I Thought It Might Be Instagram, but Looks Like It’s Your Phone’s Fault


So, I asked the question about Google Reader killing blog comments, and not intending to do an experiment, also posted a quick screen shot of the blog post title on Instagram:

instagram conversation

Really I was posting on IG because I wanted to alert people that I had blogged–I suspect because, deep down, I figured no one would know otherwise?  Like, I assumed that people didn’t read their feeds now that Reader is gone, and they only found out about posts from social media?  Which is more or less what the comments on IG told me, but that was only part of the story.

Over on Instagram, I got a boatload of comments fairly quickly: a total of 33 over the course of about two hours.  In the same space of time, how many comments do you think I got here on the blog?  THREE.  Seriously.  So, there it was, I thought: the conversation has left blogs and moved to social media, and thinking that blogging still has a place in the universe of the online sewing community is just naive.  Boo, sniff.  Right?

Well, yes and no.  Over the following week–where, again, I wasn’t intentionally doing an experiment, just so busy with other projects (actually sewing!!) that I neglected to do a follow-up post–I watched the comments on the blog increase.  And increase.  And increase.  Even today, as I’m writing this post, I have seen two more come in.  Total of 39 comments to date, and the vast majority of them are extensive and thoughtful and considered and substantive.

Comments on IG were also occasionally extensive–impressively so, for a bunch of folks typing with their thumbs–but many were quick nods acknowledging my title/thesis without much more detail.  Many were left based on the title ALONE, without having read my post.  Which made me think that there really are two totally SEPARATE audiences: there’s a blog audience, and there’s an Instagram/social media audience.  (Again, since I had zero intention of doing a legit experiment, all my data are accidental, so I can’t compare any of this with, say, Facebook, but I suspect the results would be largely similar if not identical.)  From the comments I received just on this one off-the-cuff post, folks who respond via social media do so there almost exclusively, and some of them indicate that they really have stopped reading blogs altogether, in favor of the quick interactions of Instagram.

Part of me gets that.  I really, really do.  I love me some Instagram–LOOOOOOVE me some Instagram.  I am there, like, a LOT.  I don’t like the Facebook interface, and have reduced my FB “friends” to a list almost exclusively of blood relatives or friends so close that we consider them family, so I rarely do more than skim through FB to “like” their posts or leave a quippy pop-culture reference.  I do not have Facebook on my phone.  I DO have IG on my phone, and I get push notifications when folks like or comment a photo I post, so I spend a ton of time (probably too much, let’s be honest) updating my feed.  I leave lots of hearts for my friends–usually because I like their image or am impressed with their project or because it’s a pretty picture, but sometimes because I like THEM, and want to acknowledge that.  When I host Virtual Sewcials on IG, I ensure that as the host, I personally visit every photo that makes it to the pool, and leave a comment.  These hearts and quick notes between IGers might not always be a deep interaction, but that doesn’t make it meaningless–I think it’s akin to a wave and a smile in the middle school hallway, as you pass in opposite directions between classes.  It isn’t a long conversation, but it gives a nice glow until you get to fourth period.

My blog, on the other hand, I consider an intimate space.  And I think the reason I feel hurt and confused and disappointed about the reduced number of comments I receive these days–and as embarrassing as it seems to admit it, yes, I do feel all those things when I go to the trouble of working on a post and make it live and hear crickets in the comments–is because this is where I’ve formed real relationships with people.  Some of the bloggy folks I’ve known longest are people I met right here from writing–I wouldn’t know Dana or Rae if it hadn’t been for us commenting on one another’s blogs, and I feel super grateful for having met both of them in real life and growing a friendship apart from a digital interaction.  There are folks who have commented on this blog for YEARS, whose names and handles and avatars I recognize when they come through, and whom I am excited to hear from when they comment again.  THOSE folks are the reason, a few years ago, I started working to really reply to as many comments as I reasonably could (more so that even my email, to be honest), because I wanted them to know how much I looked forward to their voice and thoughts as I post on my blog, and how much I value that interaction.

So, if we take out of the equation those folks who really don’t love the blog interaction–for whom, in the sewing realm, the high five in the hallway carries the satisfaction they’re looking for, rather than something longer or more involved, like a blog post–then there’s still a reduction in blog comments.  (To be clear: I have no issue whatsoever with folks preferring one medium over another; I love my IG interactions deeply and value those greatly, and have friends I’ve met THERE with whom I feel a deep kinship and whom I care about a great deal.  I’m pointing out, rather, that many folks on IG are NOT the folks who have stopped commenting on blogs, because they weren’t anyway, since they have found an avenue of interaction elsewhere.)  Which left me with the question: if there are still substantively fewer comments on sewing blogs now, and we know that Reader was part of it but not all of it, what’s the deal, yo?  WHERE MY COMMENTERS AT, Y’ALL?

Reading through what all of you had to say–and THANK YOU to the many of you who took the time to share detail and thought processes and insight into how you read and why you read and what you read and what drives you to leave comments–it looks like part of the issue is YOUR PHONE.  More specifically, it’s that you’re reading blogs in a mobile format that makes it more challenging and time-consuming to comment.  I guess, back in the good ol’ days of 2008, we were all reading on our laptops?  So when you had a thought, you could hit that keyboard and make it sing.  Now, with phones and iPads and Kindle Fire, it’s just not as easy.  I’m still a laptop-based reader, so that was complete news to me, totally not what I was expecting to hear.  I guess the comments interface is way down at the bottom of the post?  And the keyboard isn’t as accessible?  And it’s hard to type with your thumbs?  So there are fewer comments.

But then, why do IG readers all comment so much and so frequently?  I mean, are they all using talk-to-text to write these paragraphs?  I’m not.  I’m just super fast with my thumbs, dog.  And if we’re all so good with our thumbs, then why is it so hard to comment on blogs these days?

I think there is still a viable, thriving, fertile place for sewing blogs.  I think there is some content that really must be shared in a blog format (remember the tragic rise and fall of the short-lived IG tutorial?).  I am seeing new and exciting ways of sharing content–like Colette’s new magazine, Seamwork, which I think will be amazing, or Dana’s webseries, MADE Everyday–but they don’t have the built-in ability to create community and introduce folks to one another and means of hearing multiple sides of an issue.  I love that blogs carry that, and miss the level of intimate–in the sense of getting-to-know-you-more-deeply-ness–connection it carried with it.

I agree STRONGLY with the folks who lament the paid content/self-promotion/list of to-do posts that we’re seeing so frequently these days.  I think, if we’ve all been paying attention, that we saw that coming: be honest, you’ve known that there was a critical mass of sewing blogs the past few years, when it seemed EVERYONE had a blog and ALL of them were doing tutorials, and that ultimately there would be a large proportion that would fall prey to the Law of Diminishing Returns.  At some point, there have to be too many spread too thin doing too much the same thing.  And that’s natural selection at its finest: when the cream rises to the top.  I can’t even tell you how much it meant to me to read several of you comment that you have stopped reading a lot of blogs, but continue to read mine–I mean, for reals, like tears and stuff over here, more than one tissue, seriously.  Years ago, a dear commenter whose words always hit home left a note that said she suspected that I would be remembered more for my writing than for anything else, and it struck a chord with me.  The comments last week that echoed her thought reminded me of that, and reminded me that there’s still a place for writing about sewing in a blog format, still a place for folks who’d like to get a little ping, a little email, that tells them a friend has written them a note and had the kid in the back row pass it up during Geometry.  So you don’t have to wait until the bell rings to get a little high five.

And that leads me to my final question on this topic:  What would it TAKE?  For you to comment more regularly, for you to comment specifically from your mobile device.  What would it take?  Is it a formatting issue?  Is it an accessibility issue?  Is it just a giant lack of good content?  Is it that you don’t feel responded to, don’t feel heard on the other end, and so are discouraged from taking the time?  What would it take for you to comment more and more regularly?  I miss the two-way street, y’all.  I’d love to know if we can make it a vibrant downtown again, with busy sidewalks, rather than a vacant dead mall at the edge of the suburbs.

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  • ChristaQuilts
    November 12, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    You discuss some interesting thoughts here. And this is the first time finding your blog – because of your instagram post LOL! But I am typing this from my laptop because I’m “working” now. (I socialize on my phone – I work on my laptop).

    I think blogs are becoming more of a one way communication. Many more will read whereas few will respond. I agree with you – my blog followers are two different audiences, although with some overlap.

    It’s easy for me to comment on IG because it’s right there, but I’m with the others who state that it’s hard to comment on blogs on the phone. Sometimes it flat out doesn’t work.

    Keep up the discussion though!

  • Mumziepooh
    November 12, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Just found this thru Insta! On my phone typing with a slow index finger…..

    I have lots of thoughts-but my initial reaction is TIME. Insta is just that-instant. A quick picture with a quick response-keeping up with 900 followers and the 900 you follow is tough work! Takes time. On Instagram, there is no long blog filled with beautifully written thoughts-it’s a picture, a quick note and you move on.

    There are probably other reasons but the biggie for me is time! Got to go-899 more pics to ❤️

  • Amy Harward
    November 12, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Wow! I have really never thought about some I these things until reading your post! I found you on Instagram about a year again and, silly me, didn’t even know you had a blog! I follow most of my blogs through the Bloglovin app on my phone and the format is definitely not comment friendly. In order to comment, you have to click on the blog post you want to read, click on show original post, where you are directed to the bloggers site and might possibly need to click once or twice more to get to the post you are looking for. I know that makes it hard for me and if Bloglovin could change it, I would comment more 🙂

    • sew little time
      December 8, 2014 at 10:28 am

      totally this! this is why i have stopped using the bloglovin phone app and just access bloglovin through my normal chrome browser. it’s set up for looking at pretty pics, not interaction. i am more likely to put a short comment on twitter or IG and a longer one on a blog post. i don’t use FB for sewing blogs at all really.

  • Agnes
    November 12, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    I didn’t know you had posted a new blog post until seeing it on IG! I read the majority of my blogs through feedly, when I’m on my computer. It’s hard to read them on the phone. Commenting is harder because you have go into Safari and even then commenting doesn’t always work seemlessly, as Christa mentions above. Interactions on IG are quick and succinct. Often the pictures convey the message. I’m not a blogger and rather enjoy this “micro-blogging” (a term I first read from you!) environment. What makes me read certain blog posts and comment is the content and writing such as this post. I like to change up my type of sewing so my blog reading reflects if I’m garment sewing or quilting at that time. I also very much enjoyed your open letter to Suzanne Collins. Also I like feedback from the blogger herself since it’s nice to know if my comment was read. I do enjoy those Sewcials you organize – it is fun to sew along peers even if virtually.

  • Florence
    November 12, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    I was so pleased to read your post and I’ve had some of the same thoughts swirling around in my head as I feel sad that sometimes it feels as though blogs are being replaced by something faster and shiner. However, I love writing, sewing and taking photos and keeping a blog fulfils all of those things for me. I find that sometimes when I resort to just Instagramming, I end up feeling a bit like I’ve lost a little bit of myself somewhere in there by omitting the writing bit, as like you’ve said, IG is often more of a quick high five than a meaningful conversation. And I do actually LOVE the regular commenters on my blog – as, similar to you, over the years they’ve come to feel like old friends and seeing their names come into my inbox makes me really happy – they leave insightful, thoughtful comments and I feel like I’ve actually got to know many of them.

    However, I also completely understand why people don’t comment on blogs so much anymore as I’m guilty of commenting a lot less myself and you’re right, it’s my phone. The time I have for reading blogs comes almost exclusively when I have my phone with me – while drying my hair or waiting for a child to finish a lesson. When I have my laptop on, I tend to be working (the non-sewing variety of work). But you’re right, in theory if I’m capable of typing on Instagram, then I should be capable of typing a comment on a blog, but it’s not that bit that’s troublesome. In the past I used to type long comments on my phone, but often I’d struggle to fill in the form fields from my phone – sometimes they seem to dance all over the place or need to be zoomed in on to fill in and then it would be hard to zoom out to the same place on such a long page. And sometimes when you’re writing a comment, the cursor just disappears and you’re left unable to write any more without doing a complicated in-and-out-of-the-commenting-box dance for two minutes. Sometimes I’d press ‘post comment’ and the comment would completely disappear (at which point I’d lose the will to live)! And other times, if it was a blog that required me to put in a screen code or password to comment, the whole process would fail at that point. For some reason the whole form/passcode/screen capture/different types of login thing just doesn’t work well on a phone for me (I have an iPhone, so it’s not like I’m trying to do it on something created ten years ago). It’s an incredibly frustrating process and I think if Blogger/Wordpress could come up with a solution then it would increase commenting massively. I’m aware that not all blogs use those platforms, but I think that because so many do, and it’s impossible to remember which blogs require passcodes/wordpress IDs etc, the patience to comment via a phone may have broken down, so it’s affected all blogs.

    Anyway, I hope that the fact that I turned my laptop on especially so that I could comment on your post feels like you’ve just had a note passed to you from the back of the classroom! I’m sorry that it’s the longest note ever and takes up two sides of paper though…but that’s what you get with a non-IG comment! x

  • Melissa E
    November 12, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    I am not a frequent commenter on blogs by any means either back with Reader or with Feedly which I use now. I have followed your blog since at least 2011 and sometime in 2012, probably when I became a mom, I switched to reading solely on my phone or iPad. To leave a comment now takes way more clicks then it used to. After I have read the post, I have to visit your site directly scroll through the blog again and enter my info each time I want to comment. I would agree it’s the phone reading that’s killing comments.

  • KaoruMarie
    November 12, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now, but I think this is my first time commenting. I read a ton of blogs through feedly, but I rarely comment. If I’m reading on a laptop, then usually I’m at work and I feel guilty clicking over to the site and commenting so I rarely do it.

    Other times I’m reading blogs on my phone (again through feedly) and it’s difficult to comment on blogs through my iphone. There have been way too many times when I’ve typed up a comment only to have something go awry and then I have to redo my whole comment. It’s happened with disqus, blogger, and wordpress although I think Blogger is the worst, which is too bad because I personally blog through blogger.

    I’d have to agree that phones are killing blog commenting. It’s so so so so much easier for me to comment on IG than it is on individual blogs. If there was a seamless and easy way to comment on a blog post through Feedly or Blogluvin, then I think blog commenting would make a comeback.

  • Betz
    November 12, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Hi D! I already commented on IG but wanted to try commenting here with my phone as a test. 🙂 Great post!!!

  • Laura J.
    November 12, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    I read your blog on my laptop through Feedly (previous through Google Reader) and I’m in the same boat as the commenter above– I’m at work, so clicking all the way over is like “woah there, now you’re just reading blogs!” while somehow I justify feedly as just skimming.

    One thing that has killed sewing blogs for me is the pattern tour. A new pattern comes out and everyone and their sister is making it. Over and over and over.

    What I am loving though is that recently some of the bloggers I follow (including you) have started letting us in a little more on what the business is like, how they balance (or don’t) work/life stuff, how their kids aren’t always shiny and well-dressed.

  • Jodie
    November 12, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    I just found this post from Instagram and just had to come over to your blog to be part of the conversation.
    I loved google reader and I now love bloglovin just as much. I’m reading the same blogs I always used to and commenting just the same as I used to (on my laptop). But Instagram is just so satisfying. I’m on there ALL the time. I know a bunch of people I follow have push notifications so I’m going to beg to differ with you on the high five in the hallway thing. When I like their pic or leave a comment, the second that goes through I know their phone goes off and their eyes will light up and they’ll jump on insta and we’ll both be interacting in REAL time. This phenomenon is not just a high five it’s like at the end of the school day when everyone’s gone home and you’re meant to be doing your homework and here is this person wanting to share something with you – it’s a text message really. Even if they don’t interact back you both thought of each other at the same time sometimes on different sides of the world and isn’t that awesome?
    So let’s talk blog comments on phones. I hate it. With a passion. If I’m on bloglovin on my train commute (like right now) I have to click through to the original post, scroll down figure out what personal info they need/login/first born child/what’s my password again. This is when my insta-expert-thumbs expand to twice their size and start punching in mangled letters and words and frustration sets in. I just want to leave a comment!
    Unless the clouds have parted and angels are singing while I’m viewing the blog post and I just have to type my life altering comment into their blog I just don’t bother.
    Ironically I’ve typed this entire comment out in my “notes” on my phone because I was approaching a tunnel and couldn’t bear to start and restart and restart this message. I’ve now pasted it into your site after typing in my info so I think that says it all really.

  • Mary Ann
    November 12, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Yes to all the above!! I don’t blog so I really appreciate the effort and time bloggers put in on photos and content. I try to comment regularly but since I am reading through Bloglovin IG takes all those clicks and often it just disappears or doesn’t ‘go through. Your last post on the skirts is a perfect example, I loved the post! Sent the link along to several family members and even set up a sewing date with DIL. When I commented it kept getting stuck or not going, maybe the phone or the terrible network since I am at work with competing firewalls. In the end I thought it posted but today I see it didn’t. So I have started it rebuild my favorite list of sewing bloggers so I can directly go and check out new posts. And comment! I do love IG too though, that’s where I post a my projects and occasionally food pics too! Thanks again for the thoughtful discussion.

  • Rachel
    November 12, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    This is all so fascinating. I definitely comment on blogs less than I used to, and I never realised before reading this just now that a good part of the reason for that is because it is a pain in the backside trying to do so on my phone. I am often reading blogs one-handed whilst child-wrangling. But more than that, I find it really hard to log into the various blogging platforms / identities via my phone. With instagram, I’m right there and logged in, and can just hit ‘comment’.

  • Vicky
    November 12, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    I’m a new blogger, so I can’t chime in on comment counts decreasing. But it totally holds true for me that I read a lot of blogs from my bloglovin’ App, which doesn’t even take you to the original blog-post to have the chance to comment, which is kind of sad.

  • Lynne Tilley
    November 12, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    You know what? I think I’m reading SO MANY BLOGS, that I don’t comment as often on each one because I’m too busy reading them all, and enjoying them all. It’s up to me to make the effort to respond to you bloggers more! So I’m committing to that right now 🙂 🙂 Please don’t go away, all you bloggers. I do NOT like the other social media platforms. Too much garbage there, too hard to wade through, and like you said, they are NOT personal enough. Don’t give up on us. All you other Blog Readers/Lurkers-in-a-good-way out there, let’s all keep our comments flowing so we don’t lose these marvelous outlets for learning and sharing with true friends we make. I look forward every single day to sitting down and reading through every blog that I follow (which is well over 100) and keeping up with each and every one.
    Whoops, didn’t mean to get on a soapbox, but wanted to return the love!!


  • Cassandra
    November 12, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    I am typing this out on my laptop, after seeing your post on IG. To be honest, although I follow you on IG I don’t remember ever seeing your blog, but that may also be a time difference thing. I wasn’t going to read such an important, and text heavy post on my phone. Although I find commenting on my phone much easier thanks to it being an Android, I know I’m in the minority. I just didn’t realise how much the phones were impacting readers until I read through the other comments here.

    I will be definitely looking at my blog with a new light now, and testing the commenting on phone feature. There’s nothing worse than a comment being eaten, and I would hate to think that was happening to my readers.

    I have shared this post with a “Quilty Bloggers and Instagrammers Support Group” on facebook that I am a member of, because we have discussed this very point in the recent weeks. Food for thought indeed. Thankyou!

  • Cheryl Arkison
    November 12, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    I need to read this in more detail, but I do want to say thank you!
    I did a survey on my blog a few months back. I was curious about who my blog readers are/were. What I found most interesting was the number of people who ONLY read blogs. That is, they are not of any social media, or at least not following me. This led to one conclusion, for me, and one question.
    Conclusion: there is a still a special audience for my blog and I’m happy to keep writing there.
    Question: If it isn’t IG’s fault, then why are people still not leaving comments?

  • Amber
    November 12, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    I’m using speak to text right now. It’s a nuisance, but it’s not as much of a pain as trying to use my thumbs. It literally hurts to type out everything I desire to say. Further, I feel like most blogs nowadays aren’t really there for interacting, they’re more often than not just lectures or titbits of info. Even the information I have up on my own blog is reviews of books.
    When I do start to read blogs, it’s on my phone, during lunch, or when I’m the passenger in a car.

  • Cassandra
    November 12, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    I just turned on my computer for the express purpose of commenting! (And this is my second try–bloglovin ate my first comment, but more on that later.)

    I read your post on my phone (!) via Bloglovin (!) on my commute (!) home. There’s three barriers to commenting right there: it’s tough to comment in a small phone window, Bloglovin adds another layer of complication–you have to get to the window first, and although reading while I commute is relaxing it’s not always possible to type.

    But there’s a few other reasons. I feel like an outsider in the community. I don’t blog, I don’t work in the field, I take really bad photos and so take few of them… In the same way that it feel weird to comment on virtual stranger’s IG photos when I’m not posting many myself, it feels weird to comment on their blogs. I get that commenting would be a way to enter the community, so to speak, but it’s uncomfortable for me. Maybe that’s my introversion speaking. For what it’s worth, I don’t mind being an outsider — I’m not reading to make friends, I’m reading because I love sewing.

    That said, your post is one of those few posts that made me want to comment — where I felt like my opinion was truly wanted. Thanks for that. Thanks for engaging your readership in a meaningful conversation. So many blog posts, while pretty to look at, read like a marketing ploy in the game of likes, followers, etc. I’m not dissing sponsorships — I get it. I’m awed by the bloggers who are making this their livelihood. But it doesn’t inspire me to comment.

    I guess I’ll just close with this: I love to read blogs. I follow a lot of them on Bloglovin (and aside from the challenge commenting via iphone or their web template–grr–I find it’s a great way for me to track the blogs and posts I like), and I read them every single day. My favorite ones are the ones that feel authentic — Sanae Ishida is a favorite, and I don’t even sew clothes. I probably read blogs 2-3hrs a day, between my commute and at night when the kids have gone to bed. I’d be really sad if blogs went away.


  • Natasha
    November 12, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Great post! I am also one of the people who has pondered this same question. I only started blogging in the past couple of years (and admittedly it has been sporadic so I can’t really expect too many comments from what was infrequent blogging). I have pondered this though from the reader’s perspective. I too love IG and nowadays I read blogs via Bloglovin and I have found I comment more on IG than on blogs as commenting via Bloglovin on my phone is near impossible. Often my comments get eaten up via Bloglovin so I just don’t tend to comment while I’m on the phone. I have the good intention of commenting when I get to the computer but sometimes too much time has gone by and my brain is all fuzzy and I forget to do it 🙂 Interestingly I actually found this post via someone (I suspect it was Cass who commented above) who shared it on our Facebook group! I don’t believe blogs are dead…I do agree that the audiences are very different though for blogs, IG, FB etc. Interesting times for sure 🙂

  • beth lehman
    November 12, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    so fascinating… your other post is still sitting in my feedly reader, b/c i knew i wanted to write something thoughtful, and that would take time!!!

    i started reading blogs on my desktop… and i find when i really want to sit and scroll through my blogroll… i still prefer the desktop. (i must be the only one!!) we’ve not had a laptop too terribly long… and either a kid has it for their homework or it’s not charged or i can’t find it!!) i have an ipad… but HATE little keyboards. it’s so time consuming to comment about anything.

    also, i follow about 20 or 30 x the number of blogs now than i did way back when. i commented all the time and was so inspired early on. now i comment when i have the time or when something really floors or moves me. but, i’m reading so many sewing/quilting/inspirational/photography/simple living (you get the idea) blogs now, that there are times when i come over to feedly and simply delete almost everything, but i know i can’t read (much less comment) on 300+ posts (on a good day!).

    i use IG for connection to my sister and a group of women i’ve met through photography classes and only a few sewists… so this place and that place are different for me.

    bottom line. there is more content. which makes me less connected to blogs and commenting like i used to. it’s an issue of time, but also one of sheer volume.

    love this conversation, and you, for putting it out there. it will be so interesting to see where this leads!

  • kathryn
    November 12, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    I’ve never been much of a commenter on any blogs, but I have really been missing them lately; with fewer and fewer regularly posting blogs (or at least, ones that have limited to no “sponsored posts”) I have had a hole in my morning routine.
    I never used Google Reader- I just typed the first few letters of each blog into my browser- it became a nice ritual, checking in with a pile of blogs regularly, from sewing to home dec to “life”. Now it’s just a small handful. And I miss them! I love love IG too, but I prefer the story that a blog post can tell, the details, the multiple angles of an idea or steps of a project. I find it weighs so much less on me than scrolling through overly posed, filter heavy IG pics than can make you seriously consider what the hell you are doing wrong, b/c your dinner ingredients aren’t mis en placed, your kids clothes don’t match, and your front porch isn’t surrounded by a haze of shiny bright sunlight(where the HELL is that filter, anyway??)

    I try to be choosy with the people I follow on IG- I don’t want it to be another Facebook, with 1000s of pictures from people I hardly remember. It’s worked well for me to keep it specific to my sewing and crafting interests, with some friends thrown in for good measure. But then, I reach the end of new IG pics and I have no blogs to turn to for entertainment! It’s not been good for my Netflix addiction….

    Seeing a blog behemoth like YoungHouseLove throw in the towel made me really reflect on what it takes to keep a blog going with fresh content, and I can’t imagine how exhausting it must be to stop a project every step and shoot photos and take notes and then pull all that into a creative, thoughtful and interesting piece of writing. I totally understand why so many bloggers have turned to sponsored posts, and I think it’s great that people can make a little money that way, but I prefer not to read them, and I check back rarely to see if there’s anything actually new.

    I too am excited for Sarai’s Seamwork and enjoy Dana’s videos, and think those are both great directions for blogs to head, but I hope that some regular old-fashioned sewing blogs remain, because we all still have much to learn! IG has led me to so many friends and also to new blogs, and I do love it so so much (too much), but nothing beats sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee reading a longer piece of writing about one of my interests.


  • Anita
    November 12, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    Hi! Just found your post from a link posted in “Quilty Blogger’s and Instagrammer’s Support Group” on Facebook posted by Cassie Madge. I follow blogs on Bloglovin. I just came into blogging at the tail end of the Google Reader so the fact that it’s gone means nothing to me. I am typing to you on my PC right now. If I were on my phone or tablet I probably would not be commenting because it is such a pain. Sometimes if I see a post I want to comment on on my tablet I’ll run downstairs to my computer to type a comment. But that’s if I really really want to comment. A lot of times something will go screwy with my tablet or phone (such as wifi goes out) and my comment gets lost. Then I have to start typing all over again so sometimes I give up. I have been working on growing my blog and just now (after three years) I feel like it’s finally taking off. I think blogging still has a place in our sewing community. It’s just maybe a different place. I really love Instagram. (Too much I think.) But I also enjoy blogs. I just don’t have as much time to read them right now with a new baby. My husband is home this evening and is looking after the baby as I type this. The other thing is… I have about 300 blogs on my bloglovin list and it’s impossible to keep up with all of them all the time. I think I need to go in a pare it down. That said, this article was very well written so I’m adding your blog to my Bloglovin feed! 🙂

  • Catherine
    November 13, 2014 at 12:59 am

    Thoughtful post. I generally readmyblogsvia Bloglovin on my laptop, old fashioned that’s me! I read this on my iPhone and it’s definitely more fiddly to type a considered reply. I like well written blogs and tutorials not sound bites so although I have Instagram on both platforms I prefer to read and reply on the laptop. I am lucky enough to be retired and tend to read imbed with my morning tea for 30 minutes every day. Writing this with my thumb on the IPhone has been tortuous . Keep writing please as I so enjoy your blog

  • tisha @ quiltytherapy
    November 13, 2014 at 9:00 am

    This is a great post. I have a couple of thoughts as a reader and blogger.

    As a reader it can be challenging to set aside 30 minutes to get caught up on blogs and comment. I use Bloglovin’ and mark the posts I want to read more in depth when I can get to my laptop or bored at work. I prefer to comment and read on my laptop, eaiser on the eyes and fingers.

    I wish more bloggers responded to comments, even if it’s just a thanks for stopping by. I find myself leaving comments on blogs that I know the writer will interact.

    As a blogger I don’t always see comments on every post. That’s on me and I’m working to change that.

    I still use IG and twitter to see what people are working on. I think IG is great for a quick chat, like a text. Blogs feel more like a phone call with a friend. They take a big longer but I walk away with so much more.

  • Maureen
    November 13, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Your posts have started a great conversation. I am amazed so many people read blogs on a phone. It never entered my mind as an option.

    I have been following your blog for several years. This is where I learned to sew, and I always look forward to your posts. This might sound silly, but until I read your thoughts about comments, I never thought bloggers were interested in comments. I was under the impression that bloggers only wanted eyeballs, so they could sell advertising space.

    Thanks for giving me a new perspective.

  • Show and Tell Meg
    November 13, 2014 at 11:16 am

    I agree with how much of a bummer it can be to write up an in depth post and never receive any comments. I’m a much smaller blogger than you, but when I do get the random comment I am elated! Someone actually took the time to (sort of) validate what I have worked so hard on – even if it’s just a two word response, lol.

    I will say though that I am guilty of not commenting as often as I would like to on blog posts I read, and it is 100% due to mobile reading. I use Bloglovin’ now which is super simple to read on your phone – key phrase there being “to read”. Bloglovin’ just shows you the post, sometimes not even all of it (I’ve had to click through to “view the actual post” at the bottom to see photos sometimes), and it most definitely does not give any type of a comment box. To leave a comment, I have to click through to the full post, wait for it to load (some blogs take a long time if they have lots of fancy ads and whatnot along the sides), find the post I just read, wait for that to load, scroll all the way down to find the comment box, then type my comment and pray that Bloglovin actually submits it. I’ve had several instances where I had a well thought out, in depth paragraph typed as a comment through my phone, only to click submit and it tell me there was some kind of problem and it is all gone. I can’t tell you how frustrating that is! At that point, I usually just move on to my next post to read in my feed and forget about what I wanted to contribute. If the feed reader programs like Bloglovin’ had a spot for comments that would actually work and placed it in the feed part that you have automatically displayed, I guarantee that comments would start pouring in.

    I now exclusively comment on my computer. In fact, I read your post on my phone, then marked it as unread in my feed so I would remember to type up a comment next time I was on a computer. Even then though, Bloglovin’ interferes. I’ve tried to type a comment after just clicking through the post on my Bloglovin’ feed on my computer and have it freak out there too. You have to actually go to the top of your browser window and click the little X at the top right corner to get rid of Bloglovin’s little header (which changes the address in which you view the blog), and then your comments will go through just fine. It’s a big headache. We deserve a better blog reader! lol.

    Anyway, I hope this post helps to drum up more interaction in the blogosphere. It can be disheartening that we just stick something up there and never even know if anyone liked it.

  • lisa
    November 13, 2014 at 11:16 am

    I started to comment yesterday, but wanted to think about it more. Since I dont use IG I can’t talk about it from the social media stand point. I do realize I have quit commenting, so I also tried to comment on another blog. I almost gave up. Every time I tried to enter in everything it would kick me out. Then after several attempts I submitted it then realized there was an auto correct typo. Which makes me feel like an idiot. I think that frustration has just lead me to stop. (Your widget doesn’t seem to do that by the way but those other ones have just made me stop.) Also, when I do take the 15 minutes to leave a comment I often wonder if it ever gets read. Thinking back on it you have replied back to me, and that does make me want to comment more….

  • Tamie
    November 13, 2014 at 11:33 am

    It is so interesting to read your post and the follow up comments. I am on IG but mostly because some bloggers I follow were posting things there but not on their blog or not until much later. I read mostly from an iPad now and if I comment less, it is due to time- I’ve gotten pretty fast with a stylist. Of course, I’m older and don’t do the thumb thing unless I have to. I love blogs and hope they continue but I wish bloggers didn’t feel the pressure to post every day. Of course, if I take the time to write more than a five word post, it is nice to get a short reply- but again, I understand the time thing.

  • Fooniks
    November 13, 2014 at 11:37 am

    I do most(if not all) of my blog reading behind a computer screen. So just like you, it was interesting to hear how the mobile platform sometimes does get in the way of feedback. But I do get it. I mean when I am reading something via phone, I want everything be done fast. I have a bit of a short attention span and with all sorts of notifications and messages coming in, it’s hard to really focus on reading posts, think about what the writer is really saying and then engage in an exchange of thoughts.

    And when I speak for myself, I think I need to make more of an effort to comment on other’s posts. And I am going to try to be better at it. If I see something worth commenting, if something provokes my brain to think, then I will comment on it in the future.

    Thank you so much for bringing up this issue. I LOVE when people comment on my blog posts. I wish the activity were higher in the commenting section. For about 100 visits, I get 1-2 comments. And that’s a bit sad.

  • susan
    November 13, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    I’ll try to comment every once in a while. There’s no reason not too, except that I’m introverted, and it takes a long time to think of a reply that is worthy of reading ( kind of like a high school essay). I don’t always think that bloggers want comments for the comments, they want them for the traffic. Now, that I know your feelings get hurt and they do mean something to you, I’ll try harder.

    Your blog is one of the ones I check in on weekly. I don’t subscribe, or use/understand readers. I really do like most things about it. Please keep at it, so many of my favorite blogs don’t exist anymore, or worse are just hosting give-aways. What is it about give-aways?

  • Ashleigh
    November 13, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    For me, the comment issue is that often blogs seem to have something running/loading in the background that causes my iPad keyboard to close 4-5 times while I’m trying to type. I just don’t have the patience for that. Especially when I’m accidentally clicking on ads/links when it closes as I reach for the next letter. I do love reading sewing blog posts, though! I use Feedly to subscribe.

  • Amy H
    November 13, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    I’m not sure if I have ever commented before–but I have been following/reading your blog since I found this awesome fabric store down by Ikea with this cool deli/grocery next door. I started following and reading your blog then, and I have been hooked ever since. I’m not going anywhere. I will say I comment way less on blogs now that I read them on my phone. Mostly because I steal bits of time here or there to read the blogs I follow–you know, in the car line when I happen to be there before the bell actually rings, or while I’m waiting for swim or ballet to be over. I have the time to read it, but not necessarily the time to comment. It is rarely a long period of time, and I move on to the next thing. I may or may not sit down at all and look at the laptop during the day, which is WAY EASIER to type with a normal-sized keyboard. But all this to say, I follow about 15 blogs now–and it certainly is the cream of the crop that presses on in the blog world, and those of us still reading realize that!

  • Sandra
    November 14, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Just found your blog/post through a mention on the FB Quilty Bloggers and Instagrammers Support Group. There has been a lot of mention of declining blog commenting recently, so I have been determined to increase my own commenting (for what it’s worth).
    I do not like to read blogs on my phone since I find the text too small for comfortable reading, and zooming in, and scrolling through just gets too cumbersome, quite apart from the commenting issue. I love reading blogs though, so I fire up the laptop regularly to get my fix. Also, once in my Bloglovin list I will not miss a post, whereas IG is so fast and fleeting that it is quite likely I’m missing loads of lovely messages that have come past while I wasn’t looking. I love IG, but it is quite different.
    As for commenting, I try to leave comments regularly, especially when I know that my comments will be appreciated (and maybe even replied to, yippee!). However, I will not leave another “lovely work” to a list of tens (or even hundreds) comments of similar sentiment, however much they will be appreciated.
    I also think there is an issue with Blogger since a few months now, since the text of a first comment of the day disappears upon logging in to send that comment. I know now and always select/copy before sending so I can send it again easily if this happens. But if I forget to copy, it really has to be very important to be typing it again…
    And then there is the increasing reading list of blogs (there are so many lovely, interesting blogs out there). The longer the list people try to follow, the less likely they leave a comment on all of them. I know myself, after a while you just like to get on with reading the next blog on your list.
    In the end there seem to be several issues contributing to the problem of decreasing comments, though many seem to enjoy reading blogs. I suppose we need to keep encouraging each other to keep commenting. And maybe we need to accept that we are writing blogs for whoever reads it, even if they don’t acknowledge their presence by leaving a comment…
    [sorry for the long comment, my writing is probably more suited to blog posts than IG posts ;-)]

  • Samina
    November 14, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Some great comments here, as well as perspectives I hadn’t considered before. Here’s my take – I follow a lot of blogs, but don’t always comment for following reasons (in no particular order):

    * I’m reading most of my blogs through Feedly. Sometimes I’m in a rush & don’t have time to click through & comment. Sometimes, I’m just flat too lazy to do so ;-p

    * I’m loathe to comment just to comment. I read others’ comments, but some of the “me too” comments are stupidly annoying to me. I realize now that you, as the blogger, are looking for signs of life out there, so I’ll be more conscientious about commenting.

    * I don’t always feel comfortable posting. There are some bloggers that I follow because I’m smitten with their writing or their projects, but I feel like their group of commenters is a bit of a close-knit clique & I’m a bit of a 5th wheel sticking my nose in. I realize that’s due to my what? insecurities? I don’t know, but I get a vibe that my comment just wouldn’t be welcomed. I’ve got pretty thick skin, but when I see others consistently get responses & I never do, I figure that the blogger isn’t interested in my comments & I stop commenting.

    Interesting discussion, though. Thanks for opening my eyes.

  • Jenn
    November 14, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    It’s just a phone thing. Nothing personal. Yeah, you still have to use your thumbs to comment on ig, but it’s RIGHT THERE. You don’t have to scroll to the bottom and type in your name and email and website address. And feedly doesn’t make it easy to comment.

  • treen
    November 15, 2014 at 12:32 am

    I’ve been reading your blog for years (since at least 2011) and you made the cut as my blog list has been whittled down. But I’ve commented only a couple of times. It’s very middle-school-ish, but I was always one of the “invisible” kids who admired the cool people from afar and never felt like I could approach them … and for me, apparently that applies with adult sewing blogs as well. YOU make entire wardrobes and have even published books (my ultimate dream). I just barely figured out how to read a pattern for a child’s dress. It’s dumb, but you asked. So there you go.

    It’s also a kid thing for me, not a phone thing. My children aren’t little toddlers anymore, who play off to the side while I read online. They’re extremely assertive elementary age kids who are homeschooled, so if I sit down at the computer during the day (I do not use social media at all on my phone – texting only), they are instantly climbing on my back. “Can I play a computer game, Mom? Can I? Huh? Cat in the Hat is science, Mom!” And on and on. This is why I’m reading/posting at 1 in the morning. My computer time is REALLY limited these days.

  • Irene
    November 16, 2014 at 5:20 am

    Interesting read this post and then the following 30+ (and growing) comments!
    I use Feedly instead of Google Reader, and I’ve found this post through it. Probably commenting on Instagram is faster than reading the whole post and adding a comment…

  • Hanne
    November 17, 2014 at 6:40 am

    Interesting! I feel like this is mostly what’s going on indeed.
    I must say that I try to only comment when I have something to add to the post/discussion.
    It feels so stupid (for me) to put a simple “I like this”.
    I recentely started liking all posts I want to comment on in bloglovin when reading them on the iPad so I can come back to them on my computer and leave said comments.
    So for me it’s not so much about the blogpost itself as about the medium, which you’ve already stated in this post.
    I’m considering spamming bloglovin so they change their reader, but it might take a lot of people doing so to actually have them change it.

  • Linda F.
    November 17, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    I agree with the very first person who replied to your post who said she thinks that blogs have become more of a one way conversation. I read quite a few blogs through bloglovin on my computer where it is easy to respond, but I often feel if the blog writer isn’t someone I know personally through my guild, that I won’t take the time to leave a comment unless the post is something that has specifically hit a nerve with me or a request for response has been made such as you have done here. I have followed your blog since I took an online class of yours and I enjoy to see what you are sewing and your opinions about different fabrics and patterns. I seldom comment but I am reading what you write. I hope that you are able to follow your stats to see what the numbers there are telling you. Of some interest is that I do not currently follow you on Instagram. I would rather read what you write than just see a quick photo. I am responding this long after your writing this post because it’s the first time in a week I’ve had the time to sit down and look at bloglovin. I encourage you to keep blogging!

  • Catty
    November 18, 2014 at 8:34 am

    More than a week later, I am at my desktop on “The Old Reader” reading your post. Saw you mention it on ig. I completely agree it’s phones! But keep blogging! You are inspiring! 🙂

  • Kate Yates
    November 19, 2014 at 7:51 am

    Great discussion–I agree, it’s the phones! I use bloglovin as the reader on my phone, and it’s a pain to comment (unless I’m doing it wrong?). I have to view the original blog post, wait for a new page to load, zoom in, scroll down…and I’m just not a phone person. I normally save up my blog reading for the weekends, when I’m on my laptop and able to comment. IG is great mid-week, when I’m in a hurry–so easy to comment, but I do miss the interaction on blogs, and I hope they don’t go away!

  • Jen
    November 25, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    I followed your blog for several years through Reader, and like you, did a purge when I had to switch to Bloglovin. Luckily, I was already following you through IG so I didn’t lose track of you entirely, but I also didn’t follow your blog as closely; just the occasional pop over now and again. Though truthfully, I only really continued to use BL diligently for the first six to eight months after making the switch. I was never an extensive commenter, though I did write in every once in a while on several blogs. Mostly I just lurked from blog to blog on my laptop. Now though, I am rarely on my laptop except for actual work and as many commenters above noted, it is not very easy to comment from the phone. Even now, as I type this on my phone, I keep wondering if I’m typing all this in vein only to lose it before I post. >.< One of the problems I've experienced a lot is that if I start typing a comment and then scroll up to see the post so that my comment is specific and accurate (or even scroll up in my own comment as a means of editing/keeping my train of thought), I often can not click back into the comment box to continue typing. I never experienced that problem on a laptop or desktop, but it's been pretty pervasive on at least my most recent two phones. I've also noticed that I've become less involved in the sewing community in general though. Part of that is my own personal life (I've progressed through grad school and now have less time for my own sewing, let alone reading about other people's), and part of it is that by the time google reader went by the way side, I had so many people I was following that I felt like I never truly knew what was going on. When I first started following blogs, I could see the thumbnail photo of a quilt and instantly know which of the quilters I followed made it because I had gotten to know them and their individual styles so well. They all linked to and introduced me to such wonderful and creative quilters, sewers, and crafters, that by the time 2013 rolled around I already felt disconnected and like I simultaneously had seen it all before and like I couldn't place any particular design or style with any particular creator. That may not be the same experience others have had, but that overwhelmed feeling coupled with starting to wrap up grad school, moving to more phone-based leisure interactions, generally becoming busier, and losing Reader made many things that were previously rewarding start to seem like a chore. I mean, I would feel like I never quite got caught up on my sewing learning/inspiration/entertainment, let alone my real-life work! I don't know if any of this is remotely helpful for you, as it's truly just my own personal experience, but I think the time I took away from the online sewing world made me realize how wrapped up I had become in virtual living/creating versus actual living/creating and I don't see myself returning to the blogging usage I once had, particularly not with the related technology issues. In sum, I think the shift you've noticed truly is just a variety of issues for each person and I don't have any solid suggestions for fixing it. I do know (and it seems many of your other readers do as well) that I am much more likely these days to read and/or comment on a blog post if it came through my IG feed and intrigued me as I've almost entirely abandoned blog aggregators. Cheers, and I hope it all works out for you! I hope that doesn't come off as trite, given the context; I truly do wish you well.

  • Kali
    November 26, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    hi! I think in addition is that when written from a mobile device, some comment boxes will stop typing if you try to go back and fix a word previously typed… So, if I make a typo and try to double back to fix it I have to sacrifice my whole comment and start over… Most often I give up.
    I try to comment on my local friends blog posts, but a lot of major bloggers don’t reply, even when I can see that it’s been hours and they only have a handful of comments.

    One thing that would make it easier from a blog reader is a link at the end of a post that skips down to the comment section on the blog itself. (If that makes sense…)

    I have noticed that you are very consistent with your comments on IG virtual sewcials, all the while being productive, which is a huge incentive to make the time to participate when it is convenient! 🙂

  • Lee @ Freshly Pieced
    November 28, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Great post, Deborah! I have a some thoughts. : )

    1. You’ll notice I’m leaving this comment weeks after your post was published. That’s what happens with blogs for me. I’ll go for weeks without looking at my Bloglovin’ feed, then catch back up when I have time. Which means I only click on the most compelling posts, and I hardly ever comment, because there are just too many. I’m especially unlikely to comment on older posts like this – but in this case, I had to make an exception, because, you know. : )

    2. I get a fraction of the comments I used to on my own blog posts, but I guess it doesn’t bother me too much, because my page views have continued to go up. The slow-but-steady increase in my page views tells me people ARE still reading, so even if they’re less inclined to leave a comment, something keeps them coming back, and I just have to accept that people are using and reacting to my blog differently now. I was assuming either technology was to blame, or it’s a different audience reading my blog, or they’re commenting elsewhere on social media, or it’s a combination of all three. This post of yours is further indication of that.

    3. I just had an email from someone telling me that since I switched to embedded comments on Blogger, she as a WordPress blogger has been unable to comment on my blog. I switched back to having my comments on a separate page and now she can comment again (although it has the negative side effect of not allowing people to reply to specific comments in a thread). I realize this doesn’t affect you directly because you’re not on Blogger, but I think it’s just one small piece of the general frustration and difficulty of commenting on blogs. Enough issues like that could frustrate people enough that they just stop trying to comment on ALL blogs. (And it has finally gotten me fed up enough with Blogger to seriously consider switching to a different blogging platform.)

    4. Here’s a post I did a while back on blogging versus social media – it’s not specifically about the lack of comments but does address it. http://www.freshlypieced.com/2014/06/are-blogs-dead-not-even-close-but.html

    Keep blogging! : )

  • Sewing Princess
    December 8, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Hi Deborah! I do blame it on the phone…and I’ll tell you why!
    I keep on reading blog posts via Feedly or Bloglovin. So, Google Reader’s death is not the issue here. The problem is that very often I read posts via my phone…and those apps are not comment-friendly…nor are our comment forms.
    When you leave a comment from Feedly/Bloglovin app you often end up loosing your comment because the authentication fails (sometimes I get this issue even from the pc). My workaround these days is to copy the whole text I wrote before hitting Reply…at least I have a backup. However that is way more time consuming than leaving a comment on a pc.
    On Instagram (Facebook, which I don’t really like, and Twitter) you are already logged on so you can simply leave a message and it’s done. No authentication, no typing email/website address, name, etc.
    That’s why comments on those apps are becoming more popular than on the blog.
    Not to mention…on IG, FB and Twitter you can simply hit a button for Like…even faster!
    By the way…if it’s any consolation I did miss your IG post on this but found it back via Feedly…and that’s why I am here ;o) writing from my pc.

  • Jennifer O.
    December 30, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    So, I still read blogs, but maybe not as many or as frequently as before, but my reasons may be different than others, but that’s because I live in the technology stone age. I read blogs at work, during breaks. I don’t have internet at home. I do have an old iphone but find it difficult and unappealing to read blogs on that tiny screen. My job can be cyclical, and when I’m not so busy I read more blogs. My list got really long when we went through a lull, but I’ve been very busy lately and didn’t even have time to read my favorites. But I’m trying to catch up a bit, and working the week between Christmas and New Year is giving me a bit of quiet time for that. I enjoy Instagram, in that it gives you a glimpse into what’s going on, but I think blogs are still very valuable for giving us a chance to go deeper. And I can be bad at commenting, too. I must do a better job at that. I do enjoy your blog and hope you continue writing. I liked your store, too – I visited once when I was home in Atlanta even though it was quite an excursion for us East Side folk. Thanks!

  • Melanie
    January 7, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Hi there, I am going to chime in on this because I’m a bit different. I don’t use social media sites; I’m one of those folks who has never enjoyed it and just let it all go. I do, however, read blogs, but I have criteria for which blogs I read. I use Feedly and do most of my reading from my tablet, but I utilize the “save for later” option for those items I wish to comment then jump on my laptop to type.

    I just discovered your blog this week, but I will comment if I am inspired by something.

    • Deborah
      February 27, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      I’m curious about the “save for later” function. Do you stack a bunch up and comment on a few at one time, or do you use the save function to make it easier to find a blog where you were inspired to leave a comment? I’m trying to tease out what it is that makes it easiest for folks to interact with a blog post!

  • dana
    February 27, 2015 at 1:13 am

    How did we not talk about this post at lunch the other day???
    This has been on my mind frequently….and many times I’ve thought of writing a post “let’s all join forces, and start commenting on each other’s blogs again”….but you said it all so much more eloquently.
    It’s true.
    You will be known for your writing.

    Anyway….really interesting conversation, and interesting to read what everyone has to say.
    I do agree that I comment less as well. But even this past year I’ve tried to make more effort on that, popping in my friends blogs once a month (oy. That’s not very often. You know how it is)

    Thanks for bringing this all up!
    And hugs and kisses and all that stuff 🙂

    • Deborah
      February 27, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      I know, right?? You’d think it would come up! I do remember talking to Miranda about this, and she has some really cool ideas. I think people are LOOKING at blogs, and I’d love to see more of them READING blogs and interacting. Making friends is the best part!! 🙂

  • Katie
    February 27, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Very interesting post. My commenting habits are driven by a couple of things. First, I am MUCH more likely to comment on blogs where the author replies back. I love the interaction of sewing blogs, but if I don’t get that interaction, I am unlikely to comment again.

    But the main barrier to my commenting is the interface I’m using. I read most of my blogs on Bloglovin on my iPhone and there isn’t a commenting platform built into the Bloglovin mobile app. To comment, I have to go through to the post and I don’t often take the time to do that. If Bloglovin had a commenting platform (like the WordPress mobile app, which I love), I would comment FAR more than I do.

    The other issue I run into the default commenting platform on blogspot blogs. It’s almost impossible for me to comment on those blogs using my iPhone — for some reason the technologies seems to be incompatible and it always either loses or rejects my comments. After a while I got discouraged so if I see a blog with the default Google commenting platform, I just skip it and move on.

    But I love commenting on blogs and getting comments on my own. The interaction with other sewists is the main reason I read blogs in the first place!

    • Deborah
      February 27, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      I’ve heard so many people say the same thing: that hearing back from the author of the post really means a lot. I know that when I first started blogging, I really didn’t do that much–it felt odd somehow? Like I wasn’t sure if people wanted me to reply? And along the way I would write back to folks and hear how excited they were to have a two-way conversation. But I really needed someone to SAY that to me before I understood it. Funny how we can do all this writing and not really communicate clearly to one another! So I love how this series of posts has really driven home how valuable it is to take the time to respond to comments. So nice to meet new folks!

  • Amanda
    February 27, 2015 at 11:35 am

    I just found your post/blog through Dana’s recent post about QuiltCon/Blogging. And I agree with and see as well so much of what you said. I think the switch to phones has certainly made commenting much more difficult…the interface is so different for blog commenting I’m sure it’s cut down on things. I have a lot of friends who have ditched reading blogs (or even blogging) all together to purely use instagram. For me…I just don’t get it. I like instagram, but I don’t love it. It’s become the picture version of the Facebook “like.” People <3 everything and comment less there as well. And I detest typing on my phone…I would use the talk to text feature, but there's always noisy kids in the background. :/

    I like taking pretty pictures with my fancy camera, styling the shot, editing them, thinking about what to say. I guess it's my version of my craft journal. And as a blogger I love receiving comments. All comments are lovely, but we're even poor commenters so often…"I LOVE THIS!" or "That's a very pretty quilt." What do you say to that other than thank you? And that's what I reply…thank you, but I'm searching for that connection as well.

    And then here's the final thought…and I'm totally guilty of this…I have so many blogs I love and I try to visit them all regularly with my Bloglovin' feed. But, I find myself scanning the pictures and skipping the written content…and then I don't comment because I feel like I don't have anything worth saying. I want to say…I wanted to read…I really did! And I want to have a lovely comment for you, but the kids needed to eat…the dogs had to go outside…the house needed to be tidied up….. So, I'm trying to really sit down and read what people are saying because I think they're voices are worth hearing and they're not just a "pretty face" if you know what I mean. 🙂

    Now that was total rambling, but I really enjoyed your thought provoking post.

    • Deborah
      February 27, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      Not rambling at all! These are my thoughts exactly. I love that blogging leaves more room for longer, substantive comments–not that I don’t see those on IG, just that they really show up on the blog. And I dislike that losing Reader has made it so tough for people to really engage at that level. There must be some other solution, but I don’t know yet what it is!! Until then, I know that I value the relationships I’ve formed here so much that I’m willing to jump through a few hoops to maintain them. 🙂

  • anna
    February 27, 2015 at 11:49 am

    I want to devote serious time to commenting here. I looooove the issues you bring up and above all for me, I think blogging really feels like a one-way street. There isn’t a way for people to really interact with each other, only the blog author mostly. Blogger just came out with a reply to comments, maybe a year or two ago? And even then it’s not really how readers can communicate with eachother unless they follow all the comments, and no one does that. When I do leave a comment on a blog however, I rarely get interaction back. It’s just how it goes I guess. It was how I met people like Dana and Rae too, back in the day, we replied to comments. But even now I do that and don’t “meet” folks like I used to.

    Oh, and Google reader may be gone, but I think I love Feedly even more.

    • Deborah
      February 27, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      I love that you point out how IG and other formats really allow you to follow the WHOLE conversation–I think that’s super valid, and I wish that a comment thread on a blog would make it easier to do that. What I’ve heard from other bloggers is that, in addition to losing a feed reader we really liked, a lot of blog platforms have eliminated the ping we get via email when a comment is left. I suspect that means that even if you opt in for follow-up, maybe you’re not seeing the whole conversation? I wonder if what we’re all looking for is a marriage between our blogs and our IG feed, some way (a plug in? an overlay?) that would allow us to opt in and marry the two. I’ve tried doing that with a forum, but it’s just one more place for people to check, when their schedules are already filled with places to check. So I think after a few months of letting this cook on the back burner, now what I’d most like to see is something that allows me to carry the conversation in BOTH places, IG and my blog. Which doesn’t exist yet, but maybe someday… We can keep dreaming, right? 🙂

  • that one time I met Rae • Quit Con 2015 • and thoughts on blogging…. | MADE
    February 27, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    […] lady!…and I’ve known her just about as long as I’ve know Rae.  And she wrote this fantastic post about blogging and why people don’t comment like they used to, and why that might […]

  • HW
    February 27, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    I read, enjoy, and appreciate several blogs and love the tutorials. But I don’t comment often. Lately I find myself wishing there was a “like” button for blogposts as in FB.

  • Lacey
    February 27, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    A new commenter here, following from Dana’s link. I didn’t take the time to read all of the comments above, but I thought I would share my personal persecutive: for sewing, nothing beats a blog for me. It gives the opportunity to view a garment or product in multiple photos, close ups, back views, side views, in process etc. Instagram just doesn’t do that.

    I refer to a blog post many, many times if I’m sewing something. I also love that I can search for a pattern and see all the various blogs that have made and posted versions of it. Irreplaceable.

    Do I comment though? Not much 🙁

  • Kim
    February 27, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    I’ve just found your blog by following a link on Dana’s. And I love this post. I love reading sewing blogs and I’ve noticed that as some of the bloggers have become involved in more things they have posted less often. Or their blogs have become mostly advertisements. Both of which I understand but it does make it more difficult for me to stay current.
    Thanks for bringing up this topic and I’m really glad I followed Dana’s link. Take care

    • Deborah
      March 1, 2015 at 12:59 pm

      I feel very much the same way about the product endorsements and things like that–some bloggers do a nice job with them, but others seem to “love” every product that comes their way, and it’s hard to find their writing trustworthy. And I agree about the infrequent posts: I first noticed that when Amy Karol, the Angry Chicken, wrote her first or second book. She just posted less often and it wasn’t really about sewing anymore. I had the same problem when working on my second book, that most of what I was working on wasn’t something I could blog, and it made it tough to post. I would have had to, in essence, write TWO books at the same time to keep up. So I totally understand less frequent posts–but to bring the two points together, I’d be more willing to tolerate fewer posts if the posts that went up were of higher quality. It certainly inspires me to read more and comment more, at the very least!

      Glad you followed Dana’s link–welcome!!

  • Faby
    February 28, 2015 at 1:23 am

    Interesting topic, thanks for sharing, I’m guilty for not posting comments on blogs I read. I will try to chance that, we all love nice comments on our blogs.

  • Natalie
    February 28, 2015 at 11:55 am

    What a great post. I used to blog but honestly I stopped -because- of the mini freak out I would have over putting myself out there, and then the nervousness of “will anyone comment? Is what I wrote idiotic?” It wore me out! I do that to myself, darn it. So I like that you post the validity of such feelings – we like to feel heard, we are putting ourselves out there for the purpose of connection!!

    I really love sewing blogs and am not much into instagram. I definitely see the world moving to everything being fast – we’re way over-busy and taking time to read paragraphs of a blog post is just more of a time commitment than seeing a pic and hearting it. I sit at my desktop to read things online because that’s just how I enjoy it, and I think what you said about not feeling responded to or heard on the other end for me are more the issues. I read and pin things often, and I do try to comment too, but I guess I have wondered often if the poster really cares to hear that I liked the post or what I think. I will try to comment more because I respect the amount of time it takes to put together posts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this.

    P.s. I love where is an option to be notified of follow up comments and usually subscribe to those!

  • Es
    March 1, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    First time commenting on your blog, in fact this is the first time that I have ever read your blog. I found you through dana who I am only able to follow because I have her blog saved as one of the tabs on my internet at work.
    I used to blog once in a blue moon but the time that goes into blogging is not do able with my life of work, uni, family and family business anymore. Everything is posted to IG now. Once upon a time I had an hour to take a zillion different pics and edit them and post about each. Now I manage to take 1 maybe 2 pictures on my phone before my monster has cracked it at me or decided that exact spot is where he must sit when I am trying to take a pic of the item I have made. I now just take the pic do a quick edit on my phone and write a short comment on the picture and post away. I honestly don’t have time for reading blogs unless I’m at my break from work which is sad because there are many blogs aimed at me (crafty mother with a toddler).
    I set myself the goal of making something every week and for each of those I use the #52weekchallenge on IG. Its just so much easier to keep everything together and post in real time not weeks later when I get around to editing my pictures on a computer. I am also on a zillion different fb groups as I like the real time interaction with others.
    I agree that there is a different audience for both platforms. As a mother with a toddler and a busy life I really do not get the time to read blogs and would much rather a quick comment on fb or ig to show my appreciation but felt completed to post to you. Whats your ig handle? I’m much more likely to follow you there as I know I will forget about this page as soon as I go back to work.

  • BeckyLeeSews
    March 2, 2015 at 7:18 am

    I don’t IG or Pin (mostly because of privacy issues) and my FB has gone the same way as yours. I love blogs if they can teach me something. So I guess I love online tutorials with detailed pictures, which is why I love Made and found this post through her. I only visit a select few blogs each day and comment here and there if I have time. And I rarely, if ever, comment using my phone. I guess I’d rather be sewing than typing. Life just gets in the way, ya know? And if you think there’s only so many tutorials that can be done just so many times, think again. How many times has Disney released the same movie? Oh, about once every generation. So just because it was taught before, doesn’t mean that you won’t reach a new member of the audience who just got to the show and might learn a little differently than the way the last session was taught. Each time I read the same topic, I tend to glean something else out of it I didn’t know before and then putting it all together makes my product better than the last time. Does that make sense? So I blog to teach and describe. And I mostly blog to make life a little more entertaining, a lot less serious, and it’s a creative outlet for me that I could care less if anyone read it or not. It’s there, and I’m here, and I shared. I got it out and that’s all I need to be happy about it.

  • charlotte m.
    March 3, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Just found this through Dana’s QuiltCon post. I have trouble commenting on my phone, and it is so small, I rarely read blogs on it. I need bigger. I mostly read on my computer at my home desk. I found blogs in 2010. I loved them. So much information and inspiration. It jump started my sewing and quilting again like nothing ever had and I have sewn for over 40 years. I love that about it. It has been tough for me, since I don’t IG and don’t care to, to keep up with the changes. I miss some of my older, favorite blogs. They rarely post and when they do, it is an infomercial. Some days, I comment, and some days I don’t. Part of that has to do with content. How many times does a blogger need to hear “Cute Quilt” for example. I want to comment when I have something valuable to add. So I might not comment. This is a great discussion and so I wanted to comment. I now need to go back and really look at your blog to see what it is all about. Thank you for a great, thought provoking post.

  • Kiersten
    March 3, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    What a great post! I just have a personal blog, but I feel like a lot less people read blogs in general now, myself included. There are a few that I follow, but I tend to only read blogs on my computer and I’m on it a whole lot less. That said, I find blogs more fulfilling than social media, but I tend to spend more time on social media. Part of the reason I tend to not comment on blogs is when I don’t know the person, sometimes I feel like I need a bit more substance to my comments to make them meaningful. And I rarely comment on IG posts of people I don’t know. In fact, my IG feed is almost entirely close friends and blood relatives. My Facebook is the opposite and inundated with fluff, but for some reason, I can’t stay away. Also, when I post to my blog, I also send the link to Facebook. It’s interesting to me how many people will actually go and read my blog and then instead of commenting on the blog itself, they will comment on the Facebook link to the blog. I’m not sure why.

  • Nicole
    March 12, 2015 at 9:53 am

    I mostly only read blogs (using Bloglovin’) and rarely visit IG. I found this post as the result of a link from a MADE post. I just started reading blogs three years ago and it completely opened up a new world of sewing for me – and so to me, it feels like blogs are exploding!
    But in answer to your question as to why people don’t comment as much, for me, it’s a matter of lack of reciprocity. I could leave comments, but unless I have a space of my own and people respond, I feel like I am talking to the air. I tried having a blog for a while, but it was too much work. So now, writing comments just keeps me kind of as a random onlooker. I wish it were easier to be a “member” of the community, but in some ways, having things be less personal is a mark of the growth of sewing blogging.

  • Paula Laird
    March 16, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Deborah, I love your blog and your IG and the Virtual Sewcials (so much so that I sometimes switch from private on IG to public just to participate). I’m usually reading blogs from my phone, but honestly sometimes I have a hard time commenting even from my desktop (not specifically at your blog, but blogs in general). Maybe it’s my version of windows? I don’t know.

    And I think, for me, a lot of it is how I read blogs. I found this from Dana’s IG post about zipper pouches, which brought me to her video on the blog, which led me to see what else she’s posted lately, which led to the Quilt-Con post, which led to here. All about 2 weeks late. I don’t consistently read anywhere, but check in and binge read when I get a chance. I rarely comment, mostly I guess because you guys seem like rockstars and I’m just a shy fangirl? And also because when you read 7 posts in one sitting that’s a lot of switching back and forth. But I will try to comment more often now that I realize it is nice to hear from people, even random people. 🙂