Monday, November 20, 2006
What's Up With Comments?
Those of you who run blogs (and I know you are many)—will you comment on your comments?
I have been following this phenomenon for some time. I swear there’s a sociological book in here somewhere, just waiting to be written. About why some posts garner lots of comments, and others don’t.
Let’s back up a minute. First, I’ve noticed the difference in comments from one blog to another. Granted, usually a blog has more comments because it has more readers. But not always. Some blogs just have chatty readers. Girls Write Out—now there’s one chatty blog (and fun, too, btw). Those gals over there (well, mostly gals) always have something to comment about. Yet readership of that blog, as I’ve gathered from its writers, is pretty equal to Forensics and Faith.
Here, comments range wildly from day to day, even though readership doesn’t. Sometimes I’m surprised as to what garners comments, and what does not. Take a look at some of the posts from this month, and their number of comments:
My Love Affair With Halloween—NOT (a light look at why I hate the day): 23
Oh, Blogger, Where Art Thou? (a rant on the constant failings of blogger): 17
My Dear Gobdrip (the Haggard scandal, a la Screwtape): 16
New Fave Compliment (short post about a one-liner a fan sent me): 17
Preaching to the Choir (Robin Lee Hatcher guest blog on why she writes what she writes): 18
Not Too Proud A Californian (reacting to the failure in California to pass the parent notification act for abortion): 25
Bestseller Lists, Take 2—Part 1: 6
Bestseller Lists, Take 2—Part 2: 9
Bestseller Lists, Take 2—Part 3: 7
Bestseller Lists, Take 2—Part 4: 5
Man. Look at the fall-off of comments on that last series. Yet that series took a lot of research for me and probably presented a lot of information that readers did not know. Certainly a lot more information than the Blogger or Halloween posts. The final post alone (Part 4), after all the research, took 2 ½ hours to pull together. (I couldn’t run a blog if I took that kind of time every day.) Yet it garnered the least amount of comments.
The Gobdrip post was popular. My readership nearly doubled that day, due to email links, and generally people telling people to read it. It was a good amount of comments, but they certainly didn’t double, so they actually ended up representing a smaller percentage of readers.
Overall, from looking at many months, it seems the F&F posts that get the most comments are either: controversial topics, my style of rant, or one of my humorous stories. None of which take the longest to write. I have a feeling (at least I’d like to believe) that the various series on craft are appreciated, but they don’t tend to get many comments either. Although they, too, can be buggers to write.
Even in the case of a lot of comments, they still represent a small percentage of total Forensics and Faith readership. Most BGs apparently like maintaining their lurker status. Although some will surface occasionally if the right button is pushed.
So there you have it. I’m still not quite sure what to make of the patterns. I’d love to hear what you’re experiencing on your blogs, or what your thoughts are about the sociology of the issue in general.
Now won’t it be interesting to see how comments this one gets.