There are different types of websites out there, just like there are different styles of books and different genres of magazines. But the difference is whether the information is interactive, and the written word is incredible. It is therefore crucial for anyone who is doing business or making connections via a website to pay attention to the completely dynamic experience that is actually having a conversation online.
For most publications that have a presence online, there is a space for comments. This might mean having literal comments at the bottoms of articles, or having a section where comments or contact information can be included to allow those who are surfing to get in touch with the people who are in charge of content. At the same time, there are often forums that are part of particular sites, and the entire notion of web 2.0 online experiences is that anything can have the dialogue of Facebook, while people willingly put in their own time to create content that then moves websites to the top of Google and allows advertisers to do a little bit of selling to the customer base.
Start A Conversation
For someone who has a blog, increasing conversation is as simple as increasing followers. Get out there and start reading the words of people who are writing about similar things. Follow them, and start commenting on their stories. Don’t be hostile or snooty, but be interested in starting a conversation. Just like human kindness in the real world, the right approach to introducing yourself to others will lead to talking, which might lead to friendship. And if you can foster a friendship with someone who has thousands of online followers, it’s possible to break into different social circles, driving more traffic to your own site, which will increase conversation.
Use A Bait
Another technique which some people consider cheap, particularly when blogging or creating content, is choosing something that might not be overtly controversial, but that will bait people into wanting to respond or take a side. From social climbing film blogs that do this on message boards to attract traffic to crafters talking about particular materials, having a little bit of a bite to the headline of an article–that sentence that can grab someone’s attention or lose it–is often the best road to take. Just be sure that it doesn’t turn into mere sensationalism, as this will not result in a good conversation.
Add A Bit Of Personality
Of course, being sure to have content that is accessible is another great way to promote conversation. Use personal, communicative language all over the site. If it’s a site designed for interaction but not speaking, keep the language human, even with the error codes. Instead of the typical impersonal 404 error, put something to the effect of “oops, we really screwed up, didn’t we?” It’s the way to the hearts and minds of a younger generation of web surfers, and a nice way to give people the impression that they have a direct relationship with the site. This in turn often leads to people actually reporting their 404s through the comments section, which is a world of help to programmers trying to correct issues or bugs.