I have now totaled 96,000 views (mostly on the companion cube cake post, followed at a distance by the LaTeX posts) over 194 posts and received 212 comments. Every time I see that number, 212, I immediately think of boiling water (it is, after all, the boiling temperature (in Fahrenheit) of water). When looking at my blog’s stats, after thinking of bubbling clear liquids, I then wondered at the number of comments/view, henceforth termed “comview”, as an interesting statistic to gauge a blog’s social value. A comview near 0 (like mine of 212/96000 = .0022, for example) would have low social value since the blog is treated as read-only.
An upper limit to the value of comview may not exist, but that would depend entirely on how views are tallied. If every refresh of a blog page is considered a view, and leaving a comment requires a refresh, then the upper limit would be 1. If access by a specific IP address in a certain window of time is considered a view, then the upper limit is much higher than 1 and would depend on how many comments a person was physically capable of leaving in that time frame. In either definition, it is clear that a higher comview would indicate a higher social value (the site is not read-only). Of course, this metric could be refined to include actual numbers of visitors as well as proportion of unique visitors, though additions such as those would require arbitrary judgments on what is considered more socially valuable (i.e. is a blog with 10 regular viewers who each comment 100 times/day more socially valuable than one with a million viewers that post .1 times/day?).
I was hoping to find some comview stats for a few blogs to see what kind of values are around but, unfortunately, I can’t find a source for either necessary statistic. I could data mine for for average number of comments/post, but I see no way of locating a number-of-views statistic. Perhaps comments/post (“compost”) would be a similar metric, and that is one which I could mine for. Thoughts?