Enough with the "talking at"…

I’ve been reading Seth Godin’s blog for a little while now. Generally it’s good, and occasionally it’s brilliant. It’s in those brilliant moments, the ones where his story or observation really resonates with me, that I get motivated to click through to his page and comment on the story…

…only to find he’s got comments disabled.

It’s happened three or four times now and it’s frustrating as hell every time. Perhaps it’s deliberate – if you can’t comment then you might be more likely to post about it and then link (as I’m doing here) to him, but if that’s the case it’s a crummy strategy.

For someone who constantly pitches going the extra mile and paying attention to the details I have to admit it’s surprising. It’s clear the blog is a marketing tool for him, and I’m fine with that because it still delivers valuable information – but right now I walk away with the impression that he’s more interested in talking at me then talking with me – not a warm, fuzzy, positive brand experience.

So come on Seth, lets move beyond the 1.0 “Talking At” methods of marketing – let’s have a conversation on your blog and build community around your ideas & observations.

  • Lever

    Personaly I find it the right thing to do to respond to every single comment, and in blogging to respond in a timely almost immediate fashion is the best way for that ‘live’ feeling.

    But what if the popularity is such that the blog is awash with comments… wow, lots of write-backs to be done.

    And then there is the syndrome where serial commenters just say “great blog”, “I agree” etc… does etiquette extend to responding to the briefest of comments? Does the guy have the time?

  • Ryan

    I should maybe clarify to that it is not necessarily personal comments from Seth himself that are critical here.

    The challenge is there’s a great blog that I’m going to assume has a decent sized readership. Right now there’s no way for the conversations Seth is starting with his posts to spin out into his reading community unless people proactively post and others go hunting.

    Quantity of comments is not the issue and plenty of other high traffic blogs have come up with strategies to keep up with the comments, and the true beauty is once the conversation spins into the community the blogger doesn’t have to do much but moderate and oversee.

    As for the generic comments, to each their own, but I would summarize those types in single replies (i.e. @Lever – thx!)

    Thanks for stopping by…

  • Mark Kuznicki

    Great point Ryan. In my mind a blog without the possibility of comments is not actually a blog. But I know there will be those that disagree. To me blogging is first and foremost about a global conversation and the specific technical elements that enable that conversation.