Abstinence: What Do People Want to Talk About?

Category: Weekly Columns


Last night’s #DadChat was on a pretty serious and heavy subject: God and Abstinence. It was hosted by Pastor Drew Sams aka @SurferDrew, who is a regular guest on my weekly radio show. We had good participation, but not as great as usual, though we still had over 1,000 tweets and just shy of 100 participants, including my friends Sonya aka @Sonya_LeanOnUs from England, and Michael aka @mqtodd, from Japan. My question is: was the topic of abstinance a turn-off? Do people want to avoid the serious discussions? Was having a religious leader scary to some?

#DadChat has become a great community and forum for dads AND moms. Some of the recent and incredible hosts were @TedRubin, @AngelaMaiers, @JessicaNorthey, @Josepf, @MilasPage, @ProsperityGal, and @jkcallas. Coming up on April 12, we are privileged to have @GuyKawasaki co-hosting, when we’ll be talking about What the Plus!, his new book and how Social Media affects our parenting. Guy is father to four, in case you didn’t know.

My question is sort of that eternal one we all ask ourselves. Why does on thing hit a nerve and go viral while another that we might think would get people’s attention, go flat? Obviously, whoever has that answer can write the playbook for their fortune. I’m sure everyone has some opinions and I’d love to hear yours in the comments section, below.

With YouTube videos, why does one baby goo-goo video get 10,000,000 views and another baby ga-ga video get only 100? With my own posts, I once got an incredible number of views on a column simply because its title – Money, Money, Money – got the right SEO juice! My recent Valentine’s Day column also got a big number of hits, clearly due to having “Valentine’s Day” in the title.

Naturally, when I’ve tried to go viral, it’s never worked. I don’t try anymore. I will let nature take its course, though that is clearly the wrong cliche to use.

The first serious topic I did at #DadChat was Religion and Our Kids and it got the biggest number of tweets, impressions, and participants of any up to that date. Yet, when we just did a religious topic, again, it didn’t touch the same nerve? What was the difference, if any? Did the NCAA tournament take most people away? Again, I may never know.

#DadChat, up to that point when I did that first serious topic, had a reputation as being a fun chat, unstructured, usually with only me as host. It was known to be lively and leavened with a lot of humor. It is still that, but I’ve added the occasional more serious topic because I think it matters, to steal a word from my Teach, Angela Maiers. My goal isn’t to garner the biggest numbers but to create a community of parents that support one another, discuss the hard issues, and maybe have a little fun along the way. And now, I have regular co-hosts because it just adds so much more, since each co-host brings their unique perspective. It also allows me to play host and class clown, the latter a role I relish.

What do YOU want to talk about? I would love suggestions for both topics and co-hosts for future #DadChats but mostly I just want to build our community. I invite you to join us any Thursday, from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m., PST.