Negative Feedback Loop

Between a phone meeting with my graduate advisor about my research study, thinking about getting out to the polling place for April elections that include voting for school board candidates, the snow that’s coming down, and a hair appointment later today, I forgot that it is time for a Slice of Life: Tuesday post. Part of this forgetfulness is due to the fact that I was somewhat relieved to have the Slice of Life Story Challenge over for this year. I relished in being able to post my photo-only, ever-popular, Silent Sunday thematic post this week. And, as usual and expected, I had a nice response to that.

Along withe a few other slicers this year, I felt a lack of support from the Slice of Life Community this year. I have only participated once before, and it was last year. So, I do not have much to which I can compare the experience. All I can tell you is that it just was not the same (for me).  Over all it is still a great experience, and I reflected on that in my blog on the 31st, as most of the slicers did this year.  However, it was the lack of or few comments I received on my blog from other slicers that bothered me. Some have said that it is because more people are participating and the requisite three comments do not spread very far. I am not sure that is the reason. I know there were many participants last year and I felt more connected. One wise blogger pointed out that my feeling that last year was better is probably  because I was new and received regular visits from welcome wagon participants. She could be entirely right. Still there were days I received no comments at all.

When I don’t get three comments from other slicers involved in the Slice of Life Challenge, it in turn served as a de-motivator for me to leave comments for others. Here is what my numbers show. My return comments (that I try to make to each blogger) are not included in these numbers. It isn’t pretty! But, thank you to those who did take the time to comment!

Commenting Numbers For March

March 1  – 5 comments from others

2nd – 2 comments from others 

3rd –  5 comments from others

4th –  3 comments from others

5th – 3 comments from others (one not a slicer but another friend that blogs)

6th – 4 comments from others

7th – 1 comment from another person

8th – 1 comment from another person

9th – 4 comments from others

10 – 3 comments from others (one not a slicer but another friend that blogs)

11 – 5 comments from others (2 comments from the same person who is not a slicer but a personal friend)

12th – 5 comments from others (2 comments of the five from the same person – a slicer)

13th – 2 comments from others

14th – 4 comments from others

15th – No comments from anyone!

16th – 6 comments – (2 from the same person)

17th – 10 comments

18th – 10 comments

19th – 1 comment

20th –  3 comments

21st – 6 comments

22nd – 5 comments pertaining to this post

23rd – No comments from anyone!

24th –  3 comments (2 from the same person)

25th –  6 comments

26th – 4 comments

27th – 3 comments (one not a slicer)

28th – 4 comments

29th – 2 comments

30th – 2 comments

31st – 2 comments

There are 14 days of the 31 days is March, that I did not receive the minimum number of comments from other slicers (3 comments). And, more notably 2 days during which I did not receive any comments at all. If part of the blogging challenge is to connect with others, these numbers tell me that I am not doing it! Certainly, I felt by participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge this year, I would receive more feedback.

Growing Pains

Let me be clear. I will continue to write. And, I will probably continue the SOL Tuesday postings, but I see some need for the guidelines of the annual March Slice of Life Story Challenge to change.  It is a huge undertaking that those at TwoWritingTeachers.org have made to host this blogging challenge and I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in the challenge.  I can only imagine the amount of work that is put into it. I just wish it had been more satisfying for me, personally.  But, maybe there are some growing pains that need to be addressed. Thoughtfully responding to the posts of others is part of blogging. I expected more.

12 Thoughts

  1. I understand your disappointment, however, we are not guaranteed at least three comments a day. We are required to comment on three other bloggers per day. I had nine days during the month where I only had one or two comments posted on my slice. I wonder if it was the time of day that I posted. orif my “teaser” wasn’t enticing enough. Regardless, I am satisfied because I did meet the challenge of writing and posting every day and commenting on others. I tried to find different bloggers each day on which to comment. I hope you stay with the Tuesday posts. Sorry it wasn’t a better experience for you.

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    1. Hi. Thank you for your comments and clarification. I guess I did not interpret the challenge correctly, expecting that if everyone made three comments (or more, as many of us did) I would get at least three comments in return. I also think my problem is more of frustration than disappointment. And, of course, I do take some of the “blame” for not receiving more comments on myself as the writer. As you noted, maybe my topics were not relatable enough or they were too long. I am proud that I met the challenge of writing everyday for the challenge. But, I also have to be honest and say that I wrote nearly everyday since the last SOL challenge (for the entire last year.) So, maybe the challenge is not right for me! I would never discourage anyone from writing. It’s just that when you are trying to “do the job” correctly, but do not benefit in the same manner other’s benefit, it becomes harder. I did come away from last year’s challenge with a person who still connects with me as a writer and probably found a few more people this year. In that respect it was a success. However, I I find that people in general are reluctant to voice disappointment and/or frustration and I only do so to bring some attention to how the challenge might not be working for some of us. I do appreciate the opportunity and tried to share that as well. Thanks again for the comments.

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  2. The March Challenge has gotten so large, it is hard to reach all posts. I know that I do most of my commenting in the morning because my eyes have a hard time focusing on the print in the evening. I understand how it feels when there are few or no comments, but all you can do is keep writing.

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    1. I totally understand about the nighttime reading and reacting. I am writing my posts in the morning for much the same reasons. I tried to comment to others before it got too late in the day but sometimes it was late evening before I got to it. I also tried to comment on a variety of blogs and be encouraging to other writer’s especially new ones. I think you are right – there is not much else to do but to keep writing! I do/did appreciate the opportunity to try and connect with others. Thanks for your comments!

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  3. I have to say that I began blogging with no expectations. The challenge was a way to get me writing, personal. It meant something to me that eventually I found three bloggers with whom to share posts consistently. I understand your disappointment, most certainly, but blogging, there are SO MANY of them. With luck, you find a few you want to stick with, and certainly I would never discourage anyone from this writing experience to develop writing because we are forced to take ideas from a notebook and polish them for an audience. Maybe that should be the take-away. If the audience doesn’t arrive? THEIR LOSS!

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    1. I began writing for much the same reasons – that I wanted to do it for me, because I like (actually, love) to write and committing to doing it every day made sense (especially if I wanted to get better at it.) It is why I am still going to write -everyday! I agree with your perspective and need to embrace it as my own – just keep writing – I do have a slowly growing audience and if I keep going, it will continue to slowly grow, most likely. If not, then it is not my loss but theirs! 🙂 Thank you! Good luck to you on your writing journey!

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  4. I enjoy the Tuesdays slice of life posts. I try to be regular and enjoy reading the posts by others. But I don’t take part in the March Slice of life because I know I can’t write everyday. But I used to post every Tuesday in March too . Please do continue writing. Regards

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    1. Thank you for your comments! I do really enjoy the Tuesday SOL posts and plan to continue to link my blog to that forum. I applaud you for knowing how much you can actually write and that writing every day was not a possibility for you. It is realistic to set goals as well as limits for what we can and cannot accomplish as writers. I do plan to keep writing. Thanks again for your comments. I will look for your blog on Tuesdays! ~ Carol ~

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  5. I realized this year that it is more about timing. As a welcome wagon volunteer I was compelled to scroll through all 260 or so posts. This helped to comment on more, yours wasn’t one. I am sorry about that. I read it often last year. When you post early in the morning, you are most likely to receive comments. I managed this by writing the day before and then posting when I got up in the morning. Some people only comment on those posts close to their own in the list. Two of my blogs that I posted on every day, never read my posts. I know feedback is so important. Many of us are committing to upgrading our comments next year. I will say the more I comment, the more others comment on my blog. Good luck as you experiment on raising your readership.

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    1. Thank you for your response and for sharing your observations. I have wondered about the timing. I tried to post in the morning – by 8 am or so but that was not always possible. I agree that people comment on those blogs around their own post on the list. I tried not to do that, scrolling around until I found something I wanted to read based on the title or hook. I did not find the same, however, about commenting more on others bringing more comments to my own blog. Although that happened last year, it did not happen this year. I will just keep writing and see what happens! Thanks, again!

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  6. I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling so disappointed. But ‘m glad you decided to return for the Tuesday SOL. Did you do that last year as well? If not, I wonder if participating on Tuesdays will help you have a better experience?

    What strikes me is what great ideas live in all of these comments! As I’m taking notes on the wonderful suggestions, I’m wondering what it will be like for me next year. I’m going to try to keep my expectations low. I had very few comments most days this year, but I wasn’t expecting anything, so that was okay. Previously I hadn’t posted much on the blog I’ve had since 2009…once or twice a year…but I had never had a single comment. So getting a comment was a pleasant surprise. Best of all, the people I did connect with are amazing. I’m so grateful to have gotten to know them.

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    1. Hi! Yes, I did SOL Tuesday all last year, beginning with the SOL Story Challenge. I do like Tuesdays, and it has been a consistently great experience. I am very glad you seem to have taken your experience all in stride and are striving for more success with comments next year. There are some amazing writers with which we share the SOL platform. I do feel fortunate to have forged a lasting connection with some. Good Luck to you! And, thanks again!

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