Finding connections in blog comments

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Borrowing an idea from Tom Webster‘s social media monitoring, let’s take a look at your blog’s comments today.

Start with WordPress (any blogging software will do, however). Open up your comments section and look at only approved comments, as I assume you de-spam your comments regularly before approving them.

Comments ‹ Christopher S. Penn : Awaken Your Superhero — WordPress

Open up your text editor of choice and begin copying and pasting the last 10 pages of comments into it. If you’re feeling more sophisticated than copy/paste, open up MySQL and do an export of the post text column only to simplify the next steps.

untitled text 4

Dedupe it if your software allows you to dedupe by line. Remove any obvious formatting or data-only lines and you should be left with a large text file of your recent blog comments.

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Now fire up Wordle and feed this large chunk of text into it:

Wordle - Create

Two questions for you:

1. Do the largest words in the cloud express an intended focus of your blogging? That is, if you blog about marketing or social media, are the comments you’ve received indicative of that? If not, your content may be somewhat off target.

2. Are there words or word associations in the cloud that you didn’t expect to find in there? For example, in my cloud above, I found that people was unusually prominent and it turns out that the word people is used very heavily when referencing how to build social networks like Google+.

Got a blogger you respect? Run their comments through the same mechanism and see if you have anything in common with their audience. Here, for example, is Chris Brogan:

Wordle - Create

So, what are people saying about your blog posts?


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One response to “Finding connections in blog comments”

  1. […] goes the way of Friendster, all those conversations go away. If you intend to do things like mine your conversations and comments for insights, owning the data makes that much more convenient. This blog has survived the rise and fall of […]

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