Comment On The Content

[twitter]Something sad is happening to the content on the web; the conversation is getting fractured. It’s floating by so quickly, it’s impossible to gather and aggregate.

When a link is shared on Twitter or Facebook, the audience is responding to the tweet or the status, not the actual content.

I link out to my blogs often through social networks to drive traffic – social is the new RSS, after all – and people will comment and react to my tweets or Facebook links. That’s great, there’s a conversation, things are getting retweeted, the audience is engaging in conversations and the content is being shared. BUT, and this is HUGE – the conversation doesn’t cling to the content. When you see a Facebook link with dozens of comments on FB, those comments aren’t aggregated at the source. When you go to the content, you see the spark, but you don’t see the fire.

Often the conversation that happens after the content is more valuable than the content itself. A news story on a media site will have great debates in the threaded comments below the story to add fuel to the fire and food for though. Imagine now if all those comments were only on the Facebook page. Imagine you read the story about allegations against a politician or a controversial medical decision and there is no debate afterwards. The content is locked down, the conversation tossed to the winds of Facebook.

Facebook‘s content isn’t entirely searchable. The conversations that happen there, while valuable, aren’t being archived along with the content that sparks the conversations.

One of the hurdles tossed up comes from the content creators themselves. Concerned about spam and abusive comments they often toss up hurdles to the commenting process, in essence forcing the conversation out.

There are some blog plugins that will let you use your Facebook account to comment on a blog and link your comment on the blog and your wall, but you have to comment at the source first, not Facebook first – which is now the default behaviour of many.

Do me a favour? The next time you see something great on Facebook or Twitter, pass it along, share it or retweet it with a small reactionary message, but donate the bulk of your thoughts to the actual content. Cling your comment to the content so the conversation can continue at the source.

catch the buzz … pass it on.



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  1. March 18, 2011

    Don’t worry there will be an app that collects and compiles your collective comments soon enough…wait. “Get me a developer!”

  2. April 18, 2011

    Hi Buzz – I want to add my 2 cents, because I’ve seen this first hand – I’m an avid comment reader and sometime poster. Although, having to log in to a news website in order to comment is a huge time waster, and often puts me off. I’m not that compelled to share my thoughts. However, I do often go back to FB for the conversation about the content, because those are usually the views of people with some commonality – they are on the same page (so to speak). ie: Anne Rice has a very active FB page and she encourages discussion on some pretty hefty topics by linking to news articles. But I always go back to her conversations, because her readership has some things in common ie: faith and occult interests. Rather than reading the commentary of random readers, I like the debates amoung people that follow the same personality or interest on Facebook.

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