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Why So Few People Comment August 27, 2007

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Social Media.
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The typical blog commenting system feels discordant, just like a long stream of disconnected thoughts and opinions fractured from the originating idea. It’s not how real conversation flows. Comments seem to encourage a “me too” type of system. Here are some reasons why so few people comment in blogs:

80/20 rule: Just like in school, the outgoing ones carry the conversation. In a class of 30 people the same handful are the ones who raise their hand.

Supply & Demand: The blogosphere is awash with easily accessible opinions. Comments add to an over-saturated market of ideas on a limited subject matter.

Not Worth Effort: Most folks feel less invested in an online conversation. Users feel their comments are not worth the effort of posting. “Conversation” is hard to track in a pure linear model.

No Moderator: The content’s author seldom mediates and massages the flow of conversation, so good thoughts go to comments to die. No vitality or growth.

Shyness: Some folks comment regularly on blogs of people they know, but not those of “public figure blogs” for fear of sticking their foot in their mouth.

Registration: The protocol for commenting puts many off. Having to register first is a barrier many dislike. They would rather keep their comments civil.

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