Monday, April 11, 2005

Blog Responses

Byran the famous nephew is my mentor with this blog stuff, so I asked him how he keeps motivated when he doesn't get many comments on his blog posts. I told him I don't like the feeling of talking to an empty room. He said he enjoys expressing himself whether or not people comment, and they tend to comment most on controversial things.

Makes sense.

However, it turns out that people do read these posts, take them seriously, and even act on them. Remember when I wrote about shopping and how my cart at WinCo must weigh a hundred pounds by the time its full? Well, my friend Pauline read that and got curious. The next time she went shopping she weighed each bag of groceries as she took it into the house. Her cart had been only half full, and the total weight was 101 pounds. So she thinks my brimming cart must be more like 200 pounds.

That makes sense too.

Quote of the Day:
"Emily, don't you wake up sometimes and look down and see Amy drunk?"
--Jenny, who often crawls into Amy's bed during the night, then Amy gets up early and Emily wakes up and looks down from the top bunk and thinks, (she tells us) "Amy shrunk!"


  1. Dorcas Byler4/11/2005 10:11 AM

    Dorcas--I found your blog only about two weeks ago. I think I have checked it every day since then. I tend to be a few years behind technology. My nephew, Hans Mast, has a blog, and he linked me to yours.

    I heard you speak at the Hartwell Mennonite Center at the ladies' retreat and purchased your book. I got home that night and read the whole book before I went to sleep.

    I am good friend of your sister-in-law, Rosie--who has too easy a life. She falls in love and gets married and has a baby on Valentine's Day.

    Rest assured, you are read. I am now finally trying to figure out if I can successfully leave a comment.

  2. Here's a rule of thumb: The shorter (and dumber) the post, the more comments it will get. But I hope you don't follow that too much!

    I have a short walk from my car to my door, and I try to make as few trips as possible. I grab as many grocery bags (always plastic) as I can and try to make it in one or two trips. One time I weighed one trips worth and it was over fifty pounds. Fingers get sore doing that.

  3. Oh yeah, another thing. If you want comments, get Crystal and Merry and Ag together and inspired. But Ag went to SMBI, and Crystal and Merry evidently retired from blog commenting. I really miss them, we used to go nuts on the by-log and rack up a ridiculous amount of comments.

    I talked to Merry's brother last Friday, and he said she is just really busy anymore. And Crystal just got a boyfriend, so there you go.

    Another trick for comments/traffic, surf other blogs and comment on them. Quite often people follow your link back and check out your blog.

  4. I do too enjoy reading your blog.
    Especially on days like today, Monday, and a real "life in the shoe" day. My four children ages 3, 2, 1, and 3 weeks old are extra tired and grumpy from a busy weekend and so am I.

    It is a blessing to read your perspective on life. Thanks for sharing with us! May God be with you!

    Iam from MN . . . Kitchi Pines Church. Japheth Stauffer is my husband and Dawson & Hope Byler my neighbors if you remember these fine folks!

  5. Dorcas, I always am thrilled to see a new post here, as your writing is quirky, yet sublime. Flattery aside, my wife and I were living in Meigs, GA when your husband and AHQ came through. I think they were sharing on some mission work in which your husband is involved. I wonder, wouldn't y'all be related to John Smucker, currently serving in Poland? He and his family attended my home congregation in South Boston, VA for several years. Matter of fact, long before ER came into existence, John, I, and two other youth fellows started a quartet, only to have it broken up by all of us moving away.

    Please keep writing, we all enjoy it!

  6. It took about a year for my blog to get any traffic whatsoever, and even now I only get about five or so comments per post.

    Cute quote of the day. Once I was playing with some young puppies and a little girl who was about three years old. Suddenly the mother of the puppies ran up to us, and the little girl (who hadn't seen the puppies' mother before) looked at the larger dog and said, "It growed!"

  7. PeacefulLady4/11/2005 4:33 PM

    Dorcas, Hey you just got started, not many people know you're here yet. But they'll come, because there's great content in your perspective. Short and thought- provoking, that'll do it. And more people = more comments.

    I don't know if it makes any diff. or not, but would responding occasionally to comments make it seem more like a dialogue? People might feel heard by you?

    I was hesitant to comment for a while because we don't know each other, but I got over it. You just do it.

  8. Dorcas, I love your blog! One of my absolute favorites. To me, not one has been boring at all, and keeping up with the children has been great. Keep it up! ~April

  9. Many thanks, all of you. Dorcas, didn't you and I and Rosie go to the coast together one time? Tom, the trouble with commenting on blogs is that it takes so much of my oh-so-precious time. But, good point. Aimee, I heard about your many blessings in spite of health issues from your dad-in-law at the CLP writers conference. So happy for you. Paul Yates, I was actually along with Paul (John Smucker's brother, BTW) and AHQ at Meigs. We loved Meigs. Great people. Janna, loved the quote. Peacefullady, thanks for the wise comment/insight. April, I like to keep up with you as well, usually through your mom. Thanks again, everyone. So nice to know the room is full out there.

  10. Hello again, while I have commented on your blog I want to encourage you to keep it up and not worry about the comments. Tom is right the short weird crazy posts can inspire a lot of comments, but yours are so full of life the readers probably just tell others to come and read what you say. I think that is the best we can hope for unless we just want to crank up something that causes controversy like politics or religion. Paul Yates put in a little guest book for folks to sign in and let him know they had been there, I just check the old site meter on my blog and it surprises me that the few readers I get do stay and read at least 2 page views per visit. Just keep things going like you have, you will do well in readership. I check in at least every other day to see what's going on in the Smucker household and enjoy each visit.

  11. I'll join the reaffirming masses and say that this is a great blog! I really enjoy reading your posts.


  12. Dorcas, A cup of coffee and reading your blog go real good together..its part of my morning routine!!

    As for Pauline weighing her groceries.. I got a real chuckle out of that.. sounds exactly like something she would do!!LOL!!

  13. Hey I love reading your Blog you always have such interesting things to say. I am just not as much of a commenting person.
    BTW i am Merry's sister and I know she reads your Blog almost every day. It's the only one she will read besides the by - log. She doesnt comment because by the time she checks yours and the by - log she doesnt have time to comment.

  14. Humble thanks to the rest of you that joined in. Truthseeker, you've gotta be my most faithful commenter. Shelley, I'm afraid my site lacks the bells and whistles and teenage zing of yours but I'm glad you stop by. And Arlene, you can stop by anytime as well, at the blog or at the house. Folks, Arlene has four pre-schoolers AND a wicked sense of humor. She is amazing.

  15. Another faithful reader here and your blog is on my favourites list. :) I don't get a lot of time to comment but I enjoy your style of writing as it always leaves me with a smile.

  16. Beverly Gingerich4/13/2005 1:17 PM

    Dorcas--I first learned of your blog (link from Hans Mast's website) about a month ago, and have been a faithful reader ever since. I am looking forward to sharing your posts with my mother when she comes to visit next week; I know she will go back and read every one just like I did. :)
    I am Beverly (Maldaner) Gingerich, grew up in southern Alberta, went to Maranatha with John, and learned to know Rosie when I worked at Golden Rule Travel in VA for five years before getting married to Marcus in 2000. We lived in Michigan for a couple years, but in 2003 we moved to west-central NY. We have 3 boys: 3, 2 and baby will be 1 on Friday.
    When I need some levity I log on and check if there's a new post on 'Life in the Shoe'. I love your tagline or whatever it's called--there have been times when I've been tempted to do what the Old Woman did--but I'm glad to say that so far I haven't followed through on her example. :)
    Be assured you are not writing to an 'empty room'; please don't quit.

  17. Hi Beverly, I know you from when we were just little kids..I grew up in Alberta too!!
    Dorcas is the pastors wife in our church, and we all think she does a wonderful job of blogging and being a pastors wife!!

  18. Beverly, I met you at a ball game in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, years back after a wedding that I did not attend! Ring any bells with you? My brother and I did not know the bride and groom and I am not sure any more why we were there that weekend (we are from Oregon), but my brother and I took a quick jaunt over Crow's Nest Pass in Canada I believe during the wedding and got back to Bonners Ferry during the ball game that evening. I remember visiting with you there.

    Ellen Gerig

  19. I love reading this blog, but I can't always think of anything worth saying in a comment.
    One of my favorites is watching for people that I know....Hi Aimee!
    ~Laura J.

  20. Pray tell . . . who is Laura J? My mind can't recall . . . or is it just overloaded ;) - Aimee

  21. I find these Mennonite connections truly amazing. My children say I can make a connection with any Mennonite on earth, and they were proved right when I met a Mennonite from Germany in the airport at Nairobi, Kenya, and we connected the dots to Steinbach, Manitoba. Anyway, Beverly, you are obviously one of these people that everyone knows. So welcome. Lindsey, Beverly, and Arlene, I have a soft spot in my heart for all Canadians. Lollyjane, thanx for stopping in, and Aimee, don't feel bad if you forget things these days. when was your last full night's sleep?

  22. Dorcas, I'm sorry to use your blog to communicate with Arlene & Ellen, but I don't know how to contact them directly. (What does it mean when a name is in blue and underlined? I clicked on Arlene's name, but nothing happened.)
    Arlene, if I am remembering correctly, you were a Troyer? Edwin's younger sister? If so, then I guess we have some mutual relatives.
    Ellen, I do remember meeting you; it was at either Doug Helmuth & Debbie Byler's wedding, or Dayton Schrievseth & Judy Byler's wedding. I know we had 'bond' when we discovered each were combine drivers. :) Do you still help with harvst? Oh, how I miss those days....
    It's good to make these connections with acquaintances from the past.
    Beverly Gingerich

  23. Wow, I live in southern Alberta too. :) I'm not Mennonite but we do "know of" some around here from my dad's business.

  24. Beverly--feel free to use the Shoe to chat with Arlene and Ellen. I enjoy eavesdropping.

  25. Laura from Wisconsin, Aimee...a faithful visitor for youth camps, Kitchi rally, and sometimes in between... :)
    ~Laura J.

  26. Dorcas,

    Just thought to let you know that even in far away Poland, we read your comments on your blog. Don't have time to read them every day, but from time to time, we check in to see what's going on. Keep writing.

  27. Cynthia Helmuth9/08/2005 5:54 PM

    What a small world! I put in a search for Hartwell Mennonite Center and stumble on a blog from a Dorcas Smucker, who is not the Dorcas I thought I was reading, but I read on anyway, and made lots of connections! Dorcas Byler, hi from Utah! Rosie taught my oldest in the first grade (music), so I know her, too. Then there was Merry, Susie, and the Bonners Ferry folk! I'll have to figure out how to read this regularly, I guess. Sounds like you have lots of fans!

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