Last week I chatted about the Challenges of Blogging and was astounded to receive 19 responses, an all time high for my blog! Even more thrilling was hearing from people whom I had no idea even read my blog! And the responses were incredible, deep and thoughtful.
Today I wanted to address a question posed by Angie. Angie is a new blogger though experienced at other forms of social media, including facebook and twitter.
Perhaps you can answer this question … Why are bloggers not very generous with feedback, likes, and comments. Why would a blogger write reams of words, but not give an equal amount to engage others? I know there are exceptions, but that is my general impression.
Angie your general impression is ‘on the mark’, please bear with me as I loquaciously answer your question. When I began blogging 7 years ago it was in a high season of blogging popularity within the online circle I was active in, Catholic homeschool mamas, mostly from across the Ocean. Many of these bloggers I ‘met’ through 4Real a Catholic homeschool forum I was actively involved in and continue to be so today. At that time there was a real sense of community, many of us already ‘knew’ each other from the forum, and there was active ‘visiting’ and commenting on one another’s blogs, you would ‘meet’ familiar faces at various blogs.
Then facebook and twitter exploded upon the mama blogging world and it had an immediate effect upon forum and blogging communities. Many mamas signed up for various new social media and not only did active participation and commenting slow way down but the tone of many bloggers changed, some of this coincided with the realisation that circumspection was needed, that we needed to be mindful of privacy. Sadly though I think the tone of some ‘mega bloggers’ changed, what were dynamic and interesting blogs lost something fundamental as they grew, change is inevitable but it was sad to see.
Since the facebook explosion I’ve assumed that all the great conversations must have moved over to facebook, recently I reluctantly opened a facebook account and discovered it isn’t so. Facebook isn’t designed for deep and meaningful exchanges, nor is twitter or other social mediums. If you’re wanting engagement, forums and blogs are the places to be, though sadly engagement there has has never regained its former high.
Simply, I think ‘we’ can’t ‘keep up’ with all forms of social media, to do so would be a full time occupation which is neither desirable nor healthy, our families need us first. So readers are stretched thin, flitting here and there, which is not conducive to building a community. Also contributing to the lack of engagement is the new habit of skim reading, which means readers are not fully engaged but are always moving on. Furthermore commenting has been further effected recently due to the use of iphones and tablets as my readers shared.
Serena said: I have a feeling that people are commenting less and less the more that they read on phones and tablets. It’s such a pain to comment. You can tell I am at my laptop right now.
Willa said: I wish I commented more but I often read blogs on my phone when I have a stray moment and my phone won’t let me comment for some reason.
- Is there a solution, can we engage others and form a sense of community?
I’m not certain that we can regain the level of participation that first hit blogoshpere, but my hope is we can form smaller pockets of online community. In fact I have recently discovered an active community here in Australia via Maxabella’s link up.
I can only share what works for me, my plan. I deliberately limit my online involvement to more fully engage in where I have chosen to place my energies; I’m still actively involved in the forum, but my fb account consists of only 12 ‘friends’ and I don’t have a twitter account. My blog feedly is limited to 30-40 blogs which enables me to actively read and comment. I read on my computer which means I can comment easily, and do so immediately or mark as unread to return and comment when time is available. Anyone new to comment on my blog receives a visit in return and I often add them to my feedly,(when I can find their blog, I won’t start on Google +). I have a loyal band of readers and commentators with whom I reciprocate visits and commenting. This I believe builds a sense of online community, not a big community but one in my little corner of cyberspace. It does take time to find your niche and it can be disheartening, but I encourage you to persevere.
- What’s your opinion, why do you think bloggers aren’t very generous with feedback?