8 responses

  1. Sanford Hall
    December 12, 2011

    Superb, I will continue to follow you and learn as I conquer this new industry.

  2. John E. Smith
    May 20, 2011

    Hi, Heidi – great breakdown of this issue.

    I would only add that this is not restricted to online activity. I’ve been working with groups for many years and this ratio holds. Without mandatory participation, most people just sit, watch, and hopefully soak up a few things.

    At least online, we don’t have to look out at the dis-engaged and silent multitude, as we try to get past the “eager beaver” few who talk and react. For a facilitator trying to engage the entire group, this can be very challenging.

    I suspect the reasons for non-participation are much the same as you have statedas well.

    Good post – you gained a subscriber:)


  3. Travis Smith
    December 11, 2010

    Thanks for the great details! Looking forward to hearing more stuff about this!

    • Heidi Cohen
      December 13, 2010

      Travis–Hope that you dig into the content on the website since it already has a lot of info. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

  4. Boris Pluskowski
    December 3, 2010

    Hi Heidi

    Love this – would add a few more

    – Reader doesn’t want to over-influence the conversation – especially prevalent when dealing with internal corporate systems if, for example, a senior executive doesn’t want their rank to change the dynamics of the conversation taking place.

    also add to 18) – fear of ridicule if what they want to say is a little more “out there” – a crazy idea, a divergent thought – fear of negative judgement I guess might be a better way to put it

    Good stuff!

    • Heidi Cohen
      December 3, 2010


      Good point about not wanting to over influence an internal conversation. If it’s an internal corporate communications platform, there should be a way to set a precedent for conversation without rank being an issue.

      I agree with you in terms of ridicule as a related reason for embarrassment. Of course, we could continue to add to this list with other similar issues such as being too introverted, etc.

      Please stop by again.

      Happy marketing,
      Heidi Cohen

  5. Stephanie
    December 2, 2010

    Great post! I think I’ll refer back to your number one point, “content is complete” for this one. I’m sure there are many more reasons why people don’t participate, but these are the important ones. I agree I often feel like my audiences like to stay anonymous, but I can’t quite figure out why. It’s almost like they don’t want to own up to their opinions – positive or negative. But posting anonymously disables the opportunity to build an actual relationship. So, I guess I’m still trying to figure this out. What I do know is the mention of food – on topics that have nothing to do with food – typically get my followers talking. But, I can only try to relate recruitment to chocolate cake so many times.

    • Heidi Cohen
      December 2, 2010

      Stephanie–Thank you for joining the conversation. There are a lot of reasons that your audience may want to remain anonymous. One of them that I didn’t mention is the fact that people don’t want others to comment on their opinions. This can create a lot of attention that the writer might not be happy about. Further, given that you write, for a job site, your readers, especially if they are at work, may not want others to know that they’re checking what’s happening in the job market. In this case, I suggest using another indicator of content interest such as visits, print, email a friend, etc. If you really want to build relationships, allow readers to email mail you and use a third party email address dedicated for this purpose to protect your readers. I suggest using a gmail account that doesn’t reference your company or job search. For example, StephaniesColumnATThirdPartyEmailProviderDOTcom (Note: This is a made up address!) Please respond if you have any further questions. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

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