Heard of them ? Probably not - but go back several years and many US youth soccer teams had heard about this small town in Wokingham, Berkshire, England and the great girls team that they had. Some wanted to come over and play them, others wanted to know if they were planning a tour of the US so they could play them, others sent over pins and patches from their club.
How did this happen ?
My daughter has been playing footy from a very early age - and still does. I started a website for the team so that I could get them some publicity - and also learn about using the Internet and creating and running websites. This was in the earlier days of the Internet - so sites still had 'under construction' gifs, guestbooks were popular, marquee tags could often be found and there was no concept of 'Liking' a page
I connected with a lot of teams by signing the guestbook, made connections with teams that signed mine and my site became quite popular. It was helped that it was an English girls footy team - girls soccer is huge in the US but not so much the UK so it was pretty easy to stand out and the US teams loved having an English visitor on the site. And so the benefits I outlined at the start of the post came along - patches and pins in the post and invitations to play.
So I have carried on with this behaviour, but now with testing blogs rather than footy sites.
I don't comment on every blog I read but try to do so on a regular basis. Why ?
- It helps make connections.
- The author of the blog usually appreciates it and it encourages them to carry on writing
- It's an opportunity to think - did the blog make you think ? Do you agree with everything in the post ? Could you play the Devils Advocate ?
- Conversely, if the blog does not make you think and you never have any comment to make about it, why are you reading it ?
Captchas can make leaving a comment a real pain but is that the main reason people don't comment ? Do you bother leaving comments ? If you don't, then please leave a comment explaining why :)
As an exercise, try leaving one comment a week. If you cant, then reflect on why not, does it mean the blogs you read are not making you think enough ?