This is basically a hypothesis to the question, “why don’t we comment on articles we read online anymore?” It is a trend that I have seen countless times on content that is really captivating and thought provoking; on blogs that have asked questions looking for reader opinion and engagement. Recently though, those cries for input have not been well answered.
I can come up with three different answers to this question.
The first being that we are far too engrossed in ensuring that we are seen as contributing to the social web experience around us that we quickly read through the article in question (some of the time at least) and then quickly share and distribute it to our network so that we can be seen to be the ones who found the content – the trend setters if you will.
We are so eager to share the content that we miss the opportunity to add some real value and add to the content with our own thoughts and opinions. As Michelle Atagana, Managing Editor of www.memeburn.com says, “We tweet too much!”.
The second is quite closely related to the first, but the value is added to our network of followers. When we share an article, we share the link with a comment that we generate giving our general feeling over the article – a bit of social validation if you will. We feel that we need to add value firstly and more importantly to our league of followers, rather than the minons who are following the article itself.
The third reason is one of simply not knowing how to say something. There many people out there with some strong opinions about a whole host of different topics; but somewhere we have lost or voice and don’t feel the need to stand up and say, “I don’t agree”. It is far easier to shuffle the content along and leave it for someone else to comment and raise something that the author may have missed.
All of these scenarios exist within all of us; the sharing of information has become the social currency to building a following and maintaining that following which makes us appear to be more “authorative” in our sphere of expertise.
Sadly, we just don’t readily take the time to comment (which I am sure the readers of this article are now going to prove me wrong about).