Sunday, May 18, 2008

Comment imbalance

I had an interesting epiphany a day or two ago, based on a couple notions:

  1. I blog more when I get comments. Which makes perfect sense, and the writing might either be in reference to a comment, or just make me feel good that somebody is reading my stuff.

  2. Content aggregators like (which I love, btw), live by directing attention to the postings of others' blogs/sites.

  3. Almost every BoingBoing post I've read has waaaaay more comments on it about a piece than there are on the originating site

Epiphany: content aggregators should encourage people to post some of their comments on the originating sites.

I mean... take this post from BoingBoing on a creepy slacks ad from 1970. It has (at this moment) 58 comments.  The original post has four. That seems, to me, to be about the norm; 10/15X the comments at BB as at the originating post. In some cases, you'll have a post where the BB readers start a full-on discussion, and the original post has no comments.

It's entirely fair for BoingBoing to bring content together from an incredible array of sources, and to serve it up to a whole horde of us Websters. It's not just fair, it's helpful and cool and fun.  And BoingBoing makes money off'n their ads. Again; cool. And getting a post BoingBoinged is huge a traffic boost for the originator. Sometimes so much so that small blogs end up crashing from the number of hits. A friend of mine once called that BBDOS -- BoingBoing Denial of Service.

But if readers want to respond to a post, shouldn't they do it on the original writer's blog/site? At least some of the time? 54 comments is more than I generally get in a year. I'd love to have that many readers having a discussion over something I wrote. And I guess I'd be glad to see that discussion happen at BoingBoing... but it would be cooler, still, if they'd come on ta my house and yap around the table that served the bloggy goodness.

Not a big deal. It just happened inside my head and I wanted to share the thought.

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