The invisible audience shows up — on Facebook

OK, yesterday when i wrote I’d add all of you as my Facebook friends I had about 600 friends. Today I have more than 1,300. Tons of you wrote you love my blog. But most of you don’t comment. In fact, out of the 700 people who added me as a Facebook friend I can only see about 20 that have left a comment — ever.

What is fascinating to me is now I have a new way to understand my audience. Where you live. Where you go to school. What your hobbies are. What you look like (most have posted their pictures).

Plus, I have another source of interesting blogs and interesting information coming to me. Thanks for participating! I’m still adding new friends, by the way.

It’s easier than getting into a TechCrunch party (Mike Arrington just put another 100 tickets out on TechCrunch and sold out in eight minutes. Amazing! He announced the sale on Twitter).

I asked people on Twitter about why most people don’t comment and got back a variety of responses from “requires me to think” to “shy.” Anyway, why don’t YOU comment on my blog? It’s quite obvious that there’s a much larger group of you that don’t comment than do.

Comments

  1. It’s much easier to consume information than it is to give [back] information. This is why 20-30% of people on an evite actually respond, but you know that 80% or more have read it.

  2. It’s much easier to consume information than it is to give [back] information. This is why 20-30% of people on an evite actually respond, but you know that 80% or more have read it.

  3. i think sometimes to comment on your blog its almost like talking to the wall, because alot of time you dont reply back in the comments, because you are really involved in tons of stuff (as you have blogged before – email, family, conferences, podcasts, etc, etc, etc) – so yeah – either its comment or blog and trackback to you, but on the other hand we dont want to look like we are asking for link backs or traffic from you, maybe im way off but that is how I usually feel :)

  4. i think sometimes to comment on your blog its almost like talking to the wall, because alot of time you dont reply back in the comments, because you are really involved in tons of stuff (as you have blogged before – email, family, conferences, podcasts, etc, etc, etc) – so yeah – either its comment or blog and trackback to you, but on the other hand we dont want to look like we are asking for link backs or traffic from you, maybe im way off but that is how I usually feel :)

  5. I haven’t added you on Facebook because I’m still unsure by its closed nature. Also not too impressed that you can’t actually delete your account and their data retention policy.

    I am watching how things progress for you though.

    - Neil.

  6. I haven’t added you on Facebook because I’m still unsure by its closed nature. Also not too impressed that you can’t actually delete your account and their data retention policy.

    I am watching how things progress for you though.

    - Neil.

  7. Been reading your blog for ages but always read very quickly, and then go away to digest the info. So no, never bothered to comment. As to why I commented on Facebook instead, well, I don’t know. Steve (above) makes a good point, though.

  8. I usually don’t comment on any blogs, something to do with laziness I think. I think maybe I should start though, other writers I am sure would enjoy to hear that someone does in fact get something from reading their work.

  9. I usually don’t comment on any blogs, something to do with laziness I think. I think maybe I should start though, other writers I am sure would enjoy to hear that someone does in fact get something from reading their work.

  10. Been reading your blog for ages but always read very quickly, and then go away to digest the info. So no, never bothered to comment. As to why I commented on Facebook instead, well, I don’t know. Steve (above) makes a good point, though.

  11. Reasons for lack of commentary:

    1 – I might not have anything constructive to say
    2 – holding up a “yeah, what HE/SHE said” sign is kinda lame.

  12. Reasons for lack of commentary:

    1 – I might not have anything constructive to say
    2 – holding up a “yeah, what HE/SHE said” sign is kinda lame.

  13. Hey, longtime reader, first time commenter. I am becoming of the mind that one should behave online how you would like other to behave for you, so if I want people to comment on my blogs, I should comment on others’ as well. So, slowly, I’m beginning to be less ‘shy’ and just comment! :)

    A thoughtful response requires time, which may be one of the greatest barriers to leaving comments these days, at least for me!

    Cheers!

  14. Hey, longtime reader, first time commenter. I am becoming of the mind that one should behave online how you would like other to behave for you, so if I want people to comment on my blogs, I should comment on others’ as well. So, slowly, I’m beginning to be less ‘shy’ and just comment! :)

    A thoughtful response requires time, which may be one of the greatest barriers to leaving comments these days, at least for me!

    Cheers!

  15. Most of the time, by the time I go to comment, 10+ people have said the same thing. I have nothing useful to add to the conversation at that point because my point has already been made.

    I have commented a few times though, when I get in early enough. :)

  16. Most of the time, by the time I go to comment, 10+ people have said the same thing. I have nothing useful to add to the conversation at that point because my point has already been made.

    I have commented a few times though, when I get in early enough. :)

  17. Well’ I do comment every once in a while, but actually what I’d like to do is to go photowalking with you guys some day. How’s that for being “shy”? :-)

    PS: Are you going to the Startup Epicenter conference tomorrow? I saw Podtech listed as a speaker/panelist but no names.

  18. The ‘invisible audience’ thing doesn’t surprise me. 90% of the people are lurkers. There is a saying that goes – “It is not a matter of being watched, but what the intentions of those that watch are”.

  19. Well’ I do comment every once in a while, but actually what I’d like to do is to go photowalking with you guys some day. How’s that for being “shy”? :-)

    PS: Are you going to the Startup Epicenter conference tomorrow? I saw Podtech listed as a speaker/panelist but no names.

  20. The ‘invisible audience’ thing doesn’t surprise me. 90% of the people are lurkers. There is a saying that goes – “It is not a matter of being watched, but what the intentions of those that watch are”.

  21. Sure. I comment here every now and again if there is something to say. I’ll hit your wall, and I need to see what apps you have installed on Facebook >> :)

    Rex

  22. Sure. I comment here every now and again if there is something to say. I’ll hit your wall, and I need to see what apps you have installed on Facebook >> :)

    Rex

  23. I am of the same mind as RachelC. I enjoy reading your blog, watching your activity on Facebook and reading everyone else’s comments. When I do have something to say I will say it.

    In fact, while I’m here I’ve just thought of something. Neil Ford’s comment got me thinking. He’s quite right to be unsure about the closed culture of Facebook. I understand the arguments for it being closed but it is hindering its growth in a number of areas, one area in particular is Ireland (especially the North).

    Facebook’s ‘closed’ or ‘exclusive-ness’ in its early days stopped students in Ireland to join and thus looked for an alternative. It is why Bebo is now one of the most popular sites in Ireland (if not the most popular). Facebook is definately starting to catch on but most people use it as a secondary account to catch up with friends who may have studied in universities in Great Britain or went on camps/trips to the US.

    It will be interesting to see if the Bebo craze in Ireland dies down and Facebook is embraced as the primary choice. Somehow I don’t think so.

  24. I am of the same mind as RachelC. I enjoy reading your blog, watching your activity on Facebook and reading everyone else’s comments. When I do have something to say I will say it.

    In fact, while I’m here I’ve just thought of something. Neil Ford’s comment got me thinking. He’s quite right to be unsure about the closed culture of Facebook. I understand the arguments for it being closed but it is hindering its growth in a number of areas, one area in particular is Ireland (especially the North).

    Facebook’s ‘closed’ or ‘exclusive-ness’ in its early days stopped students in Ireland to join and thus looked for an alternative. It is why Bebo is now one of the most popular sites in Ireland (if not the most popular). Facebook is definately starting to catch on but most people use it as a secondary account to catch up with friends who may have studied in universities in Great Britain or went on camps/trips to the US.

    It will be interesting to see if the Bebo craze in Ireland dies down and Facebook is embraced as the primary choice. Somehow I don’t think so.

  25. I will only comment when I feel I have something of note to add. Getting you on an RSS feed probably discourages the ability to leave comments.

  26. As previously said by Adam (it proves the point), too many bright commenters said what I thought. For me, I think, it’s by the time I get your posts in Google Reader, the commenting thread is already extensive.

  27. As previously said by Adam (it proves the point), too many bright commenters said what I thought. For me, I think, it’s by the time I get your posts in Google Reader, the commenting thread is already extensive.

  28. The more people comment, the more I’m discouraged by commenting. One is left wondering: Is anybody reading all these comments? I know I only read the first two or three underneath your posts.

  29. The more people comment, the more I’m discouraged by commenting. One is left wondering: Is anybody reading all these comments? I know I only read the first two or three underneath your posts.

  30. I’m with JP Checa, RachelC, Steve, Adam and Jerome Paradis. That’s good and bad because there’s always someone out there who says things much better than I could.

    Also, there’s some posts I don’t know how to relate to.

    I love hearing and reading from people who love doing what they do. With so much of society being negative, it’s hard to do well (in general) unless you surround yourself with good things.

    I would quit life for a day if I heard Martha Stewart say, “Robert Scoble – he’s a good thing.”

    (Um, what?)

  31. I’m with JP Checa, RachelC, Steve, Adam and Jerome Paradis. That’s good and bad because there’s always someone out there who says things much better than I could.

    Also, there’s some posts I don’t know how to relate to.

    I love hearing and reading from people who love doing what they do. With so much of society being negative, it’s hard to do well (in general) unless you surround yourself with good things.

    I would quit life for a day if I heard Martha Stewart say, “Robert Scoble – he’s a good thing.”

    (Um, what?)

  32. A lot of it is all about Discovery… We follow blogs and microblogs (Twitter) as a way of sucking up information and discovering new, cool and interesting sites, services, people, thoughts. There are so many new “feeds” (or Discovery Channels) that it is hard to keep up. RSS feeds and Google Reader make it easier to step through and absorb (almost by osmosis — blogmosis? Rssmosis?) pressing the spacebar like a fiend, pausing to read on only when it sparks a real nerve or strong interest. Thus, we are not “visiting” blogs as much as we are sucking the content out of them, which in some ways makes commenting an extra step… like pulling over to get a cup of coffee on the way to work instead of just waiting until you get to the office. Some days you’re in the mood to stop. Some days not so much. (Sh**! I swore I wouldn’t let myself get caught saying “not so much…” — when did THAT become acceptable English???). Anyway, as you point out, sites like Facebook make it easier to scroll through people, absorbing tidbits of their profiles like an RSS feed of friends… In the end, we gravitate to whatever lets us discover more, with the least amount of friction. Perhaps that’s why Twitter appeals to so many… 140 Characters is a lot more palatable than many verbose blog posts (like this comment!)

  33. A lot of it is all about Discovery… We follow blogs and microblogs (Twitter) as a way of sucking up information and discovering new, cool and interesting sites, services, people, thoughts. There are so many new “feeds” (or Discovery Channels) that it is hard to keep up. RSS feeds and Google Reader make it easier to step through and absorb (almost by osmosis — blogmosis? Rssmosis?) pressing the spacebar like a fiend, pausing to read on only when it sparks a real nerve or strong interest. Thus, we are not “visiting” blogs as much as we are sucking the content out of them, which in some ways makes commenting an extra step… like pulling over to get a cup of coffee on the way to work instead of just waiting until you get to the office. Some days you’re in the mood to stop. Some days not so much. (Sh**! I swore I wouldn’t let myself get caught saying “not so much…” — when did THAT become acceptable English???). Anyway, as you point out, sites like Facebook make it easier to scroll through people, absorbing tidbits of their profiles like an RSS feed of friends… In the end, we gravitate to whatever lets us discover more, with the least amount of friction. Perhaps that’s why Twitter appeals to so many… 140 Characters is a lot more palatable than many verbose blog posts (like this comment!)

  34. Okay, I’ll bite.

    I don’t comment on most blogs because I either don’t have much to add/say about it, or the comments remind me so much of http://xkcd.com/c202.html that I don’t want to be associated with some of the people who do leave comments.

    Most of the time it has to do with the way I read my feeds. I skim, look for interesting information, and if I find any I’m more likely to post on my own blog and trackback than I am to take the time to scan any comments on the site and add my own.

    For people who have their own blogs the whole setup is strange, why would I want to leave a comment somewhere else rather than add some potentially interesting content to my own site?

    I wrote an entry a couple years ago on this before I blogged on a platform that allowed comments: http://www.myshoggoth.com/2004/10/comments_and_di.html.

  35. Okay, I’ll bite.

    I don’t comment on most blogs because I either don’t have much to add/say about it, or the comments remind me so much of http://xkcd.com/c202.html that I don’t want to be associated with some of the people who do leave comments.

    Most of the time it has to do with the way I read my feeds. I skim, look for interesting information, and if I find any I’m more likely to post on my own blog and trackback than I am to take the time to scan any comments on the site and add my own.

    For people who have their own blogs the whole setup is strange, why would I want to leave a comment somewhere else rather than add some potentially interesting content to my own site?

    I wrote an entry a couple years ago on this before I blogged on a platform that allowed comments: http://www.myshoggoth.com/2004/10/comments_and_di.html.

  36. I don’t comment often because I get all the blogs I read on my RSS and don’t often go to the website they are written on.

  37. I don’t comment often because I get all the blogs I read on my RSS and don’t often go to the website they are written on.

  38. I generally don’t comment unless I have something interesting to say although I’m getting better at turning useless noise into something that sounds somewhat thought-provoking. :)

    I wonder how many of your 1300+ Facebook friends were users prior to you joining Facebook. On the flip side I wonder how many people joined Facebook due to the “Scoble Effect.”

  39. I generally don’t comment unless I have something interesting to say although I’m getting better at turning useless noise into something that sounds somewhat thought-provoking. :)

    I wonder how many of your 1300+ Facebook friends were users prior to you joining Facebook. On the flip side I wonder how many people joined Facebook due to the “Scoble Effect.”

  40. I added you as my friend of Facebook but did not a comment coz there was nothing constructive to say other than state the obvious that I added you as a friend. :)

  41. I added you as my friend of Facebook but did not a comment coz there was nothing constructive to say other than state the obvious that I added you as a friend. :)

  42. It’s not just you, Robert — it’s true of virtually every blog out there. Most people who read blogs don’t comment on them.

  43. It’s not just you, Robert — it’s true of virtually every blog out there. Most people who read blogs don’t comment on them.

  44. Robert,
    As you know… less than 10% of readers ever comment. The reasons are varied for them not participating.

    Keep stoking the facebook fire buddy. People are influenced by your behavior. ;)

    Cheers!

  45. Robert,
    As you know… less than 10% of readers ever comment. The reasons are varied for them not participating.

    Keep stoking the facebook fire buddy. People are influenced by your behavior. ;)

    Cheers!

  46. The main reason I don’t comment on blogs like this is that there are usually so many other comments by the time I get around to reading a post there are already a shed load of comments and mine generally get lost in amongst the noise. Plus, you tend to get better responses from the smaller writers.

  47. The main reason I don’t comment on blogs like this is that there are usually so many other comments by the time I get around to reading a post there are already a shed load of comments and mine generally get lost in amongst the noise. Plus, you tend to get better responses from the smaller writers.

  48. I’ve only been a reader of your blog for a short time (a couple of weeks) but I added you on Facebook in case I want to follow links. I don’t usually comment on blogs though; certainly not if I have nothing new to add. I read a large number of feeds via a news reader, so would have to leave my ‘comfort zone’ to post … there’s not much chance of that happening to write a ‘me too’ comment. Except now, of course :)

  49. I’ve only been a reader of your blog for a short time (a couple of weeks) but I added you on Facebook in case I want to follow links. I don’t usually comment on blogs though; certainly not if I have nothing new to add. I read a large number of feeds via a news reader, so would have to leave my ‘comfort zone’ to post … there’s not much chance of that happening to write a ‘me too’ comment. Except now, of course :)

  50. On my side I rarelly comment because I speak (Swiss-)French and my English is awfull… (As simple as that)

    Would our International Robert leave the poor-English-comments in his blog or delete them? ;)

    This may help you to understand why you have a low contributors/viewers ratio (which is normal).
    This guy won a “buzz race” and explains why and how he had a high contributors/viewers ratio compared to all the major blogs.

    http://fr.intruders.tv/Interview-Video-de-Francois-organisateur-de-la-Buzzrace-!_a326.html

    Sorry in French (but maybe Loic can help you ;) )

  51. On my side I rarelly comment because I speak (Swiss-)French and my English is awfull… (As simple as that)

    Would our International Robert leave the poor-English-comments in his blog or delete them? ;)

    This may help you to understand why you have a low contributors/viewers ratio (which is normal).
    This guy won a “buzz race” and explains why and how he had a high contributors/viewers ratio compared to all the major blogs.

    http://fr.intruders.tv/Interview-Video-de-Francois-organisateur-de-la-Buzzrace-!_a326.html

    Sorry in French (but maybe Loic can help you ;) )

  52. I want to only leave a comment if I have something to add to the conversation. I don’t see the point in adding a comment to your Facebook profile because since you don’t “know” me, it wouldn’t mean much to you.

  53. I want to only leave a comment if I have something to add to the conversation. I don’t see the point in adding a comment to your Facebook profile because since you don’t “know” me, it wouldn’t mean much to you.

  54. I’ll comment on a blog when I feel I have something relevant to add to the dialogue. haha, in most cases I do not =P
    ~A

  55. Personally I dont comment because I read your site in google reader and its a small but annoying hassle to stop my streamlined feed reading, open a new tab, make sure I have something worthwhile to say that hasn’t been said by a previous commenter, and type it out. Now if there was a way to comment from within the rss reader, then I would be willing to bet that you would get more people commenting.

    Cheers!

  56. Personally I dont comment because I read your site in google reader and its a small but annoying hassle to stop my streamlined feed reading, open a new tab, make sure I have something worthwhile to say that hasn’t been said by a previous commenter, and type it out. Now if there was a way to comment from within the rss reader, then I would be willing to bet that you would get more people commenting.

    Cheers!

  57. I empathize with your thoughts, but as an avid reader of blogs myself, I find I can’t comment on every post. The main problem I find with comments are they lead to rabbit trails of egos, and then turn to slanderous rants that have little to no merit. I love your blog, but work would kill me if I was found commenting on it instead of working. Keep up the writing and networking, one day it might start to rub off on us younger kids.

  58. Why did I not provide a comment? Thinking about it now, it is because I felt that I had done the digital equivalent of a wave across the room rather than a handshake and an introduction. I do not personally know you but I read what you say in so many forums and respect what you say that I wanted to acknowledge that… and that is what I have done with Facebook.

    One thing though, I feel that we are on the tipping point for these things, they need to network the networks – just like how networks became internetworks and so on to the Internet. I have too many islands.

  59. Why did I not provide a comment? Thinking about it now, it is because I felt that I had done the digital equivalent of a wave across the room rather than a handshake and an introduction. I do not personally know you but I read what you say in so many forums and respect what you say that I wanted to acknowledge that… and that is what I have done with Facebook.

    One thing though, I feel that we are on the tipping point for these things, they need to network the networks – just like how networks became internetworks and so on to the Internet. I have too many islands.

  60. I empathize with your thoughts, but as an avid reader of blogs myself, I find I can’t comment on every post. The main problem I find with comments are they lead to rabbit trails of egos, and then turn to slanderous rants that have little to no merit. I love your blog, but work would kill me if I was found commenting on it instead of working. Keep up the writing and networking, one day it might start to rub off on us younger kids.

  61. I haven’t commented yet because you haven’t provoked in me a desire to comment. I admit it — I lurk. But as others have said, “it’s not you, it’s me.” But it doesn’t mean I don’t like you Robert!!

  62. I haven’t commented yet because you haven’t provoked in me a desire to comment. I admit it — I lurk. But as others have said, “it’s not you, it’s me.” But it doesn’t mean I don’t like you Robert!!

  63. Maybe some are more fluent in another language than english and judge they can’t express themselve well enough.

  64. Maybe some are more fluent in another language than english and judge they can’t express themselve well enough.

  65. Yup, like others, I read via Google Reader and hardly ever click out to even see comments, let alone post. Love the blog though.

  66. Yup, like others, I read via Google Reader and hardly ever click out to even see comments, let alone post. Love the blog though.

  67. It is difficult for me to compose a meaningful comment, which are the only sort I hope to leave. While I often spend time mulling over responses, I rarely feel as if I have something novel to say. In lieu of being masturbatory, I prefer to remain silent.

  68. It is difficult for me to compose a meaningful comment, which are the only sort I hope to leave. While I often spend time mulling over responses, I rarely feel as if I have something novel to say. In lieu of being masturbatory, I prefer to remain silent.

  69. I’m sure I’ve commented here before, but in my defense it’s been hell week at the Manor. Moving a relative, a plumbing leak, jury duty…

    So hi, how’s it goin’?

  70. I’m sure I’ve commented here before, but in my defense it’s been hell week at the Manor. Moving a relative, a plumbing leak, jury duty…

    So hi, how’s it goin’?

  71. They facebook friend you because it’s become myspace – a popularity contest to gain fake friends. Commenting on a blog actually requires participation…and thought. Can’t wait to see how Facebook nets out when the dust settles!

  72. They facebook friend you because it’s become myspace – a popularity contest to gain fake friends. Commenting on a blog actually requires participation…and thought. Can’t wait to see how Facebook nets out when the dust settles!

  73. When you hit topics that really hit home for me, I comment AND read associated comments. I also read your blog for follow up commentary to things you have touched on. I think that the comments folks leave are often equally as interesting as what you have said. I wish more of your readers would comment too…you draw an interesting group of smart people.

  74. When you hit topics that really hit home for me, I comment AND read associated comments. I also read your blog for follow up commentary to things you have touched on. I think that the comments folks leave are often equally as interesting as what you have said. I wish more of your readers would comment too…you draw an interesting group of smart people.

  75. Well I comment fairly frequently, but I just realized that it’s usually when I disagree with you.

    So the positive way to look at this is that I must agree with a hell of a lot of what you say.

    Facebook seems to be getting real interesting and the news has ticked up 100 degrees recently. I have never really looked at it because myspace made the designer in me sick to my stomach. I have never seen so many gaudy web pages in my life.

    I will have to check it out…it seems like they just opened it up to the world (beyond U students), but I know it’s been a long time now.

  76. Well I comment fairly frequently, but I just realized that it’s usually when I disagree with you.

    So the positive way to look at this is that I must agree with a hell of a lot of what you say.

    Facebook seems to be getting real interesting and the news has ticked up 100 degrees recently. I have never really looked at it because myspace made the designer in me sick to my stomach. I have never seen so many gaudy web pages in my life.

    I will have to check it out…it seems like they just opened it up to the world (beyond U students), but I know it’s been a long time now.

  77. Like most of the previous comments, I’d rather not comment if all I have is a “me too” or if I don’t have an interesting point/counterpoint to say directly to the author.

  78. Like most of the previous comments, I’d rather not comment if all I have is a “me too” or if I don’t have an interesting point/counterpoint to say directly to the author.

  79. Hi Robert,

    You bring up a good point about friends/readers vs. comments…I believe it was always the same way with “friends in real life”.

    Just look back to the days of high school. Who were your friends who passed notes? Who did you write notes to and never got a note back?

    Now with information overload, it is even harder to get a nice note…especially written in teal ink on looseleaf paper, or just a simple comment on your blog.

    I miss note passing. As much as I love the web, there is nothing quite like that.

    XOXOXO (Common note closure phrase)
    ~Heidi

    P.S. Commenting on websites can be hard work if you are reading over 600 feeds like you do! I read over 100 feeds a day. I leave comments, but now after reading your post I think I should comment more often.

  80. Hi Robert,

    You bring up a good point about friends/readers vs. comments…I believe it was always the same way with “friends in real life”.

    Just look back to the days of high school. Who were your friends who passed notes? Who did you write notes to and never got a note back?

    Now with information overload, it is even harder to get a nice note…especially written in teal ink on looseleaf paper, or just a simple comment on your blog.

    I miss note passing. As much as I love the web, there is nothing quite like that.

    XOXOXO (Common note closure phrase)
    ~Heidi

    P.S. Commenting on websites can be hard work if you are reading over 600 feeds like you do! I read over 100 feeds a day. I leave comments, but now after reading your post I think I should comment more often.

  81. There’s not much in it for me for commenting on this blog. People don’t respond to my comments. There isn’t really a community or dialog that includes me.

  82. There’s not much in it for me for commenting on this blog. People don’t respond to my comments. There isn’t really a community or dialog that includes me.

  83. I can only imagine how crazy your news feed is with over 1,300 friends. That’s crazy – how you keep up with all this technology, I don’t know.

  84. I can only imagine how crazy your news feed is with over 1,300 friends. That’s crazy – how you keep up with all this technology, I don’t know.

  85. Robert -

    As far as not “commenting” (I’ll presume in your facebook status update you meant on your wall), the facebook community does not generally thank each other for adding. 99% of my friend adds on facebook I have met them in person or in the depths of the interwebs.

    I have added a few bloggers and other people that I have not met, but I choose to respect their privacy and not invade their wall with posts from people they don’t know about what I see as inconsequential stuff. (For example, I’m saving my wall post or facebook message to Arlington for when I finally have something worthwhile to show.) I think facebook users consider their wall to be a lot more sacred then say, a myspace wall, and that might be one reason that people are hesistant to engage you there. However, now that you’ve asked – be prepared for a flood :)

    Now, you do have a fair point about your “invisible audience.” And I’m certainly part of this group. I believe I’ve left a comment or two here – maybe, maybe not, but definitely not as many comments as I have left on other blogs (TechCrunch in particular – however I haven’t left a comment there in a month or two maybe.) This might be partly because I have only recently started reading your blog, so I am not yet completely comfortable leaving my words.

    It also might be because when I read news here, I’m usually reading it for the first time. Arlington, Malik, Cashmore, etc, sometimes tend to cover stuff that I’ve seen before or I’m familiar with. I’m much more likely to comment on something I am familiar with because I feel that I have something to add to the discussion.

    Perhaps your lack of blog comments is just a symptom of your style of reporting. Hopefully that doesn’t seem like brown-nosing to you. Maybe you shouldn’t be as focused on the number of commenters, but rather on the invisible audience. Perhaps engage them in another way – polls? guest blogs? free tshirts?

    Anyway, thats my 2 cents. You asked for it. Now here’s my request: keep up the disruption.

  86. Robert -

    As far as not “commenting” (I’ll presume in your facebook status update you meant on your wall), the facebook community does not generally thank each other for adding. 99% of my friend adds on facebook I have met them in person or in the depths of the interwebs.

    I have added a few bloggers and other people that I have not met, but I choose to respect their privacy and not invade their wall with posts from people they don’t know about what I see as inconsequential stuff. (For example, I’m saving my wall post or facebook message to Arlington for when I finally have something worthwhile to show.) I think facebook users consider their wall to be a lot more sacred then say, a myspace wall, and that might be one reason that people are hesistant to engage you there. However, now that you’ve asked – be prepared for a flood :)

    Now, you do have a fair point about your “invisible audience.” And I’m certainly part of this group. I believe I’ve left a comment or two here – maybe, maybe not, but definitely not as many comments as I have left on other blogs (TechCrunch in particular – however I haven’t left a comment there in a month or two maybe.) This might be partly because I have only recently started reading your blog, so I am not yet completely comfortable leaving my words.

    It also might be because when I read news here, I’m usually reading it for the first time. Arlington, Malik, Cashmore, etc, sometimes tend to cover stuff that I’ve seen before or I’m familiar with. I’m much more likely to comment on something I am familiar with because I feel that I have something to add to the discussion.

    Perhaps your lack of blog comments is just a symptom of your style of reporting. Hopefully that doesn’t seem like brown-nosing to you. Maybe you shouldn’t be as focused on the number of commenters, but rather on the invisible audience. Perhaps engage them in another way – polls? guest blogs? free tshirts?

    Anyway, thats my 2 cents. You asked for it. Now here’s my request: keep up the disruption.

  87. Seth: I don’t see a lot of comments except on TechCrunch and Digg. So, you might be right. Sometimes I start thinking that WordPress’ stats are lying, but now I’m pretty sure they are right. If 1,000 will add me in Facebook I’m pretty sure there are at least 10,000 more who couldn’t be bothered.

  88. I have commented before.

    Then again, the problem is that I’m not on Facebook!

    And I think that you may be right about class division.

  89. Seth: I don’t see a lot of comments except on TechCrunch and Digg. So, you might be right. Sometimes I start thinking that WordPress’ stats are lying, but now I’m pretty sure they are right. If 1,000 will add me in Facebook I’m pretty sure there are at least 10,000 more who couldn’t be bothered.

  90. I have commented before.

    Then again, the problem is that I’m not on Facebook!

    And I think that you may be right about class division.

  91. I don’t think I’ve commented more than a couple times. Mostly, I guess I just don’t feel knowledgeable enough about most of the stuff to comment, but I do learn a good bit reading your blog and others.

  92. I don’t think I’ve commented more than a couple times. Mostly, I guess I just don’t feel knowledgeable enough about most of the stuff to comment, but I do learn a good bit reading your blog and others.

  93. Robert, Great call to action! Yeah it’s about time I commented more on the quality posts I see on your blogs. I’m not on facebook or anything like that, but appreciate the “no BS” approach to what you do. Please keep up the good work and thanks for the entertainment, information and thought provoking ideas.

  94. Robert, Great call to action! Yeah it’s about time I commented more on the quality posts I see on your blogs. I’m not on facebook or anything like that, but appreciate the “no BS” approach to what you do. Please keep up the good work and thanks for the entertainment, information and thought provoking ideas.

  95. Robert – you say you read every comment. If each of the 1300 people who had added you had left a little ditty, would you still read every comment?!!!

    I gotta confess, I would like more comments on my blog – I get hundreds of hits every day but only a handful of comments. I have to satisfy myself with the stats that says people do have a looky see.

    I find different topics produces different response rates. A really good (imo) bit of blogging gets little. Any ols line about beer or boobs gets a ton.

    Such is life.

  96. Robert – you say you read every comment. If each of the 1300 people who had added you had left a little ditty, would you still read every comment?!!!

    I gotta confess, I would like more comments on my blog – I get hundreds of hits every day but only a handful of comments. I have to satisfy myself with the stats that says people do have a looky see.

    I find different topics produces different response rates. A really good (imo) bit of blogging gets little. Any ols line about beer or boobs gets a ton.

    Such is life.

  97. I’ve commented here a couple times, but I don’t usually. Partly it’s because I am lazy and partly it’s because if I am going to comment I figure I might as well make a post at my own blog and link back. I should probably comment more though!

  98. I’ve commented here a couple times, but I don’t usually. Partly it’s because I am lazy and partly it’s because if I am going to comment I figure I might as well make a post at my own blog and link back. I should probably comment more though!

  99. Hmm, tacit irony, but. On blogs where the audience is huge and the author’s bandwidth plainly limited I am less likely to comment except when something is right “on point” for me. Also would not spam up your facebook with a “hi, add me” remark, but would simply add.

  100. Hmm, tacit irony, but. On blogs where the audience is huge and the author’s bandwidth plainly limited I am less likely to comment except when something is right “on point” for me. Also would not spam up your facebook with a “hi, add me” remark, but would simply add.

  101. I think there’s a few reasons people don’t comment on blogs:

    1. Not likely to see any feedback. Unless I subscribe to your comments feed (which, specially for an active site like yours, would be outrageous in my RSS reader, which brings me to the next reason

    2. RSS readers and their popularity. I can read your full post within my RSS reader. Commenting requires me to click, wait to bring up a new tab, scroll ALL the way to the bottom, sign in (or fill out my info), type my comment, and sometimes complete a CAPTCHA. Really makes me think about my comment and if it’s worth the trouble.

  102. Do you remember sitting in class and listening to a teacher that you really enjoyed? Most of the time you didn’t ask a question because you were learning so much that you didn’t want to stop the teacher from teaching. Commenting on is kind of like that for me. I am in the learning stage.

  103. I think there’s a few reasons people don’t comment on blogs:

    1. Not likely to see any feedback. Unless I subscribe to your comments feed (which, specially for an active site like yours, would be outrageous in my RSS reader, which brings me to the next reason

    2. RSS readers and their popularity. I can read your full post within my RSS reader. Commenting requires me to click, wait to bring up a new tab, scroll ALL the way to the bottom, sign in (or fill out my info), type my comment, and sometimes complete a CAPTCHA. Really makes me think about my comment and if it’s worth the trouble.

  104. Do you remember sitting in class and listening to a teacher that you really enjoyed? Most of the time you didn’t ask a question because you were learning so much that you didn’t want to stop the teacher from teaching. Commenting on is kind of like that for me. I am in the learning stage.

  105. I don’t comment to often on blogs. A lot of it is that someone before me usually makes the point I was going to make, so I don’t bother. Plus it is way easier to consume information than provide it, and I sure do my share of consuming it.

  106. I don’t comment to often on blogs. A lot of it is that someone before me usually makes the point I was going to make, so I don’t bother. Plus it is way easier to consume information than provide it, and I sure do my share of consuming it.

  107. I don’t comment as often as I should on blogs because a) I am reading the article in FeedDemon and I don’t always thing to jump to the article to either read or contribute comments, and b) I don’t usually have much to say.

  108. I don’t comment as often as I should on blogs because a) I am reading the article in FeedDemon and I don’t always thing to jump to the article to either read or contribute comments, and b) I don’t usually have much to say.

  109. I think Seth above pointed out my point:

    I have not commented, because I feel I need to add value to the conversation. There is no reason to comment if there is nothing to add.

    I did comment a while back.

    Question: How does your comment frequency compare Microsoft Employee vs. Post-Microsoft employee? Is there a difference?

    I’d say that your blog has become less pertinent to me as you’ve left Microsoft. Before, your viewpoint made you unique and that was fascinating. It also was a great way to get info about Microsoft. Now, you’re just another Tech Guy who gets to talk to all sorts of Cool unreachable people, and I often see much of your interesting content on other blogs (TechCrunch, Digg, Techmeme, etc..)

    I’ve never been a big video watcher, so watching the videos is not as fast as skimming blog content.

    Good Observation by Mark Woodman. Although, I have noticed an occasional reply lower in the list, but you are correct. Comments are conversations, and conversations are no fun when they’re one-way whether you are the Blog Author or the Commenter.

  110. I think Seth above pointed out my point:

    I have not commented, because I feel I need to add value to the conversation. There is no reason to comment if there is nothing to add.

    I did comment a while back.

    Question: How does your comment frequency compare Microsoft Employee vs. Post-Microsoft employee? Is there a difference?

    I’d say that your blog has become less pertinent to me as you’ve left Microsoft. Before, your viewpoint made you unique and that was fascinating. It also was a great way to get info about Microsoft. Now, you’re just another Tech Guy who gets to talk to all sorts of Cool unreachable people, and I often see much of your interesting content on other blogs (TechCrunch, Digg, Techmeme, etc..)

    I’ve never been a big video watcher, so watching the videos is not as fast as skimming blog content.

    Good Observation by Mark Woodman. Although, I have noticed an occasional reply lower in the list, but you are correct. Comments are conversations, and conversations are no fun when they’re one-way whether you are the Blog Author or the Commenter.

  111. Rob – I *used* to check your blog daily. But, it seems you just update your blog like every few minutes/hours – more like running a personalized reddit. May be if you could just limit to one or two blog post per day – and write it thoughtfully (not like an essay or even one-liners) – I might be tempted to comment on it and even “intuitively argue” with some others.

    // Please cut the everyday self-PR (Twitter et al) for sometime ;)

    If people like your posts, they will hunt you down even into the deepest of the interents just to get your contact info for FFS.

  112. Rob – I *used* to check your blog daily. But, it seems you just update your blog like every few minutes/hours – more like running a personalized reddit. May be if you could just limit to one or two blog post per day – and write it thoughtfully (not like an essay or even one-liners) – I might be tempted to comment on it and even “intuitively argue” with some others.

    // Please cut the everyday self-PR (Twitter et al) for sometime ;)

    If people like your posts, they will hunt you down even into the deepest of the interents just to get your contact info for FFS.

  113. I’m busy just like everyone else. I triage blogs and I only read ones that I think meet the threshold of being highly interesting. This is true for comments, so I don’t read them very often.

    I think if someone has something profound to say, they will create a blog post on their site, and then trackback to the original blog post.

    I also don’t comment unless I have something profound to say — in order to keep a high signal to noise ratio.

  114. I’m busy just like everyone else. I triage blogs and I only read ones that I think meet the threshold of being highly interesting. This is true for comments, so I don’t read them very often.

    I think if someone has something profound to say, they will create a blog post on their site, and then trackback to the original blog post.

    I also don’t comment unless I have something profound to say — in order to keep a high signal to noise ratio.

  115. I’d comment much more on your blog and the others that I read if the Google Reader team could throw together an AJAXy addition to their app that would let me comment without leaving Reader.

  116. I’d comment much more on your blog and the others that I read if the Google Reader team could throw together an AJAXy addition to their app that would let me comment without leaving Reader.

  117. Hmmm, I think it’s sheer laziness on my part. And the internet is killing my concentration span. I had a longer response in mind but i’m feeling the urge to check my hits/see if anyone has added me/see how many views i’ve had on flickr. ;)

  118. Hmmm, I think it’s sheer laziness on my part. And the internet is killing my concentration span. I had a longer response in mind but i’m feeling the urge to check my hits/see if anyone has added me/see how many views i’ve had on flickr. ;)

  119. I’m happy to comment on your blog. However, I won’t add you as a friend on Facebook. No offense intended: I’m reserving Facebook connections for people whom I’ve met in person.

  120. I’m happy to comment on your blog. However, I won’t add you as a friend on Facebook. No offense intended: I’m reserving Facebook connections for people whom I’ve met in person.

  121. I don’t comment because it’s more of a time issue than anything else – rather, a lack of time. I have a job where I’m not tied to a desk and don’t have access to the internet (this is a Good Thing), so I read my feeds usually at night when I’m catching up and then pursue other interests.

    And there you have it.

  122. I don’t comment because it’s more of a time issue than anything else – rather, a lack of time. I have a job where I’m not tied to a desk and don’t have access to the internet (this is a Good Thing), so I read my feeds usually at night when I’m catching up and then pursue other interests.

    And there you have it.

  123. Tyler: what you knowledgeable about? I’m sure I could find SOMETHING to say about it! Unless it’s cats. I don’t know anything about cats other than they are cute and get people to ahhh and oohhh.

  124. Tyler: what you knowledgeable about? I’m sure I could find SOMETHING to say about it! Unless it’s cats. I don’t know anything about cats other than they are cute and get people to ahhh and oohhh.

  125. My area of expertise is space…

    I log into my PC once in a day and am flabbergasted by the amount of stuff that people involved in space. Also, I read the type of academic papers like what danah writes (more boring tho..since it’s more imagination..) and to top it all I am too exhausted to comment…but I’ll try commenting…

    Pradeep

  126. My area of expertise is space…

    I log into my PC once in a day and am flabbergasted by the amount of stuff that people involved in space. Also, I read the type of academic papers like what danah writes (more boring tho..since it’s more imagination..) and to top it all I am too exhausted to comment…but I’ll try commenting…

    Pradeep

  127. Pradeep: cool. My dad used to build military satellites for Lockheed. They were prepared for a nuclear war on their satellites out in space. If that ever happens all our computers will go dead but we’ll suffer almost no physical problems on the ground. On other space news, I was just looking at images off of the Hubble telescope. The amount we know about the universe that surrounds us is astoundingly small.

  128. Pradeep: cool. My dad used to build military satellites for Lockheed. They were prepared for a nuclear war on their satellites out in space. If that ever happens all our computers will go dead but we’ll suffer almost no physical problems on the ground. On other space news, I was just looking at images off of the Hubble telescope. The amount we know about the universe that surrounds us is astoundingly small.

  129. I’m relatively new to feed reading, and I approach your blog (and many others) in the frame of mind of someone who wants to learn about the current state of the tech industry. I’m also many, many miles from Silicon Valley, and am also therefore learning about the dynamics of how business is done there. So, to begin with, I’m soaking up as much information and I can, and I’m sure I’ll start commenting before too long.

    Hey look at that – I did!

    Also I only have limited time to focus on reading feeds, and I subscribe to dozens of ‘em – so rarely have time to comment too. If I’m stirred up enough to write something, I’ll generally put it on my own blog and share it with my friends and colleagues.

  130. I’m relatively new to feed reading, and I approach your blog (and many others) in the frame of mind of someone who wants to learn about the current state of the tech industry. I’m also many, many miles from Silicon Valley, and am also therefore learning about the dynamics of how business is done there. So, to begin with, I’m soaking up as much information and I can, and I’m sure I’ll start commenting before too long.

    Hey look at that – I did!

    Also I only have limited time to focus on reading feeds, and I subscribe to dozens of ‘em – so rarely have time to comment too. If I’m stirred up enough to write something, I’ll generally put it on my own blog and share it with my friends and colleagues.

  131. I haven’t commented in the past being mostly in lurker mode. I’m starting to move into a new role that should hopefully bring more direct experiences that can add to the conversation rather than reinforcing the echo chamber. :)

  132. I haven’t commented in the past being mostly in lurker mode. I’m starting to move into a new role that should hopefully bring more direct experiences that can add to the conversation rather than reinforcing the echo chamber. :)

  133. Robert: Good to know. I guess we’ve reached a time in space where even students can build satellites. But being on the edge of technology (which can cut either way) gives you a whole new high.

  134. Robert: Good to know. I guess we’ve reached a time in space where even students can build satellites. But being on the edge of technology (which can cut either way) gives you a whole new high.

  135. Some time ago I made a silent declaration to stop reading comments on the web. There seemed to be too many statements by anonymous, self-proclaimed experts that always got my blood boiling… so I just stick to original posts on anything I read. This is also why I seldom comment on anything…

    Love your blog though… Facebook and Twitter have my business thanks to you (I’d been using LinkedIn before though), all good services.

    Cheers

  136. Some time ago I made a silent declaration to stop reading comments on the web. There seemed to be too many statements by anonymous, self-proclaimed experts that always got my blood boiling… so I just stick to original posts on anything I read. This is also why I seldom comment on anything…

    Love your blog though… Facebook and Twitter have my business thanks to you (I’d been using LinkedIn before though), all good services.

    Cheers

  137. I don’t often comment because I rarely have anything relevant to add. I work out in the middle of nowhere at an oilsands plant and that’s a little different then Silicon Valley. Now, if you wanted to know how our plant construction was going, I may be able to add some value, but as such, I don’t have any value to add. ;-)

  138. I don’t often comment because I rarely have anything relevant to add. I work out in the middle of nowhere at an oilsands plant and that’s a little different then Silicon Valley. Now, if you wanted to know how our plant construction was going, I may be able to add some value, but as such, I don’t have any value to add. ;-)

  139. If you’re somebody who is trying to do anything significant that will rock somebody’s status quo, too often, commenting anywhere on the Internet about anything means opening yourself up to attack. I love a good “face to face” debate, but out-of-context anonymous sideswipes get old fast.

  140. If you’re somebody who is trying to do anything significant that will rock somebody’s status quo, too often, commenting anywhere on the Internet about anything means opening yourself up to attack. I love a good “face to face” debate, but out-of-context anonymous sideswipes get old fast.

  141. I added you as a friend on facebook because I’m a regular reader. Well, via google reader. I don’t comment because

    - You make 7 blog posts a day, and my comments will be lost quickly ;)
    - I don’t read like 600 blog posts a day, but at least 100. So….

  142. I added you as a friend on facebook because I’m a regular reader. Well, via google reader. I don’t comment because

    - You make 7 blog posts a day, and my comments will be lost quickly ;)
    - I don’t read like 600 blog posts a day, but at least 100. So….

  143. Most of the time I don’t have anything useful to comment on with your posts, so I keep quiet.

    That, and I read from oldest news first so half the time it’s days before I actually read your posts and usually decide to not bother commenting because it’s old news.

  144. Most of the time I don’t have anything useful to comment on with your posts, so I keep quiet.

    That, and I read from oldest news first so half the time it’s days before I actually read your posts and usually decide to not bother commenting because it’s old news.

  145. I don’t usually comment because I read you through Newsgator. RSS Readers shoud somehow allow comments to be sent back to the blog. If I could commetn via newsgator, I would comment more often. I’d also like to be able to see existing comments through my news reader. Does Google Reader support this? Newsgtor has a “Site Comments” link, but just links to the blog post.

    Also by the time your post is published to RSS, consumed by my reader, and I get to it, I’m the 92nd comment. Will you even read this far down?

  146. I don’t usually comment because I read you through Newsgator. RSS Readers shoud somehow allow comments to be sent back to the blog. If I could commetn via newsgator, I would comment more often. I’d also like to be able to see existing comments through my news reader. Does Google Reader support this? Newsgtor has a “Site Comments” link, but just links to the blog post.

    Also by the time your post is published to RSS, consumed by my reader, and I get to it, I’m the 92nd comment. Will you even read this far down?

  147. I really like reading your blog but haven’t felt the need to comment since I haven’t had anything important to add to the conversation. A typical Finn I suppose but I’ll try to be more active in the future.

  148. I really like reading your blog but haven’t felt the need to comment since I haven’t had anything important to add to the conversation. A typical Finn I suppose but I’ll try to be more active in the future.

  149. I have to agree to quite a few people. Being able to comment via a reader (google, netvibes, newsgator, etc.) would be cool. Maybe someone can recommend this the next time you run into one of those development teams.

  150. I have to agree to quite a few people. Being able to comment via a reader (google, netvibes, newsgator, etc.) would be cool. Maybe someone can recommend this the next time you run into one of those development teams.

  151. I only comment when I have something to add to the conversation. Or like now, when you beg. :)

    I am in finance, but I used to work in high-tech tax so I follow your blog to keep abreast of what is going on. I ruthlessly use you for your tech knowledge and generous sharing of information.

  152. I only comment when I have something to add to the conversation. Or like now, when you beg. :)

    I am in finance, but I used to work in high-tech tax so I follow your blog to keep abreast of what is going on. I ruthlessly use you for your tech knowledge and generous sharing of information.

  153. It doesn’t seem like other people like me (which I guess means women in their early 30′s interested in things like gardening and cooking and community building) comment here very much — I feel a little bit like I’m butting in! It looks dumb when I write it down. I guess I’ll take this post as an invitation to comment more.

  154. It doesn’t seem like other people like me (which I guess means women in their early 30′s interested in things like gardening and cooking and community building) comment here very much — I feel a little bit like I’m butting in! It looks dumb when I write it down. I guess I’ll take this post as an invitation to comment more.

  155. “In fact, out of the 700 people who added me as a Facebook friend I can only see about 20 that have left a comment — ever.”

    I sure as hell hope that number includes me. I comment sometimes. :P

  156. “In fact, out of the 700 people who added me as a Facebook friend I can only see about 20 that have left a comment — ever.”

    I sure as hell hope that number includes me. I comment sometimes. :P

  157. I’m sometimes put off from commenting (anywhere, not just here) if I feel I don’t know enough about the subject at hand, don’t take it personally, its a self esteem thing. I’m working on it though :)

  158. I’m sometimes put off from commenting (anywhere, not just here) if I feel I don’t know enough about the subject at hand, don’t take it personally, its a self esteem thing. I’m working on it though :)

  159. I usually don’t comment because I know that at least one other commenter has said something similar to what I want to say. It’s also challenging to get through all of the information in feeds, facebook, livejournal, twitter and who knowss what else. By the time I get to the posts I’ve saved in other tabs of firefox, I’ve forgotten what I wanted to say.

  160. I usually don’t comment because I know that at least one other commenter has said something similar to what I want to say. It’s also challenging to get through all of the information in feeds, facebook, livejournal, twitter and who knowss what else. By the time I get to the posts I’ve saved in other tabs of firefox, I’ve forgotten what I wanted to say.

  161. Just to prove a point: “Me too.”

    I block my feed reading sessions together and so am typically 1+ day behind everyone else – hence usually nothing useful to add to the conversation. Plus Google Reader discourages commenting.

    -Nigel

  162. Just to prove a point: “Me too.”

    I block my feed reading sessions together and so am typically 1+ day behind everyone else – hence usually nothing useful to add to the conversation. Plus Google Reader discourages commenting.

    -Nigel

  163. I love your blog. But when I go through all my feeds, I don’t have time to leave comments on all the blogs I like. So in fact I rarely comment on any blogs at all, only when there is really something of value I contribute, something that is new (see also comment #103, that is the same thing for me).

  164. I love your blog. But when I go through all my feeds, I don’t have time to leave comments on all the blogs I like. So in fact I rarely comment on any blogs at all, only when there is really something of value I contribute, something that is new (see also comment #103, that is the same thing for me).

  165. I agree that I have not posted too many comments on your blog but I have done it once or twice.
    So, here comes one more.
    Will be great to see your footprints/remarks on my blog too.
    Thanks.

  166. I agree that I have not posted too many comments on your blog but I have done it once or twice.
    So, here comes one more.
    Will be great to see your footprints/remarks on my blog too.
    Thanks.

  167. I commend you on the effort and initiative in this Robert… Especially with all that’s going on now in your life (congrats!) Been on the fence for a while with FB, but read your blog all the time, but with time being the scarcest resource of all have limited my linked in and FB time… With that being said – sending you an invite :-) ~ all the best, Paul.

  168. I commend you on the effort and initiative in this Robert… Especially with all that’s going on now in your life (congrats!) Been on the fence for a while with FB, but read your blog all the time, but with time being the scarcest resource of all have limited my linked in and FB time… With that being said – sending you an invite :-) ~ all the best, Paul.

  169. What’s the point of posting something if you have nothing to say? I don’t. Although it’s probably a good thing not everyone subscribes to that attitude, or 90% of blogs would vanish overnight if everyone subscribed to that theory, and then what would we laugh at?

  170. What’s the point of posting something if you have nothing to say? I don’t. Although it’s probably a good thing not everyone subscribes to that attitude, or 90% of blogs would vanish overnight if everyone subscribed to that theory, and then what would we laugh at?