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
- 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?
Reference: Lurker from Wikipedia