21 August 2010

Readers kill blogs?

I try to avoid making meta-posts, but the timing here was just too impeccable for me to avoid a short post on something that's been bothering me for a year or so.

I actually complete agree with both points. The problem is that I worry that they are actually fairly opposed. I comment much less on other people's blogs now that I use reader, because the 10 second overhead of clicking on the blog, being redirected, entering a comment, blah blah blah, is just too high. Plus, I worry that no one (except the blog author) will see my comment, since most readers don't (by default) show comments in with posts.

Hopefully the architects behind readers will pick up on this and make these things (adding and viewing comments, within the reader -- yes, I realize that it's then not such a "reader") easier. That is, unless they want to lose out to tweets!

Until then, I'd like to encourage people to continue commenting here.


Erik Engbrecht said...

I think the problem is that there is no incentive for a content aggregator (such as Google Reader) to direct the reader to the source site, while their is significant incentive to keeps readers on the aggregator's site so they can click on ads. Notice that Google Reader features comments now and Buzz let's readers have whole discussions that the original author will never even see.

neelannair said...

What about Slashdot in Google Reader? (nearly) perfect solution, don't you think?

Igor said...


This is why I continuously feature my reader's comments in blog entries even if I look clueless as a result:



Steve said...

Hal, you really should move away from blogspot. Last time I made a comment on your blog, I signed up to receive email notifications so I could keep up on others' comments. But for the next few months I received emails regularly due to spam comments. It gets annoying. WordPress has a much better spam filter (and overall blogging platform). Plus it's open source.

John Moeller said...

I use GR exactly the same way as you do.

As far as comments go, there are very few blogs where I read the comments and even fewer where I participate in them.

Comments> leave relevant opinion
Comments: A troll appears! You lose 1 hour from your life.

That doesn't always happen of course. But it does happen on blogs of people that I respect and want to communicate with, which is annoying.

Anonymous said...

good post. reminds me how much i can't wait for people to adopt salmon. (and not just because i like john.)

Mark Dredze said...

I read this on Google Reader, but clicked through to leave a comment.

Fernando Pereira said...

I found it amusing that you quoted my blog post but did not leave a comment there ... Actually, I think the problem is more fundamental bug. You wanted to put something for the record in YOUR blog but also comment on something in MY blog. There's no way to thread between two blogs so that your post can be seen as a comment on my blog, even though both are hosted by Blogger.

Fernando Pereira said...

@Erik: Except that Reader does not show ads.

Anonymous said...

I read your blog on Reeder (a kind of wrapper around Google Reader for the iPhone). I couldn't resist delurking given the topic.

A lot of the blogs I read have very good comments, so a reader that fed through the comments wd be v good. Yes, I've stopped reading comments and commenting myself since using a reader (doing it all on the phone is another factor).

Nice blog! :D


Alexandre Passos said...

I think probably a good solution would be to make it easier to add to the readers the feeds for the comments to the posts. Many blog platforms already have rss feeds for the comments, but it's usually a hassle to add them (and you're not always sure you're adding the comments instead of the blog again) and they tend to get stale over time.

In this blog specifically I always open the posts from the last month or so everytime I check, just to see the comments (since they're usually informative). Having an easy way to subscribe to the comments of interesting posts would be nice.

Maybe this could be done by microformatting a standard way to link to the feed for the comments in the end of the post, in a way that feed readers understood and offered you to subscribe to the comments (this would also up the incentive to comment).

hal said...

@fernando and @top: maybe that salmon thing that ryan (snarfed.org) mentioned might help with with your issue!

Fernando Pereira said...

@hal: Thanks for the salmon pointer. It would be great if Blogger at least implemented something like it. I'll try to find some time to ask.

Robin said...

I used to read both blogs and the comments. I ofter get useful information in the comments as well.