If you want to create genuine friendship / connections with people through the internet, how do you do it?

4 Answers

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered

I would say there are three things that are important for making connections online:

1. Targeting the right people

2. Adding some sort of value to their internet experience.

3. Asking open ended questions

Targeting the right people

The first point may sound a bit weird.

"Targeting" a person for friendship online might seem a bit cold, but the internet is a noisy place, and to me this actually makes a lot of sense.

Imagine you were in a really busy bar or park, and some stranger came up to you and said "hello, how are you doing?"

Although they might seem friendly enough, you might have a voice in your head asking "why have they approached me out of all these people?"

However, if they immediately have something in common with you (a shared interest, members of the same group/society, fans of the same sports team) and bring that commonality up in conversation, then this makes you feel more at ease.

The same thing applies to sparking conversations on the internet.

So someone that opens with "Hey, I read your comment on that article about The Doors, and they're my favorite band too!" stands a stronger chance of getting a conversation going than someone who messages you saying "Hey, wanna chat?"

Adding value to their internet experience.

My second point is based around a similar concept.

Let's say you write a blog post about a vacation to Italy, and you receive two comments:

- Nice post.

- I had the same problem during my first trip to Florence. I found that the restaurants with the least tourists in them tended to be a lot cheaper, and served nicer food too!

Which comment would you feel most likely to interact with?

Probably the one that has taken the time to add more value to the conversation I'm guessing...

Ask open ended questions

This is actually a sales technique, but can be applied to pretty much any conversation.

If you ask questions that have a yes/no answer, you run the risk of ending the conversation abruptly and having to start again.

For example:

"Do you write about Italy often?"

"No."

Now the conversation needs to start from scratch.

Instead, with an open ended questions there is more room for conversational flow:

"What made you want to write about Florence over the other cities you visited?"

This might not work everytime, but it's a tip I've found useful.

1 Person thanked the writer.
Yo Kass
Yo Kass commented
Oops! Didn't mean to post that anonymously. No need to worry where the mystery advice is coming from though... it's me :)
Brian Scott Profile
Brian Scott answered

I would say just reach out to people. SO many people are shy , even online. So like just don't be afraid to randomly message someone and say "hi I liked your last post" or "hey i like your profile picture". Sometimes I get kind of shy in real life but on the internet I don't see why people don't just go for it. It's called the communication revolution for a reason!

Brenda Everett Profile
Brenda Everett answered

There are so many possibilities: Social networks, dating websites, community groups, chat rooms... To make friends online you just have to put a little effort into the "relationship". So many youngsters these days seem to be wholly interested in 'building' an army of followers, but they miss the point that the internet is about building contacts, resources and friendships. How can one possibly know, let alone be friends with, thousands upon thousands of "followers"??

Answer Question

Anonymous