Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Blog comments leave me scratching my head

Every blogger likes to get comments, right? It means people are reading the posts and engaging with the person responsible for them.

Not so fast. Although my stats from Blogspot say I've gotten 353 comments, it would take a careful count to find out how many are acutally related to the items I post. More and more seem to be like these:
I can't understand why these are appearing, but I'm sure there are some of you out there who can enlighten me. Are these people posting to my site in hopes of boosting their own visibility online? Is this what people engaged in search engine optimization do for their clients? Are these comments being generated by people at all? And what makes them want to glom onto my humble, hyper-local contribution to the new age of communications?

It's a strange world we live in. This week, I've been substitute teaching a class at Idaho Falls High School, where Rob Morris, a teacher's teacher if there ever was one, flattered me by asking me to do four periods on newswriting while he was bringing his mother back from Oregon to live here.

I concocted a pageful of notes for a not-entirely routine police story: 11-year-old girl deters would-be burglar by whacking his hand with a baseball bat; suspect later arrested while seeking treatment at emergency room.

I wrote a standard news lede, the kind I would have written in 1984, when I was doing cops and courts for the Post Register. The verdict? Boring. "This is why I don't read newspapers," said one of the students, a freshman girl.

Before the period ended, I told them their homework was to write a lead and two or three paragraphs. More than a few of them groaned. Maybe I should have asked them how they would tell their friends about this on Facebook.

In the meantime, anyone who can enlighten me on the gobbledygook I'm getting on this blog, I'd appreciate it.