, you know, I leave comments on Neil’s blog too”.

    Anyway, I enjoyed your once again thought provoking blogpost. Is “thought-provoker” a title?

  25. Sorry today is a rough day. To complete a rough summer. Hugs to you, Sophia, and your Momma.

    Now, commenting is an art. You need to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.

  26. Just checking in to say ‘hi’…and I’m sorry about Sophia’s dad (tell her, please)…and your recap of BlogHer didn’t make me wish that I had gone after all. Oh–and that Made in Japan bird? Collectible!

  27. “The comments on one of my posts can be more interesting than my post. They are very important in humor blogging.”

    Comments feed the writer. When I comment, I’m putting a dollar in your tip jar. xx

  28. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I’ve said this:

    This post really made me think. And you’re right, we don’t respect commenters on our blogs near enough. Hell, it’s an activity that is apparently considered beneath the “really good” bloggers! And yet, as you pointed out, blogging is not blogging without comments.

  29. Damn, sweetsalty kate beat me to it. Writing is blogs and comments and radio copy and poetry and screenplays and academic journals and all the rest. Of course it is. If the intent is to express oneself and it is attempted on a regular basis, then that person is a writer.

    He or she could completely suck, and maybe not even be aware of the suckage, but that has no real effect on title. As you said, plenty of suckage out there. Some very rich suckage.

    You are a writer, I have no doubt, comments or whatever. So am I. We are kin that way, in this community of writers, most of whom are actually quite good.

    It’s good company and I’m happy to be here.

    Take care,

    Casey

  30. I am commentless…er, speechless. Thank you for your kind words.

    HB8

    P.S. An experienced commenter should know that he must close his HTML tags properly, or he italicises all his subsequent commenters. Um, sorry about that.

  31. Interesting. I consider you a real “writer”. I am grateful for blogging, otherwise I would have not had the pleasure of reading your flow. Thanks to you I’ve been introduced to another “writer”. Headbang8

  32. I’m not sure what a real writer is? A real writer? I’m not sure I’m a real blogger. Maybe I’m faking it? I’m not sure writing press releases for a living qualifies as real writing but I got paid (well) for that, I’m also pretty sure that in the hierarchy of realness in writing, being a community newspaper reporter covering bake sales ranks well below the “lowly” screenplay writers. If real means you get a salary from it, then I suppose — for most of blogging isn’t real writing.

    I guess you’re a real writer, when you cross into to U.S. and the 22-year-old customs officers peers into the car and barks “And what do you do?”, and without thinking you reply, “I’m a writer.” Then it’s official. On the record. When they arrest, torture and interrogate me for crimes unknown… “And it says here you told Officer Young that you’re writer. Is that so? What do you write?” That makes me a real writer.

  33. I always read through the archives of bloggers whose writing I love. Exactly like a collection of short stories.

  34. I should add, I also have found many of my favorite blogs (favorite writers) by clicking over from a comment they left on someone’s post. So yeah. The writing in comments can be enough to draw in a new reader, for sure.

  35. The first rule of blogging is not to let other bloggers/writers/people define who you are.

  36. Are you mocking my dead fake cat, Mr. Sprinkles? Neil, my feelings are hurt. A lot. In fact, I think I am going to cry fake tears about this.

  37. So, if I follow the line of thinking that you and some of your commenters have, if I fix a toilet, that makes me a plumber.

    If I replace my ceiling fan, I’m an electrician.

    If I teach a kid their ABC’s, I’m a teacher.

    If I’m a good listener, I’m a therapist.

    If I write a grocery list, I’m a writer, and if I can splash some paint and draw words on paper, I’m an artist.

    Grandiose much?

  38. Hi there, Mr. Writer,

    You make a good point, but like I mentioned earlier, the problem lies with the definition of writer. I know what a plumber does. He has the skills to fix plumbing. I’m sure there are all different categories of plumbers, from those who only work on household toilets, to engineers who plan plumbing systems. But let’s call all of them plumbers. I agree. The guy at home who unclogs his sink would not be a plumber, even if he knew some of the principles of plumbing.

    It is difficult to equate writing with plumbing. The skill set is not as clear cut. Not every piece of writing will be about fixing pipes. What would be your definition of a “writer?” Someone who makes money writing? Then what about those who don’t? Consistency of writing? Can you only be considered a writer when you have a written, say, five books?

    For practical reasons, if you want to say a “writer” is only someone who makes a living writing, then yes — let’s go with that…. although that would include soap opera writers, too…

    Of course, all of this is nonsense, and it really doesn’t matter in the long run. I think everyone is just talking from two different levels — one professional, and one artistic. If you play trombone in your community band, are you a “musician” when you are really pharmacist by trade? Yes and No.

  39. I think the distinction of commenters (and WHY isn’t that a word, yet? Is spell check RULED by writers? huh?) as the deciding factor between bloggers (OK, really, spell check didn’t like that either, obviously a conspiracy) and writers is genius. Writers would be horrified for the input. Bloggers live on it.

  40. Commenters are *real* writers but anonymous commenters are often real assholes. I think you should write about that topic.

  41. i hate cats and i hate having to be more witty than the person before me.

  42. I think you nailed the essence of blogging. The blogger/writer debate always reminds me of the journalist/citizen journalist debate (I completely reject the concept of citizen journalism – it was ironically coined by the media but there is no such thing) and the journalist/writer debate, which is a little more complex. Comparing a journalist to a writer is often like comparing a decorator, i.e. the guy who paints the walls of your house, to a painter – of the Van Gogh ilk let’s say… but not always. Journalism and creative writing call for different skills, and some journos have or develop both over time because writing is a craft and practice makes perfect. Ditto with bloggers. Some brilliant writers have come to public attention via the internet (in the UK Zoe Margolis and Stan Cattermole for example, in France Catherine Sanderson) but not everything that is written in blogs deserve to be called writing. The internet is just a very democratic publishing platform that enables everyone to be creative and that is a very good thing indeed. Being a blogger – i.e. someone who regularly publishes digital content online – is something to be proud of.

  43. Oh, and on the topic of those “anonymous” commenters, they’re part and parcel of the digital world and not a bad thing. The internet is like society at large, there’s all sorts of folks that populate it and hurray for that. Anonymity can often help some “people with issues” express themselves so I think it is a positive, so long as no one gets hurt. For example I don’t mind being asked upfront if I am mad by some nameless commenter so long as that comment is articulate and makes a point. In this case, it did.

  44. I would go so far to say that blogs are in fact literature, a new form of course…. and the conversation that takes place between blogs and bloggers and commenters is part of the art of blogging. Academics are opining about such things (which maybe makes calling it literature more valid?)
    “The Labyrinth Unbound: Weblogs as Literature” by Steve Himmer, Emerson College
    http://blog.lib.umn.edu/blogosphere/labyrinth_unbound.html
    is one example.

  45. In any genre, there are professionals (the ones who make money), the wannabes (the ones who want to make money, but don’t yet) and the hobbyists (the ones who don’t make money and are fine with that), and in each category there are those who are brilliant and those who are hacks.

    I am a writer. I am a hobbyist blogger, a wannabe novelist, and a professional poet (BWAHHAHAAHA–sorry, there is no money in poetry–I’m published, so we’ll leave that at that). I’m not going to say whether I’m brilliant or a hack. I’m guessing somewhere in between.

    It just struck me that blogging is like Canada. So much menching over identity, grandstanding to compensate for insecurities.

    I like what you said about it blogging being a new art, its own discipline. I don’t know if the comments are its own discipline, though. It’s more like a talk-back session after a show. Sometimes brilliant, sometimes insufferable. It’s all about who is in the room.

  46. Yikes! My head is spinning. First of all, you are the king of coming up with unusual but “AHA” blogging moments. I’m going to rename you Neiloprah. 😉

    It seems that everyone online is a writer, a photographer, a chef or savant of something. The true stars, whether hobbyists or masters, will always shine brighter.

    But I really think you are on to something with the idea of commenting as collaboration. I’ve never thought about it that way until now.

  47. I am like the Velveteen Rabbit. One day I hope to be real.

  48. Great post! I love the comments, which I suppose makes me more of a blogger than a writer, but sometimes (not NOW, necessarily) I really have to think and I “craft” a special reply to a post that I’m kind of proud of but it’s not very satisfying because nobody comments on comments.

  49. This post was timely for me. I just wrote a piece today in Studio30 Plus’ magazine about the legitimacy of writing as a blogger.

    http://www.studiothirtyplus.com/magazine/read/finding-legitimacy-in-writing-for-the-internet_218.html

    You are so fortunate to have Headbang 8 as a reader. This person does deserve a writer/commenter award!

  50. I loved this post. I’ve read it three times and it really made me think. I don’t know if I’m a writer, but I’m definitely a blogger by your definition. I not only love the feedback and conversation that commenting allows, I also love commenting and being part of the larger community.

    Except when there’s pressure to be witty. Thanks for that, Neil.

  51. Great post…

    I’m pleased that there are “real writers” in the blogsophere that I get to learn from, engage and connect with on a regular basis, whether it’s LIVE through Twitter or on my own time when I *finally* get a chance to enjoy reading the special blogs that find their way across my screen.

    If I take the time to read your blog post (there are SO many out there that it gets overwhelming), I’m going to take the time to comment. Sometimes I don’t have much to say, or I’m too tired to think, let alone type, but this community is all about communication – both listening (reading) and sharing (commenting) which makes us “real writers” that much more able to improve on our skills.

    Thanks, Neil, for being real.

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