Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Comment Game & Inspiration

Welcome to Pissed Off Rant Wednesday

Inspiration is sometimes hard to come by for the blogger.  You sit at the computer and ponder "What the hell I am going to talk about this week?"  Then you slide over to a friend's blog and BOOM lightning strikes.

My foodie friend LeQuan, who's work you may remember was spotlighted on LC when she made a lovely Stir Fried Shrimp with Oyster Mushrooms & Enoki Mushrooms in Abalone Sauce, opened up Pandora's box for me with her last post.  I have been blogging now for only a few months, this blog actually went live on March 5, 2010 with this monumentally Craptastic Post.  Since then I have been lucky to meet some amazingly talented people, some amazingly nice people, and some people who I really could have done without ever meeting.

Early on I realized that comments on blogs is a game.  Spend an ungodly amount of time on the computer leaving hundreds of inane, superficial comments in the hopes of getting those lovely comments in return.  Why do people play this game?  Everyone has their own special reasons.  However, Laz do not play that game.  I do not blog for comments, or exposure, if I did I would still be on Foodbuzz.  I'll leave them to side right now...more to come on them in the future.

I blog because I love food.  I love cooking.  In my mind, LC is about the FOOD, nothing else.  I love to interact with people who actually...love food like me.  People who are passionate about their emuslions, or their immersion blenders, or their use of organic products or sustainable fish.  Not what camera they spend $1000's of dollars on so they can be on Taste Gawker, or whatever that shit's called.

I have made some amazing friends doing this.  You know who you are, I do not have to mention your names.  You actually know my email address and use it.  Now, some other people come on the scene and act like your long lost best pal only to then poof...like magic disappear.  You also know how you are, I need not mention your names either.  I read and comment on blogs that inspire me.  That's all.

The point of all this is that LC is not going anywhere.  It's here.  I am here and I will be here.  Cooking my food and sharing with the people that inspire me.  At the end of every post it says "Have your Say".  For those of you that are moved to comment, great.  I can tell that there are some bloggers who probably have no clue I am even posting because they only followed me on Foodbuzz.  Oh well such is life, they will fade in oblivion for me.  But LC will endure.

So if you like what I do, pull up a chair, we'll keep making some good food.  For the rest, goodbye!

That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!

44 comments:

  1. Oh, Lazaro! I love passionate people... they are as nourishing as the best food on the planet. Joy is delicious.

    Your passion pours from you. That and endless curiosity and genuine interest in others keeps one young and so alive. The few blog creeps out there are in such a minority, thank heavens...so many are just the best. You keep on spreading the L-word we all love it!

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  2. Great post! I totally agree with you. I love comments, but I don't have the time to comment on hundreds of blogs all the time. I don't comment to get commments... I comment because I enjoyed the post! I applaud you for your honesty!

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  3. I know what you mean about the comment game...It's crazy! But I do have a circle of bloggers that I comment with on nearly every post...more of a friendship thing. I've actually been curious about foodbuzz and foodgawker...I'm not on either.

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  4. Bravo, Lazaro! Well said! I feel the same exact way about the comment game and it really is so frustrating sometimes. I had this exact discussion with another blogger at dinner last night! I, like you, try to be as inspired by other people's blogs as I can, and I comment to let them know I am reading and that I appreciate their passion for what they love. It can be very time consuming to keep up with so many blogs, and sometimes I just can't do it! But the point is to be genuine, and I think more people can learn from this post than a lot of others.

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  5. pissed off rant wednesday! ha! love it. You make great food and that's what counts. I too think it is a bit of a game - no denying that!

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  6. I can't believe that I've been blogging longer than you have--March 2010 is when you started? I've seen "foodbuz" on a number of blogs that I follow but have never checked it out so I'm not sure what's going on. Anyway, I always enjoy your posts and guests but I'll let you be the judge as to my comments.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  7. Really really great post Lazaro. I don't know if it's because people start food blogs strictly to try and be popular or if they just 'forget' along the way why they started blogging on food in the first place.

    Either way, you're so so right. Why do it if you aren't doing it simply for the love of food?

    I'm with you and I love your posts!!

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  8. I'm not going to bore you with the details, but I very much needed to read this today. Thank you. I'm going to leave it at that, but my thanks are sincere. You've brightened my day.

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  9. Ha! This post cracked me up! You are so right! I just started blogging in March too! I haven't read your craptastic post yet, but I'm going to go do that now! Have an awesome day, and thanks for the laughs!

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  10. I'm feelin ya brother. I have been pondering this subject myself. Gonna get back to the basics... prioritize. Time is valuable and life is hectic, do what you love! Hopefully you got it off your chest and I'm pulling up my chair for future food thoughts from you.

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  11. Let it come out Laz! hahaha I hope you feel better (wink). I'm sure a lot of people feel the same way but afraid to make a bold statement.

    FoodBuzz is one of the channels to get exposure but some mis-used it. This is an individual opinion. Don't let it push you away people! You have your own reason when you started blogging and where you wanna be.

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  12. Very interesting. Many do leave stupid comments and it is clear they have not read a word. That does bother me as I do read and do leave thoughtful comments. But, I am the one who benefits. I learn a lot. But, I do write for comments, too. I want the interaction. I want the discussion. Otherwise, I would just keep my site private. I get annoyed sometimes when I write a really great post and a discussion starts and it is really full of thought and then someone will chime in with something meaningless. I don't look for numbers. I look for time spent on my site and for meaningful comments that I learn from and that engage me. This is what is important to me.
    :)
    Valerie

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  13. i love this! commenting is a game. but not here, laz. so honest. for everyone i think. keep doing what you're doing :)

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  14. Your blog posts certainly inspire me and not only have me starving for your delicious dish, but anxious to try new techniques. Your food is unique and the way you speak about it and recognize greatness in other foodies is remarkable. I am a mother of 3, with no real friends and non of them are foodies. So I rely on the blogging world to "conversate" with. I may be hyper with comments, but I always read through posts and rarely ever sum up posts from photos and titles alone. Seeing how people make themselves/family/strangers/friends happy with their meal truly makes me all excited and inspires me to come up with new dishes. Looking forward to new recipes and stories from you!

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  15. I love this post. I hate the superficial comments, especially after all the effort I put into writing good posts. It's definitely frustrating! But in the end, I'm doing this because I love food and writing. And that's all that should matter, right?

    I always love coming here Lazaro and seeing what delicacies you've cooked up. Keep it up.

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  16. Let it out my friend, let it all out! I totally understand everything you just wrote about...SIGH! At first I was afraid to post my last post, but a part of me felt that I had to be truthful to my readers. Just like my comments, everything on my blog comes from the heart and what I am feeling at the time. I refuse to leave a comment telling someone I love this and that if I don't even eat it. As a food blogger, I WILL leave a comment saying I have never tried such and such and have no shame of it cause really, I'm here to learn. That's why I love visiting your blog. You always come up with these amazing dishes that I have never seen before (blush). Honestly, I would love to try some of them but I know I am nowhere close to your culinary talents yet. Baby steps right? Someday though, someday :-D

    As for foodbuzz, I stopped posting my posts on there a while ago, same with twitter. Like I said, I'm here for the learning. I no longer care how many comments I get or from whom. Even if someone doesn't comment on my blog, I will still comment on theirs because I have something to say, not because I expect one in return. Like you, I'm done with the comment game. Thank you for allowing me to release on your blog. Please keep posting like you always have, I really do love reading your posts.

    Like you always say, "That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again (in this case, more than a few ;-))...Peace!" Great post Lazaro! It's nice to get a few thing off your chest isn't it? Now where's my delicious food? Lol.

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  17. I LOVE THIS POST!!!! I hear ya!

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  18. lol Lazaro! I love this post. You are awesome. And I am not just blowing smoke up your ass, I mean it! Way to be honest. I hate the commenting game too.

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  19. Fantastic post, Lazaro! I agree with everything you've said, and I'm glad you came out and said it. I come to LC because your passion for fabulous food is contageous...and because your food is amazing. :)

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  20. Hi Lazaro

    I think you said what a lot of us think sometimes....it can be frustrating, and seems too much like a game.....it is what it is....I do find joy in the great people, that I met when I first arrived on the FB scene, it almost seems like we stick together come hell or high water, others come and go.....but you can see that circle of friends that we all seem to have...It's definitely not easy, balancing work, life and blogging, it has become much more than I have ever anticipated.... but I think foodies like us are too passionate about what we do to stop....I love my job, I love making people happy feeding them...its a wonderful feeling, and I think its what I do best....well I was a great wrestling coach, it would be close....lol.....
    My friend I choose to stay with you, I hope thats ok with you. And thank you for all that you do!
    Cheers
    Dennis

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  21. Very refreshing post, Lazaro, and the comments on it are refreshing as well. While I haven’t done the Food Buzz thing and have only been blogging a little longer than you have (since January), I think the commenting/exposure thing sort of cuts two ways. As a newbie, one of the things I never anticipated was how gratifying it would be to receive comments from thoughtful people who share my passion for food – some of whom discovered me from the out of the blue or from across the globe. As others here have mentioned, blogging can take a lot of time on top of one’s day job and the rest of one’s life. Some of the positive and appreciative comments I’ve received – as well as new blogging friends I’ve made – are one motivation to keep at it. On the other hand, I’ve realized that if I overextend myself trying to follow other blogs, it limits how much time I have to devote to my own, which is how I got here in the first place. And in many instances, I’ll read and enjoy posts but not take the additional time to comment on them because by the time I get home from work and sit down at the computer, scores of other comments have already been made and I can’t really think of anything fresh or useful to add to the discussion. While it’s all well and good to get or give some version of “great dish,” “nice post” or the endlessly repeated “I must make this dish sometime” (I have to wonder how many of those commenters actually ever do), I’m content to keep to a smaller circle of bloggers who really inspire me or from whom I learn new things. Thank you for being one of them, Laz!

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  22. Did you know that there was a trend recently where a bunch of folks actually disabled their comments because they got tired of the whole comment game thing? But a lot of them since then have put the comments back because they missed the interaction with the friends that they made. I'll share the rest of my thoughts about this offline with you if that's ok for fear that I may write an essay here :)

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  23. Well you diffinitely have made an impact on how blogging ettiquette should really be, I love Sweetsfoods for the same reason, he is honest about his blogging and a supporter as you have been. Being in a click is hard to fit in and not worth the aggrevation that it causes. I started this out as a hobby, and it turned into like you said hours spent and meeting some great people. Right now foodbuzz is about who can make them the most money in hits for this contest, it was a great comeback for them since they lost thousands to CES and other competitors that make a passionate blogger feel like they have worth. Oh btw I am on my 129th pictures to that site you mentioned rejected! Should I go on,.. you will get many to agree...I have posted you everywhere....honest blogging! thanks for stepping up!

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  24. Hee, hee, hee. I just started following you recently and I can't wait to see what comes next... oh, no! Did that just fall into the vapid comment category? ;)

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  25. What an interesting post I've found after I started following u, just the other day! Hahaha! Well said & I love it!

    I love to eat & cook, so my blog's not only about my cooking but also my fine dining expeditions etc. That's where I get my inspiration from, most of the time.

    Well, hope we're off to a good start, to friendship :) Looking fwd to sharing & seeing more of your comments too!

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  26. *SIGH*

    I want to disagree with you Laz, but I can't. The food blogosphere is 80% plastic. Simple and true. I don't like being in cliques - but I find myself in one right now. As Dennis said, we form our circles or maybe it's just the simple rule of similar people gravitating towards each other. I have been tempted many times to disable comments on my blog, out of frustration, annoyance and sometimes just plain weariness, but I still want to hear from my real friends - again as Dennis said, the come hell or high water friends.

    The reason I am not in PFB - from the outset I realised the one to really benefit from it would be FB and I would probably be left a bunch of tangled and frazzled nerves. No thanks.

    The reason I blog - I love food, the seeking, the procurement, the creating and cooking, the sitting down and sharing with friends and family. As a new blogger - I lived for comments, they were my validation. Stupid. I know who and what I am now as a blogger - I want to hear from my friends. I want to hear from likeminded people. I want real opinions from the heart and mind, not a 3 second summation gleaned from a quick glance at the pictures and title.

    Every comment I have ever written on any blog, comes with respect I accorded the blogger by actually reading the post first. Why? Because he or she felt there was something worth communicating when writing the post. I want to know what that thing is. Of course I expect the same in return. Of course, I have been disappointed many, many, many, times.

    Even so, I remain in the habit of checking out the blog of the blogger who left a comment on my post and leaving a comment on any of his or her posts, that struck a chord in me. Call me curious, call me old fashioned, call me what you want. My mother would call me "rude" to ignore people who reach out to me. It seems in a world built mainly on and out of plastic, common courtesy is quite uncommon.

    Thank you for your honesty and integrity - thank you for being a real friend.

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  27. Will this be a weekly series?:) We started our blog around the same time as you, and I love doing it...But I agree that it is so hard to do it this way. I have met some fantastic people through this (you included) and have a small group that I interact with outside of FB. I will admit that I try to comment on other sites as much as I can, only after I have checked out what my group of friends are doing. I think I do it because I like to cheer them on with whatever I find on their site to be inspirational and it may not be there skill with cuisine, but maybe just their passion. I know that it is too much, and I work six days a week...Plus I have an average low cost digital camera and only started taking photos with it for the blog a few months ago...FB hates me as far as photos, lol
    It does make it intimidating and changes the focus (no pun intended) of what is important. I love taking the photos and love learning about that, but I don't like feelings of pressure to preform :(
    This is a passionate post and has me thinking. But as you stated you will never go away, I will never go away from you :) You, like some of our friends in common, I learn from daily and cherish and will always support along the way :)

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  28. This was a very refreshing rant! I think we all appreciate comments to some extent, just because it's nice to feel like someone appreciates what we're putting out there, but I definitely don't do it for that reason (which is evident by the fact that I'm not getting like 50 comments on my posts, yet I still keep writing). I like to cook and bake, and often times the only people eating my food are me and my boyfriend, so I feel like this is a good way to share my cooking with others - including my friends and family who also like to cook, but live in different states (and actually never comment on my blog). I find inspiration and ideas from the blogs that I read, and I'm usually pretty sincere in my comments (at least I hope I come off that way!).

    I always enjoy your posts, and I'm happy that there are people out there who are so honest and real as you are :)

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  29. *pulls up chair* It looks like LeQuan is inspirational to both of us because I've been thinking her post over in my head since I read it and I actually JUST mentioned it myself (well, mostly about posting when I don't feel like it). But the comments game, eek. I decided to stop playing that a while back and I'm SO much happier now.

    And about the Foodbuzz thing, power to ya. It's time that people return to blogging roots and concentrate on beautiful food!

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  30. Here here!

    I still read, though I don't comment much (sorry!). Keep up the great cooking, blogging, and everything else! I'll keep reading!

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  31. I really love everything that you put on this blog and it's nice too to hear your thoughts on something like this which I also feel passionate about. It's a sad fact that many (especially food) bloggers today only start a blog in the hope of getting a book deal and being able to write, cook or take pictures for a living. They then spend their time as you say leaving superficial comments on as many blogs as possible in order to get noticed. But the sad fact is that a blog written without passion or genuine enthusiasm will never become well loved which is a necessary step in becoming famous. I started my blog because I wanted to share things and meet interesting people from all over with whom I had a connection. If they want to comment, great, if not, I respect that. I also make a point never to visit blogs of people who just write things like "Great post. On my blog, I've just cooked..." Frankly I'd rather have a small number of regular readers who are friends than just skim the surface of networking and have hundreds of comments.

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  32. Look how many comments you got ;) I can't handle FB either - mainly because the site is so difficult to navigate. But that is where I met my "core" bloggie friends - so without it, I may never have known where to find them - including you! I do feel its courteous to click/comment on the websites of those who leave me comments, but I'm happy with my little clique of 15-20 passionate foodies/bloggers/chefs!

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  33. Way to go, Lazaro! You said it all perfectly! I blog because I love food, cooking and people. Keep up the great job you're doing!

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  34. Jenn formerly, Chinese BabaSeptember 30, 2010 at 8:18 PM

    "Not what camera they spend $1000's of dollars on so they can be on Taste Gawker, or whatever that shit's called."
    BEST.

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  35. Oh Lazaro. So VERY well said. Your passion always come through- don't ever lose that
    xoxo Pattie

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  36. My Gosh! Now this is the kind of post you want to write as look at the quality of comment discussion that it has generated. I learned a lot reading through them all... I do the same thing as "Quickies", I realized - I do look up who ever heas reached out to me for the first time and comment on something they have posted... if their site looks like one I want to follow, I subscribe. If not, I do not. Yet, I like the idea of something that unites bloggers. Locally, we have foodie meet-ups and we are in the process of planning a local conference. We make a point of meeting and connecting because we can and we have the same interest. There are about 30 local food bloggers right in the city of Edmonton. Cyber space wise, it is sometimes nice to have an online community for conversation - but, every one that I have seen develop ends up being a popularity contest. Why is that? We all want readers. I really want READERS. Not just photo skimmers. But, then, I have to understand that I do rarely write the same way. Sometimes I write mega posts. Few would want to read the entire thing. Sometimes I write about local events. Those are for a specific audience... and on and on. In any case, what a thought provoking post. This is what blogging is all about, to me!
    I bow to you!
    Valerie

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  37. I admire your honesty and boldness Lazaro! Your last post about leaving FB kept me puzzled. Dennis and Denise were right. I am already realizing and thinking to quit the PFB challenge, for the reason like what Denise said, that the who would really benefit from it is FB and will only leave me always stressed out. Like I always say to my blog, we do not cook to impress. We love food. We love to cook. We may not have the michellin stars but were passionate on what we do... Like you always say to me, be well, my friend.....

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  38. This sounds very much like a conversation that Chef Dennis and I had via e-mail once (or maybe twice), but he was listening to me rant (he's a very good listener). I agree with you; to a point. There are times that I go to one of my friends' blogs and while I don't have anything inspirational to say, I do want her/him to know that I've visited and that I care enough to let her know that. So, it's a brief comment, but it's from the heart. No, they're never about sprinkling my name about.

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  39. Ha you left Foodbuzz! Good for you. I stop by there sometimes to check out old friends or whatever (and post from habit, I guess) but I refused to ever become a Featured Publisher there ... too much of a game. I am in charge of what I write and do on my blog.

    I agree with you that comments can be a "game" for some people, but I like to leave comments to 1.) show that I appreciate what someone is doing when they're really into it, 2.) keep up with bloggy friends when there's no time to email, and 3.) respond to things that really excite me. I'm sad that I don't always have the time anymore to do that - I end up trying to "catch up" with my faves & friends on a weekend afternoon.

    That said - I don't think there's anything wrong with aspiring to improve your photography and food styling skills IF that's what interests you. I happen to think it's really fun, and getting on Foodgawker or Tastespotting is a fun challenge for me, and I feel a sense of accomplishment when a photo of mine makes it on there - I certainly don't think that loving that end of things precludes or negatively impacts my intense passion for cooking and eating and blogging. (Not that I have a $1,000 camera, mind you.) Everyone has that thing that floats their boat, you know!

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  40. OH Lazaro...wow I really needed to read this, I am just beginning to realize that I DO NOT want to spend all day on the comp looking for people to at least glimpse at my blog, I really can't, i blog because I love food and i love to read blogs of cooks who put time into their post. not just to put something out for comments.. I mean I have a facebook and you are my firend on this site and honestly I can't even work that thing..I cannot even stick to my blog schedule.. I see other people's blogs and they have like 1,0000 comments, but then I see them everywhere leaving comments like yummy, wow, wtf? Take now for instance you posted this Wednesday and I am know just getting around to have time to catch up on my FAV bloggers, so how could I even try to reach out to others, I have began leaving some post closed comments and have found it very soothing, i have active kids,busy hubby and I would like to have some time to read a book or make dinner without worrying about taking 1 million pics to at least get one that looks great! okay I'm rambling...you get the idea..
    sweetlife

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  41. Bravo my friend! You just pulled the thoughts right out of my head on this one. I have been very disillusioned lately with certain blog "hubs". I cook and write what I love and I hope that is the "star" of my blog. I also have a point and click $400 digital camera and it gets the job done. Maybe not enough to be considered "top nine" worthy but oh damned well...my readers like the pictures it takes. I tried playing the game for a while also but found I felt compelled to post a comment on the blog of everyone who posted to mine and well frankly...some of them were not my cup of tea. Like yourself, I also have a circle of blog friends whose comments are always supportive and whose own posts are inspirational. LOL..I've always said I had no brain to mouth filter. I can appreciate your honesty and I agree 100%. If you are not passionate about what you do, don't waste your time. Number of clicks does NOT defne me as a cook, food lover, writer or blogger.

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  42. This is something I have wrestled with - I aim to be considerate. Life's too short not to be. I have no interest in being the next foodie star, writing a cookbook, etc. Truly. I have work. And I am lucky because I love my work.

    If you comment to get comments, you are in danger of losing your life. You need to comment all day. If you comment out of appreciation and friendship, you will find friends. I have and am grateful to the people I have met in person and through e-mails that I never would have known. My life has been enriched.

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  43. Great post and a wonderful recap. I've struggled with FB and the comment issues, but I agree its ultimately about quality not quantiity of comments. I blog because I love food and culture and I comment because I want to connect and I have something to say. If I really admire what someone does I try to tell them so, but I stop when trying to respond becomes a chore, I started this as a labor of love and I intend to keep it that way.

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  44. I know what you mean. I got really fed up recently with people, foodbuzz, this pressure that I just didn't want before. I love writing, and writing about food but I hate writing about shit food just to have a post. I love posting comments from time to time on the blogs that inspire me, but I don't comment on many. I read and that's all. I'm ok with having fewer comments, I just love getting my food out there while I write a cookbook and start a business. I mean that natters. I love your blog, and it's the culinary aspect I lack. So thanks for the posting and reminding me why we do what we do. And hey, guest blogging soon???

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