Reciprocity In Blogging Part II

One of the most effective ways to drive traffic and increase comments on your blog is to blog about blogging. I sometimes think that there is no other topic that bloggers love to write about than blogging.

It doesn’t matter if you call yourself a dad blogger, tech blogger or business blogger, write about blogging and the comments will come.

One of my favorite examples of this is a post called Reciprocity in Blogging. Every day without fail my stats show that tons of people are reading it. Today I am going to write about it again but with a slightly different twist. Today we’ll talk about other social media platforms.

But before we do that let me reset the table with an excerpt from the first post:

Many bloggers are fans of reciprocity in blogging but I am not one of those. Commenting on my blog isn’t a guarantee that I will read or comment on yours. The converse of that is true as well. I don’t expect that every blog I comment upon will lead to a comment on mine.

I haven’t changed my position regarding blogs and blogging. However when I look at Twitter I take a very different approach. On Twitter I expect more interaction and engagement. On Twitter I expect people to respond to Tweets that I direct to them just as I expect to respond to those that are directed to me.

The nature of the platform and the way that it works is different than on a blog. I don’t call myself a social media expert or a guru but after all these years I know a few things about it.

Social media is about being social. It is about engagement and interaction. It is about discussions, dialogue and thinking. It is about people. Twitter works better when you use it for dialogue than strictly for broadcasting messages.

If all you do is post links you end up creating a lot of noise that people begin to ignore. On a blog you can wax rhapsodic about various topics and you have a greater chance of creating engagement than on Twitter.

I attribute that to the difference in character limitations. When you only have 140 characters to work with there are some messages that don’t translate well. A blog isn’t limited like that. There are other challenges but that is not one of them.

Twitter is formatted to be similar to a giant conversation. That is why it doesn’t work as well for the link broadcasters. They don’t engage and consequently people begin to ignore them. They remind me a bit of the people on the bus/subway who sit there talking to themselves.

They may be normal. They could be wonderful but the impression they give scares others away.

If you want to make Twitter work for you start talking with and not to others and good things will happen.

What do you think?

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  1. seattledad December 15, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Rarely do I have the time to hold a sustained conversation on Twitter, but I do like to post something funny I had on my mind, or mainly to check out my categories for relevant topics of interest and breaking news.

  2. jackalopekid December 12, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    This is actually something I’ve been thinking about lately. Sometimes I can focus so much on goals that I forget about the process. I can’t forget about the relationships along the way that I need to form. Thanks for affirming the thoughts as of late.

  3. the muskrat December 12, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Twitter is where I dump thoughts I have that I think might be amusing, but aren’t worthy of a post.

    Or, maybe I’m out at a bar without my laptop and want the world to know what I’m thinking.

    • Jack December 12, 2011 at 11:22 pm

      That is a reasonable way of describing it. I sometimes have to turn my phone off when I am out or I find myself on it way too much.

      Does that happen to you too?

  4. elena December 11, 2011 at 5:56 am

    so very true! I am not always a good tweeter because of working during the day and not being able to start a convo and then continue it. but I do try. lately I have also taken to commenting on posts via twitter instead of on the blog post because I can’t always comment when reading from a mobile device.

    • Jack December 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm

      Mobility and ease of use for mobile devices.

      I think about this with increasing frequency because my phone is often the tool I use to read many blogs and like you said it is sometimes challenging to comment that way.

  5. Astro Gremlin December 10, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    Interesting post, Jack. I haven’t quite gotten the hang of interaction on Twitter. Doesn’t seem to be enough space to do much more than tell a punchline. Facebook is easier. Still, I certainly wouldn’t ignore comments on my own site in preference of social networks. Blogs are where most bloggers want to encourage interaction, no? I’ve learned a lot from blogs, and asking questions. The reciprocity comes naturally in discussion. Not so much from Tweets. But I’m probably doing it wrong.

    • Jack December 11, 2011 at 1:20 pm

      Hi AG,

      Think of Twitter as being a conversation and just talk with others and it should become easier.

      The character limitation sometimes slows things down but with some practice you can have some pretty good conversations.

  6. Mitch Mitchell December 10, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Good stuff here Jack. I believe in engagement in places like Twitter as well, but I also think that includes sharing links from others we follow that we like. I do tend to have conversations with local people and with people whose links I share and those who share my links. I read Bill’s first comment which shows a false impression of what Twitter is about, yet he’s not alone because I hear and read that type of thing all the time. Sure, there are some people that do that, but most of those people have met someone who’s interested in knowing it. That says something about the power of true engagement, when you actually get to talk to people who really do care that you just got a fancy type of coffee from Starbucks.

    Not that I know anything about coffee, not being a purveyor of the drink. 🙂

    • Jack December 11, 2011 at 10:06 am

      Hi Mitch,

      I think that sharing links is important. It is something that I very much enjoy doing on both sides of the fence.
      The conversations about those links are important to me because they lead to the relationships where you and others care about what you had to drink that day.

      P.S. Love coffee, a good cup really is a pleasure.

  7. Barbara December 10, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Gee, you got me thinking! How do I use Twitter or why do I comment? I love to comment showing my appreciation or disapprocal (not so likely considering my upbringing), commenting is far more intimate and by sharing I probably expect some interaction. I use Twitter for several purposes: spreading information on several levels, personal interaction, acknowledging and complimenting, and it is fun trying to fit in as much as possible in 140 characters.
    Great post, thanks for sharing, Jack.

    • Jack December 10, 2011 at 8:05 pm


      That sounds like a reasonable use of Twitter. Much of it comes down to what your goals/intention are.

      Some people don’t care about interacting so it doesn’t make a difference to them how they use it.

      I think that is a mistake but…

  8. Mimi Meredith December 10, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Dang it, I have to share something with you Jack…but you don’t have to write back!

    I just thought you’d find this amusing. I was visiting with a younger salesman at the dealership one day and I said, “True, there’s no reciprocity.” And he said, “Mimi, you use way to big of words and I have no idea what you just said.” I said. “Oh! Well…like…tit for tat.” And he said, “Now I get it!”

    I’m so glad to be back!

    • Jack December 10, 2011 at 8:03 pm


      That is funny, although I have to concede that I am snobby enough to wonder why he doesn’t recognize reciprocity. Is it not used frequently enough to be recognizable. Maybe I am fooling myself.

  9. Claudia December 10, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Valuable post Jack. I agree. I was looking at some dentists on Twitter who have automated posts and never ever engage and I want to shake them and say, “don’t you get it?” It’s all about engagement. I believe that is true with blogging as well but, there it becomes more about logistics. I can quickly respond to 140 characters but commenting on a blog requires thoughtful responses and a lot of time…so…it’s just not possible to have the time to read all of the blogs that you like or have been recommended to you and THEN comment on each and every one of them…way too time consuming and so, you are right…bloggers should be mindful of that and not stress over comments quite as much….comments are not a popularity contest.
    Thanks for sharing this.

    • Mimi Meredith December 10, 2011 at 8:23 am

      Ah Claudia…I so wish I lived round the corner from you! And if I did, my family’s teeth would definitely be in your hands!

      The nice thing about you, Bill, and Jack is that when you pop up on my blog, I feel like it’s because you want to be there. Like you’ve come over for a glass of wine. With Twitter, I feel like it’s a passing comment in the hallway. Sometimes it leads to a conversation, but generally, it’s just friendly banter on the run.

      And note, I’m not commenting to Jack, I’m commenting to Claudia, so Jack doesn’t feel like I’m seeking reciprocal blog love.

      • Bill Dorman December 10, 2011 at 2:21 pm

        And I’m replying to you so Jack doesn’t feel like he has to reciprocate to this or my blog.

        I do feel the blogs are where the jewels are and don’t get that w/ just a tweet.

        Yes, a glass of wine indeed.

    • Jack December 10, 2011 at 8:02 pm

      I have a few of those dentists following me on Twitter along with some other people who never engage with anyone or at least not that I have seen.

      I always wonder if they understand that it is the equivalent of standing in the corner muttering to yourself. It doesn’t matter how many people are around, if you don’t make yourself accessibile….

  10. Bill Dorman December 10, 2011 at 6:01 am

    I concur, but for the most part I really don’t have anything to say on twitter; people really don’t care if I went to Starbucks. Now, if I specifically copy you in the tweet I do expect some feedback. For the most part that works, some go by the wayside.

    I don’t think I’m a good twitterer; I usually don’t look at or follow streams unless something pops up because it is specifically addressed to me. Maybe I better work on that, huh?

  11. Harleena Singh December 9, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    So very true Jack!

    Anything that concerns blogging or related to the lives of people, is sure to get comments.

    I think social media IS all about people and the way we reach out to more people. It surely is about sharing and caring about others.

    I do agree that pasting only links without any interaction or will only drive away such contacts.

    I guess overall we do need to build relationships and a better bonding among those whom we come in contact with. Once that is done, other things follow suite.

    Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  12. Frume Sarah December 9, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I think I’m not going to feel guilty of not posting comments here anymore.

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