Dearth of comments
Today, we have good news and bad news.
Good news = Many more reading.
Bad news = very few to nobody commenting.
What is up?
I suppose that several regular posters never bother commenting on anyone else and so people decide not to waste their time reading them does not help. I know we have been down this road before but seems to be the road to extinction.
If people are allowed to continually post, without giving a sod about reading others, it is not the kind of site that will thrive, sorry.
It's the same old cry....." no comments" regretfully it's the same answer. Most people are content to read and move on, those that comment are few in number, and like me are dieing off HaHa! I pop in now and again, sorry if I don't keep my end up. I did have a thought, although it may not be original, what about a like button. It would at least let the author know his work was appreciated. Getting hits is a very general way, clearly a thousand hits would indicate something, but I'm sure 100 likes would cheer a few writers up.
Right, I'm going back to sleep now.
"Fuck them if they can't take a joke"
The other factor, and I may be expressing a personal paranoia here, is that we risk being vilified if we express our honest reactions. The culture that has developed is 'softly softly'. Unless we praise we risk being called unpleasant names. I frequently read a piece and feel the urge to say something, then think better of it. I think the 'like' button could indeed take the place of most of the commenting that goes on here. And I think it's rather a pity.
I think David has hit the nail on the head. We are terrified of 'missing the point' of the more obscure poetry and of proving our ignorance publicly. Also, as comments die off, we tend to refrain from writing them ourselves. Thus it becomes a self perpetuating decline.
I know I have barely been on the site of late because of personal reasons so maybe I'm as much to blame as anyone.
I do not mind if nobody adds a comment. Reads still interest me. A place to post something on and off and comment on and off. Like buttons is a good idea. The internet has changed and I am looking forward to finally withdrawing from the internet forever.
Ukauthors is the last and only place I genuinely like. Decades of daily commenting in my case (member since November 15 2002 or 3), sometimes obsessed with adding comments as many as possible, but this is over too. It is exhausting and it's a habit that belongs to the past.
It's a difficult and weird and somehow 'out of place' period of time for way too many people. We just have to wait and see.
I plead not ordinary
Speaking for myself, what I think UKAuthors has lost is its sense of mission. I have never seen it as a place to showcase completed work – that would be ABC Tales or the old Stories.com which no longer exists but has been replaced by a plethora of others – UKAuthors was a place to discuss and even dissect work in progress. We were all interested in the CRAFT of writing as well as the art, and keen to improve. It had a certain buzz about it because we were involved with one another and pursuing a common goal.
The direction in which it seems to have gone is that of a 'showcase' channel where critique is widely (I'm not saying universally) unwelcome. And of course that must suit a lot of people or things wouldn't have moved in that direction. I still visit because there are lots of people here with whom I have a long friendship and I do occasionally come across a truly outstanding story. But as someone who loves the cut and thrust of critique and analysis of writing my main input now is from my face-to-face writers' group and from editing the prose coming it to Gold Dust magazine. I think if I'm honest I get more from the forums now than from the main site because here is where there is two-way traffic and a bit of intellectual stimulation.
And so it rumbles on....
I go back to 'Hits'. If we post a poem/prose piece, it gets 500 hits, yet only ten comments ( four of these are critique) should this be deemed a failure, should we expect everyone to comment? Of course not, let's face it there a probably only ten people that regularly comment anyway.
I have been fortunate, I've benefited from UKA, I have also in the past tried to pass on the things I have been shown. It's not in everyone to do this. Those who come to browse the site, read and move on, may well be tempted to press 'like' before they do. For those who view this idea as a little derogatory, nothing is more so, than week after week of no one seemingly giving a shit....and yet there were 'Hits'.
There are so few of the comment group left now, some drift in and out, others gone for good. Those that remain should lead by example in an effort to tempt new blood. To moan and complain is not the way to show others what's required....we have enough moaners HaHa!
"Fuck them if they can't take a joke"
I have to confess, I am not about anything like as much as before. Life commitments and physical energy take prominence at the present time.
However, I find myself unwilling to donate my time and energy (what there is left of it) to reading people who steadfastly do not give anything back to the site by way of reading others.*thumbs down*
Some may disagree but I consider it only basic manners. Tip-toeing about in case we "offend sensibilities" is what has lead us to here.
If I look in and see most of the new posts are by those who never read others, (talking about poetry here as I very seldom read anything else) I log out.
I have read the most incredible poetry on here, truly wonderful in my book so I value the site and the people I have come to know. I would hate to see them drifting away but it depresses me to see folk showing willing, only to in many cases be ignored...or simple acknowledged without any reciprocation.
Pronto, I totally understand what you are saying. I sometimes feel the same and I think we have all read a poem maybe the 'wrong way' However, that can be a learning experience on both sides. 🙂
It is my personal belief that a poem can only really be enjoyed if we get the gist of it. I like my poems to move people. How can a poem affect someone if they haven't a clue what it is all about?
Therefore I love people to ask, which gives me a chance to explain why I chose certain words or phrases but it also brings my attention to the fact that I may not be sufficiently clear in my expression.
If the site is what it once was as several have said, then it should be a powerhouse of creativity, sharing, expanding skills and enrichment. If people chose not to have comments, fair enough, room for all.
I think Luigi prefers no comments if I remember rightly but he's been here for ages and knows what he likes and contributes a lot.;-)
I think it should be in the mission statement that people are expected to contribute something in the way of reading others. If the site just goes on like this, those who are well intentioned will be starved of enthusiasm, throw in the towel and the site will then simply be every man for himself.
My tuppence worth.