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(Updates at the bottom)

Stowe Boyd introduces the concept of the Conversational Index:

“…successful blogs — ones that were currently viable and vibrant, and those that were on a growth trajectory from their start — shared a common characteristic: The ratio between posts and comments+trackbacks (posts/comments+trackbacks) was less than one. Meaning that there was more conversation — as indicated by the number of comments and track backs offered by readers — than posting articles. I will call this the Conversation Index, just to put a handle on it.

Here’s the current picture for /Message, a CI of 80/102 = 0.784. “


I’m fully with him on this, the CI would be a really useful indicator of the interest level a blog enjoys – but we need to step further than just having another nice badge to be displayed on our blogs.  

The underlying issue that myself and other, more esteemed bloggers pointed out numerous times (see links below) is that currently we really are losing track of half the conversation in the Blogosphere.

As Stowe points out, for truly vibrant blogs the CI will be <1, which means there are far more comments than blog posts (I am cheating a little, ignoring trackbacks).  This will likely be the case for all the Technorati top 100 or even 500 bloggers – from their viewpoint most of the conversation happens on / around their own blog.  However, for the the rest of us, the other 26 million (?) bloggers chances are the conversation really takes place outside our own blog, and I for one certainly can’t keep track of all comments I left on other blogs.

The current crop of tracking / linking services all have a top-down publisher-centric view, where everything revolves around a blog and   its related posts, totally missing this other, “bottom-up” half of the conversation.  So please, somebody give Stowe his badge , but  we also badly  need a way to show by subject matter an integrated view of all conversations where we are participating whether we started the thread or someone else.


 Update (1/3): TechCrunch just profiled another “conversation tracker”, Megite, which also got some praise at the Read/WriteWeb. OM is not too happy though…

Megite is Memeorandum-style, but covering more topics.  Nice, but still top-down, blog-focused, i.e. “conversations” consist of linked blog-posts, excluding the world of comments.  

     Update to the Update (gee..)  Megite apparently has special editions, there’ snow a Scobleized Megite

Update 2 (1/3):  Wow, this article got Megite-d

Update 3 (1/4): Wo-ho-ho, what a timing!  Robert Scoble announced and TechCrunch just profiled CoComment, the first attempt at tracking blog comments.   I’m looking forward to trying it … just need an invitation code.. ahhhh.  Here’s CoComment’s blog.

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  1. The Conversational Index for blogs

    Stowe Boyd has introduced the notion of a Conversational Index to measure the effectiveness of blogs. I agree completely with Stowe on this. In fact, several months ago my managers at Microsoft asked me to establish a monthly report on page view statis…

  2. On Memeo

    There’s a lot of buzz about memeorandum and tech.memeorandum these days, both because of Don Dodge’s interview with its founder, Gabe Rivera, but also because ranked aggregation is kind of a holy grail in Web 2.0 right now – everyone is try…

  3. What’s Your Post to Comment/Trackback Ratio?

    Awhile ago, (Before Stowe started begging for links to his new blog. Click that. It’s too funny.) I posted about my blog to comment ratio. It was 0.9. Now, it is: Posts: 1694 | Comments: 2245 | TrackBacks: 339 1694/2245


    BEWARE WHAT YOU WISH FOR OK, I’ll bite. Against my initial reservations, I’m posting on Stowe Boyd’s post introducing his Conversational Index. What is it, you ask? Well, here it is from the inventor himself:…successful blogs — ones that were curren…

  5. coComment or myComments?

    After repeatedly crying out for a solution, I was really happy to become a beta user for coComment.  Little did I know that there were actually TWO comment tracking solutions announced almost the simultaneously.   The coComment laun…

  6. The Third and Best (?) Comment Tracking Tool

    This has been quite a week for all of us unhappy about missing the other half of the Conversation:  in rapid succession three comment-tracking products were announced.

    First came coComment with a spontaneous (?) yet well-executed viral campaign t…

  7. (Our) Conversation is King

    A few weeks ago, Stowe Boyd started a big round of discussion when he created the “conversation index” as a measure of blog vitality.
    While working at Corante, I had the opportunity to peer at the stats for all sorts of blogs that we had go…

  8. Trackbacks in the future

    Sometime in the near future….

    “Ding. Robert Scoble new entry.”

    Crap. I forgot to turn it off before I left the house. “Title.”

    “Track your comments no matter where you make them.”

    “Save as unread. Notes. Update Technorati Live Notifier to le

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