February 9, 2011 – We ran across an interesting article the other day that disproves the myth that you can be completely anonymous on the Internet and get away with being rude.
A well known writer for Sports Illustrated, Jeff Pearlman, recently wrote a blog on some of his experiences in dealing with irate readers and their snide, rude, and sometimes outright disgusting responses to his work. Pearlman is among hundreds of well known bloggers across the Internet that face this sort of harassment on a daily basis.
It may sound like hearing people call you an idiot (and other not-suitable-for-our-blog names) and arguing against your content is just typical of the Internet, and sadly, you’re right. The invention of the anonymous or easily faked identity you can adopt on the Internet has allowed people to release their inner schoolyard bully. As Pearlman learned in his confrontation with one irate poster, the anonymity of the Internet lets you say things to people you’d never say to their face.
As a content provider, you need to be diligent in monitoring responses to the blogs and articles you post, as well as any work you release on social media. One of the reasons that blogs fail to gain readership or social media profiles don’t generate a very active response is that their content creators do not engage readers or follow up on their comments.
While writing your content you should think about it from your readers’ perspective. Write to engage them by encouraging their thoughts and responses to your content. Stirring up a little controversy is good now and then, but be careful not to get into too heated of an argument.
Posing questions to your readers is a great way to incite feedback and show that yes, the Internet is listening to the average reader. The reader in the Pearlman story was shocked that a well-known writer would actually take the time to track down one of the hundreds of people that correspond with him on his blog.
Most people would never yell at someone in person like they do on the Internet!
Getting a personal reply from a blog writer that you loyally follow can be a great boon to a reader. Bloggers that are consistent with reader feedback, follow up on comments, and generally talk TO their readers, and not AT them, often have the best word of mouth following.
When developing content for your Internet marketing keep in mind that the best way to gain new clientele is to give that extra push of personal contact. In today’s world of Internet identities it’s easy to get lost in a sea of user names and e-mail addresses. Sometimes, a little personal acknowledgement from your business can mean a world of difference in client happiness.
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