Posts Tagged ‘more important’

Comments vs.Tweets: Which are more Important?

June 5th, 2009 No comments

Tweet or Comment: That is The Question
Not too long ago, I was sitting in the office thinking to myself that I would be doing more service to all of you if I talked about cooler things that would make you go “Hmm” – things that kind of ramble in my head during the day that really could spark a conversation with all of you. More than just the pointing of tutorials and industry news, though you’ll still be getting those anyway. That got me thinking about the entire Is Photography Art? conversation we had a couple of days ago – and while I got a couple of cool comments.. I got more tweets from my Twitter account on it (Follow me on Twitter here). Now, I happen to think that -both- are essential in the grand scheme of things on a blog, but it made me ponder the question: Are comments considered more important than tweets? If you’re considering working a blog I think its worth examining both and drawing your own conclusion.

Commenting on Comments
Let’s take a look at comments- both positive and negative on a blog. You spend some time writing about something you think is interesting and inspiring and you post it. A few hours later, you get some comments in and you’re overjoyed at the fact that someone replied! What does that give you? I believe Comments can be broken down into the following types: The “Pump-You-Up”, The “Know-It-All”, and “The Troll”. Yes there are some obvious exceptions to the rule, and creating a blog with that community is possible.. but we’ll talk about that in a later post. Let’s deal with these 3 first:

The “Pump-You-Up”:
Mostly a “Thank you for saying that” “That’s awesome” “Cheers to you” “I think you rock” as feedback. While this comment is always appreciated because it shows how much someone values what you do, it can be short lived. Think the crash of a candy bar… before you know it, you can spend your time on the blog -waiting- for the affirmation of 150 comments to come in, and you’ll declare anything less a failure on your creative part. In the end, you didn’t create your blog for the immediate adoration of the public, you created it to share a passion, an idea, and in the process of it.. try to make something out of it- some fame.. some money through advertising or promotion, or what have you.. These can be turned into powerful allies, and there are great examples of it on the net.

There are two other types, how it compares to Tweets, a cool tutorial listing, and the contest winners.. all waiting for you at the Read More section. Click below to get to the rest of it.

The Know it All
There are people that just LOVE pointing out inconsistencies for a psychological ‘chit’. Blogs seem to bring people like that out in droves. There will invariably be a misspelling on the blogger’s part, a poor choice of words on one section, a reference to an idiom somewhere that the random person will delightfully bring to the attention of the blogger in an email. People will take offense to the slightest of things, and will make it their mission to construct that correct-o-gram to point out that you, the mighty blogger, have failed in your quest. It doesn’t matter that the content is free. It doesn’t matter that you spent the day coming up with a really interesting idea to contribute to the interwebs- you didn’t know the difference between There, They’re, and Their.. and for this, you must be punished. The great part about this commentor is that you will NEVER have a shortage of free editorial staff available if you retain their services on the blog.

The Trolls
These i’ve pretty much explained out in earlier blog posts.. the people who will comment and say the most incredibly rude thing you will sit back in your chair when you get it, and wonder why you ever began to blog in the first place. The easiest way to deal with these is to just know thy enemy and hit delete. They contribute nothing and don’t really require energy on your part.

Now (as before) there are obvious exceptions to this rules, but I can’t tell you how many people I know that get the “blog” bug.. only to run into these comments and become disillusioned. I also cant tell you how many people I run into that use the comments as the sole marker for the success or failure of a blog. You’ll also notice that over time, the commenting on a blog will be very predictable, making a community of people that traditionally comment on topics. A year later.. a post you make will have 200 comments.. congratulations. But are they the same 200 people that read day after day? Have you -grown- the following any?

The Case for Tweeting
On the surface, Twitter seems like just another fad that everyone’s jumped on – and to some extent that may be true. However, one of the things that Twitter has going for it is a living technology (for the lack of a better explanation). You fire up Twitter and you say “Listening to Depeche Mode while Retouching a Photo in Photoshop” and within seconds, someone can comment on your “Status” – faddish, yes! However, this can be pretty powerful:

  • For one, it can ‘humanize’ the person doing the tweeting. Personalities seem more accessible, friendlier, which increases their reach. That accessibility can make you more trustworthy, which makes people more willing to listen to whatever you may pitch to them.
  • Because you’re limited to 140 characters, the ‘message’ needs to be concise. No long articles (like this one).
  • Because of it’s immediacy, a blog post that you want to have followed on Twitter can be more like a conversation with a group of people. Because the conversation is dynamic and spontaneous, there’s less of a probability of a Flamewar.
  • The true power of reach is felt however with something like Tweetdeck. There are people out there that fire up Tweetdeck, click on the magnifying glass, and type “Photoshop” in the search bar. Immediately comes a column of information of people who are talking about Photoshop, in semi-real time! That tweet that I just made about listening to Depeche Mode while Retouching and Listening to Depeche Mode is picked up by anyone searching the Twitter universe for “Retouching”, “Depeche Mode”, and “Photoshop”. Depending on what I have on my profile and on my background graphic, I could get the person to pop by, say “Oh.. this could be cool” and come by my website. I’ve now gained a new follower. How to keep him there is the topic of another blog altogether.

Are there drawbacks to the Tweet? Absolutely. Twitter can sometimes be seen as this technological popularity contest where people aren’t really following you for anything special.. its all about numbers. In that, the message can get diluted and pointless. Because of it’s potential to reach so many different people, there are countless of people trying to find ways to exploit it, which confuses the conversation further. However, it’s a powerful medium, and I dare say one that can take you to a better solution than the comment alone. Which one works? That’s going to be for you to decide. I argue that things like Twitter can give a person operating a blog a tremendous amount of reach, as well as create this technically organic family that can carry your message pretty far, and offer you invaluable information, just by typing 140 characters at a time.

Book to Check Out: SocialCorp
I haven’t read it yet, but I am -really- excited to check out Joel Postman’s SocialCorp. Checking out the Peachpit site the book, “…will help companies of all sizes develop and implement a strategy to become a SocialCorp, a company that has adopted social media intelligently and effectively, in a way that does not compromise the company’s primary obligations as a corporation.” I saw Joel speak at Voices That Matter, and was so taken by the presentation, I couldnt wait to order the book. As soon as it comes in I’ll share what I think.

Using Indesign Multiplace
This tutorial shows a method for using Adobe Bridge with the Multiplace command in InDesign CS3 and CS4. Click on the link below to get to the tutorial:

Using InDesign Multiplace with Adobe Bridge by AJ Wood