Reshared post from Danial Hallock

Reposted a comment below
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There is something very strange about the idea of "forcing someone to share". While it is certainly one way to look at the issue, there is something obviously contradictory about it, and I think it results in anomalies and mistakes when thinking about how networks develop. 

So let me give what I think is a more natural reading of what's going on here. 

When you disable comments, you are limiting your own power to control the conversation. Far from forcing anyone to do anything, you are instead restraining your control over the situation. Limiting your own power is what makes room for others to fill that vacuum and take power themselves, which is what they are doing when they reshare. 

This isn't a comfortable position from the old capitalist perspectives. Capitalists think success is purely a matter of control. So if success comes from getting others to reshare your work, and they reshare because you disable comments, then disabling comments must be a way of controlling the audience, right? That's the logic behind the idea of "forcing to share". That's a capitalist approach to networks, but of course this logic is silly. 

The more obvious reading is that people don't like to be controlled, so we have to learn to stop forcing them to do things because that's not an effective organizational strategy. If they think you are forcing them to do anything they will be far less engaged and motivated to cooperate than if they are in control. If they feel like they are in control, then they will be far more willing to identify themselves with their labor. 

What this suggests is that a strategy of forcing users to share will probably backfire pretty seriously, especially if it is obvious that this method of coercion is being used. 

Danial Hallock originally shared this post:

I've been thinking

Don't worry, I took the necessary safety precautions.

Posts with pictures draw more readers and +1's because they are more pronounced in G+; this much is fact.  We've observed and assumed that pictures with a rich backstory or witty line embedded in the picture draws more engagement through comments.  What about pictures with backstory (or witty lines) that have comments disabled?  Do they get more shares?

Anecdotal evidence suggests yes, but I don't have the media penetration to know if this works on a grander scale.  If you think about it, it makes sense though.  People want their voices heard, that's what social media is founded on.  When you disable their ability to add their voice to your thread, you force them to create a new thread (by sharing yours) or go without adding their two cents.

What are your thoughts?  If you're interested in brand marketing and publicity, should you disable comments in hopes of promoting a viral outbreak; or should you keep comments enabled to keep individuals on your page?

#googleplus   #marketing   #branding   #promotion  

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