Blog Puppy

Today’s self-indulgent blog entry is about online community and my relationship to it. The more I think about it, the more I perceive myself as being like a puppy. Puppies are social creatures. They want love and affections from their masters. They have lots of energy to jump around and play, and they will play with you much longer than you are interested in playing back. Unlike older dogs they are often impulsive and imperfectly trained. They have accidents. Sometimes when puppies are play fighting with you they nip too hard, and you get hurt. They don’t mean to hurt you; they are just unaware of their limits.

There’s no need to explain how this simile relates to my online behaviour, so I’ll do it anyways. It is abundantly clear that I am not very good at blogging myself, and that I have run out of things to say. But I enjoy playing with other bloggers in their comment sections. I crave attention and affection, but sometimes I nip too hard and feelings get hurt. Occasionally, a few bloggers throw a stick for me to fetch a few times, but I tire them out quickly. Other bloggers are busy doing two-foot things to engage much, and still others don’t like puppies (in particular this puppy) that much. I try to recognise when bloggers don’t want to play, but it is difficult for my puppy brain to understand that you don’t want to spend every waking minute keeping me entertained. I may exist in the world of two-foots but that doesn’t mean I comprehend it.

One disappointing aspect of blogs is that they tend to be one-to-many interactions. The blogger in question makes a post, some commenters respond to that blogger, and sometimes the blogger writes back. Sometimes I wish blogs were more like dog parks, where commenters could sniff each others’ butts and run around together independent of the blogger. Old bulletin board systems had that property, but it is mostly gone now. The blogosphere is okay, and I am grateful to read the blogs of so many thoughtful, erudite, and intelligent people, but I miss group interaction, and I treasure it when I see it happening in your comment sections. This is not to say that dog parks are perfect. Sometimes they get noisy and chaotic. Sometimes there are mean dogs that will growl and make me feel unwelcome. But they can be a nice alternative to one-on-one walks.

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16 thoughts on “Blog Puppy

  1. Oh, Lurkie
    You know we all blog out of self indulgence. And yes, we interact and comment and bitch and moan. But I see your point. I think part of that conversation, that interaction you talk about is still there, limited by the comments section and the obvious stonewalling of the internet. But I’d argue that it serves its purpose: we are social animals and blogging gives us that social feel (proof is that I’m responding to your post).
    I like blogging. It started as a mental exercise (it still is) and it has evolved to include that social aspect you talk about.
    I like it. I like to read different opinions and would love to read yours (we know that WordPress and google have their issues) but at the end it’s the feeling of knowing that we’re not screaming into the void what keeps us going. Right?

    XoXo

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    1. Yes, blogging tries to fill that void of social interaction, but it’s a poor substitute. I am glad you have a life outside of blogging.

      As for barking into the void: I have a different blog without comments enabled, and that often feels futile. On the other hand, the ephemerality of blogging feels futile whether comments are enabled or not.

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    1. There are definitely puppies who don’t have cute faces. And yes, it probably was me who piddled on the floor.

      I hope your schooling is going well?

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      1. Yes, I’m enjoying the drawing course very much. I’m afraid I ditched the two lecture courses in the afternoon, though, because it was just all too, too much. Now that I’m retired, I don’t seem to have the stamina I once did when I was working for a living.

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        1. It’s too bad you had to drop the courses. Now I will never know whether Jesus was a Buddhist. On the other hand maybe you will draw stuff for us now?

          If you have lost stamina since retirement, clearly the answer is to start working again, preferably full-time.

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  2. Debra has my idea, you’re that puppy that goes pee on the carpet and chews the good slippers. You certainly seem to have a Jekyll and Hyde personality, until I got used to you, I never understood why you read my blog because you seemed to dislike it so much. Later I realized that many times that I thought I was upset with you, I was really upset with myself because you have a great b.s detector and called me out on stuff (you have to stop doing that, leave me with my delusions) so now I’m interested in what you have to say. I never want my blog to become a debating zone however, I see the disaster that happens to other blogs with people arguing in the comments section. Communication between readers is fine with me.

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    1. I can’t help it. Slippers are delicious.

      I read your blog because you are hilarious, and also a really sweet guy. But boy howdy do you get in your own way sometimes.

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    2. Having said that, I don’t get a free pass at being mean to you just because you are hilarious and frustrating. Believe it or not I am trying to tone things down.

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  3. Wow! I can totally relate to this post! Puppies, the analogy is perfect! I used to refer to myself as a blog hog when I first started commenting on two blogs that turned out to be catfish (or some such nonsense). I still have no idea what is the proper commenting etiquette. I’ll take puppy over hog any time. I like you, Lurkster. Your sense of humor is wicked and I enjoy playing with you. Tone is kind of hard to write, isn’t it? I admire anyone who can write a blog. I couldn’t do it. I can obnoxiously bounce off of other’s ideas, but can’t come up with one of my own. It be what it be. I’m giving you a little scritch behind your ear. Try not to pee on my leg, honey 🙂

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  4. I think its neat you mentioned the blogger answering questions back. Some of my readers say they are grativtatng toward blogs where the blogger and commenters intermingle, compared to ones where there is no interaction. This is a nice post…I too like the camparsion of you and a puppy. When should I give you a good stomach rub????

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    1. Yes, I see commenters intermingling on your blog (often initiated by the Duchess, but others as well). It is really nice to see, especially since many of your commenters are so witty.

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