Jakob Nielsen on Why No One Comments on Your Blog

Whenever I hear a breathless blogger exclaim that they are going to make a whole new community for their new niche (even though dozens already exist) and that they are going to have lots of people participating all the time I need to send them this:

  • 90% of users are lurkers (i.e., read or observe, but don’t contribute).
  • 9% of users contribute from time to time, but other priorities dominate their time.
  • 1% of users participate a lot and account for most contributions: it can seem as if they don’t have lives because they often post just minutes after whatever event they’re commenting on occurs.
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About Andy Wibbels

Andy is an award-winning blogger and author of the book Blogwild! A Guide for Small Business Blogging. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Wired, Business Week, Forbes, and other national and international media. He was worked at several San Francisco startups including Get Satisfaction, SAY Media, InMobi, Keas, and Mindjet. Currently, Andy is Director of Marketing at Lucidworks. Tw · Fb · G+ · Li

8 thoughts on “Jakob Nielsen on Why No One Comments on Your Blog

  1. Susan

    Hi Andy,
    Thanks for all these nuggets of important info. If you are talking about the usability guru, it should be Jakob Nielsen with an N at the end of his last name. Are misspellings in blogs intentional in the same way that misspellings within meta data on web sites were used to catch web searchers who miskeyed a word?
    Thanks again,
    Susan

    Reply
  2. Gil

    Hi andy,
    I am one of those people who how lurk 90% of the time. I jsut started at blog at franchise.mandlers.com and I turned off commenting. Do you think I should turn them back on? I just don’t think anyone would comment.
    Thanks,
    Gil

    Reply
  3. Krishna De

    Andy
    Thank you for posting these stats – from personal experience, your stats are even lower than 9% for people posting form time to time in Europe.
    Partly because we are not so avanced as NA in blogging – still so many people I meet don’t know what a blog is or how it can support them in growing their business and building their brand.
    But also I think we need as bloggers to find a way to share with people the value of posting comments.
    Add to that in my niche in professional services and what I have discovered is that they REALLY like to lurk as they don’t always want to declare were they are accessing information as they are afraid they themselves will be looked upon differently and not considered experts, rather than understand that you can attribution without it impacting what you stand for.
    So whenever I see someone has made a post on my blog, I jump for joy so to speak – but then I go in to manage comments and notice it’s spam!
    Any thoughts on the following:
    – how to reduce the amount of spam comments?
    I’m off to a bit of lurking myself – need to set the clock though otherwise I’ll be lurking all day!
    Take care
    Krishna

    Reply
  4. Paul Chaney

    I was at the Blog Business Summit last week, and the term “90-9-1” was used a few times. That seems common though. We all recall the Pareto Principle that says 20% of the people do 80% of the work. In this case it’s 10%.
    I recall from my days in radio (a brief foray) being told that only a handful of listeners would actually call-in to submit a song request. That was back in the days when DJs actually did encourage listeners to do that sort of thing. Anyway, my point is that for all the talk of the participatory web, most of us are passive listeners.
    Oh, and Andy, I just noticed your monkier..the “original” blog evangelist? Hmmm…does the name Dave Winer ring a bell? 🙂

    Reply
  5. Strategic Business Blogging

    The 90-9-1 Rule, or What No One Leaves Comments on Your Blog…

    Web usability guru Jakob Neilsen has composed this formula which explains why most people don’t comment on blog posts. He calls it the 90-9-1 Rule. 90% of users are lurkers (i.e., read or observe, but don’t contribute). 9% of users contribute from ti…

    Reply

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