If you are a fellow blogger and you haven’t already done so, I highly recommend that you hook yours up to some social network sites. I have done this and its interesting to see how by doing so, it helps generate that all important thing – FEEDBACK!
I often receive comments to my posts through Facebook, Plaxo, Twitter or Friendfeed. My blog is integrated with these sites through the cleverly simple RSS, one of the best software technologies invented, well since HTML!
Ok the only snag is that none of these comments actually get posted on my blog but at the very least I get to hear what people think. This goes to show how people perceive blogs in the general sense and that in terms of Google visibility this site gets indexed far quicker than my other sites. Why is this?
It may simply be down to the way WordPress has been designed and coded. It may be thanks to the friendly url’s or ISAPI as the technology is correctly known. I am always amazed at how quickly my posts are indexed. I am also proud of the fact that my piece on the Italian town of Masse Lubrense appears in second place when you Google it! This may seem insignificant to you but it keeps me happy. Secondly a series of posts on the re-introduction of Red Kites has generated lots of feedback. I know there are other people in my neck of the woods who share an interest in birds of prey, especially those that have made a staggering comeback from extinction.
Blog posts do get read, even if you don’t know it because its in our nature to be inquisitive. We love to know what is going on in ordinary peoples’ lives. The mass media would like us to care about Jade Goody or some other Big Brother-made-celebrity-now-forgotten-about person having some terrible personal problems or whatever. To be honest none of us care, we are far more interested in reading about a normal family, what they had for tea, how pissed they got on Saturday night when John and Sally came over. We don’t even know them! They don’t know us but we know that their favourite cuisine is Italian and they are into rock music!
The virtual world is both a weird and wonderful place and more and more people are getting to “know” eachother without meeting. On the other hand many do actually meet up and become good friends. I know, as through my site Nfolio I met a number of fantastic people and we ahve remained in contact. We often get together with our cameras and go on days out together. We have a good laugh, we take some good photos, catch up with the gossip, have a few drinks, enjoy some nice pub food and head home at the end of the day in great spirits.
Its almost as if the internet is helping us find “better quality” friends?! This may be due to the fact that the internet aids you in finding people who share common interests or work in similar industries or are into the same bands or whatever.
Blogging is never just a one way thing. If you write something that is intellectually stimulating, it can indeed stimulate one to write a comment, to give you feedback. This in turn quite often gives me more fodder for posts and the whole process repeats, ad infinum.
Social networking has in recent years (or is it months, its still quite new after all) bought me back in contact with people I had forgotten about and indeed those I have been trying to track down. Our lives are constantly changing, we move around, our interests change and as a result people do drift apart. We feel guilty about calling them, as its been too long, they no doubt think the same or maybe they don’t want to hear from us!
Now I am connected with so many people I have lost physical contact with. In fact I have even met up with some of these people again. It doesn’t feel like we’ve not seen eachother for yonks because we all know what we’ve been up to, thanks to Twitter and Facebook statuses. Facebook has played a big part in closing down those hang-ups about the lack of effort to call people. You can simply remain in close contact with them by tweeting every now and again.
Somebody asked me the other day about something, can’t recall what it was but I was puzzled. How did they know I was going there, doing that? I ahven’t seen them for six months or so. “You posted it on Facebook, Nick”, will come the reply. How often have I heard that recently!!
That is the beauty of blogging and social networking!