I haven’t been here in a few months. I got COVID in September and that took a lot of my inertia away, and since then I’ve just not been in the habit. This isn’t the longest gap in the blog, but still, it’s been a while.
I had two things I wanted to post about: The current social media upheaval and the odd way in which we cling to our online communities, and mathematical notation. But when I logged in to create a post, I noticed I had 930 comments.
I don’t have Akismet turned on, so I figured all of those were spam. I was right, but it bogged me down to go through them, and that took inertia away from writing. So I’ll write about that instead.
The vast majority of them were in Russian, so I have no idea what they said, nor do I really care. The English that came through, usually in the form of URLs, told me enough. Lots of porn, some financial scams, utter garbage.
Of the rest, there was plenty of blatant porn, some of which didn’t sound legal. Oof. Delete. Move on.
And then there are the cruel ones: “Your blog is interesting! I have learned so much. This is an important topic. You should be more popular.”
These are cruel because they’re fake. They’re a reminder that I don’t get many sincere comments along those lines. I can tell they’re fake because many of them are verbatim from different users, same typos and all. Because some of them have links in the middle to obvious scam sites. Because the user names themselves have URLs inside.
I know the heyday of individual blogging is long past. I know there are probably only a handful of people, if that, that ever read these words. I’d get more reach on Medium, and even more on The Good Men Project, where I wrote for a while. An individual blog is not the place to get attention for most people.
Still, I would love some occasional feedback from people. Obviously, that means I have to write more stuff, and given the current social media upheaval, I’ve been thinking about posting more stuff here and linking it to Facebook, Twitter, and whatever rises from the ashes of Twitter.
Anyway, enough about all that. I’m going to draft out something about mathematical notation now. Maybe make it into some TikTok videos, that’s what the cool kids are doing.
I’ll admit, I often don’t leave comments if I don’t have something substantive to say. It seems like more work for the writer for too little reward. Perhaps it’s worth it though, if just to help offset some of the misery that is spam?
I’m curious though: are you looking for specific feedback, or general support? Or perhaps kind words or conversation?
Glad you are feeling better! And really glad you made it through covid! So sorry you got it.