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