Researchers at Hewlett Packard have worked out why some people do well online and others don’t. The study looked at contributions made to YouTube. Why do some people post loads of videos on YouTube and others give up?
It’s an interesting question and relates to many other areas. For instance, why do some people start blogging and give up, yet others become ever more prolific adding blog postings almost hourly…! Also, why do some people set up web sites and update them every day, only to give up after a while, yet other individuals carry on with the updating process?
All sorts of reasons have been proposed why some people do so well with blogging, web sites and posting items on YouTube. Those who don’t do so well at it tend to cite lack of time. However, the research from the HP Social Computing Lab suggests an alternative reason.
It seems that we like attention (as if we didn’t know). The more your blog gets read and commented on, the more you write. The more your YouTube videos get watched, the more you contribute. In other words, if people show they like you – guess what – you give them more.
The research also showed that successful YouTube posters don’t compare themselves to others on YouTube. Instead, they gauge their success by comparing current to past performance. The less successful individuals compare themselves to other people.
So if your blogging or web site updating is flagging somewhat, here’s a “trick” that should work. Email all your contacts and ask them to comment on one of your blog entries. Perhaps you could give them some kind of incentive such as a prize. The extra readers and the comments will make you feel more like writing again. Once you’ve added another post, do the same again – email people and get them to comment.
In other words, finding ways of attracting comments on your blog or your web site will be the stimulus you need to really boost your writing rate. Concentrate on promoting your blog for a while, rather than writing it and you’ll soon see an increase in your writing anyway. Often people tell me they give up blogging because they can’t think of what to write; it’s amazing how those ideas will start to flow once you know you have more readers.
If you want to read the full research study you can download the PDF from Cornell University’s site.