How Social Media Sites Expand Reader Comments on our Site

Social Media sites like Digg, Stumbleupon and Twitter (among others) have dramatically changed how readers find and discuss our website. I thought it would be interesting to talk about this a bit and show the rest of our readers how different people discuss our posts using these different sites.

As an example, let’s look at reader response to our post from yesterday on a new study showing that 87% of Americans were ‘seriously concerned’ about the environment.

The feedback itself was pretty consistent — our readers seemed to be all thinking the same thing: “Yeah, that’s great. But does it mean that people are actually going to do anything?”

And that’s a fair question to ask. It’s one thing for someone to be concerned about the environment, but quite another to for them to be more aggressive in recycling, or sell their SUV and by a Hybrid car.

Regular reader jhimm, summed it up well in his comment on our site :

ok, great, 87% of americans are concerned about the environment. BUT, of that 87% a significant percentage are going to be liberal/progressive and will expect the government to take a leading role in -fixing- the environment and so may not do as much on their own as they should, focusing instead of their “activism” by voting Green (or DNC).

another significant percentage are going to be lazy americans and while they are “seriously concerned” they aren’t actually going to get off their fat asses and -do- anything to -fix- the environmental issues we face.

Reader Jeremy added another comment on this site :

I agree, education is the hardest part, and the part od the equation that is lacking the most. I feel that most people want to live a more ecologically responsible life, but they dont know where to start. They know that they can recycle, but most dont know that there are rules (most of which make recycling harder to form habits around).

I bet a good 95% of the information that people are hearing is trying to just prove the fact that the environment is being depleted.

Social media sites like stumbleupon, digg, and twitter provide another avenue for interaction with readers — as well as new avenues for readers to comment on content.

For example, this story was submitted to stumbleupon, where stumbler tecknopuppy left the comment:

I am utterly amazed at the results from this study about how 87% of Americans are seriously concerned about the environment.

I posted a link to the story to twitter, and twitter user greenskeptic (who blogs at The Green Skeptic ) responded (in the standard twitter 140 characters or less):

concerned, but will we DO something about it? Will we change our lifestyle?

The Climate Heretic commented on the post on Digg:

This is what I am trying to get answered, what are people prepared to really do it about it? I am trying to understand the level of frustration that is portrayed in the media about the lack of action on this issue, not just here in North America, but globally. I am a skeptic, but I would like to know what people think on this, If you have time drop by and post a reply, or post the reply here.

I personally think this is great. It gives readers more options and expands the opportunity to collaborate with more like-minded people. It also gives the story itself a wider readership and helps us get feedback from a more diverse group of people.

We’ll be back next week with our reader comments of the week post on Friday. Thanks for reading!

7 thoughts on “How Social Media Sites Expand Reader Comments on our Site

  1. I hope you guys like it when cynics chime in.
    Either the study is conducted precisely to see how open Americans will be to buy “Green” products if they are marketed to them (and that’s so cynical even I don’t believe it).
    Or the study will have the effect of driving more enterprising people to fill the void by offering ‘quick-fix’ environmental solutions to alleviate people’s sense of guilt for the collective damage they have left on the state of the environment, now that a sweeping majority is past the stage of accepting as fact the perception that we have polluted the earth and will continue to do so until life isn’t sustainable on it.
    I say perception because I personally will not believe anything until I learn to interpret and see the data for myself, especially because I always find out there’s been some elaborate scheme to fool the public in one way or another and I almost/did fall for it.
    And for the love of god let us put a maximum of two carriage returns in our comments so I can write in proper paragraphs without putting a period between each one!

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