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Something that's been puzzling me - Her Most Regal Majesty, the Queen of Snark
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sesquipedality
sesquipedality
Something that's been puzzling me
How come, given that I don't seem to have any difficulty holding a two-sided conversation face to face, Livejournal posts and comments I make don't seem to attract much in the way of replies?

This is not some sort of passive-agressive attack. I'm quite happy that the frequency of replies and the quality of friendship are not in any way connected. I'm just curious as to what it is that makes an LJ thread something people want to reply to.
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j4 From: j4 Date: December 16th, 2005 05:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I rarely know what to say to the things-are-going-badly posts; but if I can't say anything to them then I feel awkward replying to the frivolous posts as that seems like being, I dunno, a fairweather friend.

Result: am totally useless rather than just partially useless.
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: December 16th, 2005 05:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nah, as I say, it's not a question of how good a friend you are. I guess I'd like more replies because, well, everyone likes getting their ego stroked. So I thought I'd see if I could write stuff people are more likely to reply to.

I think you're great. I know it's difficult for us to keep in touch these days.
emperor From: emperor Date: December 16th, 2005 05:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not very good at either replying to posts or predicting which of my posts will generate enormous numbers of comments.

Recent, for example, a GIP of mine produced lots of comments whilst people argued over whether ideogram was the right word or not...
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: December 16th, 2005 05:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
The post of mine that produced the most comments ever was the one about lashing people naked to the Hornell building and attaching a van der Graff generator to their nipples.

I can't think why. ;)
(Deleted comment)
crocodilewings From: crocodilewings Date: December 16th, 2005 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Whether it showcases the person doing the replying or not.

Occasionally whether it engages them or not.
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: December 16th, 2005 05:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
The latter is what worries me. I'm a bit frightened I might be boring everyone.
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: December 16th, 2005 05:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have no idea; I've never been able to tell when something that I've put a fair bit of thought and effort into will get an interesting discussion going and when it will fall into silence. *shrug* I engage when I have something to say and that seems to work OK on average.
pickwick From: pickwick Date: December 16th, 2005 05:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
A lot of it seems to be to do with what time you post things - during the day is better because you get all the bored-at-work people commenting. But in general the only ways I can get comments are to ask direct questions or post pictures of cute animals...
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: December 16th, 2005 05:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I also get definite different reply patterns depending on time of day, given that I have a chunk of my friendslist in Britain and Ireland and another chunk in the US and Canada.
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: December 16th, 2005 05:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I read this, thought "I have no idea what to say in response", and then dithered about whether saying so reinforces some hypothetical point or not, or makes things worse, or ... [insert yet more confusion here]. Paranoia in that vein has a lot to do with my inability to respond to some posts (not necessarily yours!), time is another factor, general lack of appropriate response yet another, and so on.
pjc50 From: pjc50 Date: December 16th, 2005 05:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
LJ law of inverse triviality: if you post something interesting, people read it but don't feel obliged to reply. To get lots of replies, either do an atreic and ask controvertial questions, or post pictures of your cat.
karohemd From: karohemd Date: December 16th, 2005 06:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's a pretty accurate observation.
wowieann From: wowieann Date: December 16th, 2005 06:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've often wondered that myself (about myself and my posts/comments).

I've never had any luck figuring it out, though. The posts that I'm certain will generate a lot of replies invariably *don't*. The stuff I couldn't imagine anyone wanting to comment on gets tons of comments. Oh well.

If I rarely comment on your posts, it has nothing to do with the content - more to do with time, and whether or not I'm able to read LJ at work.
vyvyan From: vyvyan Date: December 16th, 2005 06:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sometimes I refrain from commenting on your lj (and those of a couple of other people I know) purely because I don't want to upset or annoy you by saying what came into my head.
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: December 16th, 2005 08:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's a shame. I'm not sure what to say to that, really. I don't really mind if you disagree with me.
jo_english_bint From: jo_english_bint Date: December 16th, 2005 06:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have no idea, as not many people ever reply to my posts - if you find a secret ingredient please let me know!

But this post seems to have done the trick!!!!

*hugs*
damianobf From: damianobf Date: December 16th, 2005 07:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
to be honest I have the same experience. I rarely get comments on my LJ but tbh I don't really care either. I think it is making posts that somehow attract people more so that an update on your life (though some people's live are obviously more interesting as they manage to get lots of comments on those sort of posts as well)

Alternatively just be Rik and have lots of mates as to be entertained so people do...
evilmomlady From: evilmomlady Date: December 16th, 2005 07:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've noticed in my own journal that weekend posts get far fewer comments than weekday ones. I also find that some posts are such that people don't know how to respond, so they don't. I found that what I considered to be my most thought provoking post had a very poor response because people just didn't know what to say. Sorry if I don't respond to your posts very often - I just want you to know you're not the only one - I find it difficult to respond to anyone these days. Anyway, this post of yours seems to have elicited a good response.
From: ex_lark_asc Date: December 16th, 2005 08:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Deep thought on the subject

IMNSHO, people on LJ don't reply to the following categories of post:

  • Anything "challenging" in the sense of requiring a caring response, if it is posted by someone with a strong personality who isn't 100% certain to be grateful for any response made.
  • Anything profound which would require serious thought or introspection before making a response.


IME, people on LJ will always respond to:

  • Posts requiring a caring response which are made by someone who is nonthreatening
  • Shallow, entertaining nonsense, especially when posted as a social bonding device - ie. memes


It comes down to whether responding to the post is a challenge; whether it would be something the poster had to screw up their courage or put in effort in order to do. LJ seems to be risk-averse - that or it encourages shallowness and cowardice, anyway :)

I think in short, if someone like you or me is upset about something or posts Deep Thoughts, then only our close friends and/or other people like you or me will respond. And it appears that LJ is not carpeted with people who are like you and me.
pjc50 From: pjc50 Date: December 17th, 2005 04:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Deep thought on the subject

Mm. I think part of the thing is that livejournal is a passive medium. It feels rude to avoid responding to personal email, but livejournal is more like reading a newspaper. It doesn't feel rude not to reply, and conversely people feel freer to write things into it because they don't feel that doing so ties up anyone's attention (unlike email).

You're very right about only the nonthreatening people getting caring responses.
secretrebel From: secretrebel Date: December 16th, 2005 09:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
From the number of comments here, this kind. ;)
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