Thursday, August 22, 2013

Goodbye, comments!

Does it make me sound shallow if I say I do things mainly for praise and recognition? I am not someone who wants to labor silently in the shadows where someones "smiles are thanks enough." If I do something awesome I want people to tell me loudly and boisterously how awesome that thing is.

I served my LDS mission in Rome. (The one in Italy, not Idaho.) And while I was there, I learned to make a pretty killer lasagne. (Yes, it should be spelled with an "e." Lasagna with an a is singular and would refer to one lasagna noodle. It why you say you ate spaghetti and not spaghetto.) The sauce has three kinds of meat and cooks for a minimum of 5 hours. The noodles are made and rolled by hand. And the creamy beschamel sauce (where your mom would have used cottage cheese) is lightly seasoned with black pepper and nutmeg. Even old Italian women have told me my beschamel sauce is amazing. It's topped with freshly grated parmiggiano and baked to perfection. And while I enjoy making it, it is definitely a labor of love. It takes pretty much and entire afternoon.

Over the many years since I have been home, I have made this lasagne for various friends, family and loved ones. Some are kind enough and say "Thanks" or "This is good!" but you can tell they would be just as happy with a frozen Stouffer's Lasagna. And others rave and sing praises and go blind with happiness. They proclaim that this is the greatest lasagne they have ever eaten. They never want to eat anything ever again. Surely the very angels in Heaven wept at the creation of this masterpiece and their tears are what give the lasagne is subtle umami flavor. Guess which group I am more likely to make the lasagne for a second time?

I'm not saying this is something I am proud of. I recognize that it is a character flaw. You should do nice things for no reason at all. And I try to. But, boy, is it more fun when there is a lot of praises sung after you do a nice thing.

As a writer, you do most of your work in anonymity. While we know a lot of the people who read this blog (Thanks, Connie!) many of you we have never met. And it blows my mind that there are people in the world who have no personal connection too who take time out of their day to read this blog. It's flattering and humbling and lovely. We have received nice messages, emails and comments over the two years we've been doing this that have been incredibly heart-warming. So thank you for reading and thank you for sharing. You are all great.

This blog has never been a great generator of comments. (Not to be confused with generator of great comments. We've have plenty amazing comments. We just don't get that many.)  We've even tried begging people to comment, and it worked somewhat. And truthfully, I don't know why we have been so desperate to get people to comment. On most websites the comments are full of trolly statements, meanness and bad spelling.  They are the last things anyone wants to read. I guess it is because as a writer you want to know someone is listening. So you put up your post and you check a couple times throughout the day to see how many comments were made. And then you do math and calculations in your head. "Well, I did get this up later than usual, so maybe people didn't read it in the morning and had to read it on their phones and it is harder to comment on the phone so..." or "Well, my post last week got 3 comments and I didn't spend hardly ANY time writing that one, but THIS on was a real labor of love, so SURELY it will get lots of comments!" It's silly.

So, as of today, we are shutting off the comment section. Mainly so I can stop measuring my self worth that way. But also to consolidate the effort. A lot of great comments are being left when the post is shared on Facebook. So rather than having the comments in two places, we are shifting them all over there.

Also, some people have asked where the "like" button has gone from the bottom of the posts. It has something to do with Facebooks new graph search feature and blah, blah, blah...Basically I need to write new code to get it back up and I haven't been able to figure out how to do it yet. So, hopefully it will be back soon.

So, what if you were a regular commenter (Hi, Seashmore!) and you still want to share the love. What can you do?

  1. Like our Facebook Page. We try and post links to all the new posts there. And you can then just comment on the link. 
  2. See those little social media buttons at the bottom of the post? Click on those. You can tweet about us, share this on your own Facebook page, +1 us on Google+ (sidebar: $10 to the first person who can explain Google+ to me.) And we would LOVE if you did that. Help us spread the word about this little labor of love.
  3. What if you are not on FB, don't have Twitter and don't believe in social media? First of all, I applaud you. Surely you are writing the great American Novel or curing cancer with all the time that you don't waste liking photos of people's food. And secondly, feel free to click on the picture of an envelope at the top of the page and send us an email. We've gotten a few lovely emails over they years and they are truly wonderful and moving.
  4. Lastly, just keep reading. As I said, I'm working on not being validated by praise, so if you don't do any of these things, that's OK too.
If you like this new policy, please share in the comments below!! Kidding...Old habits...there are no comments below. 
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