Last week I read a blog post by Jeremiah Owyang at Forrester (an analyst focused on social software), that added another angle to the comments/no comments discussion on blogging.
In this post he’s found that most blog readers use an RSS aggregator or reader of some kind to stay current and that rather interestingly he feels that the comments on his blog are in fact a valuable, if not the most valuable part of what he is presenting and encourages us to drop by his site from time to time.
This is a great point, about what your blog is for and I guess for Jeremiah, as an industry observer, the feedback and participation he gets from his community is critical and viewing his community through an RSS reader is like standing way back from a presentation and then leaving before the Q&A slide.
Jeremiah wants to give you the opportunity to engage with his community and get involved. I simply think it’s a courtesy to drop by the website of the content you are consuming, to get some context or even to view the ads that might be helping the author devote time to it – not all content is free – and I think a quick trip down someone’s link is a small price to pay. There’s not much to see at persuasivecontent.com, but a good blog article has taken me to plenty of interesting places.
The alternative is that bloggers will start to follow the practice of only including a one line teaser in the RSS and to read the whole article you have to click on the link – and that’s just annoying….