Developer Appreciation Week. Well, I’d have to say I know of more developers than I actually know. In fact, now that I think about it, I don’t generally consider myself to “know” many people at all. Honestly, outside of this blog and the Blaugust discord I’m a fairly reserved and private individual. I’ve have long considered myself a consumer of content, not a creator of it.
So I think I’ll do a couple of posts, one about various content creators I follow and the impact they’ve had on my impressions and choices. I’ll do an additional one specifically about a couple of developers I have a measure of respect for. Not necessarily in that order.
What’s got me thinking today though is comments. Now, I’ve tried to make an effort to leave comments on articles I find interesting. Generally side thoughts, minor notes, or general commentary. If I feel it’s to long I’ll try to trim it down to be digestible. I don’t want to write a whole ‘nother blog post in your comments. This has proven somewhat difficult on some platforms. Something that appears to be a problem on mobile at the moment is wordpress sites with a custom domain seem to be throwing a captcha at me that my phone refuses to load.
Now, I feel kind awkward about it a lot of times. After a while I start to wonder if I’m just commenting on the same couple of blogs repeatedly and the impression that some people might get as a result of doing that.
The alternative would be giving you a Like, which is also platform dependent and I tend to do anyway. I think it’s a perfectly valid way to express an opinion with minimal effort. The problem I have with likes is that they’re like a little drug hit. You get that first like and you’re ecstatic. Then you write a post that gets five likes, and it’s that same hit again.
Like physical drugs you can start seeking that high, but you need a little more and a little more to get there. A post that only gets five likes? That’s trash now, the stuff of newbs. It can lead into this spiral of behavior where not increasing that like count regularly feels like failure, you’re just not getting out of it what you used to.
I still do it though. It’s a nice bit of feedback that somebody actually took the effort to give you a thumbs up, it’s a nice gesture to give/receive once in a while.
Then there’s what I experienced a couple of days ago.
UnwiseOwl of Leaflocker came by and gave me what has to be the best slap in the face I have I received. I was completely mentally and emotionally unprepared for unsolicited positive feedback. It’s honestly not something I’m accustomed to receiving and my immediate reaction was a third “run and hide”, a third elated, and a third shocked that people actually bother to read any of it.
I think this has a lot to do with the Imposter Syndrome that Chestnut posted about a while back. These posts are so much train of thought in the writing process that I forget I’m leaving them in the open and that people may actually find value in them. I’m a very internal person and many of these are a sort of recording of my conversation(s) with myself.
I find myself wondering how comments feel to other bloggers. If they find it weird, or exhilarating, or boring. So many posts I read there are no comments, sometimes one or two. Then every now and then there’ll be one with eight or so. I wonder to myself if they suffer from fatigue similar to likes. Does the person getting a dozen comments per post value them as much as the person getting one comment a week?
I don’t feel like I’m in a position to answer that question, to be honest. I understand there’s only one person though. There’s comes a point where you only have so much time and effort to allocate and comments require more of both from two people. It’s possible to get into a situation where you simply don’t have the resources to give equally.
So I plan to keep doing what I’ve been doing, I suppose. It’s still kind of trippy, a couple days later, the extraordinary impact that someone’s simple gesture had.
Stay gold folks, stay gold.