Case Study: BloggingTips and Comment Registrations

One of the first posts I wrote for this blog back in April of ’06 was how Spam is a reader’s problem too. One of things I didn’t mention on the post was that some bloggers disable comments due to the high number of spam-comments received.

On December 13th, 2007 — about a month ago — BloggingTips decided to disable their comments (due to spam) for everyone except registered users. Within this post I will point out statistically what occurred to their comments section as a result. This post will cover the comments entered from November to today (January 11th, 2008). As of today, their comment section is up for everyone. I am unsure when comments were re-enabled for non-registered users.

A Little Research…

I went through all of BloggingTips posts from November 1, 2007 to January 11, 2008. I recorded the number of comments made for each post. The December 13th date is when comments were disabled, so some of my research is between December 13th through January 11th to see how things changed during that month.

Comments Trend Throughout the Time Period

I used Excel to graph out the actual comments per post and looked for any trends in commenting behavior. And if you look closely, comments actually increased after the announcement was made about comments being disabled to un-registered users. However, towards the end of December and early January, comments dove downwards. This could possibly be due to the holiday effect.

Comments on BloggingTips From November to January
Click the image for a larger view.

Average Comments Per Post

A more revealing trend is the figure of comments per post. Listed below are the average number of comments per post for each month:

  • November: 6.29
  • December: 3.24
  • January: 2.22

Again, these numbers could be due to the holidays, but I believe comment registrations played a factor. Since it is not known when comment registrations were not required, it is tough to speculate on what actually went down.

Average Number of Comments Per Post - BloggingTips
Click the image for a larger view.

Conclusion

When BloggingTips stopped comments from un-registered users, I was kinda heartbroken. I didn’t want to see such a good blog go down what I consider a dark path. Instead of writing about it then, I wanted to see what would happen down the line. I noticed only a few days ago that comments were back up and running as normal.

The downward trend of BloggingTips can either be attributed to the holidays, comment restrictions, or both. I’ve attached the raw data at the end of this post for you to have a look for yourself and perhaps make your own conclusions. I personally would have to attribute the downward trend to the comment registrations seeing that the downward trend still continues into January. I’ll plan to post an update to this post at the end of February to see if the trend has reversed.

If any of the BloggingTips authors happen to read this, please weigh in on what you thought happened.

About William

William lives in Oakley, California and is an avid tech enthusiast. When he's not writing about online social networking and businesses, he is busy reviewing how social media affects us all.