Faithful Blogging Prompt #107: Does social media play a big part in your blog? If so why and if not, why not? If you do end up using the topic to write about, come back and leave a link in the comments section, so that we can come read it.
For the purpose of this prompt I am classing comments on blogs as social media. I recommend WordPress’ guidelines on commenting – these are for the Community Pool threads, but many are generally applicable.
WordPress keeps recommending that bloggers socialize their blogs for instance by making five comments a day on other blogs.
Commenting on other blogs does introduce new readers to my blogs (Sue’s considered trifles and Sue’s Trifles). However I do not always wish to comment on posts I read, perhaps because someone else has made the comment which sprang to my mind. Commenting is not something which I find easy; I have found that it is necessary to develop special skills to communicate with people in short comments.
Usually comment threads do not go beyond the third or perhaps fourth statement. In other words a reader comments, the blogger replies, the commenter possibly adds more and occasionally the blogger replies again. An emoticon may be all that is needed.
It is important that these interactions are friendly and helpful. People may misunderstand one another or feel criticized or talked down to. There are few visual clues to a person’s age, status or background in the printed word. At least twice I have assumed a blogger to be a man, only to find out later that I had guessed wrong! (I did not reveal my error to those concerned.) Not everyone wishes to use their photograph as a gravatar. Mine is an owl, but I do give a clue in my blogs’ names to what we now have to call gender!
Many commenters tease, so social intelligence is needed to keep everyone happy. WordPress provides a spam filter for comments. Mostly this is very good, but occasionally a real comment may be filed in the spam folder or a spam comment left for approval. (Note to self: it is not necessary to check for these more than once a day!)
Blogging events such as Blogging from A to Z for April encourage bloggers to visit other blogs and leave comments. I enjoyed taking part in that this year and hope to join in again next time. Following on from the challenge there is a Road Trip where bloggers are encouraged to continue visiting the blogs of other survivors of the challenge. I have followed the blog where all the news about this is posted and have had a guest post published there. I did not find it easy to comment on blogs on platforms other than WordPress, so that was the topic for my post.
As well as the blog there is a facebook page for the A to Z challenge community and I often find posts to read from there. Sometimes it is easier to leave a comment on facebook than on the post. Arlee Bird, the founder of the A to Z challenge has a number of blogs including this one which readers may find interesting.
I have set up a facebook page for my blogs, but I have not set up publicise as I do not wish to annoy anyone with frequent updates. I cut and paste the link if I have a post I wish to bring to the attention of the people who have liked my facebook page (all ? of them!). Occasionally I share a post with my friends on facebook.
On two occasions a recent post of mine has been relevant to a status posted on a facebook page I have liked. In this case I have shared the link and gained a few extra views from people who would not have otherwise seen my posts. I have done this once for each of my blogs.
I have not joined twitter or any other social networking sites. I am sadly lacking in knowledge of Linked in, pinterest. delicious, Tumlbr and the rest.
In conclusion I am still rather a beginner at using social media. I wish to encourage the friends I am making through blogging and hope not to upset anyone through hasty comments.