We bloggers may have given subject areas, but, as we discover more about the complex world of blogging, we may wish to take up blogs, themselves, as a subject of discussion. In part, we may wish to share what we’ve learned. So I have decided to address a blogging issue that’s gotten my attention from the beginning.
Many of the people I know, including artists, even the artists I’ve written about, have reflected their appreciation to me for the pleasure my postings have given them. Some have spoken of the sensitivity of my observations. But how many of them have responded in the comments section of the blog? Not many. Apparently, the part of the population I deal with doesn't realize that commenting in the blog plays an important part in the blog's life. One of the main points of blogging is to arouse the interest of readers to the point at which they will engage in discussion, first with the blog publisher, then, hopefully, with other viewers, who may embark in ongoing dialogue with them.
A friend tells me that the way to get your blog readers to comment in the blog itself is to make it worth their while. Why should they go to the trouble to comment, when there’s nothing in it for them, my friend says. He suggested that I give them contests, with prizes. I started to think that my friend is right. And so I’m writing to announce my idea for my first blog contest.
Each contestant will register officially, and, for a period of 30 days, will try to outdo all other blog readers in the number of comments she/he submits. But quality matters. I’m not looking for tepid little comments such as, “very nice.” I expect real content, such as, “I’d been losing interest in art, in politics, and in all things, but, after reading your illuminating commentary on the folk art traditions among the Troll community of Queens, New York, I have decided to shave my head a join a monastery.”
The prize? The prize is a seat vacated by a certain African-American legislator, who was elected to higher office. But, just you keep it between us, O. K.? Because, if I get any suspicious questions about it, you know I’m keeping my mouth shut. Because silence is bleeping golden.