(Initial) Reflecting Allowed

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The Five Languages of Social Media Engagement: secrets to online communities

8 Comments

This is just a light brief post mimicking the title from the book “The Five Love Languages: secrets to love that lasts” to capture some (not too deep) observations of different ways people can engage on social media:

1. The “like” or “favorite” – often meant as encouragement, or to just acknowledge something has been read. Can also be used dismissively (e.g. Pressing like without having read the actual post)

2. The retweet, or the facebook share: often shows you really liked something the other person posted and have chosen to spread the word to others. One of the highest forms of flattery.

3. The reply or comment: this shows you really are engaging with the ideas another person has written on their blog, twitter or facebook.

4. The linking within your own stuff: this is acknowledgment – this is like when you link to another person’s blog within your own, a way of acknowledging the value of their ideas and helping others benefit from those ideas as well, and make connections between your ideas and theirs

5. The Private Message: this shows you are interested in the individual and are willing to have side conversations with them beyond the public social media sites

Five is such an arbitrary (but neat) number. Have I missed any other important means of social media engagement in the narrow focus of doing just five? Please let me know :)

note: the below as added 2 minutes after publishing:

6. The “mention/tag”: which is when you post something and tag someone on it. This means you know what might interest this person and have kept their interests in mind when writing the posting on fb or twitter. It is mostly helpful in drawing people’s attention to things beneficial for them.. But can, of course, be annoying if used incorrectly or excessively!

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Author: Maha Bali

Associate professor of practice, American University in Cairo

8 thoughts on “The Five Languages of Social Media Engagement: secrets to online communities

  1. Great stuff Maha. These relate to love of others. There are also a few that relate to self-love (or instrumental reputation- building). Have you noticed any of those? ha ha!

    • Hey Frances! Yes of course there are the personal reputation-building ones… All of these can be misused or abused as such, right? Definitely the tagging of people who have more followers than oneself, and sometimes the linking to another person’s blog or commenting with links to one’s own blog. Maybe i should write another one on how … Ummm… To at least be subtle in self-promotion? Hehe

      On the other hand, what about people who genuinely aren’t self-promoting in an egotistical manner, but just feel they have said something interesting for other folks and want to share it? That’s not really self-promotion (not in their mind) but can be misunderstood as such. How do we know?

      There was someone that I thought was doing this on rhizo14 fb, but later found that person engaging in “proper” useful conversations… So i guess we can misjudge someone?

  2. You are correct – it’s easy to misjudge and we should be able to link to our own work. However, sometimes one does see behaviours that look remarkably like self-promotion.

    • I agree completely, Frances. I really respect ppl who say things along the lines of “i don’t mean to self-promote but i thought this blog i wrote was relevant to the discussion”. I hadn’t thought to do it before, but it is a nice way of stating intentions. Self-promoters, i think, continually post links. Person i was referring to posted a link to EVERY question anyone asked of him on fb…

  3. I remember someone who had to be told to stop promoting his business by posting his face and a zero comment at every thread. He was like a weed amongst all the pretty flowers but he’d claim rhizomatic immunity:-) Maha, do you remember which week Maddie posted? I had a run-in with Steven Downes at one MOOC that I felt obliged to bring up. Not sure it resolved anything, and maybe I’m over sensitive to what I perceive as silencing but I do sense that Maddie was hurt and we’ve lost her voice.

    • It was the week of independence, week 2.

      • I had copied some some conversations but not that thread. Not sure exactly what the cause was but we get out on a limb sometimes in MOOCs like coming back to a previously painful environment to try again and the branch breaks at even an innocent comment. Had to see the doctor the other day and my regular GP was out so I saw one of her male colleagues. I have to almost completely shut down with this joker and go stuttery stupid. Having a hair trigger with some people can be a serious problem–shrinks you world.

  4. Pingback: Deep and Surface Approaches to Twitter | Reflecting Allowed

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