[I’m Reading] Comments <> Engagement
Posts with the label [I’m Reading] will be about articles I’m finding interesting. I often find things interesting even when I completely disagree with them.
This is from a thoughtful post from the 37Signals team on the challenges, opportunities and limitations of comments, commenters and commenting:
“Engagement” has less to do with the number of comments on a particular post, and more to do with page views, shares on Twitter and elsewhere, personal contact between authors and readers, and so on.
And I may have this printed on mugs, shouted from rooftops, whatever it takes:
The more present writers are post-publication, the more respectful the conversation tends to be, and the more value everyone gets out of the exchange.
Trolling is never personal, for one. Rudeness says far more about the commenter’s character than about the author’s skill as a writer. Two, it helps to recognize that people are rarely inspired to leave a comment just to agree or say thanks. My coworker Jonas likes to think of comments as “The opposite of the thing you just read.” Since people generally only comment to disagree, “articles read like ‘Here’s a point.’ Comments -> ‘The opposite point.’” If you’re braced for it and accept that counterpoint as part of the anatomy of a blog post, it doesn’t sting — it’s expected behavior.
The comments on the post are worth reading too. As it were.