Often I talk on this blog about this concept of influence. I talk about how important it is to try to attain influence because influence ends up helping you achieve many goals you can’t attain without it. Influence is money; influence is power. Influence makes you a player in the game; that is, if you want to be a player in the game.
I have worked on trying to bridge the gap between my perceived online influence and the lack thereof of any type of offline influence. I’ve tried in some ways to merge the two because I’m of a mind that they can and possibly should be merged in some way. I mean, I know the power of social media and have experienced some of it first hand; I also know that social media means nothing to certain people, even if they’re somewhat in it themselves, unless you bring it to them in a way they just can’t ignore.
Okay, I’ve set up the premise; now on with some details.
I have talked about a few local tweetups and other local events that have taken place locally. Whenever I write those stories, I’ve also highlighted many of the people who participated; at least as many as I can remember, which most of the time is almost everyone. I’ve done that for a few reasons.
One, most people love seeing their names as part of a story. Two, those folks have something to offer, so it’s a way to promote them in some fashion as well. And three, because one would think that if people saw their names in a story they might actually comment, give thanks, share their piece of the story I wrote about in some fashion… participate.
Folks, that just doesn’t happen. Pretty much like writing about your spouse in a blog post, if people aren’t predisposed to read and comment on blogs you just can’t do anything to get them to do it.
For instance, I wrote a recent story on my local blog about a kickball tweetup we had at one of our local lakes. I mentioned a lot of people in that post. I made sure everyone that played saw it because I posted the link on Twitter and sent some of them the story directly. There’s only one comment other than my response on that post, and it was from my friend Scott, who wasn’t even at the game. No one cared that they were in a story; no one wanted to contribute at all. Sure, on Twitter some of them said “thanks”, but that’s it.
In January I wrote about a different tweetup, one that turned out badly in my opinion, and I named names on that one as well. On that post, one person did respond to the gripe, while a couple others decided to write me direct messages on Twitter instead of open themselves up on the blog; in that case I better understood, but that post at least got comments.
However, another post I wrote some weeks back did garner a lot of attention. That was the one on 21 Top Black Social Media Influencers. That one got a lot of pop, and most of the people mentioned in that one commented here. Thing is, most of the people that commented were true social media people, which means bloggers for the most part, true bloggers. These were people who understood that it’s not just enough to say you write a blog, but that you also have to participate in the process in order to be, well, a top social media influencer. And a lot of other people also got into the game; that was nice.
To me, I think a major point has been proven, but one is still out there in a fashion. One, you’re just not going to get people who aren’t really bloggers, or “true” social media people, to contribute to the process of a blog, no matter what you do. Two, you may still be able to at least reach them and get them to see what you’ve done, even if you get no real feedback from it.
Which one is more important? I’m not sure there’s an easy or single answer for that one. I’m going to say “it depends”, kind of a wishy-washy response, then ask you what you think about it all. I mean, is it worth trying to bring those folks into the fray, or just forgetting about them and sticking to the community in general, maybe every once in awhile causing an itch in someone not really into the blogging game and garnering a momentary interest in what you have to say before going back to whatever they deem more important?