Tag Archives: commenting

How Some Bloggers View Commenters

Wednesday I participated in something that’s called Community Manager Chat. The moderators of the chat, which occurs on Twitter every Wednesday at 2PM Eastern Standard time with the hashtag #cmgrchat, always have a general topic, and 4 questions during the hour, and those who want to participate can and do so, while other just read what’s going on.


by Andrew Feinberg

The topic on Wednesday was blogging, which y’all know I feel I know fairly well, and thus I got to participate a lot. At one point the question came up as to whether people who wrote blogs responded to comments on those blog. I wrote that I respond to almost every comment, especially for first time visitors, and I found that wasn’t quite the norm from many people, even those whose blogs don’t get many comments at all.

Some people were fascinated that I respond to almost everything. Some people felt that most comments were just some form of “I agree”, and thus didn’t deserve responses. Are you kidding me? Who here remembers my post about feeling ignored?

Here’s my position. I believe that every person who visits the blog and leaves at least a little bit of substance deserves a response. I also believe if someone’s way off topic then it’s probably spam and it’s getting deleted; that’s why I have a comment policy. Now, there are times when I don’t respond to a post that I wrote more than 6 months ago, but that’s pretty rare. And I might not respond to a one line post from someone I know; I never leave one line comments on anyone’s blog unless we’re having a bit of a banter back and forth. Will that potentially change if any of my blogs ever got to the point where they were averaging 200 comments a day? Hey, let’s find out! lol

I expect y’all know I appreciate you, even when we disagree. Civility really does have a place in this world. You visit my crib, I’m going to offer you something. Maybe not my chocolate cake, but something. 🙂 You can always count on that. So think about it; how are you treating the people who visit your blog?

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De-Stressing Life By Not Commenting

Two weeks ago on my business blog, I wrote a post titled Do We Have To Talk To Each Other? The premise of the post was that there are times when it’s probably better not to have interactions with someone else because not every person you encounter has to be deemed as someone you have to have a crucial conversation with. If it’s work related in a company and you need to do business, that’s one thing, but in your personal life, why would you want to consistently go through that type of thing?

Conflict by Rishi S

here are things I normally don’t like to discuss, but every once in a while, in my own space, I’ll get off a bomb here and there.

For instance, I don’t like the way the state of politics is in our country right now. Suffice it to say, my politics is totally against the party of “no”, and I don’t like how they’ve consistently lied to the American public about health care and about President Obama personally. I was particularly intrigued by this post on The Slate titled Why Won’t Any Republicans Condemn the “Obama is a Muslim” Myth? Don’t even let me start talking about this thing with the guy who’s going to be burning Quran’s (they keep changing the spelling of this thing; someone needs to decide on it one way or another and leave it be) this weekend, because my overall take wouldn’t be what someone might expect from me.

Having said that, I’ve realized over time that there are some battles you just can’t win, especially online. It’s not necessarily whether you’re correct or not. It has to do with distance and perspective.

Back in the early 90’s I was on bulletin board systems, the early versions of forums for those of you too young to remember. There was this particular forum I was in where some people came in just to be naysayers and cause trouble. They weren’t overly interested in the topic or in discussing issues; they just wanted to jam up the works.

This one guy in particular got on my nerves so much that I decided I was going to track him down. And I did; guess what? It turned out he was only a 90-minute drive away.

I got his real name, got his address and phone number, and I was ready to go. But I decided instead to let him know I had his information and that I just might pop down for a “face to face conversation” (sometimes I have a mean streak; I’m working on that lol).

In the forum I outed him, with his real name and the dorm he lived in; yes, he turned out to be a college student. I didn’t give his phone number or the name of the college, but he knew I had the goods on him. He wrote back saying if I showed up he would call the police and have me arrested for harassment, and that he would sue me for everything I had; good thing I had nothing back then. He deleted his account and never bothered any of us again. It didn’t stop anyone else, but I had my proof.

People tend to behave differently in person than they do online. Not everyone of course; I’ve met some wonderful people. But nasty people are a different matter. They’re not trying to be civil; they don’t care about you or your space. It may not always seem to be intentional, but there are patterns that happen, “track record” as I like to call it.

Sometimes, it’s not that drastic. There are some of us who just can’t get along with others. It’s unknown what the reason is, but it happens.

I have an interesting track record myself. People who meet me say that if you can’t get along with me, you have a problem. I appreciate that, but I also know I’m not every person’s cup of tea.

I’m a bit too politically correct for many. I’m also a bit of a hothead when I feel it’s justified, and I go for the throat. I’ve told friends that it’s never good enough to get even; you have to go for the jugular so you never have to deal with it again. That’s a concept the book Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card captured perfectly; it’s a great book and one I’d recommend to anyone who likes science fiction that’s not too far away from the world we could recognize. It’s a reason I’ve only ever had 2 practical jokes pulled on me and why I ended up having few fights as a kid.

Peace by lintmachine

However, I’ve come to an epiphany at this juncture. I’m now 51, and I know that realistically I’ve lived more than 2/3rds of my life. I have the right to decide if I want to spend any of that time arguing with people whose minds I’m never going to change or just leaving it alone and keeping some peace in my life. I’ve decided I’m going to try to go the peaceful route. If I feel that I’m starting to get mad at something, I’m going to leave it be, at least as it pertains to me. I need to work harder on de-stressing my life by not commenting.

If I feel the need to come to someone’s defense, I’m still going to do that; trying to save the world, as my wife says, but my big 3 are loyalty, respect, and trustworthiness. I’m loyal to my friends and people I like; I hope I’ve proven that often enough over the years both online and offline.

So, if you don’t see me respond to a certain post here and there, trust me, it’s probably a good thing. Social media has brought the world closer, but it’s also brought a lot of people together who aren’t really prepared to play well with each other sometimes. On Twitter I’m sometimes more political than I want to be; I think I’ve struck the correct balance on this blog. I tend to think that all of us have to try to take some time to look at what we see when we’re being responded to, but we also have to be ready to defend ourselves as well as try as best we can to get our proper message across. I add a smiley face a lot, or a “lol” to make sure people take what I’m saying as tongue in cheek fun. If you misunderstand that, I’m not giving a second chance anymore. I need to de-stress my life.

Who’s with me on this one?
 

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Blogging Step Six – How To Start Getting Visitors

Recently I was asked by a friend of mine to talk to someone who’s just started a new blog and hopes to help it spread. I wrote 5 things that I believe are the way to go when you’re just starting out to get visitors to come to your blog. Actually, I believe all of these are good even with existing blogs if you’re not doing them, so I’ve decided to post what I wrote here, with a few modifications of course, and it will be added to my Blogging Tips at the top.



I Want To Explore Time

1. Post each blog article to Twitter. Of course this means you have to join Twitter and have followers who will see those posts, and some will retweet them, which gives them the opportunity to be viewed by a much larger audience. Blogging packages like WordPress has many plugins that can help you automate the process; I don’t know if Blogger allows blogs to do it, in which case you’ll have to copy and paste your link every time, something I don’t have to do. As a sidebar, I hate Blogger! lol

2. Set up both Facebook and LinkedIn to grab each blog post. On FB there are multiple apps that will do it. On LinkedIn, you can set it up within your profile.

3. Comment on like-minded blogs. This one is the most time consuming, but the truth is that, unless you’re already famous, the best way to get visitors is by commenting on other blogs, mainly blogs that are similar in content in some fashion to what you’re writing about. People get used to seeing your name and will follow you back to your blog to check you out. Of course, commenting on other blogs works pretty well also, especially if it’s something else you’re interested in.

4. Add the link to your blog in every correspondence you send out, and of course to your website if you have one. In email, if you send email to someone who opens their mail online, it helps provide a link that, if they click on it, helps build up web prominence a little bit. Of course, being on Blogger, it won’t help as much. However, just to say this, by being on Blogger you’re going to get some random traffic because of that link thing at the top where it says “next blog”, but it’s not targeted traffic so you might not get many comments, or people who will stay long enough to read what you’ve written.

5. Send out one big email to all your friends and business associates, if you’re comfortable with that. Those are pretty much considered “friendlies”, and they’ll visit at least once, and some of them will subscribe and tell others. It’s a great place to start.

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Are You A Lurker Or Participant In Life?

A few days ago I went in what I consider a minor rant about Ning and how it didn’t seem to be all that active or engaging. Dennis wrote a comment asking if I was disappointed in Ning or its “lousy” (yeah, he used a different word) members.


Lurker
Lurker

It got me to thinking more about things I’ve mentioned here and read elsewhere as it regards Facebook and Ryze and Twitter and LinkedIn and even blogs. The common thread with all of these things and with things in general is that there are a lot more people hanging out around the fringe, aka lurking, than there are participating.

It’s an interesting phenomena that deserves to be looked at in a few different ways. Let’s start with this question; why? I personally think it’s been indoctrinated into most people throughout history; it’s almost our instinct to kind of watch and take things in rather than to actually get into things. This doesn’t mean if you’re not forced or encouraged to participate you won’t; in the rough and tumble caveman days, it took a group of hunters to bring down prey sometimes. What it means is that you might not have been a participant in making the plans. These groups usually had one or two members who did the planning and lead the assault, and everyone else just came along to help out; after all, they wanted to eat also.

That happened in history, and it happens now. Most meetings you go to will have a few people who do most of the talking, while everyone else is pretty much just there. Unless something is talked about that specifically draws them out, most people will stay silent, barely paying attention, until the meeting is over so they can go back to their normal jobs and feel like they participated in some fashion. But it’s not participation just being somewhere; it’s lurking.

There’s nothing wrong with lurking, and if you’re a lurker on this blog I appreciate having you here. However, I have to ask if there’s much productivity going on if you’re lurking without participating? Last week I talked about going to a goal setting retreat. There were 5 of us that participated; I probably talked at least 35% of the time. I didn’t go out to be a dominant person in the room. What I did want to make sure of is that I got my money’s worth, even though it was free. In other words, if I was going to commit 4 hours of my time to something when I could have been using that time doing something else, I was going to make sure I wasn’t just sitting there not trying to become a better person. After all, I do have goals to reach, and not a really clear direction on how to get to all of them sometimes, and any assistance I can get I’ll take.

I’m also the kind of person who doesn’t really like sitting back and letting someone else kind of control what I’m going to be doing or how I might participate in something. I don’t belong to a lot of groups in the “real” world, but I do belong to some. I’m on the board of an organization called Arise, which works with disabled people to help bring them a better quality of life as well as give them equal opportunities to do what everyone else does. But I’m not just on the board; I’m the head of the finance committee, heading into year 3. And, when the entire board gets together, I always make sure I get my opinion out, waiting my turn of course, because I want people to know where I stand. Shrinking violet; not me!

I’m also on the board of an organization called the Professional Consultant’s Association of Central New York, a group geared towards addressing the issues that independent consultant’s face. I run their website and write the monthly newsletter and help put the meetings together. I believe that I’ve been instrumental in helping to change the focus of many of our meetings to get closer to what our stated mission is, making sure I give my opinion on things once again.

And finally, I’m the president of an organization called Mid York Medical Accounts Management, though I just took back the presidency. I’ve been on the board for 12 years or so, and this will be my 3rd go round as president. I also created the template page (I’ll be gifting them their own website one of these days), and I’ve written the newsletter for those same 12 years as well. As president, I either get the speakers for our meetings or help get them, and try to make sure that all aspects of the organization are taken care of in some fashion.

Lurker? Me? No way! At least most of the time. For instance, I’m a member of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, as I live in a town called Liverpool. It has a lot of members, and I’m not on the board, nor have I ever tried. Because of this, I find that there are a lot of events I don’t go to because they don’t interest me. I’m not happy with their website; it should have been revamped 3 years ago, and they’re going through a revamp right now that’s taken almost a year, and little change has been made so far. I’m not crazy about the format of the newsletter. In other words, I have gripes, but because I’m not an active member of the board, basically I’m at the whim of those people who are on the board. In essence, I’m kind of a lurker with this group, and thus I don’t really enjoy it as much as I probably should; I certainly need to be working harder on using it for my own local business purposes.



Lurker

When I’m a lurker, I’m not a happy guy. I need to participate in something in some fashion, otherwise I might end up going away. That’s why I participate by writing this blog and looking for other blogs to participate on. That’s why I hate things that get in the way of my participating on blogs, such as Disqus and Intense Debate and Blogger and any other blogs that want me to sign up to play the game (and there’s starting to be more of these things). I’d rather drop most of them and get on with participating in places that engage me and welcome me in better.

Why do I vote? Because I believe if one doesn’t vote then they have no right to complain about anything. It’s also a bit more personal for me; people died so I would have the right to vote, and I’m going to honor what they gave up, whether anyone else cares or not. I’m not a total participant when it comes to politics, but I’m not a lurker either. I at least know what’s going on, and make informed voting choices when I can (although some of these local elections for small office; how the heck are we supposed to know who these people are most of the time when even the newspapers don’t tell us who they are? A different rant for another time).

Okay, time to close; this is turning into War and Peace. I ask you this question; why do you believe more people lurk rather than participate? What makes you participate if that’s what you do? And how do you see whichever action is the norm for you making your life either better or worse? Inquiring minds want to know.

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Clearing Away Irritations In 2010

Back in September on my business blog, titled Mitch’s Blog, I wrote a second post on the topic of tolerations. The original post on that topic was only about a paragraph long, so I wanted to boost it up some more. On that post there’s a link to a pdf file called 1001 Tolerations, which pretty much means things we put up with instead of getting them out of our lives and making us feel better about things.

Well, this is a new year, and I think it’s time for me to clear some things out of my life that have been irritating me in some fashion. Actually, most of us should think about doing that from time to time because we all tend to allow certain things to drag us down, even if it’s only occasionally. For instance, you have someone who you call a friend, yet you avoid them because they bring you down whenever you talk to them. All they talk about is themselves and their problems; they never ask you how you feel or even listen when you try to talk; it’s all about them.

I don’t have anything like that in my life, but I do have some things that I will be eliminating. One is going through my email address books and eliminating anyone who hasn’t responded to anything I’ve sent in at least a year. I think that’s not a bad place to start, but I might even go back further than that; I’m not sure yet. I go through my email all the time, and I see these email addresses of people I send stuff to that never write back. I tolerate that, but no more; they’re gone. Well, kind of gone; I’ll save the email addresses in a file, but at least I won’t be seeing them anymore.

Two, remember my post against Disqus? Well, I’m now resolving that any blogs I’m following that has Disqus on them, or any other blogs I go to that send me a message saying I have to subscribe to find out if someone has commented back to something I’ve commented on, I’m deleting from my blog reader and moving on. Any new blogs I come to that has Disqus I’m not even reading. Now, I know some of you have it on your blogs, and if I like you, I may not delete the blog, like our friend Peter; we go back a long way after all. But Peter, sorry, I’m not commenting anymore because I hate getting that email every time asking me to subscribe.

Three, I’m going through all the blogs in my reader and I’m going to make sure I’m following people who are talking about stuff I really care about. Also, I’m going to drop anyone who hasn’t written a post in 3 months. And, while I’m doing that, I’m going to find the time to get to Twitter and release people who I started following a long time ago, who either aren’t talking anymore or aren’t talking about anything I care about. I follow nearly 1,400 people, and I’m not going to say that’s too many, but I am going to say that I do listen to a lot of folks, rather follow a lot of folks, who aren’t really talking to anyone, but instead are always selling. Twitter isn’t supposed to be a one way conversation, just like blogging isn’t supposed to be a one way conversation either.

You know what? At a certain point, we all deserve to have more positivity in our lives. And sometimes, heck, all the time, it’s up to us to make our own happiness and get rid of those things that help to make us unhappy. It’s time for me to do that; what about you?

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