Well, that was awkward….

If you belong to a gym, church, civic club, etc at what point does it become too late or awkward to introduce yourself? You join up, you’re in the mix, say ‘hi’ and maybe strike up a conversation but somehow never made an introduction. Next thing you know, 2-3 months pass and you are talking to each other like friends but now you’ve almost crossed the line for the introduction. It’s like you know each other, but not each other’s names.

You are out with the spouse or friends and see them walking your way. You think, ‘oh great, here comes the guy from the gym; I know him, but don’t know his name’. Somehow, ‘hey buddy’ doesn’t seem appropriate.

Do you turn and run; introduce your wife or friends and not yourself; no introductions at all? Awkward indeed………..

I see this in the social media world as well; I stop by your house, engage and sometimes we even have witty banter. In fact, I have even taken the initiative to follow you and subscribe to your post. It feels like we are friends as you are not ignoring me.

Now I’m not necessarily looking for a certain number of followers and I’m sitting here with much fewer connections to your big number, but do I ever become ‘pals’ with you? Do you even know you haven’t followed me or have you made a conscious decision not to? I’m guessing those are not the numbers important to you now, so maybe it will never happen.

I like your content and audience and you do respond to me so I should be happy with that, huh? It’s really not a big deal but somewhat awkward at times I suppose.

Do you get so big it doesn’t matter who is coming and going? My blog is up and running but I’m not proactively trying to drive traffic yet; but I can’t imagine all 10,000 of the people you follow even have blogs. Did I just get on the train too late for you; I do understand 10,000+ is a big number.

Just makes me go hmmmmm and wonder what others do; eventually unfollow,  just keep hanging around or bite the bullet and speak up? In the big scheme of things in this world, does it really matter? Is it a social media faux pas to even bring it up? Just askin’………..

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76 thoughts on “Well, that was awkward….

  1. Hey Bill, a lot of this is just personal preference. For myself, I like to engage with others. If I attempt to reach out with no response, I’m not likely invest my time in reaching out to a dead line.

    It just doesn’t work for me, nor does it line up with my objectives. Others don’t care – so be it.

    Just sayin : )

    • Hey Mark, and actually I might be guilty of it too. I know Lori’s blog posts get very active and it’s easy to get in the mix and I’m pretty sure I haven’t pro-actively reached out and tried to follow all.

      I believe it is easy to just be ‘invisible’ at times like when you can look right at someone but not see them.

      I see so many quantifiers, analytic numbers, etc, etc, etc. I’m still not sure what numbers become important number or not.

      Maybe some day I will care, but for now I’m just bee boppin’ along.

      Good to see you; I see you latest is blowin’ up. Good job brother.

  2. Hi Bill

    Great analogy here. Whose this guy again? You know the one who always has funny tweets and the funky avatar?

    When I started blogging I didn’t really get how important the entire community thing was. I wrote, nobody read my posts, I continued.

    Then one day, one or two bloggers really made me click. The first one is above Mr. Harai, at the time he didn’t have a blog but he always stopped by and left his opinion. It made me think.
    The second person was Gini from Spin Sucks. I don’t actually know any other Gini’s online. She really made me understand how a community engages on a blog.

    You know my story and thanks to you Bill, the community is a better place.

    • Hey John, did Mark twist your arm? He is a great guy.

      Gini was my light switch. She showed me what commenting and responding was all about; after that I have hit a few bumps but have been able to get up and dust myself off.

      Mark came later, but he is the type of people I seek out.

      I’ll probably never get to 10,000 following/followers but I was just wondering if you can get too big. The people I had in mind when I wrote this are nice and engaging, but will I always be on the outside looking in? Does it really matter?

      I just want to be included in the party too…..:)

      I love the engagement part and most of the people I have come to know I really think we would be friends in person too.

      Good to see you and thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I’ll see you around.

    • Gini was one of the first to visit my blog, think via a trackback to one of her posts. By commenting and tweeting and engaging, I realized someone was paying attention to me.. but that I had to put in that work to make people notice. Taking time, evil plans slowly starting to work. 😉

      • I hear ya and is it good news/bad news? I see how Marcus is blowin’ up and can’t even imagine how much time it is taking him to not only respond to his post, the guest posts, etc but still visit other sites and comment there as well. You like the attention but does it get to the point it can consume you?

        If I was making a bunch of money doing it, that would be one thing; but if I’m doing just because it’s kinda fun I have to be able to manage my time wisely (and still working on that part).

        I still enjoy the journey and I certainly don’t want it to become a chore.

        Good to see ya in the ‘hood ma’am and thanks for taking the time to comment.

        Have a lovely day!

      • I don’t know if Barret will see this because my hi-tech site didn’t give me a reply button to his comment, but of course I had to find a spot to respond to hit the ’60’ number. Wassup widat?

      • Because you are my buddy and tolerate not only my goofiness but silliness as well; I had to find someone to respond to so my count would hit 70. What a ‘ho’ I am and yes, 1/2 are my responses back but it’s cracking me up. Invisible indeed…….:)

        Hope you are having a great weekend.

  3. Hi Bill, Another interesting, thought-provoking post! I have no idea what it’s like to be so big I can’t follow back on social media. Right now, I’m bumping up against my 2000 limit on Twitter for follows, but don’t have as many following me. I know I need to go back and see who is not following me, but I don’t think that should necessarily be the criteria for me following them…

    At the gym, I’m not to shy to admit I don’t know someone’s name. I play racquetball behind big glass walls so a lot of people see me and I don’t see them (because I’m trying to watch the ball, lol). But at a party I would probably be more shy about not knowing someone’s name.

    • Hello Carolyn, thanks for stopping by.

      I think somewhere, somehow some of these numbers matter; but probably in the big scheme of things we shouldn’t be hung up who is following who, right?

      Easier said than done for me though, because I want to feel like I’m part of the party having fun. I’m learning however, and Ms Gini said I better have tough skin, so I’m learning……..

      As basic as I am so far, I think I could max out even below the 2000 mark. Maybe as you grow you keep figuring it out.

      Good comment, good to see you and I don’t think I’ve checked you out yet, have I? If not, shame on me; I’ll be over shortly.

  4. I feel you on this one Bill. I have a handful of sites that I follow and have been loyal too, but I don’t get as much as a reply at times. When it gets really weird is when my measly comments are held in moderation, never to be approved. Oh well!

    What I want to know are the juicy details. Give is names Bill – give is names! Joking – but you can email me, because I might be running into th same exact walls!

    One thing I’ve been experiencing on my site is that with a large number of comments, it’s sometimes hard to return the favor. I do it – spending hours – but that’s just how I’m laced. Some aren’t willing to poor in the time. But at minimum, communicate through the comments…right?

    It gets awkward out there.

    • Awkward is right so I still struggle with if this is a big deal or should I just go be a big boy and don’t let it bother me.

      When they say social engagement, I expect to be engaged, don’t you?

      I just wonder if you do get so big you are virtually invisible. I subscribed and followed a recommended site by Griddy, but after 3 comments and not even a peep; I shut it down. I did take the time to send them an e-mail and tell them why I un-subscribed, and their response was they never saw me. Who knows……..

      Like you, I can go a little deeper (hence wordy) on replies and it does take time.

      Good to see you JK and hopefully we will be able to pull each other along this journey. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Consider me subscribed! Thanks to Mark, I have discovered you Bill…Love your writing style, sir, as I have gone through some of the archives and am very impressed.

    I try to keep up with comments to the better sites and follow people that I think have something interesting to offer. Without at least some decent content, I’ll hit the “unfollow”, but quick. You won’t have to worry about that, right??

    • No pressure, maybe I’ll borrow some of Mark’s stuff and put my name on it…….:). Mark is a great guy.

      So far my writings have not been too deep but hopefully readable and at least inspire some comments.

      I truly think you can grow as a writer and that’s what I hope to do on this journey.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and I look forward to getting to know you.

  6. Hi Bill!
    I’ve seen you comment on some sites that I frequent and thought I would stop by. I am horrible with names and have a little trick that I’ll share with you. I taught this to my husband and he loves me for it (not the only reason he loves me, mind you). This only works if you run into the person while you’re already with someone you know, like your spouse. You walk right up and say, “Hey, how are you? This is my wife, Martha.” Then, don’t say another word. They will feel obligated to say, “Hi, Martha. I’m Ken.” Now you’re out of the woods and you try your best to file their name into your memory bank.

    As far as following/getting to know thousands on Twitter, I’m not quite there. I actually like the smaller numbers as I feel it’s important to engage those people. I enjoy speaking with them one on one sometimes. I don’t know how I would ever accomplish that with 10,000 followers. I’m of the opinion that if you can get a few people to know, like and trust you, it’s much better than 10,000 people who don’t know you at all or what you do.

    • Hi Alicia, thanks for taking the time to stop by. I have been out and about leaving crumbs along the way and have seen you as well.

      I have done your trick and 9 out of 10 times it works. Every once in awhile you get the reply back “oh, nice to meet you” and then they don’t say anything. That’s when I go into motor mouth and just start talking about stuff…….:).

      I think I’m with you, I don’t know if I could even manage 1000. Right now I’m enjoying getting to know some people and engaging with them.

      I think my big question is, can you get too big and I think the answer is, it all depends on what you are trying to do.

      It is very easy to get in the shuffle at times.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and hope to see you around. Best of luck on your journey.

  7. Hi Bill,

    My frame of reference for social media is how I behave in ‘real life.’ I try not to do or say anything that I wouldn’t do in person.

    Some things are more challenging on line because in real life it is impossible to have 10k friends- just no time. Of course if you are Wilt Chamberlain you can sleep with 20k women but Wilt did that over a period of time so go figure.

    Anyway, I have found that my community comes and goes. Some of that is because I haven’t interacted with some readers as much as they want me to.

    Sometimes that is a huge mistake on my part and sometimes it is not. I try to make a point of giving everyone a thoughtful response, but sometimes I just fall short.

    Could be time, could be that their comment aggravated me and I don’t want to say more than a few words.

    But I know from experience what it is like to be a regular commenter and not be acknowledged. If I comment on a blog I don’t expect the blog owner to comment on mine. It is appreciated, but only needed if they want to do it.

    However I do expect to be acknowledged on their blog. Typically a check or giftcard works pretty well but sometimes there are other methods some of which can’t be shared on family blogs.

    Anyway, I think that your invisible blog is going to soon be as transparent as granite. No one is going to miss this place and for good reason.

    Keep writing, I like your style.

    • I like that line of thinking; if you aren’t going to reply a check or gift card will be sufficient. I might just stay around for that……:)

      Wilt the stilt; all I can say is legendary but probably not my role model.

      As I get deeper I do see my community growing, just because. I do hope I can expand my reach to the new people as well and they don’t leave because they feel I have ignored them.

      I know what it took to even get to here and I am very appreciative of the people who have helped me. I want to play it forward and help others as well. FB was easy; twitter took a little more effort.

      Good to see you Jack and thanks for taking the time to comment. I also appreciate your kind words. Best of luck to you as well on the crazy journey.

    • Hmm.. how does that check or gift card work? I’d ask for wine, but not always legal to ship in some states.

      I don’t always expect comments on my blog, but I’ll admit Riley, I do notice when I don’t get them. I notice when pings aren’t acknowledged, when my comments on others’ blogs don’t get replies. If the quality content is there, I of course keep reading… but will confess I don’t read, comment or share as often. It’s not a scam or anything, just that my time is limited and the busier I get, my priorities shift to making sure I hold up my end on my own blog, respond with those that engage with me, that seem to welcome and appreciate what I have to offer. FWIW.

  8. Hi Bill

    Always enjoy your posts and I get what you are sharing. I don’t follow everyone who follows me. I do check out their profile and some I delete cos they are spammers or from bad neighbourhood and so my numbers are going up slowly.

    I like that I can interact with my followers and at least get to know them. Can’t see how I could do that with thousands of followers.

    I visit a few blogs where I have commented regularly and had little if any response from the blog owners. But as I was learning from the posts, kept visiting. However, not many sies where I still visit without any interaction. One-way conversations are not very interesting are they??!!

    I guess I’m not really the party gal cos I’m not that fussed about joining a lot of the parties I see going on LOL And some of the bloggers been recommended to me don’t click either Bill. And others do.

    You’ll probably find that some of the parties aren’t such a big deal after all 😉

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • I agree; it’s almost like you want what you can’t have and when you get it, it really wasn’t a big deal.

      I am social and I like the social aspect of the interactions. What I don’t like is rudeness; sometimes it’s hard to tell if it is rudeness or am I just invisible, that’s what perplexes me at times.

      No I don’t like to just talk to myself and if someone can’t bother to take the time to acknowledge what I say I probably won’t be around for long.

      It’s been a long day for me so therefore no instant response. I did see when you replied however and it is much appreciated.

      Thanks so much for coming by and hopefully I will have a self hosted site here before too long.

  9. Loving the thoughts you bring up here. I’m one of those people who, if isn’t heard, speaks up very, very loud. It probably comes from being the eldest of six kids. If things aren’t going your way, you better speak up, or get trampled. 😉

    As for those who have such a large following, you wonder if you’re heard. That’s when I usually put out feelers. Maybe send a tweet, an email, etc…and see if I get a response. If I put in some effort and get nothing in response – then I know I’ve maybe lost the train or missed the bus. When I get something personal in response, then I know they’re genuine and willing to build yet another relationship.

    • Hey Christian, that’s my MO too; I will make a couple of efforts and if it is for naught then I’m probably gone. I can see being invisible for one response, but two maybe three……I don’t think it’s personal, but it makes me wonder what the author is trying to achieve.

      If they are monetizing and I’m a potential customer and they treat me like this………..I don’t think so.

      I too will call somebody out as I have done two in particular; interesting results and responses but it did get their attention.

      Good to see you and I appreciate you taking the time to stop by; thanks.

  10. Bill, Bill, Bill. You just need to comment incessantly on that person’s blog, tweet them night and day, and then, they’ll talk to you! Just kidding. Like so many folks have said here, I follow if there’s a real connection. I make it a habit to visit blogs of folks who comment on mine (although I am a bit behind now – damn vacation). I also make it a point to RT something of interest that someone like you or anyone new to the social ‘scene’ has put out there. It’s called being neighborly.

    When I visit blogs that don’t reply to comments and they do it repeatedly, they are off my ‘visit’ list. Simple as that. This is a REALLY BIG ocean we’re hanging out in, there’s lots of other folks to play with!

    • Hey oh tan vacation one…..I have a called a couple out and they did respond to that, but it did make me thing what if I was a potential customer? Not a good impression.

      I know you have drug me around for awhile and it is appreciated.

      There have been a few people help me get some traction and I’m all for playing it forward and helping others along the way. I too try to follow people who have commented when possible.

      So good to see you and thanks for taking the time to comment. I’ve been out all day and just trying to catch up on things too.

      • The funny thing is I have called out a couple of people who never responded; via e-mail however, not publicly.

        They were apologetic but I just let ’em know I don’t care how big their britches were, I will call you out if need be…..:)

    • Thanks, it is what it is, right?

      At the end of the day I hope someone finds it readable and it was worth their while to stop.

      I appreciate the comment and hope to see you again.

  11. Bill,

    You make some solid points and discuss an issue that we as bloggers face daily. There is a lot of mixed opinions about comments. Some people view them as community as others see them as free advertsing on someone else’s site. On larger sites I have noticed that there are a lot of people who comment with the intent of not building a relationship but for some other purpose. For that reason bloggers don’t spend a lot of energy reaching out to new commenters. What they do though is alienate the people who genuinely want to make a connection.

    With my own commenting I try to focus on sites where the people provide information that adds value to my life or are just downright funny. I will continue to comment a full month to try to get past people’s orginal barriers to let them know I am there to connect. If that time elapses and there is no growth I then move on.

    There is no perfect formula but I value my time so I try not to waste it.

    • That’s probably a good approach; I just wonder at times am I truly invisible to them or just not high enough up on the ladder rung so they want to be associated with me.

      I appreciate all the support I have rec’d along the way and certainly want to play it forward helping others if I can. At some point you develop your own network and just go from there.

      I won’t lie, I like the attention and certainly like being popular in some circles, but I don’t want to use that as my motivator. All that does is create jealousies and wanting for more.

      I am content and happy w/ my journey as it has allowed me to meet some great people (like you) that otherwise our paths would have probably never crossed.

      Good to see you Frank and thanks as always for taking the time to comment.

  12. Hello Bill,

    I found your blog through your comment on Patty K’s blog. I resonated with your comment so I thought I’d look at your blog. This post is a perfect one for me to comment on because I’m a business etiquette consultant. I can’t help but reply.

    With the guy at the gym, or wherever, this sort of thing happens a lot. When my husband and I first got our dog we met a lot of dog owners but we usually learned the dogs’ names and not the owners. Not until you have to introduce someone to Mr.-I-don’t-know-your-name, do you realize you have a problem.

    So, the thing to do is sometime simply say “you know, we’ve been chatting for months and I realized I have never introduced myself. I’m Arden Clise.” Or, say it when you have to make an introduction – “you know, we’ve been chatting for months and I realize I’ve never learned your name.” Person says his/her name, and you then say “it’s nice to officially meet you Joe, this is my wife Mary.”

    As far as social media, it simply isn’t possible to engage and know everyone. I make an effort to thank people for following me when I follow them back and I put them in a list to help me remember something about them. I then try to engage with them for a while. But as someone else said, if I don’t get any engagement back I stop trying. That said, I don’t unfollow people for not engaging with me. It’s a big world, it’s impossible to connect with everyone.

    • Hello Arden; when I saw business etiquette consultant I thought you were going to critique my site………yikes……..:)

      I think in a gym setting and w/ guys they might be less apt to make an introduction once you’ve crossed that line. It’s silly, but we will go ask someone else we know “what’s that guy’s name”? Go figure, huh?

      I have probably had 30+ new followers in the last few weeks. This morning I was setting up lists to put them in and I’m thinking, how can I engage with all these people? Hopefully they will get something out of following me.

      I’m at the point I probably won’t ‘unfollow’ you unless you never reply to my comments or if you followed me at one time but no longer do. I will clean it up that way, but other than that not a lot of rules.

      I just found out today when I was making new lists how to see my Klout score. I never knew if I even had one, and I know there is some significance to it but it’s not what’s driving me at this point.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by. I will go back to your place and if you have a post I will certainly leave a comment.

      So good to see you and hopefully we can get to know each other better.

  13. Hey Bill, this is just awesome. I love the analogy and you are so right about all this.

    I got to know so many people like that and with most, I kinda just hopped over that introduction part.

    The thing that bothers me is that I created great connections and love those people but I am getting busier every day and seem to communicate less (yes, life does get in the way sometimes). That is not what I wanted in the first place!

    And the more people I know, the less I communicate so I think those who made 10.000 connections just end up not communicating with anyone, lol.

    • Hey you, look who’s in the house….:)

      I thought your reply to me was they wouldn’t call me Bill in Serbia so my response was they would just probably call me ‘hey dude’ then. That probably doesn’t translate well in Serbian, huh? Plus, I was hoping all my friend saw the reply and thought I was a man of international intrigue like our buddy John Falchetto.

      That’s the $100 question; do you stay connected deeply to your original core or do you just give a little bit to everyone? I’m nowhere close to your level and I’m already having time issues.

      I don’t know how Gini pulls it off and as much as Griddy wants to engage deeply I think she is going to have to make some choices before too long or she’ll never sleep.

      The more we hang out in here the more we will morph into what works best for us and whatever model we decide. Hopefully it doesn’t stress us out first.

      To your advantage, you are great on the tech side so it will be easier for you to organize. All I seem to be able to do is engage and worry about the pot holes later.

      So good to see you ma’am and thanks so much for coming by. I wish I had more than house wine to offer you, but maybe next time I’ll have the good stuff………:)

  14. Hey Bill, great questions. I think something like 99% of people are primarily lurkers. They may read a lot, but they rarely (if, ever) contribute to the discussion.

    I didn’t start commenting on other peoples’ blogs until after I started blogging myself. The idea never even crossed my mind. Of course, I tend to be shy in real life too – I don’t usually march up to someone and initiate a conversation – so it didn’t seem that unusual for my shyness to extend to online.

    I find it absolutely impossible to comment on every post I read (although I’d like to, because I know how much it means to the blogger to hear that someone read and appreciated their post). I also do my best to respond to every comment on my blog – and I fall short there as well (even though I don’t post frequently and I don’t get a ton of comments).

    So…I’ve been thinking about the same thing you have. There’s only so much time and energy available to interact. I almost wonder if you need to choose between high readership/followership or high engagement.

    Thanks for such a thought provoking post!

    • Hey, hey oh pajama one……..thanks for stopping by. I thought Judy had set me up; I was looking at the comments and didn’t see any men, but I’m never afraid to wade in with the lovely ladies.

      I grew up w/ 3 sisters and had to live with all their angst and anxieties so I’m very sympathetic to the pressures women face to be ‘perfect’.

      I think if you are going to monetize, maybe you need to ‘reach’ a lot of people. Right now, I’m more into it for the engagement so I see at some point there will be a breaking point.

      I’m learning as I’m going and as short as 60 days ago if you would have said I would even be this deep I would have probably said “no way”.

      It has been a fun adventure and thanks again for taking the time to see my house; much appreciated.

      Best of luck on your journey.

    • One more thing; I used to be painfully shy, it makes me wince to even think about it. Somewhere, somehow a light switch flipped or something and now I am the total opposite. But the funny thing is, I still see myself as that shy little kid at times but it certainly isn’t my demeanor. Weird, huh? Just thought I’d share that tidbit.

  15. Hi Bill, I’m late to the party, but I’m here and pulling up a seat, my feet are killing me.
    It’s amazing how our human emotions can come into play in our online lives. I guess it’s indicative of the fact that many of us do have an alternate “life and identity” online.
    If I try to reach out and communicate with someone, I’ll give it two or three goes at best. After that, I just keep it moving. If your too busy, or I’m not cool enough, or whatever, it’s cool.
    I think it worth questioning why it is we want to attract the attention of the 10’000 follower person anyway?. I second what Erica said
    ” When I visit blogs that don’t reply to comments and they do it repeatedly, they are off my ‘visit’ list. Simple as that. This is a REALLY BIG ocean we’re hanging out in, there’s lots of other folks to play with!”
    However I’m like you, not adverse to speaking up if I feel like it.

    • Something funny to me is how fast you ‘age’ in the social media world. I had written this post a few weeks ago and had it in draft. When I decided to publish it I think my mind set had already changed.

      I don’t think I want 10,000; I’m not sure if I want 1,000. I’m already struggling trying to stay involved deeper than a superficial level with what I have.

      At this point if you don’t acknowledge me whatsoever, I will probably unfollow just because; regardless of who’s recommendation brought me there.

      This concerns me however, because I have picked up about 30-40 new people in the last couple of weeks. I just hope these new people reach out to me in some way or don’t leave because we never connected.

      You are right, there are so many opportunities it is best just to move on. However, deep down I don’t think any of like to be ignored so that is where the ‘human’ line is blurred in the way it affects you in person vs online.

      I will say I’m still enjoying the adventure and look forward to when I find my bloggers voice.

      Good to see you this weekend; hope you are all rested up after the wedding.

      I’ll catch up with you soon; thanks for your support as well.

  16. Bill, you have found your voice, maybe not your topic/ niche..but your voice rings out loud and clear. My view about getting to so many followers, is that unlike FB, twitter followers can choose to follow you cos of something cool you said /wrote. We choose who we want to follow, and they can choose right back. As for the inner circle, in life I have a ridiculous amount of acquaintances, but only about 4 close friends. They are the people I make a active effort to stay in touch with, and stay up to speed with what’s going on in their lives.
    Your completely right about social media speeding up the online ageing process though, its and education for us both. Lets makes sure we don’t turn grey, lol

    So whilst I don;t expect everyone to reach out and touch and it’s just not realistic, I also don’t expect to be ignored, even if you choose not to follow me. As you said I could be a potential customer. When you see someone with 10’000 followers but only 1’000 following that kind of makes senses to me. Usually when there neck and neck, I think team “follow back” where you follow everyone, but connect with no one. What do you think?

  17. Speaking of ageing, I saw a post from @TheFriendlyBlogger and she is shutting it down. I don’t know if you followed her but I had been to her place often.

    Her full time job did not allow her to keep up w/ the pace. I just wonder how many more we will see fall by the wayside because of the pressure and commitment.

    I really do hope we are survivors and have sustainability regardless of our follow count, huh?

    Good to see you again and hope you have a lovely day/night……….whatever time it is across the pond there.

    Cheerio…….

  18. Hi Bill,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’m fairly new to social media, so can’t really help with the 10.000+ issues 🙂

    I try to approach social media the same way as I approach offline networking. I try to start and engage in conversations and keep it as personal as possible. Of course it’s not possible to answer each tweet or retweet once you’re getting too big. I understand that. However, if you use twitter only to broadcast your messages without engaging in conversation, you’re missing out on the point of social media. It’s called ‘social’ for a reason!

    Wim

    • Hey Wim, thanks for stopping by.

      I used to drag out “I’m new to social media” but once I got plugged in and started engaging with people it really came into focus for me and at times I feel like I’m a grizzled veteran.

      Trust me, I still have a long way to go and whereas I think I have the ‘social’ part down pretty good; I still need to fill in some holes on the tech side.

      If you are only using twitter to broadcast, unless you are Hollywood you will probably find yourself shouting down a black hole.

      Good to see you, good luck in your journey and certainly hope to see you around.

  19. I saw this post come through to my Reader last week and I was like, Damn! I’m going to be the first to comment on that! Famous last words, eh?

    Do you ever become pals with me (generally speaking w.r.t. “you” and “me,” since I do consider *you* and *I* to be pals, don’t burst my bubble…)?

    I think at some point, if you notice that someone is commenting regularly on your blog, you have to have the courtesy to go across to theirs, comment there, perhaps subscribe, etc., as well. I don’t know if that makes one pals, but it does set the stage for it. For me personally, I will tell you that if I notice someone making a conscious effort to connect, and it’s not all self-promotional, I’ll make sure I’m following back, check out their blog, etc. (this is as long as that person isn’t a stalker and HOO BOY, could I tell you stories about those).

    In terms of others following me back after I’ve followed them – 99% of the time, I honestly don’t care. It’s only when I’ve connected with that person in different ways… perhaps helped them out offline with something, that I wonder why they’re not following back. Because by this time, we’re more than Twitter avatars to each other, or at least, we should be.

    Particularly if there’s a reason for me to be able to DM them (say they’ve asked me to help with something), I’ll send an @ reply to a DM, saying “I couldn’t DM you, but .” Almost always, it works.

    And FTR, if I were out with my husband and saw someone walking my way who I vaguely remembered, I’d definitely say hello. Even if they didn’t remember me, ‘cos at least I would have tried.

  20. Ok, allegedly there was the one stalking incident but someone must have been mistaken about my intent….:).

    We better be pals now that I’m a cricketeer.

    I debated dragging my link w/ me when I make comments. I started the blog just because I thought it was the thing to do in this arena (nice plan for success, huh?). I really started writing just to see if it was sustainable and thought I was under the radar.

    Once I started bringing the link w/ me, guess what; people started commenting. I didn’t expect it, and I don’t expect reciprocity when I stop by your place. I know a lot of the people I engage w/ are already deeply embedded in their own networks and it is very crowded.

    I won’t lie, it’s nice when people stop by and I am a lot farther along than I thought I’d be. I just don’t know if I’m ready to take it to the next level.

    Personally, I’m still trying to find my ‘blogging’ voice and everything I’ve written so far has been pretty superficial. I guess as long as it’s readable that’s a start.

    I feel I have aged ‘socially’ the last 30 days and don’t think I really care if someone follows me or not. I’m worried on how I’m going to engage w/ the almost 400 I have.

    If I reach out to someone, comment more than once and never get a reply I will probably unfollow but that’s about it.

    Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leaving your thoughtful reply. So good to see you.

    • You’re not a “cricketeer,” you’re a “cricketer.” :p And I love how you embraced that, thank you!

      I think you’ve found your blogging voice and you just don’t realize it. I wouldn’t assume it’s all superficial… after all, if people are coming here and talking to you, sharing, etc., they must be getting some value out of it, right? I think a lot of times we hold ourselves to very high standards, and people around us are far kinder to us than we are ourselves.

      Which means you need to start being kinder to yourself!

      • Thank you very much for your kind words.

        You make some very good points and I will be honest with you, going in w/ relatively low expectations I have far exceeded the activity I thought I would have.

        I’m glad we have been able to get to know each other and I do appreciate your support.

        The cricketer!

  21. Ok, I’ll stop comment bombing. I’m with Frank, my visiting, commenting and sharing is about my interests: what helps me and my biz (mostly PR and SM posts) or what I get a kick out off. So different blogs will come and go from my ‘to read today’ list. Like Brankica, my own blog is getting busy and hopefully my business soon, so it will be a matter of priorities and finding balance, so everyone feels a little love. And I’m with Shonali on professional courtesy, replying to those who regularly comment, trackback, tweet your posts. I do notice when some of those folks don’t follow back, but I am more about the real engagement anyway.

    I used to think huge follow/following numbers was impractical, sometimes still do. Thing is we’re not all online at the same time, not always gonna catch everything, etc. So a mix is good.. along with some organization in the Reader and TweetDeck. I make it a point not to ‘ignore’ anyone who offers a real comment or tweet; may not always be a follow, but I’ll reply and/or comment, think I keep those doors open to anyone and do my best to manage those numbers.

    I’ve done some unfollows, after paying closer attention and seeing if those posts and tweets really add something. If I see much of the same, read a few more of their posts and find them wanting, that is what prompts the unfollow more than if I’m being ‘ignored.’ Do they ignore everyone, only chat with a few folks? Maybe that’s another deal breaker.

    I’m also shy and it took me a while to get the nerve to jump into a conversation, reply to someone’s tweets. Felt like interrupting until I realized, that’s supposed to be part of the idea.. dialogue, engagement. Same w/ blog comments, not sure if I had anything to add. Think I might be getting over that? 😉 FWIW.

    • You, shy? No way……..

      I see some back and forth between commentors that looks somewhat personal I might not jump in; but the fun is when the dialogue gets going back and forth.

      I left a reply on Marcus post about the asshole blogger and acted like I was that guy; another responder thought I was serious so we had a little fun with it.

      Ok, you are getting ready to see how I really came into this backwards and have my hospital gown on exposing you know what; but I’m clueless as to how Reader and TweetDeck can help me get organized. I guess I better figure it out.

      We do have an IT guy in our office who is very helpful; I just hate to keep asking him stuff and try to figure it out on my own or just let that 12:00 keep blinking on my VCR……:)

      The talkin’ part I can do……….

      I did go through my list this past weekend to see who had unfollowed and it was interesting to see that a couple of local people had; they had never reached out to me so I don’t know who they felt dropped the ball. Oh well….

      • Liked your other replies too Bill. I don’t want to get too big either, I’m doing this NOW because I have and make the time now; the plan is to get busier and then slow it down a little. Work smarter, not harder and win that lottery and continue on my road to world domination. Alas I think Marcus and Gini and Danny may be well ahead of us. 😉

        I saw the back and forth on Marcus’ post, jumped in a little too. (Need to head back there.) The Reader, you can do in folders but I still have subbed to too many news feeds.. so it’s always a ‘mark as read’ situation; need to fix that. TweetDeck you can create as many columns as your screen will hold: I have some per hashtag searches, others by groups of people: PR, SM, client specific, different interests/topics, etc. Helps a little.

        I haven’t emailed anyone I felt really ‘ignored’ me, but then I don’t think I aggressively tweet, RT or reply at anyone; I don’t do more than comment and a few links. IDK.. my reply is usually an unfollow or less reading .. unless their content is SO amazing; but that’s usually the catch.. it’s not hard to find some right fine content somewhere, anywhere else. I’d just as soon go where – my comment may not always be agreed with, at least its respected and appreciated. FWIW.

    • Work smarter, not harder and win that lottery and continue on my road to world domination.

      I’m with you here D and this is a big world so we will let Gini, Danny, Marcus clear the path and let us know what we shouldn’t be doing.

      I am getting better and up to speed w/ HootSuite and I’m guessing it is similar to TweetDeck?

      I have a couple of posts to get back to; I went to the Lightning hockey match tonight so getting in later than usual, thought I’d do a quick catch up……….go to bed, right?

      I’ll see you around; thanks for coming by again.

  22. Dude..I turn around and you have a brand new blog and a rocking community. Congrats..and, Im in 🙂

    I love the analogy. And yes, people come and go. Such is the nature of this beast. Few are the bloggers wo can keep a person interested for more than a few months. In fact, I have apost coming out about that.

    And I for one, am glad you’re bringing up this stuff. Its like talking about money religion and politics. You’re not supposed to say anything, but Im glad you did.

    Congrats on the new digs. 🙂

    • I guess I finally crashed the party, huh? I still think I have a ways to go but Stacey invited so I accepted.

      I feel like have aged rapidly in this world and things that would bother me in person socially, are probably not that big of a deal in this world.

      I’m just trying to keep my head down and be ‘me’ for what that’s worth.

      It’s funny to see the ebb and flow and who has staying power; who thinks they have the big britches on; and who are truly gracious.

      I don’t think I will be any means but I do think you can get so big it is a burden. Some manage it well and some I see are starting to struggle with it.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and I’m all in. See you around.

  23. The gym part is me totally. In regards to following others on twitter, I only follow if they have something I am really interested in reading. I won’t follow for the sake of following. To me that is just stupid and if they didn’t follow me back, I use to find that rude. Now, I can careless. If you follow me, I am always deeply honored.

    • Look at you dropping comments all over; thanks so much.

      If I follow or follow back I hope there is engagement and a chance to get to know each other; that is my biggest concern w/ having too many people. I’m not just interested in numbers.

      I sure do plenty of reading but I like the personal touch that I know these people on some level.

      Good to see you again so soon.

  24. Hi Bill, thought I would drop over here to see what you are all about after your reply to my comment on Brankica’s post. I know it’s late in the day to add a comment on this post but I don’t think it’s ever too late to say Hi and introduce myself.

    I agree with you that it’s all about the quality of the connections rather than the numbers but there is no doubt that as the numbers increase it’s harder to ‘see the wood for the trees’.

    I do like to comment as a way to engage with people and I am quite happy to add an initial thought but then tend to run away and not continue to follow the comment thread and add something further. That’s maybe the awkward part for me and I envy the likes of yourself, Gini, Griddy, Dino, Marcus, Davina etc for the easy way you all seem to engage in such an interesting commenting community.

    I was therefore struck by your comment that ‘I have hit a few bumps but have been able to get up and dust myself off.’ – That makes me think that a) I need to have a bit more confidence and not worry about the bumps and b) be more organised so that I am not distracted by the numbers and can concentrate on what is worthwhile.

    So there you go, your excellent post has prompted me to overcome that awkward moment, say Hi and engage you in conversation, thanks for that!

    Tony

    • It’s never too late at my place and thanks so much for stopping by. You are one of the guys I still need to connect w/ in a meaningful way but everybody keeps talking to me…….:).

      I too thought I just needed to just leave a comment and then go to another site; just recently have a taken to working my way down the reply thread and ‘butting’ in. It just hit me that is the way I would work a room in a social setting; go figure, huh?

      That has added an extra layer of time though and now I have to figure out how to deal with it.

      When I started dragging my link w/ me on my comments, I truly never did it to drive traffic to my site; I just thought it was the thing to do. Guess what, people started showing up? Yikes….:).

      Tony, you do a great job out here and I personally know you are well respected. This is a pretty forgiving group and even if you did stub your toe I think people would give you the benefit of the doubt.

      I’m all for the quality connections and if I have to keep it small to do that, then so be it.

      Thank you very much for coming by and taking the time to say hello; very much appreciated.

      I hope you have great weekend.

      • Thanks for your kind words Bill, time is indeed the enemy, I just added a comment to the post Marcus did on that very subject, you see, I am getting into the swing of it already!

        Cheers

  25. Hi Bill,

    I think this post has a very interesting way at looking at the blogging world indeed, very well written and well looked into. I am also a member at a gym and often find this to be a similar situation for sure.

  26. Introduction is not an issue in the social media and the blogging world, with so much of information available, like about us page, or the social media pages… one does not really need to introduce, the information is right there at your hands.

    Having more connections is not really something that makes you big, and a true blogger will always take the hand of a new connection that is willing to connect, and if someone that thinks he is too big to follow small guys, will surely be alone soon.

    In the off line world, I make sure to do the formal introduction at first, always been like that.

    • Good points; I’m always willing to help but I’m more on the novice end than one to be offering a lot of advice.

      With my platform, I don’t know how many more I can handle and stay actively engaged.

      It’s funny how fast things move in this world because from the time this post was drafted, written and posted, my take on following/followers has probably changed. But it’s always fluid and I’m just trying to adapt as it changes for me.

      Good luck in your journey and I do appreciate your comments. Thanks for stopping by.

  27. Well, this was quite a concern for me earlier, when I was absolutely new in the blogging world. Especially if people named “Cool chik 211” came by and left a great comment on my post. How did I get to know “cool chik” better or do I refer to her as cool chik forever? Visit her blog and read the about me page. Always works. That is why I made sure I have an about me page.

    And if you are really interested in making a long term connection with the blogger then make sure you have their names saved with their blogs. Otherwise I would be visiting “The Best Blogger” and referring to them just like that! Not quite bad actually…eh?

    Wonderful topic, I enjoyed a lot. So for my “me”. My name is Hajra, I have a personal blog and this is my first visit to your blog. Now off to see your about me page!

    Have a nice day!

    • Hey Hajra, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment. I have definitely seen you around and I think we hang out in some of the same places.

      If you checked out my ‘about me’ page, I have tried to come up w/ something witty and clever but right now it’s pretty non-descript.

      My biggest fear now is when I reply back to your comment, I don’t call you Bob or something forgetting who I am responding to.

      As far as numbers and follow/unfollow I think my commenting activity has brought a spike of followers. I will do a cursory check to make sure they are legitimate and what their motive is; I’m just concerned I won’t be able to engage with all of them.

      I feel like I have aged 50 social media years in the last 30 days. It’s amazing of the things that might have bothered you previously no longer are a big deal.

      Good to see you and I will definitely go check you out.

  28. Hey Bill,
    Thought provoking. I love that moment of awkwardness idea. Actually, has there ever been a better word to describe itself than awkward? AWKWARD, that’s strange.
    But, I digress…
    People want to know they matter. They want to know their thoughts matter. I think that’s why we feel awkward when we don’t remember what ‘what’s his faces’ name is. Inwardly we are concerned they will feel unimportant. Each of us have felt unimportant at one time or another. Most of us know in some terms also, how it feels to be popular (even if it’s just with our own family!). In the end, whether a life long relationship or a brief comment, I want the person to know they matter. They mean something and have value. It is a win/win. We can’t follow everyone and leave comments everywhere. We should make them count when we do. That’s why I came by Bill. I’ve seen some of your comments, and they count.

  29. Hey Rob I concur, awkward is even awkward to spell….

    People do want to know they matter, they mean something. My challenge in here is to make sure that doesn’t happen to someone who has reached out to me. It’s happened to me and I don’t think it was intentional, but I did take it personally. I think it’s only human……..

    I feel I’m running w/ the popular crowd in here but I don’t want people to think it’s exclusive. I will be as inclusive and helpful anyway I can; I just hope whoever reaches out we are able to engage.

    I like your comment and can tell it’s easy for you to bring it to a little deeper level. Good stuff…..

    Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and hope to see you around.

  30. Hey Bill,
    Truth be told, I had to look at your spelling first…is there a double-u before the k?

    I think your thought on inclusion is important.
    The next Danny Brown may be in your crowd or not. Kindness travels well in any case. Your encouragement to an ‘unknown’ may be the difference.
    One of my favorite books probably would not have been written otherwise. Harper Lee was given an envelope for Christmas by friends she had known a relatively short period of time. In the envelope was a years wages. The note read: “You have one year off from your job to write whatever you please. Merry Christmas.”
    Thus, To Kill a Mockingbird was birthed.

    Live it LOUD!

  31. Very intriguing post, I must say. I’m bad with names, so on the initial part I’m someone who will eventually make the introduction using where I know someone from, then ask them their name. On the second, well, I’ve written often enough about people I won’t follow for one reason or another, yet that’s why I use CommentLuv because it allows me to see what someone might be writing about and deciding to follow them back to their blog to see what’s going on there. Kind of like how I found this post. lol

    • Hey Mitch, thanks for taking the time to stop by and say hello.

      I too an initially bad w/ names, but once I get it I’m usually pretty good for a long time.

      If I haven’t made the introduction initially but end up seeing you around all over the place, I’ll try to find someone I know and ask them. Pretty silly, huh?

      When I first got into twitter and trying to figure it out, I thought follow/unfollow was a pretty big thing; lets see how many people I can get. Fast forward to now and I’m not apt to seek out someone to follow unless I’m having dialogue w/ them on the blogs.

      Who knows what my strategy will be 30 days from now, everything moves so fast in this arena.

      Thanks for coming by and hope to see you around again.

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