HCMC Dining Guide

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Feedback. Give it to me.

I was looking for a picture of Marty McFly blowing out Doc's amp in 'Back to the Future', but found this instead.
One of the supposed joys of blogging is the ease with which the writer can interact with his or her readers. This blog gets a lot of pageviews, but I rarely get any comments or feedback on my posts. I do receive the occasional complimentary e-mail, but the frequent radio silence has me wondering how many visitors are actually reading what I write, as opposed to simply seeing the page and immediately moving on to something else.

So, I'm now asking for a simple favor: if you are reading this, either leave a quick comment or check off one of the 'Reactions' boxes at the bottom of the post once you finish. It can be anything - keep up the good work, love the pictures, screw off, etc. If there is something you particularly like about what I'm doing, let me know. On the other hand, if you'd like to see me do something differently, or talk about something more frequently, don't hesitate to let me have it. The power of being your own editor can get to some blogger's heads, so I'd appreciate any constructive criticism.

Maintaining a blog also means that you are forever engaged in whoring yourself out in the name of self-promotion. To this end, I've created accounts for this blog on the major social networking sites. If you're on Facebook, go ahead and give this page a like by clicking that little box to the right. I can also be found on Twitter (although I have no idea how to properly use it), username AlongtheMekong.

Finally, you may have noticed a box at the top right called 'Scribnia Ranking', where it gives you the option to 'Rate this author'. Go ahead and do that sometime, if you don't mind.

I'm realizing I just asked for four or five favors, but if you could do any one of those that would be awesome. My goal is to keep this site consistently interesting and insightful, and I'd like to start engaging with you, the readers, so that I can achieve that. Happy travels.


  1. Hi. I've only just discovered you so I'm a relatively new reader. I love when I get comments on my blog - but they are usually from people I know in real life, or other bloggers whose blogs I read (and comment on) regularly. I would say that probably the best strategy for getting comments is to become a regular commenter!

  2. Until just now, I assumed I had to be a Blogspot member to write a comment. Now that I realize I don't need to be a member to write a comment, I'll voice my opinion, and probably start leaving you comments more often.

    I really like the blogs you write about day-to-day life in Saigon. This is probably because I'm an expat living in China, so I like compare expat life in Vietnam to expat life in China. I like your traveling blogs too, but I find myself much more interested in your Saigon life blogs. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with your travel blogs, I just prefer the ones about Saigon much more. I've also been to Saigon before, so it makes those Saigon-related blogs just a little more entertaining to read.

    I also like that you never really cross the line into being a "panzy" or an "asshole" when you write. I've read quite a few expat blogs and forums, and more often than not, the writers are continuously praising or continuously bashing the country in which they are living. Therefore those blogs always seem fakishly positive or over-the-top negative. I feel like your blog balances cultural facsination and cultural grievances, so it's more interesting and less repetitive to read.

    We also have a similar background, so I think I can relate to how you compare things in Vietnam to the USA. You're in your twenties and from Louisiana, and I'm in my twenties and from Arkansas. If I was reading a similar blog about Saigon, but it was written by an Australian in his sixties, I don't think it would be quite the same and certainly not quite as entertaining.

    Of all the travel and expat blogs I read, yours is my favorite. I hope as long as you're living outside of the USA, you'll continue writing this blog. Just remember that no matter what you write, at least one person is reading it and enjoying it!

  3. Katrina - I have started to comment on other blogs more. Thanks for the tip, and I'll be checking out your blog now!

    Jared - Thanks again for the compliments. Now that I've finished writing about that northern Vietnam trip I'll be getting to more Saigon stuff. I totally agree about the overly positive/negative blogs - if someone is constantly saying "Everything is always wonderful!", they're clearly lying...no place is perfect. I also don't want to read "The people are mean, the food gives me the shits, the weather sucks, etc. etc." I try to keep things balanced, and I'm glad you think I'm doing that.

  4. I enjoy reading your blog as well. I check it almost daily. I would love to read more stories about day-to-day life in Saigon.

  5. I've been following for a while now. I moved to HCMC about a month and a half ago, but I've been reading your blog since before I left the States. I check it pretty much every day, and you always have something I can relate to with each new post. It's been very comforting reading about someone else's experience with the new things I've encountered every day since my arrival here.

  6. Hi Mike,

    I have been meaning to comment on your blog. I read it during my work hours. Shhh...don't tell my boss...hahaha.

    I thoroughly enjoy and laughing out loud when I read your entries. I love to hear foreigners' perspective on Vietnam. I left Saigon when I was 11 and moved to Atlanta in '96. I have not been back since 2002, so I am vicariously vacationing via your blog. I don't think I would recognize much should I visit Saigon again.

    You are doing a terrific job! Keep up the good work!

  7. Tuan - Thank you! I plan on posting some more Saigon-related things in the next couple of weeks.

    Melody - Glad I could provide some comfort! Good to hear that other expats are experiencing similar things.

    Dragonheart - Thanks! I'd be interested to see your reaction to seeing Saigon today - it's changed just in the year I've been here!

  8. Hi Mike,
    I was born in Saigon but now I am living abroad. I enjoy reading your blog very much. It's interesting to see my city through the eyes of an expat.
    Keep up the good work!

  9. Thank you Thanh! I love hearing comments from overseas Vietnamese - I'm glad I can you enjoy seeing this place through my eyes.