The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

28 January 2006

Yakety yak (do talk back)

There are somewhere around 13,000 comments posted here, which is not a particularly high number by the standards of blogs higher (and by some lower) on the food chain.

I suspect, though, that there are scant few Big Media guys who get this much feedback, as Atrios notes:

A thing which I only came to realize recently is just how little reader feedback most reporters get, even post Al Gore's benevolent gift of the internet. Even reporters/columnists/etc who prominently display their emails get very little reader feedback. I was quite stunned to realize that the amount of reader feedback most reporters get — even now — is about the amount I was getting after I'd only been running this lemonade stand for a couple of months. Bloggers get a huge amount of feedback relative to their readership size, both in comments and in email, and I was shocked to realize that this wasn't something most print journalists experienced.

James Joyner thinks it's simply that things work differently on this side of the Great Scriveners' Divide:

This is indeed an odd thing, presumably just a function of the culture of blogs, where readers come in as equals and expect to participate, versus newspapers, where readers are simply consumers of information passed down from on high. Even though OTB tends not to generate the level of comments as other similarly-trafficked blogs, I still get hundreds of emails every single day. (Every comment posted on the site is instantly emailed to the post author.)

There's only the one post author here, except under unusual circumstances, but I do pull down 30 to 40 site-related emails every day.

Which suggests a question: Would the newspaper and TV-radio guys see themselves as better off if they did get this level of feedback? Or would they throw up their hands in despair and drop all their email in the bit bucket? To Atrios, at least, it's routine:

[E]verybody [in blogdom] deals with the feedback, and anyone with even a modest amount of traffic deals with quite a lot of it.

Of course, we don't have those editors and factcheckers and other forms of insulation, either.

Posted at 10:44 AM to Blogorrhea


For the hell of it, this needed a comment..

Posted by: yep at 4:36 PM on 28 January 2006

two comments [in no particular order]:

- you read Atrios?

- I thought Atrios' audience operates exactly on the 2nd, i.e. old media model: consume information sent down from their guru. Interesting, what they can possibly write to him, "halliluya oh divine"?

Posted by: Tat at 5:23 PM on 28 January 2006

Atrios' Eschaton is not on my regular reading list, but it's not on my Compulsively Ignore list either. And a spot check of several threads there this morning suggested a higher proportion of thread drift than you might expect, and a lower proportion of whatever the left-wing equivalent of "Megadittos" might be, though this is admittedly not a scientific sampling.

(A search through my MT database produces half a dozen other references to Atrios, or about one per thousand entries; none of them could be construed as unfavorable, and one of them seems to be positive.)

Posted by: CGHill at 5:54 PM on 28 January 2006

Very thought provoking and lately I have been thinking about my traffic and comments. From a lowly position on the chain I feel encouraged by the feedback.

Of course we could say bloggers get the comments while journalists get the paychecks.

Posted by: Babs at 11:08 AM on 29 January 2006