Fishing for Feedback

Most of my ramblings here garner about 30 or 40 views, and I can live with that.  But every once in a while some subject seems to resonate with a large number of readers and I enjoy a nice, brief spike.

What I’m curious about, though, is the disproportionate read-to-comment ratio.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not complaining about the comments received thus far– many have been very helpful and inspiring.  But I’m surprised still by the low numbers… especially after what I believed to be provocative (read: politically-charged) pieces.

So in full embrace of the irony, I’m asking for comments about why there are so few comments.  If it’s the email requirement, don’t worry: I don’t do anything with it.  If you’re still uncomfortable entering your own email address, then put in something bogus.  I’ll even provide one: nospam@cynicalsigns.com.

I hope to hear from you.  Many of you.  Your thoughts can guide this blog. 😉

13 responses to “Fishing for Feedback

  1. Hello, here’s one. Maybe it’s just hard to be the first to comment.😉 Finding correct words is tough,as it seems that there are some hardships ongoing and not to sound “silly” like for the 150-post. Keep blogging, things will turn around , at some point of time…

  2. Joseph Charpak

    “especially after what I believed to be provocative (read: politically-charged) pieces.”

    Those “politically-charged” are part of the problem. You’re not important enough to get people angry about what you think of politics. At best we’ll read them and not comment, at worst we’ll just leave. If you want comments, write about *you*. I’m not a gamer, so I don’t comment on those posts. You’re out of a job (and I left a comment sympathizing), but in the same post you said “do not give excessive advise to people out of work. Chances are they’ve heard it all before” so I commented once or twice on those posts, said what I wanted to say, and left it at that.

    Feel free to talk more about new Nokia gadgets (itt is currently swamped with “my website suddenly looks like orange sorbet” threads). Even if you don’t work at Nokia anymore that was your “good shtick”

  3. Awesome! Just what I hoped for.

    Tuula: Kiitos! Please never feel that any contribution you have is silly. I won’t pass that sort of judgment! And by all means, feel free to be critical if it’s called for!

    Joseph: Thanks for all of your comments. I can see that I did not make myself clear regarding “advice to the jobless”. I was mainly griping about friends and family (like mine) who get borderline harassing in their efforts to be helpful, and that’s largely verbal advice that they provide over and over and over again. Well-meaning, to be sure, but hard to accept after a while. Especially the comments I’ve heard like “God didn’t mean you to have that job” or “you’ll find something better”.

    But your comments about political posts confuses me. Yes, I am aware of my relative unimportance and do not take offense at the remark– but on the other hand, in other venues I have been able to stimulate significant sociopolitical dialog even for a nobody. In addition, I have seen blogs of equal nobodies develop a passionate cadre of outspoken comments so I quibble with that assessment.

    Perhaps, though, my silent regulars are “saying” that THEY prefer to avoid such topics. If so, I can accept that! In fact, I have 3 other blogs in limbo and have been mulling activating them for specific purposes. Tabula Crypticum would be the technical/best practices blog, and I would use another for personal stuff and yet another for political. I actually have trouble writing personal stuff, believe it or not, and question myself every time I do.

    In summary, even these 2 comments have been extremely helpful, and I would love to see more! 🙂

  4. I originally subscribed to this blog thinking it would be primarily about the Nokia tablets and related technical stuff; certainly I would welcome that. I’m not sure if I’d be more likely to comment about it.

    Like many people, I subscribe to hundreds of blogs but only comment on a few. Although I do have strong political opinions I don’t generally bother to comment on political posts (at blogs in general, not just yours). It’s not really my thing. A friend of mine from college has a blog (http://www.kith.org/journals/vardibidian) that has some good political discussions; that’s about the only place I’ll respond to such posts. One thing that helps there is that the author always makes political posts with a distinct air of trying to figure out the right answer, rather than stating the answer. So the comments become a continuation of that search. Not sure how he manages it, exactly; it helps that he also has a lot of personal posts.

  5. Thanks Jacob!

    I try to leave my own published political statements open, too, although I do have some strong feelings. My main goal (regardless of topic) is to stimulate dialog so I’ve been concerned to be falling short there… hence this posting.

    My original goal was to focus on exactly what you were looking for: internet tablet and other technical subjects with an emphasis on best practices and just plain good ideas. However, I did not expect to lose my position with Nokia. I had been assured my role, being global, was largely resistant to economic setbacks. I still believe eliminating the position was a bureaucratic mistake but am reluctant to expound much further. Anyway, the job loss impacted my writing in many ways.

    There was also some negative feedback to my previous tablet-related posts, on the maemo site. That was unexpected. My interpretation of events was that the audience heavily favors hard technical posts over speculative and news-type articles. I can understand that, but I had hoped there would be support for a mix. The current votes on “Phantom Tablet” have offered new encouragement.

    My hope is to find new employment in a related field (the sooner the better!). Currently my job search occupies the bulk of my time and thus the many posts on that subject. Once empoyed again, it will be easier for me to return to the topics you and I both want. Still, I’ll try harder to stay current and post more like the “Phantom Tablet” piece.

  6. I actually have come to a no comment policy on my main blog. Primarily because of trolling. I know of many high profile blogs that do not do comments. I say do your best work, be consistent and readers will come and if they have blogs they will link to you or quote your work. I now really avoid sites that/post stuff as comment bait. They usually have the least appealing (and brief) material. I prefer long(er) form well written stuff.

  7. Thanks Sondjata!

    I’m not worried about spam or trolling. WordPress does a good job of filtering, and so far zero trolls.

    As for “comment bait”, I’m not posting articles solely for such reasons, but there have been a few times when I did lean that way because I wanted to get some lively debate going.

    Everyone has their personal reasons for throwing their guts up on the internet, and one of mine is to stimulate discussion and hopefully learn from the input of others. Even this little exercise is helping. 😉

  8. I also want to reiterate something to make sure I’m clear: this blog was established to replace a corporate blog I had developed in Nokia to share best practices and provide feedback to executive management about quality issues. That still shapes what I want to do here, but the scope is broader of course.

    But bottom line I have to get another job. My family cannot persist much longer unless I do. So one recurring theme will be me showcasing my skills and experiences in the vain hope that some hiring manager will take notice. Today would not be soon enough.

    Once I am again employed, it will be much easier to return to topics I REALLY want to cover. Searching for work in these times is a 24/7 occupation itself, and I’d rather get back to something productive. 😉

  9. I really enjoy reading your blog. I´m one of those silent ones. Perhaps one of my excuses is language barrier. Its easier to read english than write.

  10. Thanks Aki! Can you tell me what subjects you prefer?

  11. Pingback: Post and Haddock « Tabula Crypticum

  12. I like the way you write, style and your personal touch. I used to read your posts on ITT (i dont have one).
    The thing that you write about different subjects keeps it intersting.
    I hope you find a job soon. We had a huge recession here in Finland in early 90´s (even worse than its now (so far)) when I also lost my job. These posts where you write about finding work are just amazing.

  13. Aki, you just made my day. Maybe my whole week.😉

    And, man, do I miss visiting Finland. If I ever get the chance again I hope we can meet.

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