(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.
- 2006 Trends Part I: Comment Search
- Legitimate trackbacks and monitoring conversations
- What is taking so long?
- The Next Big Motherlode…
- Predicting the Future
- how-to: mycomments feed myblog
- Following On-Line Conversations is Hard Work!
- Tracking the Complete Conversation – Part 2.
- I’ve had better conversations with corpses
- The Conversational Index for blogs
- What’s Your Post to Comment/Trackback Ratio?
- I demand the beanie off of Stowe Boyd’s head.
- The Memeorandum Hunters
- ON STOWE BOYD’S “CONVERSATIONAL INDEX”
- Time spent in signal
- Comment Tracking with coComment
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.