“Here, it’s simple:
You can contact just about anyone you want. The only rule is you need to contact them personally, with respect, and do it months before you need their help! Contact them about them, not about you. Engage. Contribute. Question. Pay attention. Read. Interact.
Then, when you’ve earned the right to attention and respect, months and months later, sure, ask. It takes a lot of time and effort, which is why volume isn’t the answer for you, quality is.
That’s a great way to get a job, promote a site, make a friend, spread the word or just be a human.”
I’ve been telling people this for years – the ONLY way to get any kind of meaningful interaction with people is to earn the right to meaningful interaction. Requesting interaction via spam, or demanding it without context is not only rude, it’s entirely unproductive.
The two worst places for this online at the moment are Myspace and Twitter – Myspace is particularly crass, with the mass email spam machines that often ask a lot of you but can’t be bothered to interact at all. The Twitter variation is to ‘follow’ people, post a load of links to products and marketing crap and somehow expect people to take notice. Bollocks. It’s SO not going to happen. If you’ve got 15,000 fans on myspace and the only conversation on your page is endless formularised ‘thanks for the add’ comments, I’m going to ignore you.
Likewise on Twitter, if you’re following 3,000 people, never reply to anyone else’s comments and only ever post obscured links to marketing stuff, there’s no way I’m going to follow you.
Here’s my musicians addendum to Seth’s comment: Nobody owes you any attention at all. You don’t respond well to spam, so why on earth would you expect anyone else to? It doesn’t matter how important you think your music is, you’ve still got to earn the right to request attention from your audience. Likewise, the chances of people finding your music and falling in love with it are miniscule unless you’re inviting people in and providing context for understanding what you do and an environment for interaction with you as they get into you and your noises.
Web 2.0 is neither about a collection of static info sheets, nor scatter-shot spam broadcasting. It’s about interaction, communication, discussion, sharing, conversation, context, experience, experiment and fun.
Anyway, read Seth’s post, it’s great, and go interactive!by