How much value does the comments section of a Blog add to your Social Media experience?
Before even getting into the main thrust of this Blog post, let me - personally - state that I am well aware that this debate probably lived (and died) back in 2003. The truth is that (like you) I have my own opinions about how Social Media plays out in a corporate role. At a macro level, I don't think the model is something that anyone can template. I do believe that every corporation must have a unique Social Media strategy (one that is directly tied to business objectives and overall economic value to the company). I also believe that although the tools and platforms are agnostic regardless of whether you are a small, medium or large corporation, that the size of the organization does play a factor into what you can do (and how fast you can move).
Moving fast. Moving slow.
Here's my personal and corporate journey for this Twist Image company Blog (yes, in case you weren't aware, Six Pixels of Separation isn't just my personal playground, but the voice of our Digital Marketing agency) in three acts:
- Act I - We started this Blog (originally called Multimarketing - Twist Image) in late 2003. The original impetus was to share our very personal stories. What we were reading, what were thinking, how we think differently, and why we think Digital Marketing is a critical piece of the marketing mix. The comment section was closed. We're in bootstrap mode trying to close business, and I knew I would let down the audience/community, but balanced that reality with the fact that the Blog would (mostly) be a "what's going on in our world" instead of a real conversation worthy of comments. Think: instant publishing versus community and conversation.
- Act II - A couple of years later, we changed the name to Six Pixels of Separation - The Twist Image Blog and opened up comments. The mindset at this point was: the Blog posts will be rich and have one thought (with - hopefully - a beginning, middle and end). The comment section becomes more of an, "ok, I've said my peace, what do you think?" type of area. In retrospect, it worked really well, and the comments always added perspective and balance (even without the back and forth).
- Act III - Welcome to it... right now. In case you haven't been following along lately, I have become extremely active/vocal in the comments section. This is not an experiment or an anomaly. In a day and age when most people are abandoning their Blogs for Twitter feeds and Facebook updates, I've realized that this Blog really is an expression of my personal art, my thinking, my muse (yes, I love writing and thinking about Digital Marketing) and how Twist Image works. With all of that said, I do have thin skin, so I'm not looking for a fight, but rather a healthy conversation with some back and forth. So far, I am loving it. Instead of dragging me down into the minutia of a concept, I find that the comments and conversations are fostering new ways of thinking and they are inspiring more Blog post ideas ... and inspiring me to Blog even more.
There are no hard and fast rules.
As fast as Social Media is moving and evolving, the millions of Blog are - for the most part - a culmination of many individual opinions (and this Blog is no different). Some will argue that you should always have comments. Some will argue that you should respond to every comment. Some will be thankful just to have fresh content published on a frequent basis. Some will look at every post as if they're about to beat it up and mug it. Personally, I'm just looking for all of your thoughts so that they lead to a substantial conversation so that it leads to all of us being more inspired and smarter.
I hope you will play, learn and love along with me (and yes, it took me nearly seven years to figure this all out).
How much value does the comments section of a Blog add to your Social Media experience? What do you think?