Respect your Reader, Reap Rewards

One of my pet hates from the marketing world is business people talking about their customers as “consumers”. This conjures up images of cattle being force-fed whatever garbage the business wants to churn out, safe in the knowledge the “consumer” has no choice but to consume. Robert Scoble, reporting on Mary Hodders post, makes a good point about “user generated content”. Describing your audience as “users” is not much better. What do you call people who visit your blog and why does it matter?

First of all it does matter. It matters because of the attitude adjustment that happens in your head. It matters for how you put across your message. Your world view changes your tone of voice, your tone of voice carries your message in a certain way, the reader reads between the lines. Your audience grows or shrinks.

There are a multitude of ways to describe you, the person reading this. While I am saying what I call you, at least to myself, is important, rather the meaning the word carries is the important bit. You deserve respect. If I don’t give you respect then you might well stick a couple of fingers up at the screen and click off somewhere else never to return.

Far too many bloggers have a sense of entitlement once their traffic has reached a certain level. It’s like whatever they put out will be sucked down so why bother thinking too hard, put it out there! Got to keep my posting level up! I guess those folks are in “feed the consumer” mode.

For this blog, and my other favourite Threadwatch, “reader” is too passive. The idea at these blogs is visitors become registered “participants”. Everyone wins when you participate, contribute, add to the conversation. We want you to give us the benefit of your thoughts, ideas and experience. Win, win and win.

So what shall I call you? We have two types of people coming here I guess. We have people who are not registered yet, I could call you a “guest”. We also have people who have registered, welcome back! I guess you would be a “participant”? Hmmm…

You know what though? We have an advantage here at Performancing. The one thing in common that binds us all together! We are all bloggers.

What do you think?