Dear Lurker, Can We Make It Easier To Connect?

Dear Lurker, Can We Make It Easier To Connect?

The real kicker here is, I’m REALLY asking this question of the LURKERS. (Waves. “Hi There.”) I know you’re there on Facebook, Twitter. Heck, you’re here on my blog. Won’t you come out from behind the wall of silence and comment. Even just to say, piss off?

I would do almost anything, short of pay you money or beg, to get your input on this blog. So what does it take to get a conversation going these days?

Here are a few of the patterns that I’m noticing.

  • People are happier to LIKE something than to comment on it. (It’s better than nothing, but it doesn’t really add to the conversation.)
  • Some people like to comment on my posts on the Facebook link rather than on the site. I asked a social media friend about this and he said, “I click over to your site, read the post [um, maybe he does] and then I make my comment on Facebook, because I’m already there.” So it’s easier sometimes to comment on the system that we know and love tolerate.
  • Systems like Disqus actually discourage comments. Well, this may be the case, but the experience once someone has engaged using Disqus is fantastic. I’m willing to keep the comments damped down, to have a Disqus experience once they have decided to engage. [I might need to look at this decision. What do you think? Oh, and please comment here using Disqus.]
  • Sometimes it’s the random incidental Tweet that gets a response. Something about coffee or music or TGIF.
  • Political discussions on Facebook are really fun. Especially when the haven’t-been-doing-this-long users hope into a liberal discussion and have no clue how to respond, but to fall back on tea party talking points and NObama epithets. [Sorry, I didn’t mean to go political.]
  • People engage when there is something they want. I just had a run of connections with people I hadn’t heard from in over a year, when I posted that I had open invites to Google+.

For the most part, 85% of browsers on the web are simply skimming and way to busy to comment. You know how you can get the gist of a post in the first few sentences? The web is kinda like that.

We’re all looking for something when we come on line. Distraction. Entertainment. Support. And going beyond a minute or so on any one blog or post is asking a lot. Something in the content has to be engaging you on a personal, this is immediately relevant, level. And when that alchemy happens, the comments can take off. Again, primarily by the high-sharers.

Another method for delurking lurkers is to say something controversial. Ignite the conversation by being inflammatory. But that’s a double-edged sword, that must be used carefully.

QUESTIONS FOR THE LURKERS: So what (I am kinda asking, but not begging, for your response here) can content producers do to entice you out of the lurk and into the conversation? Other than politics and controversy, what types of posts are you likely to engage with? Have you always been a lurker? What would make it easier?

John McElhenney – let’s connect online 
@jmacofearth & Google+ & Facebook & LinkedIn

Reference: Lurker from Wikipedia


This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Commenting…I comment when I have a strong opinion on the subject of if I need something. Now I need something and guessing you will respond to keep communications moving forward.

    I am an unemployed healthcare data analyst with skills that I believe are out-of-date. “Reporting” needs are now built into software pkgs so that mgmt can plug in their own criteria and get all kinds of data, scorecards, etc.

    Since I haven’t been able to locate a new job for the last six months, I realize now that I need to upgrade my skills. I’m still passionate about healthcare. Continuing education/training needs to be quick. I’ve considered project mgmt (Raleigh has a ton of project managers), Six Sigma (not sure healthcare is ready for that) and getting computer/technology skills to help implement social networking systems between providers and patients. I don’t think the ARRA/HItech legislation has enough in place to empower the consumer of healthcare. What do you think? 

  2. I gave up keeping track of my blog comments on  Trying to push them out to FB/twitter instead by blocking it despite liking discussions. Too much hassle with the verification and filling out forms to make a comment normally why I think many avoid it. 

    1. You are correct, it’s not about controlling where the comments happen. I’m happy when they occur anywhere. Now it I can get my FB LIKE button working again.

  3. hint: if I miss replying to this it’s probably best giving me a nudge on twitter

  4. With me it usually depends on how much free time I have and how strongly I feel about a subject. If it is something I deeply care for, I will find the time to comment and follow the discussion. Other than that,the things I pay attention to are usually very colorful and have pictures. Everyone has time for pictures!

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