I received a question by email from a user asking me how I value commentors feedback.
First of all I would like to say I value everyone who comments on this blog. Even so much so that I have somewhat designed the site to encourage people to comment. There also is a lot of value for users to comment on this site. In addition to making the top commentators list just commenting on a blog with this much traffic is sure to you get *some hits*. Just the other day a young lady wrote me and said shoemoney.com was the #1 refer of traffic to her site and she had only been commenting on my posts for a couple weeks. Course there are people that try to game the top commentators system for SEO value but we etch them out pretty quickly. We check sites in that list and if its not something we feel comfortable linking to or the anchor/spammy text we make a editorial decision not to show it. I would say we blacklist 1 per day from being able to show up on the top commentators list.
This post is more about keeping commentators in perspective though… or at least that was the intent. Each post on this site receives about 35k unique visitors on average total. Being that the most commented post on shoemoney.com has about 300 comments so that means for that post about .85% people who actually read the post comment. Thats right less then 1%. From my analytics I even show that the most dedicated readers of shoemoney.com have never left a comment… ever… Even more to put it into perspective its like speaking to a room of 100 people and only hearing feedback from 1 person.
I think only considering feedback from comments in changing your site is one of the worst things you can do. I think the downfall of Digg is a prime example. I used to really like digg but the more they catered to there commentators the worse it got for the masses.
Don’t be fooled. 1 person can make 25 accounts through a proxy and make it look like the masses feel one way. The real story is in the analytics. On shoemoney I have had people give me many suggestions for the site and many I implemented but then I watched very closely to see the results of those suggestions. Most of the time the result by the masses was the opposite of this lone voice. So I reverted back.
One of the neatest analytics on shoemoney.com is most of its loyal readers never comment at all.
So in closing my suggestion would be to value your commentators feedback. After all you are living in the monkey house. But watch closely the analytics of the changes and make sure the lone voice is in tune with the masses.