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Be Sure You Know Your Audience Before You State Your Case

Posted by on Dec 10, 2009
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You know, since September, I’ve decided to be a bit more personal in how and what I write about on this blog. I feel it’s served me well, and since my subscribers went up, I guess y’all feel okay about it. I sometimes take on controversial subjects, as I’m wont to do because I don’t shy away from stuff that’s getting on my nerves. I’m ready to put myself out there and state my opinion, and not worry all that much whether someone agrees with me or not.

However, I do have a limit. For instance, if I believed dogs and cats should marry and move in with each other, I might not write on it because I’d know from the get-go that it would be a controversial thing to say (or funny, but go with me for a minute here). Or, if I decided to get on my high horse and spout something about that I thought I’d find a lot of agreement on without thinking about it first, such as if I said that I believe Tiger Woods didn’t have sex with nearly enough women (oh man, there goes my Tiger-free zone cred), while I knew the world was pretty much thinking that he’s a horn dog who doesn’t appreciate the hot wife he already has (that, plus his choice of women after that certainly shows a lack of taste and discretion), and expected everyone to agree with me just because I said it, I’d be living a delusion that made absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Such is the case for an internet marketer named David Risley, who I guess is also a professional blogger. I have to admit that I’d never heard of this guy until yesterday, but supposedly he’s a big time blogger. Our friend Sire wrote what I thought was a great post called Why I No Longer Link To The Likes Of Problogger And John Chow, where he basically said that these guys are so big that he doesn’t need to go out of his way to support them any longer, since it seems they don’t appreciate their readers enough to ever comment back to any of them. Now, he is going a step further than I am in not even reading their blogs anymore, but I agree with the sentiment that it’s nice for even the top guys to respond to their commenters every once in awhile, especially since they hope these commenters are also buyers of their products from time to time.

Anyway, someone mentioned David’s name, and I guess he’s got something set up where whenever his name is mentioned, he gets notified through Backtype, something else I’d never heard of, but after looking at it actually looks pretty cool overall. I’m not going that route, because I get way too much email already, but I also use Google Alerts to tell me whenever my name is mentioned somewhere; well, my websites and blogs anyway, because whenever it finds Mitch Mitchell it’s that other guy, and people are still talking about him way more than me. :-)

Anyway, someone mentioned his name and he popped over to Sire’s blog and left a comment basically defending these guys, and himself, for having the right not to respond to comments because they see their blogs more as a business than as a “fun” or less serious blog. Of course, I got into it myself, being nice in my way, and we bantered back and forth, as he wanted me to quote where he’d said something and I wanted him to quote where Sire had said something; stalemate. My main point overall was that both of the guys Sire mentioned have written in the past on their blogs that responding to comments is the way to build up your community, and both seem to have forgotten that.

A quick disclaimer here. I have noticed that every once in awhile Problogger will respond to a quick comment early on in a post. He actually responded to something I wrote once when I was one of the top 3 responders because I kind of, in my own nice way of course, went after him for saying something in his blog post that, in my mind, seemed to run counter to what he was doing on his own blog. Sometimes one just has to call a… no, I’d best not go there. lol

Today, David went the next step. He decided to kind of write a blog post about it, and he put up a video explaining his position. Then he asked the people what they thought about what he had to say. Lo and behold, at least at the time I looked, being alerted through Twitter about it, only one person supported his position. Even in his response back to these folks, it just seems that he’s somewhat missing the overall point, that being people want to feel like they’re part of a community, no matter who it is.

Now, to his credit, he did respond back to people, though I don’t know if that’s a regular thing because, at least for now, I don’t see myself subscribing to a blog where I know someone feels they have a right not to respond to anyone, whether they do or not, as long as he’s making money, which is also why I’m not giving a link to his blog through here, but you never know long term. You can find it on Sire’s blog, I believe, or he’ll tell you if you ask him where it is so you can see it for yourself.

Now, I respond to almost every comment I get here. Every once in awhile, I’m not sure what to say back to someone, so I’ll just let it hang, especially if it’s a one line comment that I don’t believe is spam. And, after engaging someone, I’ve learned that I don’t have to always have the last word on this blog, so I’ll let some of those go also. I think that’s only fair.

But it’s funny how folks can forget some of those simple lessons in life. One, don’t forget where you came from and how you started. Two, don’t ask people to support your position without really knowing that people will support it; if you care, that is. Be controversial, yes, at times, because controversy can be fun. But try not to be “right”, only to find yourself being very wrong in the court of public opinion unless you’re wearing your position on your sleeve.

Now here I go; right or wrong?

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15 Comments »

Actually Mitch it wasn’t a regular thing at all, as he said something to the fact in a reply to me.

I tried to reason with the guy as to my point of view but he just doesn’t seem to get it. Which is cool, I’m used to people who are so engrossed in their personal world that they fail to understand where another person is coming from.

I mentioned that I treat my commentators as customers and how looking after them by acknowledging they exist can only be a good thing. He seemed inclined to point out that customers are people that pay you? What, I’m too dumb to realize that. Doesn’t he realize that those who comment also sent potential customers to his blog, and so the more you interact with your commentators the greater the potential traffic?

I did say to him “I’m not telling you how to be a problogger, all I’m saying is that you could be better than the rest.” I don’t think he understood what I was getting at.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Will Commenting Harm Your Blogging Success? =-.

Mitch Reply:

Sire, that’s why I had to write my post. We really are a community, and time after time that keeps getting proven, whether it’s through regular blogs or via Twitter. I mean, your post has almost 100 comments; I’m betting that’s the second biggest comment total you’ve ever had (yeah, I remember that video; you bad boy!). And it’s not even close, people agree with you on it. Oh well…

Sire Reply:

It’s not surprising that I have more people on my side because when you look at it we have the Probloggers of this world outnumbered. :D
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Will Commenting Harm Your Blogging Success? =-.

Mitch Reply:

Good point, Sire. I just hope people realize it’s not sour grapes on either of our sides. I wish everyone great success; always have, always will.

December 10th, 2009 | 7:06 PM

I really like Sire [and his blogs] so when he Tweeted this story I had to check it out. Actually, I just wrote a [possibly] controversial post to hit tomorrow & thought maybe your post was a sign. :) Sincerely, I thought maybe I should not post it. But, since I get few comments, maybe this will garner a few more. Either way, I like it when a blog owner responds to me. Makes me feel important and comfortable enough to come back.
.-= Anne´s last blog ..Self Discovery, Epiphanies, & Happiness ~ Part 2 =-.

Mitch Reply:

Glad to have your opinion here, Anne. And that’s another thing; you never konw when someone is a new visitor, and it’s a good thing to welcome them to the community when you can. That is, as long as you understand what someone is saying, because every once in awhile, I get a comment that I have no idea how to respond to it. :-)

Go for the controversy, unless it’s the one where you believe we should all be wearing underwear hats. I can’t support that. lol

December 10th, 2009 | 7:22 PM

Mitch, you are a mess… (lol @there goes your tiger-free cred). I try not to be too controversial on my business blog. I use my personal blog for my ranting. I do need to get in the habit of responding to comments more, when I get them. Good points.
.-= DeAnna Troupe´s last blog ..Facebook vs. Twitter – My opinion of two social media giants. =-.

Mitch Reply:

That’s why I have more than one blog, DeAnna. This isn’t my business blog, and I’m almost never controversial there. But on this blog, I’ll go there if I need to. And yes, blog commenting is definitely a big deal, especially for those of us who haven’t quite reached any type of real success yet.

December 10th, 2009 | 9:35 PM
Rose:

Your commenting about taking on controversial subjects has me nodding my head. I too take on controversial subjects. I can be very opinionated which isn’t always a bad thing. Today I was told I live for Drama.

Everyone needs to rant every now and then Mitch!
.-= Rose´s last blog ..Social Networking Relationships-Online Drama =-.

Mitch Reply:

True, but I really don’t rant as often as someone might think I do. Still, this is my personal blog, and it’s personal for a reason. I figure my business blog will keep me in check, and my finance blog… well, it is what it is lol

Rose Reply:

I was just saying if you want to rant then rant away.
.-= Rose´s last blog ..Naughty Christmas Ornaments-Pornament =-.

Mitch Reply:

Then stay tuned for tomorrow’s post lol

December 11th, 2009 | 2:06 AM

Hey guys,
I think much of what I was trying to say might have gotten lost in translation. But, either way, it makes for some interesting conversation nonetheless.

Have a good one, guys.

Mitch Reply:

Thanks David, and I’m glad you took this post in its proper perspective.

You’re possibly right in saying that what you wanted to say might have gotten lost in translation. You’re not alone on that front, though, as we see politicians every day say something they mean one way, then see it get twisted towards another meaning. Still, I’m sure the responses you received on that particular post have given you an education on something either way, and every once in awhile, that’s pretty important as well. It’s not always the lessons we expect to learn that we benefit from.

Thanks for stopping by; I appreciate it.

December 11th, 2009 | 7:08 AM
Mitch:

Hey, you stopped by Sire’s blog and made your contribution; but late to the party, just be happy we left you with a small piece of cake. lol

December 11th, 2009 | 10:17 AM