A couple of weeks ago, a client asked, in essence, “why comment on articles or blogs?”
OK, so he didn’t say it exactly like that. But he did say that he’s
…struggling to figure out what really makes sense regarding the growing amount of posting by anybody and everybody….Is all this writing and blogging serving a real purpose? I’m not sure. Some blogs get recognition and response….I think most don’t.
He’s got a point. I think bloggers (indie, company and editorial) all feel, in our gut, that there’s value. But how do we measure that value? What do comments add to a blog or article? Tough one.
So I asked some of the bloggers what they thought. First off, I went to one of the longest running bloggers in EDA – Karen Bartleson. (Is it really three years, Karen? She’s at http://www.synopsys.com/blogs/thestandardsgame). She shed really insightful light on why EDA blogs get so few comments, if we compare them to consumer blogs like Yelp. And, she has her blog up on what she’s seen in the three years since she started her blog. So do take a look at Karen’s analysis of EDA blogging. I bet she’s got a take on the state of EDA blog comments.
Karen’s, along with a bunch of other bloggers’ comments on EDA blog comments gave me some trends to ponder. Some recurring points:
__the honeymoon infatuation period for EDA blogging has come…and is going. Now there needs to be some sense of longterm value.
My take…just what is “value” in terms of EDA blogs? Different from perspectives of the client, journalist and PR person.
__some indie bloggers say they see their blogs as diaries, written for themselves and interested people.
My take…everyone is aware of a larger cast of potential viewers, however. (By and large, they value comments but don’t use it as a metric of their blog’s value.)
__there are more eyeballs on the blogs than we can ascertain.
My take… however, these numbers are impossible to get for viewers and bloggers hosted by other sites. There’s no SRDS* in the EDA & IP social media world.
*SRDS was (is?) an organization that certified reader numbers for print publications so that they could charge advertising rates based on readership.
__engineers by and large are pretty quiet, shy types who rarely will comment or extend a discussion, even if they do read the blog, article and their accompanying comments.
My take…this came up a lot. I’m not sure…would their shyness prevent them from commenting? Probably. Would the relatively anonymous filter of the comment field encourage them to speak out? Potentially.
__by and large, the number of comments aren’t an accurate measure of eyeballs.
My take…lots of agreement that some sort of metric on value is reasonable, understandable. Less agreement on whether it’s needed now.
(One person compared the dilemma to the old attempt to measure column inches to value, which measures volume but doesn’t take into account perceptual, qualitative value.)
__commenting is a lot like getting a quote into an editorially-written article insofar as creating an authoritative voice that gets recognized, over time, as an industry voice to listen to…or not, depending on the content of the comment).
My take…one especially insightful editorial blogger felt that comments are a dynamic part of a living, breathing article that encompasses new perspectives with new comments and discussion.
One difference that I see is that the editor or author of the article hasn’t vetted the comment or incorporated it into his or her article. The comment is a response to the vetted article, which is the insightful editorial blogger’s point, I now see.
__the blog (and blogger) or article (and author) and its comments, to some degree, form a community onto each of themselves.
My take…this discussion got a bit abstract for me but I hear the notion. Help!
__this is a good time to talk about the expectations of each community (indie bloggers, editorial bloggers, company bloggers) and how to sync up each community so that there is value for everyone.
My take…but it’ll require the different goals and expectations of each community to somehow sync up so that each community’s efforts bring value to one another. How does that sync up with goals and expectations of customers, clients?
Of course, there’s no answer (yet) to the question about value here. The bloggers (indie, company and editorial) feel that there is value in commenting. Many of them agree that no one can measure value right now but that there ought to be some way to do so. Most everyone thinks that there is an existing, intangible value of being a voice of authority, an industry citizen.
And everyone thought we ought to keep talking about this issue.
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