Where’s Your Conversation? Measuring Blog Interaction
A friend and former colleague recently lamented on her blog that no one had commented on her new re-design. From the responses she received, the reason was soon obvious – no one had seen it. All of her readers were using RSS. Great for ensuring your readers see every post, but not so much for commenting on the design.
But that discussion highlighted another struggle we have – internally and with our clients. How do you measure blog interaction and engagement now? It’s no longer as easy as the number of comments made on the post.
The way people interact with blogs has changed. Readers can now share the post with a comment in their RSS reader, tweet or re-tweet a comment and a link (with or without visiting the site), share the link or comment on a shared Facebook link. This means the conversation can be fractured and needs to be addressed in multiple places.
Some sites are currently debating the usefulness of comments – Engadget recently turned off their comments temporarily and Web Worker Daily is asking Are Blog Comments Worth It?
As you’re thinking about interaction with your readers, remember the conversation happens where they are, not just where you are. And what they’re saying there could be much more interesting than the comments they leave on your site. You may find it helpful to use a social media monitoring tool like Social Scan or a paid service like Radian6 to monitor and follow up on these multiple conversation threads.