As someone who thinks of themselves as pretty adept at this whole internet business I had never before jumped into comment culture like I did this semester. I had some experience with it. I was a member of a number of forums in my youth. Mostly for video or games (ashamedly) but, also forums I created for my rock climbing team. I have been a long time member of link sharing “news” site Reddit and have immersed myself into that comment culture. I still participate in a graffiti forum even though that part of my life is over. (I am really just there for the tattoo and skateboard sections) But I had never made a review online. I had hardly ever commented on news stories. I never even thought about writing to a newspaper or calling in to a radio station. Through this semester I did a lot of these things for the first time. Sometimes it was frustrating and I wanted to just quit. Then during other times I was so pleased with the process and results that I didn’t want to stop.
The high of the semester for my regarding comment culture is when the owner of a blog I have been following for years commented on my own blog. Not only was it a simple comment it was a thoughtful comment that showed that he had clearly taken a look at my blog. As someone who gets an average of 7 views per day that was pretty damn cool. Due to stigmas in my circle I had looked down my nose at blogging. I don’t really know why. For me I had pictured some guy with a scarf and beret sitting in a coffee shop drinking an entirely too expensive coffee while writing meaningless nothings which in turn hundreds of people would gush over for no reason. Not my style. Through doing the blog for the whole semester I found that there is a bit more to it than that. I guess that could be another high of the semester.
Lows. If you have kept up with my blog I don’t think it’d be hard to say that the radio calling project was a low for me. I had gone in with high hopes of bantering with some snarky radio host who would try and succeed to get a rise out of me. I wanted to yell. I wanted to passionately discuss. What I got were busy signals, prerecorded messages, and a whole lot of disappointment. I gave talk radio a chance and it chewed me up and spit me out without giving me the satisfaction of hollering at them first. I will put talk radio away for a while and perhaps come back to it in a less busy part of my life.
I enjoyed leaving comments that sparked discussion or continued it. I don’t think I ever finished anybodies story. I do think I spread light on something that otherwise wouldn’t have been said or seen. I tried my best to bring something new to the table every time I made a new comment. I think one of my best examples of this was when I commented on a movie review blog. I had disagreed with the author on an opinion they stated in the review. Then the author as well as a few others responded and we ended up having a discussion on Hollywood or perhaps the downward spiral that we now know as Hollywood. It was interesting to talk to someone else besides my friends, who I already know share many of my beliefs on the matter, and they were complete strangers.
If I had to do it differently I would have done more. I am going to place the blame on this weird social stigma that had developed in my head on to why I didn’t blog or comment more. Towards the end I started to throw things in there that were not assignments. I got the most views on those things. I will continue this blog. It is good practice to write and it keep me thinking. Plus it is a place I can put cool or interesting things for everyone else to read. I had tried to do blogs before. I didn’t tell anyone. That was foolish. Now I want to tell people. I want to show people my blog and twitter and I want to see theirs. I want to be a part of comment culture. Especially in the little subcultures I am so fond of. So, cool. Cool cool cool.