Comment Length

I read an interesting post this morning (via Hacker News) that suggests the longer the comment, the higher quality it is. The conclusion of the post (which is worth reading in its entirety) is:

there seems to be a clear correlation between comment quality and comment length. At least on websites with an audience that is not actively malevolent, longer comments seem to be better

The author of the post was specifically addressing the question of whether you should restrict comment length and his conclusion is no. He goes on to say that if you do restrict the comment length, you should restrict it at 2000 to 4000 characters.

So why do I tell you this? Because I am not sure I agree. I think blog posts should be short and sweet and I think comments should be as well. I don't restrict comment length on this blog and you can leave as lengthy a comment as you want. I am not trying to dictate what people do.

But I read a lot of blogs and a lot of comment threads. And what I prefer is when someone can make their point quickly and concisely, ideally with a bit of wit thrown in for good measure.

Reading and writing comments can be a lot of fun and good comment threads (like we have here thanks to all of you) can be very informative. When you can get forty of fifty opinions on a topic of interest in a few minutes, that is a wonderful thing.

You can't do that when one comment takes you a few minutes to read. And I think it is also true that long comments tend to dominate a conversation and that is not good either.

So I keep my comments to a couple paragraphs at most on other blogs and I try to keep my replies here even shorter. I'm curious what all of you think.

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