The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Writing in a vacuum

I write this blog as a means to record that which I regard as interesting about my daily family life. I intend to make a record, for my children, of any characteristic moments of their childhood. For this reason, I shall continue to write: for them. However, until recently, there was another reason to write: for those who read my articles and commented on them. Over the last few weeks, those who used to comment have stopped doing so and there have been very few new commenters. I cannot explain this change, other than to note that my posts became less frequent for a time, since my life was just too busy, to give my blog writing its usual portion of time.

So, now, I feel that I am writing in a vacuum. It feels as if I am sending my words off into cyberspace, not to be read, now, but to be read at some distant time, in which they will find an appreciative reader. The immediacy of the experience has been lost. Once, my writing would attract comments the very day I wrote, and for the next few days. Now, many of my comments go unremarked upon. This is strange, for it is not a matter of blog traffic: if anything my traffic is UP slightly, since this new silence fell on my readership. So, I have more readers, but fewer commenters.

One factor that is not insignificant is that I had to change my open door policy and put a bar on anonymous commenters. I had no choice but to do this, since some of the anonymous commenters abused their privilege and wrote what can only be described as vile comments, unsuitable to a family blog. Perhaps they have mental health issues – but whatever the case, their comments were not suited to this blog, which my children can read. This is a pity in some ways, since some of my anonymous commenters were erudite and interesting...just a bit secretive about quite who they were.

Another issue is that I have taken to publishing a blog feed, owing to its requirement for the Kindle. This means that people can read the blog without a direct visit. Thus, people who might have commented end up not doing so.

If you have any further insight as to why fewer people comment these days, please (ironically), say so in the comments below.

In the meantime, I shall continue to write, in my pristine new, and very quiet, vacuum. (Then again, I should expect that, since all vacuums are, by definition quiet...Star Wars films not being sufficient contrary evidence.)


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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 9:51 PM 


Blogger Anthony said...

The death (or possibly dying) of blogs.

1. RSS Feeds. Everybody now uses them, and by publishing your full feed the post can be read and only if really strikes a cord, or more likely irritates does one bother to click through to comment.

2. Facebook. The immediate, picture driven voyeurism that is observing your friends, is somewhat more personal than strangers.

3. Twitter. Life in a 140 character sound bite, instant, fast, and pithy enough to keep he interest of the microwave-nintendo generation.

4. A lot of the old bloggers either got book deals, magazine gigs or just moved on from that time in their life. i.e: something changed to make the author not so interested in writing.

5. After a few years of writing the same thing, readers move on unless a blog stays fresh enough to keep them attracted. Which, I guess, is the curse of niche writing.

Some, or all of these have affected e and many people I know who once blogged and commented regularly in many places.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Yes, Anthony I think these are all factors, that are disembowelling blogging.

However, I am not sure to what extent they apply to my blog, since readership has actually risen slightly, even as commenters have declined drastically. It could be the RSS feed.

It is a pity. The interactivity of blogging is what made it different to the typical writer's life of uninterrupted solitude, apart from the occasional book launch every year or two. Blogging actually allowed writers to reach out to others, whilst still writing in their own way, and to their own inner tune.

If blogs really are dying, I think it is a sign that READING is dying. After all, Twitter is not about is about not really wanting to read too much. The same applies to Facebook with pictures built in.

I wonder if future generations will stop reading, in any meaningful way, altogether?

Thanks for your comment Anthony.

As for niche blogging...yes, that is its strength and weakness. However, I think it is good that blogs tend to niches, since then the readership learns where to go for particular types of writing.

Happy reading Anthony.

11:44 PM  
Blogger virginiagunawan said...

Hi Valentine.

I'm in the middle of the preparation for the exams now, so maybe it is one of the factor as students and teachers are in exam-mode.

Students try to learn as many things as they can and teachers are busy preparing their students, but we still read your wonderful blog.

Thanks for still updating your blog.

Best regards

3:49 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thank you Virginia, for your perspective...I hadn't considered that.

Good luck with your exams.

6:01 PM  
Blogger tearsunderstars said...

Dear Mr Cawley

I still enjoy reading your blog, but what I tend to do these days is to nod in agreement rather than comment on your posts. It's usually because I don't think I can give further insights, rather than anything else. I will try my best to comment though, especially if I do have something to say.

By the way I can still see the comments made by virginiagunawan in case you are wondering.

All the best and keep writing.


8:14 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Hi Tearsunderstars,

It is good to hear from you - and to learn that you still appreciate my blogging. No doubt you have been very busy.

Don't feel inhibited when it comes to writing comments, and don't prejudge their worth...just speak freely.

Some comments are still missing from this blog post: the exchange with "Anthony" has been lost, in Blogger's shutdown. I needed to point that out so he is not offended. I don't know if other comments have been lost elsewhere...I have only checked a few posts.

I hope you are keeping well, Tearsunderstars...take care.

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like Virginia, I am very busy preparing for my final exams, among other things, which is why I have not commented lately. I enjoy reading your entries and I'll try to make time to comment.

4:56 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thanks for letting me know, Laktosefrei: good luck with those exams.

Your comments are appreciated, whenever you get the time to make one.

What subjects are you taking?

2:12 PM  

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