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Motivation for Posting and How to Post

Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 15 years and 64 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.

Incentivization and Motivation, in my mind are two amazing semi-scientific metrics to interpret and predict human behavior. Incentives are often thought of in monetary terms and motivation is more of a “sweat equity” labor kind of thing. For all things speculative like link development, community development, or any other new media marketing methodologies, economics theory of using incentives and motivations as predictive models has served me quite well. Motivate folks with relative value and incentives and you will be able to predict future growth more effectively.

**aside** I am breaking a personal cardinal rule, and blogging part of a conversation I had at a conference (but all people involved in the discussion will be credited at the end and were asked before I even had a thought of posting this).


…for posting to a message board, blog, forum, discussion group, e-mail list, or any other form of public mass communication.

To Learn

  • How do you/I _________?
  • What do you/I _________?
  • Where do you/I _________?
  • Why do you/I _________?
  • Who do you/I _________?
  • When do you/I _________?

Are questions that probably tally millions on message boards and new media communication channels everywhere.
To Give Back
Thanks for answering all my newbie questions. I’ll answer questions for a while because I respect the community and appreciate all the help that others provided me.

To Self Promote

Blatant self promotion vs. Soft self promotion

Repeatedly violating forum terms of service and challenging moderators to edit your posts, “hard selling” products or services.

Writing about topics that are of interest to you then asking questions of folks. Demonstrating knowledge on a subject to get warm referrals from your ideal customers.

To Be a Part of the Community

The people here are cool. Abe, zed, bill, bob, fred, darla, mo, larry, and curley are all people I like to be around because they think like I do.


The way to keep any community alive is through positive incentives that appeal to their prime motivation.

I think this is a large part of what blog network owners think is the beauty behind mutually beneficial blogging arrangements (even though many people have already figured it out). Payout is often a direct revenue share of earnings based on the value of a niche based around the PPC microeconomy and is often built directly from “webmaster welfare checks”.

Most people first start an online communities with a hunger to learn something. If you want to learn about something you’re willing to pay an opportunity cost for that knowledge of value. That cost can take the shape of any value to those who you are shopping for the education. This is what makes SEO/webmasters/tech forums so ahead of the curve…the information is much more valuable than in traditional industries. There is value to any information from “how to grow a tomato” to “10 tips to cook beef”, to just about any other topic that you can think of and write about.

How to Post
You learn about posting from the verbal and non-verbal etiquette of message boards and their creators. Find out rules and learn before you speak. Ask intelligent questions, and give coherent feedback.

  • The importance of titles cannot be overstated
  • Format the post in a way that your readers will read
  • Don’t ask 27 part questions
  • Organize and Summarize your thoughts
  • Re-read and edit your posts
  • Formatting is important

Have good conversations with people you like, and spend time to craft good posts and responses.

Are there any other motivations for user posting that you wouldn’t place in these categories?

Personal Side note:
Don’t ever post pre-coffee in the morning or post-alcohol at night:)

Chris Boggs, Avi Silverstein, Brad the Visibility Genie, and Justilien were all warned in advance that I would blog a portion of an enjoyable lunch conversation. Thanks guys, and to every one else that helped make the conference interesting.

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