As I have noted before, I feel that the quality of my online interactions with other individuals has been dropping.
I no longer use Twitter as a conversation medium with friends because Twitter has changed. I don’t really like instant messaging because I find it distracting; when I’m in front of my computer I want to focus on the task at hand. On Facebook I tend not to get solicited much due to my privacy settings.
Which leads me to a recent conclusion…the best way to engage with someone, especially if for the purposes of networking, is to leave thoughtful comments on their blog.
Unlike all the services I mentioned above, if person blogs and uses a commenting service like Disqus, you’re pretty much guaranteed they will receive your comment. Email gets ignored. Calls go straight to voicemail. Comments get responded to.
Commenting on someone’s blog accomplishes so much:
- you engage someone on their turf and in a very non-invasive way
- comments tend to have a high response rate, it’s likely you’ll get a reciprocated comment back
- comments let you showcase critical reasoning and smarts
- regular commenting is a sign that you value the other person’s opinions; that won’t go unnoticed
Keep in mind, networking by commenting is not about cold calling someone, or leaving 20 comments in 24 hours.
Comment are about establishing a relationship with someone that you can later turn into an in-person meeting. It’s the next best thing to a warm introduction. Personally, I’m guilty of having forgotten the value of comments: I used to comment frequently, but stopped several years back as comments were a mess. Now, with more folks authoring great niche blogs and coupled with the awesomeness of service like Disqus, I’m back on the bandwagon.
Note: good thoughts on a related note by Mark Suster, Comments are the New Black