Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Comments or no comments, that's the question...


I have never been able to predict the amount of response to any of our posts. Sometimes I work my ass off to produce a stunner, painstakingly model, paint and photograph it, post it and then sit back and hear ...nothing. Other times, in a mad rush, I throw something together and throw it on and it gets 12 or 15 comments. I don't get it.
Mind you, none of this is you, the reader's fault, nor is this a worry of anyone but me. It has to do with me and what I expect from this blog. I guess my wife would say that I have changed....that I don't do it for the love of the hobby anymore but for the numbers, the visits and the amount of comments ...etc.
Maybe this is true. I DO love modeling, painting and thinking about how to incorporate the rules into my next kitbash or scratch built. I am busy with it ALL the time, really all the time. I love all this stuff. It's just those comments that bug me, maybe my feelings are hurt or something. To give you an example:
in the last 30 days we had 12740 visits with an average of 1.57 minutes of visiting time. We had 12 posts, our average comment per post was 4.5 (not counting the Give Aways), while the amount of visits per post was over a 1000. So people like what they read, but don't feel like commenting. What gives?
To be honest, I am just like that. I usually comment to my screen, like"wow that's cool" and move on. Only once in a while do I comment on a blog, to really support the blogger. So while writing this and pondering over this stuff I have kind of answered my own question....comments are not very useful on our blog. I am not trying to say that I don't value people's opinion, I do, but I don't want to get into this circle of expectation about it either. Maybe amount of time on the blog spent is a better indicator of how readers appreciate the stuff we do.

On a side note: John did find me this great Nurgle Champion for 8 bucks in a sale bin somewhere.
Such a nice model! I only gave it a powerclaw, put it on a nice base and give it some paint. The background in the photo worked out really nicely.
Mike

26 comments:

  1. I totally get what you are saying about the comments. I have no expectations for comments on my post on my blogs. If I get comments great, but if I don;t it's no skin off my nose.

    I like what I'm doing with my minis and projects and that's what really matters.

    BTW, I really like what you did with the Plague Marine Champion. ;)

    Cheers,
    Jim

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  2. I think it's almost an inverse relationship - at least judging somewhat by my posting experience on several miniature-related forums I visit. The more you actually want feedback, whether it's validation that you're on the right track or genuine suggestions because you're stuck for ideas, the less likely it is that someone will throw out a comment. (I've more or less reduced my circle of painting forums where I actually hope for valid responses to just one.)

    For what it's worth, though, the Power Fist suits that Plague Marine excellently. The figure's got a good overall look - nice find and nice converting/painting.

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  3. The vast majority of time I read new blog posts through Google feed reader on my phone. I do this standing in queues, on the bus, anytime I have a spare minute. I rarely visit individual blogs and therefore rarely read the comments or indeed make one.

    The way I read blogs is not conducive to making comments. I don't know if the way I read your blog posts shows up in your numbers or not but if it does I'd imagine a fair few other people do the same as me.

    The ironic thing is that they are unlikely to comment on this thread! I made a mental note to go to your blog the next time I was sitting at a proper PC.

    I run a blog too and have found that opinion pieces get the most feedback, while conversions and good paintjobs also get feedback but most 'good job' rather than some dialogue. Like Big Jim I run the blog for myself and therefore any comments are a bonus for me.

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  4. I've gotten used to expecting few comments now so any I get are a bonus. I get quite a lot of traffic through my blog. Not as much of some of my fellow 'commenters' here I'd imagine but I don't do badly. However the amount of comments I get doesn't compare. But then like you say in your post, I have a habbit of saying 'looks cool' or 'I'd have done such and such' to myself but don't always leave a comment. I cheer myself up with the visitors counter instead now and hope everyone is made speechless by my minis so that's why they don't comment, lol! :D

    But in the spirit of commenting. The Plague Marine champ looks lovely, in a rotten Nurgly way! :)

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  5. I seem to only ever have one commenter at the moment... I've been tardy on the blog - damn work getting in the way again - and I think that's where the comments slip.

    I have a comparison though, 'My anti-cat in my garden warfare' blog has even fewer hits, and 0 comments at all.

    Comments also breed comments, and part of being an active blogger is commenting on others blogs ... or that's my theory.

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  6. I like the power fist plague marine :)

    I can totally empathize with what you're saying about the number of comments - I often feel the same way! I've grown more philosophical about it though and lowered my expectations -- so when I do get a good number of comments I'm absolutely thrilled!

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  7. Yes I can also definitely sympathise with your point of view about it being reasonably annoying.
    I must admit I often read your articles without commenting.

    Cheers,
    Meganick

    P.s.I quite like your plague champion.

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  8. On a personal level, I like getting comments, it makes me feel like someone is out there, I know I can check to see if we are getting hits, but its nice to know that someone is reading the content, and has feedback. I love feedback, I wish I could do a whole blog replying to "how do you" questions.

    I am also guilty of not leaving enough comments, I try to, some sites make it too hard with all the hoops you have to jump through, but I am going to make a real effort to leave some more regular feedback.

    For your feedback Mike, I think the fist is perfect and very usable in game, but I don't like the brown edge on the base, I would go with black for contrast or match the color of the rocky base ( not sure how that will look ). I also like the new backdrops in the photos they are great.

    John
    Santa Cruz Warhammer

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  9. Anyone can sympathise with the desire for comments. Its more or less wanting to feel some sense of gratifications. We want that 'pat on the back' praise for the hard work we put into the hobby.

    For others, such as myself, there's a bit more. I look for constructive criticism or new ideas. I love hearing other peoples suggestions as much, if not more, that praise.

    I try to comment on as many blogs as possible. I probably spend a solid two hours a day browsing blogs. Its kind of a karma thing to me... Why would I deserve comments on my blog if I don't comment on others?

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  10. I agree with the general consensus in the responses so far - I blog for myself and comments received are a bonus.

    Like Schnitzel, I will trawl blogs most every day for the latest update from those blogs I have chosen to monitor regularly, or others I find on From the Warp; however, I only leave comments on an occassional basis - on a paint job worthy of admiration, or to put my 2 cents in on discussions like this.

    As for the mini, I am really digging the helmet - is that standard or an addition. I think it really makes the model and draws in your focus.

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  11. FOR THE LAST TIME CAN YOU GUYS PLEASE DO SOMETHING ELDAR RELATED!!!!!!

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  12. I hear exactly what you're saying. It's sometimes hard to tell what you're readers will like or dislike. The way I look at it... I'm steadily gaining new readers and have an established reader base so I must be doing something right. All I need to do is just keep on doing what I'm doing.

    I may try something new, catering to an idea, and see how it goes, but I try to stay true to myself and what I want the blog to be. After all that's what a blog is about isn't it? A personal online journal that people happen to take an interest in.

    On a side note. I know that you use Google Analytics. I do also and noticed the other day that my stats had in essence 'reset'. I was pushing 11K visitors and suddenly I'm back to 3K. Rather odd, a little disheartening too. Have you noticed this phenomenon before?

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  13. As a new player to the 40k universe (six months) I dont feel I have much to contribute to most of the blogs that I read. And with my work week being only three days long I spend a large ammount of time reading blogs such as yours (of the posters to tis article I read 90+% of their blogs also).

    Also haveing a slight case of OCD, as Dave Taylor found outwhen heposted pic of hisexceent 'Withdrawl" diorama its the little things like how the backpacks were attached to the truck rails that catch my attention. However ifI were to post these things all over the web modelers would soon come to think of me as an as for always finding fault.

    On the other hand when I see paint and conversion jobs like the Nurgle Camp in this post or the Sharpdon on From the Warp I cant put into words other than 'Wow, cool' or 'I wish I could do something like that' so I dont comment.

    And I'll tell you, and the others who blog, I hit your site's several time a day on the off chance you posted something new.

    All I can say is 'Wow, cool.' and kep up the good work.

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  14. With hundreds of gaming blogs being published these days, its difficult to comment on even a small handful of them. But blogging about blogging is always sure to get a few comments :)

    As for which posts get the most attention, it seems to be a total crap shoot. I can work on a major project for months and get nothing. At the same time I can casually throw something up and get a huge response.

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  15. I find often time i do not comment unless i have something constructive to say. I try to post comments often but i hate to post "good job" comments cuz i feel like theres nothing constructive there. After readin your post though ive decided thats not a good view. Even a small comment can help morale! support cali gaming!

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  16. I always try to ask for some feedback or suggestions in most of my posts in the hopes of getting some comments. Most of the time the comments provide very helpful info, would definitely love more comments.

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  17. I'm a long time 40k player. (since 2nd ed.) I'm new to your site but it has become my new favorite blog. Well done! Modelling and conversions has always been my favorite part of the hobby, but I don't get much time to do it anymore... so I live vicariously through you. Keep up the good work!

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  18. Well, in part if you have a blog, it's for a bit of attention. I mean, we're doing it to contribute to the 40k blog-o-sphere, and we like to be acknowledged.

    For my part, if someone does comment on my stuff, I try to get back to them. Usually I'm aiming for feedback on tactical articles, though it's just plain COOL to get feedback.

    on the other hand, we'll all remember the long posts we have that got zilch, and all the short posts that people loved.

    Life's funny like that.

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  19. I frequently lurk, but now I'm just going to comment to boost your ego.

    "Shit looks cash."

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  20. Everyone: thanks for the kind words and I now know I am not alone in all this. Let's keep on trucking then and try to stay on the ball.
    Mike at Santa Cruz Warhammer

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  21. I find myself confused with this post. What are we suppose to be saying? "Hey, awesome paint job, check my blog"?

    I don't want to sound harsh or anything, but I'm not sure I get it. You are posting models, for the most part (which are great, by the way, and I wish I could paint that well). There's... not much to talk about, there. I pointed a few friends towards your Rough Riders, for example, and though your site picked up some new heads, which I'm toying with now.

    But...

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  22. I'm only commenting to feed into your insecurities about getting comments.

    For me, they're nice, but I don't worry about getting them anymore. What really makes it all worthwhile is the occassional email I get from a reader who thanks me for doing what I do.

    I suspect that if I crunch the numbers for FTW like you did, I may get even less comments than you guys.

    Keep up the god work.

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  23. Well, I read your blog very often but I rarely post. I have my own little blog that I never update, and I know how some people leave comments just to promote their own blogs, so I tend to avoid commenting.

    I do love your work, and the nurgle guy looks amazing. I'm still learning about painting, but I've been improving. I wish I could get my camera to take nicer close pictures.

    Do you have any tips for getting some nice lighting on a model? I tried backlighting/toplighting, natural light in the window, and the good ol' flash on my camera, and I've tried a white backdrop, but the low quality of my pictures is discouraging me from keeping up with my blog.
    If you have any tips, let me know ;D.

    And don't ever get discouraged by a lack of comments. Your work is amazing.

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  24. Also, comments are more likely to appear on articles about pieces that need work, as people are very quick to tell you how you should do your modeling. Heh.

    Another reason why people don't post comments could be that they don't want to read through comments that others have already posted. People get chewed out for reposting information that was earlier in the comments section, but it's a pain for a reader to read an entire article and then ALL the comments, especially when they read ten or more blogs...

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  25. Sometimes I write a post that I expect a response to, and it gets virtually nothing...perhaps I overcompensate sometimes with subsequent ones, looking for comments, just to prove people are paying attention...

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  26. Tell me about it, the art community is worse. I can spend literal days on something, making it the best I possibly can and then get nothing, while someone else can do a quick little scribble and get like thirty comments in one hour. I think the best comparison for it is fishing. Sure, you can get something for your troubles, but most of the time your just sitting in the boat freezing your ass off for nothing.. Don't let that discourage you from updating though. I'm totally following you on here.

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