What does your online voice sound like? We’ve all got one. We all make decisions about what our internet presence is going to be, but how often do we take the time to try and think about that objectively?
The reason I ask is that I worry, occasionally, about mine.
Ali over at 12 Books in 12 Months wrote a great post a while back about ‘how to blog, and the importance of commenting on other people’s blog posts. (I say a while back – I thought it was a few months ago, but it was actually last February!)
I hardly EVER comment on other people’s blogs, and I worry sometimes that other bloggers may think me unfriendly because of it. That’s not the case at all. My online voice is just like my real life voice, and I only comment if I really feel I’ve got something new and interesting to contribute.
I used to be put under pressure – by teachers at school and then by tutors at university – who would tell me to speak up more in class, and to share my thoughts out loud more often. “Come on,” they’d say. “You’ve got valuable contributions to make.” But that’s just not how I work. It’s not a lack of confidence, or shyness, it’s just how my brain works. I observe, and listen, and then take time to formulate my thoughts.
Blogging is the same.
If I’ve really enjoyed someone else’s blog post, rather than commenting I’ll quite often share it on Twitter or on my Facebook page, so that other people can enjoy it too. If something really inspires me, I’ll write a post about it, and then link back to the original.
But I’m not really one to leave a comment just for the sake of it saying ‘nice pic’ or ‘great post’. More often than not I’ll find myself only commenting on a posts I strongly disagree with, rather than ones that have me nodding along in agreement.
But is that fair? I love getting comments on my own blog. (even if they do just say ‘nice pic‘ or ‘great post‘). Is it greedy to want that affirmation on my own blog if I’m not providing it for others? Is it a bit selfish to expect other people to understand that my online voice is just a bit quieter than theirs?
What do you think? What does your voice sound like online?