There has been lots of discussion among bloggers about a reduced number of comments on blogs lately, which has got me thinking.
Are we getting less comments than we used to?
I am getting fewer comments on my blog than I did a year ago, and a lot of fellow bloggers tell me they are having the same experience. I don’t regularly check my stats, but for the purposes of this post, I did and noticed that although I am getting more readers than ever before, I am getting fewer and fewer comments. Why is that? Am I writing boring posts? Are my posts not engaging?
I don’t think so (obviously – my posts are brilliant).
When I look at my own behaviour as a blog reader, I don’t think I’m commenting any less than before, but what I am doing is spreading those comments out across more blogs. The number of blogs I read is growing month on month – we now have more than 1,500 bloggers registered on the Tots 100, for example. So I am reading a more diverse range of blogs and only commenting on those posts that really appeal to me. I don’t have time to comment on every blog.
The second trend I observe is that my posts get many comments now on Twitter and Facebook – people will often Tweet to let me know they thought something was a great post, but there just isn’t the volume of comments on the blog anymore.
A third explanation is the number of people reading blog posts on their mobiles, iPads and phones – which may not allow them to use commenting systems like Disqus, so they are more likely to leave without commenting.
So how can bloggers recover their comments?
I do think many of the people who are commenting are commenting on memes and Linky posts – often these posts seem to generate enormous numbers of very short comments, which are frequently reciprocated – with everyone taking part doing the rounds and leaving one or two words on each post. I don’t tend to write those sorts of posts as they don’t suit my blog, though.
Then there are comment circles, but I confess they’re not a perfect solution in my eyes. I don’t want people to feel obliged to comment or to return a comment because I have commented on their blog. For me, it’s a short step from telling you who to comment on to telling you who to read, what to write and what shoes to wear in the morning.
I would love to know your thoughts on why you think comments on blogs are in decline – do you think comments are on the decline? Does it bother you, as a blogger?