WizIQ, an international online education project, invited me for a conversation with Dr. Nellie Deutsch. I found Dr. Deutsch, based in Toronto, has interviewed luminaries like Pam Allyn (TEDTalks). How could I say no? —So I didn’t.
My favorite part of the recording is the first two minutes when I’m not there. It’s what happens off-screen. That morning, I was so nervous my mouth got dry. I remembered a friend advising me to eat something before I go on. I grabbed the nearest thing, which were some saltine crackers. It took 10 minutes to chew the corner of one. I was supposed to be on, and I’m digging chunks of not-in-the-least-broken-down crackers from the crown of my molars. Those two ungodly minutes.
I’ve pulled some parts from the transcript here. You can also go (here) and click “View Recording” for the entire, delightfully awkward experience. I believe this requires you to sign up, but I’ve heard it does no e-mail spamming harm.
Question of Blogging
The first few years, it was really embarrassing for me. You really have to be vulnerable in terms of, let’s say, my projects aren’t really working out or I have these concerns. At first, I never went back to read my posts. I hated looking at my own blog. To me, it felt horrible, abject, and wretched. More than once, I had the inclination to delete my older posts. But I’ve come to understand that readers like to see where you came from. The journey. I don’t have my best moments on the blog, but people can certainly see all of me.
It’s just one blog. That’s an interesting question because I’ve had an issue with this before. To answer it, I update once a month. I’ve gotten feedback because a month is a long time to wait for a blog post. It’s hard to maintain a readership with that. But I kept it a month because it works for me because I don’t have to sacrifice the quality of my post. Really, that’s my focus. That every single post I put out is meaningful and special and is moving in a way that I’m learning something valuable. And I think people notice that and appreciate it.
Question of Spam
The counterpoint to that, there’s also a lot of comments that come in that go into the spam folder or might be under the category of spam or that are anonymous comments that I really love to respond to. I think one of the things you’ll see is that I’m very responsive to my comments and e-mails. I try to respond within the day if not within the week. I just try to make the comments section a forum. Where people don’t only respond to questions, but they can share their own experiences.
How to increase Comments
I don’t think it’s necessarily a secret, but it really comes down to what I said before. Just the act of providing a sincere post. Making yourself vulnerable. Somehow, in this really vast world of the Internet, there are countless blogs like you said. Content after content. Even now, there’s this constant struggle to be the next blog, extra innovative, high quality images, the best graphics which are all great things and that I enjoy. But there is value in being candid and allowing yourself to be vulnerable in a way that draws people in. You want them to say, I’ve had a situation like that too and to hear someone say that out loud is not only surprising but it’s refreshing. And when I get e-mails like that, it reassures me that that is the way to go. It’s to allow people to see through you. I’m not trying to put up a character or be extra smart. I’m bluntly speaking about the issues I’m having and people respond to that. People aren’t as blind as you think. People can recognize when you’re truthful. People recognize when they’ve stumbled across something meaningful.