Apathy: The Web's Worst Enemy

When I was little, and I’m talking Micro-Machines, Thundercats, Roger Rabbit underwear little, my cousin and I used to bicker over sharing toys. David always brought more toys with him to sleepovers at our grandparent’s house. Just to make the situation worse, he was also totally resistance to the concept of sharing. Dave always made sure that he had the shiniest army men. I was always stuck with a motley crew of headless Lego people.

How good are you at sharing today? I bet you split your last two pieces of Orbit with someone you love, just to be nice. But I’m not talking about material possessions. The kind of sharing that I am more interested in today is surprisingly intangible. In fact, you’re looking right at it.

Nearly every site you go to nowadays, every blog, tweet, video, vlog and music clip comes equipped with sharing options. This means that you are almost always able to effortlessly email, tweet, post, like and dislike content in order to spread awareness to your online network of buddies. The problem is, we are often apathetic when it comes to sharing and approving online content. Why? Well, there are, I’m sure, a multitude of reasons. But, for anyone who decides to create a social site where viewers have the option to share information, this fan apathy can be crushing. There is hope though.

Consider these tips the next time you find yourself scratching your head over a lack of engagement by your page or blog followers:

– How open is your content to response? Try asking questions to get answers.

– Overly opinionated posts may turn off viewers from sharing their point of view.

– Make sharing options easy with strategically placed links.

– Content that is interesting/intriguing/humorous/etc. will always be your best bet for promoting conversation.

– Some people are passive browsers. Nothing will ever change that. It also doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t reading and enjoying what you are posting.

So, the big question: What motivates you to share information? Do you see yourself as a “sharer,” a “starer” or something in between? Please post your comment below. Thank you for you patronage. Your comment donation will go towards giving little Jason a new pair of shoes, clean drinking water and a year of education that he could never get without your love and support.

– Jason Kaminsky, Philly Ad Kid
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3 Comments

  1. Though none of us like to admit it, it can be really hard to get responses – on Twitter, blogs, etc. The one thing that I find that works for me (at least on Twitter) is to ask other people for their expertise. When I was looking for jobs, I sought out high-powered social media users who could give me advice. When I’m in another city looking for a restaurant, I throw a request out to those who know the city. Sometimes I even ask individual people, like @PhillyAdKids Which Jose Garces restaurant is your favorite?

    Blogs, though, can be totally frustrating. My blog post that got the most attention was for a great branded iPhone app that I only saw once. I decided to share it and other people passed it along and retweeted it! So in that respect, I think the best way to get responses is to provide UNIQUE content. Anyone can say “The Old Spice guy on the horse is so funny!” But it takes a good eye to see the value in an ad for a product with less visibility or a more serious (or regulated) message.

  2. I think what’s especially important, and this took me a few years to work out, is that you need to have at least some motivator for your audience to share your content. I have the social buttons on a couple of my blogs and they’re barely ever used unless I offer some kind of incentive (even if it’s really small) for my readers to talk. I have to disagree with you on the opinionated posts point — my most successful posts, at least in terms of social media sharing — have been ones that were very opinionated and somewhat controversial.

  3. Content Writer: I actually agree with your comment about opinionated posts. Using the word “may” is misleading. I do agree that strong opinions can deter some viewers from commenting, but it can also spur a lot of debate and response. I guess that my point should have been: Pay attention to what works and be open to change your tone if necessary.

    Thanks for the responses.

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