Wow--let me first say thank you for the BBAW nominations--yesterday I noticed I was short-listed for Best Commenter/Commentator. While I'm flattered, I have to admit that I'm also quite flabbergasted. This is one of those categories that didn't require any input from me, so I have no idea what the criteria for the judging panel was. Did they do a search to see how much the nominees had commented in the past week/month/year? Were repeat nominations taken into consideration--if you were nominated in a category last year, were you more likely to be short-listed again this year?
I'm not trying to sound ungrateful, because I appreciate that someone out there thinks I'm a good commenter. Really I am. The problem? It instills guilt within me. Guilt for being a bad blogger, for not being more active in the community, for being comfortable with the status quo etc etc. If you've been following along for quite some time, you know that I have a constant battle with commenting. Once upon a time, I would have said I was a really good commenter. That was before the blogosphere doubled/tripled and I could get around more easily. Now I just watch my GReader climb into the triple digits knowing that I can't possibly get around to the 100+ blogs I subscribe to. It's frustrating and discouraging and I usually just shut down--as I have the past couple of weeks. I know how ridiculous this all sounds.
It's been a rough year for me, and I've really struggled to come to terms with what I want to get out of blogging and how to balance blogging with life. And for those of you who can read between the lines have gathered that life in general has been tough the past year. I want so badly to be a big part of the blogosphere, but in the end I just can't put in the hours each day or week due to this that and the other. Neurotic me says, well, if you can't be a big part of the blogosphere, why blog at all? Sane me responds, because you love blogging and have met some great bloggers who you've really connected with. Neurotic and Sane me battle all the time. It's enough to drive me batty--and make me disappear for a few days.
I don't really have a point. And I'm not trying to be all "woe is me" whiny little baby. And I don't want to argue with whoever was generous enough to nominate me, but I also know in reality that I haven't been the best commenter these past couple of months. And I struggle with that because commenting is such a huge part of the blogosphere to me. It's my way of telling you--hey, I'm listening to what you're saying and I care about what you have to say. I keep hoping that I can do better at this, that I'll be a better community member...just gotta find that damn elusive balance!
Ok, let's brighten things up. Tell me what makes a great comment? If you happened upon a new blogger who was wondering about commenting (you were that timid commenter at one point...), what would you suggest to them?