In my pre-email, pre-Internet days, this is the time of year when I’d go a little nuts sending for “free” issues of magazines I had little or no intention of subscribing to. This accomplished several things. 1) It gave me a reason to get out of the house and walk down the driveway, the driveway being the only thing shoveled and thus easily traversed. 2) It justified putting the flag up on the mailbox, thereby giving me a way to know when the mail was delivered. 3) It pretty much guaranteed that sometime in the future I’d get something good in the mail. I had gotten this technique perfected to the point where I managed to get the March issue of Martha Stewart Living, which focused on gardening, as my free issue, by judicious timing.
Nowadays I check my email and Bloglines far in excess of my usual routine, once again hoping for something good. I suspect many of you are doing the same, as I’m seeing less blog entries and more blog comments as I make my rounds. Everyone is waiting for someone else to post something good.
I’m going to issue a challenge: be that something good to someone else. Think of any blog you read on a regular basis. If you’ve never posted a comment on that blog, or written an email to its author, that author doesn’t know you’re there. He (or she or they) may have access to the web stats, but all’s that tells them is what ISP you use or what link you clicked on to get there. You’re a statistic, not a person. So be a person and do something personal in what, for us cold climate gardeners, at least, is a very isolating time of year.
Don’t know what to say? Here are some ideas and examples:
Duration: “I’ve been reading your blog for . . .”
Frequency: “I check for something new every . . .”
General Compliment: “I really like your . . . [sense of humor, perceptive analysis, etc]”
Specific Compliment: “My favorite post of all time was . . . ”
Referral: I found out about your blog from . . . ”
And of course, you don’t have to say all of that, or any of that. Just say something nice that you really mean, just like Dan Eskelon did when he commented on this post of mine. Thanks, Dan, I needed that!