I’ve noticed my posts seem to kill the comments and conversation. Sorry about that. I realize this is really part of the gig of the bigger megaphone, and maybe blogging about stuff people don’t want to comment on. Or that they find boring. Or that are too long. Or that are posted on days when people don’t want to read. Or something… Hmmm…

I’m not complaining per se, except I find myself surprised a little at missing the community I had on my pseudonymous blog. I felt supported there. Not so much here yet. I thought about what I would risk in my career by blogging as me — I hadn’t really thought about what I would lose in terms of my support structure.

This isn’t an invitation for the trolls to come out, by the way, and tell me how to just suck it up and cope, that I should stop whining and be a big girl. Develop a thick skin and all that.

Instead, it’s just an acknowledgement of an observation I’ve had, and a plea to please keep reading as I work out how to be in this new virtual space, talking to and with different people than I am used to. Thanks.


  1. #1 Cherish
    March 26, 2008

    Still reading. Unfortunately, the science blogs RSS feed seems to blip out intermittently, and I’m noticing that a lot of things that should be coming through are not…so I may not notice new posts unless I come to the site. Then I find I’ve missed half a dozen.


  2. #2 Mel
    March 26, 2008

    As a new reader, I enjoy reading your posts. I followed ScienceWoman here and we are in the same profession, so I tend to comment on her posts more. But, your Week1 and Week2 posts made me laugh and commiserate (more of an insane “I know exactly what she is going through” cackle). I also went to an undergrad with mostly engineers, so a lot of your stories are also familiar. Keep up the good posts and hang in there!

  3. #3 chezjake
    March 26, 2008

    I haven’t been commenting here much lately, but I haven’t stopped reading. I sympathize with the house refurbing/improving tales, having done very similar stuff to our old farmhouse 30 years ago. (Most previous repairs had been done by the farmer/owner, with much jury rigging.)

  4. #4 nolabirder
    March 26, 2008

    I’m delurking to say hello. I’m a new reader – just found this site a couple weeks ago – and am enjoying your posts. I haven’t commented yet just because I haven’t felt I had much to add. But I appreciated your ethnic story post, and got a good laugh out of your spring “break” posts. Keep up the great work!

  5. #5 Rubymac
    March 26, 2008

    Not to worry; you’ll find your rhythm.

  6. #6 LM
    March 26, 2008

    Hi Alice. I’ve got you on my Google Reader, so I read everything you blog. 🙂 I’d comment more, but I’m juggling a four and a half month old and a new PhD program, and I’ve been supremely stressed lately (I really wanted to take part in the book club this month, but just never had time to read anything un-class related!). I think your posts are always insightful and interesting. I will try to make a more concerted effort to say so.

  7. #7 steppen wolf
    March 27, 2008

    I read your blog very often, but I comment rarely. And I mean, in general.

    I think I know how you feel. The reality is, unless your post is very polemic, or provocative, let’s say, then it will probably not get a lot of comments.

    Not to say you should write those kinds of posts – I think I and many of your readers like this blog just the way it is 🙂

  8. #8 Zuska
    March 27, 2008

    There are always more readers than commenters…but I know, the comments are important for feeling like you are part of things. FWIW, my experience of blogging changed as well when I made the move to Sb. It took a while to get used to blogging here, to how it felt, and while commenting/traffic has definitely increased from coming here, that didn’t happen immediately. In retrospect, it seems obvious that you would not have the same sort of community feeling here as you do on the other blog…that’s not to say it can’t be good here, but it will just feel different. Hang in there.

  9. #9 decrepitoldfool
    March 27, 2008

    I always read your blog on RSS along with many others at SB. And when the post is specifically interesting, I always click through to the actual blog page since I learned (if I didn’t get it mixed up) that SB bloggers are compensated based on actual traffic.

    But I am reluctant to comment on gender issues. Not that I don’t find them interesting, or that I don’t have thoughts to share, but as a middle-aged guy it sometimes seems as if the conversation is more inviting to others.

  10. #10 bsci
    March 27, 2008

    I’m reading and sometimes commenting here too. I think you have one main problem. Too many of you posts are well written without enough jumps in logic and unfinished thoughts. Lower your quality and people will have a lot more to talk about. 🙂

    In a slightly more serious response, perhaps, now that you are blogging under your own name, you might polish and expand you substantive posts a bit more thus making them both longer to read and less welcoming to rambling discussion. Of course, this isn’t a bad thing, but it might explain the change.

  11. #11 Becca
    March 27, 2008

    I think we’re here, and still reading, just keep posting!

    I like to comment, but it’s hard when I have 10 minute breaks in my lab procedure- that’s enough time to read an average post, but not enough time to compose a thoughtful response. In fact, it’s probably only because I’m slacking off now and not at lab like I should be that I’m commenting at all. Oh well. *scampers off with a friendly wave*
    (but I will be back!)

  12. #12 ScienceMama
    March 27, 2008

    I’m still here, still reading, and still interested! I’ve just been super busy lately and haven’t been commenting much anywhere… But believe me, you’re a welcome addition to this blog!

  13. #13 amanda
    March 27, 2008

    I read you! I’m just somewhat shy about commenting.

  14. #14 PhysioProf
    March 27, 2008

    The fewer comments you get, the more indisputably correct your posts are.

  15. #15 DrugMonkey
    March 27, 2008

    Too many of you posts are well written without enough jumps in logic and unfinished thoughts. Lower your quality and people will have a lot more to talk about. 🙂

    shhhh. You are giving away my SekritStrategyz…

    Seriously though Alice, although the old DM on WP had a reasonably small commentariat, it does seem to be taking some time to re-adjust to Sb-land. Some new folks, missing some old folks, some old folks I thought missing have recently shown up. Despite the immediacy of the form (in terms of posting/commenting) I think the community aspects may be on a much longer type of cycle to build and ebb…

  16. #16 ecogeofemme
    March 27, 2008

    It’s a louder megaphone for your readers too, who might not feel as comfortable posting their thoughts on your posts here.

    Actually, it’s taken me a while to get used to the shared blog. Not exactly sure why. Maybe there’s a little less intimacy somehow? I think it stems from having to be conscious of who’s writing. As a visual person, I tend to associate the look of a blog with the author’s persona, so it sometimes throws me off a little when that link isn’t automatic.

    Your posts are lovely though, so regular commenters should shake out soon enough.

  17. #17 Alice
    March 27, 2008

    Thanks, folks. You are all blessedly reassuring. Thank you to those you delurked, especially, and those who told me better reasons why comments seem to have gone down than the ones in my head.

    Glad people are still reading. I’ll keep writing then. Thanks again. 🙂

  18. #18 Bee
    March 28, 2008

    Don’t underestimate the effects of alphabetized lists. Your blog is near the bottom of the blog-box list on the right, but not near enough to have the ‘zed factor’ of Zoologix. There are also a couple of less active blogs in your alphabetic vicinity, and I know I sometimes forget the name of your interesting blog while hurrying past all the others.

    I think if you give it a bit more time, you’ll find more commenters will find you, and sort you into those blogs which always have new posts that are interesting.

    Don’t give in to the ol’ “I R Doin’ it Wrong!” self-doubt!

  19. #19 Propter Doc
    March 28, 2008

    I suspect it takes a while to feel comfortable blogging as you, not a secret (superhero) identity, as well as settling in time to the new place and larger readership. I’m guessing that most posts take a little longer as you are being more careful about what you write now. And conversely, as you are rather busy with your job, long distance relationship and blogging, maybe you’re commenting less on other people’s blogs. That’s always a way to draw readers and commenters.

    I think you’re doing fine here and appreciate that you’ve tackled some big topics already. EcoGeoFemme is also correct – commenting here can be pretty intimidating.

    I liked your kitchen floor by the way, very nice.

  20. #20 ace
    March 29, 2008

    i think you’re great!

  21. #21 Andrea Grant
    April 2, 2008

    I just tried to leave this comment on the first trial photo picture (the foggy farmhouse–I could see the post still but not comment):

    Nooooo, leave it up! It’s a lovely view! (Can you tell I’m a plains-dweller trapped in a mountainous region? We are a rare species, us mountain-haters)

    Bet you didn’t expect new commenters on this post! I’ve been trying to figure out why I haven’t commented on your posts since you raised the point. I guess it’s because the posts fall into two categories:

    1) something I know nothing about (having 2 houses, long distance relationships, early tenure-tracking)

    2) things I do know something about but I absolutely, completely agree with what you said and you covered it so completely that commenting “yeah!” or “me too” seems silly. Don’t you know the theory of the “glaring error”: when giving a draft to an advisor or other critical person you have to leave a glaring error because they will be sure to make a comment even if the paper is perfect, so it’s best to throw them a bone. Maybe that’s what’s going on? 🙂

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