I have remained baffled on a phenomenon I noticed on social media technologies I am presently on – LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and I do blog as well. I have watched as I read several ‘Posts’ on these sharing avenues lately and wondered what the rationale is for readers, that is behind what they comment on and Like. So the questions are what makes readers add a comment or like a post? Was it based on the content of the post? Or was it influenced by who the author of the post is? Is it in any way influenced by personal relationships with the author of the post? Or is it a combination of these factors? I have asked myself these questions over and over as I watched the way people engaged in these.
Now, when I say ‘Post’, I refer to an update, a tweet or an article and when I say ‘author’, I refer to the one making the post. So tell me, what makes you comment on or like an article, an update, a status or a tweet?
When I originally posted this article on LinkedIn, a few comments have come in (snapshots below, I encourage you to read them). Nick Leffler was one of those who dropped a comment and had also written a similar post on Why you should comment more, I found it very interesting as well. Another professional, Brian Washburn after making his comment, asked me the same question: “What compels you to comment?”
What makes me ‘Read’ a Post?
First, what makes me ‘read’ a post? Obviously I can only get to comment on a post I read and surely can never get to read all updates everywhere. I find that this sorting can be dicey. In a bid to maximize the little time I have to read through posts among my other daily activities, the following have been my considerations (in no particular order):
1. A compelling topic – Of course if the topic is something I’m interested in or if it sounds like its interesting, I take a chance of reading it. I have however become disappointed when after reading a post with a topic I thought I would like, I found it not as compelling as I thought it would be.
2. The person posting – I found that if I ‘recognized’ the author, especially if he/she has written something previously I enjoyed, I was drawn to read this other one as well. With these, I have usually many times liked over again the great content of these professionals which increases the chances of my reading their next post!
3. Present post count – This also has drawn me if I didn’t get attracted by the topic nor by the author. Sometimes I’m wondering what was in this article that made it have such number of views or likes or comments and I think there’s some psychology there. Some ‘holy’ curiosity rises to also ‘not miss out of the supposed great discussion’. Did it work? Well, this could be deceptive because that several people liked it does not necessarily mean I will; yeah I’ve liked some of them and simply wondered what other people liked about these others!
So, ‘what compels you to comment?‘
First, I think the main challenge for me is deciding if I have enough time and space to read and if it is what I want to read as at now. When I have read (for whatever reasons), the major compelling force for making a comment for me is the Content of the Post. If I find it interesting, real, and something I don’t mind to lend my voice into, I do make efforts to drop a comment. Like a few people said, some posts are discussion starters and adding a comment pushes the discussion on and provokes great thoughts and further discussion, so that encourages me as well.
A sincere complementary reason would be to connect with great professionals in the field. Is this right? Why am in these public social networks in the first place? Isn’t it to take my learning to a higher level, engaging these tools by reading the thoughts and works of others in the field and also by connecting and networking? Yes it is! So when I read a post, and I like what I read, I like to connect with such professionals to keep in touch with them and what they keep sharing.
So its your turn to share; what makes you stop to read a post as you scroll through your feeds or thread? In addition what makes you comment or Like the post? Are there other considerations you have as to what you read and why you comment? Is the length of the article a factor at all? Would you rather prefer to click links that lead to external sources (like blogs, websites) or you prefer to read the entire content directly wherever you meet it?
Tell me, what are your thoughts on these?
First, take a look at snapshots of comments on LinkedIn. Click here to view in context.
So join the discussion below and let me know what do you think… Or take the discussion forward!