Comments, Please - gHacks Tech News

Comments, Please

Recently I asked myself a question: How come that some blogs, like Lifehacker, ZDnet and other technology blogs get dozens of comments per post, while comments on other sites that I hold even dearer are close to zero.

Some articles here on Ghacks for instance receive dozens of comments. A lot of the giveaway (which is totally understandable) but also articles that are of interest to many readers (Windows Firewall Notifier is a recent example). Other articles here receive one, two or maybe even no comment at all. The same is true for sites like Addictive Tips and even Freeware Genius.

I'd like to discuss why it is like it is. Why are so many users commenting on company backed websites and less users on others? Is that a numbers game? Do those sites receive more visitors which then results in more comments? Or has it something to do with "trusting" those companies?

While the majority of blogs that get lots of user comments and interaction are company based, there are others run by individuals like the German tech site Caschy's Blog with ten, twenty and even more comments per article.

I'd like to get there, get more users involved here on Ghacks. I can think of a few reasons why Ghacks receives less user comments than other sites. It could be that the process is to complicated (which I personally doubt since it does not require registration to comment), that my articles are to boring, or that they "say it all" and leave little to discuss. Could also be the public perception or "image" of the site or that Ghacks visitors are more the passive type.

I'd like to start this discussion to get a better understanding of the reasons. Is there anything that I can change on site that would entice you to comment more often? Or is it something that is completely out of my control?

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Comments

  1. Anon said on October 20, 2011 at 2:53 pm
    Reply

    Lifehacker has lots of posts that encourage users to debate.
    Best software to do X, the week’s open thread and others that I don’t remember right now.
    Maybe you should try to make more “comment-friendly” or “comment-encouraging” posts (like this one! :P).

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 20, 2011 at 3:29 pm
      Reply

      Yes, that seems to be the common consensus.

  2. Dean said on October 20, 2011 at 2:56 pm
    Reply

    I’d say it’s a few things:

    1) Number of visitors
    2) Your articles leave little room for discussion at times (Not a bad thing – some of the Lifehacker/Giz type articles are little more than a sentence)
    3) Possibly the lac of registration is a hindrance – some people might not like the idea of using the ID they use for other sites on a site where “anyone” can be them (If that makes sense).
    4) Actual articles – mostly the site covers software – sometimes there isn’t that much to say about a program.

    Personally, I wouldn’t chase it too hard – I see very few (if any) trolls on here, which is a huge bonus.

    1. Midnight said on October 20, 2011 at 3:06 pm
      Reply

      I have to agree with you Dean, as many Blogs that I read have a few trolls and flamers who post anything, just to pass the time.

      I prefer to comment intelligently on articles that grab my attention!

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on October 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm
      Reply

      I always thought that lack of registration was a good thing as it allowed users to post immediately. I personally hate and avoid sites that force registration upon me, especially if I only want to post one comment there and probable leave the site for good after this.

      1. Matias said on October 20, 2011 at 4:19 pm
        Reply

        I agree with you, lack of registration is a GOOD thing. I wouldn’t be leaving this comment if there were a registration process.

        Personally, I’m not the kind of reader that leaves comments, so maybe you’re right when you say that it could be the profile of your readers. Also, English is not my first language, so I tend to avoid writing in English.

        What I can tell you is that every now and then I clean my Google Reader and that your blog is one of the few renaming. Always. I like your posts and I think they offer something different.

        Thank you for that!

      2. TheMerricat said on October 20, 2011 at 7:37 pm
        Reply

        Registration (and it’s lack) is a two sided sword. I dislike registering, like you, for once off comments.

        But if you are attempting to build a community, then you need to realize that pissing off the once off commenters isn’t that horrible of a thing. No one enjoys talking to a drive by commenter who will never come back to respond.

        I comment on the Gawker network of sites because I can have a single account over all of them and because it means that the people whose comments I read are people I can see the track record of and go back and compare their previous comments to their current ones.

        This is especially important to me for ‘tips’ sites, where the comments themselves contain information that I might actually have to be able to evaluate the reliability on.

        But I agree that most of your posts aren’t really ones that I’d need to comment on, you are normally presenting information that is cut and dry, and in a manner that is sufficiently comprehensive that I’m not compelled to go to the comments to ask 21 questions to figure out how to take advantage of the knowledge.

        So, I don’t know, be wrong more often, be less through and leave things out so we have to ask, waste a bunch of pixels asking what our favorite brand of notepad replacement is?

        Doesn’t sound like a Ghacks site that I’d really want to read though.

  3. Beirti said on October 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm
    Reply

    You really want the posts to be swarmed with commentards uttering ‘first’ and ‘yourgayyoufag’?

    Keep it clean Martin and know that those of us who subscribe respect your posts and think there is often little value we can add to them.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 20, 2011 at 3:32 pm
      Reply

      I obviously do not want comments here on Ghacks that do not add to the article. I’d love to benefit more from the expertise of my readers though.

  4. Midnight said on October 20, 2011 at 3:04 pm
    Reply

    I subscribe to several blogs, ghacks, Lifehacker, gizmodo, howtogeek, threatpost and others and while it’s virtually impossible to post comments on each and every one, I will comment on article that really stand out and are of interest!

    I find many of your articles very interesting and many of them do stand out and your giveaways are a Bonus, since many software reviews that you do are quite useful! SuperAntispyware is one example!

    I wouldn’t want to bog down the comments area, here as I’m sure that you are quite busy, yourself, so as mentioned, I limit my comments to the articles that interest me the most!

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 20, 2011 at 3:32 pm
      Reply

      Thanks for that ;)

  5. Robert said on October 20, 2011 at 3:04 pm
    Reply

    I agree with the above points.

    Frankly, while I’m sure you’d rather have the traffic that those sites get, you shouldn’t be jealous of their comment volume. Most of your readers would rather see 5-10 germane, relevant comments on an article than the ridiculous trollfests that go on over there.

    1. techandlife said on October 20, 2011 at 5:03 pm
      Reply

      I totally agree. I also think it’s quite hard to comment on instructional and review type posts. You read the post, go and try it or not or bookmark it for later reference. I’m not one to say ‘Great post Martin’ as it doesn’t add much but will comment when I have a point to make.
      I must say I’m not a great fan of Lifehacker comments.

  6. Max said on October 20, 2011 at 3:04 pm
    Reply

    Agree with other posters.

    1. I don’t know real stats but I guess Lifehacker and Engadget get WAY MORE traffic than GHacks
    2. The type of posts

    Maybe adding disqus support would help …

    We love you nontheless !!

  7. OP2506 said on October 20, 2011 at 3:07 pm
    Reply

    I’m one of those that posts very few comments.

    In my case, almost all the times, I don’t have anything worth saying. So I just sit quiet and listen.

    In other few times, it’s just a case of subject vs. interest.

    That’s my two cents. Hope it helps a little.

  8. Midnight said on October 20, 2011 at 3:09 pm
    Reply

    “Maybe adding disqus support would help”

    Great idea! Why didn’t I think of that?
    I know, because you beat me to it! :)

  9. Rahul said on October 20, 2011 at 3:16 pm
    Reply

    While I haven’t ever commented on Lifehacker or Ghacks (except once for a giveaway). the simple reason i think is that the posts at lifehacker are more open ended.

    While here at Ghacks, the posts are more end to end type. X software does Y task of yours or use X Software or service to solve problem Y .
    This post ofcourse being more of Lifehacker-ish in nature. :)

  10. Anon said on October 20, 2011 at 3:25 pm
    Reply

    I think your articles say it all, which is a good thing. But I understand the feeling anyway.
    I also think the site is one of the best sources of software news around, which is a lifesaver after Lifehacker changed. I don’t know of any other site giving such good software info, which also talks about Linux or multiplatform stuff.

  11. moneyman said on October 20, 2011 at 3:25 pm
    Reply

    agree with above. also, i use a RSS reader, so i just scroll through the articles. it would take me an extra step to click on the article go down to post a comment.

    but your request made me do it. :)

    1. Patrick said on October 20, 2011 at 5:14 pm
      Reply

      This… I read in GReader… You asked for an opinion on this topic though.. and I had one.. typically I don’t. I just like reading the articles.

  12. John said on October 20, 2011 at 3:25 pm
    Reply

    Well, Redmond Pie disabled the user’s ability to comment on their website and just take comments on their facebook page…

    About me… I read your articles in my Google Reader… So i don’t really care much about comments… If I have a question… i just google it

  13. barney said on October 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm
    Reply

    Martin,

    Dean’s points 2) and 4) are telling points.

    In particular, when you are reviewing software, or perhaps a site, there’s little for us to say unless we’ve already checked that site or software. So you might see relevant comments in a week or two (2), after usage and experience have created something to say.

    For instance, your article “Block Download.com From Google Search Results” gave instructions on using Google for blocking domains, as well as several 3rd party applications to accomplish that same end. Unless you had made an error or typo in the Google instructions, there’s not a lot to say. And if we decide to try the 3rd party utilities, it’s gonna take a while for us to determine whether their utility is truly beneficial to us. So there’s not a great impetus for immediate comment.

    Since most of your stuff is either instructional or a review, there’s little room for commentary unless you make what appears to be an obvious mistake – and I haven’t seen you do that. So in this situation, no comment
    is good comment . If you review a program that I have not used, there’s not much for me to say. If you provide instruction on how to do a thing, there’s little I can say about it until I’ve tried your instructions. And if your text is about an OS that I’m not using, there’s naught for me to say unless I want to be a fanboi/troll and tout my own OS preference.

    Another thing is the Facebook stuff. While Facebook is the 800 pound gorilla for its venue, many of us will not be coerced into joining Facebook. It has had – and still has- security and privacy issues. It also is still somewhat incohate in that it does not seem to have taken a final form. Its current plan, to *force* its timeline concept on all members, is also distasteful to many of use, another reason not to join. So that provides an automatic exclusion for many of us, except to complain about Facebook ..

    All in all, look at your traffic/comments ratio: if that ratio is high, you’re doing a great job – there’s no need to comment . If that ratio gets lower, you’ll need to start examining the _nature_ of the comments to see whether you need to change your presentation(s). A high comment count is not always a good thing.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm
      Reply

      Good points, thanks Barney.

  14. Seren said on October 20, 2011 at 3:36 pm
    Reply

    Not all the articles are great (I mean “USB Big Mouse”, that is pretty useless, but most is really good. Technical articles could expect bigger response (as How to change this and that driver etc.), but there are few such articles.

    Anyway I read your blog regularly and thanks for it!

  15. bsod said on October 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm
    Reply

    Here is my comment you can paste on half of your article (but I didn’t bother post it) :

    “This article is great, it has the exact answer to my question (and I’m not alone wondering about this topic !!), and it is very clear and precise, there is no need to add more. Thanks!”

    Please add it to you web template for me ;)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm
      Reply

      Haha, funny :)

  16. Some Dude. said on October 20, 2011 at 3:39 pm
    Reply

    Quite honestly, I like this blog, I check it everyday but I don’t comment that often because the articles are straight forward and well written. Like the poster said… example : get X program to do Y.

    What i have noticed from other blogs (in which i also don’t comment that often) is that they involve their readers such as HowToGeek’s “What you said” Feature. ( /salute to HowToGeek ).

    Unlike other blogs that just crank out article after (pointless) article. Ghacks has had consistent quality and depth.

  17. lookmann said on October 20, 2011 at 3:40 pm
    Reply

    hi Martin,
    no., of comments and no., of hits are not directly proportional, i think. especially your blog offers info., in the simplest possible language. where is the need to question or refute your views ,unless one is armed with facts?
    btw, i would like to point out that win 7 update support ends in 2013,and lifetime support is on till 2020, as per the link you provided.
    what is the difference between the two? any idea?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 20, 2011 at 4:26 pm
      Reply

      Windows 7 without SP support ends 2015, business and enterprise users (those running Pro, Ultimate and Enterprise) get extended support until 2020.

  18. barney said on October 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm
    Reply

    Oh, yeah.

    There’s a suggestion to use Disqus. If you do, you’ll lose those of us who refuse to join another site just to comment on yours unless Disqus is just an option.

    There’s an old cartoon. Two (2) guys talking inside a complaint/customer service booth. Across the room, an open door with seemingly a line of folk behind it. One guy says to the other, “We haven’t had a complaint in years.” The room between the door and the service desk is filled with cobras.

    Disqus could be those cobras.

  19. Toto said on October 20, 2011 at 3:47 pm
    Reply

    Hi Martin,

    I’m more or less agree with what has been said in the previous comment. My two cents on why is it so:
    _ On the subjects: You often present some not very well known program, and rarely make things like “5 best tools for this or that”. I really like to discover new software, but there isn’t much to say, we try and see ;-)

    _ On the style: Lifehacker (especially since Gina left) have a very journalistic way to write there articles. Where here, you try to have a more tech way to write them. I like it as well, but it probably invite less to discussion.

    Now if you want to have more feedback (which I can understand), don’t forget that there is not only comments to get it. Because increasing numbers of comments will also bring more troll and that’s not always good. For example, I’m reading a blog (about science) and you can say if the article is Funky or not. And there is usually 10 times more people that vote, as compared to the number of comments.

    Another way to promote comments is maybe to do some featured articles where you publish a comment of special interest, or publish a new article in response to some crtics/remarks/etc…. In that way it can give the idea to people to comment more.

    Anyway, I like very much your blog, even if comments would have been removed I would continue to come so… ;-)

    1. Toto said on October 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm
      Reply

      Oh, I forgot, one extra thing:
      As I’m reading a lot in my RSS reader your articles, I usually don’t have the opportunity to comment. This is also due to the fact that there is all the article in the RSS flux, and not just the header. But that’s soooooooooo cool to be able to have all the article in the news reader! Please don’t remove that :D.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm
        Reply

        I won’t, do not worry ;)

  20. URKidding said on October 20, 2011 at 3:47 pm
    Reply

    I agree with the my fellow commenters above.

    1) The way your posts are worded, it is informational rather than open-ended topics for debate or open calls for readers advice submissions. I only feel the need to comment when i find something factually wrong, or a suggestion for a better solution. (You may have already noticed that since came out directly and asked for opinions in an open letter style post, this post has received much more comments then your average post).
    2) The common tech blogs you mentioned (which i also subscribe to) have a much bigger subscriber base so it is a numbers game. If only 2% of readers leave a comment, 2% of 10,000 = 200 vs. 2% of 100 = 2.
    3) More important then the quantity of comments is the quality. If you read many of the other sites, the comments are either trolls, foolish off-topic nonsense, or people just trying to be witty.
    4) The information you present and the style you present it in is more intelligent and less pandering to the lowest common denominator. Ergo you attract intelligent and focused people rather than every dufus on the planet.
    5) Gawker media sites cross pollinate stories on their network so people from Jalopnik & Jezebel come to Lifehacker. Would you really want people from TechSexToysBlog.com coming here to comment?

    I suspect you are in some way discouraged by the lack of comments and take that as an indication at a ‘lack of success’ for your blog. Do not be. Ghacks might not be as well known as the other blogs, but your readership is much more savvy. To put it another way; nice guys don’t go around bombastically yelling “look at me – i’m a great guy!”. Only pompous jerks do that. So it is with your readers.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm
      Reply

      My core issue with little to no comments on articles is that it makes me believe that the article / software / review is not that interesting. It can discourage me to write additional articles that relate to that topic. You do make some good points though.

      1. Joe said on October 20, 2011 at 4:38 pm
        Reply

        Very interesting, I never considered how a lack of comments looks to a writers perspective. At any rate, I feel that I said mostly the same thing that you just replied to, but in a less elegant way in another comment.

        At any rate, what it comes down to for me is that I use websites as filters to show me stuff I’m interested in. I’ll check lifehacker because it’s generally reliable. Once I find good blogs though, I typically follow & comment, both because I like the writing style & because I trust the authors judgement and the articles are generally relevant to me.

      2. Alec said on October 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm
        Reply

        With regard to feedback you could include a google +1 button or some sort of one click feedback. I read ghacks but I’m not a comment writer on any sites really. Mostly I dont have anything to say about the articles as they are pretty much outstanding and cover all the bases. Maybe some positive negative feedback buttons could help you find area’s readers find interesting?

        as a side note I also like comment ranking such as reddit (personally use the comment highlighter) so high end comments visually stand out.

    2. Dean said on October 20, 2011 at 7:16 pm
      Reply

      Hmmmm – feedback is a decent idea, however, I tend to avoid (For various reasons) G+1, FB, Digg and all that gumph.

      It might be worth implementing a star rating or something similar?

  21. Beek said on October 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm
    Reply

    I think that you need to adopt a better commenting system. Disqus (not a fan of it tho), Twitter, …FB (even tho I hate FB), Google based or something of that nature.

  22. URKidding said on October 20, 2011 at 3:50 pm
    Reply

    P.S. – i also hoped you noticed the quality of all the posts above. All polite, all on topic, all thoughtful, all helpful, all supportive.

    No trolls, no stupid jokes, no “first”s, no off topic remarks.

    This is what i meant by quality vs. quantity.

  23. Bart Degryse said on October 20, 2011 at 3:53 pm
    Reply

    As a regular (but not frequent) commentor on Ghacks I think there are some changes you could make to encourage commenting:
    – lessen the distance between the end of the article and the comment part of the page. There’s too much clutter in between now (social buttons, related articles, enjoyed the article, about the author, responses so far). Having to scroll down to even find the comment input box does not encourage the readers.
    – there is (afaik) no way to quote a part of the article. I miss that often.

    That being said I totally agree with Dean, midnight and beirti. Calling for more commentors will also attract more trolls and other vermin you don’t want.

    Just keep up the good work and when an article really needs commenting, I’m sure your regular readers will start writing.

    A thing you might want to introduce on your articles is some sort of rating system, afaic rather with a predefined list of statements (too long, not interesting, missing details, too difficult, just perfect, ….) than with stars or numbers.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm
      Reply

      Bart thanks, I will look at the layout and see what I can do. About ratings, will have to investigate if this is possible with little effort.

  24. haro said on October 20, 2011 at 4:02 pm
    Reply

    I like your blog..

    but I don’t like commenting.. (coz I’m not good at it}….

    1. Daryl said on October 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm
      Reply

      Martin, I agree with much of what has already been said.

      ( and normally this is also all of what my comment be!)

      Maybe an “I liked this post” button would help u feel that your effort is appreciated?

      Pls don’t enforce another commenting system though.

  25. mestesso said on October 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm
    Reply

    Why “more comments” means “more value”? I don’t understand the equation.
    Comments like trolling, bashing, “I don’t like this”, “I love it” are, from a technically point of view, totally useless and add NO VALUE to your site (and common in others).
    In reverse, for a technical blog like yours, the less comment the better. Probably if you’ll review more deeply some very personalizable stuff, like mouse, you’ll receive more questions about details, but that’s it.

    I have one proposal though, as I was a technical writer for a prominent italian computer magazine: add some more info for your review of programs, like “requires admin privileges”. I have to try out myself over my office computer everytime because I want to use some utility of yours but don’t have the required permissions.

    Keep it the way it is!

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm
      Reply

      Good point, I try to keep that in mind when reviewing software. I obviously only want comments that add to the article.

  26. moka said on October 20, 2011 at 4:10 pm
    Reply

    I think the difference is that this blog is somewhat very formal compared to Lifehacker. Futhermore I think, the ambience on other sites are more conducive to interaction. This blog’s design is too dull. One thing more, they make good use of all available tools of marketing out there.

    Just helping you to figure it out.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 20, 2011 at 4:38 pm
      Reply

      I welcome that. Will take a look at the design to see what can be done with little effort.

  27. exglade said on October 20, 2011 at 4:11 pm
    Reply

    First off, I apologize for my poor English. I mean no offense, just straight to the points of why I think Gawker gets more attraction than Ghacks.
    1. Gawker’s news are rapid and mostly up-to-date.
    2. Gawker’s site design are more structured, organized and thus much appealing and comfortable to read (especially without ads).
    3. Gawker’s posts are more attractive because they have relevant pictures for each posts.

    I like Ghacks too because there exists some posts that I find useful and not found on Gawker network. But frankly speaking, it isn’t as much as Gawker or some other do.

    What I think Ghacks need to improve in the most.
    1. The website design.
    I personally think website design takes a huge role in attraction. The contents in Ghacks are difficult to distinguish. Taking the article and related article below it as an example, by simply glancing through the article, I thought that “Related Article” is part of the article itself. Colors are really needed here to distinguish sections on the site. The site design focus on the aspect of being comfort/friendly, unique, organized. Perhaps Metro UI is a good reference?

    2. Pictures on article
    As a reader who doesn’t want to waste time on reading least interesting topic, I often just glance on the titles and pictures of the post. So providing a relevant and attractive picture (attractive as in clear and good contrast of colors) would definitely attract readers. I think most of the Ghacks’ article are really lacking the colors.

    3. Innovation
    What’s innovative about Gawker is that they have many up-to-date articles fast, and less garbage and more interesting articles (so I don’t have to clean all the boring articles from my feeds). Gawker is like my article filter, getting only the interesting articles, less spam. :D

    4. Speed and Focus
    Speed as in how often a quality article is produced. Focus as in posting as relevance to the objective. Example, Gizmodo only about gadgets, Lifehacker about life (and computer software that may help with life) and Kotaku about games only.

    That’s all I can think of for now. :/

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 20, 2011 at 4:39 pm
      Reply

      Thanks for commenting, I appreciate it. As I said before, I will look at the design.

    2. SuilAmhain said on October 20, 2011 at 6:18 pm
      Reply

      Are you kidding me? ” innovative about Gawker” There is nothing particular innovative about that dump of a “media empire”.

      They encourage trolling and fanboys.
      Their articles come across too much like advertising way too often.
      Their redesign hinders quick clear and easy reading.
      Also they are not getting particularly large hits or comments.
      I could go on. But i won’t bother.

      I regard this site as more “high-brow” more of an Ars Technica if you will.

      IMHO you have something that works and works quite well why mess with the formula too much?
      If you want more comments controversy is your best route but a lack of comments for your current style could be regarded as complimentary, I think.

      A dark theme would be my only particular request, Too much white hurts after working morning, noon and night.

      Thanks

  28. WebHybrid said on October 20, 2011 at 4:23 pm
    Reply

    I’m another in the “your articles are so well written” camp. Superior, clear explanations… I almost never see anything I can’t understand.

    Hardly dull! This is good work, and much appreciated. And not controversy-generating.

  29. Paul(us) said on October 20, 2011 at 4:27 pm
    Reply

    I often look to the comments from other website and most of the time the comments are more or less the same (not on your website) and slightly from an other (by average more technical) level. And than an import point most website wants registration to write something this makes people feel important and that is not a good development, so your way is more people friendly. Than the matter of your articles you and Lori Kaufman are belonging with the best (ferry easy to understand). Next to that when i look back to your article from a few years ago (the were ferry good than) your articles are growing constantly so your visitors (and comments) will grow.

  30. Serge said on October 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm
    Reply

    The only thing coming to my mind was exactly like the first point brought up by Bart. The layout of the page simply doesn’t encourage people to comment. Hopefully you can easily try new a layout and see if there are more comments. Great blog by the way, your articles are really interesting and well written.

  31. Joe said on October 20, 2011 at 4:29 pm
    Reply

    Personally, to me, it’s three reasons.

    1) Having to register
    2) Relevance
    3) Exposure

    1) If I have to register to leave a comment, I’ll more than likely not bother.
    2) I use RSS feeds to capture my news, and while at a time, I tried reading a bunch of smaller blog sites, most of the articles weren’t relevant to me. I use sites like yours, slashdot, lifehacker etc a filter to only see the best articles
    3) Exposure, there are far more people commenting on the lifehacker post than the actual blog itself, makes it easier to find more opinions & have a better conversation

  32. Rarst said on October 20, 2011 at 4:43 pm
    Reply

    You have too many false positives from spam filtering. I probably lost as many comments here as got through over years. I have no resolve left to bug you to fish them out of spam anymore. :) So I am somewhat less likely to comment overall.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 20, 2011 at 4:55 pm
      Reply

      I hate fake spam ;)

  33. steelyhead said on October 20, 2011 at 5:21 pm
    Reply

    I follow You on a RSS reader so I do not visit much your site. But I like your blog a lot.
    Thanks from Mexico.

  34. Roman ShaRP said on October 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm
    Reply

    I write comments every time I have something to say or when author asks my opinion.

    I think it’s ok to not have many comments: many people don’t like to write them, and do this only when engaged by something (holywar casus belli :) )

  35. odio said on October 20, 2011 at 5:29 pm
    Reply

    With few comments I read the comments too.

  36. Ed said on October 20, 2011 at 5:36 pm
    Reply

    Hey Martin!

    Here’s my two cents-
    I think giving users the ability to create identities would help cultivate a more active gHacks community. Unique user names and/or avatars would require some sort of registration, but you could always continue to allow anonymous comments as well. Maybe a poll like- “If gHacks offered registration, would you be interested?” I mean, this article, which is directly engaging the site’s readers, is generating quite a few comments, so there must be some sense of community.

    Also, Bart suggested minimizing the space between the article and the comments. I think it would be helpful if the author of each article was shown before the content instead of after. I sometimes find myself scrolling to the end to see who wrote the article, then scrolling back to the beginning to continue reading. Moving that bit of info to the top would please both Bart and myself. :)

    And for what it’s worth, I also use the gHacks RSS feed in my live bookmarks, right next to Lifehacker, and I definitely read more of gHacks, though I rarely comment on either site.

    I hope you got what you were looking for from all of these comments Martin. I wish you continued success.

    Cheers
    Ed

  37. PeeJay said on October 20, 2011 at 5:37 pm
    Reply

    Hi Martin,

    Thanks for your great blog. I visit daily, and usually read (or at least skim) every post.

    I don’t write a comment, unless I think my comment adds something relevant. So no “nice find” comments from me (though your finds often are nice!).

    When I have to log in to comment, I just don’t. It’s too much bother, it’s yet another login and password to remember.

    So keep up the good work, and don’t worry too much about the number of comments.

  38. Ahmed said on October 20, 2011 at 5:39 pm
    Reply

    Well..

    i like Ghacks its the only blog i have in my Thunderbird RSS list
    i add it like 3~4 years ago and still check your posts daily

    thy are really useful and well updated

    the reason i don’t comment i guess because my lazyness xD

    Thanks and keep up the good work

  39. Jason said on October 20, 2011 at 5:53 pm
    Reply

    Never had a need to comment…your articles are well articulated and very thorough. Which is why I like this site more than others.

  40. DAtkins said on October 20, 2011 at 6:16 pm
    Reply

    In retail, or the restaurant industry – one may receive many negative comments before action is taken, but only one positive comment can result in an on the spot reward.

    Everyone (except politicians maybe) knows that you are more motivated to comment when you are pissed off than when you are happy. For every good comments on LH, you get 4 complaining about the content, or the grammar.

    “Why is this post on LH, I only want to read articles about Apple” – “STFU Apple fanboy” – “Boy that chick in the picture sure is hot”

    So the good news is, your readers are generally happy with your posts. The bad news, you plainly need more hot chicks in your pictures. I guess…

  41. Beecher Bowers said on October 20, 2011 at 6:24 pm
    Reply

    Hi Martin, I would suggest reducing the number of ads on each page to one or two. I realize that ads pay the bills, but I find it discourages visitors from staying long enough to comment.

    An example would be the five banner style ads, plus what appear to be three mouse-over ads in this page. I think it busies the page up too much to make for easy reading. That said, I do visit the site several times a week to catch up, I just don’t always make it to the end of every article.

  42. Angelo R. said on October 20, 2011 at 6:28 pm
    Reply

    I hate the notify comments thing.

    Yes I want to know when people comment, but I hate the fact that it just spams me. I would much rather prefer the disqus system where I can control the notifications. I used to comment a long time ago, but the constant spam of emails made me stop.

    1. odio said on October 20, 2011 at 8:52 pm
      Reply

      I like the notify system.
      i can read all the comments direct on my e-mail and if want to reply i got a link direct for the post.

  43. barney said on October 20, 2011 at 6:30 pm
    Reply

    Martin,

    There was mention of a ‘popularity’ or ‘likeability’ gauge earlier in the comment stream, with a following comment by you. I don’t know what software you are using – too lazy to check, I guess – but if it happens to be WordPress, there are a number of plugins to accomplish that, and they’re fairly easy to install. Most of ’em are per article, so you can get a feel for what your readership likes/wants.

    One of the better ones, to my eyes, is a bar chart that displays only after you have made a (radio button) selection. With a choice of, say, five (5) options, you could get a pretty good idea of how a particular post is received.

    If you’re using something other than WordPress, there will be similar options, I’m certain, but WP is all that I’m familiar with.

    Upside of such plugins is that installation is minimal effort, and you get a real feel for how interested your readership is in any particular post. That can help to guide you in future endeavors.

    (It’s also a bit of interactivity that requires little effort on the part of the reader, so is more likely to be used.)

    OK, I’ll shut up now .

  44. jombieKiller said on October 20, 2011 at 6:36 pm
    Reply

    Hi Martin and Ghacks crew
    I am a LONG long time reader of your website and articles. also an inactive members on the forums :( however i do APPRECIATE your site it has helped me out of a jam many many times. I can honestly say that if there was a donate button here on the site i would donate plain and simple.
    so please keep up the great work!

  45. Willy said on October 20, 2011 at 6:41 pm
    Reply

    Reckon the post by URKidding sums it up for me. On other sites I’ve seen good articles ruined by comments which go off-topic / turn into a slanging match between commenters. Few but ‘good’ comments are far better than a load of crap comments.

  46. Rob Wilcox said on October 20, 2011 at 6:45 pm
    Reply

    I read almost all of the ghacks articles, and find them very interesting. I will definitely do more to comment ! Most of the time I don’t think to comment because I think the article “says it all” (or nearly all). Like others have said some of those other sites have articles which say .. “What your favourite X?” .. thereby leading people into a comment.

    Maybe the comments can be authenticated via Twitter, or Facebook, or Gmail? If that would help attract people to be themselves?

    Hope that helps,
    Thanks
    Rob

  47. avraham said on October 20, 2011 at 6:51 pm
    Reply

    we should be able to comment using open id/ fb id/google id
    this is very hard

  48. Morely the IT Guy said on October 20, 2011 at 6:52 pm
    Reply

    I follow Cnet’s “news” section, too. Most of the articles there are blatant attempts to stir up controversy for the sake of generating page views, and the number of comments reflects the number of idiots who are easily swayed into engaging in Internet arguments. the most obvious “eyeball-grab” is multiple posts using the words “Apple,” “iPhone,” or “Steve Jobs” in the subject line, all of which are substantively-identical content.

    Fewer comments can reflect either fewer page views, less controversial blog posts, more intelligent readers, or some combination of all three. I tend to think that last is the answer here, Martin, but I hope you’ll continue to post. I don’t read everything, but what I do read is usually informative, well-written, and not a “click-through bait” type of post.

  49. Sam said on October 20, 2011 at 7:00 pm
    Reply

    A lot of the articles on ghacks aren’t really “controversial”. lot of other sites might post about something that is a choice. Like Ubuntu made toolbars black instead of brown. One guy hates it and another loves it. So when they see post talking about the change they want to jump in with their opinion. Ghacks seems more to post helpful notices and how tos. Perhaps the ghack posts that have lots of comments are more “controversial”?

    1. Gregg said on October 20, 2011 at 9:49 pm
      Reply

      Sooo sooooo agreee with u.

  50. Hy said on October 20, 2011 at 7:14 pm
    Reply

    I really like the look and setup of Ghacks and hope that it doesn’t change. It’s very clear and readable as it is now.

    The only thing I would say to increase the number of comments is to second one thing which has been said already: move the comments section (“Responses so far”) up closer to the end of the article, between the “Related Articles” section and the “Enjoyed the article?” section. My guess is that many visitors never make it down far enough on the page to know that there is a place to leave comments.

  51. fokka said on October 20, 2011 at 7:27 pm
    Reply

    i can only speak from my perspective, but i, for one, have given up commenting on the internet. a few years ago i could spend hours discussing articles (and world-views!) on golem.de and engadget.com, but in the end there is little benefit to it and too many trolls out there.

    so ghacks is the last site i comment on, due to the lack of trolls and the fact that my voice doesnt drown in the masses of comments here.

  52. Jojo said on October 20, 2011 at 7:39 pm
    Reply

    If there are too many comments, I generally read the first 10 or so and then skip the rest. Most people just regurgitate what has gone before by swapping a few words around because they like to see themselves post something.

    So no, a lot of comments isn’t necessarily a good thing.

    And since this thread is getting a lot of participation and I don’t want to get an email notification for EACH new post, I have unchecked the Notify me of followup comments via e-mail”, so I may not see your reply (if any).

  53. dw4rf_7os5 said on October 20, 2011 at 7:48 pm
    Reply

    Blech, don’t go trying to emulate Lifehacker. This site is SO much better as it is now. Not saying ya had any plans to, heh, just saying! I really despise the hipster-friendly vibe of that place…and the name is stupid too. Call me pedantic.

    Lifehacker is shiny and pretentious, like a mac. But you, ghacks, you’re a PC, and I love you for it.

    Also, I like having the option to post as anon if I like, but I usually do not. Not having to reg is a beautiful thing.

    Why do I not always comment? Laziness. Given your target audience, this may prove impossible to overcome, heh. I’m sure some tweaks to the overall feng-shui could possibly boost comments, though.

  54. gargo said on October 20, 2011 at 8:34 pm
    Reply

    I usually only comment when I find something wrong in an article, disagree with the view of the author or miss an important aspect about the topic. I`m checking your blog on a daily basis and like its focus and the style of your posts. They helped me in different situations and I got suggestions for checking out tools I didn`t know before. Lifehacker on the other hand has a completely different concept. The site design is annoying and the pictures sometimes hurt your eyes. And the content is even worse. It`s not an IT site anymore, so you can`t compare it with your blog. Your content is excellent, no need to change anything about it. But I have some suggestions for changing your blog design (which won`t do anything about the number of comments):
    – On the startpage, shift the recent posts over the section with the categories, or put the categories to the side. Your new posts are what matters most (and what most visitors are interested in), so they should be on top and get more space.
    – Get rid of the the three columns and use only two. As a regular visitor, I won`t click on any of the links presented in the sidebar anyway. I read the latest postings or use the search box.

    And a last suggestion: if you still want more comments, just write about software you don`t like from time to time. Tell where crappy stuff falls short and what alternative you suggest. This will start controversies and debates.

  55. Matt said on October 20, 2011 at 9:04 pm
    Reply

    I like the simple idea mentioned earlier (can’t find the post now to reply directly to it, unfortunately) about moving the comments section closer to the article itself. The “Related Articles” and “Enjoyed the article?” bits could be moved BELOW the comments. “About the Author” could be better placed between the title of the article and the body. And with that more prominent placement, “About the Author” could also go with a smaller font size while retaining its distinct blue background.

    Also, it would be nice to see the current number of comments at the beginning of the section (3 Responses so far, 27 Responses so far, etc.) as well as on the main page, beneath the author, date, and category info. For those who land on the main page, seeing that an article has even a single comment may entice them to add to the discussion.

    Other than adjusting font sizes and white space a bit and reducing redundancy on the main page, your site’s design is actually ahead of the curve. It has a light feel, loads quickly, and scrolls as smooth as butter.

    It’s funny you mention Lifehacker. Although I started following Lifehacker in ’08 or ’09 I’ve never once commented there (and the amount I read it has dropped off sharply over the past year). Conversely, I began following Ghacks maybe 5 or 6 months ago and I’ve already commented on several articles.

    Here’s what Lifehacker and other sites get wrong that you get right, Martin:

    – Require registration or a disqus account. No, thanks. I have more than enough accounts to keep track of, and Lifehacker/Gawker proved they didn’t adequately secure those credentials anyhow.

    – Cripple the site’s performance with a script-heavy design full of tacky visual flare, including Facebook and +1 buttons and scripts and other social embeddings.

    – Require many clicks to actually see all the comments. I like to see ALL published comments. Clicking “All” beneath a Lifehacker post is only the first of possibly many clicks for someone who wants to read the entire discussion.

    – Write “articles” that are two sentences long, intentionally antagonistic, erroneous, poorly researched, or any combination thereof.

    Keep up the great work, Martin! I’ll try to do my part and make comments– hopefully of some value– more often.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 20, 2011 at 9:33 pm
      Reply

      Matt, thanks for the kinds words. I just need to note that I had to restrict comments to 50 root comments (plus their replies per page) as page loading times went through the roof otherwise. This should not have an effect on the majority of posts though.

      1. Matt said on October 21, 2011 at 5:29 am
        Reply

        Oh, of course. That’s totally understandable.

        I should’ve elaborated on that point. I was actually referring to (1) how tedious it is to expand all the collapsed replies on Gawker blogs and (2) the “Show Earlier Discussions” button that dumps more comments inline. I’m sure some people think it’s clever or neat, but I much prefer “paged” comments like here on Ghacks.

  56. Gerry said on October 20, 2011 at 9:12 pm
    Reply

    This is a fine website, interesting articles, well written and clearly run by someone who understands what they are talking about. Feel free to leave it just as it is, and be assured that your readers will let you know if you start getting it wrong.

    Thanks for a good read.

  57. Eaglenik said on October 20, 2011 at 9:29 pm
    Reply

    I love reading the Ghacks news but I just don’t comment. Not for any other reason than simple boredom of writing my thoughts I guess !

  58. Gregg said on October 20, 2011 at 9:31 pm
    Reply

    I’ve started visiting Gawker sites less nowadays. since they change the layout, that is. It’s just a lot slower(on older machines and netbook) than the previous design (more javascripts and all that stuff i guess)

    Just pointing that out, so when you’re considering about changing the design of the website, keep it simple. But please, do change the design.

  59. Gregg said on October 20, 2011 at 9:40 pm
    Reply

    Also, I usually don’t mind about ads, but these type of ads: http://bit.ly/npYwVY which I really don’t like. It just doesn’t make sense.

  60. TheAnonymousBob said on October 20, 2011 at 9:44 pm
    Reply

    Create a new logo? or logo competition? and try adding an element of humor when posting.

  61. Virtualguy said on October 20, 2011 at 9:45 pm
    Reply

    Some people like to consume information without having to engage or contribute when its not necessary. Lack of discussion doesn’t mean the article is not appreciated.

    Remember, you don’t hear from people when they LIKE what you’re doing. You are far more likely to hear from them when they DON’T like what you’re doing.

  62. Visitor said on October 20, 2011 at 9:49 pm
    Reply

    Let’s look from the user’s point of view:

    1. We are social beings. When we see a lot of comments, It seems that we can write a comment and a lot of users will read it.
    2. Some sites look like newspaper. It means that you can read the news every day without any feedback needed.

    So to entice us to comment more often:

    1. Place labels like “[35 comments]”, “Read all comments” etc. Write comments by yourself (like you are a different person ;)
    2. Make your site look as social media. Smiles, avatars, buttons like “Facebook”, “Discuss”, “Link this article to your blog” etc.

    P.S. I don’t like sites that look as social media.

  63. Sandrina said on October 20, 2011 at 9:53 pm
    Reply

    I agree with the opinion that your articles aren’t controversial but that is maybe better. Also, I think that your reader-base is more tech educated and oriented, so they don’t have a need to argue and ask questions about things.

  64. Joaoh said on October 20, 2011 at 9:55 pm
    Reply

    just to let you know that yhou’re as good (sometimes better) than lifehacker, but they do seem to take it somehow more lightly and “media” if you know what i mean. your work is very serious and appreciated, not only by me but for the most of the guys who read you. and the absence of trolls is a bonus. and if you had a ton of comments, it would be a big problem to you… best.

  65. Geoff said on October 20, 2011 at 11:44 pm
    Reply

    Hi Martin,
    There is a saying “it’s quality, not quantity, that counts”, and in my view Ghacks always provides top quality articles, useful information & reviews of software that are of just just the right length & detail, unlike other review sites where they are either too brief & really tell you nothing or are far too detailed, leaving me desperately trying to skip through pages & pages to get to the “Conclusions” section.
    I think much the same could be said for the comments made, here on the site, there may be very few at times, but they are all usually worth reading & don’t leave me absolutely despairing in some of humanity with the rudeness & sheer unpleasantness you see in many comments sections & forums elsewhere.
    So, if the deluge of comments today is anything to go by, it would seem you, have nothing to worry about……… Keep it coming, most of us seem to like it just the way it is.

  66. mprimrose said on October 21, 2011 at 12:38 am
    Reply

    Martin, as with every other person commenting above, I really appreciate your site. It is the only technical site I bother reading completely on a daily basis. Even articles that appear to be outside my current set of interests get a cursory read just incase there is some technical point that sparks other thoughts and connections. The articles are well written and informative and at times extremely useful and enlightening. They usually don’t require comment unless I have found some other method of achieving the same effect, which I want to mention.

    The overall lack of comments doesn’t particularly worry me since the ones that are posted are usually technically interesting in their own right and do at times contain technical links that have also turned out to be extremely useful.

    It can be very discouraging as a writer to continually cast your words upon the wind and not know if they are achieving any good. Hopefully all the comments above will prove that you have an attentive, appreciative, if usually silent, audience for your words.It should also prove that there are a lot of people who definitely want you to continue providing the excellent service we have all been reading and relying on over the last few years.

    Michael

  67. Mitch said on October 21, 2011 at 12:53 am
    Reply

    Keep up the good work!

    Lifehacker appeals to the masses (and yuppies, with every second article relating to a Mac) and writes articles for the retard computer user. They are a waste of webspace.

    This is my No. 1 stop for tech news throughout the day!

  68. jasray said on October 21, 2011 at 1:11 am
    Reply

    Obviously, ghacks has more of a following than realized due to the large number of posts.

    I went through Lifehacker today: Not a single article to click and read–none that interested me. Since Gina left, the site has steadily declined in quality and readership.

    How-to-Geek now has a Lifehacker writer, Jason Fitzpatrick. In a sense, HTG, lost a lot of appeal because Jason has brought that “top high five” mentality to the site which is nothing but a teaser. Any real depth of coverage is by other writers for the site.

    Why no comments? I didn’t comment on the Hard Disk Serial changer article from long ago; however, the tool is indispensable. Yesterday a Java update was posted–I used the link and updated.

    The information given at this site is more focused on quality and much of it is taken by the other sites and used there. “How to Overcome Fear,” “Gmail Gets New Interface,” etc.–all nice and fine. But what if a reader needs some esoteric depth?

    Come to Ghacks read the article and start acting.

    It may appear no readers exist; in reality, they exist and trust the information enough that no comment is necessary.

    Maybe we just don’t say “Thanks, Martin” enough.

    Great site–as in totally awesome!

    btw–missed the firewall article and need something like that for a laptop. Thanks, Martin.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 21, 2011 at 8:20 am
      Reply

      I’m beginning to see a pattern here, thanks for commenting.

  69. Marika said on October 21, 2011 at 1:36 am
    Reply

    Hi,

    I don’t usually comment on blogs unless I have something to add to the conversation but I’ll try to be more active on the future. I do like reading comments and often bookmark posts to come back later to see if there are interesting comments added.

    Your articles are always very informative and clearly written and I like that the comment section is also very simple and easy to read and doesn’t require registration.

  70. RL said on October 21, 2011 at 3:01 am
    Reply

    Lifehacker is well-promoted. Ghacks has no brand recognition.

  71. SFdude said on October 21, 2011 at 3:54 am
    Reply

    Hi Martin,

    I really like & respect GHacks.
    Almost always interesting articles.

    A positive point:
    you make it easy to post a comment.
    Good!.

    My suggestions:

    1) Try to make your posts shorter.
    Right now, they tend be too verbose.
    More can be said with less words…

    2) Always run the software
    you propose in your articles
    through “Virus Total”,
    and publish the VT scan results at the end of the article.

    Helps to build confidence…

    3) Always include a “Requires” item,
    ie: Java, .NET, AIR, only Firefox, only Chrome, etc.

    Martin,
    looking forward to the next great 10 years of GHacks :-)

    thanks!
    SFdude

  72. Stephen Allen said on October 21, 2011 at 4:13 am
    Reply

    Couple of things to consider. Your website isn’t too bad as one can comment without signing up but on many one still can’t do that. Most should probably use Disquis, which I’m a member of and prefer to use when commenting on a web site/blog.

    Also in your case and indeed the case with others; if there are many posts, one has to scroll all the way down to the end of the posts to find the webform. It should always be at the top, to make it easy to comment.

    If it’s too awkward, most probably won’t comment. That’s human nature. So make it as easy as possible.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 21, 2011 at 8:18 am
      Reply

      That’s a good point Stephen, I try to find a way to move the comment form up.

  73. tinwheeler said on October 21, 2011 at 7:09 am
    Reply

    Martin, It seems you’re between a rock and a hard place. Ghacks is my favorite site for the very reasons you don’t get many comments. Your articles are accurate. precise and give me the information I want without resorting to a lot of redundancy, flaming or trivial patter. I only respond if I find something that hasn’t been covered by earlier submitters. I realize that it’s difficult for you to feel that people aren’t interested but we, the silent majority are here. I hope that you don’t make too many changes to the site and I hope we, your loyal following can ease your pain by trying a little harder to comment more.

  74. Shubham said on October 21, 2011 at 9:09 am
    Reply

    Funny..Good Way to receive comments.. In my opinion your article are so easy to understand, that there is no further discussion on the topic. :)

  75. Yoav said on October 21, 2011 at 9:32 am
    Reply

    I think that your site offers straight-forward, reliable information. You do not write stupid and provocative articles that many other tech sites like to do and which generate a lot of comments.
    Personally, I think that’s a good thing and this is why i like this site.

    If you want to build a community-oriented site than you will have to change your style and probably your personality also…

    Please do not add registration – I do not comment and rarely read sites that require registration.

    If you want some more feedback you can add a like/dislike button – a lot of sites have that now and it is an easy way to “comment” on the articles.

    Martin, it seems to me that your readers “love you just the way you are” – isn’t that a good thing?

  76. Faizal said on October 21, 2011 at 11:35 am
    Reply

    I think you need powerful comment system like disqus.

  77. Dan said on October 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm
    Reply

    Funny, yours is the only blog that I ever comment on (or read the comments of others).

  78. Mike said on October 21, 2011 at 2:09 pm
    Reply

    The uncomplicated readibility of your excellent website is what prompts me to take a feed and to use your articles as valauble reference points.
    I tend to think that once a website develops a very large internet following it becomes bloated, pretentious and, quite often, unintelligible.

    Sites such as Ghacks are the gems of the internet … produced with care, dedication and with a genuine desire to assist its visitors. It is understandable that a site team would also like to see positive results of their time and effort and that is why casual followers such as myself must always keep in mind the need for the balance between a reader’s ease of access and a website’s operational requirements.

    I will always try to tune in to the “quality” side of the fence but I fully understand that sometimes the noise from the “quantity” garden next door can be mightily distracting.

    Thank you for your hard work and for your thoroughly informative website!

  79. Ricardo said on October 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm
    Reply

    Comentario!

  80. Hammad said on October 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm
    Reply

    I love Ghacks the way it is. What i think is that your articles are complete and does not leave any room for discussions most of the time :).

  81. kalmly said on October 21, 2011 at 4:49 pm
    Reply

    I like your website, and I like your articles, AND I like the comments I find here because, usually, they add, rather than detract, from the articles. Your fans are respectful and knowledgeable.

    Since I am not a techie person, I have little to say, though I do not shy away from offering my opinions about software and the one OS I have experience with. :)

    I don’t touch Lifehacker anymore. I hate what they did to their site and I once got into an uncomfortable “discussion” there by making a remark about our president. I was joking – sort of – and someone took offense. Ooops! I’ve been quieter ever since.

  82. Alex said on October 21, 2011 at 7:34 pm
    Reply

    I’m a migrant. I came here from Lifehacker seeking for greener pastures.

    I enjoyed Lifehacker because of the community but left almost completely because of the home and lifestyle oriented articles that I do not enjoy too much and because of the lack of tech oriented articles.

    Like someone said here, no requesting people to register could be good or bad. A sense of community like in Forum websites comes when you know who you talking to and can reply to messages direclty. We don’t have a choice in here, we don’t have a unique ID or avatar to personalize ourselves.

    Also about the commenting area. Is kinda hard to see who is replying to who and probably uses too much space per comment, maybe decreasing the font size for the comments could help.

    I do enjoy the articles here on Ghacks as many are really useful to us techy dudes. But the look of the site (and this is just my opinion) makes it seems simplistic. You don’t see images on the main pages and can only see the use of 4 or 5 colors throughout the site.

    I really don’t think the content of the site is unattractive, but the lack of sense of community combined with the layout may not help (just my two cents).

  83. Will said on October 21, 2011 at 10:17 pm
    Reply

    First, comments beget comments. Discussions are going to flourish if they have a few opinions that stray from the post. If enough people read a good article it will usually inspire at least one person with a contrary thought. There is a sweet spot for me. If it’s a good article (that covers the subject with a broad enough scope) and no one has left comments, I usually won’t leave one. If there are too many comments, it will deter me from reading them and I won’t leave a comment. But when the pourage is just right… you get the picture.

    Second, I am dyslexic. Reading is a struggle. I cannot whip through the other comments nearly as fast as I imagine others would. If there was a way to give the comment a meaningful title or highlight keywords, it would make it easier. Not saying you have to cater to me, but I’m sure I’m not the only slow reader or slow processor.

    Hope that makes sense.

  84. bazza said on October 21, 2011 at 10:50 pm
    Reply

    quality not quantity. you don’t need many comments on every article to prove you’re worth it as a website. you have enough good commenters regulars and occasional.

    don’t go the gizmodo and engadget route. keep it intelligent and informed, not populist.

  85. mickey said on October 22, 2011 at 12:15 am
    Reply

    no comment

    sorry, couldn’t resist ;o)

  86. DanTe said on October 22, 2011 at 1:01 am
    Reply

    It’s pretty much as Dean said. You provide facts and datum. Not stupid feelly goody what if articles that invites a whole slew of feelly goody useless page filling comments. I’m not sure about your other readers. But I bookmark this site so that I can quickly assimilate a new datum. Not read paragraphs of fluff.

  87. skykid said on October 22, 2011 at 1:55 am
    Reply

    I often wonder why the comments on my site are not as many as I would like them to be. Yet than I look at myself and the manner I read articles and comment on them – I follow ghacks and find many of the articles interesting and useful. Yet I often discus them with a friend – rather than commenting on the site itself.

    Each author appreciates feedback to his articles – yet these days the form of feedback changed a bit – people sharing the article themselves on the social networks …etc to me is a form of commenting .

  88. unekdoud said on October 22, 2011 at 11:15 am
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    I would attribute low comment rate to two things:
    1) reader count. Yes, it is pretty much a numbers game. If fewer people are commenting, then fewer people will bother to look or even think about the comments section. For instance, one of the reasons why I read Boing Boing is for the comments, since interesting articles almost always come with relevant comments that add content to the discussion. This is not the case with Ghacks. I don’t know if this is due to the style of articles put up, but I’m quite sure that having more commenters will cause a positive feedback effect.

    2) The lack of a community. This may be related to the system used for commenting. Lifehacker and Ars Technica make you sign up for commenting, but there are ways to start general discussion in contrast to just commenting on an article. The question is: what makes you a Ghacks commenter, or a Lifehacker commenter, or even a Youtube commenter, rather than just some guy ranting on the Internet in comments sections? There must be something that makes commenters identify with the site and take an active role in generating content.

  89. Rick said on October 22, 2011 at 3:50 pm
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    Many sites require registering and a “monitoring” period before the webmaster determines whether they deem your feedback “valuable” to them or not. I prefer a site that accepts feedback for what it is – honest and genuine from all facets of people that view that site. Personally, I know much about a lot of things and little about a lot of things, too. I don’t want to be censored because I know too much or too little about something, or because someone disagrees with me.

  90. saby said on October 22, 2011 at 8:02 pm
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    well actually i subscribe to this site via email….so clicking on each link just to comment isnt possible…..however i do share interesting articles with my friends and followers on facebook and twitter

  91. ricks said on October 23, 2011 at 12:22 am
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    I’m happy with your blog, please don’t force registration like Disqus
    as over at Ray.cc
    10/10 Martin

  92. Pietzki said on October 23, 2011 at 5:10 am
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    What about adding a comment voting system like on the techdirt blog? Also, i think the way comments are layed out could be improved. The way it’s curently layed out, the comments section (when there are more than a few comments) just looks like a massive string of posts with no structure.

    Also, why not try putting the comment box right beneath the article?

    As for article content, a few more opinion pieces would certainly inspire more comments.

    With the registering thing, why not have a system where users can sign up if they want to, but don’t have to? That way I wouldn’t have to enter my username and email every time, and just stay logged in. There could be a mark next to my username so that you can tell it’s the registered Pietzki, not just another unregistered commenter using my name.

  93. Vibin said on October 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm
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    I have seen Lifehacker backlinking you in their articles, many times, that itself says your content is awesome.
    As others are pointing out, site’s design looks a bit orthodox.
    Another thing is, App reviews generally receive less comments and you do too many App reviews.

  94. Vibin said on October 23, 2011 at 5:23 pm
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    or you could try Facebook comments, just like TechCrunch!

  95. Manente said on October 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm
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    Hi Martin,
    I like websites in which you can find technical articles written in plain and understandable language. I came across ghacks through raymond.cc website and this happened four days ago.I must tell you that now your site is my most visited site and like it very much. Of course there are a few articles which I am not interested in but on the whole I read them almost all.
    Further I must say that this is my first comment on techsites.
    You make me understand every single bit.
    Please go on and good luck

  96. Robert Tipping said on October 23, 2011 at 10:22 pm
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    I think there are many reasons – for me its simple I’m more into absorbing the information and not necessarily inclined to debate it -a great deal of the comments on life-hacker for example are just guys telling you how clever they are and although that may turn them on I don’t feel the need to get involved one way or the other.
    ghacks is a great site -sits permanently in my reader.

  97. Paul said on October 25, 2011 at 12:13 am
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    My main thought on this is that I use the RSS feed, I read the articles I’m intererested in, normally they are software based, so I wait till I get home from work to try/install them, by then I’ve left ghacks and gone to the software page. So I don’t think to come back to comment.

    I’m not sure it’s such a bad thing, I understand that you may want to create a community, but I’ve no idea how neccesarily to do that :)

    All in all, the ghacks site is great, super informational, and my ONLY tech feed.

  98. DComedian said on October 25, 2011 at 2:01 am
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    Ironically I’ve just commented on one of your other articles and then come to this one!

    I find your reviews excellent, and only tend to add comments if I have an alternative way of doing something to that suggested in your article.

    The comments you receive from other users are generally useful and informative, unlike many other sites, which means that I take the time to read comments on your website whereas I often wouldn’t bother with comments on some other sites.

    Many thanks, and keep up the good work.

  99. Albert Otojunk said on October 25, 2011 at 7:22 am
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    I visit Ghacks almost every day because of the wide variety of new information about computer tips, software, etc.

    Normally, the only reason I would leave a comment is to ask a question, but your articles are so well written and factual that it is seldom needed. But since you asked :>) :>)

    I’m very happy that I do not have to register to leave a comment, and that I do not have to log in using Disqus, FaceBoook, or others. I value my privacy too much to sign up for such sites.

    Personally, I do not care about games, tablets, phones, or company information.

    I feel that the page layout is too busy, and there are way, way too many links in (a) the sidebar and (b) at the top of the page under “Welcome to Ghacks Technology News, a daily update website with . . . . .” Is it possible to move the (b) links to the sidebar? Thereby increasing the links in the sidebar! :>( :>(

    Perhaps there could be fewer links in just one column?

    How about polling your readers about the usefulness of all of these links? Personally, I never look at any of the links except the Related Articles, which could be moved to the top of the side bar to decrease the busyness factor. Darn, I just have to make that sidebar bigger, don’t I? :>) :>)

    One link I would like to see: Suggestions for a new article.

    The above comments are picky, picky, picky, except for the number of links! Your site is great, and I will continue to visit it almost every day.

    FYI One– I no longer go to LifeHacker. I never liked the page layout and the multitude of page re-directs, but the new layout and number of page re-directs is worse.

    FYI Two– I have now used up all of my comment quota for the next two years! :>) :>) My next comment might be in 2013!

    1. Albert Otojunk said on October 25, 2011 at 7:30 am
      Reply

      I forgot to mention: “Previous Post:”, and “Next Post:” could be moved to the top of the sidebar. “Enjoyed the article?”, and “About the Author:”, could be moved to the bottom of the sidebar.

  100. SKK said on October 25, 2011 at 1:03 pm
    Reply

    I THINK MAKE A DOFOLLOW COMMENT

  101. tech news said on October 26, 2011 at 2:14 pm
    Reply

    thanks you to share this great information
    really I’m very interested.

    thanks again

  102. Alex said on October 29, 2011 at 10:13 pm
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    Thanks for everything. I read many tech blogs but this one stands out for authenticity and professionalism. Comments don’t define the quality of your articles. Many of us use rss to view your content. There’s a lot of us, we may be silent, but we’re here. Thanks for everything. Alex

  103. Iesarn said on August 15, 2012 at 4:28 pm
    Reply

    You’r story helped me a lot, god bless you for that, I’m going to use it, bookmarking that page at the moment^^

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