Why no one comments on Danny Sullivan's new blog

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Since the whole SEO industry is still dealing with the departure of Danny Sullivan from SES etc, I won’t go there and will just complain about conversion on his new blog/podcast (well, commenting. Maybe he doesn’t define comments as a form of conversion.)

I checked out his new site today, and I was pretty surprised when I got on the site and saw post after post, with no comments. Hmm, I thought, maybe that’s because loyal Searchcast listeners are just that, listeners. And you get the subscription so you don’t need to go to the site… still and all, a little weird. And then I tried to comment (and all I want to tell the guy is, could you please read my post about 10 mistakes that podcasters make and recognize that mistakes 3-6 were inspired by you?) But I was unable to comment, and here is why.

First, I had to create a TypeKey membership. Already a stumbling block (like asking your buyers to sign in before making a purchase). Then I went back to the site and tried to comment but I wasn’t signed in. OK, I can do this, I though. So I clicked to sign in (with my shiny new sign up) and got this:

It didn’t matter which choice I made, either way, I got the same error message:

An error occurred: This weblog requires commenters to pass an email address. If you’d like to do so you may log in again, and give the authentication service permission to pass your email address.

Eventually, in the course of writing this post, I went back to my profile, changed it to pass my email address, and now I get the error message automatically. I don’t even have to make a choice.

When the data look strange (like your 3% conversion rate just dropped to .002% or you are one of the most popular podcasters around but no one sends you comments), it’s a red flag. Maybe something really is wrong.

Robbin Steif
LunaMetrics

Our owner and CEO, Robbin Steif, started LunaMetrics twelve years ago. She is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Business School, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Digital Analytics Association. Robbin is a winner of a BusinessWomen First award, as well as a recent Diamond Award for business leadership. You should read her letter before you decide to work with us.

  • Anonymous

    i guess that’s it, because this post obviously has so many comments.

    having to log in also greatly helps decrease comment spam.

  • http://www.lunametrics.com/blog LunaMetrics Blog

    Well, it sounds cute, but let’s face it, Danny is a BIG NAME and I am not. It is true about comment spam, but even the simple requirement that blogger has (and I am no fan of theirs any more, can’t wait to change) to type in the characters that bots can’t see does the job.

    Have you tried to comment on his blog?

    Robbin

  • Danny Sullivan

    The main reason you see post after post with no comments is simply because until last week, the site didn’t exist. Previous, all the shows were archived at the Search Engine Watch Blog, which doesn’t take comments. Comments aren’t taken there because we run a separate moderated format, so we don’t want to be confusing people with discussions in both places.

    It’s also because the way Movable Type unfortunately works, there’s no easy way that I can see to make comments from before the move even be enabled to allow comments. I could perhaps have spent more time seeking a solution for that, but it seemed a poor use of my time. I figured most people would be happy commenting going forward.

    Now the bigger issues is that I enabled comments without testing how the system worked. My bad on that. All I can say is that I had a pretty fully plate getting the new site up and things moving over.

    The TypePag registration system as worked well on my personal blog Daggle, and I have plenty of comments over there. Registration is a pain — and if you check out Daggle, you’ll see I even acknowledge that to those thinking of commenting. I also explain why — it’s because of comment spam. I simply do not have the time to be dealing with comment spam. TypePad is an easy way to pretty much stop it dead, and it has done exactly that.

    I absolutely understand that this reduces the ability to get comments — but that’s a tradeoff I accept. And plenty of people are commenting at Daggle, as you can see this week.

    Back to the Daily SearchCast, there was no red flag in comment drop off because as I explained, there was instead simply no comments given the site isn’t even a week old 🙂

    I changed one setting tonight which should stop the issue of either choice not working. However, I still couldn’t comment due to some bug I couldn’t track down. I deal with it on Tuesday, since like many people, I’m taking Monday off for the Labor Day weekend.

    Again, testing is something everyone should do, so hands up to my fault here. I hoped in the rush that using the standard TypePad system would work. It didn’t. If you go back to Daggle, I think it’s pretty clear on how I ripped apart the standard messages there that I have the user in mind, when I’ve got more time.

    Overall, thanks for the bug report. Sorry you felt you needed to spend the time doing a public post — a simple message would have been enough. But I can see you thought there was some big deal in having over a year’s worth of posts and no comments. That’s simply, because as I explained, it was impossible to comment at all until now (or when it finally gets working).

    As for the tips, thanks for the feedback. It’s appreciated, and I’ll see about working on them. I can’t promise I’m going to recap every item when we cover so many and in such a short period of time. That’s sort of why I also make sure to provide that extensive list of links with each show. It’s probably some thing I’ll be more likely to do if I talk extensively about a particular item, rather than trying to recap a quick hit.

    Anyway, to go back to your post:

    “all I want to tell the guy is, could you please read my post about 10 mistakes that podcasters make and recognize that mistakes 3-6 were inspired by you?)”

    That was easy enough. All you had to do was send me an email, which you also did. There was no need to fight through the comment system, but I do apologize for it not working properly, and also thanks for the feedback on things to improve for the show.

    You’re also right about the chat room and making sure references are clear to newcomers. We have been working on that, and I’ll work harder on it going forward, especially as I’ve been picking up many new listers. I’m sure if you go back the past few shows, you’ll see me often saying things like “matt” and then explaining I’m talking about Matt Cutts at Google. But I know we can get better at it. It’s also why each show says there’s a FAQ and also mentions the chat room specifically as part of that.

    I checked out his new site today, and I was pretty surprised when I got on the site and saw post after post, with no comments. Hmm, I thought, maybe that’s because loyal Searchcast listeners are just that, listeners. And you get the subscription so you don’t need to go to the site… still and all, a little weird. And then I tried to comment (and all I want to tell the guy is, could you please read my post about 10 mistakes that podcasters make and recognize that mistakes 3-6 were inspired by you?) But I was unable to comment, and here is why.

    First, I had to create a TypeKey membership. Already a stumbling block (like asking your buyers to sign in before making a purchase). Then I went back to the site and tried to comment but I wasn’t signed in. OK, I can do this, I though. So I clicked to sign in (with my shiny new sign up) and got this:

    t didn’t matter which choice I made, either way, I got the same error message:

    An error occurred: This weblog requires commenters to pass an email address. If you’d like to do so you may log in again, and give the authentication service permission to pass your email address.

    Eventually, in the course of writing this post, I went back to my profile, changed it to pass my email address, and now I get the error message automatically. I don’t even have to make a choice.

    When the data look strange (like your 3% conversion rate just dropped to .002% or you are one of the most popular podcasters around but no one sends you comments), it’s a red flag. Maybe something really is wrong.

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