Excellent piece on the "science" of blog comments on Gone Away today, which I found via ProBlogger. Clive gives these "principles" for establishing a environment conducive to receiving comments on blog entries:
- try to build a community of bloggers who comment regularly.
- encourage conversations and don't ignore comments that wander off the point.
- Always reply to comments if at all possible and do it in your comments system.
- Ultimately, it all depends on the purpose of your blog. If you blog for
yourself and don't care whether it's read or not, comments are not
going to matter at all. But if the purpose is to be read, comments are
very important as they are a factor in creating regular readers.
Quality content is paramount in this quest but, if you remain doggedly
unresponsive to comments, most readers will wander off sooner or later.
I know that Michelle at Scrapability has blogged about feeling "unloved" due to lack of comments, and I often wonder about the lack of comments on my blog(s), when I see loads of comments on "A-list" scrap-blogs. I have been responding to comments privately, via email, so people feel like they're getting a really personal response. Maybe I'll start making those responses right back in the Comments section, and see how that affects things.
Something else I think is interesting -- I've been blogging at One Scrappy Site for over a year and half, and have a Comments feature there, but have gotten only TWO comments in the entire time. I wonder why that is?
Edit to Add: Read Michelle's comments on comments here -- she even outlines blogging protocol and netiquettes -- very informative (as usual! She ROCKS!)
Edit to Add Another: Darren at ProBlogger also has some comments on comments -- more food for thought!