Reply Posts

sepia-toned photo of Vanessa Blaylock ice skating and doing a pirouette in celebration of the Reply Post!

Inara Pey wrote a blog post on Monday. Canary Beck had so much to say in her comment, that she wound up turning that comment into her own blog post on Tuesday. I left Becky a long comment which I’m now turning into a blog post today.

I like blog comments. I love getting them, and I try to leave as many as I can.

But I’ve also been thinking a lot about the Reply Post lately.

Sure I could just go to where you shared the post on Facebook and type something in response to the title (nobody on FB actually clicks through to read the original content, right?) like

You’re an idiot!

Or I could actually read the post and leave a comment on Becky’s or anyone else’s website, like

You have an interesting perspective on this. In my own experience, bla bla bla…

But if Inara or Becky or anyone else out in the Blogosphere inspires me, or you, there’s also the Reply Post. A chance to share a link back to the source(s) and then advance my own ideas on a topic. Comments are great. But the Reply Post is also a great way to develop ideas, advance culture, and create community.

The Blogosphere?

Did I just use that decade old word that nobody uses anymore, Blogosphere!? Yes, I did. But mostly because a chorus of voices has been resurrecting it. Suddenly The Blogosphere and shorter, easier to write and easier to read posts, are all the rage. I love it.

sepia-toned headshot of Vanessa Blaylock wearing a winter coat and thinking about her next Reply Post

David Weinberger recently wrote a post The Blogosphere Lives! Thomas Vander Wal wrote More Short Blog Pushes. Gina Trapani wrote Short-form blogging. And Jason Snell wrote Bigger than a Tweet, just to name a few!

I popped by the website of a fantastic artist today. The photos were, indeed, fantastic! But the “blog” didn’t have much of a there there. I was impressed with the work, but the blog wasn’t a place and I wasn’t really engaging with a person or a mind.

Lots of Reply Posts in 2015!

Between thinking about The Blogosphere, and Fantastic-art-that-isn’t-by-itself-enough-to-make-a-blog-a-place, I got the urge to do a post a day for, haha, all of 2015. But it should be easy! Not daunting. Short posts. More than a tweet, but less than an essay. Between 300 and 600 words would be great. But that won’t be a rule. I might try to break longer things into parts. If I’ve only got 50 words or a photo today, that’s great.

I guess that makes this the 1st post of my bold new vision. Who knows if I’ll make it past the end of January. Who cares! It’s an idea I think is worth exploring. And that’s enough!

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8 Comments

  1. The blogosphere is also forgiving phew!

    I read somewhere that there was yet another title/label/thing/category/thing…
    to give bloggers who like to keep it short and sweet… I don’t know but is micro-blogging a thing then?

    or is that the font size? or maybe I just need coffee…
    I wish you well on the post a day and here’s to an overflowing response of replies โ™ฅ

    1. Hi Wendz!

      Yes! Platforms like Twitter are “Microblogging”.

      And platforms like Tumblr with all the different post types are called “Tumblogs.”

      I actually thought about using Tumblr for this (they have some really nice themes, especially for overly cutesy post a day blogs! ๐Ÿ™‚ But for some technical reasons it seemed like WordPress would be better.

      What’s new with you?

  2. Thanks for your comment on my post and for the reply post I just read this morning! I agree (obviously) with your points about reply posts. Iโ€™ve done them before but only here and there, and I think Iโ€™ll be doing more of them. One thing I want to do where I can, is reply in both places (the original post, with perhaps a link to the reply post once itโ€™s done). The funny thing is, I find that my writing is much more free flow in comments than it is on my own blog sometimes. Perhaps the free flow comes from the notion of conversation โ€“ just like itโ€™s quite easy for me to write at length in IM, then get a bit stumped when writing for my blog. I might experiment with that more and see how it goes ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Awesome Becky!

      Yes! I’ve read things, clicked comment to throw an idea in, and then been amazed that my comment just turned into an essay! ๐Ÿ˜›

      Not only could that have been a reply post, but perhaps it should have been. A comment like “right on” is nice in that it lets you know someone was reading and connecting with your ideas. But it might be a little short to have substance beyond that. An essay however (cough as some people whose initials could be VB) have a tendency to produce might be too long for a discussion or conversation or dialog… perhaps it starts to become a monologue, or… a reply post!

      Something really cool about the reply post is that it means you’re putting more content under your own site, but it also means that you’re reading lots of other peeps work and sending links their way. It’s sharing ideas and building community.

      Not to bash FB too much (you know, that place where avatars are persona non grata) after all, it is a pretty good phone book, but I think it’s hard to go very deep there. It’s a place where connections are vast, but not so often deep.

      BTW Becky, I really wanted to visit your discussion group yesterday. I was looking forward to it, and then I suddenly got obsessed putting this new blog site together, and totally lost track of time (imagine that!) I really hope to join you next Wednesday!

  3. With my Tumblog, I have at least three ways for folks to respond, thanks to your suggestion of setting up a Disqus account! I’ve fallen out of that habit of Reply Posting. Serendipity Haven and I would get going on themes, which was always fun. You seem to have so many platform from which to speak!

    1. You know Pay, when I was putting this, haha, yes, new blogsite together yesterday — and I’m sort of hoping to focus here and not be quite as all over the place (if you repeat that I’ll deny it!) I really thought about doing it on Tumblr.

      For technical reasons I wound up going with WordPress, but while I was wasting an hour or so drooling over gorgeous Tumblr themes, I was also thinking about comments. As everyone knows, Tumblr favors reblogs over comments and if you want comments you have to install some comment engine, like Disqus or Google+ or Facebook.

      But then it occurred to me – if the last thing in your post is a question mark, Tumblr throws up a let people reply to this option. And really, if blogs, and reply posts, and comments are all a big conversations about our lives and worlds, then why shouldn’t all posts end with question marks!?

      I did wind up on WordPress, but I was really looking forward to no comment engine and instead simply having every post end with a question mark. If you scroll up you’ll notice that I already failed to do that in this post, but there’s always tomorrow, right!?

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