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Is Posting A Link Online A Conversation?

Running a community seems a lot tougher today than it did just a few years ago.

Our smartphones enable us to know what's happening, and stay in touch.

We are more connected than ever. And for longer during the day.

While the proliferation of communities means we have less time to cover more touch points.

Recently in a community I help moderate, I wrote a post asking for conversation from the community, suggesting that simply posting a link doesn't encourage conversation. After posting a question to the community, the first response I received was a link to someone's content offsite.

To me the response wasn't helpful because it removes the conversation from the community. Even if the content was helpful to the conversation. However, the link led to a great piece of content, but you'd still have to search through the content to find what was relevant to the question I asked.

So my question is this? Is posting a link to a community forum really conversation?

Here's a few reactions to my question from around the web:

Toby Bloomberg

"I think it doesn't do anything. I would guess most people just ignore the link and less it's dropped by a highly respected member of the group.

It's also a missed opportunity from the writer who can reinforce a point of view and possibly a thought leadership positioning."

Rob Ainbinder

"That's a very common problem I see with social posts. This practice provides no context to the reader of why it’s important to the discussion, to me or, the brand."

Jim Spencer

"I just read a post that for example, emails should drop the greetings and salutations and be brief to respect people's time. So that thought is out there. I know that adding context around a link is more respectful of someone's time. It also builds trust and the likelihood that the link will be clicked on."

There are a few voices on the question, what do you think?