Blog Comments as Social Currency

Alan BelniakSocial Media5 Comments


When I peruse blogs every day, I find a lot of stuff I like, some stuff I don’t like, and a little bit that I really like.  Like enough to warrant a comment, anyway.  But I don’t always comment.  I read through the comments first, and see if someone already said what I am planning on saying.  If so, I try to think of a different angle.  I try very hard to not simply say, “Great post!”.

What value does “Great post!” add?

None.  It gives the blog author a 0.1 second hit of euphoria, but that’s about it.  Blogs should be treated like conversations (despite what Mitch Joel has to say).  Let’s use the standard cocktail party analogy again (see item 8), because it works so well.

Imagine you’re at a cocktail party, in a circle of seven or so other people.  You have the floor, and are closing up a salient, original point on a current event.  You finish, take a sip of your drink, and someone in the circle says, “Great point.”  Then a pause, silence, and someone next to you says, “Great point.”  More silence, two seconds pass, a third “Great point.”

This isn’t a conversation.  It’s barely even dialogue.

Instead, someone else in the circle jumps off your point and starts up another, related conversation.  Partway through, she references something you said 60 seconds prior, thus tying the two thoughts together.  How much more interesting and engaging is her point, in addition to the total conversation?

The (new?) social currency among bloggers and readers these days isn’t so much “great post”, but rather heading on over to what they have to say and seeing if you can add value to one of their conversations on their site, if applicable. n That’s far more valuable (and euphoric) than “Great post!”, don’t you agree?  After all, isn’t that what this is all about?

Thanks to Tamsen McMahon {}, who inspired this post.

image courtesy of

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