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Cover image for How to Reach Out to Strangers on the Internet

How to Reach Out to Strangers on the Internet

kaydacode profile image Kim Arnett  ・2 min read

This post was inspired by some of your favorite online developer personalities, with addition to my own experience. PS) We don't hate you, promise. Adding a timely tweet I saw directly after drafting this blog post:

Reaching out to strangers on the internet doesn't seem like a big deal, after all what problems can a simple "hello" cause. Let me stop you right there, and let's back up. I LOVE our online community, and I do my best to help people (without making it my full time job). But, a simple "hello" message will not get a response from me, or most others, but I'll say me for the simplicity of this post.

It's not because I'm rude, or introverted, or hate everyone. Nope, my DM's would not be open if that was the case. If I responded to every "hello", "hi" or "how are you doing", I would never get anything done. Ever... and I really don't have that many followers compared to your favorite online devs. So, if you really want to reach out to someone.. how should you do it?

Respect Their Time

That's it! Don't ask a question that can easily be Googled, or Stack Overflowed (we don't have time to debug your app anyway). Get right to the point. I'm 95% more likely to respond to a message along the lines of "Hey, love your work, I was wondering how you got to where you're at?" or "Hi, do you have advice around not rage quitting your job?" or "Hey, could I bounce some ideas off of you about (problem)?". By opening the message and responding, I know what we're going to be talking about. Otherwise, it's almost too scary to respond. Really.

One more thing to keep in mind - you may have been following me for a while, and you may feel like you know me pretty well.. but keep in mind, we are still strangers. Doesn't mean we can't be "online friends" eventually, but just that no relationship has been built yet. Yet. Thank you for reading this, I hope this post will help you in your journey to network, as it's helped me be apart of a great and safe community.

Discussion

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Since we allow open inboxes on DEV now (/settings/misc), I'd add that everyone should take care to read the guidelines that folks set...

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kaydacode profile image
Kim Arnett  Author

Y'all have really thought of everything ❤️

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Ben Halpern

It’s still up to individual respect and a cultural movement towards respect and safety.

If we’ve made good choices it’s 100% because we listen to thoughtful and outspoken folks like yourself Kim!

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kaydacode profile image
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dietertroy profile image
Troy

I regularly use

Hi --

something i've never really thought about, is Hi -- a suitable replacement for a comma?

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Ben Sinclair

Fortunately (maybe?) lacklustre introductions aren't a problem most of us have to deal with.

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kaydacode profile image
Kim Arnett  Author

🤷‍♀️ I didn't think I'd ever have to myself lol. I've reached out to others before too though. Networking is great when done with respect.