'Re:give me my peace of mind'_ or_'awakening' //2If you’re a blogger, you’ll know how comments make a blog. They can take the original post into a whole new level altogether, with opposing views and discussions opening up some great viewpoints.

Personally, I’ve used the comments on some of my posts (and those on other blogs) as inspiration for new posts here. I’ll add my comment on the original post, and then expand on it with a new or slightly different take. That then opens the discussion up even further, both on the new post and the original (play fair – always link back to your inspiration).

While content may be the instigator, it’s the conversations by the community that often make the content. And maybe it’s just me, but Twitter seems to be taking more of the conversations and making them 140-character bites.

I’ve seen many great posts by some truly remarkable bloggers be tweeted, and the conversation remain on Twitter. Points and questions raised in the post start the conversation rolling, but instead of via the comments section on a blog, they take place on the little blue bird nest. And that’s a shame.

There’s nothing wrong with this, of course – after all, Twitter is the king of instant feedback and interaction. And weekly events like #journchat and #blogchat , and others like them, show just how effective a medium Twitter can be for conversations. And yet…

Imagine how much a conversation could build without the limitations of 140-characters. Imagine how opposing views could be fully fleshed out with unlimited text. Imagine how communities could be forged, and new friendships built, through the reasoning and acceptance that long tail blog comments can offer. Imagine being the catalyst or inspiration for a blog post by your favourite blogger, all from a single comment you left.

Of course, you could say that it’s down to the blogger to make the content as open as possible, to encourage discussion – and this is true. Yet at the same time, maybe we (as readers) need to take part more as well? Maybe we need to encourage bloggers more by being part of their community, as opposed to rubbernecking on Twitter?

There are a myriad of ways for conversations to take place. Sometimes little snapshots like Twitter are ideal, if you’re pressed for time. But isn’t it nice to get away from the noise at times, and relax where you have time and space to say what you really want?

What’s your take?

Creative Commons License photo credit: Shirin K. A. Winiger

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Comments

  1. says

    I think people underuse Disqus “Tweet This” functionality. It's a great way to have a well thought out conversation and bring in the conversation from Twitter.

    • says

      Agreed, Jon – it's one of the great features that Disqus employs, yet doesn't seem to be used quite as much as you'd expect. Wonder if there's an easier way to integrate/make it stand out as an option?

      • says

        I've been thinking about that a lot with my own plugin CommenTwitter (http://bit.ly/rrQ69). Granted I believe disqus did a far better job implementing it granted they have a much more powerful platform behind them for doing so. The only thing I can think of is possibly asking if they want to tweet after the fact. Currently they confirm that they sent your Tweet to Twitter but what if instead they use that screen to ask if you want to send it to Twitter.

        • says

          I think I checked out your plugin prior to moving over to Disqus, when I used other plugins to get (most of) the features here – looked interesting.

          It's a solution that's almost begging to be met – perhaps a way to connect to your networks via your email, with your choice being set up prior to even commenting? Similar to how some systems (like Posterous, for example) let you post a blog on multi-networks, maybe comments can do the same (if selected).

          Of course, then it'd be down to the individual not to just add more noise. Ah, brainteasers – don't you just love 'em? πŸ˜‰

        • says

          I'm glad you shared your plugin as I am looking for a solution where I can tweetback not just the blog, but the comment I made on the blog to my twitter followers. I will check out Posterous as suggested by Danny Brown!

  2. says

    Danny,

    This is a tough one to answer definitively…

    I'd say, that if someone actually reads my post, and they have something to contribue, they'll comment on my blog.

    The conversations on twitter are usually:

    1) In response to the tweet about the post (which means they didn't read it)
    or
    2) in response to someone on twitter bringing up a point from the post (which also probably means they didn't read it)

    Sometimes, I get someone who reads my whole post and then replies via twitter, but that's not common. If they do that, I usually encourage them to elaborate in a comment.

    Personally, twitter has helped me get more comments. I pull out really interesting points that my readers bring up in comments, and tweet it out with a link to their comment.

    I use twitter to pull more into the conversation.

    Also, when others see people talking about the post and discussing on twitter, that drives more people to the post (if there are links) to comment.

    I see what you're saying, but in general, I'd actually say twitter has helped get more comments, rather than hurt the conversation on my blog.

    Interested to hear others' experiences.

    @DavidSpinks

    • says

      Funnily enough, I was thinking of you as I wrote this, fella. Not from the “killing comments” perspective, more from an example of great community building and commenting. Your point about highlighting comments on Twitter is a good one – I've seen that happen more by other bloggers too (outwith the options that Disqus give you to retweet/reply to a comment).

      I'm wondering if better integration between Twitter and blogs is an option? Backtype, Disqus and others are trying for sure, but so far it's not really working ideally – they either have to be trackbacks or on the conversation. And that can often clutter the comments more, and out people off.

      • says

        I think I actually prefer doing the legwork than just having it automated through Disqus.

        I wouldn't want it automated because:

        1) I reply to most of the comments I get, so it might get spammy on twitter if they're all being posted.
        2) going from #1, not all comments are worthy of pointing out in a tweet
        3) my comment replies aren't formatted well for twitter. On twitter I phrase it differently to draw people to the conversation

        The problem with pulling twitter comments into your blog is, well, retweets. A lot of people will be sharing your post, and that's different from what we'd consider a “comment”. They're more like a trackback, but not nearly as significant currently.

        • says

          Although that's the beauty of the option to select whether you want to tweet a comment/reply, or not.

          I liked how BackType had their settings with BackType connect. They use an algorithm that shows whether it's a simple RT or actually adding to the conversation, then you decide whether you have that within the flow of the comments, or as a backtrack solution.

          Of course, then you take away the value of the “real” backtracks from other bloggers, and can then dilute their potential new audience.

          Le sigh… πŸ˜‰

  3. laurenfernandez says

    I think the people that abuse the platform are killing blog comments. I think you can get comments if you have substantial posts – but don't assume just because you think it's great, others will. Tell them why you think it will be a good read for them if you go that route. Don't only self promote yourself constantly – promote others. They respond better if you tout them first.

    So, yes – Twitter might be killing comments, but I think the enablers have a big part in it.

    • says

      When you say “tell them why you think it will be a good read for them”, are you using this method? How are you phrasing it, to keep it from “constant self-promotion” (or appearing that way)?

  4. Seth Simonds says

    Heya Danny,

    I see a lot of people scrambling to pull Twitter/Facebook/etc “remarks” back into their comment streams with Chat Catcher and the like. That behavior serves only to pump up the comment count at the cost of the blog-centric discussion.

    From what I've seen, most of the “remarks” on Twitter are from scanners who wouldn't normally leave a comment anyhow.

    If people want to have a conversation about your post on Twitter, I say have it there!

    Also, consider asking only one question at the end of your post. Answering all four is quite a bit to chew on and would require a lot of time. Ask me one? You'll probably get a comment. Ask me four? I'll probably hit the RT button and say “great post.” As it is, I ignored most of your questions and left a meandering comment that immediately confuses participation with contribution!

    Speaking of which, I love that Twitter has allowed all the “great post!” people a place to leave their 3-word comments.

    =)

    • says

      Maybe you could just pick your favourite question? πŸ˜‰

      I hear you on the Twitter and social media reactions/interactions – it's one of the reasons I quite like the Disqus option (and the BackType one with my previous comments system). At least you can have separate from the main comments area – some plugins do take up valuable real estate with nothing more than a simple retweet.

      Here's a question – if people were talking about your blog post just on Twitter and not in your comments, would that “bother” you?

      • Seth Simonds says

        You know how I feel about disqus. Noise != Contribution.

        They're still talking about my post, just on Twitter? Very cool.

  5. says

    I am still getting 90% of my comments by email, twitter and DM and just starting to covert a few commenters to post on my Blog post.

    I would love to have some input on how I might make this happen faster ? Or is it REALLY important to do this?

    • says

      I don't think there's a secret recipe – maybe it is just a sign of the communication options we're part of? I've seen some of the most amazing posts around with less than ten comments, while “generic” ones with 60-70 or more. Not that there's anything wrong with generic posts – heck, I've written my fair share and will again, no doubt! :)

      It just seems a shame when real thought-provoking posts appear to be less popular than lists that you can find on hundreds of other blogs.

  6. jackieadkins3 says

    I'm not sure if I haven't noticed this b/c it hasn't been happening w/ me or b/c i just haven't been looking for it, but it is an interesting question.

    Personally, when I come across a blog post I like or find interesting I'll typically retweet it and maybe give a short why you should read this link explanation and use the comments section to give my own two cents or add any uber insightful thoughts :)

    I'd agree that tweets are just too short to give too much of an opinion on a blog. By posting it in the comments, although the opinion in the comments may have a smaller reach than your 15,000 twitter followers, it will have an audience that is way more interested and informed on the topic you're talking about. Also, comments always make the blogger excited!

    In sum. Hooray for comments!

    • says

      I agree, Jackie, and I always appreciate your comments here for the insights you leave. :)

      Here's the thing, though – as you say, blog comments may not get the same eyeballs as your thousands of Twitter followers (that may or may not be active users anyhoo). But just say you could encourage your Twitter connections to check out more blogs – imagine the organic community and discussions that could grow from there?

      I think there's a great opportunity for a company to really go to town on comment systems and socnet integration – we just haven't seen that yet.

      • jackieadkins3 says

        Oh I definitely agree, people really trust *some* of their followers on Twitter, which would definitely translate into an organic community that you are talking about.

  7. says

    I struggle with this. As a new(er) blogger, getting a new comment on a post is like validation that I've done/said something right that really resonated with someone. I always get excited reading comments and seeing which of my ideas struck a chord.

    However, where I get confused is that sometimes the posts I write that get the most traffic and most retweets have very few comments. Example: My post from today has been tweeted 30 times but only has 5 comments. I don't understand – if it's so “popular” that everyone wants to share it on Twitter, then why doesn't anyone comment on it? *sigh*

    I had been using ChatCatcher for a while but I felt like that just cluttered up my comments area, so I disabled it. I want the comments to focus on real reaction and discussion.

    I try to pose questions in a lot of my posts to encourage people to leave feedback and share their views, but I am still finding it hard to consistently generate comments and discussion.

    It seems like many people like to tweet and run – and yes, I think that's killing blog comments.

    • says

      Ha, I feel your pain on this one, Amy! In a way, I wonder if we're making it easy for readers to “tweet and run” (love that phrase!) by having plugins like Tweetmeme and Tweet This? It's a Catch 22 – we'd love our blogs to be shared but then we complain when they are shared but not discussed. Man, we're an ungrateful bunch! πŸ˜‰

      • says

        A Catch-22 indeed. Ideally we should all want our content to be consumed and shared wherever our readers wish, whether that's Facebook, Twitter, a feed reader, the blog itself or somewhere else entirely. And as bloggers, we should be following and monitoring the subsequent conversation wherever it happens. I really don't have a problem with the conversation becoming fractured across multiple sites (this has happened to me a few times when one of my posts has been syndicated somewhere like SocialMediaToday with its own comment system, e.g.). As many others said, this is often how people discover new blogs.

        But what I do dislike is when sharing in and of itself becomes a substitute for interaction. I'd rather have more people challenge me, add to my post, share a contrasting view, etc. via a comment (no matter where the comment is left) than simply push my content out into the Twittersphere or elsewhere without adding their own take somehow.

        Hmm… so maybe I *should* get rid of the Tweetmeme button? :-)

        • says

          I think this is where there's a screaming opportunity for a comment aggregator system that collates all the “effective” conversation (not just simple “great post RT's, for instance, as useful as they can be) and drops into the conversation at the right place.

          Your response then diverts back to where that comment cam from – keeping the conversation going while not asking anyone to be somewhere they might not want to be at that time.

          Heck, I'd pay for a system like that!

  8. says

    Great, great topic, Danny!

    I think it is a story of borrowing from Peter in order to pay Paul, meaning that the conversation is moving from the blog itself to Twitter – and this is something that has definitely happened to my posts.

    As a blogger, I would very much like to see the conversation on my site.

    On the flip side, if the true goal is to stimulate conversation, does it matter on what medium the conversation takes place?

    With the Twittersphere discussing your topic, your post will have impacted many more people in different networks, enhancing the conversation greatly.

    Now, if we can find a way to have both the far-reaching quick-hits and the well-constructed comments section, that would be quite awesome.

    For now, I'm OK with promoting discussion on topics, wherever the discussion takes itself.

    • says

      Great point Mike – as you say, conversation is conversation. It'd be nice to be in the home, but sometimes the park is just as good :)

      As I mentioned to Jackie a couple of comments up, if a company lik Disqus, BackType or J-Query can truly integrate all “proper” discussions (as opposed to just simple retweets) from Twitter, Facebook and similar, and place them in real-time settings as they happen, that could truly open up a whole new worls for everyone.

      • says

        I think the secret to successfully integrating tweets into the comments section of blogs is doing just that β€” finding the tweets that actually have substance. Using BackType (or BackTweets) you quickly see that most (re)tweets for blog posts just contain a post title and shortened URL. GigaOM recently did something interesting where they only display tweets containing a special hashtag that's assigned to each post. It's a nice way to separate the links and RTs from actual commentary.

        • says

          Hey there Chris, always nice to see you around these parts. :)

          I was reading about that GigaOM test, and it did look interesting. I'm just curious whether that would “add” to the commentary, or just have another way of having extra backlinks or reactions at the end of the post?

          I looked at J-query's Echo comments system, and while it has potential, it currently offers a lot of noise. Posts that look like they have 300 comments, to find that there are about 20 genuine discussions coupled with 270 RT's… gah!

          Blogging is evolving so much, with platforms like Posterous and Tumblr making it easier than ever before, it'd be great to see something that can involve all your converations, in real-time.

          I think Friendfeed could have offered an idea on how to achieve that (particularly with BackType of Disqus integration) – but now that they're part of Facebook… who knows where that'll go.

  9. wpdude says

    On a similar note, I think Twitter has stoppped quite a bit of linking, in the past you would write up a short blog post to link to a worthy post, now it's simpler to craft a tweet.

    Is the solution to this to bring your twitter feed closer to your blog, to have a widget searching for your @name to display the conversation on your blog as well as on twitter, I don't know.

    • says

      It's definitely something that would have huge merit and impact to really connect our networks together. I know people like SocialMention and BackType have real-time social search (much like Twitter's), but as of yet, there's no integration. Something to look at for sure.

  10. RaynaNyc says

    I like to do both — post comments on the blog and tweet the posting (practically all blogs offer that option). My hope is that the retweet encourages more people to join the dialogue (on the blog), and perhaps comment to my comments. But there are some that have little or no attention span and through scanning of their readers or other tweets, are eager to grow their following on Twitter by simply link postings. I think there is room for both — can’t judge how people choose to engage. Either way there is benefit for the blogger — either via comments on their blog or promotion of their posting. The latter doesn’t directly do much to enrich the greater dialogue but can have its ripple affects.

    • says

      I wonder if there's a clear-cut preference – blog comments or RT's? I know where I'd probably sit on that fence; but will I always feel this way? Good points, Rayna, thanks. :)

  11. RaynaNyc says

    I like to do both — post comments on the blog and tweet the posting (practically all blogs offer that option). My hope is that the retweet encourages more people to join the dialogue (on the blog), and perhaps comment to my comments. But there are some that have little or no attention span and through scanning of their readers or other tweets, are eager to grow their following on Twitter by simply link postings. I think there is room for both — can’t judge how people choose to engage. Either way there is benefit for the blogger — either via comments on their blog or promotion of their posting. The latter doesn’t directly do much to enrich the greater dialogue but can have its ripple affects.

  12. valeriesimon says

    Most respectfully, I will have to say that I believe the contrary is true. I think Twitter is responsible for expanding the blogs readers, community, and ultimately blog posts. Sure, some conversation (and interesting points) get lost in the twitterverse, but if a post is that good, conversation will naturally extend beyond the blog… it will be discussed in the office, at the gym, and yes, on Twitter. Not everyone has the time (or is comfortable) to comment on every post. I'd argue that Twitter simply allows you to see that people are talking, and thinking, about the post.

    I fully agree that the conversations that occur on blogs via the comments can take the value of the post to a new level (for the reader, the blogger, and future readers). So yes, by all means lets encourage those comments. The blogger can assume some responsibility, the community can assume some responsibility (after all, sometimes its just that one comment that gets the conversation rolling). But don't begrudge the tweets anymore than you do the discussion I with my husband the other night about one of your past brilliant posts :)

    • says

      Haha, no respect needed, Valerie – you always have mine. :)

      I know what you're saying and where you're coming from, and I agree with your view – but I'm not quite sure if it's the same thing? Definitely, the conversation will expand beyond the original post, much like water cooler conversations in offices.

      But say the blogger isn't connected to where the conversation is taking place, or doesn't follow the people who are chatting away from the content. Without the feedback that in-house comments can often give, can the blogger truly continue to grow his or her voice?

      I don't begrudge tweets and external conversations at all (had some great ones on the Facebook walls!) – I'm just wondering if the external can eventually dilute the internal?

      Great views, as usual :)

    • amandabeals says

      Danny, I agree with Valerie here.

      I do not think the killing is the appropriate verb rather dispersing blog comments. Most people that are commenting for example today on this blog have likely tweeted your article and in that case a broader audience is activated to fully engage on this topic.

      I like the way this post was written. It lends itself in many ways to prove a point: Twitter has not killed your commenters. However, I tend to favor Twitter and its limitations b/c writing efficaciously in 140 characters demonstrates powerful communications.

      • says

        I wonder if the title of a post has more to do with that, Amanda? A lot of bloggers I speak to mention their most popular posts are often the ones with Twitter or blogging in the title. Perhaps the question should have been, “Is Twitter diluting the depth of blog posts”?

  13. says

    Hiya, Danny-Boy … I do a bit of both. It depends, sometimes, on the fire that a particular post might light in me. As you have have gathered, brevity isn't always my strong suit, so the blog comment is the perfect forum for me. And you know I comment all over hither and yon.

    I don't necessarily think that Twitter is killing comments, though; they're just coming in a different format. If you've got people who have clearly read what you've written, but who've chosen to have a more immediate exchange with folks on Twitter, what's wrong with that?

    So, I'm gonna have to say that … I agree, for the most part, with the good Mr. Simonds.

    • says

      “Hither and yon” – now there's a saying! :)

      I hear both you, Seth (and others) re. the value of Twitter for bloggers. Yet as I mention to Valerie above, I wonder how many bloggers may decide blogging's not for them if they gauge “success” by community interaction? There might be a fantastic conversation happening around their post – but if they're unaware of it, they may become disillusioned and quit? Which would be a huge shame.

      • says

        Well, I submit that no one has ever (*ahem*) commented on mine, but I write it just the same. I enjoy it. I know that people read it … I see them clicking away, but no one comments. Does that make it any less worthwhile for me? I don't think so. I see comments from people here and there on Twitter, so I know things I've written have made an impression somewhere. It can be frustrating at times, but that's life, you know?

        And I'm all about colorful sayings. :)

        • says

          I've actually tried commenting on your blog before (I think I tweeted you about this), but it requires you to be logged in to comment. Often this deters people – is it meant to be set this way, or should it be open? :)

          • says

            Hmmm … that should not be. Information that is MOST useful, Danny. Thank you! I'm making the switch to Thesis over this weekend, so I'm hoping that those little glitches will soon be no more. THANK. YOU.

  14. says

    I'd disagree that Twitter is to the fault of killing blog comments. For one, I don't see as much conversation about the blog post going on than I do RTs from people who probably didn't even read the post in its entirety. But even so, it's up to the blogger to build that community and foster some sort of conversation around their writings.

    Twitter and even Facebook (which I've actually seen better blog post conversations happen) has created digital touch-points for bloggers to connect with readers and help build upon that community and engage them. Would you want all comments to be on your blog? Sure. But we have to be willing to understand that these platforms feed upon our hyper-connectivity and provides us opportunities to converse within other forms of media.

    In the end, our homebase (blog) is where people will remember us and feel a part of – if they feel so inclined. As much as we don't want to admit it, many of these platforms won't exist in X years – but our blog, where we strive to build a thriving community, will always be there, comments and all – so long we pay our hosting service πŸ˜‰

    • says

      I think that's one of the reasons for this post stem from, Sonny. As you say, many now just go for the “tweet and move on” approach with maybe a cursory glance at the original post.

      It is up to the blogger, I agree – yet I've seen some of the most community-minded bloggers around struggle to encourage visitors to leave comments on some of the most thought-provoking posts. It's this that makes me wonder if the bite-sized conversations taking place elsewhere can have a detrimental effect on a blog and its author?

      There's no doubting Twitter, Facebook and other mediums are great conversation points, but unless the blogger knows about them, he or she may think they didn't connect. Perhaps they may even give up because of it (I had a couple emails to this effect over the weekend) – and that would be a real shame.

      Now if only we could integrate all conversations seemlessly… πŸ˜‰

      • says

        Well, there is Echo – http://js-kit.com/ – that was recently released, which aggregates all comments/mentions from other platforms. But the problem with this is noise to conversation ratio. Sure you can see what everyone is saying but I think it loses value in the ratio aspect and whether those ppl know that you've commented back to a comment from a totally different platform.

        Definitely tough to tackle but we've all just gotta keep busting our ass and staying on the grind to make our blog worthwhile to the community we've built. :)

        • says

          Yep, I was discussing Echo with Chris from BackType (except I think I called it J-query Echo, like the noob I am…).

          I'm just not sold on that as a platform – the noise looks absolutely crazy and without testing it, I'm not sure how much flexibility there is. That would probably put me off commenting – kinda non-conducive to my post here πŸ˜‰

  15. says

    I think I'd disagree. I came the other way. I have found a lot of bloggers I never would have known about and generally comment if I feel so led. Considering I wouldn't have even gone to the blog (this one, for instance…I heard of you through twitter), it could be argued the other way around, too. Depends on which statistics you look at. πŸ˜‰

    • says

      And that's where Twitter definitely shines, by helping new readers discover bloggers and vice versa.

      I'm just curious as to whether the ease of soundbites sometimes negates the option of discussion, much like TV dinners had an impact on family dinners at the dining table.

      • says

        Yes, it will probably have an impact. But…you will always have people who still eat at the table. Seems to be more and more lately. There's that whole pendulum swing. Now there's a post that could get some comment love flowing, written well. So…about the pendulum…

        Life is change. I'm especially glad of that on hot summer days when I don't have to wear several layers of long skirts. πŸ˜‰

  16. says

    I find that I comment more on blogs because of Twitter. Commenting on blogs is a way to increase engagement with each other, break out of the 140 character limit on Twitter, and frankly, it's an opportunity to share my expertise. If I have something to say, I comment then tweet the post; which I hope inspires others to comment as well.

    Perhaps the number of blog posts being broadcast and retweeted on Twitter is also watering down the number of comments; you can't comment on them all.

    Yes some folks do just chat about a blog post topic on Twitter, but those who do comment on the post, often have very useful information to share, some folks are simply trying to connect with the community and say “good job/thanks.”

    • says

      Do you think it's more an individual thing rather than a blog or Twitter's “fault”, then? Are there some people that will always comment regardless, while others will never comment, no matter how inviting or thought-provoking the original post may be?

      • says

        I think it may be a bit of both. The sheer volumne of posts being tweeted on Twitter may dilute the number of comments per blog. Also, those of us deeply 'in it' forget that social media, networking and blogging are still new to many people, and that there is a learning curve.

        I do find with some clients, I have to teach them things that seem natural to me. A couple of clients recently said -“I got a comment on my blog – cool!” I asked, if it was a valid comment, “well did you reply to them, engage them on the topic?” They both said some version of, “oh I didn't know I should do that, how do I do that.” They are very smart people, I have learned that I need to set up this expectation ahead of time now, “when you get a comment, if possible, and if it will add to the convo, reply to it,” but it was so obvious a next step to me, I never thought about it.

        I think:

        -Those who blog are more likely to comment than just interact/talk on Twitter
        -Those that have been blogging for longer will comment on other blogs
        -I think those seeking to engage with their audience will be more likely to comment
        -Those trying to showcase their knowledge (or push their SPAM) will both be more likely to comment

        but
        -Others who are newer to social media and blogging are less likely to think of that as the next step. My most recent post is on connecting the social media dots, how people can connect their various online “outposts.” By the reaction I received, people thought it is a great idea, but many had not really done it.
        -Those who are shyer may hesitate to comment on a blog
        -Those who are very busy, or ave limited time for social media are less likely to comment on a blog, it does take more time and thought to do well.

        Also, I like the interaction of talking about a post via Twitter too. It is harder to track conversations about a post (unless you are on a format twitter chat or use #hashtags well), but that real time exchange can also be a fun and a dynamic learning experience.

        I think it is a both personal thing and it may also be a learning continuum. For many, at first it's all talking on Twitter, but once they get the hang of Twitter, and when they find a blog post that moves them, and read interesting comments, they will begin to comment more often.

        For me personally, I find the dynamic and serendipitous nature of Twitter to make me far more likely to comment on a blog post, than finding posts in my more more static RSS feeds/feed readers. Although “common wisdom” would say that it is best to comment on a few people's blogs and build a relationship with the blogger. I do that too, but I love Twitter's variety.

        Cathy Larkin

        • says

          You know, I was going to go into a full reply here, but I think you've said it all perfectly, Cathy – great response! :)

          Of course, it could then beg the question – do we need to be encouraging comments from Twitter, or leaving as is?

          • says

            Thanks for the complement! I still think that encouraging comments from other 'twitterers is never a bad thing. Lead by example, One way to do that is to make a comment, THEN tweet out the blog post. If someone sees you comment, they may be inspired to do so as well.

            The other reason I like to encourage blog comments, is that it offers a way to deepen the conversation/discussion/exploration of an issue much more than can be done in 140 characters on Twitter.

  17. says

    I don't know that it is killing comments, but it is certainly changing the nature of comments. Where I used to get tons of comments on some blogs they now get lots of tweetbacks which I am careful to make sure get indexed by google. Being twitter friendly with tools like disqus (how I found this post) also help in drawing in new comments and not just tweets about the post.

  18. says

    Well, you certainly can't complain about this one, can you? πŸ˜‰

    I don't know if there's a magic formula, or someone would have bottled it by now. Oh, I forget, Chris Brogan already has. LOL.

    Seriously, though, I'm a pretty new blogger, as you know, and what I've seen is that the more I share and comment on other posts, the more it draws people to my blog (not rocket science, though I've got to be careful about using that phrase, I've already used it once in a comment today!). I've certainly had my share of people tweeting or RT'ing my posts with very little actual engagement on the blog itself; when I try to figure out why this is, I think it's probably because a) they liked it enough to share but it didn't rouse them sufficiently to actually comment, or b) they liked it well enough but couldn't find anything new to add to the discussion. These are the two reasons I usually don't comment on posts, particularly the latter. I do, however, share them on Twitter, via Google Reader, Facebook and so on.

    Would I like more comments on my posts? Of course. Do I want people to stop RT'ing them? Heck, no. As long as my peeps, tweeps, feeps (and so on) care enough to share, at some point they will care enough to write. And that's what I have to keep working towards.

    Thanks for a great discussion, Danny.

    • says

      Why can't I still complain? πŸ˜‰ I definitely agree that interacting with other bloggers is a great way to build community and audience. And, being bloggers, a lot of the times this will lead to reciprocal conversations.

      I'm just wondering if the ease of RT's (and, by essence, the “stature” of the person doing the original RT) makes a difference? You mention Chris Brogan – say he tweets one of your posts. Because he's built the trust factor that he has, he'll immediately get a bunch of RT's without some of the folk actually visiting the post. It's because Chris saw value in it that others believe it must have.

      This is great that it's being shared – but does it then dilute the message if it's not clear to others why someone like Chris would have tweeted it in the first place?

      • says

        Because you're not a greedy person! πŸ˜‰

        Very true about the Brogan factor, but I have to think at least some of those RT's will lead to comments. Chris (and many other power tweeters) often say why they like a post, so that will likely make a difference, don't you think? Or at least prompt people to ask? This is pure guesswork on my part, because I've never been in that position.

        It's nice talking to you in more than 140 characters. :) Though I don't know if I'm Woofer-ready… yet.

        • says

          I agree that some will definitely visit, read and often comment. I guess the “proof in the pudding” would come from how many RT'd Chris (or anyone else in a similar position) and gauge it to visits and comments. Of course, that in itself is a fair old task – and when we're talking about how Twitter may (or may not) dilute a conversation for brevity and time, adding a task is hardly likely to engender many fans! πŸ˜‰

  19. says

    Well, they've certainly killed comments here- not. Anyway, why would Twitter kill blog comments anymore than Stumble Upon or Digg or Yahoo Buzz? Just because the comments aren't on the post site, doesn't meant there aren't any and with the way the applications are integrating, it's likely that the writer will see the comment somewhere. Might be an opportunity for someone to come up with a comment aggregator like Reddit for watching for comments on your blog posts. Or did someone do that already? Sometimes it's hard for an old lady like me to keep up!

    • says

      That could be to do with the fact it's about Twitter πŸ˜‰ Actually, 4 of my 5 most visited posts are Twitter-based – coincidence?

      I think the key difference is that often, the social bookmarks don't encourage discussion like Twitter does. Sure, you will always get some submissions that have great chats going on around them – but more often than not, it's less chat (at least on the submissions I've seen or added to).

      The first company to come up with a truly universal (and effective) comment aggregator might just end up owning the space Robyn – we can but hope :)

  20. seanwilliams says

    Danny, like @Shonali, I'm pretty new to blogging, so I count it a great victory if ANYONE comments. I know my overall traffic increases when there are more comments and that Twitter pushes people to my blog. I prefer the conversational aspects of comments, so I need to see them on my blog rather than on Twitter. But I don't mind carrying on conversations in both places. Whether Twitter poaches from comments, we shall see… Thanks for bringing up the topic.

    • says

      Hey there Sean,

      I still get excited whenever I see a new comment alert – I don't think that ever goes away! :)

      I think that's a great point you raise, and one I touched on in a couple of replies earlier. Comments can often be seen as the success of a blogger (either by visitors or by the blogger themselves); and I just wonder if lack of comments (or perceived lack) might eventually deter an audience or blogger, even though the blog may actually be very successful popularity-wise?

      • seanwilliams says

        Danny, as one of the potential elements for measuring the effectiveness of social media is number of comments, you're right. The perceived or actual lack of comments should be measured if the blog is intended as a conversation medium, rather than a push-info medium. Blogging can be quasi-journalistic (which is why I asked in my blog about ethical considerations), in which case engagement may not be the desired strategy (despite social media emerging custom.).

        I have read that choosing which bloggers to follow should include evaluation of the comment stream — number of comments, number of different commenters, number of repeat commenters, for example — as well as blogroll, links, pingbacks, etc. The concept of influential bloggers is still largely hocus-pocus, in my opinion — volume of Twitter followers is interesting, but only if the followers are in your intended market.

        The Calculated Risk blog on economics is widely read and hugely commented, but irrelevant to a Dad-blog audience focused on child rearing. We are still figuring this stuff out…

        Cheers.

  21. says

    I agree it kind of annoys me when people comment via Twitter. Only because it seems like the conversation is fleeting. With a blog post or even a facebook comment section there is a landing page where the conversation is stationed. I think this is a valuable difference between blogs and Twitter.

    Twitter if you go back through your history it is there but often you only get one side of the conversation. When you are participating in a blog and/or Facebook you have a landing page. This helps build relationships between the blogger and the community.

    I think you can have a mix of both but you need to get lurkers out of the box and if people comment on Twitter maybe you need to get them to stay on your blog? I don't know how you do it but there has to be something different.

    • says

      You know, that's a great point Jamie. It's long been one of Twitter's failings (especially since they changed the @ feature), that you only see one half of the conversation unless it's a mutual follow.

      It's definitely an area where a blog community can prosper and grow – the trick is in finding out what's the most successful, as you say.

      • says

        Well even so. Sometimes you can be following them back and if you leave your desk or do something else. Then you forget what you commented on. So the idea of landing pages is better for this case. I mean even if it is your blog. I find it to be one of the downfalls of Twitter.

  22. says

    Calculate how many of your blog commenters have Twitter accounts and how frequently they update (and/or retweet links in particular) their profiles. That will provide a telling statistic whether Twitter is to blame.

    Something else to consider is whether a Twitter user is your ideal blog commenter, considering there are more Facebook users than Twitter users.

    Also consider whether you prefer comments or views.

    • says

      That would be an ideal solution for a comments system to have analytics for, say via their email account (it could be pretty difficult otherwise).

      As far as comments or views, I'd prefer the comment route every time – I'm all about the community, Ari. Views are the eyeballs, but comments are the lifeblood.

  23. kmskala says

    Please see Twitter for my response!

    I am not sure if Twitter is killing blog comments, so much as it seems to be the easier route to comment. There are a lot of blogs I choose not to comment on, but I'll Tweet about them. I think Twitter and comments can work together and you can utilize both.

      • says

        Personally, I never understood why people obsessed over blog comments. Even if Twitter is “killing” them, it may be for the better…

        Why? Your blog may “look” dead with 2 comments per post, but when someone tweets your article to their audience, it exposes you to new readers, and overall, that's probably better for the health of your blog.

        There is one thing that I think Twitter did kill…

        …And that's a thoughtful follow-up blog post that expands on someone's article. This was all the hype back in 2006 when you could see sparring via trackback, but that has seemingly died off with the popularization of Twitter.

        • says

          I don't think it's “obsessing over blog comments” as much as it is enjoying the conversation, Derek. Many bloggers aren't actually on Twitter (strange but true) and so perhaps that's where some of the feeling that a little bit of community is disappearing comes from?

          Personally, I enjoy comments on a blog (here or otherwise) as it offers far more scope for what you're thinking (see Cathy's response further up for a great example).

          There are certainly a lot of follow-up posts still doing the rounds, but there does seem to be a dearth of them compared to even just a year back.

  24. JeffHurt says

    Obviously didn't kill your post here. Tons of comments and looks like less RTs than comments.

    So what's the original goal of a post? Is it to get people talking? Or just to get them to leave a comment? Both? To try to create a community? To get people to comment and discuss only on your site? Or does it matter that they're talking elsewhere, or even on their own site, or their microblog? What's the goal?

    Seems to me it's just like everything else: you can't control it. And, in reality, when we measure success by the number of RTs or number of comments, we're doing ourselves a great disservice. Many lurkers have not waded into the engagement pool and feel comfortable leaving a comment yet.

    Also, when I see a long list of comments, I don't want to read them it all. It actually repeals me from leaving a comment. I don't have that kind of time to read them all. I want to take what I can from your post, share it if I think it's valuable and spread some link love. I want to grow in learning and knowledge, apply it if possible and move on. When it’s relevant, practical and I can apply it easily to my work, that’s when I really get excited.

    So is Twitter killing blog comments? IMO, Twitter may actually help spread your message.

    • says

      I guess that depends on the blogger, Jeff. For me, my main aim is to try and offer a view on something that isn't repeated on a thousand other blogs, while hopefully making you question the status quo on how we've always approached something. Sometimes I think I'm successful, others not so much :)

      I agree – it's not (and shouldn't be) about the numbers, and that wasn't the intent of the post. It's simply asking a question about other networks affecting one of the core strengths of a blog and its community. It's fantastic that discussions happen elsewhere – much like reading groups for books.

      Yet wouldn't it be cool if all these discussions interconnected and used the blog as a hub? More people could bounce thoughts off each other and really open up a topic. As it stands, much of the conversation is fragmented, and I think that's what can hurt any medium, blog or otherwise.

      I know what you mean about comment numbers, and yet it'd be a shame to miss out on that one nugget of gold that a commenter can leave – it's that Catch 22 situation again. Damned if you read, damned if you don't πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for some great views.

        • says

          Disqus is definitely going the right way as far as integrating social comments as well as traditional ones, especially now they have the BackType guys onboard. Interesting that Adam mentions js-kit and Chat Catcher; two options I’ve tried before here, neither which worked well (for me, personally, not to say they’re not right for someone else).

          js-kit are trying with their new Echo system, but again that seems a lot of noise for no reason. The Smashing Magazine is a good example, with the tabbing option. Here’s to the first truly interconnected comments system that makes a sense of everything.

          • says

            Yea, big things are happening in that world so it’s going to be cool to see what happens over the next year or so. Maybe Facebook will open up some more and we’ll start seeing ‘reactions’ from that space.

            ________________________________

        • says

          Disqus is definitely going the right way as far as integrating social comments as well as traditional ones, especially now they have the BackType guys onboard. Interesting that Adam mentions js-kit and Chat Catcher; two options I’ve tried before here, neither which worked well (for me, personally, not to say they’re not right for someone else).

          js-kit are trying with their new Echo system, but again that seems a lot of noise for no reason. The Smashing Magazine is a good example, with the tabbing option. Here’s to the first truly interconnected comments system that makes a sense of everything.

          • says

            Yea, big things are happening in that world so it’s going to be cool to see what happens over the next year or so. Maybe Facebook will open up some more and we’ll start seeing ‘reactions’ from that space.

            ________________________________

  25. says

    I'm really glad you wrote this post, Danny. I was just thinking about the whole conversational asset of blogs.

    I recently had a great experience when I tweeted a blog post that I really enjoyed. The author replied, encouraging me (in a very nice and non-spammy way) to share my comments on the post. I may have commented anyway, but this showed me that the author was interested in engaging. A very nice and continuing conversation ensued. So, I think the Twitter and blog conversation can be synthesized well.

    As a new blogger, I hope that I can model this approach.

    @knmu

    • says

      See, that's a really cool (and non-invasive) way to expand the conversation. I admit I have thought of it before, but wasn't sure how it might be viewed. But, from your comment, it may be worth trying.

      And welcome to the wonderful world of blogging – I'll pop over and visit you shortly, Kim. :)

      • kimnielsen says

        I really liked the approach. So long as there isn't continued pestering if someone doesn't comment, I think it can work well.

        My site is still definitely a work-in-progress. I'm just trying to learn as much as I can.

  26. says

    I dont know that Twitter has killed comments as much as it has changed them… as with everything else in the world of web 2.0, it has helped expand the reach of posts. I think it is much more a question of how can we start to measure the overall reaction to posts including things like tweets and FB comments.

    I autopost my blog to Facebook and lose comments to that site all the time, but if I didnt post them there, I probably never would have reached that audience.

    Honestly at the end of the day, if you create compelling content and ask interesting questions, the comments come… I think this one makes 79 comments on this post alone.

    • says

      You'd like to think so, but they don't always arrive πŸ˜‰

      It's one of the things that's come up in the previous comments – it would be really cool if there was one big aggregator for comments, that integrated seamlessly, in real-time, from the various outlets. Them when you replied, it would go back to that person's medium, whether it was Facebook, Friendfeed, Twitter, etc. Soon, maybe? :)

      Must admit, with the new functions it's just introduced (including BackType support at last!), Disqus is doing a great job of trying to meet this. If they can work out how to include CommentLuv, we'd be set :)

  27. AndrewWeaver says

    I almost just Tweeted this.

    Personally, I know I comment much less now because of Twitter. It's something I've noticed myself doing less and less of. I had come to the conclusion it was because I chose to discuss it on Twitter instead. I've actually been making an effort to change that.

    I think, too, that many times blogs survive because of the great comments left by their readers. The conversations that can get going because of comments on blogs are endless.

    As always, appreciate the post, Danny. :)

    • says

      I've known some bloggers deliberately write almost every post under 100 words. Just put out the facts, a mini-suggestion, and let the readers run with it. Twitter is a fantastic medium, but I'd be sad to see blog comments decline due to conversations happening away from the post all the time.

      I'm beginning to sound like a broken record now, but if someone could find a way to seamlessly integrate meaningful comments from different playing fields, and the replies went back to these places, I'd happily pay a monthly premium for that type of functionality. :)

  28. says

    Hey Danny,

    There's a statistic that Darren Rowse has put out there in his two ProBlogger books about how less than 1% of a blog's audience leaves a comment. So I haven't been sold (yet) on Twitter (or FaceFeed) cutting into the amount of comments that would be left.

    • says

      But I wonder if that's Darren's audience, or more pro-bloggers, or taking into account everyone? Does it include news blogs or tech blogs, for example, or is it personal blogs only? Obviously the larger the audience, the more the percentage could be affected. I'm just curious whether Twitter is affecting newer bloggers and comments overall.

  29. says

    I find this fascinating because I was on twitter for quite a long time before I'd ever even heard of a “blog” or started to write one. In fact, had I not been on twitter, I would never have had the courage to start blogging at all (and now I actually have two blogs). I find that people not only comment on my blog posts via twitter, but also leave comments on my facebook wall, and even e-mail me about posts. Admittedly, this means that the comments on my posts are fewer and there is less discussion, but since my readership comes from both twitter and facebook I feel that twitter, especially, has not killed comments on my blog, but actually brought my blog into existence in the first place.

    • says

      That's cool, and it's great to see that your audience is expanding via Facebook and email. But a little part of me thinks that some of the best discussion by blog readers could be getting missed due to the conversation happening elsewhere? Say someone emails you (or says something great on Twitter or Facebook) – how cool would it have been to have your blog readers experience that knowledge too?

  30. JoannaYoung says

    Danny, I think it depends a bit on the purpose of a blog – if it's to offer news, commentary, thought worthy, link worthy pieces, or is perhaps trying to build a community around about it. If the latter, then the comments do count because they build more personal connections than you can create on twitter. The way to support and encourage those comments (in my experience) is to value each and every one, to respond personally to each and every one, and to get to know the people who are taking the time to respond. And to write with the intention of asking for those comments and reactions as an integral part of what you're doing with your blog (as you obviously also do)

    • says

      I think you nailed it perfectly, Joanna. When you look at “blogs” like Mashable and Techcrunch, they obviously have a huge community – yet they also have a lot of trolls and flamers in the comments section. With a personal blog, you're investing in your community and (as you say) getting to know your readers as they're equally getting to know you.

      I guess I look at Twitter as an admittedly cool tool and a great way to build connections, yet someone's blog as the place where real magic can happen. Networks can be fleeting (look at Plurk), but a blog and its community can continue to grow even when the networks have gone. And it's be a shame to see bloggers who could be great potentially giving up, from perceived views that Twitter (or anywhere else) is the hub.

  31. says

    I think that the answer for the question is: Yes, Twitter is indeed killing blog comments! Take our blog for example, http://blog.thoughtpick.com, for every article I promote through twitter, I usually get most the the comments to that article via a tweet rather than a long argument on the blog itself! I don't think that is “bad” per say, since there is interaction but I'm confident that the more the space for commenting, the more valuable the arguments.

  32. steverobertson says

    I think it will have a limiting effect in some cases BUT I think twitter will drive more readers to blogs. I think the burden lies on us bloggers to manage them both effectively. It also causes the blogger to have to do more work to tie it all back when the threads bounce between twitter and the blog. A RIPE opportunity for some smart programmer out there!

    • says

      Agreed, Steve – if someone can aggregate all comments (that aren't just standard RT's, etc) and feed them real-time into the conversation, so that when you reply it goes back to where their comment is posted… now that's the gold right there! :)

  33. steverobertson says

    Twitter maybe destroying comments but is it driving up readership? Seems the problem is how to best tie the threads together.

  34. says

    Are you finding that since the Twitter hype has begun, your comments have decreased significantly? It would be interesting to hear some definitive numbers, from a variety of pro bloggers. For me, it only increases traffic thus far, but I'm so new to the community, I need that extra voice and push from others (thanks heavens for the RT).

    • says

      Personally, I've seen more conversation on Twitter (which is still cool) as opposed to on the posts. That could be down to my writing or invitational skills, for sure. Or it could be to do with the medium – of my five most popular posts as far as comments go, four of them are about Twitter.

      Maybe the next question should be “Is Twitter reducing the topics of blog posts”? πŸ˜‰

  35. says

    While I think Twitter can be great for quick blips, I agree – sometimes it's just a breath of fresh air to write out as much as you want in a comment. In my mind, blogs and their comments are more ideal for discussion…I really do feel more relaxed and free in that kind of online atmosphere. If you're a blogger that uses Twitter, I think the key is to integrate both so that their features play well off of each other.

  36. says

    Danny, this is a great idea and I think it has spawned a monumental conversation (I am seeing this on Twitter and all the conversation already happening here).

    I really like the thoughtful, over 140-character limit, response that comes from a blog comment. The conversation doesn’t become stale (if you replied later on Twitter, the thought might already been gone or an ‘old’ tweet) and it can continue to everyone who wants to listen/read on that very blog post.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with tweeting about blog posts, but it’s limited. It seems more about promotion and tid-bits. I do like to step away for a moment actually read blogs and comment directly. However, it is a more direct approach that isn’t as universal. As @JonBishop said, the Disqus “tweet this” functionality is great because you can incorporate both and ask others to join in.

    • says

      One of the comparisons I’ve always used for Twitter is that it’s like the teaser trailer for a movie, and your blog is the main feature. Or it’s a “Coming up at 6.00″ snippet for the news, and your blog is the prime-time news report.

      Twitter is fantastic for conversations – as I mentioned in the post, look at #journchat or #blogchat for great examples. But unless you’re using a dedicated hashtag, often many comments or convos can be missed by a few people.

      Now, if Lijit, Disqus and BackType can work together to create the ultimate all-in-one blog search and comment aggregator… πŸ˜‰

  37. says

    Danny, this is a great idea and I think it has spawned a monumental conversation (I am seeing this on Twitter and all the conversation already happening here).

    I really like the thoughtful, over 140-character limit, response that comes from a blog comment. The conversation doesn’t become stale (if you replied later on Twitter, the thought might already been gone or an ‘old’ tweet) and it can continue to everyone who wants to listen/read on that very blog post.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with tweeting about blog posts, but it’s limited. It seems more about promotion and tid-bits. I do like to step away for a moment actually read blogs and comment directly. However, it is a more direct approach that isn’t as universal. As @JonBishop said, the Disqus “tweet this” functionality is great because you can incorporate both and ask others to join in.

    • says

      One of the comparisons I’ve always used for Twitter is that it’s like the teaser trailer for a movie, and your blog is the main feature. Or it’s a “Coming up at 6.00″ snippet for the news, and your blog is the prime-time news report.

      Twitter is fantastic for conversations – as I mentioned in the post, look at #journchat or #blogchat for great examples. But unless you’re using a dedicated hashtag, often many comments or convos can be missed by a few people.

      Now, if Lijit, Disqus and BackType can work together to create the ultimate all-in-one blog search and comment aggregator… πŸ˜‰

  38. says

    Danny,

    Upon seeing your blog quote of ‘community/connection/conversation’, I can’t help but agreeing that through blog comments, we can achieve that goal better comparing to microblogging. As much as I adore Twitter, personally I still find it’s more like a convenient promotional tool. I can know a blogger better through the written post and one’s viewpoint on comments. Call me conservative, but I think Twitter as a supporter for blog instead of taking over. ^^

    As of Is Twitter Killing Blog Comments? ~ well, it’s quite like the time when people though Twitter is Killing Blogging — not a chance, if we keep the blog-commenting going.

    @wchingya
    Social/Blogging Tracker

    • says

      Yep, perhaps the title was misleading – maybe a better one would have been “Is Twitter the New Silent Audience for Blogs”? πŸ˜‰

      It’s obviously personal choice, and I’d never say one way is “righter” than the other. But, it does offer a wider scope for discussion in the comments area, as opposed to maybe catching the odd refererence in a conversation in a shorter playing field.

  39. says

    Danny,

    Upon seeing your blog quote of ‘community/connection/conversation’, I can’t help but agreeing that through blog comments, we can achieve that goal better comparing to microblogging. As much as I adore Twitter, personally I still find it’s more like a convenient promotional tool. I can know a blogger better through the written post and one’s viewpoint on comments. Call me conservative, but I think Twitter as a supporter for blog instead of taking over. ^^

    As of Is Twitter Killing Blog Comments? ~ well, it’s quite like the time when people though Twitter is Killing Blogging — not a chance, if we keep the blog-commenting going.

    @wchingya
    Social/Blogging Tracker

    • says

      Yep, perhaps the title was misleading – maybe a better one would have been “Is Twitter the New Silent Audience for Blogs”? πŸ˜‰

      It’s obviously personal choice, and I’d never say one way is “righter” than the other. But, it does offer a wider scope for discussion in the comments area, as opposed to maybe catching the odd refererence in a conversation in a shorter playing field.

  40. SusanMazza says

    I don’t think Twitter is killing blog comments. In fact, if it wasn’t for twitter I would have few to none. For me I think that is because the vast majority of my current client base and target market barely knows what a blog is. Getting people not accustomed to visiting a blog (let alone commenting where the world can see) to engage online is the bigger challenge for me given I have an intention for my posts to generate dialogue.

    I do see what you mean about the potential for the conversation to get fragmented. Yet I am not convinced it is. As an avid reader of books I will naturally take an idea and reference it in a blog post, a conversation with a client, and tweet about it. To me that is a demonstration of an expanding conversation rather than a diluted one. Seems to me the robustness of the conversation on our blogs is more a function of relevance to and relationship with our readers. If it goes other places as well it is a sign we have made an impact even if we have no clue about where it went beyond our blog.

    Something I have noticed that may be relevant to this conversation is that as I follow more people I notice I have slipped into a mode of reading a lot more and commenting a lot less. Commenting thoughtfully takes time (I am probably think too much!) and I am reading more and more blogs. Also, I am reading a lot more on my Blackberry and commenting from there is painful! This post is a reminder for me to comment more because the conversation matters on so many levels.

    • says

      Interesting take, Susan.

      So would you say that perhaps as your reach grows (on various networks as well as your blog), the interactions are less focused and more widespread? So what may appear less interaction in one area is actually completed elsewhere?

      If so, there’s an immense opportunity for a smart developer to really go to town on social integration. I know some are trying but they’re not quite there yet. But if you could collate all conversations seamlessly, in real-time and with success…

  41. SusanMazza says

    I don’t think Twitter is killing blog comments. In fact, if it wasn’t for twitter I would have few to none. For me I think that is because the vast majority of my current client base and target market barely knows what a blog is. Getting people not accustomed to visiting a blog (let alone commenting where the world can see) to engage online is the bigger challenge for me given I have an intention for my posts to generate dialogue.

    I do see what you mean about the potential for the conversation to get fragmented. Yet I am not convinced it is. As an avid reader of books I will naturally take an idea and reference it in a blog post, a conversation with a client, and tweet about it. To me that is a demonstration of an expanding conversation rather than a diluted one. Seems to me the robustness of the conversation on our blogs is more a function of relevance to and relationship with our readers. If it goes other places as well it is a sign we have made an impact even if we have no clue about where it went beyond our blog.

    Something I have noticed that may be relevant to this conversation is that as I follow more people I notice I have slipped into a mode of reading a lot more and commenting a lot less. Commenting thoughtfully takes time (I am probably think too much!) and I am reading more and more blogs. Also, I am reading a lot more on my Blackberry and commenting from there is painful! This post is a reminder for me to comment more because the conversation matters on so many levels.

    • says

      Interesting take, Susan.

      So would you say that perhaps as your reach grows (on various networks as well as your blog), the interactions are less focused and more widespread? So what may appear less interaction in one area is actually completed elsewhere?

      If so, there’s an immense opportunity for a smart developer to really go to town on social integration. I know some are trying but they’re not quite there yet. But if you could collate all conversations seamlessly, in real-time and with success…

  42. says

    Danny:
    I learned this first hand today and you helped. Sitting around on vacation reading blog comments and it struck me they were too agreeable. Wrote about it and presto and all day conversation, more than I had bargained for, took place on my blog. But the fact is none of that could have developed on Twitter with the same depth. It wouldn’t all sit in one place as easily accessible. And it wouldn’t have added to my own premise nearly as much. But your ideal calls for a few things. One, posts that aren’t simply easy to agree with but offer a thought provoking idea that will stimulate conversation. Two, a welcoming blogger who makes people comfortable and accepted for speaking their mind and advancing the conversation. And three, readers who are not only engaged, but who themselves are able to craft an argument, express an opinion and feel comfortable doing so. A blogger can stimulate one and two easily. And that, in fact, will lead to three.

    • says

      And it helped that your post was such a spot on and timely analysis, Edward – great piece :)

      Your three paths should be Blogging 101 (although this can still come down to personal perception of both blogger and reader, I guess). They tie in quite nicely with Valerie Simon’s ideas as well, in her recent guest post:

      http://dannybrown.me/2009/08/27/why-would-you-bother-to-comment/

      I guess at the end of the day, it’s almost like the water-cooler at the office, and the social beers at the end of the week. Twitter’s like the water-cooler; many of the conversations are snippets to be expanded on. Then comes the end of the week drinks (the blog), and what started out as a snapshot soon expands into something more involved.

      Either way, they’re both good – and conversation adds to the experience wherever the outpost.

      Cheers!

  43. says

    Danny:
    I learned this first hand today and you helped. Sitting around on vacation reading blog comments and it struck me they were too agreeable. Wrote about it and presto and all day conversation, more than I had bargained for, took place on my blog. But the fact is none of that could have developed on Twitter with the same depth. It wouldn’t all sit in one place as easily accessible. And it wouldn’t have added to my own premise nearly as much. But your ideal calls for a few things. One, posts that aren’t simply easy to agree with but offer a thought provoking idea that will stimulate conversation. Two, a welcoming blogger who makes people comfortable and accepted for speaking their mind and advancing the conversation. And three, readers who are not only engaged, but who themselves are able to craft an argument, express an opinion and feel comfortable doing so. A blogger can stimulate one and two easily. And that, in fact, will lead to three.

    • says

      And it helped that your post was such a spot on and timely analysis, Edward – great piece :)

      Your three paths should be Blogging 101 (although this can still come down to personal perception of both blogger and reader, I guess). They tie in quite nicely with Valerie Simon’s ideas as well, in her recent guest post:

      http://dannybrown.me/2009/08/27/why-would-you-bother-to-comment/

      I guess at the end of the day, it’s almost like the water-cooler at the office, and the social beers at the end of the week. Twitter’s like the water-cooler; many of the conversations are snippets to be expanded on. Then comes the end of the week drinks (the blog), and what started out as a snapshot soon expands into something more involved.

      Either way, they’re both good – and conversation adds to the experience wherever the outpost.

      Cheers!

  44. SusanMazza says

    I don’t think Twitter is killing blog comments. I started blogging this year and I am very clear I would have few if any comments if it wasn’t for twitter. If the conversation travels to other platforms then so be it. It would be great to know where a conversation goes but if we made an impact I somehow believe (unscientifically speaking of course!) that the conversation will come back to us. I think what ultimately drives people to comment is the relevance of what you had to say to them and their relationship with you. If both are high they will stay and take the time to comment. And if they find you through another random source the great thing is they can actually find you and engage with you easily.

    It is also not surprising that my most popular post by far was the post I did about #followfriday. That speaks to the current source of most of my blog readers – Twitter.

    My biggest challenge is that a large percentage of my target audience is made up primarily of people who barely know what a blog is. They read my newsletter but very few click through to the blog. If they want to comment or ask a question they send an e-mail. For those who read blogs they are not yet comfortable making a comment for the world to see. People who use twitter and who blog are far more likely to comment. So how to I encourage the people new to social media to actually engage on my blog so the conversation can get richer? That is my bigger concern.

    I also notice though that I am commenting less lately. One reason could be that I am just reading a lot more blogs and have not been taking the time to comment. The biggest reason though – I am reading a lot more on my Blackberry and commenting from there is frustratingly tedious!

    Great topic Danny

    • says

      I wonder if that brings up another question: “Is Twitter changing the way we write blogs?”. I’d like to think not, but funnily enough, 4 out of my “top 5 posts” for traffic and popularity have been about Twitter (including this one). So, does Twitter narrow the topics down at times, and will people start writing more about Twitter just for the very fact there’s such a new audience for it? Guess only time will tell. :)

  45. SusanMazza says

    I don’t think Twitter is killing blog comments. I started blogging this year and I am very clear I would have few if any comments if it wasn’t for twitter. If the conversation travels to other platforms then so be it. It would be great to know where a conversation goes but if we made an impact I somehow believe (unscientifically speaking of course!) that the conversation will come back to us. I think what ultimately drives people to comment is the relevance of what you had to say to them and their relationship with you. If both are high they will stay and take the time to comment. And if they find you through another random source the great thing is they can actually find you and engage with you easily.

    It is also not surprising that my most popular post by far was the post I did about #followfriday. That speaks to the current source of most of my blog readers – Twitter.

    My biggest challenge is that a large percentage of my target audience is made up primarily of people who barely know what a blog is. They read my newsletter but very few click through to the blog. If they want to comment or ask a question they send an e-mail. For those who read blogs they are not yet comfortable making a comment for the world to see. People who use twitter and who blog are far more likely to comment. So how to I encourage the people new to social media to actually engage on my blog so the conversation can get richer? That is my bigger concern.

    I also notice though that I am commenting less lately. One reason could be that I am just reading a lot more blogs and have not been taking the time to comment. The biggest reason though – I am reading a lot more on my Blackberry and commenting from there is frustratingly tedious!

    Great topic Danny

    • says

      I wonder if that brings up another question: “Is Twitter changing the way we write blogs?”. I’d like to think not, but funnily enough, 4 out of my “top 5 posts” for traffic and popularity have been about Twitter (including this one). So, does Twitter narrow the topics down at times, and will people start writing more about Twitter just for the very fact there’s such a new audience for it? Guess only time will tell. :)

  46. says

    Twitter is easy. Commenting takes time. DISQUS is helping to tie it all together.

    My personal take is that i try to comment on blogs i follow regularly as much as i can. i don’t always do a good job of it, but i try. i know bloggers want comments and that taking the time to connect with them on their blog mean a lot. it’s important to do.

    On the Twitter note … it drives traffic like no other so if i really enjoy something i’m going to Tweet and Comment – that’s the right thing to do. It takes time, but that’s the way you can bring the most benefit to the blogger. Hands down.

    http://twitter.com/franswaa

  47. says

    Twitter is easy. Commenting takes time. DISQUS is helping to tie it all together.

    My personal take is that i try to comment on blogs i follow regularly as much as i can. i don’t always do a good job of it, but i try. i know bloggers want comments and that taking the time to connect with them on their blog mean a lot. it’s important to do.

    On the Twitter note … it drives traffic like no other so if i really enjoy something i’m going to Tweet and Comment – that’s the right thing to do. It takes time, but that’s the way you can bring the most benefit to the blogger. Hands down.

    http://twitter.com/franswaa

  48. valeriesimon says

    Love the idea of a system that aggregates content! Brilliant! Though it probably could only work with open forums (Twitter, public forums on LinkedIn, etc) rather than private forums like Facebook. I’ve been on a bit of a vacation the last few days, visiting some of my favorite websites via guest post. And I’ve been reflecting on this post more and more. The posts have prompted some great feedback and conversations on Facebook, within LinkedIn groups and on Twitter, but the fragmented conversation is frustrating and leaves me feeling as the complete story was never told…

    • says

      I wonder if the Facebook API would let it cross-connect though, Valerie. Like you say, obviously it’s a closed system compared to Twitter, but say you synced the Facebook Connect option on your account. Then, anytime you comment on a blog, you can have it crossed over to your Facebook wall or notes, and continue the conversation that way?

  49. valeriesimon says

    Love the idea of a system that aggregates content! Brilliant! Though it probably could only work with open forums (Twitter, public forums on LinkedIn, etc) rather than private forums like Facebook. I’ve been on a bit of a vacation the last few days, visiting some of my favorite websites via guest post. And I’ve been reflecting on this post more and more. The posts have prompted some great feedback and conversations on Facebook, within LinkedIn groups and on Twitter, but the fragmented conversation is frustrating and leaves me feeling as the complete story was never told…

    • says

      I wonder if the Facebook API would let it cross-connect though, Valerie. Like you say, obviously it’s a closed system compared to Twitter, but say you synced the Facebook Connect option on your account. Then, anytime you comment on a blog, you can have it crossed over to your Facebook wall or notes, and continue the conversation that way?

  50. says

    Danny –
    I definitely think Twitter is killing blog comments. While I certainly see a fair amount of retweets to our blog posts, I’ve seen an absolute decline in comments over the past months. Those people I’ve asked have said it is just easier to ReTweet than it is to put an ounce of effort in some thoughtful comments. While there are certainly people still commenting, I think that people seem to find it easier to share a post, rather than to comment.

  51. says

    Danny –
    I definitely think Twitter is killing blog comments. While I certainly see a fair amount of retweets to our blog posts, I’ve seen an absolute decline in comments over the past months. Those people I’ve asked have said it is just easier to ReTweet than it is to put an ounce of effort in some thoughtful comments. While there are certainly people still commenting, I think that people seem to find it easier to share a post, rather than to comment.

  52. says

    Blogs provide a valuable platform for others to engage in the conversation and follow it easily without jumping between Twitter profiles or chasing a hashtag. Twitter is definitely the hottest cocktail party in town, but the blog is the foundation from which a strong social media program is built.

    • says

      I wonder if it’d be an idea to have a book reading-type convo about a blog post on Twitter? Use a hashtag to separate the chat, and then discuss the points raised in the post? Of course, this would still have discussion taking place away from the post itself (unless you could drop in the chat results using a plugin), but may keep it less fractured?

  53. says

    Blogs provide a valuable platform for others to engage in the conversation and follow it easily without jumping between Twitter profiles or chasing a hashtag. Twitter is definitely the hottest cocktail party in town, but the blog is the foundation from which a strong social media program is built.

    • says

      I wonder if it’d be an idea to have a book reading-type convo about a blog post on Twitter? Use a hashtag to separate the chat, and then discuss the points raised in the post? Of course, this would still have discussion taking place away from the post itself (unless you could drop in the chat results using a plugin), but may keep it less fractured?

  54. says

    Just passing to say its always lovely to tweet you & yes tweeters rarely have time/make effort to comment ; )
    As long as they connect somewhere in the ethereal pathways isnt that all that matters?
    Have a great day, Danny.

  55. says

    Just passing to say its always lovely to tweet you & yes tweeters rarely have time/make effort to comment ; )
    As long as they connect somewhere in the ethereal pathways isnt that all that matters?
    Have a great day, Danny.

  56. says

    I really enjoyed your blog post. about Twitter and Blogs. I know we as bloggers, writers, connectors want to express our thoughts and 140 characters is like an appetizer and our personal blogs are main entrees…

    I like the feature of disqus by the way.. Thanks for sharing Very cool…

    Tatyana Gann

  57. says

    I really enjoyed your blog post. about Twitter and Blogs. I know we as bloggers, writers, connectors want to express our thoughts and 140 characters is like an appetizer and our personal blogs are main entrees…

    I like the feature of disqus by the way.. Thanks for sharing Very cool…

    Tatyana Gann

  58. says

    Danny,

    I recommend that you join the Blog Engage community over at blogengage.com

    The bloggers will comment on your posts, comment on the post listing at blog engage AND tweet you and retweet you until….

    Since I joined last month, I’ve received a constant stream of valuable comments and interesting exchanging of information. Let me know if you need any assistance.

    Thanks for sharing.
    @Ileane
    .-= ileaneΒ΄s most recent blog post …Blog Engage Activity for Ms. Ileane Speaks in November =-.

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