Blogtistics and Not Commenting – My comment. On not commenting. Which is fine. And you can comment too. On not commenting.

Writer Chick on this post takes up the possibility that the popular blogs may phase out commenting.

In all honesty, it seems to me that there’s a certain point where a blog becomes something a little different. It’s like people who play in bands. When you’re playing at the Whiskey in Hollywood, that’s a small venue. The energy is different, and you’re more engaged with the audience because they’re right there.

Then you go to the Staples Center, and that’s a different performance because it’s a different energy and much bigger venue. You cannot interact with all your fans. You’ve gone from a Ricky Ricardo sized entertainment space to the entire freaking world or whomever could pony up $500 a ticket.

So, maybe up to 2000 people, you get a certain percentage who comment and interact using like buttons. Let’s just throw a number out there of 5%. 1 in 20. Maybe a quarter of that comments, so 1 in 80. If you have 40000 readers, 5000 of them will comment.

I know it’s lower than that, but the comment progression is not linear, it’s a curve. Initially, the post will pick up a lot of comments, and as it gets older and there are more comments, later people may feel like it’s necroposting if the post is over a day old, or two days old, or whatever their random subjective criteria are for deciding something like that. For a yardstick, I’m using Kristen Lamb’s Blog which lists 46,050 subscribers. Over the last 12 posts, it averages 72.25 comments per post. This comes out to be a comment rate of .0001569, or one in 639. Some of those comments are by Kristen, so it might be more like one in 687.

Let’s stick my blog up there, for comparison. I have 152 followers. It could be more if I was attractive or had something interesting to say.  Over the last 14 posts, it averages 8 comments per post. That’s 1 in 19 that comments.  Compared to Kristen, I’ve got a much more dedicated and awesome commenter base. That’s because every one of you readers was handpicked. I know, I love you guys, too.

Also, half those comments are mine, so It’s really about 1 in 40.

I’m still crushing Kristen.  ;D  Not really. Just because the audience doesn’t engage doesn’t mean they’re not engaged. There’s 46 THOUSAND PEOPLE.  That’s like all of La Crescenta, California listening to a blog.  That’s people-glued-to-the-radio-listening-to-FDR kind of stats.

It’s just interesting that there’s a non-linear curve on this whole thing. Blogtistics is an interesting world.

So a large blog kills the commenting? It’s probably not a huge loss. Anything polarizing always seems to have an overwhelming audience of cheerleaders who mutter all the same imprecations about the evil other side, and if someone by change actually begins to address the topic in a logical manner, they are shouted down by the majority. I can see where disabling comments will kill a lot of the negativity that drags along behind some of these posts. It’s res ipsa loquitar, the thing speaks for itself, and the comments are unnecessary.

*I* like comments. I like engaging. I’ll always have comments.  Blogs without comments are losing their most valuable contributor: Me. ;D

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30 thoughts on “Blogtistics and Not Commenting – My comment. On not commenting. Which is fine. And you can comment too. On not commenting.

  1. I’d really like to comment 7 times to make you observations out of kilter, but I’m lost for words… My old blog had over 2 thousand followers and I got as many likes and as many comments then as I do now with just over 100 followers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. personally I’d rather have a few commenters than a lot of unknown lookie-loos. half the enjoyment (or half mine anyhoo) comes from reactions by my readers.
    well written, by the way (yeah, I know, there’s an acronym for that … sometimes I like to type 😉 ) anyhoo – I enjoyed the read. thanks for posting!

    Like

    • You’re welcome. I believe most people would rather have the conversations than the numbers, UNLESS they’re being paid by the click-throughs, then it’s all about the advertising and shoving out content to get people to read the blog.

      Like

  3. The main reason I don’t tend to comment on blogs with large followings is that chances are someone in the hundreds of comments has already said what I was planning to, and better, and I try to avoid being redundant whenever possible. I suspect this is true for many others as well, and this is what separates us from the animals (i.e. YouTube commenters).

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! YouTube comments are a vast wasteland of the inextricable morass of the Abyssinian swamp, where logic and coherent thought go to die.

      Any time I ever even consider commenting on a youtube thread, please taser me until I stop.

      Yes, I think the entropy of commenting is what happens. In my example blog, I read the original post (Kristen says to write this way, not that), then I’ll see what the comments are. People will comment (I wrote that way, now I will write this way) which gets repeated ad infinitum in various ways. Everyone wants to tell their own personal story. That’s cool, I guess, and we are, after all, in the story telling biz. Well, some of us. Like you, I’ll read the previous comments and yeah, most of the time, whatever I’m going to say has been said. Sometimes I try for the witty one-liner or wry comment if I find an angle not yet hit on.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. #5, am I? I can still comment then. 🙂 I can mostly second what those before me have said: when I get to a blog like Kristen Lamb’s, I hardly ever comment because of the redundancy, because I don’t have time to read hundreds of comments before me, and I doubt that the blogger with that following even registers my post. I’ ve noticed that there often is an ‘old buddy’ system in place, people who’ve been around, are known and addressed individually by the blogger. I find it difficult to jump right in then and add something… I don’t think that’s wrong, friendships grow with blogs… but it may prevent people who come later from butting in frequently.

    Like

    • I see that. I even feel it here on TD’sB. You get in a nice exchange with someone, and in between the lines, the message is, “I like you.” “I like you, too!” “Let’s be friends.” “Okay.” That’s a connection, and it’s a good thing. I make connections all the time with folks who probably wouldn’t ever talk to me if they knew my politics or religion or favorite foods.

      So the regulars, the people who’ve commented in the past and made this experience more valuable and enhanced this blog, I like ’em. Sure, you can hit the like button, and that’s nice, but you get to know a person through their posts and their comments.

      I’m not sure the best way to buck the old boy network. Consider that the average person has the capacity to maintain 12 intimate relations at any given time. Beyond that, and it stretches your capacity to maintain those friendships… or remember names.

      An interesting thing for me is that sometimes I will begin to type a longish comment on someone else’s blog, and think, “only one person will read this, and I think it’s more interesting than that.” The post gets posted here, instead, with references back to what inspired the post, and there you have it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh, I’m not against that buddy network on blogs (as long as everyone is friendly). I think it’s great to be able to talk to people with similar interests. I don’t have anyone near me with whom to discuss plot poits and such, for instance. But with really big followings, it makes it difficult to join the conversation.
        I think it’s great when the blogger does something you did here: actively asking for people to comment, that helps.
        I’ve deleted many a longish comment in the past, too. On the other hand, I did get a response sometimes: not from the popular blogger, but from other commenters.

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        • I sometimes respond to other folks on blogs that aren’t mine, though I’m wary of doing it too much as it may seem inappropriate. Maybe the blog owner wants to make that response, or maybe my words don’t carry as much authority, or perhaps my view is all wrong for that particular blog. Some of that might come from my working for a lawyer these many years– as a layman, I need to be close-lipped about giving legal advice and that constrains me in strange ways in areas where I may have loads of experience. In the writing realm, I can call myself an author (it’s up there at the top, so it must be true) and maybe people just assume, “it says author, so he must be, though he doesn’t seem to advertise his books very much.” No, I don’t. I haven’t written a complete novel yet. That’s a factor, for me, in commenting to others. Nevertheless, I absorb information well and can reiterate things I may not understand as well as someone who has tread that path. So cross-commenting is something I may do, regardless of my inexperience.

          I note, in passing, that this post has destroyed the average for comments, in having 13 comments a day for its 3 day lifespan. 😀 At 28 comments (14 of them mine), it’s nearly double the average.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Oh. I love the stats. Bar graphs make me happy. I’m weird that way. The 46,000 follower problem… the problem would be how to parlay that into an income. That many followers, and that’s a job.

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  5. I generally don’t comment if there are already a lot of comments, or if I have nothing to say. I feel like if I can offer some support, encouragement, cheerleadering (I don’t really care if this isn’t a word, I like it), observation, advice, or whatever. If I don’t think I can offer, I don’t comment – that said, I don’t like a post if I haven’t actually read it. I don’t know if I would have posted on this one if I didn’t want to see it hit much closer to your average.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The comments are always skewed by active author responses. So this has about 8 responses from you guys, and 8 responses from me. This is actually about average, I suppose.

      I try to throw help in wherever I can, but I’m like you – if it’s already been said… or if there’s a ton of comments… what are you going to do? It’ll be lost amidst the sea of commenty slushyness.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. One of the main things about commenting for me is about showing support, so if there’s a blog with a huge following and hundreds of comments on a post, I know they don’t “need” my support, so unless I have something burning to say I won’t comment for the sake of commenting. With some of the regulars I interact with, I will effectively sometimes comment for the sake of commenting in order to be supportive. I have about 2,400 followers on mine, but I don’t get any more comments or likes than when I had a few hundred followers, I know that most of those followers aren’t engaged readers, so while it’s nice to see the number go up, it’s the community engagement in the comments that means more. I firmly believe that the best way to get comments up is to comment a lot on other people’s posts rather than working on getting your followers up, although that usually comes with it too.

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    • If you give good comments, that attracts others to your blog. So give quality, get quality. I sometimes will follow someone who comments in a erudite or amusing way.

      With 2400 followers, do you have any set schedule of posts, or is it whenever you feel like it?

      Like

  7. I’ve often wondered how many of those followers ever read posts ? I’m enjoying a community of commenters that I adore. To me, that is where the good stuff is. Maybe there are folks who read loyally , but are intimidated to join in the conversation ? Just thinking…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I can see that. It depends on the community. It’s like when people discuss gay marriage. I’ve seen commenters on both sides of the discussion who started very respectful dialogues and who restrained the more virulent from spreading venom. Then there’s places where you will be attacked and DESTROYED for holding a point of view. This material is far less opinionated, in that we don’t usually hit polarizing views on writing, but yanno, people can be passionate about pants vs. plot.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m commenting because, 1) to make your stats twitch, and 2) I’m still finding my blogging feet, and it’s still an adventure in the making. I think I have three followers… and I already know them all IRL.
    Attracting an audience and then building my own little virtual village is an exciting idea, but I feel very small and naive, and entire life spans away from the debate re: turn comments off vs leave them on. If I get a comment, I jump all over it like a flea on a well-fed dog. No kidding — it’s not always pretty, but I Am On It.
    I found your blog through your comment on Writer Chick, and now I get to explore some of your old posts, and that’s exciting to me, so, note to self: don’t stop commenting; commenting is important; read the comments; click on down the rabbit hole.

    Like

    • Yeah, this isn’t an average post. I laughed at your flea comment. I think because I am so pointedly saying the average is 8, everyone enjoys throwing off the stats. You’re a bunch of non-conformists, you are. Rules? We don’t need no stinkin’ rules! Buck the trends! Mess with the stats!

      At the end of the day, this will change the average not at all. Because down the road, there’ll be a boring post about kleenix or something mundane and you’ll all yawn and say, “well, that’s nice,” and no comments. What’s a guy to do?

      Welcome to the whatever we call this. You’re on the right track – I pick a lot of people to follow based on their comments and that’s the way to meet new folks.

      Liked by 1 person

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