notlistening We’ve been a little busy the last couple of days with responses on Twitter and in the blogosphere regarding the Social Media Bible.

As expected not all has been positive (you just are NOT going to make everyone happy – duh…), but overwhelmingly the comments seem to support the concept for which the book was written – that The Social Media Bible is intended to help people NOT social media savvy to become literate on the tactic, tools and strategy so they too can get involved and get past the newby hump faster.  If you are a social media savvy person, the book might become a reference to give a new client to help facilitate the conversation – but maybe not, it’s ok either way.

As we’ve seen the posts come up, either Lon or I will go to view them and we often make a comment.  A phenomenon I find fascinating is the use of moderated comments on a blog, or in the case of a commercial / corporate blog, the requirement to go through a page and a half sign-up just to make a comment and then they require you to make several selections to NOT get spammed by them *sighs* 

I’ve been promoting the the value of open, un-moderated conversations for as long as I can remember, but I trust my readers and my audience. If I am off the mark on something, I am open to re-examining it because usually I am looking for the truth of the situation, not trying to control it.  I determined a while ago that control is an illusion anyway.

I guess there are still two camps of thought on this topic, but here is why I think moderated comments are not serving us.

I was draw in years ago with the statistic about participation in social media tools with the formula of "90:9:1".   The statistic proposes that 90% of the visitors to your social media site will only view or consume the content, 9% will comment when they feel strongly about it and 1% pretty much drives the conversation.

With these kinds of stats, particularly the observation of 1% driving the conversation, why on earth would you want to moderate ANY comment made on a blog at all?!  With the blogs comment management tools, you can go back and delete any rude, inconsiderate or spammious (is that a word?) comment, but with such a low participation rate, why make participants jump through ANY hoops?  Using Akismet on WordPress does a lot of the spam moderating anyway.

That all being said, I’ve had prospective clients who believe they can control or edit content on the web about them or their company.  What I tell them is that they cannot – the ONLY hope they have is to invest in creating other, more relevant content that might overtake anything less than positive about them.  I believe that it is an exercise in futility to attempt to control any part of the social media message that we ourselves do not create and post.

Likewise, I believe that to attempt to moderate comments on a publicly promoted blog both constrains participation on a site and demonstrates that the blogger does not trust their audience.  I think the ability to post un-moderated responses is why Twitter is so powerful; there is simply no way to moderate replies or comment on Twitter, which has supported its popularity and growth. 

As far as blogs though, I think you want to make it as easy as possible for them to participate in a conversation with you – but I could be wrong here.

Verdict – No Whuffies awarded for this inane behavior.  Moderated comments or lengthy sign-ups to post a comment on a social media site or a blog are useless and demonstrate that the writers simply do not trust their audience.  In my humble opinion, attempts to moderate comments will be wrought with frustration and worry, and should not be established or pursued.