July 01, 2008

FriendFeed Doubles Share of Comments in 2nd Month Tracking

Last month, in Has FriendFeed's Comment Activity Eclipsed Native Conversations?, I reported that comments on blog posts and Twitter post notifications on FriendFeed represented about 40% of the total comments I received on the same number of posts, natively, on louisgray.com, for the month of May.

As June drew to a close, the issue of FriendFeed owning the comments flared up again, with Robert Scoble claiming "blog comments are dead". I can report they're not dead, but for the month, conversations on FriendFeed jumped to more than 78% of the comment activity here. This trend, if it tracks for just one more month, will see that FriendFeed has the majority of my comments.

All told:

* There were 493 comments on the blog.
* There were 254 comments on the blog posts on FriendFeed.
* There were 133 comments on FriendFeed via Twitter "blog post" announcements.

On the 38 posts:

* On 1 occasion, no comments were on either site.
* On 2 occasions, both sites received the same number of comments.
* On 4 occasions, FriendFeed blog posts had more comments.
* On 31 occasions, more comments were on louisgray.com.

June's Comment Counts for FriendFeed and LouisGray.com
(Click for Larger Image)

You'll note that the overwhelming majority of posts saw more activity here. So why the jump from May to June? Because, due to the more family-oriented updates, FriendFeed's very real community got engaged. While 14 of my more tech-oriented posts got absolutely no comments, I had 40 responses to my sad news of our dog passing away, 31 on a post saying our twins would be on their way in weeks, and 26 more when they finally showed up. For as much talk as there is at times about sites like this being circular in how they celebrate themselves and their underlying technology, when it comes to people and family, the community there is very real.

Also a change from May were a few discussions that struck around my Tweet updates, rather than waiting for the blog post to arrive. The mioNews story, which so far, has no comments here or my stream, has 22 comments on my Tweet, and there were 39 more around the same for Feedly's arrival.

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

As I noted last month, the data set of followers on FriendFeed and louisgray.com is actually quite close. As of tonight, there are 2,543 people following me on FriendFeed, and 2,336 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.

Will FriendFeed grow to the point that I should close down Disqus and rely solely on the service to get me the conversations? Absolutely not. But I've made extra effort to participate and engage, and the result has been a more diversified discussion, wherever it makes sense, without demanding it be here. I'm looking forward to seeing just what these numbers look like at the end of July.