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Post to Comment/Trackback Ratio

Peter from pc4media has posted asking readers what their Post to Comment/Trackback Ratio? is. Peter’s PCTR (did I just make up a new acronym?) is 0.75 if he doesn’t include trackbacks and 0.66 if he does. Here’s his calculations:

‘1694/2245 = 0.75 (My old methodology.)

1694/ (2245+ 339) = 0.66 (Stowe’s “I’m stretching the conversational aspect” methodology)’

What’s your PCTR?

“That Work” – SLG’s total posts is 1970 (wow – I need to start planning a 2000 post celebration) and it has 17533 comments (that includes trackbacks – I’m not sure how to find out how many of them are trackbacks).

So my PCTR is 0.11.

Another way of saying it is that for every post there are 8.9 comments and trackbacks.

So what does it mean? Peter asks readers to say what their PCTR says about themselves as bloggers.

My thoughts are this:

I’m not sure comparing your PCTR with another blog is that helpful. While it might be an indicator of a blog’s interactivity it is difficult to make comparisons between blogs on different topics. Some topics lend themselves to lots of interaction and links from other blogs whereas others do not. This doesn’t make a blog successful or not.

Having said this – I think a ratio like this is useful to keep track of over time IF the goal of your blog is to increase interactivity and reader participation (as one of my goals here at “That Work” – SLG is to do).

Not only is it a bit of fun to do – but if instead of comparing it to other blogs you compare it from month to month or year to year on your own blog you might just have yourself an interesting measure of the health of your blog. Of course it’s not the only measure of health but it’s an interesting one to watch.

I haven’t previously kept an eye on a ratio like this (I guess I could go back and work it out if I had the time) but think I’ll do so in future. Anecdotal evidence suggests to me that my ratio has probably improved as “That Work” – SLG has gotten older. I also notice that the numbers of comments per post go up when I post less frequently – the activity in comments on a post seems to correlate with the length of it’s stay on the front page.

Maybe someone should develop a WP plugin? I’m not sure I’d show it on my blog publicly – but would use it on my dashboard – especially if it could give some historical figures.

Another ratio which would be interesting would be a Comment to Traffic Ratio (CTR?). To work out what percentage of daily visits to a blog comment would be interesting also.

Update: Read more about what some are calling the ‘Conversational Index’ at Don Dodge, and Stowe Boyd.

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