Monday, July 11, 2005

Comment Generation

Comment generation for online conversation venues is simple, but not immediate.

While there may be some overnight or fast success stories about super blogs that conquered the world, most successful, popular, or prestigious blogs seem, according to my research, to have evolved a loyal and growing readership over time, as long as three to ten years, generally about three or four.

What has to occur is comment generation within a blog of fascinating, personable, friendly, clever, practical, relevant, insightful, entertaining, factual and trustworthy, original, consistent, high frequency post writing.

How To Generate Blog Comments

I have noticed that a certain type of blog accumulates voluntary user interaction, otherwise known as reader comments.

Blogs are not sermons.

Blogs are conversations.

Lurkers don't participate, but are enlightened and possibly entertained by the comment threads running through a blog like blood in our veins.

So I've seen what I think are contributing factors for comment generation.

Comment generation for a blog
is activated and extenuated by:

(1.) Rich posts.

Good post topics and writing.

(2.) Conversational tone.

A one-on-one, intimate, candid tone of voice. Not too scholarly, not sloppily casual. Appropriate for the topic and audience.

(3.) Insensitivity.

A mature and thick-skinned attitude toward critique, hostility, and flaming. Not bothered in the slightest by negative remarks or hateful statements. Laugh it off. Not sensitive in the victimized sense: powerful sense of destined mission and overwhelming truth within.

(4.) Invitations.

Actually telling, asking, encouraging readers to comment, telling them how to do it. Let them know you value their opinion, even if it differs from yours. More a joint research project, a mutual adventure, than a debate of opposing parties.

(5.) Questions.

Asking readers specific questions in your posts can compel readers to reply with an answer or opinion. You try to hit a hot button, a topic or issue that some reader out there loves to discourse upon.

(6.) Enigmatic.

Be mysterious, have some benevolent secrecy, an inner sanctum, sub-text for close readers, symbolic obfuscation for initiated insiders, some special words and phrases you repeat deliberately, like my "click-select", "comment generation", "bloatosphere", "in the topic thread itself, rather than a summarizing post", "clinking", "blogo-combat", "dead blogging", "blegging", etc.

This idiosyncratic, individualism is one of the 9 Blog Core Values to which the blogosphere is acclimated and for which it is acclaimed.

(7.) Fast.

Fast posting. Fast reaction to flames, questions, reblogging on other, even hostile, blogs. Fast response to all comments. Fast replies to reader email. Fast corrections of design or text faults. Fast learning of relevant and requisite skills, including high speed thinking, super velocity typing, web usability, web design, HTML and CSS.

(8.) Reciprocal commenting.

A posts a comment at B's blog. B posts a comment at A's blog. C posts a comment at B's blog. A and B post comments at C's blog. C posts comments about A's comment at B's blog at C's blog which A fails to read but B comments about at A's blog, so A visits C's blog to discuss how B posted C's comment about A's blog at B's blog.

(9.) Variety.

Posts suddenly change in character, content, and classification. It's almost as if the blog had suddenly transformed into another blog. Vary short and long posts, very personal and extremely factual-scholarly posts, very bellicose with very funny.

From photo log to all text to art blog, all in one blog. Give your blog multiple angles and different moods. Being unreservedly authentic. New and sudden twists. Unexpected alterations. Disorientation for revamped ideology.

(10.) Individuality.

Whatever your unique personality can come up with for distinction and benefit to readers.

(1l.) Compassion.

Genuine concern for the well being and growth of your readers and other bloggers. Trying to only provide well documented or proven facts. Issuing warnings and scoldings when necessary. Open to critique because you love the truth more than you love self.

(12.) Talent.

Great comics, writers, artists, musicians, cartoonists, designers, scientists, etc. will generate comments by attracting readers who are tuned-in, literate, articulate, and outspoken.

vaspersthegrate [at] yahoo [dot] com Posted by Hello

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate



MARYBETH said...

" Fast corrections of design or text faults. Fast learning of relevant and requisite skills, including high speed thinking, super velocity typing, web usability, web design, HTML and CSS."

My Dearest Vaspers,

Put simply:






steven edward streight said...

Cheer up dear bloggy sister! It's not nearly that bad. Will go check your blog today.

See that "1 person online" under my "Welcome" sidebar badge? Well, it wasn't appearing there, or on any other blog, yesterday. And I could not find the company, Easy Stats, via Google. So did I do something wrong? No. Their server must have been down, or something.

What the hector are you talking about anyway? I'm the one who stupidly "lost" 3/4 of Blog Core Values template TWICE in one week.

Color me dumb and dumber.

You gotta be pretty stoned or drunk or sleepy or tired or "not mindful" as the Buddhists say, to do something that ridiculous. But I did.

I go to top blogger sites and see the most intelligent, geeky bloggers have all kinds of trouble with templates, design, broken layout even in Firefox, URLs running across the post area into the sidebar, bad unreadable fonts, color contrasts, RSS feeds not working (Pub Sub and Bloglines having trouble recently), comment spam, trackback spam, comment posting function, you name it.

Even the best bloggers run into problems that sometimes make their blogs look amateur. They may not like me saying that, but it's true, and it's not always their fault.

See, so I'm studying, sporadically, but steadily, Network Administration (NetWare) to understand better the external trouble that can occur, internet connectivity, cables, protocols, servers, ISPs, LANs, etc.

Do what Carrie told you to do.

Start a new blog at Blogger call it Crazy Tree or whatever, and experiment. Who cares what happens? It's an experiment.

I have done this. Almost a year ago, I set up a blog called Disposable Experiments.

Whenever I want to do something new, especially attaching code to my template, I put it in DE template and see what happens, see if I did it right, see if it destroys the whole blog, eats the template, whatever.

Once I pasted the "ants" java web game into a blog template, and lost the entire blog. I think I recovered the blog, I can't remember now. But something wasn't working right.

Carrie probably knows more about that stuff than I do.

So we learn from each other.

I'm trying to learn blog conversation from personal bloggers.


See: comments are where the real action is, not posts.

Posts merely start the conversation.

Viva la comment!