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Interaction On Your Blog – How Important Is It?

by Jason Sanders on November 27, 2009 · 3 comments

in Blogging

This blog post is a very late response to Brandon Mendelson’s decision to eliminate commenting from his blog. I was going to leave a response via a comment when he announced his decision on September 28 (Yeah, I know I’m really really tardy, but I’ve been overloaded with building a new business networking and marketing platform.) , but since he decided to get rid of comments, it seems like a blog post is the best way to get my point across.

I think Brandon’s post started out with the very valid statement that you can’t measure you blog’s success solely on the amount of comments that you receive. But then he very quickly makes the dangerous leap in assumption that if someone really likes you, they will go out of their way to find a way to interact with you. This thought may be true sometimes, but it isn’t an absolute fact.

I tend to believe that “Social Media isn’t about directing someone to one particular venue or site – if anything it’s about engaging others on the platform of their choice-not yours.”, as Mike Mueller said so well. For anyone selling a product or service, projecting approachability (even on the internet) is crucial. It would be presumptuous of me to try and guess why Brandon decided that this drastic change was necessary, but I think it makes sense to ask yourself if you’re doing all you can to make yourself available to potential clients. Another thing that I think about is the assurance that comments give to a blogger who is just starting out. An intimidating process can be made so much easier by comments from readers that show that someone is interested in your perspective and what you have to say. Think hard before you cut off this supportive lifeline. Take it from me, a blog without comments can feel like a black hole. A lot of people quit blogging prematurely because they don’t get the support they need.

Ask yourself: Could a decision that you’re making be interpreted by a potential client as putting up fences, closing off conversation or limiting interaction? If the answer is yes, the next logical question is: “Does this give you an advantage over your competition?” Put on your consumer hat. Do you want to deal with someone aloof or someone approachable?

Update: Brandon initially planned on having readers of his blog email him their comments as opposed to just commenting on the blog. I guess that didn’t work out to well, because now his facebook fanpage is acting as his comment section. (Hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. (I know I sound like a dick, but I have to get my shots in early because I know Brandon’s going to have something to say about the Yankees beating the Phillies the next time I talk to him.))

I actually think this is a pretty good idea for how to use a facebook fan page (as I still haven’t figured out a good way to make mine stand out from my other portions of social media). I should say it’s a pretty good idea if you are established (like having close to a million twitter followers) and if you want to limit interactions to only people who are interested enough to jump through a hoop.

Coincidentally, I’ve been so busy with my own projects over the last month and a half that I haven’t been on facebook much and therefore haven’t commented at all on Brandon’s blog posts. Usually I check his blog as one of the last things I do before logging off the computer for the night, and the extra step of signing into facebook is just more than I feel like doing. I still email Brandon occasionally, but never to comment on a blog post (just call me a rebel). I’m hoping he’ll come to his senses and bring the comments back to his blog. I miss the interaction.

I would be remiss if I didn’t invite you to join The Value Pages Group’s blogging community. You will enjoy a the most versatile blogging platform (WordPress) as well as a theme to give you the best exposure (Thesis) along with a unique platform that maximizes your exposure and targets consumers in your own backyard (and don’t forget about the great network of business owners you’ll be rubbing virtual shoulders with). The invitation’s always open!

Jason Sanders @ValuePagesGroup
Business Networking Specialist

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  • mikemueller

    I'd go with that MikeMueller guy – he seems nice enough.
    Seriously though, thanks for the include!

    Here's a couple of thoughts
    I deal with hyperlocal blogs, mostly community / political based and comments are their life. It's a self feeding circle, comments drive readership which drives comments. Interestingly enough the comments are mostly anonymous. Take away the ability to comment anonymously and there's no comments.

    On my blog ( traffic comes in from Twitter, Facebook and SEO. Comments seem to be happening everywhere. People read the post and then comment on Twitter or Facebook. Using a comment management system like Disqus helps to pull all those comments into one place.

    I understand what Brandon is saying and in part agree with him but I also believe you need to keep all avenues of communication open at all times. For me the biggest part is listening.

  • Jason Sanders

    Mike – Thanks for your comment! I think you have some great insights. Ultimately everyone has a unique situation and different goals, but I think this question merits some reflection before someone jumps to a conclusion. Thanks again for stopping by!

  • Jason Sanders

    Mike – Thanks for your comment! I think you have some great insights. Ultimately everyone has a unique situation and different goals, but I think this question merits some reflection before someone jumps to a conclusion. Thanks again for stopping by!

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