szabgab: (Default)
Gabor Szabo ([personal profile] szabgab) wrote2009-08-20 07:21 am

Feeling uneasy spamming people

I am following the suggestions several people gave me on how to get involved in DW. I am checking out people linked from the comments to that post and some other posts I made. Reading some of their entries commenting on those entries I find some interesting and marking them as being in my circle. Then I follow some more links from their posts and do the whole thing again recursively.

But I feel uneasy commenting on blogs of total strangers and marking people quite randomly. Why them and not some others from the other 6 billion out there?
I don't know them personally. I don't even know them online. Maybe I read a few lines they wrote, but then what?
That does not really give me any right to just push my unwanted words on them.

I have my own blog elsewhere where I have been writing for 3 years or so but that was strictly professional. I was commenting on other peoples blogs but those were professional entries as well.

I guess I am uneasy with getting too personal with total strangers.
zorkian: A picture of Oliver sitting up with his Dreamwidth onesie on! (Default)

[personal profile] zorkian 2009-08-20 06:44 am (UTC)(link)
Don't look on it as spam, though. If someone is making a post that is interesting and you want to say something, then you're welcome to do so!

A community like Dreamwidth, LiveJournal, etc, is rather different than you're probably used to in the rest of the "blogosphere". Much of the point of being here is for the community building aspect: learning a bit more about what makes someone tick, about the beliefs and thoughts and ideas behind them, and having interesting discussions.

It's a weird feeling coming in if you're used to one-to-many conversations, but the many-to-many supported here can be very interesting.

If nothing else, you can continue to blog as if you're one-to-many, and if you write interesting things people will start to recommend you to the people they know. Eventually you build up readers. Much the same as in "regular" blogging.

I suppose it comes down to what you want, too. If your only interest is to discuss Perl and programming philosophies, to talk about design patterns and the proper way to handle errors (exceptions!), then you might be best served writing about it first to attract people who are interested in it.

But if you're more open to just hanging out, finding interesting people to talk to - no matter what the subject - then definitely poke around, follow links, look for people you think are interesting, and say hi.
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)

[personal profile] yvi 2009-08-20 08:13 am (UTC)(link)
Well, as for me, I make public posts on DW because I like new people dropping by and commenting.

If you feel uncomfortable doing it because of the subject or something, of course, don't do it. But if you only feel uncomfortable because you feel like you are intruding, please don't. A platform like DW is a lot about the human interaction and sometimes not so much about the content. Professional conversation is nice, but also just having someone say "Hey, that sucks" when they post about something happening is also really nice, even if you don't know each other very well.

And, well, everything [personal profile] zorkian said :)
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)

[personal profile] cesy 2009-08-20 09:58 am (UTC)(link)
What [personal profile] zorkian and [personal profile] yvi said, basically. There's no particular reason "why them and not some others" - you just gradually get to make friends. You're not pushing words on anyone by subscribing or posting, and if they really don't like your comments they can always ban you. Also, public entries tend to be public for a reason - if people don't want strangers commenting, they'll turn off comments for people not in their circle, or post access-only.

Most people are uneasy getting too personal with total strangers - that's why public entries are less personal than access-locked ones.
angel_negra: Yellow flower stands out. (Stand_out)

On commenting and strangers...

[personal profile] angel_negra 2009-08-21 01:55 am (UTC)(link)
Some of my best friends are total strangers. And hardly any of them know my real name. :)

One girl I follow? The longest conversation we ever had was an all caps discussion about the awesomeness of an actress we both liked. I've got another friend who I try to support through her stresses and family problems - and I've never known her first name. And another girl who I've met offline several times.

And they all started out as random strangers online. I friended/commented to them because something they said caught my eye and I wanted to know more. It is a little scary at first, making that first comment. But if you think about it, they put those posts out there. They're sending signals out into the void of the internet, and maybe it'll get a return signal from someone else, maybe not. But they leave those posts out there, open for return words. For words others WANT to share back.

Heck, that's also how I've made several other friends. It started as someone commenting out of the blue. A moment of 'YES, me too!'. The path you took to finding that moment can be twisted and random and silly, but really, when you think about it, a lot of offline relationships can be as random. A series of random choices one day led me to wind up waiting for a bus beside another woman, who I wound up having a ten minute conversation about working out, allergies and cats with. I never knew her name, nor did she know mine. It was just a wonderful moment of connection. If I'd left work earlier, or skipped the gym, we'd never have met.

So why NOT those few people out of the other 6 billion out there? That's the beauty of the web, of social blogs, of life. You can meet people who you can share ten minute conversations about cats, you can meet people who you only share the vague details of your life with, or you can meet people who know everything about you. Just start small. Connect back to that which pinged at you.

And welcome to DW. :)