You’re Not from ‘Round Here

Originally uploaded by doug12345.

Ever wanted to comment on a blog, but felt a little shy? Ever wondered what the consequences might be of entering the conversation?

There has been a bit of debate around the 90-9-1 rule over the last week or so, and it is clear that there are plenty of "lurkers" — those that visit/read your blog but don’t actively contribute.

The first time you contribute to a blog can be nerve wracking as well as exciting. How will the author respond? What about the "regular" contributors? I remember the first time I submitted a comment to Russell Davies’ blog — I held my breath as I hit the submit button. It is particularly daunting where there is a strong community, where each contributor appears to know the others — and Russell definitely had a group of regulars. But entering the conversation is one of the most enjoyable things you can do … something that brands seem to miss (but that is a whole other post).

So if you are yet to start adding to the conversation at your favourite blog, it is time to step out of the shadows. Say hello, most of us wont bite.


11 thoughts on “You’re Not from ‘Round Here

  1. Yep, the first time is scary. But then it’s old hat before you know it. It was so cute as I was on another blog and I saw a comment from a guy and in it he said “I hope it’s OK I join in over here”…and we were all like, “absolutely”!
    To the lurkers I say, “No pressure, read on, but if you’re looking to jump in…c’mon in, the water’s fine.”
    Thanks for this post as we need to remember that not only were we once all newbies but there are more people who are off social media than on, so we need to continue to make it a welcome, safe place.

  2. It’s easy just to hang out and chat with your mates- the “group of regulars”. Blogging is a party that everyone is invited to.
    Just like in ‘real’ life if you want a great party YOU have to start the conversation- introduce strangers, prompting topics and giving feedback. A little hospitality goes a long way.
    What I’m falling in looooove with is getting a random high five from a stranger. It’s like walking into a party and getting a Cheers- like welcome (sometimes you go where everyone knows your name).
    (cheers & thanks for the support Mr Chaos!)

  3. You are right CK … there are always many more people engaging in and coming to social media than blog comments would suggest. And everyone comes with an opinion or an insight … which is an important part of the discussion — even if you are simply agreeing with the flow of the conversation, it is worth saying so.

  4. Usually I’m afraid of comments especally in your blog 😉
    On the whole people do not comment when writers do not expire them. In fact you can write but if you don’t have that flash in your thoughts, something that will make them think people won’t comment. Don’t you agree?
    We should touch readers’ souls and attract their attention to the problems they might get. Probably we don’t have to agive a solution for the problem, just raise it and let people discuss it.

  5. It’s a funny thing. Some of my posts that have attracted the least online comments, are the ones eople talk to me about offline.
    Not sure whether this is because my online & offline friends (who read my blog only because they know me) are interested in different things. Or whether the kind of response people want to make to these posts don’t feel appropriate for the comments page.

  6. Good topic. Second time visitor, first time commenter! I figured I’d better do it now — or lurking would get to be a habit.
    Or — to shift metaphors — it’s easier to get into the swim of it if you jump into the water.
    What I’m finding is that you have to be somewhat shameless in this environment in order to thrive. It’s not for shrinking violets.

  7. “It’s a funny thing. Some of my posts that have attracted the least online comments, are the ones eople talk to me about offline.”
    I’ve noticed this too. And for whatever reason, the posts that I think are really kickass, are usually ignored. Then the ones I type up in 5 mins are popular.
    Who knows. Like I said on TVG, maybe the key is to leave comments first, and let that coax the bloggers out of their shells to leave a comment on your blog?

  8. Nope, but if you’d kindly lower them thar rifles, I’d like to visit with you a spell on the front porch 🙂
    The Internet has allowed me to be what my friends have dubbed, “a closet extrovert.” Over the years forums like these (and my own) have allowed me to gain confidence here and in my professional role as well.
    Thanks for the invite!

  9. I’m something of a sporadic commenter – leaving them as the spirit moves me. I’d probably commented 25-50 times on 25-50 blogs until one day I stumbled onto The Viral Garden. Imagine my surprise when Mack responded to the comment – and continues staying in touch. Pretty cool! I then wrote a little review of a little book and CK commented – that was very cool! Next step was commenting on a post from David Armano, wherein Mack and Gavin also showed up…and the world expands. This is not a secret 🙂 nor should it be. It IS a lesson in making friends and broadeing spheres of influence.

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