crowd …I just read Heidi’s post over on the SDN Program News blog about the lack of comments on their group blog and it reminded me of an unwritten, unspoken New Years resolution-ish commitment that I made to be more ACTIVELY involved in blogosphere conversations.

Previously, I would passively comment on the blogs that I regularly follow — kind of like a PBS watcher who just consumes information and doesn’t contribute or like a wall flower at a party who doesn’t try to socialize, but waits for party attendees to come to her/him or like the couple on a date where only one person is carrying the conversation. If we all took that approach there would be no PBS, there would be no party, there would be no 2nd date.

Blogging is a social conversation. It’s not all about bloggers talking ad nauseam into a blackhole. It’s not all about the blogger pulling the weight of the conversation.

So to the bloggers with no comments, I ask: Are you writing frequent, interesting, conversation provoking entries? If not, it’s time to mix it up and ensure your content is interesting, conversation provoking, and authentic — not all entries need to be the blog entry to end all blog entries. Keep trying. Those blog metrics are not only robots hitting your blog. Joining conversations on blogs OTHER than your own will also help inspire conversations on your blog by driving awareness of your blog.

And to blog readers, I ask: Are you consistently contributing by leaving comments on your favorite blogs and therefore encouraging your favorite blogger to keep blogging? If not, don’t be surprised if your favorite blog goes silent for good. If you’ve read a blog and it’s evoked a thought or emotion, but you didn’t comment, I urge you to not be shy and at least occasionally shift that behavior. Your comments will be greatly appreciated by the blogger and other blog readers.

I double dog dare you to comment on the very next blog entry you read — it can be short and sweet…

…or even angry and long-winded. 🙂

  1. #1 by Dan Mick on March 13, 2007 - 7:33 pm

    Blogs for a conversation tool strike me as about as appropriate as feathers for a hammering tool.
    Blogs are *so* about publishing, and so *not* about two-way communication; the ways in which two-way communication have been bolted onto blogs are horrifyingly unusable. Even this commenting is horrible.
    Email,. newsgroups, or even web fora (shudder) are about a billion times better as a conversational medium.

  2. #2 by ThinGuy on March 13, 2007 - 8:43 pm

    The blog reader in me totally agrees with Dan. The blogger in me sides heavily with Linda. When I write something, I really want to know how you feel. But like anything else, you sort of speak to yourself when reading a blog. Whether it’s “right on dude”, or “you’re full of crap”, you most likely speak to yourself. Leaving comments takes time and effort. Perhaps a little poll at the end of each blog would do wonders for the bloggers who want feedback. i.e.

    O This posting was useful
    O I’m on the fence
    O What ‘chu talkin ’bout willis?

  3. #3 by melanie gao on March 13, 2007 - 10:22 pm

    I think there are as many styles of blogs as there are bloggers. Some are one-way communication, others are all about two-way conversations. I don’t think either style is right or wrong – it depends on the blogger and his/her audience. Personally I’ve met some really nice people through the comments section of my blog and have helped many of them settle in to life in China. And I’m talking to one of them now about switching to Solaris!
    FWIW Linda I really appreciate your comments in my blog. I guess I think feathers look rather nice on hammers. 🙂

  4. #4 by Skrocki on March 14, 2007 - 7:07 am

    Dan, I agree with most of your comment — my reference to blogging as a social conversation stands, but was not meant to be a statement that blogs are the BEST tool for ALL types of communication. When I write content that will hopefully trigger conversation or lead to connecting with someone I may or may not know, I use my blog. When I write content simply for publishing, I use something like a wiki or traditional website as opposed to my blog. And when I want to engage in a fast moving discussion, I use forums, IM, email, phone, or F2F. Folks who dislike the comments feature on blogs, can easily disable it.
    The more important thing is as Melanie and ThinGuy state, blogging style and expectations widely vary and that is one of the primary reasons bloggers and blog readers are so drawn to the blogosphere — there’s bound to be something they find useful.

  5. #5 by John on June 13, 2007 - 4:36 am

    Thank you for the nice post.

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