Tag Archives: conversation

Can Online Discussions Always Be Positive?

I noticed a thread today on Geeks that is talking about how discussions always end up turning negative in some way. This got me to thinking about conversations I have all over the web – on Geeks, over at Lockergnome, here in my blog, and even on sites like Twitter. It seems no matter what you’re trying to talk about, someone is going to be negative in some way. The people in this particular thread are right – it truly is annoying.

I’m not talking about differing opinions. Those are great, and I welcome them. Hopefully, you like hearing them as well. Having different viewpoints on things allows us to stretch our minds in directions they may not have otherwise gone. It can make us look at things in a whole new way, from a completely different perspective.

The negativity I’m referring to is exactly as it sounds – negativity, for no reason other than to be rude/demeaning. You’ll be having a conversation that’s going along nicely, and some person pops their nose in and starts going off on a tangent about something that may or may not relate to your discussion. They may even be completely rude about it, or directly “attack” someone involved in the thread/post. I really hate that. What’s the point of it? Why must Internet trolls even exist? Can’t we just like shoot them out of a cannon or something?

Seriously, though, why does it seem so difficult these days to have a completely intelligent conversation with others without the fear of someone taking it down a road it should never go? What are your thoughts? Are you seeing more and more of this lately, and how do you get past it to continue your discussion? What else are you reading and/or participating in online that has your mind stretching?

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What is Twitter Good For?


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An acquaintance of mine, Deb, made an interesting assertion at the [re]Think Hawaii conference last week. She suggested that Twitter is where conversations are happening. I suggested that that isn’t quite accurate.

As you very well know, I am on Twitter. However, I don’t use it to have conversations as some of you do. To me, trying to use Twitter to have a conversation is similar to using a screwdriver to pound a nail into a steel door. Sure, it’s a tool… but are you using that tool the way it was designed?

Twitter wasn’t designed for conversations. It’s difficult to track them. To go one level deep into an interaction is an exercise in futility. Have you ever gone to a person’s page, and seen ten tweets in a row, complete with several @msgs? It’s impossible to follow.

I say that if you want to have an actual conversation, I feel you should be doing so somewhere like FriendFeed or Facebook. That is easy to track. Twitter wasn’t built with threading in mind. It’s a great tool, don’t get me wrong. It’s just not a place to have conversations. Don’t use it in ways it was never meant to be used.

Sooner or later, I’m sure that Twitter will figure out a way to make it easy to follow threads and conversations. A one-to-one is done easily via a direct message… such as with IM or email.

I’m going on record as a person in the world of social media, and state outright that Twitter isn’t a good way to have a conversation. If someone @myself, I tend to follow up via email or DM if I want to reply to or address whatever it was. However, it’s very seldom that I try to interact with someone on a one-on-one basis on Twitter. I usually only share information that I think would be funny/interesting/informative to my community.

I could be wrong, of course. This is just my opinion. If you do disagree with me, you can say so on Twitter, or even here on my blog.

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What Do You Remember When You Look Back?

Reading through the different things posted by our community today, I came across a post that truly had me stopping to think. One member wrote a blog post discussing things he looks back upon with a smile. That had me wondering what kinds of things from the distant (and not-so-distant!) past make me just stop and smile in memory. There are many things that do, making me feel as though I’ve been fortunate for the most part. Things like recalling my first video game playing experience all the way through to the funny things my dogs do today make me take time out to just crack a grin. What kinds of memories do you smile and giggle over?

Saving Twitter Conversations

Earlier today, I asked for help with saving Twitter conversations to my blog. Quite a few people responded (including a few programmers). I’ll be interested in seeing what develops, but I’m also happy to show you that @whozman helped me generate the following thread based on who responded to my two general queries…

wampy: i use twitter mainly from my phone…would love to see a client that lets me forward single tweets or conversations to email

about 3 hours ago

Yardboy: I actually played around with that a bit but not all clients populate the “in response to status” field on a post to twitter.

about 4 hours ago

areyouscreening: I think that already exists actually… Maybe it’s a WP plugin I’m thinking of though

about 5 hours ago

five: That wouldn’t be hard to do using the Twitter API.

about 5 hours ago

gurubrandon: I’m all over hat. I think that would be awesome. But.. I think it might already be done.

about 5 hours ago

gotham158: Yah that would be pretty cool, be cool to integrate it with google reader too.

about 5 hours ago

brewstermax: Go for it.

about 5 hours ago

FreddyGipson: While it is cool you’re developing this, why not make it open source? That way many other bloggers may use it too.

about 5 hours ago

dhiraj: I’m already using sweetcron for this. What did you have in mind? A wordpress plugin? http://lifestream.dhirajgupta.com

about 5 hours ago

vikc: check out http://bostontweet.com He is doing something similar to that Twitter service you speak of.

about 5 hours ago

mattbremer: cool idea! PockeTwit for WinMo has a show conversation mode that lists all related tweets so it’s possible via twitter API.

about 5 hours ago

geekyjenn: Love that idea!

about 5 hours ago

raymondpirouz: lol…Tweetmitt? Baseball mitt w/a little birdie in it? 😉

about 5 hours ago

boom8088: Now that would be a cool program! I hope you’ll let me know when it’s up and running… 🙂

about 5 hours ago

Shih_Wei: It is unfortunate that many great convos taking place on Twitter couldn’t be better preserved for followup or reference.

about 5 hours ago

seb86: That can be done easily using there API. I might do one for Wordress. Great idea.

about 5 hours ago

Digital_Puddin: that would be an awesome app Chris I would love to contribute to that as well

about 5 hours ago

TracyRenee: nice one, i just wish i were more technical to help you 🙂

about 5 hours ago

sdreinhart1975: very easy… just need to generate a twitter originated feed… maybe add “save to blog” buttons and generate an RSS sub to

about 5 hours ago

uknowirock: Start developing……

about 5 hours ago

themachack: that is the first tweet that you have done without spamming, well done and happy birthday.

about 5 hours ago

James_W: Maybe you could work with a new API

about 5 hours ago

PassTheBoll: I would like that, too. Even a service that just easily displays conversations. the @Replies menu doesn’t work that well.

about 2 hours ago

lhamil64: Could it be done with RSS?

about 3 hours ago

r3dnax3la: yay you joined me in the Beats by Dre club w00t 😀

about 4 hours ago

mrichman: Does twitter have an api to get all responses to a single tweet?

about 4 hours ago

jdntx: you could start a #cp hashtag or something like it and have a bot search for and post all tweets with that tag.

about 4 hours ago

butterflymeaway: I wish I could sort my tweets/tweeple so it would be easier to follow conversations better. Or is that already possible?

about 4 hours ago

gmdclark: Almost possible: the problem is lack of reply-threading, and tweet a bunch Chris.

about 4 hours ago

dustinson: I’ve thought that a nice FishBone diagram for the conversations and time lines would be nice.

about 5 hours ago

sfallows: why can’t I find any good documentation for your wicketpixie theme

about 5 hours ago

joanikin: just learned that your Twitter profile is worth $7,000 http://tweetvalue.com/

about 5 hours ago

Obscura: Have another look at Friendfeed?

about 5 hours ago

chriscasper: WordPress integration?

about 5 hours ago

pgbkruit: The only problem with that is that you’ll never know who responded to what.

about 5 hours ago

calebh: that would be awesome

about 5 hours ago

husanioakley: that’s a good idea. what blog software do you use?

about 5 hours ago

englishinvader: Don’t we all dude. Don’t we all.

about 5 hours ago

gfranks: That would be AWESOME!

about 5 hours ago

sswayze: yeah, threading would be great… is it possible to use your rss feed somehow… thinking outside the bun always helps me 🙂

about 5 hours ago

I’ve given him some initial feedback, but it only took a few tweaks (and additions to my CSS) to make it look picture perfect. I’ve needed this for such a long time; I’ll finally be able to generate a full post based on responses.

How to Get People to Comment on Your Blog Posts

Geek!This is Bradley Bradwell’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

Bloggers often find it difficult to get visitors to their website, let alone receiving comments for their posts. However, these bloggers aren’t realizing that there are a few strategic techniques that can prove to be very helpful when attempting to attract commenters.

Make a Controversial Post

These types of posts allow different opinions to be expressed, and allow others to react positively or negatively to your stated opinion. However, don’t be offended when receiving criticism from your commenters – as those posts are crucial for keeping all parts of your audience interested. This type of criticism can also be constructive, giving other commenters more to react to.

Get The Facts Right

The worst types of comments you can receive are comments that accuse you of lying or posting false information. These aren’t productive comments, and can reduce your reputation – not only on your blog, but throughout the Internet. Link to sources you use in your posts, and (if possible) include a short bibliography towards the end. Before you publish your posts, have someone edit them and ask you questions. These questions can prove to be very helpful in creating higher quality blog posts.

Ask People to Comment

No, I don’t mean spam the living hell out of everyone you know. It can be very useful to ask for constructive information from your readers. This can be as simple as asking for an opinion, or asking for information regarding your blog post – from within the post itself. It’s also important to know that asking for comments doesn’t mean be quick about it; provide informative and creative entries that might better invoke a conversation.

Comment on Other Blogs

This means speaking your opinion in the digital public space, and letting people know where you stand. By doing this, you’re showing that you have distinctive, unique thoughts and opinions. This can lead readers to comment on your blog, adding (once again) additional information to your original post. It’s also important that you don’t just post comments on one particular blog, but spread your opinion by posting comments on a variety of other web sites and blogs (preferably, those which are similar to your affinities). Spreading yourself throughout the Internet may draw various opinions from people who otherwise wouldn’t know about you.

Get Hits

This goes without saying: if you don’t get hits, your not going to get comments. Submit your blog posts to various “social sites” when warranted, such as Digg or Reddit. In general, you should promote your blog to the best of your ability, and give yourself time to achieve increased inbound traffic. Promoting your website also means promoting throughout your local community, and asking for community members’ opinions. These can be the most powerful comments, as these members are in a similar location and potentially facing similar difficulties as you are with certain products and ideas.

Getting people to comment on your post is by no means an easy task. Make sure that you’re always providing high quality posts for your readers to comment on, and give the appropriate credit to the appropriate people. Make sure that it’s simple and easy for your commenters to find your comment box, and allow them to express their opinion no matter what side they take. At the end of the day, enjoy what you’re doing – and give yourself the credit you deserve for a job well done.