Only if You're Positive

Here's a thought.

I was thinking about blog comments on large blogs.  I was thinking about how they are usually a collection of: 1) praise/butt-kissing, 2) interesting thoughts or entertaining commentary, and 3) criticism--sometimes pegged as "a mean comment".

So three categories, yes? Maybe subcategories in there.  This applies to all blogs, running blogs, and is also something I noticed reading the fun comments in Ashley Spivey's bachelor blog (JUST as fun as watching the show, I swear...she has access to every screen shot, which makes for entertaining photo stills).

Anyway, looking back at those categories of comments.  I'm going to attribute a percentage to them.

Butt-kissing: 70%
Valuable input: 29%
Criticism/nastiness: 1%

That's a whole lotta love! Perhaps some of it warranted.  And amidst all the support is a tiny blip of meanness.

Why does praise far outweigh criticism on blogs? I think it may be because we are supportive people by nature....or because commenters desire reciprocal praise.  Or maybe it is because as the 14th century adage goes, "if you don't like it, then stop reading, nanner nanner nah", and people largely follow this ancient wisdom, so they're not around to criticize.

Whatever the reasoning, isn't it something, that the 1% of comments pegged as criticism get such a disproportionate amount of attention, backlash, and defensive action by the blogger and said blogger's readers?

For instance, consider this hypothetical comment, on any blog--running, fashion, parenting, cooking, etc.: "Amazing!! You are a wonder woman, and my hero and idol and GIRL, you go girl, there is NOBODY better than you!!"  (by the way, I have totally commented like that's hard not to get excited for friends who post about great accomplishments.  And I have smiled hard when receiving comments like this!).  

This complimentary comment might be replied to with a "thank you!" or "I agree", or more likely, skimmed over.  But it would never receive a "geez, don't get your panties so twisted, I didn't do anything THAT amazing.  It was just a recap/recipe/kid activity."

So, after 50 comments of pure love, LOVE love love, there might be this comment:

"love your blog, long time reader, but I disagree with xxxxx part of your post. That part was totally inaccurate/offensive.  Today, I find your blog annoying as shit."

And all hell breaks loose.

"if you don't like it, then stop reading!"
"get a life and stop being so jealous"
"haters gonna hate"
"Blogger, don't listen to what that person says, I LOVE you still, I 50-shades-of-grey love you.  I'm so hot and bothered!"

Human nature you know, to focus on the negative and forget about all of the positive, even when the balance is 99% to 1%.  But still, I find it so laughable that many bloggers become so defensive or bitter about criticism; it shakes them up, makes them lament that blogging is HARD....even though 99% of the time authoring a blog is an enormous ego-inflating free for all.

There exists a place for fair criticism--that I posit is not worthy of attack--and then on the other hand there is true Trolling, full of bad words and deranged crazy hate that can only happen on the internet or when you get too close to a homeless person whose brain has been fried into oblivion by drugs (ahem, I'm talking to you homeless chick who biked past me yelling "anorexic beaner fat bitch").

Aside from the rare troll, bloggers get so much support.  If they ever whine about internet negativity, tell them to clam it.  So much support! People who don't know me support my running 290834028 times more than my own family members do! And more than some of my closest friends! That is a bizarre thing to earn by doing little more than typing up your thoughts.  You get a lotta love for little output.  So don't go complaining when you get a little hate.

That said....I'm human; I feel GREAT when I read supportive comments so I have no complaints about the sway towards positivity in blog comments on this smaller blog. 

This guy will punch you if you don't LOVE this post

And I will applaud you and allow you to stay if you type that you love me

But if you just type something witty, I might get confused.

I thought I was going somewhere with this.  But I don’t know where....hmmm, how to close the deal...  Help me finish this up: what can be said about this dynamic of bloggers growing to expect praise, to the point where anything critical is pegged as "jealous"?

I’m curious, if you don’t have a blog, what is your take on all the love that is given to bloggers?  I remember back when I didn’t have a blog but I read them, I truly did think that many bloggers were awesome, I loved them, and I would think it was a BFD if one of them agreed to meet me or replied to my comment.  Now that I know what it’s like to have a blog, and I know how easy it is to throw any piece of crap up on to the internet….not as impressed.  Much more judgey.  Still have crushes on some bloggers, but realize they are very human and not….all that special.

If you do have a blog, what is your take on positive v. negative comments?  Do you love the support? Do you feel weird about receiving so much of it?  Do you believe any of it?  Does all of the love outweigh the occasional “hate”, or does the hate linger much louder?


With hitting the track for intervals once or twice a week, I've neglected any "tempo" runs, which to me means a run that includes several miles at a faster, not comfortable speed.  I have done maybe 10 of these in the past year, all on the treadmill, usually by running in the 6:20 to 6:50 pace zone for 1 hour.  I've never run this kind of "tempo" run outside.

Until nowwwwwwwww.

I ran it at the track, because while potentially dizzying, trying to tempo anywhere else would involve stop lights and people dodging and lots of tight little turns.

20 laps without any breaks = 5 miles at "slightly uncomfortable pace".  It felt comfortable enough--especially compared to what I'm usually doing at the track--through about mile 4.  And by listening to talk radio, it ended up not being as boring as running 20 straight laps might sound (actually, that just made it sound MORE boring I think...).

Also, it was raining even though it was July 17 in CALIFORNIA, a forecast that didn't even cross my mind.  I forgot to tell y'all that my summer running has been a breeze compared to yours...because it's been in the 60's and 70's in my hood (I recall one hotter weekend).  Don't worry, you'll have a huge leg up on me during the fall races with your extra challenging 100-degree-weather training.

6:23; 6:28: 6:29; 6:30; 6:23.

I guess if "tempo" is supposed to be faster than half-marathon pace, I didn't quite manage that. This is about my goal half-marathon pace.  Still a challenging workout, so good enough for me.