Tuesday, May 28, 2013

To Comment Or Not To Comment: Some Thoughts On Interacting With Perfume Blogs


I keep berating myself for not doing things I genuinely and sincerely want to do, but which I never seem to be able to do. As far as this post is concerned, I'm referring to the following: reading perfume blogs more often, leaving more comments on them and linking to them more frequently.

Regular readers of Persolaise.com will probably have realised by now that my Day Job keeps me pretty busy. So, for purely pragmatic reasons, there is no way I'd be able to stay up to speed with all the new posts which appear on my favourite perfume blogs. I do my best to give as many of them as possible the time and attention they deserve, but sadly, many of them end up being scanned rapidly, on my phone, whilst I'm sitting in my car, killing two minutes because I've arrived at my next appointment a little bit too early. It's not an ideal state of affairs, but it can't be helped at the moment. And the nature of modern life is such that I suspect the scenario I'm describing is one with which many of you would be able to identify. I should say there are a few posts I actively avoid: those on perfumes I'm likely to review myself. Rightly or wrongly, I prefer not to discover other people's views until I've formulated my own (at which point I seek out as many other critiques as possible, to see how closely they chime with mine). But that still leaves plenty of other stuff to read... stuff which invariably keeps getting knocked off my list of priorities, until the passage of time makes it decreasingly relevant... and it disappears altogether.

Time is one of the factors pertinent to the sensitive subject of commenting on other blogs. The general consensus seems to be that fewer and fewer reader comments are being left. I haven't carried out a scientific survey, but this would certainly seem to be true of the main blogs I peruse. I have to admit that I don't see this as a massive problem. When I think of the hundreds of novels I've read, the films I've seen and the songs I've heard, I can recall only a tiny number of occasions when I was moved to make some sort of contact with the creators of these works. So when it comes to blogs, if I haven't got anything particularly profound to say, then I think it's pointless (or patronising even?) to leave a simplistic, 'Thanks for this great post.' But maybe I'm mistaken. Maybe if more of us left such one-liners, we might actually cause a return to the not-too-distant times when in-depth discussions took place on some posts. I'd love to develop the habit of writing comments more regularly - and perhaps I'll make a conscious effort to do so - but I also know that several obstacles will stand in my way. As I've already said, time will be one of these. But technology will be an issue too. Those of you who've unsuccessfully tried once, twice, three times to log onto a blog using your phone or tablet will know what I mean here.

And finally, to pick up on the 'community' point to which I alluded above, I would honestly like to be able to strengthen the ties between us scentusiasts in the blogosphere by linking to other writers' thoughts on subjects I've covered. I seem to remember that I started doing this a couple of years ago - usually by way of ending a post with a simple: 'For more reviews of this perfume, please check out X, Y and Z' - but for various reasons, this petered away. Maybe I ought to start doing it again, because I'm convinced that the efforts of those of us trying to raise the profile and seriousness of perfume criticism will have a greater impact if we bond more closely with each other.

Anyway, here endeth the musings. Feel free to leave a comment... if you have a moment to spare... and your iPad isn't being difficult...

Persolaise

18 comments:

  1. Thanks for the wonderful post..... :-)

    I completely agree with all of your points. As I subscribe to more and more blogs (because there are so many great perfume blogs out there and they are each unique and bring different points of view / topics), there are times that I get so far behind in reading them that even if I do have something to comment on I don't because I feel like the moment is gone and it is too late.

    But I do try to comment whenever possible because I hope that even a quick comment will allow the writer to know that I appreciate the effort that has gone into their post (even if I disagree with it). I know that for most bloggers this is just a hobby and they certainly don't "need"to provide me with hours of entertainment / knowledge.

    But know that even if I don't always comment it doesn't mean I am not thoroughly enjoying the posts!

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    Replies
    1. Dubaiscents, thank you very much for taking the time to leave a comment about leaving comments :-)

      We could probably debate the definition of 'hobby', but speaking for myself, this blog and any other perfume writing have to be juggled around a demanding, full-time job (which has nothing to do with the world of fragrance, incidentally). So yes, with the best will in the world, it's just not possible to do everything I'd like to do in the blogosphere.

      As you say, many, many other bloggers are in the same position.

      Thanks for reading... and don't worry, I don't mind if you don't always leave a comment ;-)

      Delete
  2. You're not alone here! I'd love to be able to comment on or engage in some sort of discussion with other perfume bloggers regarding particular fragrances. Unfortunately, most of the time, I either don't have time or have nothing exceptionally insightful to say, especially if I have yet to try the fragrance. I do however try my best to leave a comment saying what I enjoyed about the review or if the review compelled me to seek out the scent to try it :)

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    1. Smelly Vagabond, thanks, you raise an excellent point about reviews of perfumes which haven't been released yet. As you point out, most people can't engage in a discussion about such scents, because they haven't had a chance to try them. That's one of the reasons I've started posting reviews of older perfumes.

      As for discussions... I suppose we've got 'venues' like Basenotes' forum facility... but is that the same thing?

      Delete
  3. Mimi Gardenia The Elusive One !May 28, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Persolaise - very salient points mentioned. I don't generally leave comments because sometimes it is a real pain to get through the security - or perhaps I am just lazy ! I removed my Google account too so if a blogger does not give the option to leave a comment as anon or type in my name - I can't do it. Wish I could.
    Despite being * very quiet* lately - I am very up to date with the goings on with the Perfume World through the great blogs.
    Keep up the good work !

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    Replies
    1. Mimi, thank you.

      I think most people seem to be doing what you're doing: enjoying reading blogs without necessarily feeling the need to comment. And of course, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Go ahead and be as quiet as you like :-)

      Delete
  4. Great post!
    I think everyone of those who blog struggle this problem. We don't always have time to visit and comment and I guess we wish that other would leave comments to show that our work on the writing was not futile.

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    1. Lucas, good point: I guess part of the problem - if it is, indeed, a problem - is that there are so many blogs now.

      Mind you, I'm not complaining. I'm all for a proliferation of voices.

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  5. Having had a daily design blog for a year and a half, I know how difficult it is to research and present intelligent and interesting blog posts. It takes plenty of time and dedication, believe me!
    Many folks think we only work on the blog without any other work to attend to. If only!

    Keep up the great job! Yours is one I don't miss.

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    1. Ann, thanks very much indeed. Yes, it can get a bit hectic sometimes, but thank goodness I enjoy it :-)

      Delete
  6. Being new to the subject of perfume, I've been reading a lot of blogs, but make a point of not commenting--even when there's a giveaway-- if I have nothing to say. It's also quite often the case that someone else has already posted a comment that makes the point I was going to make. (I live on the West Coast of the US, and am a night owl, so this may be a problem more particular to me.)

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    1. Laurels, thanks very much indeed for taking the time to leave a comment here. I think your approach must be similar to mine: I tend not to interact unless I feel I can make a genuinely valuable contribution to a discussion.

      Delete
  7. Hi Persolaise. I would very much like to be notified when you post something new as I love reading your blogs, but, like you, I am often too busy to follow up on everything I would like to follow up on. A nudge reminding me of something great to read would be useful. I couldn't find a way to subscribe to your blog. Will that be possible in the future?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sophiafh, thanks very much for your kind words. As far as I'm aware, Blogger doesn't offer a subscription option at the moment, except for the usual RSS feed (someone, please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) but perhaps this is something that the service's controllers will address in the near future.

      Delete
  8. As a new blogger (my fume blog: http://odiferess.blogspot.co.uk/ is a mere week old), I think comments give a sense of 'validation', a way of saying "yep, that post intrigued me/made me start scanning ebay for that perfume/made me remember something that gave me pleasure/made me chortle etc" I want the comments to start rolling in rapidly!
    Also I think at that enthusiasts (be they perfume heads or stamp collectors) all love to spaff on about their hobby with others that understand the excitement, rather than boring our partner/mates/colleagues to nullification with another rant about the restrictions on Oakmoss..
    I think you were onto something when you mentioned the idea of a community, having been an active Fragrantica member for a few years I certainly feel part of a bigger thing.
    Thanks for an interesting article (see, validation!)
    x

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    1. Sarah, thanks for stopping by. Yes, I agree that the validation aspect can be important sometimes... but then I ask myself the question: 'Who am I blogging for?' Usually, I think the answer is: 'For myself.'

      Good luck with your new blog! :-)

      Delete

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