Sunday, November 19, 2006

Blogging about comments

Hot off of the e-journal press is the latest issue of Cites & Insights (Vol.6, No. 14, December 2006) from Walt Crawford. I always find something of interest when reading C & I, even more so when space is devoted to library technology and blogging. One of the topics discussed in this issue’s Net Media Perspective column is blog commenting, or lack there of. Rebecca and I agreed we wanted blog comments enabled when ironing out details before launching Library Cloud. A step beyond comments was the question of how to determine if anyone was reading our blog. The blogsphere is huge so we did not want to fall into the trap of thinking only people we know read our blog, nor did we want to rely singly on comments and blogger page views. I admit to bulldozing when it came to adding the counter as a means of gathering statistics, but it has been eye-opening to see what posts are being read most often (Ms. Dewey is the most popular) and from where people are reading. Without those particular statistics we would have little to judge statistically as blog comments have been sparse. Not particularly concerned, I was nonetheless glad to see Library Cloud is average when it comes to comments:

“Most library blogs don’t get very many comments and a few blogs tend to have mostly comments that agree with the posts.” (Crawford, C & I, December 2006,

“For this year’s study of liblogs, the media comments per post was only 0.42. Most blogs had less than half a comment per post but more than a dozen averaged at least three comments per post.” (Crawford, C & I, December 2006, p.4)

I began thinking about my own habits regarding blog reading and commenting and took a quick survey. Here is what I found; as of today I have 39 blog feeds in my Bloglines account. Those thirty-nine blogs fall easily into five categories: library related (6), technology (8), Ashland University & Library Cloud (4), professional development (10), and just for fun (11). I have commented on ten of the thirty-nine blogs somewhat regularly and each of those ten fall into the just for fun and professional development categories of blogs. One step further, I can honestly say I post frequently, at least every two or three posts, on four of those ten blogs. Therefore, out of the original thirty-nine blogs, I comment on approximately 10% of the list. So, what does this mean?

If any of those other bloggers are relying on my comments to judge their blog usage, very few of them are going to be satisfied with my participation. This begs the question; where do I post comments, and why? Here are the four blogs I comment most frequently on (alphabetically):

The why portion is pretty easy to answer. These blogs are fun, invite comment, and have many other interesting people commenting as well. I have learned about writing and publishing, both recreational and children's, from these four blogs. I have alss on occassion posted to the more professional entities of the Chronicle's Wired blog, Weblog-ed, and Walt Crawford's blog, all for the same reasons.

This blog is still in its infancy and comments will come and go as we grow. But curiosity compels me to ask, what makes a blog reader decide to comment? Is it agreeing with a post? Is it disagreeing with a post? What do you think?

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1 comment:

walt crawford said...

It depends on the blog(ger(s)). For most library-related blogs, I comment if I feel I have something to add to the conversation--could be disagreement, could be expanding on a point. Rarely just agreeing, but once in a while for extraordinary posts that make points that really educate me.

There are (a very few--really less than a handful) blogs where I've learned never to disagree, which now means never to comment.

And, of course, for blogs that don't have comments, I send email.