Hey, Floyd Teter had his "A-Ha!" moment, so I'm gonna have mine.
In Teter's case, Oracle's "stack" strategy suddenly clicked in his head. (Read his post, in which he compares and contrasts Apple's and Oracle's strategies for complementary product sales.)
In my case, the thing that clicked in my head is probably something that you've known for years. But it just hit me with full force a few hours ago.
I read Google Reader at various times, and when I find something interesting, I'll tend to share it in Google Reader, which also populates my FriendFeed.
In the middle of the night on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, I shared this item from Sharon Cobb.
The title of the item was "Do Any Of You Still Take John Edwards Seriously?"
A few hours later I looked at my FriendFeed and noticed that Chumby now legally available in Australia and Martha Speaks hadn't elicited any comments or likes from the FriendFeed community.
But the FriendFeed entry for Cobb's post was generating some attention. Peter Simard, Ladybug Heather, Robert Scoble, David Beckwith, Igor The Troll, Robert Peterson, and Sprague D had all weighed in within four hours of the original share. (Rob Sterling subsequently commented.) For me, this ranks on the relatively high end of FriendFeed engagement; the majority of my FriendFeed items don't elicit any comments at all (though I get some likes here and there).
So why did this entry get a lot of response?
- I can't ignore the fact that the topic itself engaged people. The US has just ended its election process, John Edwards was a one point a contender for President, Edwards was controversial even before his extramarital affair become known, and his downfall has elicited strong reactions from some people (Cobb for one).
- I also can't ignore the fact that a single comment can make the item visible to those who aren't even directly connected to me. Peter Simard's comment made the item visible to his subscribers, as did Heather's, as did Scoble's, et al.
- When Sharon wrote her post title, she asked her readers for a response. She didn't just say "No one listens to John Edwards"; her use of a question form (and the second person) literally begged readers to respond. If you go back to the comments for her original post, you'll see that she engaged four (so far) people in conversation. (And I haven't even weighed in yet; commenting on a blog from an older cell phone is problematic.)
- You could respond to the question without reading the post. Now this of course doesn't apply to Sharon's original post, since anyone who saw the title could read the post text right below it. But when I shared Sharon's question, people could respond immediately without even clicking on the link that went to her post. Basically, this is the best of both the microblogging and blogging worlds; you can instinctively respond to the question, or you can pursue greater depth and see what Cobb had to say on the topic.
Perhaps people will affirm the veracity of the question posed by the title.
Perhaps people will disagree, noting that the content of the title, rather than the form, is the primary determinant.
Perhaps people will just say that Ontario Emperor is spreading comment bait.
If you've read this far, I'd like to try a little experiment. I'd be willing to bet that any FriendFeed activity resulting from this question may be from people who don't even bother to read the post. So, if you have read this far and choose to respond on FriendFeed (I'll post the link once it's available), please mention Floyd Teter in your FriendFeed comment. (Or mention Jim Stafford.) Thanks.
(HERE'S THE FRIENDFEED LINK, IF YOU WANT TO COMMENT IN FRIENDFEED. AND HERE'S THE TWEET, IF YOU WANT TO COMMENT IN TWITTER.)
WITHIN 20 MINUTES, THE FRIENDFEED ENTRY GOT 4 LIKES, 4 COMMENTS, AND 0 MENTIONS OF FLOYD TETER OR JIM STAFFORD. Sphere: Related Content