A recent study has shown that Internet users are more motivated to comment on blog posts if they are motivated by emotions. However, readers are more inclined to dedicate time in drafting a response when their emotions are negative.
The study examined the open discussion forums on the BBC website. Researchers tracked items posted on the Religion and Ethics and World News message boards since the site went live in 2005 until late 2009. There were a total of 250,000 posts written by 18,000 users on nearly 100,000 individual threads. They deemed the site to have “loyal users” who posted an average of 137 posts per forum member.
Utilizing automated sentiment analysis software, the researchers were able to determine that the majority of posts were motivated by negative emotions. Furthermore, the longer the discussion lasted the comments became increasingly negative. As a result, as these negative discussions continued the threads became dominated by fewer participants who fostered stronger negative emotions.
After reading the full report, available here, I began to wonder how I might implement what I learned into my blog posts. As an avid blogger I am always interested in ways to engage my community, encourage re-tweets, comments and even Facebook “Likes”. Do I need to write more controversial entries? I don’t want my readers to experience negative emotions as a result of my blog. And I would prefer to hear readers’ comments of praise, admiration and agreement!
What are your thoughts?
Let’s start an open-discussion below: