Tuesday, March 30, 2010

If you say ‘Potato’, I’ll say “Potatoes’!

Thanks everyone who has taken that precious time from a life too hectic to read this post. It seems that we are at the future of Luc Besson's Taxi or like Harrison Ford in Blade Runner: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, barraged by images, messages, ads. Blogs now all require moderation due to spam and I get up to 40 spam messages to moderate a day (ug, no I don't want to know how to use escort services, thanks!). I use moderation not to ‘screen’ messages from people but because I find word verification difficult and I know others do as well. Also, being rejected and told you are spam by blogger when trying to comment BACK is humiliating. I am trying for a disability friendly blog.
I looked back a year and realized two things: 1) I am not responding enough to the comments that are made. I appreciate EVERY comment, and I try on alternating days to comment. I don't think that is enough, since many readers and commentors have chronic disabilities. So I am going to try to comment on every comment made AND I am going to try and blog more often, at least three if not more times a week.

I admit, these days (due to neuropathy) it takes an average of six hours to write a blog, which is 2/3rds of a day. Then add in a couple appointments and there goes a week. BUT, but YOU are the ones who are important. You are important to me, and what you think is important to me. So when you spend your time reading my writing, and writing something back I am going to try as hard as possible to respond.

b) There are a lot more personal messages. Hey, I love emails and PM because I am not exactly going out and about in the world anymore. Here a big day is when the guy testing for putting up the sling talks to me about how the beams in the ceiling either go this way or that way (honestly, that is what today was: I was in bed, with the full oxygen mask on, and he was on a ladder – but it was HUMAN CONTACT!). I looked back at the comments and realized, "Now that person emails, that person emails, that person emails, that person messages…”

The sad thing is that the more people email comments, the more hours I spend emailing back (even if only half, when an email takes about an hour). BUT, I want to be friends, and be there for people. And I will keep responding to emails. But to help ME, if you could, pretty please, split your message into a) comments on blog post – which I WILL try to reply to and b) an email – which I can try to reply to, but you understand that oxygen, hospitals and general funk sometimes delay this! While it looks like more work, it is actually the same, just part of the email is a comment (you can even cut and paste!), and the rest an email. While for me, I can use the time I save to make sure I respond to comments AND do more blog posts. Sounds like a win/win? Gosh, I hope so. Suggestions are appreciated!

And in closing, milk does a body good! Particularly if you are a cat girl (Linda has already asked to wear my cat ears for Saturday!).


FridaWrites said...

I always welcome a comment back, but at least on my behalf don't overtax yourself, especially if it means you could write another blog post or watch more anime. I don't know that if I had that many comments that I could respond individually to all of them. My perception is that you do respond enough to comments, though maybe you want to do more.

yanub said...

Hey, Beth! I don't know about your wacky plan to comment more. And to blog more. Goodness knows, I update my blog maybe once a month unless I'm on a roll. You already post quite a bit and generally get comments in, too.

Kate J said...

It's the quality of your blog posts that matters - and they're always great - rather than the quantity. The thought of you spending 6 hours posting on your blog, however great the result, is horrifying. Still, a lot of us 'out here' are reading every word. And valuing every word!

I don't e-mail you, generally, because if you felt you had to reply to my individual e-mail then that would take away from your time and energy. Obviously there are others who have personal and direct things they want to share with you, and that's great too.

I do hope you have a WONDERFUL time at Sakura-Con... I look forward to the photos!

wendryn said...

Yay! Cat ears! You will be taking lots of pictures, right?

I hope you have a great time this weekend!

Dawn Allenbach said...

Honey, we all know you do more than your body really allows. I for one am happy when you comment back, but I also understand when you do not. My movement is limited enough that using a full-sized keyboard with one hand is exhausting, so I use my mouse and the onscreen keyboard. As I'm sure you know, typing in that manner can be time-consuming (and, I fear, carpel tunnel-inducing). I might try a small keyboard like my brother used to have. I wonder if we still have it in a box somewhere.

Anyway, I have a notion what you go through to type, so if you have to choose between breathing and responding to my comments, please choose breathing.

*hugs you*

Lene Andersen said...

Love to read more of your stuff, but if it's a choice between you having a pretty decent day (relatively speaking) or posting, have the good day (and then write about later!).

Baba Yaga said...

I've a feeling your estimable resolution, carried out to its logical end, means that whenever you post, we comment, you respond, we respond to your response; and so on, like the lesser fleas which bite 'em, ad infinitum.

Not quite sure I understand the request about e-mail and comments. It is very decidedly bedtime, though, and I've just stitched my sewing securely enough to myself that only scissors or blood would release me. (Blood and fabric, even a cannibalised sheet, are a poor mix.) I expect the morning will bring more clarity to my mind.

cheryl g said...

It seems to me like you respond to the majority of your commentors. I know I have never felt slighted or ignored.

I am always happy to see a blog post because I know I will be educated, enlightened and entertained however I am all for you taking care of you. If that means posts aren't as frequent then that is fine.

I love the picture with the Sakura - very beautiful.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Frida: I can only compare myself to when I can remember, which it turns out is 2008, early - and then I had a lot of people who are still in touch, but don't comment, and I guess I miss the give and take atmosphere of then, also more and more, I get emails that make it clear the person hasn't read the blog for a while/lately and some/many of the questions they have are in the blog posts (which if I kept to 3000 words or less, ha!, would be better).

Yanub: I find myself frustrated because ideas to blog pass me by, even events pass me by because I do not blog enough, I am not stable enough, or I spend 5-8 hours out of 10 replying to emails. So I would rather blog more if I could, and reply more as well. I would rather know what is up with people and they with me, than be telling them something from a week or two ago (particularly as I can only remember 3 days - makes it hard).

Kate J: Well, I never understood earlier how people did posts in 10 minutes, when it used to take me an hour with edits. Now with no edits it takes 3-10 hours. So, I would rather blog to many, say, 4 times a week (and being more frequent hopefully have more to say than: pain, depressed, etc) and get that time from responding less to emails - but connecting MORE to the people through the comment give and take, since I can't cut time from sleep.

Today is the last packing day as it will take 2 days to go the 60 miles to Seattle for me - but Sakura-con, ho!

Wendryn: Two camera's, 14 gig of memory, I am ready to camera whore!

Dawn: yes, sometimes the pain builds until I simply can't use my arms at all, and can't sleep. I want to have more connection to people, and email is just too long, and with my memory, often by the time someone replies, I don't know who they are (honestly!). I would like a more vibrant blog, one that is more active in the disability community and covers different topics which I have stacked and waiting for me to write up (some already researched: Gyn exams on women while under for practice, The war against children with gender varient interests in the US, a quick and compact understanding of intersex and some common conditions and why, plus film, anime and manga reviews. I mean, when people are so kind to gift me manga, I want to find the best and review it so they know what might appeal to them.

Lene: Due to memory issues, there is no later, just now. It is always 2008, or 2006 here for me, the last time I had a functional memory. So it is more like, 'Use it or lose it' - I could do the 'rest and have quality time resting until I die' but geez, that sounds boring and lonely.

Yes, but I can respond to all, in 1/3 of the time it takes me to type just ONE email, much less 15 or so I do on a heavy email day. So replying back and forth in comments is actually a very good time use, plus it uses 'active' memory, and if I can blog about 'now', I can respond to the 'now' too - that is the plan.

Cheryl: I appreciate that. however, many of those who used to comment and don't have stopped, are dead, or just disappeared. I know that means there is another blogging disability generation I need to get in contact with, and write articles that make people want to link to them, to get new perspectives, have new visitors and meet new people (online).

Raccoon said...

I'll try to do better. Although, like yanub says, you post and comment on the comments in one week more than I do in a month.

Take your time, relax. While I enjoy your blog and e-mails, I don't need individual responses. Work on the Postcard Project, instead.

Linda McClung said...

Okay, I admit to cringing when you said you want to blog more blogs and write more comments. There doesn't seem to be enough time to keep up what you are currently doing, never mind doing more. Hopefully the people who email or PM you are reading this blog and can adapt their communications to you.

I'd also like to add a suggestion for the people who send Beth emails. More often than not Beth has the emotional and mental capacity of a 5-12 year old. Pitch your emails to that age bracket. Ask how your niece/daughter/granddaughter would receive the content you write.

Unfortunately Elizabeth just isn't well enough to cope with hearing financial worries, relationship woes, abuses, etc.

Linda McClung said...

Sakuracon here we come. Cameras are ready for some action and I plan on taking lots of pictures for posterity.

About blogging from Sakuracon...(insert Marge Simpson 'hmmmmmmm' here). Lets just play it by ear. If need be, I can post a few pictures for you Beth with a few captions. And you can write more when we get back home.

Neil said...

I'm sorry I didn't comment earlier this week; I've had a couple of sick days.

I disagree with your plan, sweetie. YOU are the most important person in this blog. I think you should post when you can, and reply to what you can or want to. Like Cheryl, I've never felt slighted.

I hope we can see at least one photo of each of you a Sakura Con, and I hope you ave a great time there.

Love and zen hugs,