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"When looking only at newcomers, getting a reply increased their likelihood of posting again from 16% to 26%. That's a 62% increase!"

what? that's a 10% increase.

>what? that's a 10% increase.
He calculated the percentage out of the 16%. That is, the increase is from 16->26 = 10, and 10/16 = 0.625 ~= 62%

interesting although likely if you got a response as a first time poster, then your initial post was likely of high quality, and therefore you were probably already predisposed to posting again (e.g. you were more knowledgeable in the subject at hand than first timers that posted more shallow posts and didn't get responses). so, although completely agree with the conclusions, i'd guess that the 62% is a bit skewed.

Great post. I'll definitely keep that in mind as we roll out the beta for Avanoo(the startup I work for).

I was kind of expecting a free lunch from this headline, but, just like with getting blog readers or anything else, the more effort you put in, the more you're rewarded. Of course writing thousands of personal replies might be too much for anyone... so efficiency becomes increasingly important.

@gzino: Great point. The research shows that the wordcount of a post is very highly correlated to whether or not it gets a reply.

@Ilya Lichtenstein: I checked out your site. That is basically exactly what I had in mind when I wrote this post. :-)

(That is, pre-beta sites with an "Add Me to the Invite List" box on the front page)

It's modafinil.

@Jake Spoon: Good catch, fixed.

Very interesting Alex. Makes sense in an age of transparency. Definitely food for thought.


I have implemented a plugin in my blog that automatically subscribe commentors to receive new comment alerts (evil, eh?) and this has increased visitor return frequency.

I use redbull, but yes, I try to reply to all new users on Feedback is really good so far, and I've even made a few new good friends :-D

One problem that blog comments have is that they limit the posibility of, and the mechanics of checking for, a personal reply.

Since replys on blogs are generally simply linear in their display it is difficult to reply to a specific post or poster (with users resorting to workarounds like mentioning the name of the poster ex. "@Alex Webb - blah, blah") and it is difficult to monitor potential replies to your comments as they could be buried far down the linear list.

If comments on blogs were "stickier" in a number of ways (see how handles replys and notification... very effective) then the useful points made in this post could be applied even to the "lowly" blog.

As a quick addition, I just tried to post the above reply and could not do so without creating a Typepad account. This is an unnecessary hurdle that makes the "community" of this particular blog less appealing to me. In my case I created a quick, one-time use junk account simply so I could contribute what I think is a useful comment on a useful post but next time I am here (assuming I am) I will need to create another one just to participate... makes it less appealing to me (and it may be that the mechanism that allows non-typepad people to post was not working). Either way it limits the community building possibilities.

You did it with only one line of text:

"Double your userbase with two lines of code and a box of Modafinil"

I guess quite a few druggies were drawn to your blog...

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