Is 30 responses a lot or just a few?

From Joi's blog:

"We receive at the IHT [International Herald Tribune] roughly 30 letters per day, of which 10-15 are usable, the letters editor said. We end up publishing roughly six.

For a daily newspaper printed in 31 print sites around the world and distributed in more than 150 countries, 30 letters per day struck me as very low, but several colleagues thought it was "a lot".

I sometimes get more than 20 responses - many publishable - for a single posting on this blog."

What's the situation in Finland? How many responses does an average column in a newspaper get - with their vastly superior circulation over blogs? Or is there something in having your responses published instantly for everyone to see? Or maybe the intimacy of the blog format makes it automatically more interactive?

One thing I've wondered about is that the discussion on the blogs @ Helsingin Sanomat (Finland's biggest newspaper) seems to be constantly of high quality - and far more useful than the discussion on the Helsingin Sanomat discussion boards. Maybe it's because the trolls haven't found blogs yet. Maybe it's because the trolls get filtered. Or maybe it's because long, thoughtful posts elicit long, thoughtful answers. Or maybe bloggers are smarter?[1] Or maybe blogs are just a superior conversation systems ;-)

[#1] If this was a role-playing game, I would shout "I disbelieve".


I think the difference in the amounts of responses between a newspaper/magazine on paper and a blog could be simply explained by the immediate option to comment. I often find myself thinking of responding when I read a paper, but by the time I've found the address to send the comment to, finished the paper, and moved myself in front of the computer, the idea has passed and it feels less important. With blogs, the commenting is just one click away (and still I often pass, just because it's too much trouble to write the comment...)

Maybe I am just extraordinarily lazy. :)

--Janka, 17-Nov-2005

Maybe. But does this "lowering of reply threshold" influence the quality of answers as well? They might be more informal, but they often are well thought out.

--JanneJalkanen, 18-Nov-2005

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