I've gotten some fantastic feedback on my Effort vs. Return post.
Tom Haskins - I think an added issue here is the openness to different kinds of return for the effort. There are numerous intangibles that depend on the receptivity of the person. Those of us amenable to "masochism" will get more value from our efforts than those with a low tolerance for pain, ambiguity and disorientation.
There may also be differences in how long it takes someone to read, write and reflect -- that could make participation more costly/less valuable.
Tonya - I agree with Tom. I think it really depends on what type of return you are after. If it's page hits, and you get only two or three, then you're likely to be disappointed. However, if it's the fact that you are contributing to the whole web 2.0 concept then even if you never get a comment, it's worthwhile.
Dr. Bob Cherry - I'm finding it hard to "get" blogs (almost certainly my failing)I am beginning to feel they are very one way - the "lecture" of web 2.0. Equally Facebook promises much, but the control that is exerted seems almost oppressive. Arguments and discussions die in the absence of an audience or worse - obliterated completely by a profile owner who likes to keep things tidy. Interestingly. I walk down the corridor at work - everyone says "hi" and wants to talk (a real menace sometimes). On Facebook and blogs the social/professional interaction seems much less vibrant .
These comments got me thinking about the importance of personal expectation when adopting a new technology - particularly Web 2.0 technologies.
What DO you want out of it?
When I started blogging, my goal was to get a lot of stuff out of my head. Forcing myself to write for public consumption, I figured, would make me process my ideas more effectively and think things through more carefully.
Because my goal was simple, and seemed to best match the strength of the technology, I got instantaneous return on investment. I've found a fantastic processing tool for all of the new stuff I'm learning and a reason to try new technologies - if only for blog content.
The public angle, in my mind, is absolutely invaluable in forcing me to think through my opinions. I've abandoned numerous blog posts because, as I wrote, I realized my position was idiotic. The posts you've never seen have actually had more educational value to me than some of the posts you do....
Even though a blog is a public forum, I really didn't expect anyone to read it unless I told someone. The amount of quality feedback I've received, in comments, blog links, e-mails, was unanticipated and a pleasant surprise.
As much as I hate to admit this, it is the feedback and knowing that others ARE reading this, that has kept me from abandoning the blog and going back to the journals of my pre-blogging days.