The comments themselves are also more interactive. Any of your postings can be shared with your friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter, or any of your connections on the other supported services. You can also reply to fellow commenters, tell them you like their posts, or flag any inappropriate or spam messages that you see. All commenters have their own profiles, which you can find by clicking on their profile names and viewing their details. There you’ll be able to find all the comments they’ve recently left, allowing you to develop commenter-crushes on the smartest TBM readers.
Since no biomedical firm has developed a drug which allows you to become “sleepless” as in Nancy Kress’ Beggars series comments and comment structure has to be value-added. As I made clear earlier, I don’t generally see much value-added in comments on many websites, but that’s just me. I depends on what you want to get out of comments, and how much marginal time you have in your life I guess. Flagging/comment rating systems are probably good though. I like Less Wrong’s system for what it’s worth, even though I’ve gotten voted down for kind of being a dick over there. It’s better than nothing.
The readership of my weblogs are rather select, so I have to delete very few transparently stupid comments (that is, stupid because of the endogenous stupidity of the commenter, not because someone is being a jackass for fun or spite). Consider the highest educational attainment of the readership of this weblog for American readers:
84% have at least a bachelor’s degree
19% have a master’s degree
13.5% have a professional graduate degree (JD, MD, etc.)
20.5% have a non-professional doctorate*
I assume that a substantial number who haver only a bachelor’s degree are likely graduate school drop-pouts, or currently pursuing graduate degrees (going by the age distribution, which is skewed toward those in their twenties and thirties). Additionally, 83% of readers have taken calculus. These variables should argue against stupid comments (I have a friend who is a quantitative social scientist who can’t blog about quantitative social science because his readers on his popular weblog are simply too stupid to really understand distributions, so the comment threads devolve from the get-go).
On the other hand, 86% of readers are male, and 12% are virgins. These are two demographics more likely to engage in what I might term “Usenet” behavior.
Note: ~25% of Americans aged 25 or older have bachelor’s degrees, for point of comparison.
* Of those with non-professional doctorates, 60% are in math, science and engineering. 23% are in social science, such as psychology and economics. The balance are in other fields, with a little over half of those in the humanities.