E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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How and When to Respond to Conversations – Managing Your Own Virtual Water Cooler

Over at Micro Persuasion Steve Rubel has been sharing today an interesting weblog post that I thought would be worth while commenting on as well. In How and When to Respond to Conversations he is actually wondering “whether companies needed to address every single comment/question that comes in on their blogs” or not.

I generally tend to agree with the comments mentioned by Steve and others, but I would go and take things even a bit further. As I have mentioned already elsewhere, I have always been saying that weblogging is all about having conversations with other people and as such I have always felt that weblogging is like having your own virtual water cooler where you invite people to participate in different discussions with you on a specific set of topics.

And like in every water cooler whenever you have got few people, therefore few weblog comments, you always have a tendency to engage with them all in the subsequent conversations. Thus in weblogging the same thing would apply. The complicated thing though would be when you have got far too many people talking at the same time over at the water cooler. Normally, you will have the tendency of summarising the different thoughts and add your own to the overall topic of discussion or, on the other hand, you will just pick up a subset of the conversations taking place and engage further with those knowing that everyone else would do the same thing, surely you know that at the same time your conversations are taking place so are others with other participants and therefore everyone is engaged into the discussion(s). No one is left behind.

That multiple level of interactions is in the end what will make the conversations ever so much more enlightening and richful and as such, before you would realise about it, you would be fostering the creation of multiple groups or networks within your own weblog or the (virtual) water cooler that would be able to carry on further the conversations while you may be busy preparing the next set of interactions. At least, that is one of the things that I have been experiencing myself over the last couple of years that I have been weblogging both on the Internet and the Intranet and how I take every single comment that goes into each of the different weblogs that I manage. And so far it seems to be working.

But how about you ? Are you one of those who prefer to manage your virtual water cooler and engage with it as much as you can or rather you prefer to let it go and allow others manage those comments for you ? Is it always good to try to be in control ? It is worth it ?

[tags]Metablogging, Virtual+Water+Cooler, Conversations[/tags]

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