Saturday, 11 June 2011

Blog subject matter

Regular visitors to my blog will hopefully be of the opinion that I write about a broad variety of topics. I don't claim to write with authority, and nor do I try to. After all, my blog is my hobby and most of what I write about is simply for enjoyment. I do try to mix it up though, with an attempt to write about specific perfumes, very often with comparisons to similar styles and also about perfume in general, or related quirks. Occasionally I include something personal, or at least a brief insight into who I am.

Anyway, this post is not an attempt at self-analysis. I don't obsess about who or who doesn't comment on my posts, nor the number of responses, but I would be lying if I said I didn't pay some attention to it. One thing that has become increasingly clear is that I tend to receive the most responses to posts that are either personal, or request the reader's opinion or view on the subject matter. My posts to do with actual reviews of perfumes regularly receive a lukewarm response. Now, whether that has something to do with the quality of review or not, I wouldn't know, but I suspect that most readers of blogs respond more enthusiastically to a post that is conversational and 'general'. I know I certainly do, although I do like to read reviews of perfumes too, and in many cases such reviews have been the initial stimulus to try a new perfume, or indeed a forgotten one, so I do value this style very much.

So, what is the point of this post then? Well, I just wanted to observe this trend on my blog, and I have two questions:

1.) Do those of you who blog find a similar response to your posts?
2.) Whether you blog or not, do you find yourself drawn more towards general conversational posts, or review-type posts?

A final observation - I love the sort of post that covers a perfume family or a note in some detail. I don't have the technical know-how or ability to write in this sort of depth, but there are some talented bloggers out there who excel at this sort of thing. I'm not biased, but one blog that consistently ticks this box is Perfume Shrine, an excellent place to visit indeed.


  1. Hey Michael - I love all your posts and I do enjoy your reviews, but I tend to reply to perfume review posts only if I know the scent. You don't know how many times when I get a new sample do I look for past reviews on your blog and others, and tend to link to them.

    And admittedly I don't want to seem like I'm stalking you by responding on all your posts! LOL

    The other day on Twitter, Olfactoria had mentioned one CdG's incenses - I tweeted that you had just did a review on it

    Happy weekend, my friend!!

  2. Hey Frida, you're no stalker! Comment as often as you like! Actually your point about commenting on a perfume only if you've tried it is a very valid one and I'm sure this is a big factor in whether people respond to a review or not.

  3. Hi Michael - I appreciate your post and the honesty of your observations. Frankly, I tire very quickly of perfume reviews, which is probably why I lack interest in writing a respectable review myself.

    I am a person whose work, education, expertise and interest all focus on the human landscape. And I happen to love perfume. Therefore, your posts that give me a glimpse into who you are as a human being are most interesting to me.

    See? Even your asking about it prompted a comment...

  4. Josephine, thank you for your frank thoughts! Out of interest, if a perfume review is of a non-technical nature, focusing instead on the 'magic' of perfume and how it moves and inspires people, as an art form, would that interest you more?

  5. Good questions Michael. See, you got ME to respond : )

    I love to read perfume reviews. If I haven't tried it yet I don't usually comment, but I certainly refer to you and other bloggers I respect when I am ready to try a fragrance.

    Mostly I just enjoy blogs that are well written by interesting people and you definitely fit into that catagory! If I wasn't so damned lazy I'd comment every post : D

  6. Michael, as this is your blog, it would interest me to know how the magic of a perfume - or the art form - inspires YOU.

    I remember a particular post where you linked a perfume with memories of your father. I enjoyed that personal connection as it allowed me to know him, and you, just a little bit. I also enjoy it when you talk about your work, or what you are thinking and how those things link up with perfume.

    Few pleasures are as personal as perfume. It is perhaps the greatest prompter of memories and marker of events that I can imagine.

    In my opinion, when you reveal something of yourself, the perfume then comes to life.

  7. I'm so new to the blogging that I'm still surprised when somebody actually replies to my posts and I don't have enough experience on the "receiving" side to answer your question. But I can try to answer as a reader/commenter.

    Perfume reviews (beyond the list of notes and availability) are only as interesting to me as people who're writing them are. Cold[er], more "professional" reviews do not touch me: a perfume can be a masterpiece and I still won't wear it even if somebody scientifically proves to me that it's a work of genius. On the other hand, I might decide to give another try to the scent that one of my friends in perfumes praises as a personal love, about which they have a story.

    I have an organized list of blogs that I read. Out of those, I read all "personal" posts. But sometimes I get to them 2-3 days later. I will still comment in many cases even though it feels like everybody, even an author, has already moved on. And it is easier to join a conversation if it's more personal.


  8. Michael, I read blogs for information from those who have it. I rarely read blogs for personal insight, I have been "socially" active on the Internet for at least 10 years and to be frank there are days, particularly work days, where I am all "socialled" out.

    Your perfumista posts are particularly interesting, as they come from a Male perspective. Most perfumista blogs, good as they are, tend to focus on more a more feminine fragrance market - despite the supposed genderless nature of fragrance in the world of the perfumista.

    So I value what you have to say as a guy who like me tries to find something different to wear and smell of.

    You are doing fine!


  9. Well, as you can see from the comments, more conversational and personal create more comments. :)
    I can't say I noticed more comments if it's a more personal post, I just can't tell, as everything I write seems personal to me (so much so that for a long time I didn't say to anyone I wrote a blog).
    Sometimes I get really surprised at the amount of occomments to some of my posts as I couldn't guess they would generate a discussion, and then some which I thought might, aren't interesting.
    I think there is an obvious surge in interest at some points, and again, a drop at some other.
    I read regularly (as in every day) but some days I really don't feel like commenting. I just don't have anything to say. :)

  10. Cymbaline, long time no 'see'. Thanks for commenting and appreciate your views.

  11. Josephine, I shan't try to express that here in comments, but I shall certainly think more along those lines in future posts. Thanks again.

  12. Undinaba, nice to see you 'drop by' and thanks for that insight. I think what you state is very true in many cases and for me, the personality that shines through on a person's blog is definitely the appeal and why I return again and again.

  13. Nick thanks for commenting and it's interesting to read your comments from a male perspective. It's true that a lot of perfume blogs tend toward the feminine. I try to be as genderless as I can when posting but inevitably I too stray from that ideal.

  14. Ines, I think your comment probably sums up the point of my post best of all. And yes, when it's all said and done, there are many days when I just can't be bothered to comment too, not because I don't find the read interesting or the person posting less compelling, but just because I am tired or don't have anything to say!

  15. I always have thought that "drop by" is used towards first-time or a very occasional commenters. The fact that you're not recognized as soon as you have to log in with a slightly different screen name hurts. I have no idea why it happens, but from time to time I cannot use my Google account to comment here - then I use undinaba from Wordpress.

  16. Undina, sorry, I had no idea you and Undinaba were one and the same, hence my comment. In the back of my mind I did make a mental note that it was strange that there were two people with such similar names. Hope I didn't offend!

  17. Michael, everything's fine. I'm still learning to insert smileys into a not IM-style conversations. I wasn't seriously upset - rather grumpy. And annoyed at the Blogger - after they had problems with the service recently I constantly see people complaining about the same difficulties with signing in for commenting. I still can do it for some blogs (e.g. yours) only from my mobile device.

  18. Undina, I'm glad about that. Not sure why you have problems with signing in, and why my blog should cause issues for example. Perhaps I should check my settings, although I wasn't aware of this. Of course, I'm clueless when it comes to this sort of thing!



Related Posts with Thumbnails