Wednesday, September 08, 2010

HowTo: Attract high quality comments

The first step ... to higher quality comments is “be more niche.” Discourage your marginal readers with technical language, obscure references, and lengthy posts. Your marginal readers are not of high value anyway, and driving them away is an excellent way to improve the average comment of your inframarginal readers.

From this great blog post / essay by Eli Dourado. The essay itself is a nice example for the kind of things it recommends -- technical language ("inframarginal"), obscure references ("straightforward application of Ostrom 1990") and at a length that takes longer than a couple of minutes to read.

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And here's something else that I learned from the post: Sturgeon's Law:

Ninety percent of everything is crud [or, crap].

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Also, it was funny to read Dourado refer to the NYTimes comments threads as "sewer". I wonder what this wise blogger would say about the Rediff threads!

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Sidebar: Previous post on dealing with trolls.

Finally, here's a cartoon about the psychology of trolls.

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Hat tip to Henry Farrell for the Buzz.

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  1. karthik said...

    It took sometime to get all the cultural references, but was worth it...