Cafe Witness

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Comments Ate My Baby

Some blog posts elicit more comments than others, and when the occasional "hot button" post (or anything on Scobleizer) attracts massive amounts of comments, it gets me thinking...

How many comments is TOO many?

As a Blog Writer...

... I would say "there's no such thing as too many comments," because the more people take the time to respond to something I've made, the more I know I've connected with my audience. (Minus all those people who post comments that add zero value to the conversation and simply act as a free ad for their own URL).

I also enjoy hearing people's differing opinions, or seeing them make additional suggestions that are relevant to the topic at hand. One author can't nail a topic from every angle, so it's great when interested commenters can add depth and breadth to the conversation.

As a Blog Reader...

... I rarely read beyond the first 10 comments on a given post, because so much of it is either empty congratulations or a stock battalion of "yes, but" arguments.

That said, when a topic DOES spur a healthy (or heated) debate, I'll read much further down the comment stream, usually until the sentiments begin rapidly duplicating themselves.

And, as a Commenter...

... I'm more likely to leave a comment on a post if I'm either among the first responders to that post (and, thus, more likely to have my comment read by others) *OR* if I have something to add that I believe is both valid and as-yet unsaid by anyone who's commented before me.

In my opinion, there's no sense in adding yet another voice to a string of comments unless that voice extends the conversation beyond its existing borders. Which is ironic, because as a blog author, I don't mind redundancy in the comment stream; when I'm in that role, every comment carries with it the added value of validation.

So, how do YOU handle (or leave) comments?

Image by lammy.

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  • I agree. Good job. Way to go., Keep it up. Check out my website.

    By Anonymous Michael Bailey, at 10:16 AM  

  • Well, I'm much more likely to leave a comment if I'm among the first commenters on the post. But if it's a post I'm interested in, I do read most of the comments that have been written, especially if I see a healthy debate going on. I'm interested in how people react to blog posts and newspaper articles almost as much as I am interested in what those articles or posts had to say.

    By Anonymous infernoenigma, at 10:16 AM  

  • I've been in a debate with myself about how to handle comments on my blog that are 'most likely' just fluff trying to get trackbacks to their sites... If they don't seem to be real people with something to say I don't allow them in - ex: they say something like 'get idea' and have a link to a Hungarian car website.

    By Anonymous Kathleen Seide, at 10:27 AM  

  • I have noticed that comments on my site will consistently stop at 49. For some reason, people don't want to be comment #50. Once in a while someone will do it, and then comments will burst again for a little while. The whole thing fascinates me. What's the difference between leaving comment #49 and comment #50?

    By Blogger Burgh Baby, at 11:51 AM  

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