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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Rant: Yes, I'm frustrated

Sometimes I wonder, why do any of us blog anymore?

In a recent discussion with friends, I asked if they thought people were "over" blogs. Have we run our course? What's left to discuss? Granted, the DD bloggers write about their day-to-day household relationships. The video producers write about their shoots. The authors write about their latest releases. Occasionally, we write about parties, private scenes, etc. But who reads it all anymore?

In the past couple of months, my blog views have been at an all-time low. It doesn't matter what I write. It can be spanky, it can be serious, it can be funny. But, lest you think this is merely a bid for attention, allow me to continue. It's not just me. It's the entire blogosphere.

I've been perusing the blogs of others, people who still take the time to write out something thought-provoking. I see how few comments they get, if any. They might as well be talking to themselves. I also notice that several of my favorite writers hardly ever blog anymore. I can't really blame them. Why bother, if no one is reading you, or commenting on you? 

For example, a blogger I'm choosing to keep anonymous recently posted two lengthy, heartfelt and interesting posts about experiences and thoughts. She didn't receive a single comment on either one. But when she put up a post with pictures, blammo. Comment city. How annoying.

It's now a world of sound bites, quickie texts instead of phone calls, pictures instead of words. The spanking photo blogs continue to proliferate like wildfire. You can't even comment on the damn things -- all you can do is like them or repost them. So people repost, and repost, and repost. Readers would rather look at the same freaking pictures over and over, than take the time to actually read something and comment. Our attention spans have gotten that short.

I've seen blogs that sometimes put out questions for discussion, asking for reader feedback. Aside from Hermione's Spanko Brunch, which is outstanding and still gets plenty of responses, I see these questions go unanswered. How frustrating for the writer. God forbid we should have some intelligent discourse. It might interrupt our picture viewing.

Fine! You want pictures? Here you go. Here's a nice generic photo of a cute young girl with perfect stripes. I don't know what the source is. However, I'm sure this photo is posted is about 50 other places, so one of them is bound to know where it came from.

Yeah, I'm pissed. But it sucks. No writer wants to feel like they could just stop writing, disappear into the Internet ether, and no one would notice, because their eyes are too glazed over looking at 500,000 different versions of asses and genitals.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get my own ass beaten. Oooh, maybe I''ll have some pictures!


  1. Couldn't agree with you more, Erica. Lizzie and I write for us, really. We used to get comments (not as many as you, of course) but they were fairly regular. When Dark Musing was more active (before our shared blog now) I got fairly regular (though sparse) comments. Now it's consistent page views but no comments. If it's just words--practically no traffic. So what do we do? Take photos of Lizzie's smacked butt. Like you, I wonder why we do it sometimes.

  2. Erica, you are right about people preferring pictures to text in many cases. I think it is very sad that people fail to comment on eloquent blog posts, or don't bother to answer a question the blogger has asked in a post.

    I think part of the reason is that there are just too many blogs out there. When I was helping Bonnie maintain her blogroll, I would cycle through nearly 600 blogs on a weekly basis. Besides the plethora of oh-so-intimate photos, I found lots of blogs that had interesting posts, good discussion topics, and excellent stories, but few or no comments. I wonder how many people knew about those hidden gems. We tend to find blogs of like-minded individuals and stick to those, I think. The DD folks have their favourites, the D/s crowd have theirs, etc. Those blogs get lots of comments because they have a built-in network of friends.

    I'm very pleased to get a large number of comments for brunch as well as Complete the Caption, plus a decent number for all my other posts. However, my total number of pageviews for each day is nothing to write home about. I guess you can't have it both ways.


  3. I feel that as a lurking community we have become very jaded and possibly a bit tired of the same old blogs doing the same old thing with very little in the way of variety.

    With the exception of a few outstanding blogs (yours included) the number of pages I visit has dramatically dropped in the past 6 months. Partly due to some of my favorites going off the air and partly because the amount of genuine feeling has also decreased.

    My fear in replying is two fold. Firstly because of the time difference I get to see a blog after most people have viewed and commented. I feel a bit stupid entering the discussion when everyone else has viewed and left already. But more importantly I think most lurkers are a bit afraid that they have nothing to contribute. When I read a great post I always think...what can I say to add to this...and usually get as far as well done, or great post but feel that if this is the only thing I have to add then why bother.

    I agree with Hermione that there are many, many blogs out there, but if you are an outsider most appear to be part of a closed community. The comments appear to be by the same people to the same people in an endless cycle. But if someone new tries to break into the group their comments are greeted with at best suspicion but usually ignored. Like the blog authors this quickly leads to...why bother.

    For what it is worth...great post, great blog

  4. Erica, I couldn't agree with some of the things you are saying. That being said, I guess it all depends on the reason why a blogger may here for in the first place. I know for me, it was a place for me to write my thoughts. Granted, those thoughts are usually merely exploits in my life with my Mistress, but the mere fact that one person MAY view it meets the need I came here for in the first place.

    I also agree with you that picture bloggers are, well, not really bloggers. They are peddlers of pictures, and like you so aptly demonstrated, are merely rehashing pictures that most of their "readers" have seen a million times already.

    We're all human and we are afflicted with these things called emotions. I know for me, I get a great deal of pride when I have had an increased "page views' on a given day, and even more so when someone takes the time to comment. I also feel (naively perhaps) that for every person that might comment, there are dozens/scores of others that are always just going to cruise by and see what was said (or shown).

    Please don't get discouraged. For whatever it is worth, I for one love your blog because you are obviously intelligent, witty and an excellent writer, and because of those talents I also think you are drop-dead gorgeous!

    Please don't stop writing!

  5. On a tangent, I really appreciate that you allow anonymous comments on your blog (after moderation, of course). I've posted a number of them: they were the funny, enlightened ones that aligned with your opinions <snort> Seriously, thank you thank you thank you for allowing that method of commenting. I think it encourages participation.

    I think we're all overwhelmed with social media and at the same time addicted to our portable technology. (Watch the number of texting drivers, for example, if you disagree on the second point.) I'm curious how your online books have done. I read Late Bloomer awhile back. I think with your blog and your books there's enough about you that your viewers see you as an interesting, real person. And some set of us will continue to enjoy reading about that anyway. Damn the masses :)

  6. i was actually thinking the same thing. i start with Red's ConsensualSpanking everyday and then wander to the other blogs. Some blogs are boring reports about their days or their medicines or what ails them when the original intent was spanking. others are just pictures which are great. Some include some erotic spanking stories. I enjoy most of them and it is certainly amazing how many there are on the spanking subject. Keep writing and by all means, give us a run down of your ass being beaten today. That stuff keeps me coming back.

  7. Hi Erica, I'm pretty new to this fact, this would be my very first comment! :-) I was planning on putting all my thoughts into this comment box, but then my thoughts apparently summed up to ~500+ words, so I posted my response on my blog instead. You can find it at

  8. Since no one else mentioned it, the pic is likely from Punished Brats (David Pierson and Amber "Pixie" Wells' site and the girl's name is Mandie (something). ;-)

  9. Craig -- maybe because we keep hoping it will come back to the way it was before, when more people actually liked words. (sigh)

    Hermione -- you are one of the few bloggers I see who still regularly gets a lot of comments, and I'm glad it's you. Maybe there's just too much to read, and people can't choose, or they don't know what's good, so they just give up and look at the pictures. I don't know. But it's sad to see.

    DD -- remember one thing, because it's very important. Every single "regular" commenter, part of the author's circle if you will, started out as a lurker and a stranger at one point. And this is why we have "Love Our Lurkers" day every year -- because we really *want* these people to come out and join in. You guys are why I write, why anyone writes. If no one reads, then there's no point. And if no one comments, there's no community.

    sub hub -- you're very sweet. I swear, I did not write this because I wanted personal reassurance that I'm still important, relevant, loved, whatever. But thank you. :-) It's more of a general rant on the state of blogs. And sorrow that those who still post words with their photos are being passed over.

    Anonymous -- absolutely, I allow anonymous comments. I would miss some of the best comments I've ever received if I didn't. Yeah, you block the spam if you don't allow them, but you also block a lot of wonderful, shy folks as well. :-)

    For what it's worth, Late Bloomer did fairly well. The CHoS book, notsomuch.

    Baxter -- I will, I promise.

    Jay -- welcome to you! :-)

    Smuccatelli -- thanks. It's always good to know.

    1. Erica,

      Forgive me if you misunderstood if my intent was appeal to some perceived that you needed to feel reassured. I took it for what it was meant to be (I think), and that was a good old fashioned rant.

      I'm still going to hold onto the belief that we aren't being passed over as much as we might think we are. Keep rockin!

  10. I enjoy reading your blog, and have for many years. I wouldn't care if you never posted another photo. It's the stories, the experiences, the emotions that draw me in.

    I used to read a few other blogs and have pretty much stopped. Not really sure why, but partly because I never felt any type of connection with the bloggers/writers and life gets busy to simply read when you don't feel you know and care about the person. That's where I think your blog stands out from most. True or not, we feel that we know you, and have come to care about you.

    And I don't know if others share my "need" to guard against feeling too closely connected with those we know only online for fear of having things simply end and never hearing from them again. I know I grieved terribly when Poppy shut down her blog. I genuinely liked her sweet spirit, looked forward to reading her latest post, and then "poof", she was gone. Underscoring the lack of a real connection, though it felt so very real, was that she was unable to even explain what had happened and why she was forever gone.

    I think people would miss you and your writings if you were to stop. I know I would.


  11. Pam -- well, you and I will never lose contact, because we've had it outside of my blog. :-) I know what you mean, though. Sudden disappearances online are especially disconcerting, because you have no idea what has happened, and you never get satisfaction or closure.

    I know people care. I just wonder if, in today's technological age with so many stimuli, so much multi-tasking, and such short attention spans, people have forgotten how to really notice others. I mean, people sit at tables together and don't talk... they're too busy texting. People who live in the same house talk to each other via Facebook. And reading anything of substance is simply too much effort. I guess I sound old, but it makes me sad. And yup, frustrated.

  12. Nice rant, keep them coming.

    While I always love to see skin, what keeps me coming back is this: a blogger’s willingness to show genuine emotion, share feelings, and make meaningful connections with the readership. Such qualities are missing on many blogs.

    Otherwise, I’ll simply go back to writing my novel. There, I can create whatever world I desire.

  13. Keep on blogging. Your sassiness is much needed, as well as the rants, tales and the occasional picture....

    I look at page views as my guide to readership of my saga.

  14. I am actually new to the blog world, only discovered them in the last month or so.
    Im disappointed when I find great blogs that suddenly quit, sometimes a year or two ago. Where was I? I appreciate your active blogs-no pictures needed! I'm learning and just recently found that im not alone. Anon b/c vanilla dh might find ive gone public which would be disgraceful to his family sensitivities. So,please,keep blogging!
    Im learning there are long standing friendships, like family. Perhaps I can soon join.

  15. Erica! You promised pictures! ;-)
    Otherwise, please keep blogging, including the ranting. You know you've got us here as a stable factor in that blogosphere.
    A general concern on internet security may pay a role here, by the way.

  16. Guys hate soap opera with a passion. Most spanko blogs are written by women and are basically soap stuff. There must be at least 300 of them.
    I have given up even scanning them.

    1. Not all guys. Twenty-five percent of all romance novels, for example, are purchased by men.

  17. Erica, I don't have a lot of time right now but wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed your books and "the rest of the story" from your blog. Everything has an ebb and flow. Right now, blogland in an ebb, if you will. Thanks a million,

    A lifelong Spanko here.

  18. It is your words that tell me I am not alone. A picture can never truly describe how you feel. I can never look at them and say 'Wow! That's exactly how I feel!' Your honest and brave blogging remind me that there is someone out there that I can relate to and sometimes that's just what I need to make it through another vanilla day. :)

  19. I think it is more than just attention spans, I think it is migration. A lot of people who used to read blogs are now getting their content from social media (Facebook, Fetlife, Twitter). social networking sites typically have blog-like features built in. And, using those sites, the content sort of comes to them, showing up in their news feed, rather than people going out and manually checking a blog.

    I'm a regular reader of your blog. Back before you were on Twitter I used to check in here about once a day. Now I just show up to read when you post a link on Twitter back to here. So the page views from me are probably half what they were before. I still read everything, but your traffic (from me at least) is cut in half because I no longer check back every day.

  20. AP -- rants will always be coming from me.

    LB -- thank you. I too look at page views. Mine have been wayyy down.

    Anonymous -- welcome. We do tend to build up our own little families in this scene. Oftentimes better than our blood relatives.

    MrJ -- Internet security is an oxymoron. :-)

    Anonymous -- and yet, here you are. ;-)

    Anonymous -- thank you. I hope the blogland ebb is temporary.

    Dulcie -- good to know. Thank you so much. :-)

    Anonymous -- good point. But the migration is tied in with shorter attention spans, don't you think? I mean, now, instead of reading blog posts, we're reading tweet and Facebook statuses. You don't have to invest much time in reading 140 characters.

  21. I prefer dialogue posting vs seeing myriads of picture after picture only postings. I love to see how various posts apply to my general passions and feelings in the spanking scene. If I don't have something pertinent to contribute then I don't post comments.
    And occasionally I'll see a post where my feelings may be so controversially polar opposite of how the blogger feels compared to myself, and due to respect of that blogger-sometimes friend- I adopt the "silence is golden" attitude and refrain from commenting.

  22. Kelly -- I welcome opposite views from my friends and readers. Sometimes they make me see things in a different way. The key is respect, as you mentioned. As long as the opinion is delivered respectfully, I am fine with it.

  23. Erica,

    I do agree it's sad people don't comment on blog posts, or don't bother to answer a question the blogger has asked. What gets me is when a blogger doesn't reply to comments that readers have took the trouble of leaving.

    Personally, I like pictures and enjoy finding just the right ones to go with my posts.

    I always enjoy your rants.


  24. Ronnie -- oh, yes. That is a big peeve of mine as well. Come on, people. Comment back to your commenters. They took the time to come in and say something, and they won't do it again if you don't acknowledge them, even if it's just with a "thank you."

    I like pictures too. With words. :-)

  25. Hi Erica -- I totally agree with you, but PLEASE do not stop blogging. You are my favorite and your blog is always WONDERFUL and interesting :-) I enjoy it. Much Love and hugs from naughty girl Jade

  26. Jade -- don't worry. I'm not planning on stopping. I have too much of myself invested in this blog. I do hope that the phase of endless streams of pictures of the same damn thing over and over will die out, though!

  27. Ive been afraid for awhile that blogging is going out of style. The way myspace and now facebook is starting to (though FB isn't as popular with the newest generation as it once was, it's an extremely useful tool and I'm pretty sure it will always continue in some form). But my time, your time, and the random spanko-looking-on-the-internet's time is precious and limited. It takes a great deal of time to write and publish original content, and more time to read it than it does to get your rocks off looking at hot pictures. If you don't have a lot of time, looking at picture "blogs" is probably a more efficient use of your limited naughty time on the internet. I'm "guilty" of not spending as much time on my blog as I once did, because I don't have as much time to spend, and when I can grab a moment of naughty internet time- I wanna see something hot that get my spanking batteries recharged. (and I don't see a post like this until days later.)
    I think it's not a coincidence that there are so many stay-at-home moms, work-at-home folks and retired folks who read blogs-- they have more time to do so. I also think that there will still be a place for well written, time consuming blogs though. It will become more of a niche and probably with a smaller audience- the best analogy I can think of is that in the online world of spanking content, there will be the Bud Lights, the Yellow Tails, and the tequila shots, but there will also be the small vinyards, the craft brews, and the old Scotch's. I hope that make sense to someone other than me. Miss talking to you, sweetie.

  28. SS -- yes, it makes sense. I guess I'm an old Scotch. ;-) And you know, you're still welcome to write to me anytime!

  29. I may not comment every time but I faithfully read your blog. I find interesting, thought provoking and funny. Hang in there.

  30. Just catching up on this post which actually is a perfect example of my take on the situation of lack of readership and lack of comments.

    Speaking for myself, and as others have said, there are just so many blogs out that it is hard to keep up. I try to go to blogs I enjoy for various reasons and it is hard to keep up with those even though it it less than two-dozen.

    I often read posts, but don't comment because I either I feel like I am late to the party and the discussion is over or I don't have anything original to contribute. This begs the question, would you prefer a basic comment to merely say "hello, I was here", and also be OK with comments on "old " posts simply as an acknowledgement?

    I, as a blogger, would gladly take any and all comments.

    I have always felt that the reason readers don't comment is that there is a fear of being "found out". Readers remaining lurkers due to fearing their identities will be revealed if they comment and therefore simply continue to tip-toe into this world.

    This is the reason I often place surveys at the end of my posts; they are an anonymous way of being heard. However even these surveys get little results with bare minimum votes. When I ask questions a the end of my posts, I seldom get answers. I often think all the page views I see in my stats are perhaps just me checking my stats - LOL!

    Ultimately I think it goes back to the question of "Why do we blog?"
    We all have our individual reasons. As for myself, I often need to remind myself when I get discouraged that I write for those who share my similar voice. A voice I do not see represented on other blogs. I am neither someone in the professional spanking scene, nor a published author. I write for the person not entering the S/M dungeon, but the person commuting to work with a dirty mind ;) I am the one who enjoys this spanking fetish along with other fetishes and pleasures, but who is also in a state of awe of the human condition. I write in hopes that someone can relate and enjoy my posts and ultimately not feel like they are alone in their desires. Perhaps that is reason enough for all of us to keep blogging?

  31. Enzo -- very good points. Can't speak for others, but I don't mind "late to the party" comments at all. I don't think there should be an expiration date on when posts are read and/or commented on. And basic comments are fine, too. A person doesn't have to write much, really. It's just nice to know they were there.

    It's sad that people are afraid of being found out. It really isn't possible, if they use the Anonymous function. I mean, I suppose if you had a crack team of computer techs who somehow got in there and took things apart, you might be able to find out, but Blogger makes it pretty foolproof. In my blog's early days, I had an anonymous flamer who just wouldn't go away. And there wasn't a thing I could do about him. I had to disable Anonymous comments for a while. There was no way I could find out who it was.