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Importance of Community

I had originally titled this post “Why I Comment” but decided there was more to it than just leaving a note on other blogs. Instead, I want to speak of the importance of the community, in particular, the importance of the online hobby community.

Importance of the Hobby Community

As this blog is nearing its 10th birthday, I’ve had a lot of up and downs with both the hobby as well as the blog. The thing that has sustained me through so many low times is the fantastic community of online hobbyists.

Shortly after starting the blog (named 14th Grand Company at the time) I joined an online group doing the Tale of Even More Painters. We had a monthly challenge to paint a particular type of unit for our armies. It was a productive time, but more importantly, it was a chance to build roots into the community.

What got me thinking about all of this, and finally write this post, was one of the responses to a survey I sent to all the Dreadtober participants.

“People not helping other projects along with comments or enthusiasm” – Dreadtober survey participant

This person was disappointed in how little comments and interactions there were on the posts. You could write this off as someone complaining about not getting enough attention, but the truth was, many of the Dreadtober posts I read had zero comments.

Now, I don’t want this post to be a shaming, or even looking for comments myself. Rather, the idea sparked from a post by the famous Greg (greggles). He is famous because he is a prolific commenter. But his reason was simple: he was sad to see so much work being put into posts with no one leaving a comment.

Not leaving it to “somebody else’s problem,” Greg wanted to let as many people know as he could that their work was valued.

Commenting

But why bother? Greg is clearly an amazing individual for taking so much time help people, even through commenting. But for those who think commenting on blogs is dead, not sure why people even bother with it, or maybe even what to say, I’ve put a list together of why I comment and why I love comments on my posts.

0. Congratulate Their Success

When I see a model that has been beautifully put together and painting, I wish I could give them an award (perhaps someday I’ll create the Golden Paintbrush just for that!). The closest I can come instead is to leave them a heartfelt comment on their work.

Even if the model is far from award winning, I love to celebrate each hobbyist’s growth or bravery in trying something new. It’s scary putting your work out there for the world to see, even scarier if you know it looks awful (yes, I’ve deleted many of my old posts for this reason!). Celebrating their success motivates them to continue on.

1. Builds a Community

As with Greg, I try and comment on blogs that I follow. Sometimes it’s as simple as “great work” – though I try to add a bit more depth than that. Other times, I am asking questions or giving tips (usually only if asked for!).

Many of those bloggers reply back (see below), comment on other blogs, or leave comments on mine. As simple as that is, it builds a connected community of people who share a common passion: building and painting miniatures.

You could argue that social media, which I get to later on, is replacing this. And in some ways it is. But when you send a tweet, it disappears in minutes. A comment, on the other hand, is there for others to see when they come across the post years later.

2. Add to the Conversation

Building off of that, a good comment adds to the post and creates a conversation. New readers see the conversation which may help them understand the post even more, or they may add their own voice.

3. Sustain Motivation

When I get comments on posts, especially WIP posts, it helps me maintain motivation to finish it. It’s even better when someone who knows me gives a little prod to finish a project that has been lingering too long.

I look at commenting as a way to pay this forward. Especially if someone is talking about how tough a project is or how real life is draining them. Life happens, but we as a community can support each other to get through those moments.

4. Promotes creativity

Feeling down in your hobby muse? Browsing other hobby blogs is great for finding some inspiration, but I find that if I take the time to leave the person a comment, I look at the models that much more.

What was so eye-catching about that blue? How did they achieve that metal look? What bits are those from? As I said earlier, I don’t like leaving shallow comments, so I really look at the models and find something unique or exceptional that the hobbyist did to comment on.

For me, this sparks some level of creative thoughts for my own projects. Something I can tuck away for later.

5. Build Worldwide friendships

Similar to building a community above, though blog comments I have grown friendships all over the world. Even though we have never met in person, I know that if I find myself in Ireland or Australia there are friends I could call upon to introduce me to the country.

It’s also fun to see what other parts of the world find interesting or when a cultural reference becomes the topic of discussion (what is that nasty pasty thing Aussies eat anyway?).

6. Builds Traffic

I would be amiss if I didn’t at least hit this reason for commenting (Thor and I have written about blogging after all). But notice I put it at the bottom of the list for a reason: if this is the primary focus of commenting, you are spamming.  When I look at my analytics, I find that every day I get traffic from Blogger or Disqus. These are direct links from people looking at my profile on these commenting systems.

Secondary traffic comes from others seeing my comment, recognizing the name and later visiting my site. It is building my “brand” if you will. If anything else, this is a great reason to leave great comments: they may be other’s first impression of you and how you treat others.

Side Note: It’s Important to Reply

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shared a site with someone and had them say “oh I like that site, too bad they never reply to comments.” The author has taken all that time to write the post, add in some pictures, and put it out there for everyone to see, but then ignore their visitors.

When you look at all the reasons people could leave comments, it’s just as important to them that they feel heard. Even a simple “thanks” or “cheers” acknowledges you heard their voice and appreciate their time in leaving a comment.

Alternatively, if you don’t want comments at all (there are reasons) turn them off. You could instead point people to your social media profile that you are active on.

Social Networks

And that leads into social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and lately, Instagram.

Social is why I changed the name of this post to the importance of community overall. leaving comments is a nice, direct way to interact with the hobby bloggers, but there are many more hobbyists that don’t blog at all.

Signing up for the different networks and getting involved may seem like just one more thing to do, but I have found that you can put as much effort into it as you want to get out of it.

Just as with why I think leaving comments is important, I put together my list of the importance of interacting with the community on social media.

1. See New Things

Too often in life, we get stuck in our own little bubble. Even in our niche of the world of miniature wargaming and miniature painting it can be easy to miss out on new things happening.

One of the great things about the Twitter community is that everyone has unique aspects into the hobby and its branches. If they see something cool, they can retweet it and their followers can see it too. Because of this I have found tons of new blogs to follow, miniature lines with fantastic models, and new painting styles.

The growth of Instagram for our hobby is thanks in part to GW’s #paintingwarhammer tag. My favorite thing about this social media is that it is only pictures, and  most people that post hobby related pictures usually keep it to that. This means that my Instagram feed is full of amazing miniatures.

2. Get or Give Quick Feedback

When you get stuck on something or would like the consensus of the community on a particular topic, it’s super easy to post it to social and see responses roll in. People see it instantly and can respond just as quick, as compared to a blog post which may take days before someone sees it.

3. Ripple Effects

Another cool thing about Twitter is the ability to jump into conversations with your own thoughts. There is an openness there that invites quick and easy interactions. Someone retweets someone’s question and you could jump in with your answer.

This conversation then ripples on as others jump in, retweet your post, or look through the conversation. This again is building your online reputation with people you have never spoken to, but may return the favor and answer one of your questions.

4. Promote

Again, social media is notorious for internet marketers attempting to get your eyeballs and shares. It’s no surprise as it is easy to do and gets results. But it’s also easy to do too much and push people away.

I do use social media to promote my posts, and I follow some of the marketing tips to share each post a few times. But I always try to respect those who follow me and not spam them with endless “CLICK HERE” posts.

5. Share Awesome Things

Which leads me into the other way I use social network: to promote other people’s work.

Let’s say you saw an awesome movie over the weekend, do you share that with all your coworkers on Monday? Then why not do the same with awesome hobby things you find?

This does two things: people who follow you may have never seen it before either and will thank you for showing to them. And the original author get’s additional exposure – building a relationship with them.

Be a Builder

So if I could sum up this entire post, it’s this: be a builder in the community.

Leaving comments is easy, especially on Disqus as you can use Google or Facebook to sign in. But it can do so much for the author, the community, and your own online reputation.

Jump into social media. Thanks to hashtags, it is pretty easy to join into the hobby conversations and get to know others. Share what you are up to and share amazing things with others.

Your Thoughts

I would be remiss if I didn’t finish this post without asking you for your thoughts. Why do you comment, or perhaps, why don’t you comment? What are your favorite comment to receive, what are you least favorite (besides trolls of course)?

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  • Grenn Dal

    I try and leave comments on the blogs I read. I know the warm fuzzies I get when people comment on my own blog. I am not very prolific on twitter. I tend to like the cool things I see but I rarely comment on it.

    • I’m the same on Twitter and Instagram, not as interactive as I could be but I do try to ‘like’ things that are cool.
      I get special warm fuzzes when I get comments so quickly after posting! So bonus points for that 🙂

  • I’ve been so bad lately with commenting. I broke the habit of doing it (and with faeit’s blog wheel going down) and it’s been a tough one getting back into it! (very time consuming!).

    I always feel as artists, we should do the most to encourage and inspire each other. Thought art is first and forth most for the artist themselves (we paint, build, bash for ourselves), art is all the greater when it is shared and enjoyed by everyone!

    I am always reminded by the quote by Kevin Smith.

    ““Remember: It costs nothing to encourage an artist, and the potential benefits are staggering. A pat on the back to an artist now could one day result in your favorite film, or the cartoon you love to get stoned watching, or the song that saves your life. Discourage an artist, you get absolutely nothing in return, ever.””

    Also in comic form by zenpencils.
    http://zenpencils.com/comic/kevinsmith/

    You never know the next constructive critique (that is still encouraging!), or I love that, it’s flipping amazing, could push someone to keep working until one day they are walking home with a 10k crystal brush.

    You are always rewarded in sharing art! Whether the rewards are in front of you, or years down the road.

    • I keep trying to tell you to try Feedly out or at least switch to Thor or Tale of Painter’s blog rolls 🙂

      That is a fantastic quote! And a very poignant comic. While many are confident enough to weather a few bad criticisms, you never know if you are _that_ one. I also think of some of the others in the hobby community that continue to grow in their skills and push to be better.

      • Don’t make me change my methods Joe! I’m old! 🙂

        • HAHAHA! Don’t claim it yet, there are still plenty more ork-years left in those ol’ bones 🙂

  • Very well said, and I couldn’t agree more.

    The quick negative. It’s a HUGE pet peeve of mine to not have an author respond to my comments. They took the time to write it, I took the time to comment on it, the least they can do is acknowledge my comment. It’s even worse when you ask the author something, and they can’t be bothered to answer. It just reeks of arrogance, or simply not caring. I’ve stopped following blogs for this reason.

    That out of the way, I try and comment on anything I read. If I read the article in full then I must have found it interesting for one reason or another, and the author deserves to know that. It’s a pat on the back for a job well done.

    I also like to encourage hobbyists. You’re right, it’s damn scary putting your work out there. It doesn’t matter if you’re painting is amazing or not either. You are subjecting yourself to the views and opinions of the world, awaiting their scrutiny. We’re our own worst critic, so we never think it’s good enough to begin with (typically), and then you throw it out there and wait.

    When someone has a model they are showing that’s not the best quality, I will find something I like about it and compliment them. I will encourage them where they are doing well, and often offer advice to improve the other areas.

    • I do find it odd when authors do that. I know I miss a comment now and then but I try to always get back to everybody. They clearly have their reasons, I just wish they knew how it drives away plenty of people who would otherwise enjoy their work.

      That’s a good rule to follow on commenting if you follow an article through to the end. It clearly entertained me for a good minute or sparked something, and a comment is a easy way to reward that.

      • We all miss one now and then, a comment, but I’ll visit a site with 20 comments, and not one single response from the author. Usually I’ll give them a second chance, and if I get nothing that time then I write them off.

        Yeah, that’s my simple rule for commenting. Even if I disagreed with the author I will comment. It’s nice to get some discussion going, see various points of view you may not otherwise, and maybe understand the opposing side a bit more.

        • The discussion is one of the things I like about the Disqus system as it nests things well and makes it easy to jump into different threads.

    • I need to update my general suite of social media “stuff” to make sure I don’t miss comments on my posts, though I haven’t had that problem in as long time. I so rarely check my Gmail account where my comment notifications go that I should link it to my phone or something. Maybe an auto forward to my everyday Yahoo address.

      • Gmail has rules to do things like that, or change the settings on your platform so you get the notifications.

      • It tends to be easier to miss on old posts that get a comment. That is if the notifications aren’t going somewhere you check routinely.

  • Great post Joe, one I definitely agree with!
    I try and leave a comment most of the times I read another post, but I read so many I don’t always do it. I hate seeing someone pour so much effort into a blog and have a dozen or so post with no comments at all.
    I will second Greg’s comments on my sadness with the Faeit blog roll being down. This is where I tended to discover most of my new blogs and I have struggled to find more since this went down.

    • Cheers Corrm. I do get overwhelmed with the vast number of posts every day. I’ve personally had to limit down what posts I spend time on to ones that are hobby related (as compared to battle reports, etc). It’s just what I’m focused on at the moment and helps me spend more time on those posts instead.
      I thought I saw he was rebuilding the blogroll, is it still not back up?

      • Nope, still not reappeared yet.

  • Mordian7th

    Excellent post, Joe! You make some excellent points and your experiences closely mirror my own – I do my best to go through my own extensive blog roll on a daily basis and make at least three or four comments on people’s efforts regardless of the skill and talent of the poster. I try to offer up encouragement and suggestions where I feel I may have some useful advice, post some awed praise for those many folks who are far more talented than I, and I definitely agree that answering people’s comments on my own blog is just good manners – definitely stems from the disappointment from not being responded to on others’ blogs. Lead by example, I say! 🙂

    It’s a bummer that places like Faeit and FTW aren’t doing the blog roll thing anymore, they were the go-to source for most of my own new blog discovery, but I will always look through other bloggers “blogs I follow” list looking for new ones that I’ve not seen before and check ’em out. I’m of the opinion that having your own blog roll (extensive or not) posted on your blog for others to peruse really helps promote the community.

    Keep up the great work, man!

    • Cheers Joel. I actually took my mini-blog roll down in part because I hadn’t been updating it, and it part because I struggle with the cluttered look it can give.

      But there is clearly a need for them, and I agree they are a great way to find new bloggers, especially new ones just getting started.

      • Do like I do on mine. I show the 5 most recent with a link to the full blogroll, which is set up on a page.

        I know I had suggested it once, but if you do it then use the WP RSS Aggregator plugin for it: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-rss-aggregator/

        It’s the best I’ve used, and I’ve used a lot over the years.

        • After so many comments about Feiet’s missing roll I was going to actually work on that tonight, but I like your idea of only showing a few recent ones on the sidebar, and the full list on it’s own page.

    • I had heard that Gary was redoing the blog roll…he asked for submissions again, but I haven’t seen it pop back up either :(.

  • I like to hop to blogs from the rolls of the ones on MY roll. I tend to comment when I have something to say, but always fear I’ll miss a reply. I like blogs that use disqus because that sends me emails about responses.

    • Disqus is nice that way because it sends you a mail by default, blogger requires you to always check the box.

    • I admittedly will often not leave comments on blogs that use an older method, like filling in name, email, etc. If the comment platform doesn’t have an authentication system for a saved account then I’ll move on. The rare exception is something so amazing that I will leave a comment regardless.

      • Those do add an extra step, I find Chrome will usually autofill them for me but still. The hardest ones for me are the ones that use Google+ as it defaults to my personal (and unused) account rather than by BP one. So if I want to leave a comment I have to log into G+ as the brand, find the post and comment.
        Maybe at some point someone at Google will care about Blogger again to make an SSO like WordPress to make it easier.

  • D Power

    I sometimes have trouble commenting, because I often come late to the party and anything I’d want to say would only parrot somebody else….

    I can see the importance of commenting is though, particularly with those among us with zero self esteem *puts hand up* We’re all part of a community that’s to be shared, even if we only remark “good job” or “you’ve neglected the base”, we need to show them we read their work and care; replying to commenters too, it makes the blogger feel like an actual alive person and people will return for conversation… I guess?

    • That can be true, especially when I see there are 30+ comments I have caught myself thinking “oh they have enough already.” On the flip side, each person has a unique perspective and sharing your thoughts/comments can easily add to the conversation.
      It’s always great to receive comments. I’ve been working on this blog for 9ish years now and I _still_ get disappointing when a post doesn’t get comments. It’s a silly measure of self worth, but it’s real all the same.

      • I’m the same way. If an article gets 0 comments then I think I’ve completely failed with it. If said article is a painting showcase one, that’s even worse, because then I feel like nobody thinks I paint well. Considering that we blog just to get the feedback and discussion going, it’s not a silly measure by any means.

        This all goes back to leaving comments because we all know that feeling of writing something, and having nobody engage with it.

        • That is true, especially when you can look at stats and see there are plenty of people stopping by. Are they laughing at my work? Too busy to care? Or just ‘meh’?

          I remember someone saying, if you want a comment on your site, you should be leaving three elsewhere. A sort of pay it forward idea.

  • Siph

    I have a Blogroll of about 80-100 blogs I follow, sometimes I do some housekeeping and search for new ones to add, Dreadtober events like that are good for searching out new authors, but I feel I may be being left behind, I do not and will not have a social media account of any sort, I hope people continue to check out Blogger, or this dinosaur willl eventually go extinct and the now now now throwaway society posts on. Social media sites will win out…

    • It’s the adding new ones that is always hard – especially without social media. I can appreciate your desire to stay off, but twitter is easy to set up as a hobby account, interact with other hobbyists, and avoid all the selfies. I’ve been using it to indirectly build my feedly roll as someone retweets someone new, they have their blog in the bio, and boom! a new blog to follow 🙂

      As I mentioned in SwordMaster’s reply, I don’t think the individual blog is going anywhere anytime soon. Social is great for quick interactions, but once it’s off a few scrolls it’s gone forever (essentially). Blog posts on the other hand, I still find great articles from _years_ ago and not only are they still relevant, but I continue to share them.

      Being able to write long form with direct picture placement is hard to replicate on any social platform (well except Medium, whole different beast).

  • Swordmaster

    Hi Joe,

    Another fantastic post, thanks a lot for it! I found that some of the suggestions you mentioned were on my “to do” list already. As a blogger I know how great it is to get a single, even the shortest comment, so I try to do so for others.

    But at the same time I quickly discovered the possible reason why people check new posts, read what you have to say and then do nothing. It may not be the case for blogs focused on painting/modelling as the visual aspect of the article is often what is the main attraction. You can quickly say you like the effect the author achieved without dwelling deep into used techniques.

    With battle reports, my field of blogging, I found that I want to properly read about the battle and do a thorough analysis simply to see if I understood the flow of the game and crucial moments of it. Unfortunately, that is also time consuming. It is not an excuse for not writing a short comment that I liked the game, for instance. But I know that the person who spent a lot of time preparing diagrams and providing large amount of details about the game would like that tactical discussion.

    The solution I would like to apply is to reply quickly after the first read and then make a list of the reports to get back to. I may end up with quite a long one shortly but at least I hope not to postpone a longer reply forever.

    I think it may answer your questions about the comments I like and try to give. In general I want to comment to say “thank you” to the author for taking time and effort to create some nice content and sharing it with other people. And if I can add more detailed comment I hope it can help to further discuss the topic. The post and comments should be just the beginning, not the final step.

    You mentioned social media and it is quite interesting in itself. I used to frequent forums before I started blogging and that helped to discuss things there. I have twitter account for quick messages, often as a way to inform people about the new blog post. Or a small update that has not evolved into a blog post yet.

    But I also noticed that there is a numerous group of people who focus on FB. These people are not necessarily the same who post elsewhere so I am considering setting up the account simply to reach more readers.

    I hope it would allow to focus on the hobby there as I found that people using twitter often have the same account for all types of things they want to share. That means I often get feed about something I am not interested in at all and there is no way to filter it out.

    In general, it is a very interesting situation where the means to share various content related to our hobbies are just amazingly varied. And because of that it is even more important to use it to interact rather than just only share.

    Thanks again for a great post!

    • The facebook engagement ratio is huge. Just watched some presentations on the changing market place. In the US, 60% of our time spent online is spent on smart phone apps, and 20% of that time is spent in one single app…facebook. The desktop is currently heading towards obsolescent.

      Can see it in my own site analytics too. Almost zero website engagement via twitter. Post a few times on facebook, huge engagement. It’s crazy. I think that is why many artists have moved to facebook recently.

      • Completely agree. On terms of click throughs, Facebook is dominating the analytics. But I also find that it has the highest bounce rate – so lots of people coming in, but most disappearing quickly. Not sure why that is, but it’s interesting to see the changes happening.

      • Swordmaster

        Thanks greggles! it is very interesting observation and I appreciate your feedback. Very important for me as I am still not decided if I want to include FB. But from the point of view of possibility to engage with people in a more active manner it seems like a way to go!

    • I must admit that I laughed just a little reading this one as it’s the longest one posted so far 🙂 But I can completely relate to spending so much time reading the article and then run out before being able to comment. This is (again to plug it) one of the features I like about Feedly. If it’s something I know I need to come back to I can bookmark it.

      I’ve been playing with FB, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram and it’s an interesting result/community on each.Twitter is a lot more random but you get to know people a bit more outside the hobby (for better or worse!). Instagram/Pinterest is for looking at pretty pictures and tend to be more focussed on the hobby pictures.

      Facebook groups I could see replacing forums over time as they provide so many of the same benefits and are easier to log in, make some comments, and pop out. I don’t see it replacing a blog anytime soon as it doesn’t provide the control and user experience that I want for my own site. It’s also harder to separate ‘personal life’ from ‘hobby life’ as you only get one login (as compared to twitter and others that make it much easier).

      • Swordmaster

        Well, I may not comment often but when I do I may go to the other extreme. 😛

        I am sure each media has pros and cons for each user. I know there is a lot to discover too, be it with using each social media or with some of the software you have already mentioned a few times. Although I like bullet journal idea simply because it reminds me about lab books 🙂

        I am very curious about FB groups. Potentially, the good thing is that they are dedicated to a particular topic. I just wonder how engaging and detailed the discussions are. My impression, as a non-user, is that it is something in between twitter and forum/blog post. Not as short or limited as twitter but not as elaborate as blog post or comment can be.

        However, since many people are active on such groups and not anywhere else, it may be a good idea to join for that reason only.

        I am a bit sad that some of the forums I used to post on are dying. Some of them are doing relatively ok but I guess I need to adapt too. What I am really looking for at the moment is the way I can contribute in the most efficient way. I guess I will have some time to think about it until the end of the year so that the new one will start with some new ideas to try out! 🙂

  • Brilliant article and you are absolutely right with your observations. I’m the first to admit that I’m not the best with commenting and it’s something I want to get better at. I mean, it’s always fun to get comments, it’s a great opportunity to get more feedback and critique from amazing painters and it’s especially important (I think) to us that doesn’t have a local scene too speak of.

    I also really enjoy the online community for us painters of tiny toys and even if my main focus nowadays is painting bigger things I still read a good bunch of gaming blogs as well. I hope that in the future be more active in the painting community and one day actually give something back.

    I’ve been using online communities for a very, very long time and I’m always so impressed and happy that we have such a positive community. I’ve been blogging myself for over 6 years now and I’ve never gotten a single bad comment which is unheard of in most other communities I’ve been part if.

    Time to give myself a kick in the butt and start commenting more!

    • I’m in the same boat with little/no local community, mostly because I don’t make the time to get to the hobby shops. But being able to talk with so many people online is an awesome way to get multiple perspectives.

      I am often surprised with how little trolling there is on the hobby blogs, maybe they like to stay concentrated on a few ‘unnamed’ sites. But as tend to avoid rumors or rules issues it helps 🙂

  • A very interesting read with some good advise to foster community.

    I try to cover all the points you make with my blog, but I feel sometimes a bit overwhelmed with Twitter, Facebook, forums, instagram etc. so I focus on the blog and forums mostly.

    There is also so much stuff out there that when you browse wordpress etc. on your mobile device while in bed you either plan on commenting the next morning and forget about it or the on-screen keyboard really isn’t suitable for typing long comments. The latter is really the one thing that keeps me from commenting more.

    I still try to comment on blog posts that inspire me (like this one for instance) or in a forum thread if I feel I can help or encourage. In the end I think it comes down how much time one spends online in general and how used you are to comment online. The older generation may like to read a post, but is just not too keen to make an account for commenting.

    It also depends what kind of post it is. if it is a show-off, tutorial, review etc. you can expect more or less comments depending on length and depth of the post.

    Given the ephemeral quality of forums, twitter, facebook posts etc. I think it is still good to have your own corner of the web, where you have full control over the content and are not as much affected by changes the companies behind the platform make. E. g. with wordpress you can have your own server etc. if you desire so.

    I still think I will get more into twitter etc. just to partake in the community there, but i still need to find a good strategy how to engage with this content efficiently.

    • Good point about the small keyboard, I often do my reading on the bus but hate writing out comments on the phone, in part because some of the comment systems are aweful for mobile viewing. I then have to remember to save the article and will come back to them all later at the computer.
      I never got into the forums but view social as a disorganized alternative. You can do quick posts, get feedback from anybody, and move on.

  • Joe, so sorry my comment is so late (thank god for feebly though, saved this one for later reading 🙂 ). What a fabulous article. I cannot agree more on all your points. It is so important to engage with others through commenting. I always appreciate it when others stop by my log and leave a comment, and I trt and do the same on other blogs when I read their articles, even when ornate is something o do not like, I try and leave something constructive.

    The social media thing is a strange one. I am quite active (although not in the last month due to RL) on a few social media sites, and my blog redirects through them is nearly zero. Need to look at Facebook but I can see myself getting swamped with all the sites to join/update. I find them rather transient however, someone’s work appears for a day/hour and then is gone, whereas a blog is much more permanent and older posts can be searched for and read.

    • No worries on the latest, it just goes to prove your last point on the permanence of blog posts 🙂
      I think the community aspect of our hobby is a special place on the internet. I’ve tried to interact with a few other niches and none of them are as friendly and encouraging as what we have here – ironic since we are all building and painting death dealers!
      Social media is an odd beast and if you look at it as a means of direct marketing (as so many online marketers talk about) it sucks. It takes a crap ton of time to get involved with each community to have very little click through. From a community aspect, it is fantastic as everyone is able to interact instantly and jump in and out of conversations from across the globe. So while I don’t often click on social shared posts myself, if I know the blogger, I will have added them to my Feedly list and make sure to check out their new post through there.

  • Great article. As a blogger i feel disappointed when i show something and get no response. I think “i’m doing well? It is boring?”
    On the other hand i’ll try to comment in as many post as i can. I’ll promisse. Regardless of my lack of english vocabulary, i would try to say more than cheers or great work.
    thank you very much for this post,

    • Cheers Clyde. I know that feeling all too well, especially if it is a post I thought would be awesome but it just didn’t resonate. I love the idea of if you want 1 comment, post X comments on other blogs (some say two, some say 10), but the idea is if everyone spent a bit of time interacting with each other, it builds up the community as a whole.
      Oh and don’t let your english skills hold you back, people will get the point, or failing that just write it in Spanish and let google/bing translate it for them.

      • google translate. Oh no, that makes me being afraid.

        • I could only imagine 🙂 But for the most part it gets the gist across.