What People Want

134417_former-alaska-gov-sarah-palin-shakes-hands-with-gosselin-twins-cara-and-mady-as-their-mother-kate-go Over the past year, I've been liking Double X more and more.

Double X is a group blog on Slate that features smart women writers who tackle political topics that they think women might like. While there are plenty of women on the Internet writing great stuff, the topics that they cover are limited – parenting, feminism, lifestyle. Now, I love all those topics and write about them quite a bit here, but I would like to see more women, in the Internet and elsewhere, discuss a wider variety of topics. Double X has been doing that.

I was just flipping through the past week of posts, and I was surprised that many good posts went by with very few comments. Emily Bazelon's post on the insanity defense and the Elizabeth Smart case only recieved 40 comments. The post that recieved the largest amount of attention was a post about Sarah Palin and Kate Gosselin. 4,000 people commented. It was an interesting, well-written post, but did it really deserve so much more attention than a thoughtful post on Elizabeth Edwards or Archie comics?

2 thoughts on “What People Want

  1. Off to the office potluck and then class, but I wanted to point you to Hanna Rosin’s TED Talk. I was blogging about something related and pulled up the URL to link to, and I saw comments such as “Obnoxious” and “Unconvincing.” I’m not a huge fan of Rosin, but I didn’t think the talk was bad.

  2. The NY Times ombudsman also said that putting Palin in a post was a guarantee of comment overload.
    I think that it’s not meaningful to count “attention” via comments. There are some subjects that attract comments (Palin being a big one). Strong feelings, knowledge, having thought about the issue before probably all contribute to the likelihood of commenting. So, Palin gets more comments than Archie comics, because people probably already thought about Palin this month, but not Archie comics. Elizabeth Smart, well, I find that topic just too sad and emotionally fraught to read or comment about at all.

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