Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thoughts on comment-producing post

A few weeks ago, I faced the challenge of trying to write a post that would attract as many comments as possible. I chose to write about the Chicago Cubs because at the time I wrote it, the NLDS loss was still fresh in Cubs' fans memories.

I wanted to get 100 comments, but I didn't come close, although I am still happy with the restuls (10 comments including one from me). I used a variety of ways to get people commenting on the blog. First, I IMed some of my friends and asked if they would mind posting something. However, I struggled to get many people that way. Then I wrote a massive Facebook post that seemed to get a decent amount of people. 

I still didn't feel like there were enough people posting so I decided to try the message boards. I found a few Cubs' message board that I posted on and a fantasy baseball message board. However, I only ended up receiving one post out of that group. He generated the most discussion of the group simply because he responded to one of my friends' comments. I tried to respond as well, but the discussion pretty much never came up because my friends didn't reply to the posts. 

The friend who John (the random guy) responded to told me he saw the reply, but didn't think there was anything more to say. Now that I've had a chance to evaluate how the post went, I think making that facebook post actually hurt me in some aspects because I encouraged everyone just to post, but I didn't do a good enough job at motivating discussion. 

The other problem with the post was that everyone agreed with what I had to say. The topic didn't seem that debatable after I posted it because it was a rational post. If I wanted to get more reaction, I should've said something  that would provoke more of an argument. 

Almost every post mentioned how I made a good point, which is nice to hear, but it doesn't allow for a whole lot of discussion. Perhaps I could've sparked the discussion by making a post about who is to blame for the Cubs not making the World Series.

That way, I would have a bunch of perspectives and spark disagreement about whose fault it was or cited some article about the Cubs and asked for perspective on that. The post was still a good experiment in trying to figure out what makes people engage in discussion how a blogger can get their message out to the world. 

Perhaps this is what makes Deadspin so popular. Not only are the posts witty, but the links are usually thought-provoking and cause many people to comment. My other problem was that the post is timely. Now that the NL and AL Champions are decided, it doesn't make much sense to have a discussion on a team that lost in the first round because everyone would rather talk about the teams playing. I'm sure all of those Cubs message boards aren't getting a whole lot of traffic right now since the season is over.

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