Take a look at this much-tweeted post titled, ‘2 Advertising Tools PR Pros Should Have‘, by David Mullen. As of writing my blog post, bit.ly reveals that David’s post has 12 tweets/ retweets. Surprisingly, David himself has not tweeted about this post, again as of writing this post.
Two interesting observations here – First, David’s post (at the risk of sounding repetitive, as of writing this post) does not have a single comment in his blog. Not even one!
Second, take a look at the opinions added to the tweets/ retweets.
@ericah says, ‘I learned how to do these things in my advertising classes!’
@JasonFalls says, ‘Nice centering piece for PR pros’
@CubanaLAF says, ‘Love this post’
@LenKendall says, ‘Glad I’m not the only one who thinks so. Media Buying and PR overlap often’
David’s post here is just an example – I’m sure you’d have come across many such blog posts, that air some really good thoughts, but get no comments at all. It may be tweeted/ retweeted like crazy, many times with a valid opinion about the post added for context, but those opinions do not appear where they should ideally be.
The comments not only add value to the post per se, they also help the blog post’s author read alternate opinions, take stock of his/ her own thoughts and generally learn something. In a tweet, besides losing quite a few characters to a bit.ly URL, the opinion is usually generic and templatized, with rare exceptions!
Plus, what is more important here is that a comment in a blog post is addressed to the post owner. In a tweet, the opinion is added for the sake of the tweeter’s followers…on why they should read the blog post in question. So, from that perspective it is not a comment at all, but merely a contextual call-out.
While there are tools like Chirrup and Tweetboard that promise to turn twitter into a blog’s comment system, a 140 character system like twitter isn’t perhaps the best conversation medium that should substitute a blog’s comment system.
Not commenting perhaps has to do with the information overload and lack of time we face currently…partly ADD too. The other reason could be the ease with which we’re adding to the blog post, via twitter – it serves two purposes; we beam our thoughts, albeit in micro-sized capsules and we also spread the word about a good post, adding value to our network of followers.
But, is it fair to have a micro-content system as a medium to collect opinions for a well-thought, well-researched and well-written blog post? Would love to know your thoughts!
PS: The tweets mentioned above are merely for demonstration – I’m not blaming them for not commenting – I haven’t commented as well, for that matter.
Picture courtesy: ansy via Flickr