It Is What Every Blogger Wants

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The best posts make you feel like you shared an intimate moment with the writer/reader.

Not long ago in a galaxy that wasn’t far, far away a blogger told me the reason why my blog isn’t more popular is because I don’t provide what every reader wants.

So I did what every successful blogger wants to do.

I defenestrated them.

Sadly it wasn’t captured on video so I couldn’t share the moment via Instagram, Facebook or even a Vine.

Hell if I didn’t share the moment here with you it would almost be like it didn’t happen and that would be a shame.

Can you imagine a life where you fail to record every moment or a blogger who didn’t have the good sense to carry a camera around so they could record all that happens for posterity.

My Confession

I made part of that story up.

Some of you are shocked by that, imagine the kind of nerve it takes to fabricate a story you share on social media. Not everyone has that kind of chutzpah.

Doesn’t it make me ever so special.

It Is What Every Blogger Wants

Any time someone tells me they know what every blogger wants I roll my eyes because those types of blanket statements are frequently based upon opinion and not fact.

Maybe that is because most bloggers aren’t held to the same standards we hold professional journalists or academia too.

If you don’t cite your sources or fake your research there is little chance you’ll be penalized for it. So people take the easy way out and just throw out opinions on this and that because they can.

Blogging and social media bring out strong opinions in people, myself included.

After 11 years in the game I have my ideas about how it goes and what I want to see.

Still I try to remember that Blogs and Bloggers Evolve.

Nothing is stagnant.

Some of us complain because we miss what once was and fail to recognize that what we have is just as good or better.

And some of us complain because we don’t like how a set of tools and resources are being used.

You should see some of the responses I got from other “old timers” about Triberr And The Challenge Of The Twitter Thank You.

More than a few people claim that  one tool killed Twitter.

The funny thing is some of them are the same people that accuse Twitter and Facebook of killing commenting on blogs.

What Every Blogger REALLY Wants

If you asked me to break my own rule and say what every blogger really wants I would say we all want to increase the number of comments we receive.

Ok, maybe not all of us want more comments but I would be willing to say most of us do.

Most of us want someone to acknowledge our words and to engage with us in our comment section.

That is why I decided to try something called Postmatic.

postmatic

I am not as good as I once was about commenting but have found that when I come across blogs that use Postmatic I am more inclined to do so because it is ridiculously easy.

Comment and reply via email?

Count me in.

Ask me if I miss old fashioned blogging and I’ll tell you the thing I miss most is the engagement and that is why I am a beta tester for Postmatic.

I want to see if it works the way I think it will.

I am interested in your thoughts too. Let’s talk about it.

71 Comments

  1. Ruby Manchanda April 26, 2015 at 6:18 am

    Thank you for giving an insight into Postmatic … I am so interested in trying this out and see how it works out on my little blogging venture

  2. Amber April 25, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    I completely agree with you. As a blogger the one thing we want are comments and to know that some one read and enjoyed that blog that took us an hour to write.

    • Jack April 25, 2015 at 3:19 pm

      Those comments, even the short ones can go a long way to making a blogger feel like they made a difference.

      [image: –]

      Jack B.
      [image: http://]about.me/thejackb

      “When you’re in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, ‘Damn, that was fun’.” —

  3. Renee McKinley April 23, 2015 at 6:48 am

    I’m really interested to see how this works. I’ve been very bad at commenting lately. Sometimes, I can’t think of anything brilliant to write. Usually, I’m arguing with Disqus, or WordPress. Then there’s always the “type these characters”.

  4. Birdman April 23, 2015 at 6:04 am

    Hi Jack. I’m really interested in this route. Anything to get conversations going is good with me. I guess I can check the blog to see if this shows up in the comment section, right?

    • Jack April 23, 2015 at 6:10 am

      Hi Birdman,

      You should be able to find your comment and this reply in the comment section.

      I read and responded to it from the email client on my phone. Makes it really easy to comment and reply.

    • Jason April 23, 2015 at 6:40 am

      Postmatic doesn’t actually change your web-facing comment section – It works with whatever your comment template happens to be. Think of us more as just a magic gateway between email and your current commenting setup (including playing nicely with other comment plugins, akismet, social login, etc).

      Jason (from Postmatic)

  5. Collin_K April 22, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    53 comments so far! And people say commenting on blogs is dead. The Postmatic plugin is a game-changer, and has proven that is wrong! Good for you, Jack, for leading the way!

  6. Julie Barrett April 22, 2015 at 9:49 am

    I think the whole commenting on Facebook rather than the blog issue comes down to two things: (1) they may have first seen the post there, so even though they hit the blog, human nature sends them back to the connection point to comment and (2) there is the psychology of believing that the blogger is more Present (live, in real time) on Facebook, as if we don’t all see our comments coming in via email anyway.

    Good luck with this, looks promising 🙂

  7. Lori April 22, 2015 at 7:29 am

    This is interesting Jack! I¹m curious to see how it works out and how it looks on your site so I¹m on my way over!
    🙂 Lori

    Terra Cotta Pendants Diffusers you wear!
    Find us on Facebook ,

    • Jason April 22, 2015 at 7:34 am

      Hey Lori,

      That comment is going to start a conversation about how Postmatic deals with signatures and vacation notices. I say that because part of your signature was not stripped from your incoming email. We have some serious wizardry in place to strip out signatures but yours made it through because there is nothing that says where your email body ends and signature begins.

      If you want to avoid this problem on Postmatic and other email processing providers consider placing a few dashes at the top of your signature file. Like this:

      Signature goes here

    • Jack April 22, 2015 at 8:08 am

      Hi Lori,

      I think you’ll be pleased with what you see.

  8. The Imp April 22, 2015 at 6:10 am

    Yeah, I got your email yesterday. And I suppose I should just email back agree, but forgot, and babies needed to be changed, and blah blah blah.

    Newfangled things.

  9. cathyjonest April 22, 2015 at 5:54 am

    Postmatic. What an interesting concept. I subscribe to quite a few blogs because frankly, it’s easier to keep up with my inbox. I’ve always wished there was a reply button in the email, to simplify commenting. And I love testing new ideas, so I’ll bite on this one and give it a go. (And every blogger, including me, has opinions, and they are all probably worth about 2cents each!) 🙂

    • Jack April 22, 2015 at 6:10 am

      Hi Cathy,

      The ability to reply from my inbox makes a huge difference for me.

      Given the choice I always prefer to go directly to the blog to read and reply but busy schedules make it challenging.

      The inbox has simplified things so that time isn’t the same issue as before.

      I’m like you, happy to test new ideas so when this came along I jumped at it.

  10. kat April 22, 2015 at 5:06 am

    I think that this Postmatic idea is intriguing. We’re all so busy and don’t always have time to jump around to our favourite blog sites to read and comment so this definitely makes it easier to engage. The only downside I see is that, while we will see the comments that come after ours, we don’t see the ones that came before. I could well be repeating what someone else has already said (sorry if that’s the case!). Overall though, I think it’s a great idea 🙂

    • Danny Brown April 22, 2015 at 5:12 am

      Hi Kat,

      Postmatic actually offers you a summary of previous comments when you get a notification of a reply, etc. So it should still give you a good idea of the existing conversation. 🙂

      • kat April 22, 2015 at 5:44 am

        Thanks Danny! It’s going to be fun to check this out 🙂

        • Danny Brown April 22, 2015 at 6:10 am

          No problem! One of the features I like about this new version is the ability to “throttle” conversations that are becoming popular. On earlier versions, vibrant discussions could see your email Inbox get full pretty fast – great for the conversation on the blog, maybe not so much for the person getting the emails. 😉

          With the new “throttle” feature, if the post gets 6 comments in an hour, you’ll be sent a notification that the emails are being paused, since there could be a lot of notifications coming your way. You then get the option to continue getting comment replies anyway, or resubscribe to the conversation at a later point (and you’ll get a summary of what’s gone before).

          It’s pretty cool, and another way Postmatic is looking out for both blogger and commenter. 🙂

          • Jens-Petter Berget April 22, 2015 at 10:50 am

            That’s sounds great. Danny, is this «throttle» feature something that’s automated from Postmatic?

            • Danny Brown April 22, 2015 at 10:58 am

              Hi Jens,

              Yep – they’ll monitor comment activity levels, and if one looks like going a little “crazy”, they’ll put a pause on the email notifications, and send an update out to everyone who’s currently subscribed to that conversation, advising of the pause.

              You can then choose to rejoin the convo and continue to get updates, or leave paused, with the option to resubscribe later. I actually got such an alert for this post, and it was pretty cool to see (and a great endorsement on the conversational tone of Jack’s blog and commenters).

            • Jens-Petter Berget April 22, 2015 at 11:01 am

              That’s exactly what I got for this post, and first I thought that it had to be done manually. It was such a personal message.

              This is awesome. This feature got me even more excited to be using Postmatic.

              Thank you.

      • Jason April 22, 2015 at 6:58 am

        Hey Kat,

        Here’s a secret: when you get a new post in your inbox reply to it with the word subscribe. Postmatic will shoot you right back a full summary of the conversation and you can jump in from there.

        PS – I make Postmatic 🙂

    • Jack April 22, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      The first day looked like it was quite successful. Now I am curious to see what happens afterwards.

      [image: –]

      Jack B.
      [image: http://]about.me/thejackb

      “When you’re in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, ‘Damn, that was fun’.” —

  11. Linda Roy April 22, 2015 at 5:00 am

    I second what Mommy.grrl said. Why do people leave the blog and go back to Facebook to comment? Facebook seems to be the water cooler. I’m into trying Postmatic. Getting a dialogue going on a subject is way more fun than crickets.

    • Jack April 22, 2015 at 8:24 am

      Hi Linda,

      I agree with both of you. I don’t understand commenting on FB. I like having the conversation around the post so that if we revisit it later on everyone can see what was discussed. It provides context and some stability.

    • Jason April 22, 2015 at 8:34 am

      Cool! Goodness, you have some interesting readers here, Jack. Linda – you can get started on gopostmatic.com. The free version is… well..
      free. The premium version is even better and available for a 2 week trial. Let me know if you need any help with installation, migration, or otherwise.

      Best, Jason

  12. Danny Brown April 22, 2015 at 4:28 am

    Hi there Jack,

    I’m with you – blogging is evolving, and we need to evolve with it. Social conversations compete for on-site conversations, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing (I’d be more concerned if a post didn’t generate any conversation whatsoever).

    I’ve been using Postmatic since February, and while it takes a wee bit of getting used to to switch mindsets (we’ve been programmed so long to jump over to a post to comment), email replies and conversations have become so second-nature now, I actually groan a little when I have to jump over to blogs that don’t use this system. 🙂

    I’ve been so impressed with the platform, I’m actually working with them to help get the word out – so great to see a blogger I admire using them, that makes me smile.

    • Jack April 22, 2015 at 8:14 am

      Hi Danny,

      I’m grateful to you for tipping me off to Postmatic. I figured I’d start by testing it out on one blog and seeing how it goes.

      I expect I’ll probably move roll it out on the other too.

      Engagement is soaring today. Of course I want to see if this lasts or if it’s a temporary bump.

      • Jason April 22, 2015 at 8:19 am

        Thanks, Jack. This post and one just like it when Danny first started running us both took off (http://dannybrown.me/2015/02/10/why-i-dont-want-you-to-come-back-to-my-blog-post-after-you-comment/) I think for two reasons: 1. Postmatic, of course. The convenience of replying by email makes commenting easy…
        2. But even more so, it shows that people talk when there is something exciting to talk about. No matter how easy we make commenting I think it is ultimately content that matters. While we see increases in engagement across the board on our installs, it’s the ones that have something worth discussing that really take off. That’s why we’re happy to be on sites like JackB and Dannybrown….

      • Danny Brown April 22, 2015 at 8:34 am

        I hear you – the first post I did with Postmatic went crazy (I think there were about 200+ comments after all was said and done). It helped that Jason was on hand to answer questions as they came in, too. Of course,

        I’ve found Postmatic to be pretty consistent at keeping engagement levels up since installing. Here’s a chart comparing the three months pre-Postmatic, and the three months (well, two and a half) since installing (it reads right to left, a weird quirk of the stats plugin I use):

        http://dannybrown.me/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/DB-comment-stats.png

        As you can see, I’ve more than doubled engagement to around 350-400 comments per month. Even this month, where I have a week left which will include another two posts, is at the same level as the highest engagement level for the previous quarter.

        It’s early days, for sure – but the ease in which someone can leave a comment no matter if they’re at desktop or on the go on the phone, seems to be making commenting fun again. 🙂

        • Jack April 22, 2015 at 9:51 am

          Here is a question that someone raised. When bloggers leave a comment on another blog many hope this will inspire others to come visit their blogs.

          If we comment via email we are not including links to our blogs. How does someone find their way from comment to blog?

          • Danny Brown April 22, 2015 at 9:57 am

            Good question, and one that Jason would be in a better place to answer (from a tech viewpoint). I know when I’d asked a similar question (or it was raised by a commenter on my intro post), it was suggested that regular commenters would receive an “award” (by the blogger’s discretion), enabling their chosen URL to be linked to their name/avatar.

            But like I say, that’s too techy for me to know if that’s feasible or not.
            🙂

            • Jason April 22, 2015 at 10:37 am

              We should be supporting commenter URLs, you are right. There really isn’t reason that we dont. I’ll make a note to squeeze it into the next release, which should be early next week.

              I don’t think we will do so using any sort of award system. Will probably just make it open to everyone out of the box.

              And while we are at it we will include support for custom commentor meta, so people could include their Twitter handle or whatever as well.
              It will be at the descretion of the site administrator but I’ll do some research as to what the popular plug-ins are pulling that off and make sure we support them.

              I don’t mean to hijack this conversation. Keep an eye on our blog for announcements in this next week: gopostmatic.com/blog.

            • Danny Brown April 22, 2015 at 10:43 am

              Sounds awesome, mate, and another reason I think a lot of bloggers are going to be seeing Postmatic’s value in the coming weeks and months. 🙂

            • Jack April 22, 2015 at 11:13 am

              Sounds good to me too. That will be a nice addition.

            • cathyjonest April 22, 2015 at 11:24 am

              I can’t speak for other commenter/bloggers but when I comment it’s because I’ve enjoyed or been moved by the post, and never have worried about return visits to my blog. Of course, I blog for personal (for my family) and not professional reasons, so I can understand how important this might be to lots of folks. I’m just enjoying being able to comment on my iPhone today through email. Have had no trouble reading and commenting on multiple replies in one email.

            • Jack April 22, 2015 at 11:27 am

              This is the first time in a long while that I have felt like a real dialogue is taking place on a post. I love that.

            • Jens-Petter Berget April 22, 2015 at 11:43 am

              You’re right, it is what every blogger wants

              This is so much easier than every other commenting system I have tried. And, there is a dialogue taking place.

            • Danny Brown April 22, 2015 at 12:44 pm

              That’s a great point, Cathy, and one of the reasons I love Postmatic. Yes, blog traffic is nice, but that’s not really my goal. Like you, and Jack, and others commenting here, it’s the dialogue after the post that really makes a blog post sing. And Postmatic seems to deliver that in spades. 🙂

            • cathyjonest April 22, 2015 at 1:39 pm

              You said that perfectly Danny! Even though I blogged to give my grandchildren something of myself for when they grow up, I have read blogs by so many wonderfully creative, talented people. The dialogue, as you said, makes the post sing, and I’ve learned so much because of that.

            • Jason April 22, 2015 at 1:48 pm

              Hey Cathy,

              That’s an interesting reason to blog, and one which I greatly respect.
              But how do you plan on making that blog available to them? Have you considered that? Have you researched archiving services or strategies?
              What is data and information going to even be like by then? Will they need to hire some obscure service in the middle of North Dakota that specializes in converting antiquated sql into the current quantum-based storage standard? Serious questions. What’ve you looked into?

            • cathyjonest April 22, 2015 at 3:45 pm

              Hi Jason!
              You just blew me out of the water with those questions. My daughter has been using the antiquated method of printing out favorite posts but I realize that isn’t going to be practical. I have to confess that I have been too busy taking the photos and writing the poetry and memories to consider this very important issue. I come from a generation who has experienced the most rapid changes in technology in history. I have seen everything from a wind up Brownie movie camera my dad used for home movies, to the Super 8mm movies we took of our kids, to the Bloggie video camera I have used to take videos of my grandkids, to Instagram and Vine. (I’m looking at GoPro as I write this!)

              So I guess it is time to come up to snuff on archiving my blog. Any suggestions?

            • Danny Brown April 22, 2015 at 4:00 pm

              Hi Cathy,

              Something you might be interested in is Anthologize (if you’re on a self-hosted WordPress blog):

              https://wordpress.org/plugins/anthologize/

              This lets you take whole blogs, or categories, and turn them into a book (PDF, ebook, ePub, etc). You could then upload to Amazon, and use their CreateSpace tool to offer a print version. Regardless of tech advances, you can never get rid of a good printed book. 😉

            • cathyjonest April 23, 2015 at 6:58 am

              Hi Danny! Unfortunately I use Blogger. Not that I don’t like it. Just that this sounds like a good idea I would love to try! Thanks for the suggestion though.:)

            • Danny Brown April 23, 2015 at 7:05 am

              Hi Cathy, no worries – I also found this, which seems to work by URL of the blog, regardless of platform (for the most part):

              http://www.bloxp.com/

              It takes up to 250 posts at a time, and you have option of ePub or Mobi file – perfect for digital uploads to Amazon. Then the print option comes in again. 🙂

            • cathyjonest April 23, 2015 at 7:59 am

              Hi Danny! I checked that link and bookmarked it for later. Looks promising! Thanks!

            • Jason April 22, 2015 at 4:01 pm

              i haven’t researched it yet but the thought has crossed my mind more than once. I think about all of my digital photos but also my digital journals, blog, etc. I don’t think that stuff is at a higher risk of being lost than a traditional family photo album (fire, flood, etc) but instead it seems like the opportunities for preservation are greater now that all that stuff takes up less pace and is easier duplicated. If we take the right steps it shouldn’t be a problem.

              What those steps are i’m not sure yet. There are certainly stable digital storage mediums available. You could fit a bucket ton of data on a usb stick in a safe deposit box. But I wonder if that device would be readable in the future. That’s what puzzles me. Which format to use? I’m going to do some research.

            • cathyjonest April 22, 2015 at 5:04 pm

              I also have thousands of photos Jason, and like the blog, need a place to store them. I tried an external hard drive years ago, and horror of horrors, it crashed. It cost me $500 to recover it, and I was glad it was recoverable. The tech told me when he called to tell me what it would cost: “do you realize you have over 32,000 files, mostly photos on this drive?” (Well, uh, YES, that is why I put them there!) The best solution the guy could offer when I picked up the new external hard drive was to back it up on another external HD. Which means that now I have a back up drive for my back up drive (both a TB). I can’t think of anything else to use at this point and since I have been using a computer since 1993, this is a substantial amount of information! Let me know if you discover a better answer.

            • Jason April 22, 2015 at 7:34 pm

              It’s interesting. I just did a bunch of research on this and it seems that the best solution is still to use high-quality optical media (dvd/cd/blu-ray) and make fresh backups every 3 years. All articles I read cautioned against hard drives as well as memory-based drives for various reasons. It just doesn’t seem like there is a good solution out there, nor will there be for a few years yet. There isn’t really anything more stable on the horizon. It’s a big nut to crack.

              My strategy is going to continue to be this (which is my current setup):
              – Local backups to a Drobo (http://www.drobo.com/storage-products/drobo/) via Time Machine
              – Cloud backups to Dropbox (documents and misc), icloud (photos)
              – Dropbox also lives on all 3 of my computers so there are local copies of all that data on all 3 (making for a total of 7 hard drives w/ the drobo involved)
              – Additional manual cloud backups to Amazon aws (documents, photos, misc) when I think of it

              It’s a mess but the strategy is that my stuff lives all over the place.
              It’s spread between different physical computers that live in different locations (home vs work) as well as among the servers of 3 major corporations (the chances of all three going away at the same time seems small).

              I’d love to do this in a simpler and more secure way. There are a few players that are taking the strategy of spreading the data around to very interesting places. Check this out: http://storj.io/%5B1%5D Storj takes your data, breaks it into chunks, encrypts them, and places them on the computers of other users all over the world. Your stuff lives all over the place. In turn, you share some of your drive space with other people as well. I love love love the idea of it and can’t wait until someone nails the implementation.

              That, of course, does nothing for your grand kids. In fact, it probably makes them getting to read your blog posts in the future downright impossible. We’ve come back to the beginning. But that is all I have!

              And one last thought: if you haven’t ever looked into DNA storage you really should. It’s totally fascinating. It’s self-replicating, right?
              And binary? Yes. You can fit 700 terabytes into one gram. Practical applications are a long way out but whoaaaa amazing: http://j.mp/1GkfxiP

              Back to work!
              Jason

            • cathyjonest April 23, 2015 at 8:13 am

              Hi Jason! Thanks for the info! I plan to check those links when I have some down time this weekend. You sound a lot like me. I currently have DVDs, CDs, flash drives, and external hard drives with stuff all over the place!

              Storj sounds fascinating. For some reason, it reminds me of Direct Connect++. That was the first chat program I ever used, and part of the fascination was that we “allowed” other users to download files from folders we designated as share folders. Boy was that fun! I learned a LOT about software and installation, etc. from those guys. Of course, it was illegal as all getout too, and eventually shut down. I am amazed on a daily basis at the variety of software available now, and the speed it has developed.

              Thanks again for all this good info from you, and Danny too! You guys are awesome!

  13. Brian Sorrell April 22, 2015 at 12:52 am

    You had me at “defenestrated,” which is among my favourite words. And now with easier commenting! You ain’t chuckin’ me out no windows amigo.

  14. Jens-Petter Berget April 21, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    I absolutely agree. I have just installed Postmatic myself, and waiting for the first comment.

    I believe that this is what we’ve been waiting for. In the end, it’ll help us increase engagement and it will help us become better writers.

    • Jack April 22, 2015 at 8:10 am

      Hi Jens,

      I’m not surprised to hear you’re trying it out too. I think we are going to be happy with what we see happen with our engagement.

  15. mommy_grrl April 21, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    I’m REALLY interested in this as I find I get many of my comments on Facebook. (What? You go read the post and then COME BACK TO FACEBOOK TO COMMENT?) Sorry, didn’t mean to yell but, c’mon. SO….if I can make it ANY easier (short of writing their comment myself) I’m all over it.

    Now, can you also find me a product to make more Facebook peeps SUBSCRIBE?

    • Jack April 21, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      One of the reasons I have avoided putting more effort into Facebook is because I have tried to push those discussions to the blog.

      That might have been a mistake, but I like to think it has helped to preserve some of the community here.

    • Jason April 22, 2015 at 7:06 am

      Hey Jenn,

      Your site would be a good candidate for Postmatic. Let me know if you want to jump in. I’d be happy to help you with the transition from Jetpack.

      Jason (from Postmatic)

    • Lori Gosselin April 22, 2015 at 8:07 am

      There is a call to action button on Facebook you can use to get people to subscribe to your blog.
      Lori

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