What do You Add to the Conversation?

gr-rr In my post Web 2.0 Democratizing Social Interaction, I mention the following:

Quote_Marks_01 Social Networking gives one the ability to interact and build relationships, with many, varied types of people. People you might not normally get the opportunity to interact with. During our conversation Jeremiah echoed this sentiment of using the web to build relationships. I have been fortunate that a great community is being built around my blog, and the blogs I read. These are people that I would probably have never had the chance to meet in the ‘real world,’ but due to blogs and Web 2.0 I have had the chance to meet and interact with, and learn from some great people.

I received a link from the post Web 2.0 Democratizing Social Interaction from the blog Deploying Web 2.0 in the Enterprise . In this post the author brings up an excellent point:

Quote_Marks_01I think it’s an important point that you need to bring value to the conversation if you hope to get anything out of it. I have had many pleasant experiences with people because I brought value to them, first.

 

Bring it On

The above quote is worth thinking about. You can’t just jump into a conversation without understanding the context of the conversation or without adding value and expect a positive response. Interacting using Social Networking is not about ‘what can you do for me’ it is about how you can add to the conversation.

If you find someone that you want to interact with, you shouldn’t expect a response just because you posted a comment. Do you like it when you are having a conversation with someone, and a stranger walks up and starts interrupting, randomly talking to you? I think it is important to follow someone’s feed, and get an idea of who they are, at the very least understand the context of the post and ensuing conversation. When you post, ensure it is on topic, and adds value to the conversation.

Reading part of the post and then commenting doesn’t cut it. Posts can start on one side of the fence, and then wander back and forth coming to a different conclusion. The author might want to walk you through all arguments, showing you all sides before giving the conclusion. You don’t want to come across like Roseanne Roseannadanna, Gilda Radner’s character from Saturday Night Live, that would ramble on to a point that was not pertinent to the original topic. We have all read a post, and then while reading the comments. encountered a comment that keyed of one word, or a lonely paragraph. After reading the whole post, the comment just brings confusion. Sometimes the commenter is addressed, sometimes ignored. If you want to join a conversation, this is not the best way to do it.

In my post 10 Tips for Increasing Comments on Your Blog, I mention the following as my 2nd tip:

Quote_Marks_01Try to write thoughtful comments. Actually read the post before you write a comment, and after reading the whole post. People reading your comments will start visiting your blog if it seems like you know what you are talking about. Don’t just read the first sentence and then write a comment. Also don’t read one sentence from the middle of the post and comment. Posts are like conversations and can meander. Where a post begins, isn’t necessarily where it ends. Read the whole post, and then comment.

Summary

To positively engage in a conversation, be sure that you understand the context and topic of the conversation. Read the whole post before you write your comment. Don’t be shy about writing comments. Get involved in the conversation. If you disagree, don’t be afraid to say so, and give your reason why. These are conversations, you don’t have to agree with everything everyone else says, but you don’t need to come across as a dick if you don’t agree. Not every comment needs to be epic – I agree and have experienced that also, with your example is fine. Two word comments are typically thought of as spam, so at least write a sentence or two.

After commenting on blogs for a while, you will probably notice that comments on your blog are increasing, with commenter’s that you recognize from the other blogs. That is how part of my community has been built from commenter’s from blogs I comment on.

Get involved in the conversation. Initially you will feel like you are at the kid’s table during holidays, and people may not pay attention to your comments. But stay involved and keep adding to the conversation, and soon you will find yourself at the adult’s table conversing with everyone else. Note: I am not trying to infer that all bloggers behave like adults, this analogy was used for reference purposes only.

Advertisements

10 Responses to “What do You Add to the Conversation?”

  1. talking dynamics Says:

    i diont know but how can the relations be so frequently discussed?

  2. teeni Says:

    This is precisely why I’ll sometimes lurk at blogs for a little while before I’ll comment. I love your second tip – it is important to read the whole post – even if you don’t understand the subject matter completely, you can gain a lot from the context. When I have a question on a post, I’m training myself to re-read it first, before asking my question in a comment. There’s always room for improvement and I like to think I’m getting better. 😉

  3. Thomas Says:

    talking dynamics – Thanks for being part of the conversation. Not to sound dense, but I don’t think I quite understand your question.

    teeni – I agree, I tend to lurk for a while before I post, unless it is a specific topic that I have information on. Then I will skim some of the posts and comment. How many times have you noticed a comment that someone has read a sentence of paragraph and then taken it out of context to write a comment – it makes me grimace. Rereading a post you want to comment on is an excellent suggestion. It is always nice to see your comments here.

  4. Thomas Says:

    talking dynamics – Thanks for being part of the conversation. Not to sound dense, but I don’t think I quite understand your question.

    teeni – I agree, I tend to lurk for a while before I post, unless it is a specific topic that I have information on. Then I will skim some of the posts and comment. How many times have you noticed a comment that someone has read a sentence of paragraph and then taken it out of context to write a comment – it makes me grimace. Rereading a post you want to comment on is an excellent suggestion. It is always nice to see your comments here.

  5. teeni Says:

    Plus it can be embarrassing if it is then pointed out to you that your question was already answered in the post! Not that THAT would ever happen to me. LOL. Seriously, it can happen innocently enough if you are tired when reading posts so that is why I’m trying to train myself to re-read before I comment or question. And thank you for the compliment! I do enjoy my visits!

  6. Thomas Says:

    teeni – Additional reasons for reading the whole post, and if the answer is in the post, it seems that you find it right after you hit ‘Submit Comment.’

  7. Dang, Quit Tagging Me Already! Says:

    […] Thomas – Technical Blogger My favorite Microsoft Guy in the universe. I make a point to stop by Thomas spot a few times per week. I enjoy his mix of technical, gaming, and a few personal shots of his every day life. He doesn’t talk down to people and is warm and friendly. Get comfortable, loosen your belt, and prepared for a full course buffet when you stop by his place. Thomas drops mad flava in ya ear! Thomas brings new flava to technology. Watch him. He’s blowin’ up. Check out his post What Do You Add To The Conversation? […]

  8. Free View of My Desktop « Thomas - Technical Blogger Says:

    […] Free View of My Desktop September 22nd, 2007 — Thomas Opal tagged me wanting a free view of my desktop. How can you deny a request like the following? My favorite Microsoft Guy in the universe. I make a point to stop by Thomas spot a few times per week. I enjoy his mix of technical, gaming, and a few personal shots of his every day life. He doesn’t talk down to people and is warm and friendly. Get comfortable, loosen your belt, and prepared for a full course buffet when you stop by his place. Thomas brings new flava to technology. Watch him. He’s blowin’ up. Check out his post What Do You Add To The Conversation? […]

  9. Brin Says:

    Hello, nice site 🙂

  10. Thomas Says:

    Brin – Thanks for the comment, it is always nice to hear that people appreciate your writing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: