The Future of Blog Comments

Despite a 20% increase in website traffic over the past year, comments on this blog are declining and that’s frustrating. This blog has never really been a comment magnet. Most posts would attract a few, thoughtful comments. But lately the crickets have been chirping. Even when I write a high-traffic post like: What’s the best time to post on Facebook?, I only get one comment (thanks Erin!). So what’s up?

Are comments just something we used to do? Do we write blog posts simply to have links to post on Facebook and Twitter? I’m being facetious, of course. Blogging is content marketing, search engine juice, and a credibility podium.  But still, bloggers crave those comments. Comments are validation that people care about what you’re saying. When a blogger sees a comment on a post, it’s like “Yes! They chose me to be on their dodge ball team!” Followed by a strut around the keyboard before posting a response. I’m doing less and less strutting, and I think other bloggers are too.

Over on BlogHer, Loralee Choate blames Facebook for lowering blog comments. And it seems that no one is immune. Just to make myself feel better, I checked out uber-blogger Chris Brogan’s comment traffic to see if comment decline was even affecting The Trust Agent. In April 2010, Chris had an average of 51 comments per post, in April 2011 there were only 42 comments per post. So is Facebook to blame or is blog commenting just a fading fad? The other question is: What to do about it?

One idea is to pull a Seth and just not allow any comments whatsoever. That seems a little rash, and probably not a good idea. I’ve met several people through my blog comments, including Eric Brown, who has become a good friend. What I’ve decided to do instead is change my equipment.

When your golf game sucks, you blame it on the clubs and buy a new driver. So, I’m applying that principle to my blog. Last week I learned about a new comment management system called Livefyre. My friend Judy Dunn (who I met through this blog) installed it on her CatsEyeWriter blog to increase comment action. She describes it here: A Livefyre Test Drive. Judy inspired me to install the Livefyre comment management system on The Marketing Spot blog over the weekend. That’s what you’ll see at the end of this post. Some of you will like it, others won’t.

What you won’t like about it:

You can’t login with your own website URL – One reason people comment on blogs is to get links and traffic back to their own blog/website. Can’t do that with Livefyre, at least not yet.

What you will like about it:

You can log in just about any other way you want: Twitter, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Open ID, or you can create a LiveFyre account and log in that way.

Live Action Comments – You can see who’s presently commenting and have a nearly live comment conversation.

Conversation – You can reply to specific comments

Comment Following – Get email notices when a new comment or reply is posted.

Social media comment sharing – Directly to Facebook or Twitter

And lots of other good stuff. Check out, leave a comment. What’s the future of blog comments? Do you like Livefyre? Please leave a comment…I’m not really begging.

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