Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Comments on no comments

A reader sent an email urging me to take a look at ABM's MediaPace blog because "someone posted a comment for the first time in more than a year!"

Longtime readers of this blog know I have disliked MediaPace since its beginning. There's no need to rehash the reasons. You can click here to read a history of my criticism. Suffice it to say I never found a compelling reason to read MediaPace. And I know that many folks in B2B journalism shared my dislike of the product.
Certainly MediaPace never seemed to generate much interest. And a quick look through the archives shows that the email I received was almost right.
There have been two comments posted to MediaPace in the past year.
Just two.

Now there are many ways to measure the value of a blog. Comments are just one of them. But comments are certainly one of the better ways to measure "engagement." And the truth is that the B2B publishing community has not appeared particularly engaged by MediaPace.
On Dec. 7 of last year, Paul Woodward posted a comment that can hardly be called flattering.
Then there were no comments from anyone ... for months.

MediaPace went dark briefly over the summer. Shortly after the blog returned, Folio's Tony Silber posted a brief comment on July 19.
Tony commented again on Aug. 28, noting a major change. Someone new was blogging for MediaPace, producing what Tony correctly noted was "a great post. Fun, opinionated, but with a message. "

That new blogger, Sara Sheadel, has continued to write witty and insightful posts. Her work has proven to be a delight. And as a result, many of us in B2B journalism have begun to read MediaPace again.
So it was inevitable that the long comment drought should end.

There's something else worth noting here ... because it can serve as a guide to any journalist in this new world of conversational media. The comment to Sara's post is a criticism, albeit criticism given in a less-than-nasty tone. Sara handled it with grace and wit and diplomacy. She didn't ignore it. She didn't attack. Instead, she corrected an error. She made at least one reader smile. And she kept the conversation going.
And that's what makes for good blogging.

For some background on Sara, click here.

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