Why I Don’t Answer My Own Questions

Ursula, at An Upturned Soul, asked me a question in a post that included her response to my weekly prompt, Fandango’s Provocative Question. This week’s question was, “does size matter?” She asked, “Do you believe that size matters, Fandango? Please explain your response.”

And Melanie at Sparks From a Combustible Mind, commented, “I don’t see YOUR thoughts on this Mr. Fandango. What say YOU???”

Okay, those are fair criticisms. Let me start off by saying that I view my role in posting these questions as soliciting the thoughts of others on the topic of the question. I certainly have my own opinions, but I don’t think it’s my place, as the person posing the questions, to offer up my own answers. My interest is learning what the blogging community thinks, not what I think.

Second, I don’t want to influence how others might respond to the question by answering it myself. I know that readers here on WordPress have their own reasoned opinions on provocative matters, but, given that Donald Trump is the POTUS, it’s clear to me that many Americans (around 40%, anyway) are susceptible to the wild rantings of a demented moron and are apparently easily swayed by the expressed opinions of others.

Third, as I read the responses that people post in their own blogs or in the comments on my post, most have already expressed opinions that I share as well, so why pile on with an answer to the question that someone else has already posted?

And one last comment. I am concerned that when I ask a question like “Do you believe that size matters?” some might simply respond with either “yes” or “no.” And so I add “Please explain your response” or “Please elaborate.”

I hope that sufficiently answers the question of why I don’t answer my own FPQ questions.

For what it’s worth, my answer to the question of whether size matters would be that it depends upon the context. In some cases, size doesn’t matter at all, whereas in other cases, it matters a lot.

Inundated

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Yesterday I had received more than 300 comments in my spam folder, which is unusual, as I typically get maybe 20 spam comments a day, most of which are about Nike sneakers. Almost all of these spam comments looked like the comments shown above. And when I woke up this morning, another 110 such spam comments were in that folder.

Is anyone else getting bombarded by these same spam comments?

I’m a Man Of Many Words

67557C99-854A-4E95-B81E-93E7122DDDD8How man words? Well, according to the highly reliable and completely accurate WordPress stats, I wrote 385,508 words on my blog in 2018. Those 385,508 words were spread across 1,644 post during the year, for an average of 235 words per post. That’s not a lot of words per post compared to a lot of other bloggers, but many of the prompts I respond to have word limits of, say, 100, 150, or 200.

I posted an average of 4.5 post per day last year. My blog was visited by 27,770 visitors, an average of 76 per day. My posts received 117,582 views, an average of 322 per day and 72.5 per post.

My 1,644 posts received 41,262 likes (113 per day and 25 per post). Also, 24,916 comments, (68 per day and 15 per post).

And as of midnight, December 31, 2018, there were 1,607 people following my blog.

Excluding my daily one-word prompt, FOWC with Fandango, here were my most viewed posts each month:

January: Couples Counseling

February: Perspective

March: A tie: Warning Signs and Top of the World

April: Bloggers Beware

May: Househunters International

June: The Way You Write

July: All Dressed Up and No Place To Go

August: Better Than Sex

September: To Prompt or Not to Prompt

October: Missing the Point

November: Weird Words

December: I’ve Never Skied Naked

Yes, I know that this post has been one big brag about me and my blog. But were it not for all of you, who read and respond to my posts, there would be nothing for me to brag about.

The interactions you provide, your likes and comments, are what makes blogging worthwhile. You have embraced my FOWC With Fandango prompt more than I could have anticipated, and I owe a great big thank you to those of you who post regularly in response to that prompt.

And I want to thank the others of you who post your own prompts. Your words, photos, and challenges provide us bloggers with the inspiration we need to write such creative, entertaining, informative, fascinating, and sometime silly posts.

So in what I consider to have been an otherwise crazy, chaotic year, thank you for providing something to look forward to each day, for a way to cope with the nonsense swirling all around us. Thank you for reading my blog and for being my inspiration.

Happy 2019.

The Talkative Tag

D8215BD6-0928-4740-80C1-7538D06B6649There is a blogger, The Eclectic Contarian, who started a tag that he calls “The Talkative Tag.”

This tag, he said, is to offer a little “thanks” to those who have been very talkative and involved with his blog and to show his appreciation.

Eventually this tag found its way to Sadje, of Keep It Alive. And then Sadje tagged me, among others who have commented on her posts. She wrote, “What can I say about Fandango! He is a great writer. He is also the inventor of The Fandango One Word Challenge. We all look up to him and wait for his prompts. You also should check out his new series of questions; FPQ!”

So it seems what you’re supposed to do is bring up the screen from you WordPress stats where you can see who has been commenting on your blog, take a screenshot, write your own Talkative Tag post, include that screenshot, and mention the people who have commented on your posts the most.

And here’s that screenshot:B36070DB-D0D5-4B61-9161-0258BACAEACBNow I’m not sure what period this covers, but I also saw in my stats that so far in 2018 my posts have received around 22,000 comments, so I find it a little strange that these number of comments were so low. But, you know, whatever.

As to my top six list in the screenshot, Marleen, who tops the list, doesn’t have her own blog, but she does comment a lot on my posts and her comments are generally well thought out and insightful. And Sight, number three on the list, just announced that he’s taking an indefinite hiatus from blogging. So I suppose I can’t pass this “Talkative Tag” to either of them. And I can’t tag Sadje because she tagged me.

So I am going to tag the next three on the list. First there is Leigha Robbins, who consistently responds to my daily One-Word Challenge with great poetry and prose, and who comments on pretty much ever one of my posts.

And then there’s Teresa Grabs, aka, The Haunted Wordsmith, a prolific and creative flash fiction writer who also offers many of her own writing prompts to inspire us.

And finally, Marilyn Armstrong, a blogger who has been sharing her life with the WordPress community for a number of years and whose posts are personal, insightful, and inspiring, and who is a terrific photographer.

So Leigha, Teresa, and Marilyn, feel free to do your own Talkative Tag post. Or not. Your call.

A Public Service Announcement

E6886D3D-15EF-4E29-B48B-71F3BB445B09A number of you who have been participating in my daily Fandango’s One-Word Challenge have commented that your pingbacks today aren’t working. Actually, they are, but for some reason, they’re not appearing in the comments section until 2-3 minutes after your comment informing me that they’re not showing up.

I don’t know why this is suddenly happening, since I don’t moderate either comments or pingbacks. But I just want to let you know that your pingbacks do eventually get posted, but just not immediately. Again, I have no clue why there is this several minute delay.

So you can be patient and feel fairly confident that your pingback will eventually show up. Or, if you have an OCD personality (like I do), you can send me a comment with a link to your post. Either way, I’ll get it and will read your post.

And, again, thank you all for participating in Fandango’s One-Word Challenge.