Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Is Something Missing?

I began this blog nearly four years ago.  Somewhat in the hope of getting my thoughts of what is happening in Lexington out there and partially at the urging from Mrs. Sweeper, to put together information on Lexington's development history.  Mrs. Sweeper is hoping for a book on the subject but I'm not so sure that I can do it.

I have left my comments on things on many forum threads concerning Lexington like Skyscraper City's and CityData's and not always to the appreciation of the other forum members.  It took several years for them to see that I was leaning in a right direction.  It is that back and forth postings of those forums that I miss in this blog.

I also leave comments on the blogs of others, usually if I believe that I can clarify some of the assumptions made by those outside the loop or correct some outright misconceptions.  I have not always been received warmly when I do that, but it is nice to see later that I am quoted or cited somewhere down the line.

That said, what I find missing from this blog is a sense of dialogue with my readers.  I know that they are out there.  You are out there aren't you?  I watch my stat counters every day and see where I have recurring reads from all over the country. I hear from some of my sources that they know of folks who read  and take note of the posts.  I even see that there are numerous reads from the LFUCG personnel, though it sometimes appears that I take them to task about things.  Still, anything resembling a dialogue is missing.

I have taken to asking questions in my entries, either to find out more information or to determine if there is a direction that the readers would like me to go.  Without feedback it is like listening to crickets chirp on a still night.

I am not asking for validation or condemnation, just dialogue.  Is it out there?


Wyn said...

I've got you in my newsreader, and read every post. Don't always have time to comment. Keep up the good work!

Alison said...

I have you in my Google Reader, and read every post as well, but don't always know what to say. I'm a relative newb to Lexingtion, having lived here for just over six years. Sometimes I don't have time to comment, and sometimes I just don't know what to say (besides ROUNDABOUTS! LEXINGTON NEEDS MORE ROUNDABOUTS).

Indeed, keep up the good work. And thanks for all your hard work on this blog. It's been a constant for me since the Centre Pointe debacle.

Hilary Baumann said...

There's a general "problem" with commenting on blogs. If you want to have a true dialog instead of a simple one off comment, most of the time the person commenting has to remember they posted a comment and come back to read follow ups.

There ARE ways to allow people to get emails of follow ups but they aren't the default. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, how do you engage more on blogs without losing people to another site. How do you make sure people see the responses you want them to (even when there's an option for someone to get follow ups, it's still an option and not a requirement.)

Sorry, probably not quite the same thing you were thinking about but it's a factor to why blogs in general aren't getting as many comments as they could.

Peter Brackney said...

I know the feeling. I'll go many posts in a row with no comment or dialogue from readers. It can be both disappointing and frustrating simply because you want to engage readers directly with a bit of back and forth.

I'm all for more comments on blogs! And, I agree with Alison: MORE ROUNDABOUTS!

- The Kaintuckeean

Streetsweeper said...

Wyn and Alison, thank you for being loyal readers and following me so closely. I too, would like to see many more roundabout. I fell in love with them in New England some 30 years back. When done well, they work beautifully.

Hilary, I think that some of the disconnect in commenting comes due to many people, like Wyn & Alison, using their favorite readers and not even touching the blog site. (They show as hits from the reader corporate site or bots). I have also thought about some technical solutions such as Disqus, but they can devolve in to silly readers and 'ad hominem' attacks, so I have dismissed them.

I have not always responded back to the few comments that I have received, but I will try to do better if my readers will.

matt said...

Ditto on the google reader use. I've encourage many people to read this site, especially those new to Lexington.
I personally don't comment very often because your posts are well thought and you are much more knowledgeable about the subjects than I am.
What you're missing is a forum. If you want an easy solution, you could submit all your posts to reddit.com/r/lexington and have the discussion there. Reddit is typically civilized.

Christopher Harn said...

I have tweeted you on at least 2 occassions, most recently to point out that I noticed a flower bed you had critiqued was cleaned up just 1 week later (congrats BTW) and then also to attempt to drum up interested in a story about the resevour candaian geese that were supposedly snatched up and taken somewhere by the Lake association. I'm listening. harncw@hotmail.com - Chris Harn

Streetsweeper said...

Chris, I do not recall receiving any tweet about a garden bed but I apologize for not responding. I doubt that I can take any credit for the clean up. Maybe it was planned all along.

I do not know about any "rounding up" of the Canadian geese from the lake and may have been handled by the Animal Control office. Personally, the geese have never been a concern of mine - they are just part of the landscape.

Christopher Harn said...

Well then I'll just have to tweet louder and you will have to keep up your good work! To be honest I'm not exactly sure what your day job is... But I do enjoy your information.

hammockbrain said...

As someone who is thinking of moving to Kentucky (no time frame yet), I appreciate finding blogs about the place I want to check out. I'm coming for a visit in October, using Lexington as a base.