June 02, 2008

Has FriendFeed's Comment Activity Eclipsed Native Conversations?

One of the biggest worries I've seen in blogging over the first half of this year is that with the conversation shifting to social aggregation sites in addition to the originating blog, FriendFeed being the most notable, with Plaxo Pulse, Shyftr and other sites being part of the discussion, that comments on the originating site will disappear, or erode, as activity at the secondary site increases.

As one of the most visible and active participants on FriendFeed, I looked into my data over the month of May, and saw that on my 47 posts last month:

* There were 470 comments on the blog.
* There were 162 comments on the blog posts on FriendFeed.
* There were 25 comments on FriendFeed via Twitter "blog post" announcements.

May Comment Counts: Click for Much Larger View

On these 47 posts:

* On 3 occasions, no comments were on either site.
* On 1 occasion, both sites received the same number of comments.
* On 6 occasions, FriendFeed blog posts had more comments.
* On 37 occasions, more comments were on louisgray.com.

Source data:
* louisgray.com
* http://friendfeed.com/louisgray?service=blog
* http://friendfeed.com/louisgray?service=twitter

The data set of followers on FriendFeed and louisgray.com is actually quite close. As of tonight, there are 2,013 people following me on FriendFeed, and 1,969 RSS subscribers on louisgray.com, so in theory, with those two measurements being close, there is an equal opportunity for viewers to comment on either location, with there being some significant expected overlap.

I believe that as FriendFeed grows its user base I will see an increase in total comments on my FriendFeed activity, but it has also helped drive traffic and comments back here, in turn spurring the activity and discussion higher. So, has FriendFeed comment activity eclipsed conversations here? No. Not yet.

This serves as a good point in time capture for where we are today. I'll be watching this for sure.