When people tag on “What do you think?” to the end of a blog post, I think it is a cop out for trying to be social. It’s done because, hey, we need to be social. But it really annnoys me because I feel that my thoughts are just an afterthought to the blog post.
In my opinion, you should either:
- Broadcast Socially. Don’t write a complete thought, then ask “what do you think?” and then not respond to the blog posts — this is just comment vanity. Instead, admit that your are writing complete, fleshed out ideas, and that whilst your blog posts might adapt over time from the feedback in the comments, you aren’t actually looking to converse with your readers in the comments section that much. Get some balls and admit it.
- Go Social Social. Consider that you don’t have the complete picture, and begin making your blog just as much about the comments as the posts by carefully crafting questions that draw out the wisdom from your readers. Facilitate discussion in your comments. Consider your audience to be smarter than you are — because they are.
(To understand ‘Broadcast Socially’ and ‘Social Social’, view the Social / Broadcast Matrix.)
What I can’t stand is when people talk about ‘social’ and then don’t do it. Either value my comments, or don’t ask for them.
The best way to do all this? Be far, far more direct and focussed than “What do you think?” — actually ask me for feedback with deeper, more specific questions.
Of course, the unfortunate reality is that this above behaviour is pretty widely accepted by many professional bloggers and internet celebs. My hope is that those of us who are providing thought leading content will think enough to lead a new kind of blog where we don’t do that. That’s people-to-people. Together, we have the big picture. We learn with each other.