The Art of Creating Content Online

Every now and then, I encounter a post from The Onion that makes me more than just give a little giggle before moving on. Sometimes, it makes me pause a while and think about something more than what the funny comic just shared.

That happened a couple of days ago, when I came across this long (but worth reading) comic: Some thoughts and musings about making things for the web. It shared funny and insightful messages where I ended up just exclaiming “Yes!” in certain areas. And no, not that part about refusing to wear pants, okay?

As an online content creator, a few points definitely resonated –

  • Being bothered by 1 bad comment out of 1000 excellent comments: check.
  • Finding it easier to write about an assigned topic rather than having to come up with my own again and again: check.
  • Knowing that a daily posting schedule isn’t for me: yep, check.

I won’t keep going. Just go ahead and read it if you haven’t done so yet.

And, yes, there were a couple of points that made me just stop and re-think some of my own approaches to content creation. Like this panel, for example:

Oatmeal-Content-Creators

It was talking about online content creators’ need to open up every single post with comments.

Is a blog – a real blog – if comments were disabled?

As an advocate for online community, not just online content, there’s a part of me that does look for engagement when I share my posts. I feel a bit bad when posts are left without even a single reply.

It’s like that “If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound if no one’s there to hear it” kind of thing.

The same reason I’m not a big fan of “performance presentations” – where I’m required to do ALL the talking for a solid 30 minutes to an hour. Or worse, do a three-hour lecture with barely a break in-between!

I like interaction. Engagement energises me.

That’s why I like workshops. I like interactive presentations. And that’s why I love comments.

But, do I really NEED comments? All the time?

How do I know which blog posts I turn comments off? Or, do I follow the lead of some bloggers I know who just completely shut down comments on their blogs?

The thing is, I don’t see my blog posts as a “performance”. Especially not here at ShaiCoggins.com.

I have blogged in places where I do feel like they’re performances. Mostly because they’re about work. So, there, I feel like I simply need to deliver. Regardless of whether comments happen or not.

Here, I like conversations. I like connectivity.

So, while I’m okay with some posts not getting any comments, I’d like to leave that opportunity to for someone to stop by and say something on a post that might connect with them in some way. Goodness knows how many wonderful friendships and networks I’ve created, just based on the comments sections of my blogs.

That’s why, for now, I’m okay with keeping comments open. To allow conversations happen in my blog posts. But, maybe – just maybe – one of these days, I will have a post that might end up a purely rhetorical performance by choice.

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Comments

  1. says

    In the past, when it comes to blog comments, I’ve always taken an in-between approach. If there is a need to prevent comments due to some kind of repeated ‘verbal’ abuse, I ban comments on a case-by-case basis via IP address.

    I’m not a big fan of blogs that don’t allow the interaction you write about, because most things one-sided are no fun at all. One of my favorite authors banned comments on her site, which had previously had very heavy comment traffic. I think it hurts both the author and readers who have insightful things to share and exchange. Unfortunately, the author went that way because of some repeated abusive commenters that ruined it for everybody. You can still interact with the author on FB and Twitter, but it’s just not the same.

    I hope that you will always have comments open here, as your readers always seem to be highly insightful, creative and good peeps :)
    Kari recently posted..Holiday 2012 Card InspirationMy Profile

  2. says

    Admittedly, I have considered that as well before. But me being me, such thoughts are often a result of “nobody commented, well, I must suck. Let’s close comments so I don’t have to think about me sucking.” Again, I’m a sore loser.

    But similarly, I love the interaction, I love the engagement. And I still have a little leap of joy in my heart when I see a new comment come through.

    I think comments are a beautiful thing. And that trolls will always happen. Haters will hate, so why let them bring you down?
    Celeste@Becoming Beautiful recently posted..Jobless and the myriad of feelings that come with it.My Profile

    • says

      Ah, Celeste. My blog is killing me. I’ve typed my response to you TWICE now. And, both times, they got lost in cyberspace. Maybe not the time to share! :)

      So, I think I might have to leave it for now and try to blog my response to you one day.

      In any case, thanks for sharing. I think we’ve all been there before. And you’re right. We can’t focus on the bad stuff. Especially when too many good stuff happen most of the time. :)