I’ve come to you with a tale of a doctor who cried wolf. I’m drowning in comments, and I can no longer keep up with personal responses. I know, I know, I’ve said that before. That’s where the crying wolf part comes in. When I wrote those words before, I tried, but I couldn’t let go. I felt compelled to answer at least 95 percent of the comments.
Right now I’ve got over 100 comments stacked up – the preponderance of which aren’t really comments, but are questions from readers expecting answers. Unlike my good friend Anthony Colpo, I don’t know everything, so I often have to spend effort reading or pulling papers to give an intelligent, accurate answer, all of which takes time. A lot of time. Often it boils down to do I take the time to write a new post or do I take the time to answer the comments (read: questions)? Because I can’t do both. And I can tell you, I would prefer to post.
I get about 60 comments (questions) per day that I have to deal with. And since this blog contains so much content written over the past two plus years, I get a lot of readers through the various search engines. When these readers enter the blog, they often hit on older posts and submit comments (questions) on those older posts. So if you see that a new post has only 20-30 comments, that doesn’t mean that’s all the comments I had to deal with that day.
(I had time set aside today to catch up on all the comments, which was my intention before writing this post, but this morning my wireless internet began acting up, and I had a heck of a time connecting to the net with any regularity. Finally, I couldn’t connect at all. When I called my service provider, I got a message telling me that the service was out in my area and that a repair crew had been dispatched. I had to leave for other obligations before the problem was repaired. So, despite my best intentions, fate, in the guise of Cox Communications, intervened. Fortunately, when I returned tonight all was up and running.)
As near as I can figure from the unique visitor counter I use, I have several thousand readers per day. Out of this several thousand I get about 60 comments, which means that I have several thousand readers minus 60 who don’t comment. So I figure this larger number would prefer more posts and less comment analysis. At least that’s how I read it.
So far I’ve been able to keep up with posting at a fairly regular clip and answering all comments in a kind of timely manner, but now I find that I can’t keep up. As you can see from this link to Publisher’s Weekly, the trade journal for the book biz, MD and I have a contract for a new book to be published in January 2009. (The bit about us is toward the bottom.) But our deadline to get it finished and to the publisher is April 15, which isn’t that far away. Crown is a terrific publisher and we’re tremendously excited to be working with them, but still the onus is on us to get a lot of writing done in pretty short order.
The time demands the writing of this book add to my schedule simply won’t let me spend the couple of hours per day that I normally spend dealing with comments. I’m going to try to catch up on the comments that have stacked up, but I can’t say when I’ll get them all cranked out. New comments coming in after this post will simply be posted as they are written without an answer from me. I’m going to start doing like everyone else who writes a blog does and put up comments of my own if I feel the necessity of replying instead of including my comment within the body of the comment in question.
I hope you all understand my predicament, and I hope this doesn’t run anyone off. It’s the only way I can keep up. After we’ve completed the book manuscript and turned it in, maybe I’ll re-evaluate, but until then I’ve got to do it the new way.
I occasionally read – when I have the time – blogs on improving your blog, and one of the most common comments submitted to these blogs come from new bloggers wondering if it would be considered ethical to post comments to their blogs themselves under pseudonyms so that they would have the appearance of having comments. I’m trying to figure out how I can maybe lease comments to these people. I would have probably been the same way at the start, but I was so new to the whole blogging scene that I didn’t even know you were supposed to get comments. If I had known, I’m certain I would have wanted them. Now I’m like the dog who has caught the car it’s been chasing.
As to the new book, the title pretty much says it all. As people age they tend to gather weight around their midsections. And this weight is tough to get rid of. Even when middle-aged people lose a lot of weight overall, they seem to still have excess girth. It’s smaller, but it’s still there. This is a book presenting all we know about why we tend to retain this fat and how to solve this problem that’s extremely difficult for most middle-aged people to deal with.
Under our contract with our publisher we can’t expound on this book other than the brief synopsis above. As the book nears publication we can lighten up a little on these rules and comment more on the actual content. Until then, however, we’ve got to keep it pretty much under wrap. Thanks in advance for your understanding about all these issues.
New Book in the Works