With all the platforms we use to communicate, it is becoming increasingly difficult to drive readers to a site’s comment section. The general consensus seems to be that readership is steady or increasing but comments are down in most sites’ comment areas.
When we post on Cision Blog, we share it on Twitter and Facebook, and most of the discussions continue on those mediums. With more and more people using mobile devices to read news, it seems difficult to justify commenting below a post when you can interact with a brand or person directly and share your thoughts with your audience on places like Twitter and Facebook, which have easier login and tracking abilities.
There are some people who choose to disable their blog comments, like Matt Gemmell, who offers detail on why; some like Melissa Ford who know comments are down but haven’t quite figured out how to reverse the tide; and yet others like Matthew Ingram of GigaOm who says a blog with comments disabled is merely an author’s soapbox.
We understand both sides of the argument and are most interested in the lack of convenience when it comes to posting comments. Have you noticed a decline in blog comments on your site and if so, do you think this is the reason why?
I post comments often and like to watch conversations grow but I do have a hard time keeping up with the different logins and systems each writer uses to moderate. Furthermore, I always comment from the comfort of my PC and have never had luck commenting on a blog from my mobile device.
Many sites offer social integration for commenters but do we need to take it one step further? Should we accept that comment sections as we know them – with a login and a username and a location under a post – are changing, and we need to bend to those changes?
Instead of monitoring our sites’ audience in one spot, do we need to expand our monitoring efforts and watch conversations happening on social platforms, as well as in the comments section? I think the answer is yes.
Our audiences now have several options for communicating and sharing and we can’t expect them to be tied to one. If someone chooses to share a post on Twitter and doesn’t integrate it through the comment section they should still be noticed, and the only way to do that is to step up monitoring efforts beyond a comment management system.
We monitor all of our social activity – from blog mentions to Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn and beyond – through Cision’s Social Media Dashboard powered by Radian6. It keeps everything in one home and gives my memory a break by only requiring one login to see all our activity.
What are your thoughts on online comments? Have you expanded the way you monitor comments and shares or do you encourage your readers to engage with you in your comments section?