During our get-together this past weekend, several of my SciBlings asked me why you don’t comment very much, compared to the amount of content that I provide. I thought I was the only one who noticed that the ratio of readers’ comments to individual entries on this blog are dramatically lower than those found on other science blogs, but apparently, others have also noticed. Indeed, during our reader “meet and greet”, I met several readers who claimed they read my blog often, but never comment (the readers of mine who said they’d come out to meet all of us never showed up, so I didn’t meet any of my readers who are actually known to me).
Since I’ve had “my say” already, I view the comments section as your place to express your own ideas, so I try not to intrude there very often. But now I wonder if I should I be more responsive to you in the comments section? Reader comments are very satisfying to me as well as to my colleagues, although my colleagues went so far as to point out that reader comments somehow were good for their ego. I don’t view things in quite the same way, but I do see readers comments as little gifts that you guys leave for me to discover, sort of like Easter eggs or Christmas gifts ..
If you are a lurker, why don’t you comment? If you do comment, I’d be curious to know your hypothesis as to why you think others of my readers are so quiet? Is there something I should do to motivate you to comment? Should I write essays that are deliberately provocative? (I have often thought I should do so). Should I make comments into a game, like strip poker, where I remove an article of clothing for every 20 comments, and then post a photograph? None of my colleagues does such a thing, so I wonder why I, of all the scienceblog writers, should do so? Which leads me to ask you what I should do to encourage you, my readers, to comment?