Bleg: Comments

My OTB teaser post yesterday afternoon, “Should Obama Hunt Osama?,” has thus far generated 30 comments.  My much more substantive New Atlanticist post, “Hunting Bin Laden,” has only one.

Is there a barrier that I’m unaware of that’s depressing commenting at the latter site? We’re getting quite respectable traffic but having difficulty generating much discussion.

FILED UNDER: General
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Bithead says:

    You and I have discussed blog phenom in the past, James. From that discussion, you’ll recall I’m of the thought that this is as much an art as a science.

    To your question, I observe across a number of sites, including my own, and this one, too, for that matter… that larger posts, with more content better written, more thought density, if you will.. tend to not get the same number of comments.

    My admittedly offhanded guess would be that the reason for that linkage is that larger posts with more meat to them, tend to suck all the air out of discussional possiblities more often than thinner posts, and will get less comment traffic, even on the same blog.

    I don’t know if that’s the cause there. But I do say that in looking around I find those places that have a great and steay commetariat, a goodly number of regulars, such as this blog, are rare and have come by them in a rather (No offense) haphazard fashion.

    (And before someone starts tossing KOS, for example, up in my face, let me refer the reader to the word ‘thought’, and suggest that since the band of Kossacks exists outside that realm, there’s a different formula at work there.)

    Mind you, I’ve yet to strike a balance between being meaty enough to keep the readers, and light enough to encourage commentary, myself, and so have nothing to offer you there in the way of advice. Should you stumble across the answer, please drop me an email. (Smile)

  2. Brian says:

    I agree with Bit (rare as it is) and his lengthy and thoughtful observations. I have no comment.

  3. Hoodlumman says:

    Brevity is the soul of wit… and blogging.

    If an article takes a bit more time and I don’t complete it, I usually won’t comment on it for obvious reasons.

    Bithead’s explanation is valid, also.

  4. Phil Smith says:

    Besides which, when there are a large number of comments to a blog post, many if not most of those are directed at other commenters, not the original post. The one comment you mention doesn’t appear at the link, and there is no obvious way to view it. I even posted a bland comment to test the feature, and still didn’t see anyone else’s.

  5. markm says:

    My admittedly offhanded guess would be that the reason for that linkage is that larger posts with more meat to them, tend to suck all the air out of discussional possiblities more often than thinner posts

    Ring a ding ding. I admit I didn’t read your post over at NA until a moment ago…and many of the points brought up in the OTB piece by the commenters were already in your NA post. Had I read your NA post I probably wouldn’t have commented here.

  6. odograph says:

    Blogs are “places” that can obviously become hangouts. I was a brief visitor to TOB years ago, but see some of the same names on my return. For whatever reason, it amuses me to “return to OTB” in the sense of a place, in the election aftermath.

    Since my return I’ve noticed the promotional effort for Atlantic related things … no skin off my nose … but not really that alluring either.

  7. James Joyner says:

    Since my return I’ve noticed the promotional effort for Atlantic related things … no skin off my nose … but not really that alluring either.

    What’s essentially happened is that I’m doing my domestic policy blogging here and my foreign policy blogging there. So I’m both promoting the other site, which I run, and offering a pointer to stuff that drew people to OTB in the first place.

  8. odograph says:

    What’s essentially happened is that I’m doing my domestic policy blogging here and my foreign policy blogging there.

    Interesting. I guess I care about domestic policy right now.

    FWIW, I’d say it is fair for you to disable comments on those kind of linking articles. It’s slightly rude, but if it’s your stuff either way, and comments are open “over there” go for it.

  9. Bithead says:

    What’s essentially happened is that I’m doing my domestic policy blogging here and my foreign policy blogging there.

    I wonder, too, if that’s not part of the deal, too. It’s my experience that foriegn policy is beyond most people’s reach.

  10. odograph says:

    I wonder, too, if that’s not part of the deal, too. It’s my experience that foriegn policy is beyond most people’s reach.

    For me it’s more that Obama’s election has reduced my concern. I assume he does not sing “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” in the shower.

  11. Bithead says:

    Well, neither was Carter.

  12. odograph says:

    Nor Reagan 😉

  13. tom p says:

    James,
    working 6/10s just now… so I missed both posts. One of the nice things about OTB is that there is a “core” group of commentators, my favs are the ones I know I will disagree with on any particular issue… and yet, if I have problem posting something, they are the first to offer help… That said… maybe GA and Bit just love to hate me ;-)?

    I will say this: When I am working, I don’t usually have time to delve deeply into subjects, I will just skim over them, and then move on… (not commenting)and the deeper the subject, the deeper the analysis, the harder it is to parse the opposing points of veiw.

    I suspect, most of us are lazy in the same way. Not sure if this helps, just an observation. That said, keep on keepin’ on… it does make a difference.