Sunday, July 23, 2006

Are You Cool?

It's hotter than a habanero out there, and I'm not cool.
Oh, I'm struggling along all right indoors, temperature-wise, with a fan on and the shades pulled. The dog is doing fine sprawled on the tiled kitchen floor. We're gulping oceans of iced liquids.
But I'm not cool. As in "kewl."
I'm not an A-list blogger. I don't get the big hits on my site meter (and it doesn't bother me at all, so why on earth do I even have a site meter?).
I'm not a joiner, although from time to time I will play along with the latest meme.
I do love to have readers leave comments on my blog. And I enjoy reading other blogs and leaving comments.
Here in blogland, however, even though it has been a warm and welcoming community, I'm running up against the inevitable chilled-out status games. High school, all over again.
Apparently I'm not cool enough to have my comments replied to on some cool blogs. I've tried winningly, wittily, and without success, on one's guy's blog in particular, but he has never acknowledged me. He's not a hermit; I know for certain he hangs in person with other local food bloggers when conditions are favorable. Maybe I could have elbowed my way into the inner circle and made sure to be present when conditions are favorable; maybe not... but I'm not a joiner, so I don't know.
Except... I am a joiner. Sort of.
I've befriended many bloggers in real life, meat & veg-space, actual coordinate vector time. I really, really like them. They've become a whole new social world for me. For instance: The flowers in the above photo come from (wow, feel the love) the garden of the mother of a food-blogger friend, both of whom are out of town. I'm watering the plants while they're away, and it's a good 25-minute drive each way for me to do the favor. Which I'm very happy to do — good karma plus all the monstrous zucchini I can eat.
Then there are the doggie pix in the photo up there, included today specifically because some food bloggers like to participate in a meme called Weekend Dog Blogging. I'm not enough of a joiner to officially include links and tags, but I'm crazy about my dog. So he shows up every now and then, usually on weekends... which makes me a half-assed joiner.
But would I ever, in a million years, want to go congregate with bloggers in a very warm (not cool) city? Never in a million years; I've been to academic conferences (back when I was in academics), and they are one big high-school status game condensed into a few days. Will you get to hobnob with the keynote speaker? Or did you get stuck in the back row of a mobbed-out seminar? No thanks.
This isn't warmed-over sour grapes, not by a long shot. I'm still hot for blogging and bloggers, and a couple of frosty receptions aren't going to shut me down; maybe my cool quotient will even benefit from rubbing cold shoulders.
If you've made it this far reading, thanks for joining me on my lukewarm ruminations — even if you're not a joiner.
I'd love to hear your thoughts. That would be cool.


Greg said...

You've always been on my A list of bloggers!Every time I go to the farmers market I'm always looking for CC and cranky.No high school flashbacks...kewl is a state of mind.

Kalyn said...

I've felt snubbed by a number of A-listers too, who have never responded when I commented or left any comments on my blog. Also a lot of those people have never added me to their blogrolls; I guess I am not cool enough either. I've felt that some people have discriminated against me without even reading my blog because of the whole anti-low carb thing, but maybe I am just paranoid. Anyway, a while ago I decided that I just didn't care.

I wasn't sure if you were talking about the Blogher conference, but if you're talking about Blogher, I am excited to go to that. I don't see it as being a meeting of A-listers at all (although I am thrilled that I might get to meet Arianna Huffington. but I'd be thrilled to meet you too. Maybe even more than Arianna, because I "know" you). I don't really think that many food bloggers are going, let alone A-list food bloggers. Blogher for me is all about learning. I really can't think of any other place where I could learn so much about blogging in such a short time.

Marianne said...

Oy, I relate my dear. When I first jumped into the blogging game, and started getting hits and comments and "discovering" blogs that were far more trafficked than my own, it really bugged me when people didn't respond to comments, or even direct QUESTIONS, I left. It still bothers me sometimes, mostly when it's a geniune question about a recipe or whatever. There are a couple of bloggers, specifically, who I feel ignore a lot of their comments, choosing only to reply to those they "know" or that live in their area. I know Knoxville, TN is't the coolest of places, but we do like food here and I love to make a new recipe from someone else's blog. But not if they won't answer my often simple questions about measurements, substitutions, etc. Ah, well.

Passionate Eater said...

They are D-listers Cookie Crumb. Don't worry about them. Plus, don't let comments get to you. I know you have many secret readers and admirers who are just too shy to let you know they read. And those D-listers? I bet they're are quiet readers too!

sher said...

I think you are way cool--and I so related to everything you said, especially about the snubbing. I was just talking to someone about that. I think you expressed a lot of bloggers' thoughts. But, I am so grateful to the bloggers who extended a hand to me when I first started, like Kalyn. Good point Passionate Eater! Hey, I'm on the D List and that's OK. My life on the blog D List.

cookiecrumb said...

Hey, everybody! Let me jump in here and emphasize that I'm not fishing for compliments. (Thanks, though!)
I just want to get a conversation going, and it looks like there's a lot to talk about.
(Kalyn, I'll get right back to you; just wanna let the comments roll in for a minute.)

Do we get to hang with Kathy Griffin on the D-List? :D

mrs d said...

Eh, screw 'em. Some of the A-listers write boring blogs.

(ack! Did I say that? Oooo, feel the luv.)

That said, try living on a freakin' island with No Other Bloggers at all. Seriously. No one else on this island knows what a blog is. Talk about community. Heh. I just sit here and whine about how all the cool Bay Area kids get to hang with each other. (See -- that makes you Kewl!) No wonder I'm ready to move!

(Insert gratuitous sob over inability to attend Blogher here. Waaaaah.)

jen's mom said...

The heat must have fried my brain. I read this post twice. I know I'm there with you even though I don't know where we are. I don't get it.

Here's what I know: If D stands for Divine...then that's of the D list. Yup. Those others of whom you speak can leave the island. Count me in. Choose me for your team.

You's cool.

And thanks for the Beansprout fix. I just KNEW he would be flatted out on the cool tile.

drbiggles said...


Thank you for not rolling that N in Habanero.

Yeah, it's been hot around here. Way past the 100's and our power is going down like Bush's approval rating. But I've witnessed summer's in Kansas where it's been over 100 for days and people die each day. We're doing fine. Drink plenty of moisture (a Lost in Space Episode comes to mind), work early in the am or late in the pm and keep your wits about you. I probably hate it more than most, but am doing fine. Besides, my sunflower garden is growing at an alarming rate. Of course I don't want to talk about the weeds, sigh.


Sam said...

It happens to me too. I think I have been snubbed and not replied to about a thousand times on other peoples' blogs. I have featured people as blogger of the week and left comments on their blogs and they haven't even replied to me, not once, not ever. Not everyone knows they are being linked to, I guess.

I guess also that I have a thick skin or at least I swiftly developed one when I realised that is just the way it is and it's not going to change anytime soon, plus different bloggers have different amounts of time to spend on keeping up with correspondence and we have to be aware of that.

I endeavour to diligently answer all of the comments on all of my posts (unless they are left on an old post and i cant work out from the email blogger sends which post it be)

Occasionally I get behind or a post slips through the net and I forget to answer its comments, or it takes me a few days, but I do try really hard to get to each post and each person individually.

Bloggers who I know quite well don't always link me on their rolls either, but I know it doesn't mean they don't like me or anything daft like that. It's just the way it is.

I also know, that it is really hard to keep adding and adding and organising a blog roll. I struggle with it myself. I have had people I want to add but haven't been inspired to find a category under which to put them. And it is so hard to keep track.

The blogroll was more important to me when I used it to surf from it. I sometimes wonder why I keep it at all. Now since I use rss instead, I feel that the greatest honour I can give another blogger is to put them in my reader and actually read them whenever they post something that catches my eye. Thing is - they have no clue that I read them, necessarily. I have over 550 food blogs currently in my reader.

I assume people think of me as an A-lister. But my self-perception is that I think of myself as B, (but perhaps I would rather be D ;), because of all the A-listers who were already there when I started out and because of the distance between me and them. I feel like there is A and everyone else. I definitely feel like part of the everyone else, even if that isn't how other people see me.

I have a group of really great blogging friends I have met, some of whom I see quite often and others, like cookie, less so, mainly because of proximity and schedule. I am greatful for everyone of them, and all those virtual friends who I haven't met.

I don't think any of this is really worth worrying about too much, just keep hanging with the people you like hanging with and having conversations with, whenever you have the time to do so.


Sam said...

ps - i hope you weren't getting at me for my 'cool kids live in the city comment' the other day. I am sure you knew that was a joke.

sfmike said...

I don't have a blogroll because it invites exclusion just by its nature, so instead I link to other people's websites and blogs when it makes sense within a story. How many people show up at your place is also something not to worry about. If you're doing interesting work, people will continue to show up and pass the word around. Plus, you don't want to be an "A" lister. You want to be a Cool Cult. Or at least I do.

Sam is right. The real compliment is having good readers. And having those good readers leave intelligent comments just makes the whole business that much more fun. But one should never expect to be invited into a clique or a fold because of one's comments. The whole point of this virtual written discussion business is for like minds to sniff each other out, not to worry if one is in the "in crowd."

sher said...

If Kathy Griffin puts hanging with her on Ebay for a charity (as is her want) I'm sure we have a good shot at hanging with her--for a price. If that's what it takes.....

Rosie said...

I kinda decided when I started blogging that I was really doing this for only one person - me. I enjoy talking about all the fun (and stupid) stuff I do and I actually enjoy writing, though I really have to work at it.

As far as others are concerned, I figured that some people would find me and read my crazy stuff and would strike up a "conversation". Sher is one of those people. (Hi Sher!)

The other side of the coin is that most people are lurkers. It is true on forums. I frequent several forums and while they boast hundred and, in some cases, thousands of members, only a tiny percentage will post. Same with blogs. You can have two hundred people a day hitting your blog and only get three or four comments. I decided a long time ago I was not going to let that kinda crap bother me either.

As far as people who never respond to your posts or questions, I bet they are terrible hosts in real life too. They would get you an initial drink at the party then never see you again the entire night. But they would use the excuse that they have so many people to visit that it is hard to spend time with everyone. Shame on them. That is rude and if they don't know it, they need a big old wet sock to the side of the head.

So buck up lady - screw 'em if they don't wanna be decent, kind, caring individuals. Life is too short to stress over it anyway.

Me - I got a big stash of chocolate and they will cure damn near anything.

Carol Logan Newbill said...

Guilty as charged with not leaving comments. I do read every post you write, but I'm a trifle far away (Alabama) for hanging out at the market.

Most of the time, adding a comment to something you've written strikes me as putting whipped cream on top of a cheesecake already adorned with perfect strawberries: superfluous, excessive, redundant.

You very seldom need whipped cream.

Jamie said...

I had to pull my site meter when I realized I was checking it obsessively...and then beating myself up about WHY DIDN'T THEY COMMENT!? Heh.

Ah, whatever. I started out writing my blog to keep my chops loose, because what I write for a day job is rather more formulaic. Everything else that has happened along the way has caught me more or less by surprise. And I don't think I'd want to be more than a D-lister; last week I was talking with a friend whose blog is probably B-listish, and it's a lot for him to keep up with, I think.

I'm rambling. Never mind. But regardless, xoxo. And if we host our own mini-blogmeet one day, I'll be delighted.

Lurker said...

ghsweyvrDear cookie crumb,
I've been reading and enjoying your blog for quite some time but I've never commented because I'm not a blogger myself. It's sort of like peeking through a knothole in a fence or being a fly on the wall,I guess. I love your blog, please cheer up and keep writing.

Liz said...

Oh I am *so* not cool.

It's not surprising that feelings of exclusion can lurk in every corner of the blogosphere.

I used to want to belong to the knitblog world, although now I'm not sure why. Most of them go on about how much yarn they just bought, how many meet-ups they had (that *you* weren't invited to, because you're just not cool enough) along with that day's progress on a new sock. It's more "keeping up with the Joneses" than anything else, really, and I quickly realized it was something I did not want to be a part of. No use reading blog after blog that made me feel like didn't measure up.

In the beginning, though, I was so grateful if an A-lister happened to come my way and comment, before I realized how ridiculous that was. Grateful?! It would make me happy?! Now I find it's much more fun to stick with my "own kind". Anyway, it must take an inordinate amount of energy to maintain A-list status, and that's just not for me. I devote too much to the time-suck that is blogging already.

To show you how little I know about foodblogs, I thought you were one of the "cool kids". Well, you still are in my book. :)

suzanne said...

Your post and all the comments gave me a lot to think about.

I blundered into blogging as a way to express my thoughts on eating locally and track progress on my invisible garden -- otherwise my friends might stop returning my phone calls since I evangelized to them at every opportunity about eating locally. And I suspect some of them don't care about carrot germination dates. I'm fairly unaware of blogging etiquette and just link to blogs that I don't want to forget to read and respond to comments when I can.

Maybe it's time to pay more attention to the blogging community ethos. I love comments and didn't realize I was offending people by not commenting back.

By the way... I also didn't know there was such a thing as an "A list" blog until a few months ago. It seems high-schooly to me.

Pyewacket said...

I'm definitely not an "A" (or "B") list blogger. But I admit sometimes I don't get back to people who comment - just because time gets away from me, and then it seems odd to answer too long after the post. I never really understood this as very rude, mostly because so few people respond to my own comments. I do try to answer when I can, though.

I found myself feeling hit-envy when I found out tht a blogger with whom I had been corresponding was getting 10 times the hits I was. Ten times! But then I realized that the whole business of comparisons was silly. I liked writing my blog, I was pleased that some people enjoyed reading it, and that's all I needed. I would like to meet more bloggers in my area, though.

Dagny said...

Forget about not having your comments responded to. Try posting a comment only to have the blogger go back and delete your comment. My feeling is if you don't welcome all comments, then you shouldn't have them.

And as for those who ignore you being the A-list? That's a myth that those kind of folks like to perpetuate. I have always figured that any group that would not welcome me could not possibly be A-list -- or D-list if you follow Jen's Mom's logic.

Kevin said...

Damn! I didn't know you weren't cool -- it's so hard to tell over the 'Net. But then, you probably didn't know I was a dog. ("No one knows your a dog on the Internet.")

cookiecrumb said...

Well! This has been an eye-opener, as I hoped it would be.
I just want to stress that I'm not unhappy about my status in blogland. I'm really, really happy, and apologies if it sounds like I'm a big-ol' complaining poopyhead.
Also, I don't want to point fingers at anyone. No single individuals should consider themselves harmed in the making of this blog post. Hey, maybe my description of the “ignorer” was a composite character!

Anyway. I got a little comeuppance of my own in reading your remarks; I realize that I don't always reply to commenters every time either. I hope I haven't hurt many feelings. And I probably won’t be responding to you all individually here…

OK. It occurs to me that I may be looking at two separate social phenomena: 1) Blogosphere hierarchies 'n' etiquette; and 2) Real-life interactions.

1) The Internet, we were told, was supposed to be a great equalizer. We would all excel, to the extent our personal intellect permitted, in anonymous interactions with people we would not be able to judge based on customary physical identifiers.
But it ain’t so, and it never could be. It would take me forever to discuss this, but physical identifiers are not the only “cool” badges a geek can wear. There are issues of taste, typography, grammar, food expertise… and we’re all sitting here every day, making assumptions about each other.
We are also engaging in our own familiar behaviors toward each other, and if it makes somebody feel important to snub somebody else, well, welcome to the real world, online. However, I don’t want to try psychoanalyzing anyone. Who knows why I didn’t receive a reply?

2) We don't all get to participate in real-life interactions with bloggers (viz. Mrs. D.), and if we are lucky enough to live in a blogger-rich environment (viz. Sam), it is still one’s own responsibility to cultivate friendships, not to sit and wait for invitations. (Make note: Lesson to self.)
And even there, natural hierarchies will evolve – perhaps even more so, since the socializing is taking place offline, not in the so-called egalitarian space of the Internet.

A topic I didn’t even address came up in the comments, and it’s a good one: Blogrolls. I definitely want to honor bloggers I like… and yet I know I’m not alone in saying my blogroll is hopelessly out of date. Plus, why just “bloggers I like”? If you’re not there, it doesn’t mean I don’t like you. I may not have met you yet. The main reason I haven’t yanked my roll down yet is because, like Sam used to, I surf from it. (I’m working on my Bloglines list, but…) It may be long past time to give props simply by running a dead list.
Also, lurkers! I’m a lurker myself at various other blogs; please don’t think I’m demanding a “toll” from all who dare to read these lame lines. Come on back whenever you feel like it; you don’t have to even tell me you stopped by. And thanks, y’know?
Finally, the Blogher conference… yes, Kalyn, that was on my mind. I have no interest in going, but no doubt it will be a fantastic event for people who want to make the most of it. I hope you’re planning on reporting your experience.

I’m thrilled to pieces so many of you had something to say. Thanks.
Let’s keep the discussion open.

Sam said...

cookie crumb. I love you.

kudzu said...

Cooks --- I'm with Sam! And miracle of miracles, there is a breeze and my house is cooling down. I even see some -gasp!-fog over the mountain. It's a good night for all. Buona notte!

Catherine said...

You have a unique voice and a keen wit so that makes you cool (or is cool just a marketing concept?) And with Bean Sprout by your side, undeniably cool! ;-)

I used to respond to every comment, but I don't anymore - opps -maybe I should. If someone asks a question or makes a suggestion, I always respond, but some comments just don't seem to require a response. I always welcome a first time commenter, though. Why don't people leave comments? I wish I knew, but most people just lurk. Guess I'm just one of those desperate lonely food enthusiasts that thinks a cheese sandwich is a hot topic.

Re: blogroll - OMG - mine is so long and I'm constantly finding new ones so I've been trying to think how to usefully organize it. I use it to surf myself so its very important.

I think you're an A-list blogger and other people are out of your control so just have fun and stay cool!

Kate in the Kitchen said...

I'm totally new and completely uncool, but I simply don't care also. I read, I link and I write and if no one else reads it I am none the worse for wear. Your blog is hilarious and I am linking your site to mine simply because I can. If you reply and link back, great, if not, great. I'll still be here.

s'kat said...

In high school, I was never one of the cool kids, so a virtual snub isn't really terribly painful.

I used to surf through my blogroll, wasting hours of precious time, until I discovered the Google newsreader. Now, I can waste even MORE time reading an even greater number of blogs! The downside is, I no longer keep my on-site listing up-to-date anymore.

Also, I used to respond to every single comment, but things have been hectic. Sometimes it slips by the wayside. *blush*

anni said...

My last comment got lost somewhere in the blogosphere.

Just wanted to say "Hi".

And in my book, you are WAAAAY "KEWWWWWWL"!

Anni :-)

lucette said...

Just one more comment, because I was out of town and blog-range for a week. I'm an excessive site-meter-checker myself, and a not-so-cool amateur blogger. I have to admit I feel a silly thrill to know that someone in Korea or London or Paris has clicked on to my blog (I always imagine that the Paris one is David Leibowitz, because why not?)
Also can't help complimenting--I love I'm Mad. My sister is annoyed with me because I keep quoting from it.

Cate said...

I don't know, Cookie, 30+ comments might make you a member of the Cool Kids Club. ;) Comments are a funny thing. I can take 10 minutes and put up a post about seemingly nothing (like last night's post about the new Breyers ice cream flavors) and get way more comments than a really well-thought out 1-hour post about something more meaningful; not that Breyers is meaningless. It definitely has meaning. ;) Point being, there's not always a lot of rationale being a blogger, and it's funny to see what makes the visitors tick.

catherine said...

So, here's my POV.

1. I really want to remove my blogroll. I don't use it to surf, and it's out of date, and I feel bad excluding anyone BUT I don't want it to be 3 miles long. But if I do that, then others who do surf on from there won't be able to. A conundrum. So far, status quo is where it's at.

2. I used to respond to each comment, until I realized most of the time i was typing things like, "Great!" or "Me too!" and that it was stressing me out and taking up lots of time. So now I only respond to questions, or if I happen to have a second, or if it's something sweet like about Mr. Food Musings accident. But I still love all my comments and would hate to think someone felt snubbed because I didn't respond. What to do, what to do???

3. I rarely ever comment on any blogs. Very rare. But I read them all day, every day, and remember them, and come back to them. But comment? Almost never ever ever.

cookiecrumb said...

Thanks for the continuing perspectives. Now I really do think I sounded sorta like a whiner, so I'm sorry!! :D
Blogroll issues: Google newsreader? Uh-oh. I'll be looking into that.
Also, to Catherine AND Catherine: Paralysis is more like it, eh? (Catherine2: I was amazed to hear you don't leave comments... which is no doubt why it took me so long to find your blog. So seriously, *thanks* for the comment.)

Tea said...

Well, if it puts things in perspective, here on the island where I am, I have to ride my bike into town to get a wireless signal. But yours is one of the few blogs I am checking while on vacation (but, I probably wouldn't have commented, except for the juicy topic).

I try to answer my comments--except on older posts. I do get behind, and I definitely get behind with the emails people send me. I don't consider myself on any list. I love writing my blog, I love the people I've met, and I love the comments and connections I've made with people around the world.

But I know what you mean about commenting on other peoples' blogs and never getting answered (I too have my blogger of irritation who never seems to respond to my comments). But people are busy, I'm busy. I just can't imagine it's intentional.

As for the blog roll--guilty as charged! I haven't updated mine in 5 months--I'm terrified of the html (last time I tried to do anything in there I messed up my margins and have not yet been able to fix them). I don't use my blog roll to surf blogs, I have Bloglines set up. I will update them, but I'd rather prioritize posting and answering comments and email.

But now I'm feeling so guilty I will have to update!

Gelnna said...

CC--totally relate. I've done the "boy I'm so cute you just have notice me" posts too and gotten my nose a little out of joint. But then again I'm not much of a joiner either. Loved your analogy of conferences. Yep, been there done that too. So here's the deal. Instead of chasing after the cool kids, so to speak, I'm usually the girl hanging out in the bar chasing martinis after the speeches are over, cutting jokes, being embarrassingly loud with my good time, and plotting to take over the world with a few handpicked cronies. And funny, my picks are rarely the stars of the show. I'm not saying some of the "stars" aren't great and worthy of their attention. I'm just saying that I don't find anyone else less fascinating. We're all on a road to somewhere and the journey's a lot more fun if you take time to make a lot of new friends along the way. You're all welcome at my table anytime.