All this talk about community has me thinking…
Every time there’s a discussion regarding rates, content sites, web vs. print or another topic one can consider controversial, comments go through the roof. Some are respectful, others aren’t. While I do try to delete the most harmful and abusive comments, it’s true many people simply enjoy a good argument.
I also notice other blogs benefit from the same controversy by jumping into the action, sometimes in hopes of gaining traffic by adding their own fuel to the fire. Suddenly their own blog comments, which usually range in the 0 to 7 range, have 50 or 60 comments going. Train wreck time. Controversy works for everyone.
Disclaimer: I’m not saying other bloggers shouldn’t weigh in, just saying that comments and traffic go up for all involved with these situations.
While I believe these types of discussions are important, I often consider the cost. Out of 3500 daily visitors, only a handful of people truly get into the discussion. Does controversy make the majority of the community uncomfortable? Do they not want to get involved? Do we lose followers and community members when heated debates ensue? What sorts of comments encourage community conversation, if not controversy? These are things I think about often.
Controversy happens on this blog all the time. Some of the things I write or the decisions I make don’t sit well with other writers and bloggers. I don’t mind that people disagree. I do mind when it turns into something heated or when people twist my words around. While I enjoy having lively discussions with lots of comments, and I enjoy a boost in traffic, I don’t enjoy controversy and negativity at all. It makes me uncomfortable and I’m guessing it makes this community uncomfortable too. I’m generally not confrontational or in your face. I like a peaceful blog.
What makes you participate in a discussion? Does controversy or negativity keep you away?