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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Information Needed - Do You Read Comments After the Fact?

Additional words of wisdom (hopefully a bit more obscure than the last quote):
I don't make things difficult. That's the way they get, all by themselves.

I've previously asked How People Interact with Blogs? about basic interaction with blogs and received some interesting responses.

However, as I've been using CoComment more, I'm beginning to believe that most blog readers come to a blog and see the comments that exist at the time they get there. Even if they leave a comment, they may never return to see any others. As a blog author (and commenter) it makes it hard because I don't know if the person will see my response.

So I'm hoping people could tell me:

a. Do you read comments?
b. Do you ever go back to a blog to see comments later?
c. Do you use a mechanism such as CoComment to track conversations?
d. Do you ever leave a comment and not come back to see what was said?

FYI - I'm still trying to help this out via an on-going discussion list via CoComment. Find out more at:
eLearning Technology: eLearning Discussions - An Attempt at Better Discussions in the Blogosphere

10 comments:

Christy Tucker said...

OK, I had to look up the quote in IMDB to figure it out. It's from Lethal Weapon. I knew the Princess Bride quote without having to research--does that count for something?

I think that blog interactions are largely parallel discussions rather than direct dialogue. People write on their own blogs in response or in relation to others, but they control their own message without the filter of the original author as they would by commenting on a blog. It is a"dialogue of awareness," to use George Siemens phrase, rather than direct conversation. Check out Siemens' connectivism blog for a better explanation than my quick summary.

Tony Karrer said...

Christy - that's a foul. Or it's smart. Not sure which. You get props for knowing the Princess Bride quote. It was funny that I used that quote in a presentation at eLearningGuild last fall and people either knew the movie and the quote or looked like they never heard of the movie.

The fact that you could find the other quote that easily is an indication of where we are today.

I would agree with you (and George) about parallel discussion vs. direct dialogue, but does that mean that the model will need to become everyone with their own blog in order for back and forth to work correctly? In other words, if people never see comments, that makes them 2nd class discussion - and today that's where it is. But, I'm not so sure that's the right model.

LKeeton said...

I absolutely love to read comments. Many times, they are far more interesting than the original post.

However, I don't often go back to a blog to read comments. I just forgot to do that.

Haven't heard of CoComment until I read about it today from you. Sounds like something I might like to try. But I'm not sure I'd know how.

I do find myself writing comments, exit, and never return.

I'm not sure how deep I want to get into this kind of thing. I don't want to spend the time on it.

My children are incredibly savvy at this through their use of MySpace. They all blog about *themselves* regularly and read each other's stuff, too.

Mike said...

I read blogs by actually visiting their website and will read through the comments if the main posting was interesting. Sometimes, I even leave a comment of my own. If a topic was of particular interest or seemed to have a lot of comments, I will, if I remember, check and see if new comments were posted.

Dave F. said...

Tony,

To me it's cumbersome to return to a post and read new comments -- it's like having to rewind audiotape. Though I have CoComment, I don't find it helps much -- and at least for me, the more I comment, the less helpful it is.

For one thing, I might be the last comment... and so I see a bunch of lines in CoComment with nothing new. This tends to condition me that CoComment presents nothing new.

I don't think "everyone" will have his or her own blog this year, or in the next five, or the next ten. A blog's not like a cell phone, which a novice can learn to use it in 30 minutes -- because he starts at high strength in phone skill. People who've had a blog (or build a web page or run a virtual classroom or what-have-you) are, I think, prone to forget what a daunting learning curve there is, especially for those for whom software is not recreation.

They may also place high positive value on experimentation, trial-and-error, learn-by-doing... but not everyone does, and not everyone will until as an indvidual the person sees a need (or a requirement) to go through the effort.

Grandparents learn to use email not because interfaces improved or because open source appealed to them, but because they want to receive mail (not "email" per se) and pictures (not "attachments") from their grandchildren. That explains while AOL so rapidly surpassed all competing service providers combined.

Tony Karrer said...

lkeeton - unfortunately you are right that the comments are often more valuable than the post - yet as 2nd class citizens they don't get the same recognition.

Mike - thanks for the contribution.

Dave - I think that in 10 years we'll see blogging like things integrated into a lot of software where it becomes almost part of the landscape for everyone who is online at all. I.e., your Grandmother will be doing it because its an easier way to share with the grandkids. In fact, email won't be significantly different. It's really just a form of blogging but with controlled circulation.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I actually don't use a service like cocomment on purpose. What I do is when I comment, I will remember it if it is important enough to me and I will check it out later. If I forget, it wasn't that important to follow up. Joitske

Ben Craigo said...

a. Yes - on interesting posts.
b. Yes - it does depend on the post, the quality of the dialogue in the comments and time. There are some that I've wanted to but loose interest when there are 100+ comments - opportunity costs.
c. No
d. Not intentionally. The half-life of my ability to track is probably about a week and dying out completely after two.

You bring up some excellent points. Being able to manage the discussions I play a part on would be fantastic! If you have a list outside of CoComment - please share it. I can't believe there's not a tool out there that helps with this.

If there isn't this is an opportunity.

Ben Craigo said...

Forgot to mention I've extended your questions over at our e-SIG blog.

http://phlesig.wordpress.com/2007/01/12/abandonment-chaos-and-blogs-do-you-care-about-the-comments/

Tony Karrer said...

It's interesting because this discussion suggests the need for things like CoComment (given the interest in comments as much as the original post).

It also suggests that my eLearning Discussions would be a good thing to provide so people can see on-going discussions.