Comments on the internet.

I’m very fortunate: I have a hugely intelligent and well-measured commentariat here.  However, back when I was on xanga, and when I’ve contributed elsewhere…

On one side a guy at a laptop saying "There we go. An interesting and thought-provoking post. I can't wait to see the responses."  On the other side, a guy with a lop top mashing the keyboard saying "I can typing!"

It’s funny, actually.  My most well-trafficked talks and posts are often ones that just came together in ten minutes.  A lot of times when I have an hour or two to kill and write something which I consider to be my better work it gets two comments.

CHARITY: Humanist family’s 10 year old daughter has a brain tumor. Let’s help with expenses.
The arithmetic apologist.
An Agnostic And Atheist Argue About Atheism And Agnosticism
HUMOR, POLITICS, & LAW: John Oliver on elected judges.
About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Glodson

    I find the only way I get to make a positive contribution is to wait for someone to say something really stupid. Sometimes, I don’t have to wait all that long.

    • Loqi

      I actually said something similar to JT at Skeptech. It’s easy to hit home runs when you can sit back and wait for the perfect pitch.

      • Glodson

        On some topics, you don’t have to wait long at all.

  • invivoMark

    “A lot of times when I have an hour or two to kill and write something which I consider to be my better work it gets two comments.”

    You’re not alone. That’s a pattern at many blogs/forums/other forms of online communication. It’s usually because you haven’t written much to disagree with, you haven’t left much to add, or you’ve given the topic of your post more thought than most readers. Most of Anne’s posts here don’t get many comments, because she’s a legal expert (so we don’t know more about law than she does, so we usually can’t disagree), and she explains things thoroughly and succinctly (so we don’t have anything to add and don’t have any questions to ask).

    Number of comments =/ quality of post.

    • Jeff

      This seems like a good opportunity to bust out a fun Woodrow Wilson quote from way back when he was alive:

      “Wilson was once asked how long it took him to write a speech. He answered, ‘That depends. If I am to speak 10 minutes, I need a week for preparation. If 15 minutes, 3 days. If half hour, two days. If an hour, I am ready now.’”

      • invivoMark

        That’s way better from those Woodrow Wilson quotes that are from after he died. ;-)

        I totally agree. Brevity takes forethought, but a rant can easily be conjured up in an instant!

    • John Horstman

      I’m in the same boat – I rarely comment just to say “Good post!” though I’ve been making an effort to do that more, because I’m aware it’s a common pattern and I don’t want bloggers I like to just get abuse and not support as feedback.

  • Anne

    I’d comment, but it’s clear you spent very little time on this post so it’s not worthy of a comment. :)