A Blog Without Comments

December 28, 2006

A blog without comments is a lonely thing. Somehow in switching from Movable Type to Drupal, probably while mucking around in MySQL with inexperienced hands, I lost all the comments on this blog. The sadness I feel makes me realize how important the people who comment here have become to me. Our conversations—our relationships—have been lost, and what's left are only my own words, alone. A conversation of one. In traditional publishing, that's all right. Authors don't expect to discuss a book or article with readers—at least, not while they're writing it. Sure, you hope your work eventually finds an audience and influences a few people. But a book is not a dialogue. It's a monologue. The creative, intelliectual product of one—a sustained, complete and distilled vision of a single individual. Losing all those comments brings home to me how much I've come to enjoy writing blog posts. Compared with books, composing entries for this blog has been a much richer and more rewarding experience because of the interaction I have with visitors. My thoughts are not mine alone, but the result of and a reaction to the thoughts and opinions of those people who comment on my posts. The give and take of a blog is a dynamic, living thing that has the power to influence not only the reader, but the writer as well. After this experience, writing a book would feel like working in a vacuum, with only my own thoughts and viewpoint to draw from. I love books. I will always love books. Someday, I may even write a few more. But now I've had a taste of it, I can't imagine not blogging, and I will always cherish the readers whose comments help shape my ideas and teach me new things about the world I otherwise might never know. If you've commented on this blog, please know that I'm deeply sorry and that, even if I can't publish your past words on these pages, your comments were read and mulled over and very appreciated. I look forward to continuing our conversation.