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Reading Vs. Commenting November 3, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in blogging, contemplation.

Bloggers get feedback from readers – through page views/unique visitors the blogger gets an idea whether it is mattering that she/he is blogging at all, assuming of course that a blogger gainly some satisfaction/utility from being read (a fair assumption).

What about comments ?While comments reinforce this point every now and then, they are an incomplete and a not-so-comprehensive indicator of a blog’s popularity. Here are some possible reasons in the increasing order of political incorrectness.

  • Comments require more effort and thought and are rather time-consuming – if people read blogs at work as a 5 minute diversion, they are unlikely to comment.
  • There are other biases where some people comment only when they agree with your view and others only when they don’t. So there is an effect of the kind of readership you have rather than the absolute number.
  • Some are hesitant to comment – much like public speaking fright, commenting online is not something everybody is willing to jump at.
  • It might also be culture dependent. I was surprised to see that when a really popular Indian blogger opened up some of the posts for comments, there were far fewer than one might predict from the blog’s popularity. This may partly be due to the fact that different countries are at a different stage of adoption of blogging as a technology and a medium of influence.
  • Not everyone is efficient and competent at putting their thoughts in writing – somehow they haven’t practiced writing for any other purpose other than when it was the only way out ! ( Note : this is different from not having a enormous vocabulary which is neither a necessary nor sufficient pre-requisite for writing well. Note also that this is different from not willing to comment as in point 3.)

In summary, while the absence of comments is not necessarily a bad thing, the presence is certainly good news for the blogger. (Not for everyone though)

Its kind of going to be tricky to request those readers who don’t comment to now comment to indicate whether there are reasons I have left out. πŸ˜€



1. Ganesh Nayak - November 4, 2007

I am kind of person you referred in point no. 2 and a little bit of point 3

I generally don’t comment when I disagree, even though urge to comment is highest in the case.

2. Sharath Rao - November 4, 2007

I would put myself in 2 as well…generally. (except if its a comment on this blog )

3. roohi - November 6, 2007

how come just one comment on this one.. maybe u commented enuf eh..
hmm πŸ™‚ no comments

4. hridayramshenoy - November 13, 2007

interesting observations. i agree and thereby, am proving you right. πŸ˜‰

5. Sharath Rao - November 13, 2007

oh yeah yeah…except the last part does not follow from the preceding ones πŸ™‚

Thanks man, first comment. That misspelling thing kinda counts too…okay second comment πŸ™‚

6. hridayramshenoy - November 20, 2007

what misspelling?

and tis my first comment. this is a second, though not a comment on your blog entry per se[:P]

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