I admit, I’m taking liberties with the Y. But then I’ve also been taking liberties with the AtoZ Challenge by posting multiple letters a day because I’ve been behind for the past week or so. Today (the second last day of the Challenge!) I want to better understand why people do – or don’t – comment on blogs.
Given the number of blogs out there – especially science-specific ones – my blog is doing marginally alright. I average about 10 pageviews a day, with about 40 pageviews per post (30 posts and a total of just under 1200 views). I think this is okay, seeing as I’ve only been blogging since the end of January, but I don’t really have anything to compare it to except some random numbers in my head.
What interests me, though, is the comment to pageview ratio (had to make it a technical term). Most posts generate no comments whatsoever. Even the post with the most pageviews (>100) only generated two comments – and one was from my mom (not that your comments don’t count Mom!).
Bora Zivkovic, science communicator/blogger/tweeter extraordinaire, recently posted on Google+ about commenting on articles. He suggests that people are no longer afraid of being embarrassed and will post random blog comments after merely reading a blog title or just skimming the text, with no sense of context or knowledge of the writer’s previous work. As a blog moderator, sounds like he has a lot of crap to deal with.
For my blog, I’m not too worried if someone has an off-the-cuff comment. Sometimes what jumps out at a reader is more indicative of what’s missing from the blog post, rather than what the reader is getting wrong. If you haven’t clearly set up your argument, or are missing a key piece of information, then even someone just skimming the post can pick that up. Alternatively, a random comment can be about the small part of the article that made an impression on the reader. Either way, comments can provide some perspective on what you’ve posted.
I mainly see a blog as a way to create conversation, to connect ideas and thoughts into the larger community who provide feedback and generate discussion. The lack of comments suggests I’m doing a better job at killing than creating conversation. 😦 Trouble is, I’m not sure how to improve this.
So here’s your chance to comment. What prompts you to comment – or not? How can this blog encourage more comments? How do you engage your blog readers in commenting?
See you tomorrow for Z!