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In Dave Gorman’s latest series ‘Modern Life is Goodish’ he ends each episode with what he calls a ‘found poem’ made up from the ridiculous comments that a ‘certain type of people’ make on national news sites such as the Daily Mail and the Guardian

Catherine Caplis - Joint MD

Catherine Caplis05.11.2013

And if I’m honest, his hilarious musings do reflect the niggling doubts I have on the value placed on ‘comments’ when we look to evaluate the level of engagement on websites and blogs.

To me… a high percentage of comments are made by the same few people, who are either backslapping each other or self-publicising. You know the sort of person that asks a question at an event - where the first 10 minutes is them making themselves look good, with a token question at the end? Yep… they are the sort of people (in the most part) that comment on-line.

I’m not alone – many question the value of comments. Statistically, few people comment on websites – for reasons of confidence, of time or purely because someone has already said what they wanted to say. Conversely, share buttons make it easy for someone to endorse your view or recommend your post. Many will be more willing to add just a few words to a link, than compose a comment and in terms of engagement, a much larger pool of people are comfortable with the approach and so you are communicating a lot more with the ‘masses’.

So, ensure you provide as many different ways of sharing as possible – and don’t forget Google+, which is becoming particularly important due to its influence on Google rankings. And if you’re a sane, humble, valued ‘commenter’.. my apologies for my sweeping statements… However, if you’ve been quoted in a Dave Gorman found poem, then perhaps you need to take a long, hard look at yourself.

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