Saturday, February 16, 2013

Blogging is a two-way street - I've heard that somewhere before

Just last week I came across a new Australian genealogy blog. I wanted to congratulate and welcome the blogger to the geneablogging community but sadly she didn't have comments enabled on her blog. I was disappointed at not being able to use the potential of the blogging platform and pass on some positive reinforcement to a new blogger.

It reminded me of my post from December 2010 "Blogging is a two-way street" that I am repeating below. (As I am off geneacruising I am being a bit lazy and preparing posts ahead of time for some of the time I am away, this is one of them).


Blogging is a two-way street

The blog is a social medium; a collaborative tool that enables people to communicate and share information; it gives  consumers/readers an opportunity to communicate back through the 'Comments' feature that is enabled on most blogs. Blogging is a tool not just for communication but for conversation.

The genealogy blogging world is full of generous souls who believe that "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). These people blog because they have something to share and they don't want anything in return. People use blogging software because it provides an easy mechanism for online publishing.

As a blogger I try to blog 3-5 times per week whenever I have something that I think is worthy of sharing, that I want to record for posterity for the family or to take part in online festivals etc. If I didn't ever get a comment I would still blog.

I get a buzz whenever someone makes a comment on my posts - I am human and love a bit of reinforcement be it positive or negative. I wonder if other bloggers feel the same?  

Last night I received an email from an old mate, Carolyn, who said " I was elated to find such a wealth of information on the Geniaus Site with quick links to my favourite sites. I read today’s blog about your Christmas loot and note that Perry McIntyre is related to me...I will follow your blogs and wealth of info to see what I can do to pin down the John and Caroline xxx family." Getting this email that also gave me information about Carolyn's research was a welcome belated Christmas present. 

My blog statistics tell me that I have several hundred visits each week  but yet I may only get one or  two comments. It could be that my posts are not relevant to others. I think, however, it is that  many people miss the point about blogging being a social or collaborative tool. Maybe bloggers see it as a publishing tool and  their consumers treat it in the same way as they treat a magazine article or ebook as something to be consumed fullstop. I have looked at the blogs of some top bloggers and have noticed that, most of them too, don't seem to get many comments from their huge readerships.

As a consumer I subscribe to numerous blogs via RSS and read them religiously each day.  As I believe that "Blogging is a two-way street" I regularly comment on other bloggers posts. This morning I posted a comment on Dear Myrtle's post"Ancestor Approved - Thank-you"    and Shelley's "Twigs of Yore" post "In genealogy, the smallest discoveries can make your day". I found one post quirky and interesting and I agreed with the content of the other - so I told the writers.

As part of my genealogy resolutions for 2011 I am going to recognise that "Blogging is a two-way street" and commit myself to using the comments boxes on genealogy blogs for conversation.

How about joining some conversations in 2011?



8 comments:

Alex Daw said...

Hi Jill - Hear! Hear! And so say all of us! I blog to record my research and help structure my thoughts. But I'd be very disappointed if people didn't respond mostly because I recognise my failings and weaknesses and often ask others' advice and hope that others might spot the glaring errors I miss. I learn so much from others' blogs and from their comments. Different perspectives and all that. My world has been so much richer for blogging...I feat thought that I will get a numb bottom from all the time I could spend here in the blog universe ;)

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

I think we bloggers have all come to realise its potentail to create a community of friends. Comments are so important to building up those bonds, but as the blog writers we also need to respond to the comments so it is a dynamic process.

Betty Taylor said...

I am new to the blogging community, but I love to get comments. It just makes you feel like real people are reading your posts. I have been leaving comments as I read. I don't comment on every post I read, but I try to comment on the ones that's spark something in me.

Betty

Celia Lewis said...

I wonder if she simply hasn't figured out how to set up comments... it certainly took me ages to figure out a number of Blogger settings. Hopefully she'll learn - soon!

Kerryn Taylor said...

It took me quite a while to work out what was what in setting up my blog and I probably still don't have it quite right. Thanks to Geniaus and other bloggers passing on their knowledge and tips I keep learning :)

caiteile.com said...

Thanks for the re-publishing Jill. I wasn't in "the blogosphere" first time around and, after 12 months of blogging, have now come to realise that different people have different expectations e.g. My purpose for setting up a blog was to pass onto family the "stories" (oral history) to put the flesh on the bones of my decades of building, and sharing, our Family Tree. So I was shocked, surprised and delighted when "strangers" began commenting and, of course, always replied to their kind remarks because, not only do I find them interesting, but reckon that's what you do when somebody "speaks" to you... just good manners.
On becoming more familiar with blogging, I began making comments on other blogs and was most surprised to discover that some never ever reply to any comments and then others select only a few whom they seem to judge as being more worthy of a response... although that may not be the intent.
So, as "they" say... "horses for courses". To have one's comments constantly ignored, and not even a "thankyou for dropping by", gives the message that your views are not valued so, of course, interest wanes especially as the blogosphere is "chocker" full with incredibly interesting, and informative blogs, and never enough time to read them all. Thanks again Jill and happy cruisin' :-)... Catherine.

Jill Ball said...

Thanks all for chiming in and adding to this conversation - you are all in my superbloggers category.

Lisa Taisey said...

Love this Jill! A simple Thank You is the polite thing to do. I agree with everything Caittele said. It's plain rude to never acknowledge the people who read what you write. My biggest pet peeve is when I comment and never even an acknowledgment! It's the readers of your works who make a blog popular. You have always been so kind when I respond to your excellent writings. I am going to stop reading blogs who never say THANKS!

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