If you judge a blog’s success by number of comments, ours isn’t going to look very impressive. We don’t have any. The option is there, and we even invite people to leave them, but the comments section is decidedly empty.
We know from Twitter, Facebook, and even good old-fashioned face-to-face feedback, however, that people read our posts. They’re retweeted, liked… whatever. They’re definitely being read -not as often as we’d like, of course -but being read nonetheless. And yet… the dearth of comments continues!
Well, a few theories exist -the guys over at Nextness (who, despite their excellent and frequently-visited blog, have more or less the same problem) think it has something to do with social media. Social media are just that much better for talking about and sharing things that it doesn’t really make sense to leave a comment on a relatively-isolated, independent platform like a blog. If you talk about something on Twitter or Facebook, everyone else can see and join in.
We think that’s a pretty good theory.
But what about the blogs that do have prolific commenters? Well, as Marco Arment points out, that isn’t normal, and as both he and Shawn Blanc have agued, not necessarily a good thing. Comment sections can be abusive, inane, and full of self-serving spammers. This isn’t always the case, of course, and many people would be quick to highlight the sense of community a comments section can engender, the forum for contextualised discussion it provides, and the potential for thought-provoking conversations that can mean more than the post itself. Great examples of this can be found over at The Conversation (though only sometimes) and often on some of the more-esoteric blogs out there (think those concerning something like Eastern-European Cartography). These, however, are special cases.
Clay Jones does a good job of summing things up. He looks at a couple of super-insightful comment-tastic blogs (one with nearly 100,000 comments over only 44 posts), as well as one not-so-insightful comment-tastic blog (ESPN). The conclusion? Comments can be great, but not always, and more is definitely not always merrier.
So where do we stand? Well, we aren’t about to complain if you leave a comment on our blog. That, to be perfectly honest, would be great. At the end of the day, however, we aren’t going to shut it down and cry in a corner if you don’t.
What do you think about comments? Let us know down below (if you want)!
Or, if you’d like to learn more about comments and other internet-related things, give us a bell. We’re pretty cool.