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.

218 thoughts on “The invisible audience shows up — on Facebook

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 :)

  4. 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 :)

  5. “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

  6. “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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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?

  16. 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?

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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….

  20. 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….

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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. ;-)

  24. 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. ;-)

  25. 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

  26. 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

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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. :)

  30. 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. :)

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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

  36. 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

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

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