The time has finally arrived at which I can no longer respond to all, or even most, of the comments I’m getting on this blog. I was in Dallas on Tuesday involved in a bunch of activities with the grandkids, then had to leave for the airport. During it all I somehow managed to put up the last post on ketones, but I couldn’t get to all the comments. I got home late Tuesday night after a, thankfully, uneventful flight (on American this time), and went through the mail and did all the stuff everyone does when returning home from a week’s absence. I intended to post yesterday, but I spent every minute that I didn’t have something else going dealing with comments. I felt like Sisyphus because every time I would respond to a comment and hit the button that posted it, there would be one or two more. I finally went to bed last night with 10 or so requiring more than just a few lines left unresponded to.
I got up this morning, came to the computer at a little after 7 AM, went through an abbreviated version of my morning’s read, and started dealing with comments. It was again a Sisyphean task because they came in faster than could process them. It’s now 11:30 and except for about 45 minutes on a conference call, I’ve spent my entire morning dealing with comments and there are still 14 sitting in the moderation queue (there were 9 when I started this post).
When I started this blog I assumed it was going to be something that would take an hour or so a day to do. I spend tons of time reading the medical literature (and all kinds of other things, too, for that matter), and I figured it would be an easy thing to crank out my take on an article or two in the space of an hour or so and create an interesting blog. I figured I wasted at least an hour a day doing unproductive activities, so the blog would be a good use of time. It took forever before I got even the first comment, and when I did, I responded to it. As time progressed, so did the number of comments. I got in the habit of responding, and in the process set the expectation that I was going to respond. Then I felt bad if someone took the time to write a comment and I didn’t respond to it when I was responding to everyone else. I figured that whoever wrote the comment would wonder why he/she was singled out for simply being posted without a response. So I tried to at least write a short sentence. But now the comments are coming in at a furious rate and I can’t keep up and do anything else.
I then posted once before that I was going to start putting up the comments that didn’t require a response without one. But most of the comments that came in seemed to require a response, so I found myself in the same spot: worried about those whose comments I merely posted as they came in.
Now, I’ve reached the point at which I spend at least three or four hours every day dealing with the comments and the posts. I can’t devote that much time to this blog or I’ll never get anything else done. My agent is badgering me for another book, and I haven’t had the time to even write the proposal, much less write another book. So, I’ve got to start limiting my time on the blog somewhat. My reading of the medical literature has dropped off, and now I find myself learning about new papers from the news instead of digging them out on my own. Which means that I don’t turn up the ones – generally low-carb favorable – that the press ignores.
I would love to have people continue to comment and I encourage it. I’ve noticed that certain posts engender a lot of comments seeking clarification (the one on how and why the liver makes ketones, for instance, for which I still have 4 or 5 comments unanswered because they require longer responses) and when I get these comments I’ll write a post addressing all these questions. I’ve run into a couple of people lately who are readers of this blog, and both asked me questions about different subjects that I had dealt with in the comments section. I asked them both if they hadn’t read what I wrote in the comments, and they both responded that they never read the comments. And it dawned on me that I almost never read the comments on blogs that I read. So I realized that much of the effort I spend writing these long responses is not even seen by the large number of readers of the blog posts only. I assume these readers have the same questions as do the people who actually take the time to comment, so they will benefit if I answer common questions with a post on the subject instead of via responses to individual commenters.
I’ve got a bunch of posts I’m rearing to write that I’m sure everyone will be interested in, but it will be a while if I have to keep getting swamped with comments. I’m pretty sure on the whole that people would rather read the posts than than the responses to comments.
So, I’m going to post the comments without response except in rare cases. Although it may take me a couple of more days, I’ll go ahead and answer the ones queued up right now because they came in before this pronouncement. But I’m simply going to post the ones after as they come in.
One other thing…I’m chomping at the bit to post on political subjects here and there. But, it became pretty clear to me, based on the barrage of comments the last time I brought this up, that most people read this blog for nutritional information, not for my political views. This has left me feeling ill used since, afterall, it is my blog, and the tag line does say “a critical look at nutritional science and anything else that strikes my fancy.” And politics along the lines of what my particular view of the world is and my particular ideas on fixing what’s wrong fall under the large category of ‘anything that strikes my fancy’ I’m going to return to posting on such things from time to time. But with a new rule that I hope will make everyone happy: I’ll post on a political topic only if I post on at least one nutritional topic the same day. I’ll be happy to post any comment that comes in attacking my viewpoint, but I absolutely WILL NOT spend time in political debate. I’ll stake out my opinion in the post; others can stake out theirs in the comments. But – I hope – I won’t be provoked into responding. Oh, and by the way, a political-nutritional topic counts as one, though. So if write on a political situation involving Big Pharma or nutrition in some way, that counts as a twofer.
I hope everyone understands my situation. My life has been immensely enriched by the comments and I don’t want to see them end. I read every single one and will continue to do so, so please keep them coming and I’ll try to answer as many via posts as I can.
Thanks for listening to me whine.
Odds and ends