Is There an Echo in Here?

November 28, 2006 at 1:20 am (Uncategorized)

Yoo-hoo, is there anybody out there…?? Hello (hello, hello, hello…)…? I’m amazed. I feel a little bit foolish. This is just a big old empty warehouse of a blog, isn’t it? Start a dialogue? A conversation? Well, I don’t think so. All I can say is, it’s a good thing I have so many personalities so I can keep myself company. It looks like no one else wants to talk to me. I’ve tried several topics – silly, serious, secular, and, ah, cirrhosis – and still no one wants to respond. I might have to rethink this whole writing project.

To be honest, because that clearly worked sooo well yesterday, I kind of hoped people would talk back, but that’s been the exception rather than the rule. Because if I can absolutely bare my soul and embarrass myself (and my horrified husband) by telling you the deepest, darkest truth about something in my life, and there’s still not a single comment, then I must be doing something wrong. There’s not one comment. Not a single word. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Silenzio! And I know people have come to the site and read the blog because it’s right there on the blog stats. Where are you? WHO are you? Why won’t you say anything to me…?!

I thought people would share wild tales of their own excesses – and I know they exist because I’m always drinking with friends who drink just as much as me. I know they exist because on top of the alcohol, many people I know also have a pretty interesting history with drugs, something I personally avoided because I always knew I had an addictive personality (I gave up cigarette smoking five years ago after ten years of hardcore smokin’ up Johnny). Or I thought if people didn’t want to say “Ditto,” or “Roger that,” or “Right back atcha” about their own drinking, I did think someone might say “Well, good luck with that, then,” or “We’ll miss you and your liver,” or “That’s pretty disgusting, Di, even if you were 17.” Better yet a total stranger might have said “You’re a sinner, but Jesus loves you,” and then we could have had a whole other crackerjack topic on our hands. But NOTHING…?

All I can think is that I’m just not doing it right. So I have to ask for help. Please tell me: what do you want this blog to be? What would make you want to write something in response to a post? What would make you read it every day (“Another author!” I hear the peanut gallery shout)? Or do you just like coming in, having a look, and leaving me to do the talking? That’s fine too – that’s how a lot of columnists work and I’m fine with that format if that’s what you want out of this blog. But if you want me to talk about certain issues or things, or if you want it to always be a light-hearted laugh, tell me, please. If you’re reading this right now, then you’re my reader, and that makes you just about the most important person in my life (after the obvious). And that’s true even or especially if I don’t know you. Writing just doesn’t work without readers.



  1. Neil said,


    It’s just that your blog is actually too good Di.

    It’s worth reading everyday not just because I have met you and Llew, because let’s face it, I’m more inclined to read about someone I have shared a drink with, and liked – that brings the stories to life – it’s real.

    If you were a columnist it would take a long time to actually value your opinion but even Gary Bushell still gets work apparently.

    Your blog falls into neither of the 2 basic categories – a list of ‘cool things’ I’ve seen others do, yet don’t really have an opinion on; or a scurrilous list of lascivious industry gossip, posted anonymously. It’s genuinely worth a read every day and is so well (and mercifully frequently) written that I just don’t feel that I have that much to contribute back and if I did it wouldn’t be up to your standard.

    I have been happily lurking on my football teams’ website everyday for the past 6 years or so, without the slightest desire to post. Some do, some don’t.

    Is expression tribal? You do however have a number of English readers after all!

  2. doctordi said,

    Neil, I could CRY with gratitude – thank you, thank you for letting me know I am not rattling around in this big old blogosphere on my own! I can’t tell you how STRANGE it is to keep putting posts up on a near-daily basis and only very rarely receive any confirmation that anyone is ever reading them at all. You flatter me hugely, thanks for that, too, and I’m very glad to have you happily lurking out there on MY team. Carry on, by all means. Are you still in Sydney? You were last time I saw you (see Alcohol, My Old Friend for a typical snapshot of THAT evening… Those Lawrences have a lot to answer for)!

    And I should damn well HOPE there are some English readers of this blog – if my English friends aren’t reading it I will be most distressed! Yes, perhaps expression is tribal: an American friend emailed me recently that she’s enjoying the blog despite not understanding a lot of it. She said “I can see it’s English, but I just don’t understand.” I am bewildered and concerned about this, and wrote back to tell her so. Rosy, if you’re still dropping in for a regular dose of incomprehensibility, please join in by giving us your take on tribal tongues.

    And anyway, Neil, I knew I could enlist the English as my example because they’ve always been able to take a ribbing much better than the Aussies ever could. When I wrote one of my first blogs about the eastern suburbs experiment, I got into a LOT of trouble from a friend who took it all rather seriously indeed. I was totally stumped. How oh how can we fail to speak the same language when we all patently speak the same language? Beats the hell out of me. Secretly, I was also hoping my very eloquent English friends might take umbrage, or at least demand a rhetorical platform, and respond in some feisty and hilarious fashion, at which point I’ll take yer, I’ll take on the lot of yer.

  3. Neil said,

    No I’m in Melbourne.

    And that’s the other reason I have generally nothing interesting to add.

    I think Poms gather together because they would be mortified if ever they were considered in being pushy whilst trying to gain their hosts’ affection. That is seen as standoffishness and so the cycle repeats.

    Plus being English, it’s safer to err on the side of caution having a far greater a chance of having upset another nation over the years.

    You see, I didn’t mention it once…

  4. Elvis said,

    I know nothing about bogging Di, but I can empathise in the group email context. When I was travelling overseas for an extended period of time, I used to spend a great deal of time writing long emails to as many people as I had email addresses. I think I was just keen for contact, as travelling can be lonely as you really only achieve ephemoral holiday friendships for a couple of days while your paths cross. I tried to bait people to respond, but inevitably the next visit to the overpriced internet cafe was a waste of time. The only responses I got were either one-liners or nufin’. In the end, I started getting excited about receiving Spam.

    I can confirm to you that people are reading your bloggings; you might be delighted to know that I have had several conversations about the contents of your blogs, but the unfortunate thing for you, is that those conversations don’t get put on line. Perhaps you may draw comfort from this, as I did with my group emails.

  5. Elvis said,

    Sorry, one other point. The thing I have noticed about Blogs (and I have only read very mainstream ones) is that people who respond to the main topic love arguing with other respondees. This is particularly the case because the person who writes the Blog writes it in a fairly neutral voice, and sets a scene so that punters can rip each other apart.

  6. doctordi said,

    That’s true, Neil. We’re only ever likely to upset the English, and then only in cricket. The rest of the world doesn’t know or give a rat’s. Look to your northern hemisphere exchange boards for a hint of Australia’s general irrelevancy on the world stage. I say we need all the help we can get socially. Oh, hang on, perhaps we do also upset our immediate Pacific Rim neighbours, thanks to John Howard’s misguided delusions of grandeur and policing pretensions (you want to see pushy?!). And the Kiwis, for continually trying to inflict an inferiority complex on them that is about as appropriate as wearing an ill-fitting itchy jumper from the Salvos with something sticky still soldered to the front for an afternoon at Henley.

    And Elvis, yes, the group email thing is similar. I think people should stop apologising and attaching all sorts of disclaimers to their group emails. What is there to be sorry about? At least you’re bothering to stay in touch and share your adventures with the rest of us. I always respond to group emails from travellers for this very reason (although I don’t hit reply all, because that can get on one’s goat). But thank you, I do derive an awful lot of comfort from that. I was wondering if I should throw in the towel, but perhaps there’s life in the old finger tips yet.

  7. doctordi said,

    Sorry, Elvis, I hope I haven’t blown your cover! But yes, I have noticed that on Jack Marx’s ‘Daily Truth’ blog on the SMH website. I think he’s pretty amusing whenever I read his blog, but some of the regular respondees – and they know each other as regulars – are really a bit scary sometimes. If the conversation was being exchanged in a pub, it would end in a brawl some days. I find that strange.

  8. Elvis said,

    Don’t get me started on “Reply All’ers”. I hate them. We have a work football (soccer) team, and it sends me irate when particular people feel the need to notify the whole team with some piece of trivial information. A worse crime is when someone chimes in with a “reply all” that is a terrible joke, only understood by a small class of people. The result was that I led a hostile takeover of the soccer management and instituted a club motto of “Never Reply All”. I too was ousted; I know nothing about soccer or football management, and I am an even worse player. But my point was made.

    Doctor Di said:
    Well, big Elvis, I hope the first thing you did once you were ousted was demand your removal from the group mail list. There’s nothing I hate more, aside from those Reply All freaks who think we’re all hanging on their every word, desperate for that next ‘Knock, knock’ joke, than continuing to receive mass emails from a group or workplace that I am no longer a part of. I bash that ‘UNSUBSCRIBE’ icon hard enough to break my hand, and yet still, STILL they come.

  9. Mike said,

    Guess my earlier comment didn’t count.

  10. Mike said,

    Nice PB reference slipped in there: “I was a naughty girl once, but I’m not like that anymore”.

  11. Mike said,

    What does “get on one’s goat” mean?

  12. doctordi said,

    Mike, dearest, of course your comments count, I just had to race to a friend’s birthday drinks last night and wasn’t here to respond. Actually, you’re one of the very, very few people who DOES post comments, and they’re always greatly appreciated. I thought our airport riffs were very amusing. I could have kept that going for DAYS.

    As to the goat and the getting on one, you’re too droll for words, Mike, simply too droll. And for those of you who look at ‘PB’ – Rosy, this is for you – and think ‘What is this “PB”?’ it’s a reference to Puberty Blues, a book that became a movie that became a cult sensation in Australia, at least in my circle of friends when I was a teenager. But Mike, you give me too much credit – any overtones of “Hey Freda, you toilet,” were sadly unintentional.

  13. Mike said,

    My point was that, at the top of this page, you state you’d not received a single iota of feedback to any post. Was just pulling you up on this misstatement, as I posted last week.

    “I’ll screw ya, I’ll screw the lot’v’ya; just don’t hurt ‘im”

    à dimanche.

  14. doctordi said,

    Oh, that – I was referring specifically to the ‘Alcohol, My Old Friend’ post, not to ALL posts. Sorry if that was unclear. I thought that particular topic would kick off some kind of response, so when I checked the next day and found no one had said a single thing about my Bukowski-esque confessions, I was a little surprised.

    Ah yes, it’s all coming back to me…such poetry, such beauty…

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