Monday, January 13, 2014

Thought of the week: social media and blogging.

The nature of blogging has changed. When I started following blogs, oh five or six years ago, social media integration didn't really exist. Facebook was for teenagers, Twitter hadn't taken off and Google+ was a twinkle in a project managers eye. The blogosphere was big news and a worried mainsteam media ran defensive stories.

Then lights started blinking out all over the blogosphere as writers lost interest or turned to social media to promote their causes. Integration followed and many bloggers opted for facebook or google+ comment systems.

I don't see this as a positive change. Yes, posting to a social media community group is a great way to increase traffic. But the interaction takes place over a visually focused platform as any writer who has ever received a TLWR (too long, wont read) comment can attest.

I was frustrated that I couldn't channel reader feedback away from the facebooks and the twitters towards the blog.  But this afternoon I spent some time looking into various comment systems. The best I found was Comment Evolved for Wordpress which displays all the comments from facebook etc in tabs alongside wordpresses own native comment system. Unfortunately it didnt' support Blogger. Finally, in desperation, I turned on the google+ integration which displays all google+ comments at the cost of forcing readers to have a google account to comment.

It turned this blog into friggen YouTube.

Yes, I got twenty or thirty comments on some posts, but the content was mostly silly one-liners. I disabled the 'feature' after five minutes.

So I no longer feel frustrated over missing out on social media comments. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to leave a comment and reader feedback is the most rewarding part of blogging. But social media is best left for posting picture of cats.
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