Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Handling Comments

A comment notification popped up just as I was about to leave my desk after publishing the post about my cats.
I read it, read it again, puzzled.

This was not Asian spam, there was no offensive wording. The comment was totally irrelevant to the post about cats, in fact, totally unrelated to anything I have ever posted. I decided to investigate the commentor's profile before ruling on the rather long comment.
The writer is Swedish, multi-lingual, interested in philosophy, theology, gnosticism, eroticism, babes, the Bible.
I do list the Bible as one of my interests in my rather bland profile.

I considered posting the comment with a reply that stated, "OK this time around, but isn't this totally off subject for this blog?"
I considered not posting the comment but writing much as I am here and including a link so that you could check it out for yourselves.
I mulled this while putting the final paint touches on the bedroom window casings.

I'm not comfortable with the comment as a response to my blog. Not because it was critical or crude.  It simply doesn't represent who I am or what I wish to share in my posts.
Furthermore, I discovered that the writer had merely done a copy/paste of one of his own recent postings.
Bottom line on that is I'm not going to publish content from another blog. By whatever means our readers find us, they return--or not-- and they comment--or not --based on their response to our individual material.

We are all drawn to those with whom we have shared interests, whether in real time/real life situations or in our choices of reading material and virtual friends.
Shared spiritual, political, ethnic, or educational background may put us in touch with individuals or groups where we are comfortable. Merely having any or all of these attributes in common does not guarantee harmony, either with certain individuals or with a group.

I don't list my denominational faith in my profile.  Some of you know me and know my membership.  Others who have been reading my essays for awhile gather that I'm an active "Christian."
Our spiritual affiliations are reflected in our lifestyle choices. I feel they shouldn't make us exclusive or judgemental.

Several of us have noticed that we "meet up" as commentors on blogs that we mutually frequent...just like friends who can actually get together for lunch or tea. We are "there" not because we are in total harmony with all of any person's beliefs, but because we are drawn by common interests and passions which supercede our differences.
Some of us find ways to correspond privately on a deeper level.
So many times as I read a blog entry I think, "I'd love to stop by and have tea with her"--"bring my quilt to piece while she works on hers."  "I'd enjoy discussing history with him."  "What fun to visit a museum with this couple!"
I could happily grub alongside most of you in the garden, or accompany you on a countryside walk.

As we grew better acquainted, you would learn that a big party with social drinking or a bash at the pub would be an invitation I refused. I wouldn't be comfortable at some of your worship occasions or you at mine. But I hope you would be comfortable with inviting me to your kitchen to help make preserves or in visiting me at home even though you might need a sticky roller to remove cat hair afterward!

So, where am I going with this?  Am I being unbearably pompous and stuffy?

I know that I don't have to justify to my followers that I've decided to reject a comment.
Morning's Minion is my blog. Mostly I use it to publish experiments in writing and to share things which give me joy.  Occasionally I rant. 

I appreciate comments.  I greatly enjoy that we share the triumphs and frustrations of house renovations, gardening efforts which leave us groaning or cursing the squash beetles. We rejoice when others rejoice and we are saddened when a blogging friend reports an illness, a death or loss.
We commiserate over the antics of cats, dogs, horses, goats and chickens--and I have been moved to tears when a cyber friend loses a loved pet.
It is wonderful to gain a wider audience for our crafts and our finds.
There is joy in discovering that someone in Wales or New Hampshire or Scotland [anywhere, in fact]] is touched by the same book which I treasure.

I suspect most of us land on a blog because we take the recommendation of a blogger we already enjoy.  [Flower Lady mentioned this recently.]  My own pattern is to read for awhile, read the back entries, make a comment or two, decide if this is to be a "kindred spirit" sort of place or just one that I will occasionally visit.
I've no control over who reads my blog, unless I choose for it to be an "invitation only" set up.
But, I can control the comments that I publish.
I have a fundamental knowledge of the terms philosophy, gnosticism, eroticism, the occult. They aren't areas that I delve into. I visited the blogger in question and found his subject matter too dark, too convoluted for my taste.
Readers will have to find their way to his blog without his copy/paste post on mine.
If any of you have faced a similar issue with commentors, I would appreciate the feedback.

Postscript:  In case you read this entry and don't go to the comment section, I want to include what JD pointed out.  If you type some version of morning's minion into a search engine you can choose from options that include the blog apparently sub-titled "Drinking with God." 
When I created my blog several friends reported landing there when attempting to find mine.
I went there after posting the above.  The blog is still in existence though the posts are infrequent.
It is very possible that the Swedish blogger's post with its apocolyptic darkness was meant to go there.  I would stress that neither of these male bloggers had content that, in my brief visits, could be labeled personally offensive.
Their blogs are their own.  Mine is a reflection of  my little space on "this terrestrial ball."


  1. Dear MM ~ I loved your post. I have also chosen not to post certain comments. Why clutter our hearts and minds with things that don't ring true with us, or could somehow harm us or our friends and guests. You did right in not posting the comment.

    Blogging has opened doors of friendship to me. It has filled my life with love, laughter, the sharing of tears and sadness. I've been inspired and strengthened by other blogs through their life stories, through their beliefs.

    Blogging is an adventure. But, there are trolls out there, people who thrive on ruining anything good, happy and true.

    May we all learn and grow as we share our lives.


  2. Flower Lady: Thank you so much for affirming my decision. You have stated the case beautifully.

  3. You are right, MM. Your blog is your 'space'-- no reference to 'my space' and you have jurisdiction over what you write or don't write, allow or don't allow.I don't like to feel controlled or manipulated.

  4. Dear MM, Your post was so refreshing and I agree entirely with what you say and with both the other commentators. We love what we love, feel drawn to some and not to others, and yes you would be very welcome in my kitchen. I have made so many 'friends' through blogging, even met one or two for real. Friends who keep me sane when the going is tough. It's a wonderful world full of respect for each other, too. Let's keep it that way. Ann.

  5. I agree whole-heartedly too. A blog is SUCH a personal area - a place where we can express ourselves - our likes, dislikes and sometimes our innermost thoughts. Like-minded souls are welcome. Irrelevent posts - and people - are not.

  6. I agree with what the others have said. I would just delete it and forget it.

  7. Hullo MM,

    I think you make several important points here; about taste, about ownership of our blogs, respect for others and the friendships we make through a shared hobby.

    Like many of us I too have had inappropriate comments or plain adverts for other blogs couched as comments. It was this that led me to set up comment moderation to resolve the issue.

    Comments are one of the great pleasures of having a blog. We all like to know that someone has read and appreciates something we have written, even if they don't necessarily agree with it. While most people who visit {or even follow} a blog don't leave comments I've found most who do respect your blog - content, style or whatever, so it's even more galling when this isn't the case.

    A thoughtful comment has many benefits. It may set the recipient's mind off in directions unconsidered when someone shows a different perspective. It may generate further comments or discussion on your blog and of course it's a good advertisement on its own for the potential character of the authors blog and encourage a visit from someone attracted by the comment.

    Thanks for this post. Very thought provoking

  8. hi, sometime back i lost you from my list of favorites and when i tried to find your blog i typed in www.morningsminion.blogspotetc, i got a blog called drinking with god, i don't know if this relates, but to get your blog i can't use the first all the cats and think you and your husband very brave to move like you did.thanks again. denise,

  9. I so agree with your Blog. The world is so full of people I don't want to know, I pick and chose those I do want to know.
    I look forward to your writing each day and appreciate that you take the time to respond.
    Blog On!

  10. ChrisJ: I know you alluded to some unplesant commentors recently on your blog. We can only wonder at the type of personality who takes a long-distance satisfaction in sniping at a writer with whom they are not in accord.
    WSC: If I had to distill this issue to one word--I think "respect" as you have pointed out, would cover it. Respect for others is so sadly lacking in most areas of our current culture, A rude 'one-up-manship" is encouraged instead.
    I hope a "visit" to your kitchen would also mean a tour of your craft space. The projects you share on your blogs make me long to see and touch them in real life.
    BB: A blog is truly a "personal" space. Perhaps we even risk posting thoughts there that we can't express within our own family circle. Some of us allow a wider window into our lives than others, but deciding what we share and what we keep to ourselves is our decision.
    Kath: I'm comfortable to delete the comment. I doubt I'll hear from that person again.
    Al: Your good sense and logical way of thinking shine in this comment. I agree with all of it and especially appreciate that you point out how intelligent responses lead us so often to new explorations and inspire us to another writing exercise.
    JD: I'm glad you brought this up. When I first created the blog several friends emailed me to complain that they had a hard time accessing my blog--they were puzzled to land on the one you mention.
    I went there yesterday and I do think the content is more in keeping with the Swedish blogger's dark and rather dis-jointed harangue.
    I'm going to add a postscript to my blog entry pointing that out.

  11. M n J: Glad to see you are "home" and I thank you for adding to the discssion.

  12. Sorry I've not been around ...have just had a great catch up. Your blog is your space and which comments you keep/delete are up to you ... as are those who you let follow. I love your blog and often feel I've spent the morning ...or evening, sitting listening and chatting over some beverage or other.

    Willis is a handsome chap and Chester does look bemused lol...
    must get back into the swing of blogging again but I have a few more weeks of being busy ...though I may squeeze one out about the two days I spent looking at a couple of historical buildings and chilling xx