★ Comments are Bad Business for Online Media — ANIMAL

But here’s the new thing: I’ve had two separate discussions with friends who run mid-sized internet properties–we’re talking high hundreds of thousands to millions of unique users a month–and they’ve both recently completed heavy analysis on their traffic and come to the somewhat shocking conclusion that the people who actually read comments are a small fraction of one percent of their entire readership.
I’m not talking about people who comment, which is an even smaller percentage. I’m talking about people who read comments, the supposed traffic-and-revenue generating nebulous “community” that supports nascent internet media publications and make all that engineering and moderator staffing worthwhile. Less than a percent. And if you measure the number of people who actually scroll to the end of a post and read all the comments, it’s even less.

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