I was very encouraged by one of our community members here this morning as I finally had time to respond to some of the great responses and comments over the last week; with launching a new product, feeling a little “under the weather” and a bunch of non-blogging business needs, I couldn’t get back to the community with the response time that I normally value!
But Alvin’s comment really spurred me on to think about how feedback is not only good but feedback that is leveraged well is even better!
I’ve learned a thing or two about developing and engaging community via blogs but I am by no means an expert – in fact, there are parts of who I am that are not naturally predisposed to creating community and I’ve had to work at them a lot.
But one thing that I believe I’ve done well is listening to what the community has to say as well as responding well, not just by saying “Thanks!” but by actually doing something about it.
Here are a few things that I came up with this morning that have helped me (and other bloggers) leverage community feedback well:
- Really Listen – This one is obvious but I think this has more to do with the culture of the blog and the perception of the blogger than the actual technological piece. Have you developed a culture around your blog where people know that you will listen and listen well?
- Be Honest – I believe that a blogger who is transparent with their faults and shortcomings and humble with what they are proficient at can produce a culture of transparency and honesty which pays off big time. Feedback is given when people know that they won’t be ignored by an egomaniac.
- Execution – Listening to someone’s advice, suggestions, and perspective is one thing – doing something about it is something entirely different! If you receive a lot of feedback but don’t make the wise (and sometimes necessary) changes, your community will “get the picture” and stop giving it. Not a good place to be!
- Visioncast and Share – Share the feedback as well as the changes that are coming down the pipe. Give people something to look forward to and visioncast for your readers a “better blog.” People like seeing change, which is a good thing, but love being a part of even more.
- Be Confident – I also believe that taking feedback and leveraging it well also has to do with being confident in the choices you’ve made and “standing your ground.” Don’t be reactionary or a doormat – it’s your blog, remember! I think feedback that is politely rejected is just as good as feedback that is accepted and executed.
These things have helped me time and time again, but I’m still learning and every community around a blog is different!
How have you leveraged feedback well recently? Are you even getting any, and if not, why?