How many of you have done this same thing? Commented on a friend’s status or item then almost immediately you started getting emails from Facebook alerting you to other people that had commented as well.
This is perfect if you want to see what everyone else is saying. But what if you didn’t? What if you just wanted to leave a comment and move on. And the constant stream of unwanted emails will now make you think twice about leaving that next comment on a Facebook update, won’t it?
Which is ironic, because Facebook is sending you those emails to try to ENCOURAGE you to go back to its site and check the updates. To comment again. But often, the persistent emails can lead to FEWER comments, not more.
I hate am not a fan of Disqus. Partly because I always seem to have trouble getting the comment form to load properly to begin with, but mostly because it always seems to send me emails about new comments on a post after I leave a comment. Even when I tell it not to. It’s sending me these emails because it wants me to go back and re-read the comments to see what I have missed. Instead, it makes me less likely to comment on blogs that have Disqus installed.
Everyone is buzzing about FourSquare. But if you’re active on Twitter, you’ve no doubt seen that some of the buzzing is coming from people that are sick and tired of seeing constant FourSquare updates in their Twitter stream. Seriously, I’m expecting someone to say they are at the right cushion on their couch, then the following tweet to be “I’ve just ousted my wife as Mayor of My Living Room”.
As with Facebook and Disqus, these updates are designed to get people to check out FourSquare. The advantage to the user, and FourSquare, is obvious. But what benefit do these constant updates have for the rest of us? Often times, they are simply a nuisance.
And when you are trying to build awareness for your online community, you need to consider this. You need to make sure that in attempting to build that awareness, that your efforts are also CREATING VALUE for the people you are trying to reach.