Friday, 20 March 2009

Moucharabia and Playing the game.

In a way these two titles are linked.

In Marrakech Iwas fascinated by these metal grilles on windows especially when our guide told us that name relates to 'seeing without being seen' and Arabic houses have these as a feature, in many shapes and sizes. This one is a 'monkeyed about with' version.

I use that term to describe my process with photoshop in which I translated the original version of this picture to the one you see above. I describe that process in more detail on flickr and if you click on the picture you will be taken there and enlightened further.

So, I am working for an exhibition with a theme of structures and will use these structures as my inspiration. we'll see how it goes and I'll keep you posted.

I suppose 'seeing without being seen' is one way to describe a person who reads blogs unnoticed by the blogger. Perhaps you do that and thats fine.

But if you make a comment I try my very best to find a way to reply to you. I click reply and then e mail a message..perhaps not every time but I hope you will agree that I usually do.

If you come up as 'no-reply' and there are a few of those, I try to find your blog and usually leave you a comment now and then. Its more time consuming to do that so there will be fewer of those from me. But there will be some. and I have little look at your blog too.

Then there are people who comment and no matter what I do I can't find a way to reply.So a general thank you in a post will have to suffice.

I like reading blogs. I like to comment if I have something to say. I don't mind being seen, and on the whole I get replies or comments back from most people. I'm not talking tit for tat, I don't need one every time and its always a bonus. It makes me feel like a part of the great blog community.

But have you noticed? There are one or two bloggers who never ever, no matter how many comments you leave, because you genuinely respect their work and what they do, deign to send a reply, or reciprocate by leaving a comment.

I mean never.

They are seeing without being seen.

They peer through their own personal Moucharabia, showing off their goods and elicting praise and comment and suck it all up, but never venture out into the bright sunlit courtyard of the comments boxes on other blogs.

Sorry to complain, but why do they bother? There is an option to 'close comments'.

The particular persons I am referring to will not be reading this I feel sure.

EDIT: TWO DAYS LATER: SECOND THOUGHTS: This post drew so many comments and private e mails from people who had no need to feel guilty at all so it made me think more about the subject.

I repeat that I don't necessarily expect replies to comments but just some sort of acknowledgement once in a while, from people whose work I have continually commented on, that I exist.

Of course, anyone can conduct themselves in any way they like. We all blog for different reasons and its not for me to dictate. I am fortunate in that I don't have to go out to work every day, so probably have more time to surf.

I had a link from Karen who has a full time job, and then spends her free time sewing exquisite work by hand, so her time is precious.(Having said that she has still found time to comment on other blogs)

I think I just wanted indulge myself with the Moucharabia metaphor....


Jude said...

Oh, yes, I do so agree. Why do they do it? I leave comments when I really really mean something, always nice things, and i think it would be polite if they just said thank you once in a know who you are!!!!

A time to dance said...

I feel, as a relatively new blogger, that there is a definate blog hierachy and some bloggers are not seen as worthy to reply to ...I visit a particular blog every day because I love their work and their style of writing and yet they never reply, even to makes one feel like you are back in the playground, where you are just not one of the cool girls ....I try and reply but as you say its sometimes really hard...sometimes you have to resort to answering someone as comment on a post which seems to loes the link with the original comment.... and if they dont have a blog its even harder....on another subject'ish its funny that the post which I was most proud of, about a wonderful theatre company,didnt get any comments...and yet picures of a walk gets tons...hope I am making sence had a hard day directing 6th form who dont listen...have a good weekend H

Heloise said...

The photograph and changes that you have made to this copy are wonderful. Good luck with the work for the exhibition.

Ruth said...

I, too, agree in regards to commenting on blogs. I try to respond to comments but after I've commented on someone's blog several times, with no reply, I usually don't bother anymore. I'm not sure if the person doesn't have enough time to answer, but then how do they have time to blog? To each his own, I guess. The photo is great by the way.

Guzzisue said...

I always try and reply to comments, sometimes a little late, sometimes because I've had to hunt around for the blog.Comments mean a lot too me and give me a way of expressing delight etc at what I see. Sadly one comment from a young girl earlier this week was anonymous and I would have loved to find out who the wannabe bikerchic who had enjoyed watching her first sandrace was:-)

Kitty said...

A blog with no interaction between blogger and readers, is surely an arid blog? It would feel very empty if one were writing to 'the ether' with no sense of rapport ... or is that just me being weird (again)?!

I love your photoshopped image - I'm just off to see how you did it. I'd love to be able to use Photoshop more confidently. My daughter is far better with it than I am.


arlee said...

Interesting comparison with the Moucharabia analogy! Perhaps one of those bloggers could use that as their blog name? :} I try to answer back, or at least thank in a post, but some just don't leave any "forwarding" address. I have one reader who has commented infrequently, with the comments lately becoming ruder and ruder---have to delete those---constructive criticism is one thing, blatant nastiness another.

hens teeth said...

Blogging etiquette.....As far as I can see it's all about give and take. If you only ever receive and never give, well that's just not playing the game!
As for nasty comments....there is no room in our wonderful community for such bitchy behaviour.

silverpebble said...

This is really thought provoking, and I really like the 'moucharabia' analogy Jackie. I suppose one reason why comments aren't reciprocated is a blog hitting 'the big time' - perhaps a book deal, perhaps a write up in the press. This would make it more difficult to answer everyone. Saying that, a total dearth of replies to well meaning comments, even on the 'famous' blogs doesn't seem like good manners does it? It does seem to defeat the object of blogging. The blog 'community' should be just that, and one definition of a community would be reciprocal communication.

Anonymous said...

I have wondered the same thing about comments. In the past i have left comments and never had a response or acknowledgement, and eventually i have given up. mainly because i felt like a stalker, and i figure if they arent interested in responding (even to a question by answering it in the next post) then they dont want/need the interaction, so i stop.

I have never expected an email response everytime, or tit-for-tat comments on my blog (I'll comment on yours if you comment on mine)but just the occasional sense that the blogger knows you are alive. I dont respond to every comment, but i do, when new people comment - I check out their blog and either say hello there, or email them. some of my best 'cyber friends' Ive met that way. And i work on the theory that if im commenting on someones blog and they are commenting on mine, then extra emails just saying 'thanks' aren't really necessary, but an email to answer a question is. And NOT a recorded message email like i got from one blogger at Xmas. Jeez - if you cant take the time to respond properly dont bother.

and like cocoa and blankets I felt like that cool girl thing was happening when i first started, and then after a while i realised with a shock that people were reading my blog, and that those cool girls really arent true 'best friends 4eva' they are just bloggers like me who comment on each others blogs.

finally, yes, I promise! Finally, i think some people have blogs just to get the numbers for their advertising, etsy shop, online courses etc. they arent interested in the 'social' aspect of blogging, just numbers of readers (and adoration) so they can boost sales (not my focus, but i dont have a problem with those that do)- but sometimes i think if they are that keen on the numbers they would do more to respond to people and keep the readers, rather than assuming the adoring crowds will flock to their blog no matter what. so there! thanks for letting me get that off my chest, now i dont have to write a post about it!
ps.once i wrote a post about someone thinking they didnt read my blog, but they did. bet they didnt afterwards though ;)

alice c said...

Hi Jackie,
I have times when I am on top of my emails and times when they drown me. I try to repond and tend to respond quickly to people with Blogger accounts because I can do that during the day but I don't always have the time to hunt around for email addresses because my computer time in the evening is so limited. It is a constant source of worry to me.

Purple Missus said...

And then you get the bloggers like me who have to go AWOL for a couple of months and then spend a happy half hour catching up on all your amazing work and photos - the Marrakesh (sp?) ones are wonderful, lucky you :)
On a serious note though I always really appreciate the comments I get and do try to respond as far as I am able although will admit to a couple of times being so far behind that when I've had the email marked as'new' for almost a couple of weeks I have thought it far too late to reply. And sometimes I don't leave a comment beacuse it sounds so trite when you just keep repeating time and again how wonderful the piece of work is they have done. Starts to sound insincere even though it isn't mean't that way.
I agree with one of your other commentors (is that a word?) about the 'you comment on mine and I'll comment on yours' syndrome.
Because my committments are almost at an end I have had far more time this week to go bloghopping. Unfortunately I am going to start my Sunday blog again this week, again, because time permits, and I know exactly what some people will be thinking - and I shall be mortified if I hear them voice their opinions outloud. :(
For me though, the worst sort are the ones that you know read your blog, they never comment, never mention you and yet are very quick off the mark in taking some of your ideas and calling them their own.
Perhaps we should compile a top 10 of our perception of a good blogger and another of a not so good blogger.
Phew! I feel like I've written a book here. Thanks for listening Jackie.

hippopip said...

Well everyone one has said it all and I agree with them,it is so much nicer when people take the time and trouble to comment ,give advice and help.

Michala Gyetvai (Kayla coo) said...

Very interesting reading Jackie.
Firstly blogging to me is a wonderful way to meet like minded people, oh joy to find I'm not the only person who gets excited about threads and more threads!
It makes no sense not to comment as thats what blogging is all about.
I always get excited by comments, it's like getting email!...yes I'm fairly new to using computers!
M x

Gabriela said...

I know...but I have a the only way to see the comments to have the comments moderated?
I found that people were leaving comments and being new the only way I would see them was when I checked each individually...Since I put it to moderate, and now they have to be approved by me before posting, I now know each time once is there....
Anyway...I love your blog, that's why I added it to my blog!And you don't have to say Thanks!

Digitalgran said...

I can only agree with what everyone else has said. We are so lucky to be part of this community.
I love, love, love Wrought Iron and I particularly loved your explanation of the window grills.

Lorie McCown said...

I've wondered the very same thing, Jackie, I have to admit, I stop reading some blogs because they are so big and popular, it seems almost a commercial effort..
I have to say I started mine, because I was so terrible about photographing my own work. I thought if I put my self on some sort of schedule, I could document better, what I was making, and giving out, or selling.
I was shocked when I got my first comment on the blog! Low self esteem, I suppose.
I appreciated this post a lot..

jennyflowerblue said...

What an interesting post. You actually taught me how nice it is to receive a reply to a comment and now I try much harder to do just that. A new to blogging friend did say that she was finding the whole blog etiquette was making her feel a little unsure of herself, I remember reading a guide to good blogging at the very start of my journey from a very big popular blog and yes, she did reply to my comments. Perhaps nice people just make nice bloggers!

Diane Cransac said...

I try very hard to answer every comment I get...and it isn't to hard since even though I have quite a few people reading my blog now I rarely get more than one or two comments per post. I appreciate when I do get them though. As to commenting on others blogs, I sometimes also get the feeling that I'm saying the same thing over and over and starting to sound insincere. This is not the case at all. If I push the button to leave a comment it is because this particular post has definitely moved me. I read over a hundred blogs and I usually comment on maybe ten of them a day at most. So yes, if I say something it's because I feel something and I think that is how it should be.
Often if I comment on someone elses blog and then they answer me in their comment area I never know...I always forget to click the email follow-up comments box LOL SO I always answer peoples comments with an email back to them, to make sure they receive it. Thank you for the nteresting and thought provoking post. I know a few of those seeing without being seen bloggers and personally, I find it easy to hit the delete button on my reader with them. There are so many wonderful, talented, warm and caring people out there. WHy waste my time?

menopausalmusing said...

Only just had time to come into blogland again. . . . I am very much new girl on the blog and feel very happy when comments arrive. Your personal e mails have been wonderful to receive. Loved your sensitive comparison between some bloggers and the screen they sit behind. Will e mail and let you know about this week's dance! ha! x

Elizabeth said...

Just found your blog because Karen made a link in her post. I'm glad I hopped over. First because I learned something new. I always thought that these metal frames in front of a window were there for protection against robbery or some sort of violence. Second because as a fairly new blogger I'm trying to figure out how blogland works. So thank you for the food for thought.

Have a nice weekend. Elizabeth

Threadspider said...

Late to the party, as usual-but I want to say that whilst I love getting comments, and I try to either reply on my blog or visit the author or e-mail, I don't always manage to get round everyone. I sometimes worry too, that because I visit some blogs frequently, like favourite books and poems, I don't like to comment on every post-makes me feel like I'm stalking them-and on that note I'll finish, 'cos Paula said it so much better. Love Moucharabia. Love all your work!

MargB said...

Only discovered you thanks to Karen's link- I did enjoy this post and the picture at the beginning is stunning.-

Gina said...

Wonderful post Jackie. I too have experienced leaving comment after comment on certain blogs because I love the work. I don't expect reciprocation but an occasional acknowledgement would be good. Like you say... why do they do it? And it's not only the "popular" blogs with which this happens. It does get disheartening. Personally I love the dialogue and consequent friendships. Gina x

Anonymous said...

I too have arrived here from Karen's link. I think this post is so interesting. I have two blogs, one is a gardening blog and one a textile blog, and the difference is amazing. When I first started visiting other gardening blogs - the "cool girls on the block" (as cocoa & blankets so aptly put it) were great - and responded either by visiting my blog or responding to comments on their blog. Not so in this arena - the cool textile girls just didn't respond. So, as much as I enjoy their work, I don't always bother checking out their blogs anymore, which is rather sad.
You have written a thought provoking post, and your work is lovely.
Karen - An Artist's Garden Studio

gunnelsvensson said...

Yes, I agree !!! There is some who NEWER ewer answered a comments or going to your blog and get comments, and YES I also wonder WHY haven´t they put the "comment close " ???

I think the blogcommunity it´s both taken and given! And I know it´s take a lot of time! But it gives also very very much! And if I give comments and newer get any respons, I´ll stop to comment on this blogs!

Victoria said...

Holy Moly Toots, did you hit a nerve! Wow.

Personally when visiting someone else's blog and leaving a comment, I never expect an email response in return... there are only so many hours in a day, and some people get tons of comments on their blogs, it would just be too time consuming. However, I do appreciate a visit in kind to my blog, and a little comment left on my post every now and then. It's the neighborly and nice thing to do. One thing that baffles me is when someone who you always had a friendly blogging relationship with, (you both regularly leave friendly, supportive comments on each others blogs) suddenly drops you, never to visit again. You still show up to visit their blog, but after awhile the relationship feels award and one sided. You are off their radar screen. That hurts and confuses me a bit. I never know why or what happened.

As for how I reciprocate to those who leave comments on my blog. I always try to visit their blog sometime in the next few days and leave a comment in regards to their post(s). It really makes me sad when I see that their last post has been up for a few days, and yet I am the first to leave a comment. I know full well that they visited and nicely commented on many other blogs besides mine, and am shocked that no one else bothered to be neighborly. Now every once in a while I come across a post that is so strange, or in bad taste that I simply can not reciprocate. Try as I might, I cannot think of anything positive to say. That rarely happens though. Occasionally I do email people, but not that often. I am still confused as to how to do that without having to track down there email through their blog... I have never seen a "reply" link next to my comments that I can click on, (where is it????) and am always feeling like I am missing some easy step in bloggerville because I get emails from other bloggers that have my comment typed in below... (I have to copy and paste...) I know I am missing something! Somebody fill me in!

Thanks for the chance to share in this discussion, Jackie! Good luck with your new work and your upcoming exhibition. looking forward to seeing more! xo

julie king said...

yes, i've noticed and experienced this as well. it used to bug me a bit but i've gotten over it. i try to blog for the creative outlet and enjoyment it gives me. one thing that has surprised me is when someone will buy a piece of art and then tell me in an e-mail that they have been following my blog for a long time. but they've never left a comment. nothing wrong with that at all but part of the joy of blogging is to comment and get involved and build relationships. again, nothing wrong with it but just interesting to me. that was a great post, jackie!

ArtPropelled said...

Well done Jackie, I really enjoyed reading this post. Please say I'm not one of those people...just joking...but for a second I scanned my blogging habits to check whether i fall into this category. I love receiving comments and always comment when I have something to say.... (I don't like to comment just for the sake of commenting). It's all part of this wonderful blogging experience.

walter and me said...

Hello Jackie, my first visit here, just popped over from Hen's Teeth. What a thoughtful post...and I couldn't agree more. While no-one expects a response to every single comment, it's so good to say thank you and hello now and again. It's a source of frustration when someone leaves a comment with no email address as it can be so time consuming to track them down. It's good also reading all the comments here and hearing what everyone else thinks. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree - I mean when would you stop? The blogging world is one that is very false it seems to me. If all you want is praise and acknowledgement you must have huge egos. If I had a blog it would have no photo's and no comments. Incidentally this is my first comment as you have made me cross. Tell someone their work is great because that is what you feel - not because YOU want to be noticed and told how great YOU are. I've noticed the nicey nicey world of blogging is just a little bit false with lots of unwritten rules. Really people who blog are just showing off. Really get over your self - you are not that special. This is anonymous because I don't have an online ID, no other reason. Do you all want to spend your time telling each other how great you are or get on with something worthwhile.

Also comments seem to be mostly pointless as they are so sycophantic and say nothing interesting just massaging egos. They rarely add anything at all. I don't think blogs should have comments. I am sure most of them are nasty and get taken down - which I think is awful for people to do (write them I mean) but that just leaves the pointless ones which literally make me want to be sick! Just write your own blogs if you want and stop pretending you are all such friends. You are not - very far from it from what I see.

Jackie said...

Thank you Anonymous. Thanks for joining in and sharing your opinion.

Haunted Isles said...

Hello first visit here, I came over from Hens Teeth.
I'm really glad someone raised this point.
Whilst I appreciate that bloggers don't always have time to reciprocate with comments it doesn't seem very nice just to bask in the glory of ones comments and not even bother to see who is leaving them.
Some bloggers get so many comments that they would probably need a secretary to assist but there are many successful bloggers who take the time and trouble to acknowledge ones visit that one sometimes wonders if it boils down to simple old fashioned good manners.

Unknown said...

I found a link to this post from someone else's blog (whom you've convicted and plans to reform her ways... ;) and just HAD to stop by and read. I completely agree with you. Bravo! Well said! I have reduced my circle of blogs to those "friends" who now reply to my comments or who take the trouble to visit me regularly (humbling- that they find what I post to be of interest!). I still venture out, (I got here, didn't I? haha) but regular lack of replies doesn't encourage me to come around. I can take a hint when someone appears to be too busy for visitors. Or as someone else has already said, that I am not "cool" enough to reply to.

Thanks for your bravery for putting the thought out there. :)

Julie said...

I like fancy grills like this too. I shall have a look at your Flickr page to see how you did it.

I'm a bit late to join the comments discussion but I agree with many of the comments made here. I try to reply to most of my commenters or leave a reply in the comments as a last resort. As a commenter I don't expect a reply every time but it does feel a bit strange to be completely ignored. I hesitate to comment on the hallowed blogs of the famous but they are usually very generous with their replies. I would hate to feel I was 'stalking' anyone.

Anonymous said...

OMG !!
Dear Anonymous
why bother reading someones blog if you feel this way .
From sesga

OMG Jackie what an idiot .How dare this person comment like this .Its not about egos its about being polite ,and appreciating and encouraging each other .
Love from sesga xx

Maggi said...

Love the Photoshop effect.

Mrs Jelly said...

Yes, yes, yes!
I was going to say the same sort of thing when I did that blog post about blogging etiquette a while back but chickened out.
I have two, no three, blogs that I visit every time they post, leave funny and observant comments and never ONCE have they commented on my blog. I want to say, "hey, my blog's funny too you know" but that's just churlish!
I do know that all 3 of them believe in the big "G" man upstairs, and I have in my profile that I read Richard Dawkin's books (he's a confirmed athiest) so I don't know if that has any influnce. I know that it *shouldn't*, but I sometimes wonder if it does.
Yay to you for making your post :o)

Greedy Nan said...

Found you from Hensteeth. How do you send the email reply direct? It'd save a lot of time so if you want to tell me, I'll be infernally grateful ...
I do try and reply if someone leaves a comment [but I don't get that many!]

'fancypicnic' said...

Now you've made me think....

st of my pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Dear Anonymous.....

....don't waste your time...I have a spam filter.