Friday, June 27, 2014

How do you react?

This comment from one of the people in my genealogy circle on Google+ got me scratching my head:

"Interesting it says I have so many followers, but  I  do not see anyone commenting on the information I am placing for others to use and read. This concerns me if I should stop reporting information for Genealogists to share and use.".

I responded "Don't give up.I think we need to get into the habit of giving plusses to acknowledge posts of interest to us. I think that only a small number of those in our circles read posts religiously. Even if I only get a couple of +'s I feel that my posts have been useful and when I get comments I am really chuffed."

After dashing off that comment on my phone I reflected on my social media accounts and the Likes, Comments, Plusses and Shares they get. I blogged in 2010 about how I think Blogging is a two way street, this holds for all social media. Social Media  platforms are tools for communication and collaboration, but the communication should be two-way, those who do not avail themselves of these features are missing out on some exciting opportunities to connect and learn. 

My experiences with Google+ are similar to those of my genealogy contact, sometimes my posts get no plusses, comments, or shares. I wonder if anyone out there is actually reading them!

I hadn't before considered using the +1s and comments I get on my Google+ posts as an evaluative measure of the things I post. I feel that a post is successful if a couple of people give it a +1 this indicates to me that they feel the content has been worth posting or that they have simply read a post , if they comment then I feel that they really value what I shared or they want to connect, if their comment adds an opinion or extra information then I feel that my goals for posting have been well and truly fulfilled and if they share it then I think that is is also very worthy. 

I am not sure whether monitoring these is a valid measure because I believe many people read without acknowledging the value of a post to them. I am going to take more notice of the way people react to my posts on Google+ and try to work out which subject matter is causing a reaction from my contacts. 

I have over 700 people in my Google+ genealogy circle. I wish I could see how many people are actually reading my posts as I would hazard a guess that only about 10% of these people are active plussers who read most of the posts directed to them. I think only about half of these regularly acknowledge that they have read a post by plussing or commenting.  The remainder of those in my genealogy circle may have joined Google+ for other reasons so never really read the posts that are directed towards them.

Have I got it all wrong? What percentage of posts in yor stream do you read? Do you regularly hand out plusses and comments? What are your criteria for giving plusses and comments?  Do you feel that most people miss the point about two-way communication via social media? Should my genealogy contact and I give up on posting?


Shelley Crawford said...

I read this post via Feedly on my phone. In order to comment I scrolled to the bottom of the post, clicked 'view website', waited for the website to load scrolled to the botton, fiddled around selecting the box, started writing taking care to correct the autocorrect then found that my comment was longer than the little box provided and couldn't navigate to the end of my comment to keep typing. I decided to post anyway and make a second comment to finish. I had to log in to my google account to post (looking up my password along the way) but just when I thought I was all set got a message about too many redirects. My draft comment was lost (I'm sure it was going to be much better than this one!). I gave up on feedly but was determined to comment on this particular post so I decided to find the post on google+ and comment there. I looked at your profile but couldn't find this post. I was so determined to comment on this post that I left the warm living room where my family is and logged on to the computer. I navigated to your blog directly and here I am! Commenting without further difficulty. Or at least, so far so good.
So I guess my short answer is that I read almost all of your posts, but because I do more blog reading on my smartphone that I used to I am often thwarted in my attempts to comment!

Elizabeth Handler said...

I agree with Shelley in that I read most of the blogs I follow via Feedly on my phone. When I want to post a comment (which is not particularly often), I mark the feed as "unread" to save it. Then when I'm on my computer, I navigate to the post and comment (as I did here). I occasionally will find a post on Facebook and "Like" it or make a comment there, but I don't actively use Google+ and therefore don't +1 posts or comment there. (I do share my blog posts there for those who might find them there.)
Just thought I'd share - I do read your posts, but I don't come to them via Google+.

Bribie Family History Association said...

I thought I posted a comment to this blog but it actually went onto Google+. My grasp of technology is not always good so I will repeat the comment here too -

I try to read some people all the time but then time is my issue. So sometimes I don't read anything and then I will have a marathon session, often well after a post. I am not a big follower of Google +, mostly picking up things to read via Twitter and Facebook or going to my bookmarked sites. But in my talks I give your blog as one of the ones to read to find out what is going on so please don't stop!

Jenny said...

Great blog Jill as it got me thinking. I'm fairly new to Google+ and your blogs come through as an email so generally I read them and often enjoy the blog but don't always click the header to go to the actual post to comment or give it a plus. I've only just last night, set up feedly and will probably turn the email notification off once I get used to using it.
As in Facebook, a lot of people read my posts but they don't comment, some like, many don't, but if I see people out and about, they'll often ask, oh how did you go with such and such. Ah, so you do read Facebook! The fear of the unknown, I think.

Sharon said...

I agree. Great post. I often read your posts Jill but I don't always comment unless the top is close to my heart (and I have time). I am on Google+ but don't really use it. Think I need to get more familiar with it.

Yep, I understand the deflated feeling when you have put a lot of research and time into a blog post but get few comments. Like my Anzac Day Posts, which have had a lot of reader but VERY FEW comments! So does that mean people don't read because they are too long? Or are they bad? Oh Well, I write them for family and future generations to know about their ancestors and relatives....and if the general public enjoy them, then it is a bonus!

Anne Young said...

G'day Jill :)
I receive your blog posts Jill, and the posts of several other bloggers, by email. It is my preferred method of reading them. I do explore other blog posts in the Google + environment. In that environment I might plus one a post.
For my own posts I am not particularly fussed how many people read, comment or plus one. Like Sharon, who comments above, I am pleased if somebody gets something out of a post and delighted if a cousin or fellow researcher comments. I do notice that my posts are being read more than a year after they were written as people find them through Google searches.
I think you can find out how many people subscribe to your blog by email. An email,subscription in my case indicates that I am keen to read each and every post you write and I enjoy them all :)

Thank you

Susi's Quarter said...

Thanks Jill, thanks

jan said...

Looking forward for your next post. Thanks for sharing :)

ScotSue said...

Hi, Jill - I found your post very interesting and it was good to get your perspective on this issue. I thought I had sent you a comment, but it has never appeared, so must be lost in the stratosphere somewhere! So here goes again. I signed up this year to Google+ but must admit I have not yet got familiar with it, and my computer ability too has not kept pace with technology. I regularly follow blogs on my Blogger Reading List (including yours) and I try to respond with comments when I can - but like so many of us, time is an issue. I need to make more use of the "Like" rating. I very much appreciate comments I receive and am sometimes disappointed if a posting which I have tried to make interesting fails to get any. On the other hand there are some posts that I write primarily for my own pleasure. I have been spoilt by the blog Sepia Saturday, where a network has developed with bloggers routinely commenting on each other's weekly post. At the risk of sounding controversial, I thought something similar would develop with the new Worldwide Genealogy blog when there are only 30 of us signed up to post once a month. But apart from the first month, many posts which are often lengthy and of a serious, thoughtful nature, receive none or very few comments, which is a pity. I realise that people are very busy, so I should be grateful when people take the time to comment.


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