About this Blogsphere:

This blogsphere attempts to capture, catalog and share resources relating to visual perception of information. It is about a world mostly dealing with Physical (Touch, Taste, See/Sight, Smell and Hear) and sometimes Metaphysical (and that is none-of-the-above category). Physical, for instance, touch (e.g., feel, felt, found), look and visualization, is here with an attempt to combine verbal, vocal and visual--to synchronously see, hear, share and do much more. Interestingly, in order to visualize one does not need special skills, competencies, etc. It is all about common sense, especially with human visualizations. In short, "information is in the eye of the beholder." Continue reading much more all-ado-about this Blogosphere

Akbani is a Cutchi Memon family name.

July 05, 2006

Visualizing Comments on Blogs

This is a running post: Updated 10 Feb, 2008:


  • Probing the Nature of Blog Communities
  • 5 ways to get more comments and make you smile February 24, 2006 @ Blog About Your Blog
  • Of comments and commentators @ Sayesha's world
    [see: The casual reader, The friend, The banterer, The loyalist, The silent reader, The 'almost there.' The judge, The mistake finder, The 'I've given up' blogger--Which one are you?]

  • Review: Naked Conversations, the stark naked truth about blogs, Information World Review
    A readable book that converts you to the power of blogging
  • Visualizing Web conversations using Talk Digger, by Frédérick Giasson, August 3rd, 2006
    In only 30 minutes of conversation browsing, I noticed 7 interesting use cases (patterns) in the system. I will present all of them by describing what is happening with each of them.

    coComment keeps track of all the online conversations you're following in one convenient place, and informs you whenever something is added to a conversation. [Thanks Sukhdev for this lead]

    Guardian has an interesting article on how the internet content generation has shifted from 80-20 principle (i.e. 80% of the internet content is generated by 20% of users) to 1-10-89 principle!
    i..e one user creates the content, 10 will "interact" with it (commenting/offering improvements) and the other 89 will just view it! Continue reading Thanks Ashish for this update!

    Here is a summary of how my concern to get a comment has been visualized by bloggers:
    1. Reciprocal Commenting is rare, but mandatory!
    2. You respond quickly and kindly to comments!
    3. ... when a complaint is made against blogging ... well then Hare Krishna! .. respond to it, and improve the situation for everyone...!
    4. One doesn't elicit blog comments by seeking them.

    And my 2 cent's worth responses:
    1. Thank you: I learnt what is mandatory, optional and click for 'next blog'.
    2. That is your speed to check your traffic. Godspeed you have, I mean.
    3. Hare Krishna... is this a Mantra for Bloggers to initiate communication
    4. I thought the basic lesson in life is seeking: Seek and You Shall Find; Ask and You Shall Receive. If you hadn't sent me an email on this wisdom, I couldn't have visualized your mind. Are you a Charismatic guru with 3D transparency (as an open source) to enable viewing mind waves!!!
    And don't have to say any more. The following comment about a comment says more than enough:

    Some people are like potatoes
    There are those who are content to watch while others work they are Spec Tators. Some never help, but are gifted at finding fault and tell others how to do it they are called Comment Tators. Source: www.enidnews.com, cited in

    Today's rant (a comment I just found):
    Interesting post, .... I had something interesting to say, but it took me so long to register for TypeKey I forgot what it was. {and now that blog post in only in google's Cache}

    From a Survey on blog comments:

    After reading the whole survey — or my selected excerpts — a question remains: are comments a good indicator of the success of a blog? As they remain invisible for the most part — you have to visit a blog and voluntarily click the “Comments” link of a post to read them — it seems that comments are only important to the blog owner and to the commentators themselves. Continue reading the survey @ Blogs for Companies, by Roland Piquepaille, April 10, 2006

    Why I don't get comments on my blog? Asked a friend of mine? His blog has a few multilingual and multi-disciplinary posts.

    I told him to read the following two comments from experienced bloggers:

    First, from Andrews's excellent post on infrastructure (including essence, nature, style, design, etc), presence or absence of comments. He has a detailed note on what makes presence of comments a value-added factor in blogs. I like the closing words in his post:
    May be you have a comment on Jacobs' comments about comments. If so, leave a comment in my comments, and I'll try to comment on your comments.
    Second, from G V Krishnan (a.k.a GVK), a well-wisher of mine, who responded to my complaint, among others, on two areas: a) why bloggers are so casual about commenting or responding to comments; and b) why no traffic at my blog. I really enjoyed reading his post. One needs time to read this eleven paragraph classic lesson in blogging .... [pl. ignore his golden rule, mentioned in this sermon: "A blog reader's attention span doesn't exceed three paragraphs."] Below is an extract from his post:
    Dr. Taher's latest lament is that no one takes note of his blog, self-billed as the world's first website to spread the 'multifaith' message. He had sent out a press announcement about his blog to some 300 plus print and online news sources, including western TV channels. None of them appeared interested in Dr. Taher's recipe for inter-faith tolerance, religious harmony and sustainable global peace...

    Dr Taher would have had better showing in the media, if only he had taken to blogging Britney Spears or the Brangelina baby birth in Namibia, Multi-faith wouldn't have a chance. What does Dr. Taher think he is? Dr Deepak Chopra? Or Pat Robertson? But then blogging empowers each one of us with a computer keyboard and Internet connection to reorder the world....

    To get noticed you need to blog something that interests other bloggers. Even something inane and mundane gets to be a hit at times. Blogger Glacier who commutes to San Francisco blogs his observations during his daily train trip in BART (Bay Area, Calif., rapid transit that covers four counties and carries 320,000 passengers) in Bartrage.com. It is accessed by over 25,000 readers a month...

    Dr Taher is a well-meaning guy with a mission. But then good intentions and lofty ideals count for nothing in the mad, mindless world of blogging. At a recent convention of bloggers held in casino capital Los Vegas they came to a consensus on ground rules for blogging. What is acceptable in blogging is polemics, provocative thoughts, bragging, and grandstanding. Plagiarism is okay. Haven't we heard pundits saying, blogging is like golf? You can cheat, but you need to be polite about it. Continue reading Dateline Mysore: Bloggers Don't Drip Like Leaky Tap by G V Krishnan
    These two citations apart, I continued my search for a better understanding if it is all ado about sense making or total nonsense. Luckily, I found two blog mindmaps. Both use creative visualization skills to show how Bloggers converse. The title of the first post is Weblog Conversations. This post is cited by at least three other blogs, but received a single comment. (Another blogger re-worded this title and called it, Visualizing Blog Conversation). The second minmap is a slightly different type, by Nakajima. Nevertheless, for all those who are interested in information visualization (including areas such as, data mining, conversation behavior and communication patterns) of blog comments the above two are excellent mindmaps. These two graphical images can be viewed in a comparative perspective at Data Mining Blog. No comments at this Data Mining post, please note.


    My research also found the following:
    One blog started a year ago, Comments Blog, and wanted to know expectations of bloggers who read his posts. This poor blog has received no comments, whatsoever.

    Some Other Comment Blogs:
  • Blog Comments Revisited
  • on blog comments
  • How to Pay for Blog Comments
  • Blog comments and SEO
  • Seth Godin on blog comments
  • Blogalysis=Blog+Analysis
  • State of the Blogosphere, April 2006 Part 2: On Language and Tagging
    Posted by Dave Sifry on May 01, 2006
  • More On Sense making
  • Some continue asking the same question: Why No Comments

    P.S. Whatever is the debate, libraries are now cataloging comments. One of these citations seems to be a good model, viz., Public Commenting on Organizational Blogs or Websites. Albeit, posted almost a month ago, it has no comments!!!
  • 14 comments:

    Aut.Disce.Aut.Discede said...

    Asalamu'w`Alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatu,

    As I sat in the office reading G.V. Krishnan's response to your complaint on MyMysore.com, several things struck me as a bit odd, but they were peculiar enough to take notice of.

    He commented that you reminded him "of the public water tap in front of our Mysore residence", later suggesting that you resemble a dripping faucet. This man, though he is obviously an intellectual and very well educated, being a correspondent for "The Times of India" and several other papers, should know when to bring a piece of "creative writing" to an end.

    The very fact that he droned on and on with an eleven paragraph response to your complaint makes me wonder if he has found anything better to do with his retired life. Using analogies that lack humour and describing you as the same leaky faucet that he has become, makes me question how many readers he had throughout his career.

    Granted, I am not discrediting the man for his work; MyMysore.com is, without a doubt, a brilliant initiative that serves to connect Mysorans and Mysore ex-pats, but I feel as though by reading only a few of his blog posts, that he has crowned himself "Critic" of the Blogger Universe - serving to critique those people who have commented on the lack of success attributed to his own website.

    Maybe instead of responding to complaints like yours, he should realize that he's not a Critic for the Blogger world, and when a complaint is made against blogging in general, or even his own website, well then Hare Krishna! He should respond to it, and improve the situation for everyone - not just his own ego.

    Mohamed Taher said...

    Thanks for the comment.
    It is for GVK to respond. Let's see what he has to say.

    Best, Mohamed Taher

    steven edward streight said...

    I don't like Haloscan. It forces the blog comment poster to leave your blog and go to Haloscan to post a comment.

    Or "open comments in a new window", which is what you seem to have here, via Blogger. Turn that off. Keep comments on the same site and within the blog.

    Reciprocal Commenting is rare, but mandatory.

    You put a comment on my blog. I must return the favor by putting a comment on your blog.

    You asked me to post a comment. You didn't need to ask. I try hard to reciprocate.

    The way to get comments is KARMA: You reap what you sow, what comes around goes around.

    Post comments at blogs that reciprocate.

    Neil Patel said...

    Comments can represent the popularity of a blog, but in many cases it does not. Sites like problogger.net get more comments then readwriteweb.com in some cases, but readwriteweb.com has more RSS subscribers.

    Mohamed Taher said...

    Thanks Steve and Neil.

    Steve: I have changed the comment window, as you suggested.

    I agree with what you say about behavior of bloggers. But, most are unaware of the blog etiquettes. And, hence a comment, to reciprocate helps, first to educate (the ones who are have nots) and offer an opportunity to bless my blog (both by the haves and the have nots). Karma does play its part, and you got it. By the way, the golden rule of Karma that works is, courtesy breeds courtesy. In presuming that the bloggers need a welcome, I don't mean to be rude to any one. The bottom line is: actions are based on intention. If my intention is not to be rude, but be friendly, I think there is no harm is reminding in a polite way!

    Neil: This info about direct comments and indirect (via RSS feeds) needs consideration. I will check out the links you identified. And thank you for this comparative perspective. We do need more to look in and visualize how this communication is working. Interestingly, this makes me think that this is not one way traffic. That is, to say the messages are moving first, via a direct comment at the blog, second in certain cases via an external comment at another blog, and third as you rightly mentioned it is also via RSS feeds, etc. These traffic patterns do help in further visualizing the impact factor of such transactions in the world of blogs.

    steven edward streight said...

    I'm not saying you are doing anything wrong, my friend, I'm saying there are more effective ways to boost traffic.

    If you read posts in my Vaspers the Grate blog, you'll learn plenty. I am a blogologist, web usability analyst, and former direct marketing copywriter.

    I have so much to say on the topic of blog comments. I'll try to summarize here a few things:

    (1) Most bloggers will NOT return the favor. They will NOT reciprocate. They are narcissitic exhibitionists who accumulate but don't give in return. According to Christian thought, it's because they have a sinful, fallen, unspiritual nature. That simple. Other faiths have other explanations of the myopic, selfish nature of people.

    (2) You MUST work very very very very very very very HARD to make a blog popular.

    (3) A comment is free content contributed by others. A good, relevant comment is a gem, a valuable addition to a conversation or discussion or topic.

    (4) Comment spam: you already took care to prevent that, by using Word Verification captchas, comment moderation with delayed posting of comments. I got hit by comment spam storms about a year ago or so. Horrible, time consuming to delete them all. Some "business" blogs are loaded with spam or abuse comments, which makes them look amateur, stupid, lazy, non-credible.

    (5) I looked at your traffic stats. What do they tell you? How do you interpret the fact that you get almost NO repeat visitors? Study some A List, high traffic blogs in your field or just in general. What are they doing that you might consider doing?

    When I started my blog, my first few posts were asking questions. No one answered. No comments. My blog just sat there. Floating in the digital effluvium (sewage vapors). No one visiting, no comments, nothing.

    You have to make friends with some bloggers, blogroll them, email them with questions, surveys or friendly advice.

    CONSTANTLY IMPROVE your blog. Hate your blog. Slap it around. Fuss with it. Learn some HTML and CSS and web design.

    Learn how to upload music mp3s, photos, art, video.

    I don't have the worlds most popular blog, but I do okay I guess. It's not high traffic, high levels of comments that counts, it's: high quality writing, thinking, debating.

    I post YouTube videos by or of bands I like, such as Stereolab, Caroliner Rainbow, The Fall, Incredible String Band, Pavement...and soon hope to display YouTube videos of my old art band Camouflage Danse.

    I mail FREE copies of my CompuMusik noise concerto CDs to anybody who emails a request.

    Think of what you can do to improve, add value, to benefit your readers.

    Focus plus Variety.

    You respond quickly and kindly to comments. That's very good. Keep it up.

    I'll help you all I can. Read my blog for more details, or email me, etc.

    Mohamed Taher said...

    Hi Steve
    Thanks again for the response.
    I admit my shortcomings in design, structure, focus and variety. I am yet to learn many things to be a better blogger. I will follow the words of wisdom, you so painstakingly mentioned.

    I did have flickr, librarything and other loads. And, some were complaining about the load time, so I reduced the external and internal loads. I do have in mind video or audio, as well as other dynamic content.

    Anonymous said...

    [DIG_REF] comments on library blogs

    For those of you in academic settings with library blogs, I have a question. Do any of you enable comments? We at Springfield College decided

    against it originally, but I'm curious ito know whether anyone else decided in favor of comments. If so, why did you decide to enable them, and what has your experience been?

    Mohamed Taher said...

    I found interesting results from the Library world. More specifically, in my current post you will find the following:

    1. libraries are now cataloging comments.
    2. Public Commenting on Organizational Blogs or Websites: My group just completed our project. We explored the best practices in allowing public comments on formal organizational blogs or websites.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Taher:
    Amazing you guys.
    Like so much verbiage over no nothing.
    But I am intrigued. Seems like fun in cyberspace.
    Blog etiquette. Ain't it cool?
    Sekaar

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    Helenhayes said...

    I agree with what you say about behavior of bloggers. But, most are unaware of the blog etiquettes. And, hence a comment, to reciprocate helps, first to educate (the ones who are have nots) and offer an opportunity to bless my blog (both by the haves and the have nots).


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