Blog Comments Going Real Time?August 27, 2009, 10:34 pm
Comments on blogs posts and articles have in the past generally been a good measurement of how people have engaged with content, but as the web becomes more social and "real-time," the conversation is going all over the place, and there are other ways that people are engaging in conversation about content (this is why shareability is so important by the way).
You see it on Twitter and on Facebook. You see it On Digg, on FriendFeed, etc. People are still commenting on blogs, but they're not always choosing the blog comments section as their venue for furthering the discussion. This is why you see other buttons on content sites like the Digg button displaying the number of Diggs a story has, or the Tweetmeme button displaying the number of retweets.
These types of things offer just a bit more of an idea of how much a story is being discussed, but they're not perfect. Nothing is. It’s hard to bring all of the engagement that stems from a piece of content back to the home base of that content itself.
Now we're starting to see things like real-time commenting. Robert Scoble talks about this and how it could piss off blogggers...at first. Disqus has such a feature, and it essentially lets users comment and "chat" without having to reload the page, as Scoble points out. This means less page views, which could translate into less advertisers for publishers/bloggers.
There is potential for increased engagement though, which means more time spent on the site. "Overall we’ve seen the time spent on page increase about 3x," Scoble says of his Building 43 site.
"Which shows we need a new way to get paid for advertising," he continues. "No longer is refreshing the page important. That’s the old way of paying for advertising. The new way? How much engagement you have on the page."
I would suggest that we might see trends catering to a mixture of both page views and engagement levels. Engagement is very much a significant part of the equation these days, and a growing part at that. I wouldn't shoot down the relevancy of a page view, however. Some people still like to read without talking.