Dan Sweet

Contributing vs. Consuming

I’ve struggled to find the balance between contributing and consuming.  Folks like Fred Wilson write a blog post every day.  That is some serious contributing.  Over the last two years I have read blogs consistently but have never found the time to post consistently.  Serious consuming. Recently, I’ve been striving for a better balance between contributing and consuming.

Over the past couple months I’ve begun commenting on blogs more frequently.  I’ve struggled as I’ve attempted to share my point of view.  It is difficult to balance being concise, sharing your experience, saying something meaningful, using humor, and being persuasive.  I’ve found the experience of commenting regularly (primarily on Fred’s blog A VC) has forced me to think more carefully about how I communicate in writing.  The experience has made me more determined to actually write posts myself and stretch myself further in this area.

Thoughts on writing:

1 – Writing well is a differentiator. (Check the 100+ comment threads daily on A VC.  The same people consistently write the most interesting comments, receive the most “likes”, generate the most discussion, etc.)

2 – Commenting, or posting yourself, builds the skill.  (classic skill-building grunt work here)

3 – The right tools help a lot. (I really like the Disqus/IntenseDebate comment systems.  Avatars, likes, threaded replies, etc.  It all comes together to make the commenting experience much more fulfilling.)

Net, I’m pledging to comment and post more.  I encourage you to do the same and put conscious effort into building this critical business skill.  In that vein, leave a comment below if this post has resonated with you.

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