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Conversations On Relational Blogging Continue

A week ago today I published a post asking ‘has Blogging has lost its relational focus?

It was a post that generated some great conversation in comments and one that sparked other bloggers to pick up on the thread and write about it on their own blogs. Today I thought I’d point out some of the conversations that are going on around this topic in the hope that it’ll extend an important topic:

I’m sure there are others – if you’ve written on the topic of late feel free to share your links in comments below.

PS: I should reemphasize that in my original article I didn’t conclude that blogging had lost its relational focus. I did muse about whether it was harder to find and suggest that it is more evident in some niches than others – but by no means have I given up hope in the medium of blogging or its social media.

In fact, for me, it’s so social that at times this little introvert can barely cope!

The reason for my post was simply to remind bloggers of our social/relational roots.

One of the stimuli for the post was recently witnessing a couple of new bloggers go about attempting to build up blogs in ways that I could describe as anti-social. They came to me for advice after months of blogging in a very insular way, not linking out and not wanting to interact with other bloggers in their niche – in fact they viewed other bloggers in their niche suspiciously and purely as competitors.

My counsel to them was to consider that while other blogs might be competitors in one sense – that there was amazing opportunities in interacting and working together.

As I look at my own experience of blogging and that of bloggers that have been far more successful than me I see that often it’s those that are most social and willing to interact with other bloggers that rise the highest. I don’t see this changing even if the technology behind what we do does.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. “As I look at my own experience of blogging and that of bloggers that have been far more successful than me I see that often it’s those that are most social and willing to interact with other bloggers that rise the highest. I don’t see this changing even if the technology behind what we do does.”

    Well I’m certainly happy you see it that way Darren because it’s become a prime focus for me lately. I’d be crushed to know that I’ve been putting in a lot of this effort for nothing!

    Thanx for all your wisdom Darren. It’s very few bloggers I look to for gain in my own wisdom and your among the top of the heap so thanx.

    Cheers
    Davin

  2. Louis Liem says:

    If you can’t beat your competitors, friend them. :)

  3. Jacob says:

    I think that today’s age of bloggers is a lot different than the age of blogger from a year or two ago. I blame…ProBlogger. I’m kidding. But, I think what happened was that so many people saw that people were making money from blogging (not as many as they thought) that they jumped on board. And, rather than do it the slower way that we all do (building friendships, linking to people, etc), they wanted everything given to them. “Let’s get big people to link to us and we’ll have success!” It doesn’t work that way. People got greedy…

  4. PR NY says:

    Once advertising becomes potentially lucrative – and invites are offered to high profile networking events in exchange for coverage – it becomes a competitive source of income.

    Look at how much status being listed on Technorati and Techme has given those popular blogs and bloggers

  5. Steve Olson says:

    Darren,

    For me blogging is relational and social. It allows me to cut through all the nonsense and get right to the point. Competition? Some bloggers like Steve Pavlina don’t link out and are not social or relational with the communities they created. That is what I love about your site. You embrace the community you created.

  6. I think that if everyone would try to actually build relationships on the Internet that everyone can build popular blogs. People spend hours and hours a day on the Internet so there is plenty of time for them to look on your website and read your content. the main problem I see is that everyone has the mental idea that they can get rich fast off of blogging. If people would just realize that if they would just take a couple of years and build the great content that Internet users love then they will finally be able to be a full-time blogger.

  7. Mike Nichols says:

    In the short time I’ve been blogging, I’ve found that the more I interact with others, the higher my traffic is. And as important, the more interesting it is to me.

    I’ve had good experiences interacting with my “competitors.”

    Bloggers who remain insular and suspicious are missing the boat. In my opinion, they are the ones that get discouraged and give up after a short while.

  8. I think something that I’ve noticed is even for relational bloggers I know, it’s tough enough to maintain the relationships you’ve built, much less continue building new ones.

    One of my main messages and purposes in blogging is to talk about the power of relationships, and I think blogging and social media has such great potentital to be transformational, life-changing, inspirational, and most of that comes through relationships.

    When I think of any of my hallmarks in blogging over the past year, I think of people I’ve met, conversations I’ve been a part of, the expansion of my horizons. And you better bet, none of that is in a vaccum! It all centers directly on reationships

    The other thing is, the web is a very lonely place if it’s anti-relational.

    It’s interesting you mention the idea of community. Is an over-emphasis of too many social media tools partially to blame for the decline in relational blogging? I’m not sure overall, but whe nI look at my own time online, I spend less of it at my RSS reader clicking out to comment on great posts than I used to.

  9. Yeah, sometimes it seems like the “social” part of social media gets lost. There are lots of folks I love chatting with, and I couldn’t care less if it helps my traffic, it’s just fun.

  10. I’ll agree with Mike above me – the more conversations you start up, the more your traffic will benefit. I’ve only recently started reaping the rewards of such relationships. They can take time to foster and maintain, but in the end they are worth their weight in gold.

    For me anyway, that’s one of the most rewarding aspects of blogging – knowing that others are reading your things, enjoying and dicsussing them with you!

  11. hemu says:

    Competitors Blogs are best places for our blog to grow. By Commenting, Giving info, linking to them and getting info from them we can grow well in blog sphere.

    As i am a starter blogger I need links for my blog and spread it to blog sphere. For this i feel fellow bloggers are best choice.

  12. Kathi D says:

    I apologize for being a boring grammar crank, but it’s “its” when you are using it in the possessive way, y’know? It’s just one of those things that sticks in my craw when I see it, and the misuse is getting so common that I fear the younguns will never learn the right way.

  13. Megan says:

    I find blogging to be a great relationship building tool. It creates meaningful debate and exchange, and allows people to support one another. Although there are some whose comments may not stimulate debate, their words are a sign that people are out there, wanting to commmunicate and support one another.

    Just my thoughts…

  14. Laura says:

    I’m learning to be more social.I have been linking out and commenting on others’ blogs. I just haven’t really gotten to know many bloggers as people.

  15. I am also a fairly new blogger and one of the draws to blogging for my business was the community feel of blogging and the fact that it gives me a way to interact with like-minded people during the day. There are many things I don’t miss about my old job, but I did miss having co-workers, so the blogging/social media communities are my substitute (especially Twitter!!)

  16. Great post with some great ‘link love’. I will drive through it later today and read the articles. I love your blog Darren, you have helped me so much with my entrepreneur blog. I owe you one

  17. The attitude and approach of bloggers may have changed, but so has the attitude of readers.

    I got into blogging because of the two-way communication it offered between writer and reader, which was much better than the pontification you get with an email newsletter.

    But so far, I’ve found that while I’m getting the traffic, no-one’s talking back to me , despite every inducement I can think of to open up the conversation.

    Yes, blogging has changed.

    But everything evolves.

  18. Suzanna says:

    Since online communication pretty much levels the playing field, it also makes a lot of room for inter-generational exchanges. People are not so much judged for their age, as they are simply left out of conversations when they won’t use the technology. But the ones who do decide it’s worth it, and come to the table and start interacting, find relationships and relating to be the marrow of online interactions. Web 55.0 is forming as Boomers realize there is an open and interesting world online. I want that to continue to develop. I value it. Here’s a blog I wrote to help nudge along some mutual respect:
    Web 55.0: Yes, you got the memo.
    http://www.greatadaptations.org/web-550-yes-you-got-the-memo/
    cheerios
    suzanna

  19. Ari Herzog says:

    @Darren, do you remember reading about the Industrial Revolution, when railroad infrastructure was built around the world and cables were laid on oceanic bedrock for transatlantic and transpacific communication? The people who built the infrastructure were not just people hired to do the job and go home at the end of the day, but they typically lived in mill houses and enjoyed leisure hours together. Is it any surprise that so-called web geeks continue the mantra of socializing during off-hours?

    @Tiffany, it is difficult to fathom a web as anti-relational for the very word conjures up images of spiders traversing intricate systems of miniscule tubes, double pun intended.

    One other thing. What I’m about to write has been discussed ad infinitum here, there, and everywhere, but it is very frustrating to engage people in conversation when they don’t use names. I respect that earlier commenters “Ultimate Blogging Experiment” and “PR NY” want to further their brand (and I enjoyed reading what they wrote) but how can one nurture a relationship with a series of words or acronyms and not a Tom, Dick, or Harry? If you don’t want to use your real name, at least go anonymous and make up a name to make this relationship more personal and to give more of an incentive to see the web beyond the person.

    Oh, and Kathi, I love your grammar critique but you realize “y’know” is not a word either?

  20. Kathi D says:

    Whuuuuuuuuuuttttt?????? Y’know is not a word???????

    DAYUM!!

  21. Toni says:

    I hope this isn’t off topic, but I’m new to blogging (still using the free wordpress site) and I read something about deep linking that was disturbing. First of all, I love the mutual linking, as long as there is original copy leading to the links (SO many blogs just regurgitating other blogs post after post) but this is what I read, referring to a blogging war between 2 papers:

    …..In the process, the front page of the Times’ site (on which paid advertisements appear) was bypassed, significantly diminishing the value of the site to potential advertisers. Finally, the judge stated that the headlines may be sufficiently long to have copyright protection, and therefore the copying of the headlines (and not necessarily the links) might be a violation of copyright law. (I hope this isn’t off topic, but I’m new to blogging (still using the free wordpress site) and I read something about deep linking that was disturbing. First of all, I love the mutual linking, as long as there is original copy leading to the links (SO many blogs just regurgitating other blogs post after post) but this is what I read, referring to a blogging war between 2 papers:

    …..In the process, the front page of the Times’ site (on which paid advertisements appear) was bypassed, significantly diminishing the value of the site to potential advertisers. Finally, the judge stated that the headlines may be sufficiently long to have copyright protection, and therefore the copying of the headlines (and not necessarily the links) might be a violation of copyright law. (http://www.bitlaw.com/internet/linking.html#Passing)

    I always “deep link” directly to the article I’m referencing to avoid reader frustration (and I don’t want my reader getting lost in someone else’s blog trying to find the article). Personally I hate being directed to a page which seems to have no relationship to the article I was reading.

    Am I committing a revenue faux pas? Is any linkback better than no linkback? Must I link to the home page and not the referred article?

    I always “deep link” directly to the article I’m referencing to avoid reader frustration (and I don’t want my reader getting lost in someone else’s blog trying to find the article). Personally I hate being directed to a page which seems to have no relationship to the article I was reading.

    Am I committing a revenue faux pas? Blogs seem to carry the same ads from page to page so is this just a fight between old style news services? Is any linkback better than no linkback? Must I link to the home page and not the referred article?

    Again, sorry if it’s off topic, but I thought about this with the previous article last week and forgot to post.

  22. Ari Herzog says:

    Toni, if you’re reading a newspaper and you like something so much you want to share it with your mother, wouldn’t you clip the story out with your scissors and show Mom that clipping when you next see her? You wouldn’t save the entire newspaper, would you? Just tell her what paper it’s from and the date.

    No different with online/new media, blogs included. Reference the page with some keywords to describe it. Your choice to include other details such as the date of the post and/or who wrote it.

  23. HoomanCan says:

    You will get everything in life that you want, if you just help as many people as you can get all of the things that they want. I believe you have to give without any expectation to get back something in return. Darren is a perfect example of this kind of thinking. I wish you the best and continued success.