"Twitter - it only works if you reply."
I can't remember who said it, but it's true. I'm not very good at the replying bit. The same goes for blogging. It's better if you actually interact with the bloggers you read and leave comments. I'm not very good at that. It doesn't help that I do most of my blog reading via Google Reader these days. That means an extra click at least to get to a point where you can comment. On most of the blogs I read, I'm a lurker who never comments. I suspect this is bad blogging etiquette.
My problem is, I'm shy and I don't like networking. Twitter particularly is like one big public networking event. To get anything out of it beyond shouting your witticisms (or more likely, that weird dream you had and what you ate for lunch) into the aether, you need to reply to other people's tweets and start an interaction. I find it intimidating to reply to people I haven't actually met. Even the people I've been following for years via their blogs and now Twitter. I'm too shy to say hello.
Of course, I should know by now that good things can happen when you interact on the internet. That's how I met my husband, after all. My sister started a blog, partly on my recommendation and it changed her life. She lost weight. She went to the US for 3 months to stay with someone she'd never met. Crazy! She still spends time interacting with other bloggers and etsy-ites on forums. I think she reads fewer blogs than I do, but she interacts more.
So, what I am to do? Learn from my sister and my past good experiences. After all, Rob was a random internet stranger when he made that first comment. Now he's my husband. I'm so glad he commented and even more glad I replied. Who knows what other good things might happen if I say hello to people I read and follow more often?