Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Why so few people comment on this blog

I'm very conscious of the relatively low number of comments that this blog attracts as compared with many others that I look at on a regular basis. I have tested a variety of invitations in my blog posts and have written on a variety of contentious subjects. I am of course very grateful to those who take the trouble to comment and reply.

Last month I asked the following question as part of a survey of users of the Tax Advice Network. The majority of respondents were accountants.
"Have you ever tried to add your comment to any of the items on the TaxBuzz Blog?"
[I'm sorry that some browsers do not show the pie chart graphic here]
To assist those unable to read the key let me clarify:
  • Yes, my comments are on the blog: 4% (orange)
  • Yes, but I couldn't work out how to do it: 1% (sky blue)
  • No, I don't have any interest in this facility: 39% (lilac)
  • No, I don't think anyone would be interested in my view: 43% (red)
  • Other: 13% (green). All of the other's answered 'no' and gave alternative reasons to the two main ones above)
I have to admit that the two most common responses did not surprise me.

If anyone else is reading this post and would like to share their views on this issue, please feel free to do so. In particular if you want to encourage more readers to share their views. Are we interested in them? Of course!


  1. I couldn't see your graphic using the Firefox Mozilla browser at all, so thanks for the key.

    The accountant is a naturally timid animal which prefers the quiet life, dresses in muted colours of grey and black, with perhaps blue for the more daring members of the tribe. The average accountant does not show his emotions, or express his view strongly in public. There are always exceptions of-course.

  2. It's difficult enough for many tax advisers and accountants to keep on top of developments, I guess, without watching blogs. Engaging in public discussion of contentious issues is time consuming and I would imagine that lots of potential contributors are put off by the general level of online debate. David Mitchell said that if there's one thing the internet demonstrates "it's that a lot of angry people can read". His solution was for people to post as a comment, on as many web pages as possible: "It just goes to show you can't be too careful!" I think that's brilliant. As Mitchell said (The Observer, 15 March): "It's vaguely pertinent to almost any subject without meaning a thing. It's the ideal oil for the internet's troubled waters." There is another possible explanation, Mark ... that most readers think that most of what you say is quite reasonable and they don't think they could add anything useful. But I couldn't possibly comment.