Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dealing with feedback

The idea of the Internet being an exciting, unregulated pool of interactive information with the user being able to choose content and interact freely with others, excites some and fills others with dread.

We posted HERE about Google's recently launched offering that will allow users to make comments on most websites. Google Sidewiki enables anyone to publish and share comments about almost any website in a side window that opens alongside web pages. 

This has huge potential for wider use within the travel industry. With Google Sidewiki, if someone wishes to comment on your accommodation and services offered there is no need to go through the rigmarole of using a third party travel review site. Anyone using Google Sidewiki can simply visit your own corporate website and make comment on any matter they choose without qualification.

Once a comment is published the comment can be instantaneously broadcast to a wider audience on Facebook and Twitter.

If you are operating a blog with a comments section that is either too difficult to use or heavily moderated, then Google's Sidewiki can be brought into play. 

We note with amusement that popular right-wing blogger, Whaleoil is using Sidewiki to share his views on the Labour Party blog, Red Alert (Click HERE for a larger view).

So, a lesson here is that if you operate a blog you need to accept that not all comments will be complimentary. By all means have some clear standards, however do not block comments simply because you do not necessarily agree with them. Having the odd inflammatory comment keeps it real and encourages further interaction. It is often easier to respond via the comments section within your blog rather than commentary on other platforms.

You also need to make sure that you make it easy for your audience to engage in feedback. By all means add the requirement for commentators to enter spam stopping phrases if you must, however it is imperative that comments are instantly uploaded live without having to wait for moderation. Making it easy and by providing instant gratification will hopefully encourage regular feedback.

...So feel free to make any comments you wish on this blog. I have an incredibly thick skin and really won't mind if you don't agree with a view that I may express. So many of you would rather send me emails or contact me via Skype or phone, however I urge you to use the comments section by clicking below each post and start a conversation that a wider community can enter into...

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