Thursday, December 30, 2010

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?


Shelley Crawford said...

I agree with the value of comments and always appreciate yours! I'm trying to make an effort and comment more frequently on other people's blogs. I feel a New Year's resolution coming on....

Carole Riley said...

I agree, it's always a bit of a thrill when someone leaves a comment, but it is all too easy to just consume and move one. I too will make a commitment to comment more often.

GeniAus said...

Wow - two comments - I am feeling suitably reinforced.

carolyn said...

I should have sent my email, part of which is contained in your blog today as a comment. This is the first time I have commented or replied to a blog. I previously thought, as I read numerous blogs and was hesitant to reply as I felt I was intruding. I think many people may be in the same boat hence the numerous amount of traffic but the few comments. You have spent a lot of time in putting valuable and welcome information on your blogs and hopefully more people will show their apprecition and leave a comment. One of my New years resolutions is to comment and blog. I will keep this resolution -other ones may waiver or fail.

Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

I need to get better about replying to comments, too.

In talking with my family, I found that some do not like to leave comments, but they will email me so I've added my email address on the sidebar of my blog.

Randy Seaver said...

I think that you would get many more comments, but perhaps fewer "hits" if you set your blog to provide full content to RSS feeds.

I see only your blog titles on Bloglines and Google Reader, not the actual post content, unless I am sufficiently intrigued by your title and click on it.

In my own case, I have always set it for full content to the RSS feeds. My website "hits" are pretty constant and stangnant, but the feed numbers keep increasing weekly. It's about exposure - and "hits" are only a part of the story.

A O'Brien said...

I will have to make this one of my new years resolutions too. I often read posts I enjoy and then 'share' them using Google reader but don't make a comment. I will have to do this more often.
Happy New Year!

GeniAus said...

Thanks for the tip Ranady, I will take a look at my settings.

NoOceanInKansas said...

Thanks for this post! I do try to post comments and do love it when others comment on my blog!

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