Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
March 14, 2007 8:57 PM

Waiting For Your Cat To Comment - What Makes People Post Comments On A Blog Or Podcast?

I had an early morning chat with Bryan Eisenberg. Eisenberg is an online marketing guru and master of understanding the power of conversion (getting people to buy things). He has helped author the amazing books, Call To Action and Waiting For Your Cat To Bark with his brother, Jeffrey Eisenberg, and they're constantly updating their Blog, GrokDotCom. We chatted about one of his latest posts, What Makes You Comment?

Here's a snippet from the post:

"For years, Future Now has studied what makes people buy or become a lead online. However, getting people to comment on a blog post, or even submit a review, is a different type of sale."

Indeed.

As of this posting, over thirty people have helped provide insight into these three questions posed by Bryan:

1. Have you read any posts (anywhere) in the last week that you found interesting?

2. If you found something interesting, did you comment on it?

3. If yes, why? If no, why not? (feel free to provide examples).

I like this meme a lot. I think most people who have a Blog and/or Podcast would love some more insight into what type of content is comment worthy.

Two choices: answer here or go to Bryan's original post here: GrokDotCom - What Makes You Comment?

Either way, it will be interesting to share your thoughts and help the Future Now people add another layer to their growing stream of powerful insights.

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Chris
    Mitch Joel

    1. Have you read any posts (anywhere) in the last week that you found interesting?
    Sure. Several.

    2. If you found something interesting, did you comment on it?
    I've commented on a couple. Not a lot.

    3. If yes, why? If no, why not? (feel free to provide examples).
    I comment for several reasons.

    First, I must feel like I have something to add to the conversation. Like a real life conversation, someone who pipes in just to hear himself speak can be annoying, so I think this carries to commenting on Blogs. I have to feel that adding my voice will add to the conversation in more ways that just prolonging it.

    Second, I need to feel drawn into the conversation. Think about conversations at work or in the home. You hear scores, if not hundreds, in a given day, but only enter ones that you were invited into or that are so compelling that you invite yourself into. Most you just let slip past. Even if you were visibly part of a conversation, often you may find that your participation was simply to listen and give a smile and a nod or two. Not all communication needs to be commented on.

    Third, if I feel exceptionally grateful for a piece of information or an insight, I might pop in just to say "thanks".

    Fourth, if I disagree, in part or in whole, or if I feel that significant elements to a thought were missing, I often feel motivated to speak up. (Which reminds me that I've been hoping to put together enough time to reocrd a comment on CC's episode 27 of Managing the Gray, but haven't had a moment to spare for several weeks).

    Which of course leads to Fifth, I have to have the time to comment.

    Finally, sixth, I have to feel like I'll return to a blog in order to comment. I may stumble across posts from links or searches, but if I don't think I'll be coming back regularly, I probably won't comment. I don't know why, that is, it just is. Maybe because I need to feel vested in the ongoing health and vitality of a blog/community for me to interact with it in that manner.

    Wow. I don't write nearly enough. It sure clears out your head and orders your thoughts, doesn't it?

    Pod on!

    Reply
  • Posted by Eden Spodek
    Mitch Joel

    1. Yes all the time.
    2. Sometimes, not always.
    3. I think Chris's comment says it all, with one exception. I'd place not having enough time higher on the list (#3).

    Reply
  • Posted by Jamey Shiels
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch - there is a similar conversation going on over at the freakonomics blog with Stephen J. Dubner. http://www.freakonomics.com/blog

    I think there is a barrier to commenting because people want to sound knowledgeable and lack the confidence in the value of their thoughts. I've commented recently on a couple of blogs because I want to be a part of the conversation and, writing them down in a comment helps to clarify the thought that is rambling about in my head.

    One of the drawbacks to comments is following the conversation. It's too easy to comment and then not go back to see where the conversation went. I think you covered this recently in a Six Pixels episode.

    Reply
  • Posted by Andrew Goodman
    Mitch Joel

    Meow.

    I can tell you with some certainty that what often makes people comment on my blog is when I've said something that puts their company in a negative light. Want comments? Criticize somebody important. You'll get comments.

    But in terms of "I agree with you" comments, again, it's usually when it's a bit of a rant against something that also aggrieves your readers.

    My own motivation to comment is often to disagree (does this surprise you?). Chris Sherman posted recently about Travelocity's CMO claiming that a portfolio of keywords is useless because in their campaigns, 98% of the orders come from brand words like "Travelocity". I had to disagree with the logic.

    Generally speaking comments come from controversy but they also stem from readers having a personal connection with the blogger, and fellow commenters, and that's most likely to happen when the blogger & the blog are more popular.

    Reply
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