Thursday, August 02, 2012

Comment Card

Hey, everybody!

Just wanted to reach out this morning to try to get some feedback about how readers are feeling about the blog. In particular, I was curious about the lack of comments people leave. Although my site has a fraction of the traffic of a Perez Hilton or a Towleroad, it strikes me as more than a little odd that on a day when 10,000 people drop by to visit, fewer than 10 leave a comment. Ditto for the Facebook/Twitter and Share links at the bottom of each post. Is it because nothing you see warrants a comment? You're too overwhelmed by other social media outlets to be bothered? You prefer speaking up on Facebook? Whatever it is, I'm curious to hear. Several friends have told me they are intimidated, confused or simply put off by the "Commenting" feature on my blog (hosted by Blogger) -- and couldn't leave a comment if they wanted to. Has this been your experience?

Also, is there something you would like to see more of on KIT212 -- or something you would like to see less of? Now might be a good time to tell you that I am in the late stages of writing a memoir-ish book of essays -- something I was first approached about doing in 2006, but was finally inspired to follow through on after reading the great David Rakoff -- and this has contributed to my posting more photos and one-liners and fewer full-length stories in the past year. I'm very excited about the book and cannot wait to share it with you all! (While the stories are flowing, the perfect title is not. If you've got an idea, would love to hear from you HERE.)

I feel like I have a very loyal readership and have developed online friendships with so many of you, so this is not to discourage those of you who contact me regularly by email. I'm just wondering if there might be a way to encourage an online discussion on the blog about about what I'm posting about. Also, for those who have introduced yourself to me in person, I think you quickly figured out that I love when people do it -- so thanks!

Would love to hear your thoughts.



If using the comments feature is an issue for you, may I offer this quick tutorial?


To leave a comment, simply:

1. Click the COMMENTS button at the bottom of the post on which you wish to say something
2. If you do not have a Google or Open ID account, select the third (and easiest) option -- Name/URL. Once you click it, a box will appear where you can put your name (can be just your first, just a nickname, whatever you're comfortable with) and then you can leave the URL box empty. (If you want to put a link to your website or Facebook/Twitter page, by all means do. But it is completely optional.)
3. Type your comment in the box at the top and when you're done, hit the PUBLISH YOUR COMMENT button. You only need to hit it once -- your comment will NOT appear immediately, but rather will be sent to me for moderation. This is done to avoid both spam and hate-mongering, both of which are far too common on the Internet.
4. You're done -- and thanks!

As always, however, you can email directly HERE.


Anonymous said...

Don't worry too much about the lack of comments. I used to and then I realized that if I looked at the number of visitors and how long they stayed on my blog I knew they were enjoying it or they would not have clicked on it and or stayed so long.

That is the way it works...for the record, I visit your blog every day and enjoy it tremendously.


Jim in Costa Rica said...

I see your blog as not much more than your Morning Wood type posts. For content that would make me want to actually read comments (and post comments as well), I tend to read Joe My God, Towleroad, GoodAsYou and others.

Keith said...

I read your blod daily and enjoy it! I don't leave comments because usually they lead to some nastiness that I have no desire to participate in. I love reading your posts, but just don't want to engage in some pointless and faceless debate. It's not just with your site...I never comment on any site.

Unknown said...

Not a big commenter in general, but I've noticed the lack here and wondered why as well. It is slightly more difficult to comment -- on many other sites, when you click on the heading of a post, a comment box opens up at the bottom without a separate click needed. Could it be as simple as that? Don't think it's the content.

Unknown said...

Well, it may be more difficult than I said. If I just posted my comment 5 times thinking it didn't work before noticing a small message at the top saying it was saved. Immediate gratification is nice, too.

Charlie said...

Love the site, the problem is when I try to link your stories to my Facebook page the visuals never transfer. And, for some reason, the site takes longer to load and refresh than others.

John said...

I read in the RSS feed, so posting comments only happens when something is more interactive. Same with actually clicking through, although Cuban Missile Crisis was an exception to the rule.

Unknown said...

ick never compare yourself to Perez Hilton. That is a douche bag and why he gets so many comments. People hate him and will spew vile at his obvious paid PR posts about Kat Grahm for the 1000 time or because he was on an Oprah Life Class he spews out new age bullshit now lol. I just go to Dlisted, Towleroad and you now..

J said...

its the simple fact youve to go to a whole other web page and then the verification thing below- i much prefer to comment on things on facebook, i tend to view your blog on a mobile device and its an inconvenience having to navigate to the comment page and enter the verification mumbo jumbo stuff. But on a whole i enjoy your blog.

Mike in Asheville said...

Well, I visit your site at least daily, typically twice a day, and I wouldn't change anything.

There hasn't been a Morning Wood I wouldn't; big tennis fan here so love that part; not into music the way you are so I typically scroll by most but not all music posts (except Blondie of course); and most importantly, I enjoy the breadth of stories, your commentaries, particularly about media/journalism, and your sense of humor and wit.


padrerob said...

k-n-212 is one of my daily stops as i surf through the intertubes. you have a great mix of spicy hot guys, relevant news stories or links to the same, and personal sharing. don't change a thing.

from a fellow michigander

padrerob said...

k-n-212 is a regular stop as i surf around the interwebs. you have a great mixture of spicy hot pics, relevant news stories and links, and personal stuff. don't change a thing.

for me, commenting usually is redundant, other visitors usually say what i'm thinking. so back to lurking....

from a fellow michigander

Chandler In Las Vegas said...

Reformat the template. If you aren't going to constantly post in the middle column, go to a two column format. Cuts down on scrolling.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy checking in on you site. Do you think maybe the low comments might be your content?
Tennis players, morning wood, cover shots of the newspaper and local gay magazines are fun but whats to say about them.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken - I do comment here occasionally usually on the "caption this" - I comment most often on Joemygod and a lot less frequently Towleroad - I can say it almost always is a political story and more frequently a gay rights or comments about what some a*hole right crazy said. I love your site and consider it a great cultural site with some good eye candy. I just think I tend to want to make my voice heard more often when I get angry enough at something.

Steve said...

Hi Kenneth,
I read your blog just about every weekday, and I appreciate the time and effort that you devote to it.

Elements of your blog that I particularly enjoy: coverage of professional tennis; coverage of news items of particular intrest to LGBTQ people; posts about 80s and/or early 90s music.

As a longtime reader, it seems to me that your coverage of tennis has diminished in recent years. That's disappointing to me, particularly with the demise of the Tennis Served Fresh blog.

For my taste, you're a bit heavy on posts about Debbie Harry and/or Blondie, but I know how much you love Debbie and Blondie, so how can I object?

I don't make comments because of the potential for some hater to disagree, and I don't like to expend much personal time and energy dealing with people like that.

Keep the good posts coming, and you know that I love photos of hot shirtless guys.


Kern said...

I have left comments. What bothers me about the site is that it is so inconsistent. You can go on so insistently about a song or singer or tennis player. Plus, is it your personal blog to discuss yourself and your own life, or is to discuss topics of interest to gays? Not that I wouldn't like you if I knew you, but your personal life is less interesting to me than gay topics.
But, it is your blog!

Rafi in Norway said...

Hi Kenneth,

Have loved your site for several years now and love it!..especially morning wood and your music choices...not a great tennis fan, but at least you try to showcase the hotties.
Never leav e comments, like it the way it is, especially when you feature events in NYC and pics..

Anonymous said...

I haven't commented on your blog before, but I do enjoy visiting the site every day. I think sites like "Joe My God" (btw, what an a*hole) get more comments because they often feature the blogger's take on a controversial political issue. Many commenters have heated exchanges in the comment sections of these sites, which leads to a large number of comments on a single post. I like the "morning wood" pics, BELIEVE ME, but I usually don't have a strong opinion on them, so I don't take the time to comment. Love the blog. The bf and I look forward to visiting more in the future!

alberto mario said...

Kenneth I totally love your blog. I stop here daily every morning and I think what's going on with the commenting proccess: it's a third click away. Maybe because blogger works that way and for some people is kinda tedious. And as for me and a very lazy guy but I'm an avid twitter user so I tend to vent my thoughts aobut a topic heavily on there. Just my five cents.

Chad said...

Hey Kenneth... You know I love your blog and read it every day. I try to comment when I feel inclined. For me, I read your blog for your humor and interesting take on the world. It's far more entertainment for me than "news"... which might merit more commenting. As others have pointed out, sometimes commenting turns into this nasty, negative thing. And you're totally above that! ;)

Also, I do feel like the extra steps involved prohibit comments. I do comment on Facebook all the time. And will try to leave comments there when you link to your blog. It is definitely easier on FB and more of what we're used to.

A lot of times I will read your posts and wish there was the simple "LIKE" button. That way I can give you feedback without having to leave an actual comment saying, "I agree" or "that's funny" or "I like that." And again, I try to "LIKE" or comment when I see your links on FB.

However, because I go to your blog directly every morning, when your links show up on my FB feed, I feel like it's "old news"... I've already read that... so, I'm less inclined to "like" or comment unless it was a REALLY GOOD post.

Bottom line, I don't think readers feel the need for excessive discussions on your site.. which isn't necessary a bad thing. But as someone who LOVES attention, I get it. I often feel slighted when people don't comment or like my posts on FB. So, I understand.

Hope this helps...

Frank Anthony Polito said...

I love that you've taken the time to ask your readers about this -- shows how much you care about them and their opinions... And as someone who considers you a good friend -- if not my "best" friend in NYC -- I know that you DO care!

For me, I don't read the blog EVERY day -- shows what a good friend I am! -- but when I do, I make sure I go back and read thru the posts I've missed. And I only usually comment when it's something Michigan-related... Though an occasional Morning Wood will get a "woof!"

Keep up the good work, buddy! Looking forward to reading YOUR book :-)

PS -- I also hate that I have to do the whole "captcha" thing in order to post... but for YOU, I'm willing!

Larry said...

I think I've become a more frequent commenter lately, although I tend to comment on your FB posts more because more dialogue happens there. (And I'll agree, the captcha thing annoys me.) Overall, I love this blog; it's definitely one of my favorites and I find myself visiting many times every day. And even though I don't share your admiration for Roger Federer, I love how diverse your posts are. Keep on doing what you're doing--it's great. Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

I love morning wood and a lot of the other stuff you post and repost and comment on.
I find you feature your love of Debbie Harry a bit too much. Usually when I see you've gone on a tangent on Debbie I move to another site.

Being gay - you make interesting comments about what's happening in the world out there.

I would think that you 'd focus more on New York being that your site is Kenneth in the 212. I'd say we'd all probably like that focus.


Anonymous said...

Hi -
I read your site daily and never leave comments - I don't know why, when I want to say something to you I email and you always reply.

You have a lot of personality (in the site) which is what makes it interesting.

Is this something to do with advertising $ or other revenue stream because if we can get you more business by leaving comments, happy to do so.

Keep writing, I'll keep reading.

Steve said...

I wouldn't take it personally. To be honest, I think most are too lazy to post comments on blogs these days. For me, I don't comment on any blog posts. I guess it doesn't help that I read some 150 different blogs on my google feed. It doesn't mean I don't enjoy your blog though. The only time I do throw out some comments would be on FB.

Tom W. said...

I leave comments occasionally, particularly since we are from the Detroit suburbs, and I feel we have dove off the same diving board into better waters. I used to be a Facebook friend, but left on a whim, and may start again. I enjoy your blog, and will eagerly await your book. Hang in there. Would love to meet you for coffee sometime when I'm in NYC, maybe at the "new" Chock Full of Nuts?

FunMe said...

I comment a lot with other gay blog because I simply have a nickname and that's it. Here you need to have a google account which I don't have. If I did, I wouldn't want to have my account exposed. When I do comment, I do it as "anonymous" and my nickname. I guess would comment more if I saw others comment, too.

Morgan said...

I love your blog...seriously! I start my morning with it and enjoy reading your perspective on a number of issues. I think what makes your blog stand out from others is how you offer intelligent insight with a bit of humour on a number of social and political issues, review some gay literature, and also puts in a bit of nice eye candy, sports figures, gay models, etc. which we all need as well lol Keep up the amazing work and I think why I don't comment often is I'm all commented out after doing my FB and also sometimes I cannot say it better than what others have posted!
Morgan McQuay
Ottawa, Canada

Anonymous said...

don't make us do stuff. Seriously though, your content is fantastic, it's more like visiting a friend than something you want to re-tweet or whatever. I love just about all your content, sept for the tennis stuff, but that's ok.

Brian said...

Kenneth, I've been a daily reader of your blog for several years now. I only comment occasionally, but that's mainly because I'm not a big commenter in general. I don't like how the comment feature takes you to a separate page so that you can't see the post while you're commenting. If I want to respond to or quote a specific line, I have to open a new tab or hit the back button.

I really enjoy your posts on tennis and - since I'm also a newspaper copy editor - the news industry.

I seem to have pretty different tastes in music and hot guys. For example, I don't think Tim Tebow is attractive at all. Nor am I into moustaches. But I would never be one of those guys who posts shit like, "Stop posting about Tim Tebow." It's your blog; post what you want.

Also, as long as I've been reading your blog, I still have trouble sometimes recognizing whether you're joking or being serious. In particular, I find some of your comments on body types and fat people to be cheap shots. It's one of my biggest turn-offs for your blog, but the instances are pretty few and far between.

I do appreciate that your posts offer a unique point of view rather than just regurgitate what's on all the other blogs.

Alex From California said...

I read your blog everyday. I check in with The Third Leg, then you and then Aussielicious. Great way to start the morning.

Anonymous said...

I, too, read your blog every day, most days twice when something you post later in the day pops up in my RSS feed. I occasionally comment. My main gripe is that it takes for-ev-er for your blog to load, due (I think) to the length of your front page and some template issues. Thank you for disabling whatever script it was that made Firefox stall (yeah, I could install that no-script plugin, but then I always wonder what I'm missing).

I generally won't use an online ID as I don't need any more spam and prefer complete anonymity. Please, don't ever go exclusively to facebook's commenting system.

Nevertheless, enjoy your take on matters, love your taste in men, and want to join the chorus of supporters saying "Keep it up!" and can't wait to read your book!

Anonymous said...

Too many hoops, and most peeps won't bother. You need the ability to personalize the experience for regulars (pics or avatars) and automatic recognition if you want more comments. There is little sense of "community" here, it comes off as rather cold and distant. I find your site interesting but a bit esoteric, which can be intimidating to some. Not trying to be critical, just throwing out some random impressions (you asked for it).

Johnny Diaz said...

You wanted comments - you got them K! :)

I agree with what "Anonymous said...
I really enjoy checking in on you site. Do you think maybe the low comments might be your content?
Tennis players, morning wood, cover shots of the newspaper and local gay magazines are fun but whats to say about them."

I usually comment on your blog when the entries have to do with the media industry or something I have a solid authority in (like TV ratings, print, Latino-related celebrities/arts). But it's hard to comment about the front pages of the gay rags or tennis players since I don't follow tennis. I believe you had more comments when you had more personal entries (about your personal I-love-the 80s-stories) but again, you're working on your book essays so save that writing-juice for that.

Anonymous said...

I've also noticed the scarcity of comments. I've typed comments a number of times on your site, but then abandoned them without posting because I don't have one of the commenting IDs you list and I didn't like the warning about the IP address for anonymous comments being "forwarded to the operator."

Hue-Man said...

I've posted a few comments in the past but gave up due to the "clunkiness". You're near the Andrew Sullivan end of the "community" scale, as a result, with lots of visits but no name recognition for your followers. I don't know how you avoid the nastiness of Towleroad without constant moderation of comments.

My approach is simple: you post what you want and I'll read what I want. If every day there's nothing that interests me, I won't come back. Obviously, I've been back at least once a day.

Unless you're going to sell out like AfterElton in order to generate more revenue (from teenage girls' page-views), don't worry about the lack of comments.

FYI, I've avoided Facebook completely and expect more desperate acts - even less privacy - following the underwater IPO. Public company quarterly reporting is extremely unpleasant.

Anonymous said...

I guess you could consider me a frequent commenter. I've read you for years. It is rare that you ever comment on your readers comments on the blog. I don't FB or Tw but judging by the pervious comments, it seems many of your comments wind up there. Some blogs just seem to be more comment encouraging by both the blogger and the blogger's readers.

I think your content is great - you have a nice balance of content. It is one of the few blogs that still includes a lot of personal information and commentary on the political or other stories you post. Most bloggers just post the story.

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Las Vega$,

J'adore! Love your musings...

nojarama said...

I try to only comment on things that we both love (which is alot), or if something pisses me off. I usually will just hit the "like" button here or on Facebook. You know I adore you, but I can't spend 24/7 commenting on everything!

DrGaellon said...

I read your blog in my RSS accumulator, which I can't access at work, and commenting from my iPhone is a pain in the neck - so leaving you a comment means flagging an entry in my reader on the phone, then opening said entry in Firefox when I get home. I have to be highly motivated to do that... if I even remember what I wanted to say by the time I get home...

dkm said...

When you have the time, please go back to commenting on the front page news, rather than just showing it. Did you get more comments then? I think it gave more for people to react to--positively and negatively.

Still my first read of the day, though!

mikey67 said...

Hey Kenneth. Love your blog. We're close to the same age, and I LOVE your posts about being a teenager in the 80s. I check in pretty much every day, but rarely comment because you pretty much stay away from politics and I don't feel compelled. But I don't think that's a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

Thoroughly enjoy your blog and I try and comment as much as possible - albeit frivolous most times.
Your blog is a great combination of intelligence and fun - with some hot pics thrown in that add to my day!! Oh....and I just love anything NYC!!! Thanks for a great blog, Kenneth!

MajorHoraceApplegate said...

the "comment" link is quite small, were it more prominent, more people might be inclined to click on and leave their thoughts.
The content is of the site is what I would call soft and NY centric, a nice way to start the day, versus the somewhat strident tone of Towleroad and the snarkiness of Gawker ( both of which I like).
I think your retaining approval of comments prior to posting is good, however, you may want to consider, having them just post and delete any that you deem offensive or inappropriate.
In summary, you may want to
1: make the comment link more prominent
2: Slightly edgier or snarkier articles;
3; Allow comments to post immediately, reserving the right to delete those you deem offensive or inappropriate
4: Oh yeah that dam anti-robot thing, make it easier

Dave in Texas said...

We'll, as a long time reader I am proud to leave comments on thingsbinfeel I have something of alum to add.i read your blog every day, and enjoy it. Thanks for entertaining us!

Tony in the 323 said...

Hi Kenneth,

Just wanted to say that I enjoy your blog very much. Don't remember when I discovered you, but I'm pleased to say that you are one of my daily reads.

You and I are of like minds when it comes to politics, humor, background and handsome men.

Hope to meet you someday when I'm in the 212.

David said...

I very rarely post a comment on any site, but I enjoy reading a lot -which is why I link your page on my Blogger Blog.

I find your stories interesting, but since you do the editor stuff, I'm always shy that you'll judge my sentence structure and bad use of comma's and prepositions.

But I am amused at your feet issue, and it makes me laugh every time you go off on someone. I have no problem with it, and so my day is usually complete when you get all self-righteous and indignant about it.

But I do that with people who watch reality shows, so who am I to judge?

In the end, you are smart man and I love smart men.

Charles McPhate said...

I generally avoid comments completely – both reading and posting (this is a rare exception). Anonymity leads people to say things they normally would not, and probably should not, say. A number of the bloggers I follow (particularly tech bloggers) have disabled commenting completely. Most comments simply don't add to the conversation. I'd rather you write nothing than write something like, "I agree." That's a waste of time. Okay, so you agree – why?

And, of course, there's the perpetual problem of flaming. It's why I stopped following more than one blogger – the level of discourse was so low, it turned me off to the entire site. This is the problem with anonymity on the web.

But I do visit this site often – sometimes two or three times a day. If I'm busy, I could go a couple of days without reading. Those are the days I miss the Morning Wood. I could do without all the moustaches, but that's personal preference. And I skip over the tennis and music posts – again, personal preference. I don't read everything at the other blogs I follow, either.

Anonymous said...

I'm a pretty infrequent commenter anywhere, and that's not likely to change. But when I look at the comments on your blog, I almost never see a conversation with other commenters or a response from you.

In some ways, I think it will be what you make it. If you're looking for more comments, maybe engage some more in the comments or on twitter? Perhaps that will foster more discussion, if that's what you're looking for.

But don't think that because we're not commenting, we aren't reading. :-)

paul said...

read u everyday, enjoy your posts. not n2 making comments. but, i do share lots of your posts, thanks!

HB said...

While I read the blog daily (and check in several times a day), I rarely ever comment (and rarely ever comment on most other blogs/ sites I read/ follow). Once in a rare while I'll post a comment (using my initials HB). Doesn't have anything to do with the Blogger commenting feature -- I just rarely feel I have something to add. But that said, please keep up the great work! So enjoy reading what you have to say!

Nick in SF said...

LOVE the blog!
It is fun, witty and mature.

There have been times when I didn't agree with something you've written, but like with all friends (virtual and real) challenging one another's positions can lead to healthy debate.

I wanted to respond to the request about leaving comments.

Simply put, I never thought it mattered!

So many people - particularly on the other sites: Towleroad and Queerty get so nasty and rude with their comments that it makes me uncomfortable and choose NOT to be part of the mix.

You are part of my regular daily reading and if leaving comments helps with your writing or is the kind of support you need - I'll do my best to step-up from time to time.

Have a great weekend!

Steve Reed said...

For what it's worth, Kenneth, I think the Blogger commenting feature is part of the problem. I've had people tell me they can't leave comments on my blog, which, as you know, is also hosted by Blogger. That whole captcha thing just freaks people out.

I'm personally more inclined to respond to pieces you write about your own life. I'm interested in you and your personality as a blogger. That extends to pieces where you comment on the news or on issues. Some of the celebrity stuff and the Morning Wood is less interesting to me, and as someone said, there's just not much to say about those posts.

Someone suggested more snark, but I think that's poisonous. I much prefer bloggers who can be genuine.

Congrats on the book, by the way! How awesome is that?!

Gayer_Than_Thou said...

I don't comment primarily because the subjects you blog about tend to be subjects that, while interesting to me, aren't things that I'm sufficiently knowledgeable about to make an intelligent comment. But I definitely read the blog every day.