When Old Posts Generate New Comments
One of the longest-running themes of MA101 is me not taking my own advice, so it should be no surprise to anyone that I do actually read the comments.
I mostly do this because it is very, very easy. If an e-mail with the whole comment in it didn’t pop up in my mailbox, I probably wouldn’t bother. But as long as it’s there, in between my various porn subscriptions and overdue bill notices, I usually take the time to check and see if someone has left me a brilliant ASCII portrait of a pony yet.
(To date, no one has.)
And every once in a while I get a comment out of the blue for something I wrote years ago.
I always wonder a bit about the people leaving them. Presumably they got to that post specifically through a search engine, or a content mining site like StumbleUpon, or some other roundabout way that did not include the MA101 main page. Are they checking to see that the site still updates, and has not vanished into the mass grave of untended blogs that clutters the internet? Is it known that I am still writing this thing and could respond if I felt like it? Or are these more in the way of prayers to a forgotten god, whispered into a candle and set afloat on a single green leaf as the cold rains beging to fall?
I never quite know if I should respond or not. It feels a bit odd, since none of the regular readers are checking back to year-old articles — any dialogue would basically be a closed circuit between the new poster and myself. Occasionally I repost a link to the article in question on Facebook or Twitter, just to try and find someone for the latest commenter to talk to.
I did that yesterday for perennial favorite “The Top 10 Most Absolutely Overrated Books You’ve Probably Had to Read,” prompting a few responses to the older comments from back in its heyday. Maybe that was a worthwhile endeavor on my part? I’m all for dialogue and discussion, though that particular post might have drawn the most “never read the comments” sorts of comments I’ve seen on the normally-benign MA101. (People take books very seriously, apparently. Defeats the whole point of reading for fun, if you ask me…)
So — new comments on old posts? Thoughts? Have you left ‘em on other blogs, do you respond to ‘em on yours; are you a person years from this post’s date leaving a comment for the delicious irony of it? Hello from the past if you are! Share your thoughts in the comments section…not below, anymore, I don’t think. Think this new theme has the comment link up on the left side, below the tags. So up there.