Public Acknowledgement

As more professionals join the ranks of participants in public streams, we are seeing the evolution away from site- and even blog-based back and forth comments to messages in social networks.

Distributed conversations — i.e. where we happen to be browsing — may be more convenient, especially on Twitter, where the back and forth could happen within hours and in some cases days.

Twitter Exchange with Tom Peters
How do we signal the listening part in public, in stream? 

A few options for consideration:

  • using @ replies to signal our take, which is what @TomPeters did earlier today (remember to use the "." before the @ so the tweet becomes public) — I saw the message a few hours later and provided more context around the reason for sharing the post in the first place
  • monitoring the messages of anyone else who comments and determine whose points need addressing further as well as who added to the exchange — although I used to be more active on Twitter than I am today, I continue to find opportunities to make new connections through these quick exchanges
  • whenever there is a need to add more than a few words to provide context, or to address good points made during social exchanges, use a blog post — the same is true for comments left on other blogs that can be further developed on your site
  • using favorites, retweets, likes, shares, and pluses creates signal, too — in a pinch they work to communicate your agreement and/or support of the original message. We had a very lively discussion here a few months ago on whether sharing means endorsing, does it?

Do you monitor reactions to your posts in real time to provide acknowledgement? Getting aggregated reports for a dashboard is not the same as being responsive in stream and there is value to both.


Valeria is an experienced listener. She designs service and product experiences to help businesses rediscover the value of promises and its effect on relationships and culture. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. Book her to speak here.