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February 03, 2006


Zoli Erdos

I'm a relative newbie to blogging, being on the other end of the spectrum - most of the conversation I contribute to happens of other blogs.

That said, I had 175 posts, 69 comments and 53 trackbacks, which results in a CI of 0.69 follwing your method, or 1.43 per Stowe's.

The numbers are somewhat skewed though, as my blog does not accept anonymous comments for spam control reasons. Unfortunately this keeps not ony spam, but real commenters away, too.

Easton Ellsworth

Don, great food for thought. My mind hurts from the math-rich post I've just vomited up at my blog. But Stowe's and your ideas really got me thinking.

My CI - according to Stowe's original formula - is now 134 / (156 + 59) = 0.62.

By your formula: (156 + 59) / 134 = 1.60.

By my formula (taking into account the number of unique individuals making comments at and trackbacks to my blog): 134 / [(156 + 59) / 56] = 34.90. What's yours?

Note: I counted "anonymous" commenters as a single person. I suppose I could assume that unique IPs signify unique commenters, though.

I hope this will lead to a better understanding of how to measure the relative importance and/or conversational nature of blogs.

P.S. Now if only I could automate the calculation process ... and chart it over time ... and slice it and dice it!

Gary Wisniewski

I am curious how other blogs Conversation Index might compare, and if this is a good measure of blog effectiveness.

I don't think Conversational Index (CI) is a good measure of effectiveness. It surely is an interesting number, and perhaps it is one axis for measuring blogs to determine effectiveness.

One example might be Umair Haque's bubblegeneration blog. Umair blows everybody away with his insights into media economics. Even dedicated bloggers like Fred Wilson sometimes "step back" and just consume what Umair has to say. Umair may have a lower CI than many, but his blog is one of the most influential in the industry.

By contrast, some bloggers are simply "argumentative" and may really engage people in highly active debate. But, if it's unstructured and inconclusive, even a super-high CI might not reflect what people would deem as "effective conversation".

I think something more complex is needed, such as Page Rank technology which not only measures comments and trackbacks, but also weights particular comments and trackbacks according to the source.

mark nickolas

My political blog (BluegrassReport.org) has been up for 7 months and so far I'm at 16638 comments and 116 trackbacks for my 1760 posts for a ratio of 9.52 (16638+116)/1760.

Not bad.

Aayush Iyer

We should take the CI on the basis of blog genre as well. In a technology blog, you won't have too worry much about true "discussion" comments if that is the ral aim of conversation. In an art blog, you'd have a lot of 1 off comments or the like which don't lead anywhere.

Actually, CI could be graded much better if a higher point is given to return comments lasting more than a specified level.

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