I’ve been a blogger since way back.
This is my second blog that I started after deciding to ‘rebrand’ myself to have a more “professional” persona online and came up with Activate Learning Solutions or @activatelearn back in 2014. (Standby, this will soon change again as I start change it from a business to a more personal blog over the coming months as I wind down this business).
Before then, I had a personal blog called Ramblings that I started in 2005 and wrote about general observations and my interests. (Funny that, I’m now doing that on this blog – it just goes to show that I’ve always never liked having two personas “a professional one” and a “personal one” – I’ve always wanted both. One that just personified ME. A sort of WYSIWYG.
Anyway, enough about that. I’ve written so much over the years about this but that’s not what I want to write about here.
Before social media, people wrote in blogs and commented in each other’s blog posts. I used to reply to many blog posts because I found it a great way to hone my own thoughts about what the author wrote. There was also a great sense of community too.
However social media changed all that. As did spam attacks and trolls to blog posts.
Every day, I would have to get into my blog and remove the dozens of spam messages. It was a pointless exercise so many people who were doing this, closed off the comment section in their blogs and instead had the conversations more openly on the social networks such as LinkedIn or Twitter.
Bad move. This was the demise of blogs.
As a result, conversations became scattered.
However, in the last few months, I decided to reactivate the comment section in this blog and take my luck with it all.
I figured that the people commenting on your blog posts are ones who really don’t mind not having their comments seen by the world through social media and instead, want to have some communication with you directly. In some way, I respect this a lot more given that they’ve taken the time to write their thoughts and reflections down and share them with you.
Sure, the comment section is still “open and public” but by value of the blog post not being retweeted and shared by others in the network as often as say, a tweet would, it means that it would be seen by less people. So then, it becomes more of a smaller more personal exchange between reader and blogger as opposed to the reader’s commentary being shared and retweeted out to their networks.
I wonder if I’m making sense here?
I understand the irony of the situation here.
How can you get your work out there without the assistance of your network and their networks WITHOUT social media and especially as many people don’t use content filtering methods such as RSS feeds or subscribe to your newsletters to be able to read what you’re sharing?
Part of me thinks you can’t. Unless you’re really famous and people subscribe to your blog or your newsletters, forget it. Many people don’t even know what RSS is and couldn’t be bothered replying to blog posts if their response is not seen by others in their network too.
What about me? Why did I reinstate the blog commenting?
My intention is to simply share what I’m learning and working on. I share my reflections but it’s not important to me that it is shared by others. I don’t care about the vanity metrics, the retweets, the likes, the follows.
Seriously, I couldn’t give a “rats arse” as they say here in Australia.
By all means, I’m happy if people gain value out of it and want to share it out.
How I measure my value is NOT how often my work is tweeted or retweeted. Or, how many likes I have received.
I measure my value by the amount of testimonials that are sent to me. For example:
- People who DM me about how something I did inspired them to change career, pick up a new skill, think about things in a different way
- People who ‘surprise me’ by providing testimonials for me on LinkedIn or introducing me to their networks through email
- People who send me tidbits of information related to things I love to do ““Hey Helen, thought of you when I saw this, is this something you’d be interested in?”
- People who give me quiet encouragement and support behind the scenes in DMs
So from a blog post that started about re-introducing the comments section for my blog post, I realise that maybe we need to review our “why” of using social media.
Is it to simply “push” our articles, blog posts, thoughts and reflections. (The bombardment approach and hope that something sticks). Or, can we have more meaningful responses and conversations in our blogs in exchange with our readers who took the time to respond to our posts?
In the past, I would have stuck to my guns with social media but now I’ll take meaningful interactions any day.
What do you think?