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Commenting on blog posts is dying

Jun. 4, 2017

I have a problem finding a blog with meaningful comments section nowadays. 10 years ago comments on blogs flourished, while today even once comment-heavy blogs have their comments sections virtually empty.

Have the Web moved on? Is taking time to write a comment, time that we do not have any more?

Comment
31 vote   Flag
M Asif Rahman Ⓦ

Absolutely true. Though there are very engaging content and specially controversial conversation has more engagement like always, but its really not what we have seen a decade ago. Few things came into my mind.

1) Our behavior and specially web experience is more maturing(not sure if that the right word), and its shifting towards a different kind of conversation.
2) Even from the rise of Snapchat its proven we are hugely changed. Now people are careful what are they saying and who are seeing it.
3) Though it might sound a little different but you see the way we became too conservative about do-follow, no-follow, link back, previously if somebody just read a good article would have left a comment saying that you, courtesy and also a simple link back, now there are so many conversation whats right, whats wrong, whats blackhat and whats not.
4) Even commenting without login (with social login exp: Facebook Comment) still not much engagement. Maybe different breed of people are coming online now, they are shy, or dont have much to add.

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Mustafa Uysal

I think twitter affected our commenting behaviour, 10 years ago twitter wasn't used as effectively as it is today.

Btw, is there any intensedebate users these days? just curious :)

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Rafi Nizamee

There are multiple reasons why the trend is dying. I believe the diversification of contents is one of these. Previously, engaging visual contents like infographic, GIF or slides were not as plenty as it is today. Now readers have umpteenth times more social media exposure and easily consumable contents than before. Concentration and density falls as the quantity and rapidity of the blogs increases.

Another major factor is creating nice or establishing yourself as an expert in a certain category. People these days do not respond to contents that are not positioned strongly. It is more like building a brand. And when there is one overpowering brand in a particular field, it produces an unfavorable situation for competitors. Because even if the others are offering high quality contents, people will remember that one brand that had first-mover advantage.

And somehow that is where most of the enthusiastic readers are going to comment.

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Kobe Ben Itamar

Your perception is correct, as far as I can see on blogs, although, I not sure it is accurate to say that we have "moved on" from commenting. Or that we don't take the time to do that anymore. It seems to me that commenting on content is simply done elsewhere, outside of the blogs' comments section.
With the growth of content being published on blogs - many people find it hard to "follow" only several favorite blogs, and do not discover new content via their RSS feed or something like that. Rather, they get exposed to it on social media, and that's where they express their opinions on the content, as well.

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Donna Cavalier

I think it's a combination of less time, and the proliferation of Like/Share buttons that killed comments. It's so much quicker to click a like button or a share button, than it is to type out a comment. I can express my gratitude for what I just read, without having to take the time to put words to "paper", so to speak. And if I do share, I'm more likely to place any comment I have in the share itself.

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Tom Zsomborgi

I think you are right. Twitter also changed how users use the web, but let's not forget that in the last 10 years the content available online has been multiplied. We produce more content in a day than we did 10 years ago during a whole year. And let's be honest, most of the new content you see today doesn't worth commenting, it's about quantity and not quality. When you produce something cool, useful and you have an engaged audience (+ promote the hell out of it) users will start leaving comments.

One interesting fact : Copyblogger removed comments a while back because it took them a lot of time to manage it and told users to continue the conversation on the social media. The marketing world was full with this story. Now if you check the site you can see that comments are enabled again :)

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Sallie Goetsch (rhymes with 'sketch')

Lots of people also stopped WRITING blog posts once Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. came on the scene, because long-form text was not really the best format for them. And I'm pretty sure that the people whose comments used to be "Great post!" realized that clicking the "Like" button achieves the same effect with less effort.

But we still get tons of comments on The Official BNI Podcast, perhaps because the show host specifically asks for them in each episode. Some of my tutorials on WP Fangirl get a lot of comments, mostly people asking for clarification or help or my files (which I finally put on GitHub), sometimes people saying thank you after they've used the tutorial. Other types of posts get fewer comments.

If you want comments, you need to give people something to respond to, and you need to actively encourage people to leave them. I don't think you have to be controversial, though certainly if you offend or upset people, they will comment.

Some authors don't really want comments. They want their posts shared on social media so that they reaches a wider audience. In those cases, engagement is less important than reach.

I've also seen cases where the conversation moved: from the blog comments, which were originally the only place to respond, to a FriendFeed group (anyone remember FriendFeed), to a Google Plus community, to a Facebook group. There are times when you have to go where your readers are in order to engage with them.

In any case, I don't think we can go around saying "Comments are dead," even if commenting on blogs is not as prevalent as it was 10 years ago.



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Sallie Goetsch (rhymes with 'sketch')

Lots of people also stopped WRITING blog posts once Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. came on the scene, because long-form text was not really the best format for them. And I'm pretty sure that the people whose comments used to be "Great post!" realized that clicking the "Like" button achieves the same effect with less effort.

But we still get tons of comments on The Official BNI Podcast, perhaps because the show host specifically asks for them in each episode. Some of my tutorials on WP Fangirl get a lot of comments, mostly people asking for clarification or help or my files (which I finally put on GitHub), sometimes people saying thank you after they've used the tutorial. Other types of posts get fewer comments.

If you want comments, you need to give people something to respond to, and you need to actively encourage people to leave them. I don't think you have to be controversial, though certainly if you offend or upset people, they will comment.

Some authors don't really want comments. They want their posts shared on social media so that they reaches a wider audience. In those cases, engagement is less important than reach.

I've also seen cases where the conversation moved: from the blog comments, which were originally the only place to respond, to a FriendFeed group (anyone remember FriendFeed), to a Google Plus community, to a Facebook group. There are times when you have to go where your readers are in order to engage with them.

In any case, I don't think we can go around saying "Comments are dead," even if commenting on blogs is not as prevalent as it was 10 years ago.



Reply
John Locke

Comments aren't dead. It depends on what the subject matter is, and if people are interested. I have a client who has a how-to blog post that gets a comment every week or two. I have posts on my own site that have 70+ comments - mostly people asking follow-up questions.

If you make your content something that is meant to be digested without an invitation to respond, then no, you won't get comments. Same if your content doesn't get traffic or is just not that great.

One problem is that we have information overload. Too much content is being shoved out there each day. You must publish stuff that is truly valuable and remarkable to move the needle.

I would say that social sharing has negated some commenting, but it still exists and is far from dead.

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Collins Agbonghama

It's easy for me to write a comment on social media (Facebook and Twitter) than on a blog. Maybe its because i have lots of blogs i follow to read that i don't wanna waste time writing comments.

I do leave comments like i am doing now. But not all the time.

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Ahmad Awais

I completely agree!
The reason is people are not logged in. There's a lot of difference in sites where users are logged in.

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Dave Warfel

I agree that commenting has slowed down in recent years. And I also agree with much of what has already been said (comments moving to social/Twitter, they are hard to manage at scale, like buttons achieve the same things, etc.).

However, another perspective is this:

There are SO MANY WEBSITES today compared to a few years ago, but very few additional QUALITY, COMMUNITY-FOCUSED sites. Today you have tons of sites that are all almost replicas of each other. They post the same viral, click-bait, repetitive content that can be found on tons of other sites. They are in it to make a quick buck with affiliate links and/or ad revenue, and not in it to build a community.

One thing I've always appreciated about wptavern.com is how engaged its followers are. They still receive a healthy amount of comments on many of their articles. I think this is because Jeff actually cared about building a community, and not just making money. And to this day, the Tavern still writes about controversial topics, and engages the community for their feedback.

I believe there are a handful of sites in most industries that do the same. But because of the sheer quantity of sites out there, and how easy it is to "become an authority" (sarcasm) and build a website overnight, it SEEMS like there are fewer comments, when perhaps the sites that have always gotten a lot of comments...are still getting a lot of comments.

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John Locke

This.

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Peter Shaw

I wonder if the Indieweb movement and tools will change this trend:

indieweb.org

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Mikahil Sulaiman

All the comments so far are indeed inline.. People doesn't comment on blog posts anymore.. To my point of view, people doesn't really read posts fully like before, they focus on what they are looking for and once they are able to find it they leave..

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Kevin Muldoon

People would rather comment on their own Twitter account than contribute a comment on someone else's property.

I have seen videos on YouTube with just a few comments that have thousands of comments on Reddit where it was shared. Without a doubt, social media changed everything.

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Uholec Volen

I think twitter affected our commenting behaviour, 10 years ago twitter wasn't used as effectively as it is today.

Btw, is there any intensedebate users these days? just curious :)

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Maulik Shah

I am not agree.

Yes, I know that major guys are doing spam comments on blogs. But if you invest some time to review the comments. you will get good interaction and build good relationship by blog commenting.

I suggest you to allow people to comment on blog and discuss more about topic.

Thanks

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Anna Shetty

I agree that commenting has slowed down in recent years. And I also agree with much of what has already been said
coolmath-games.io/

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Paul Thomas

wiki.

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Paul Thomas

[url="https://en.wikipedia.org"]wikipedia[/url]

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Paul Thomas

[url=https://en.wikipedia.org]wikipedia[/url]

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Paul Thomas

en.wikipedia.org

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Paul Thomas

(wiki)[https://en.wikipedia.org]
[[en.wikipedia.org wiki]]
[[https://en.wikipedia.org|wiki]]
[wiki](https://en.wikipedia.org)
[en.wikipedia.org wiki]
wiki:en.wikipedia.org

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Dr.Ashfaq Ahmad Khan

Yeah I would say that the comment are not dying but depends upon at what topic you are going to comment it must be relevant to the topic..

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