Sunday, April 5, 2009

Blog Contest

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.


  1. I read Gabriel's piece on Bonnard and found it very interesting. I am not the expert on Bonnard (or the painter) that both you and he are, and feel it would be a bit pretentious of me to offer a comment on his insightful essay. I enjoyed reading what both you and he had to say. What I know for sure is that the Bonnard paintings at The Met show moved me and were a little eerie actually. I loved the colors and the fact that some of the pictures seemed to
    "develop" right before your eyes.

    Re: the blog, I see what you mean about people not posting official comments and I think your idea to have a contest is clever. Here's the thing with me, though - while I love and welcome all comments and dialogue, whether via email, in person, or on the blog itself, it is essential to just get my thoughts out of me so that I don't have to contain them anymore. It gets filled up pretty fast in my head. So it's a relief to "give birth" to that stuff. I had the same feeling upon completing my Master's thesis and any other paper I've written. I imagine you may feel something akin to what I feel when you complete a painting?

  2. That's a though provoking comment about Bonnard seeming eerie and the paintings seeming to "develop" before your eyes. Now, when I go see the show, which I"m planning to do some time within a week, as I think about whether I've misjudged Bonnard all these years, I'll be looking to see whether I also find those two qualities you found.