I’m always struck by the disparity in the number of comments different blogs receive. It doesn’t seem to have much to do with readership, to judge by the numbers of subscribers on Google Reader, and—perhaps more significantly—the number of readers recorded (in Blogger stats) for each post here on The Mercy Blog (TMB).
I’m not complaining, by the way, about being neglected by my non-commenting readers—I am always slightly astonished to see how many of you there are out there! It just bewilders me a little that there is such a range of responses. Some blogs hardly ever receive a comment, while some seem to attract many comments, which develop into long conversations—heated, sometimes!—with both casual visitors and those who are evidently regulars. Of course, some bloggers are more punctilious about replying to comments than I am, but still it doesn’t seem to matter that much. For example: there’s a minimalist blogger I read sometimes, who has less Google Reader subscribers than TMB, but her posts rarely seem to have less than 25 comments—sometimes 125—and yet there’s a Franciscan friar and author I read regularly who has far more subscribers on Google Reader, and who receives about the same, or maybe slightly less, comments as TMB.
Some bloggers have closed comments altogether, some have open commenting (and often trouble with trolls and spam as a result) while others, like me, have enabled comment moderation and CAPCHA, It makes (apart from the closed blogs of course) little difference to the amount of comments they receive, seemingly.
Perhaps here is a field for research into the sociology of blogging…