Monday, March 09, 2009

Where are the non-bloggers?

There is a strange phenomenon that I have noticed while going through my blog as well as as a couple of others, namely, most commentators on blogs are bloggers themselves.

I am sure that a number of non-bloggers visit my blog as well but somehow very few leave comments. Maybe this is an indication of why certain people become bloggers. It is likely that there is something in the psychology of bloggers that makes them bloggers - something that makes them different from other people. These are people who want to voice out their views and opinions. More often than not, they are also the opinion leaders in their communities.

Another trend I have noticed is that a number of non-bloggers who used to leave comments eventually became bloggers themselves.

Trying to gauge the awareness of blogs amongst undergraduate students, I recently asked a group regarding their favourite blogs and I was shocked to discover that less than half knew what a blog was. The fact is that a lot of people can't differentiate between a generic website and a blog and many who think they know what a blog is defines it as a personal diary. Most blogs are personal diaries I guess but there are many others which are based on specific topics and I wouldn't call them "personal diaries".

What do you think?

1st Commentator


Nana said...

most bloggers I think are predominately extrovert. you know .. maybe you should do a big five personality test on bloggers ... that would be something interesting! hahaha!

hows your phd coming along. I hate this flickr thinggi! I wish i could just use that photobucket but its soo limiting UURGGHH!! hate this

EddieGarcia said...

I've often wondered how many people view my blogs and don't leave comments. I know I try to leave a comment on every post I read. Never really called these folks non-bloggers, but makes sense. Thanks!

Eddie Garcia

Kate said...

Interesting observations. I have also found that people who comment on my blog have blogs themselves and yet my 'real life' friends who read my blog never leave comments. I think if you are a blogger you are inherently less shy about putting your voice out into the ether.

Adam Dilip Mutum said...

Nana: That can be a PhD research (or maybe for my post doc. Hmmmm... ;-)

Eddie: You are a blogger.

Kate: Totally agree with you. Thanks for dropping by my blog.

Thomas Wentworth Hardy said...

I agree with you.A blogger is someone who seeks to be objective and impact their world...Thanks Tom Australia

Tricia said...

If you think back to when you first started either checking out blogs or started your first blog you might remember feeling a little uneasy about leaving comments. I know I did - especially if I wanted to leave a comment on a really active blog where the blogger joked around and interacted with their regular readers / commentators. It felt a little intimidating trying to break into what seemed to be an established group.

That might be one reason why non bloggers/ webmasters might be hesitant to leave a comment.

The other reason could be web design. I tend to get more comments on my sites where the comment section is clearly marked - whether it's a "leave a comment" or "comments" (2) at the top of the post or a tiny message at the bottom of the post encouraging people to leave comments ie "If you enjoyed this post please leave a comment" with the word comment being a link to the comment section.

I've also tried to make the word comment stand out by putting it in caps and bolding it on some of my blogs. It's helped quite a bit.

I'm sure some people that are new to blogs just don't know that they can leave a comment - so the better your sites design is in pointing out the comment section the more likely it will be that you'll get some non-blogger comments. I think! LOL

Take a look at some of the blogs you like to read, especially if they tend to get a lot of comments and see if the comment area/links (on single post or index page are easy to find. That could be part of the reason why some of those blogs get a few more comments than others (from both bloggers and non-bloggers).

julian said...

Hi, I've also noticed the same thing in my research - but it should also be noted that, on average, about 1-3% of the readers leave a comment. So that means many bloggers also don't leave comments.

But I would go along with what Tricia and others say above - it's often a lack of familiarity and confidence with the interface. Also, bloggers are just more likely to voice out their opinion, because that's what bloggers do :)


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