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Charles Frith

Just get on with it :)

James Cherkoff

Well said Charles!

Rory MacDonald

Here is one for you to think about:

Give people a common enemy and platform to moan.

I have come to a realisation recently (don't know if I am a bit slow here), a lot of the blogs I have been reading are filled with people moaning about something or attacking something (some of them are so formulaic I am almost embarrassed that I ever joined in). People joining together in the belief they are fighting against something seems to be a very effective way to attract community spirit necessary for a good dialogue.

There seem to be far fewer active blogs where people are joining together to be constructive.

I don't think this is a purely online phenomenon, its like the argument that any strong nation needs an enemy to maintain its power. However, I think this clearly works as a way to build online community. The difficulty for commercial blogs is whether companies want to associate themselves with a negative site but it can be done well.

James Cherkoff

Hi Rory, thoughtful as ever. It depends what you mean by negative. The Obama campaign was no doubt galvanised by a common view of the GOP. However, it felt very constructive. Sometimes, I think it's too easy to categorise people discussing a subject - along with moans and gripes - as negative. It's often a good starting point.

But I take your point. Maybe it's just takes more time to build a community around a constructive POV. However, almost by definition, constructive sites that create real changes in people's lives tend to have longer shelf-lines...

That's got me thinking!


Too many corporations and people treat their blogs as just another way to send messages. They really need to focus on the two-way conversation. The growing practice of hiring PR professionals and self-appointed "social media gurus" that will seek to help control the message doesn't bode well.

James Cherkoff

Thanks Allan, a very good point. The *C* word is never far from these conversations is it?!

Rory MacDonald

Give away IP. Here speaks the free culture freak. If you give away trade secrets and insider knowledge people will be interested and you may get new insights into new areas.

I think people tend to give as much in the comments as they see the blogger giving in their post.

eg. If you had written a mindblowingly strong list of blogging tips it would have provoked more suggestions.

James Cherkoff

Not mind-blowing enough for you then Mr MacDonald?! ;-)

I hear you, however, the reality is that giving stuff away still scares the bejesus out of the majority of the commercial world...


I would have loved to read the rest of your tips, but after I clicked on "here" I got taken to an 404 error page for Media Trust.

James Cherkoff

Hey thanks Ladybeams - that's fixed. Read away...

Rory MacDonald

"I hear you, however, the reality is that giving stuff away still scares the bejesus out of the majority of the commercial world..."

True, but then they shouldn't blog. That is my whole point. Who is going to read a stream of marketing/pr fluff. If they are not going to say anything of interest no one is going to read it.

These people just need to read Wikinomics and then decide whether they can by into the philosophy or not. If not, don't blog.

James Cherkoff

Culture first - tools second. Amen to that.

Rory MacDonald

And since I have been mean to you in an earlier comment, I will now big you up:

The other thing is to reply to people. You are great at coming back to comments that is a real top three tip.

I had a great one yesterday: I posted a fairly cutting comment on a very popular open source blog, but none the less made a fair point. The blogger responded by posting 4 posts (on top of the one they had just written) in one day, just so that my comment got buried (previously they had only posted a max of twice in one day).

I guess it beats the Apple user forums where they just delete negative feedback.

However, in both cases it just incites my sadistic side to post more comments which they might find painful. Trying to hide rather than engaging in dialogue with those who are critical is a top ten don't.

James Cherkoff

Hey thanks Rory! Trying to hide from those who are critical is very much missing the point. Apparently, at M&S staff are told that people who are most critical are likely to be the highest spending customers. I wonder if that translates online. Maybe that those who are most critical are also the most influential.

Does Apple really delete negative feedback?

Bloggers Payback

Just knowing everything there is to know about Wordpress and blogging in general has become a bit of an obsession for me hehehe.. so this is a great post to find! Thank you very much.

I just want to comment that I also wholeheartedly agree with replying to people on their comments. I have found this to give a very interactive feel to your site that gives people the feeling of you being an authority that they can trust. I recommend everybody doing it, you can't go wrong!

James Cherkoff

Hey BP, glad you found it useful!

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