The Secret to a Successful Blog

A new study analyzes reciprocal attention in blogging. The authors conclude that “the activity of bloggers is found to be related to the size and level of reciprocity within a blogger’s network.” The study also finds that bloggers who don’t participate in reciprocity are punished with a lower number of readers. In other words, the Internet hasn’t remotely damaged the arts of logrolling and mutual back-scratching. (HT: Free Exchange) [%comments]


uh... i don't think a single Freakonomics author has commented on my blog, or that of others, or even replied to our comments... and yet we throng this place.

Brian Schuster

Well, yes, I don't think they will ever comment on my blog ( or even yours, but at the same time, we didn't author Freakonomics. I think that may have something to do with it.

Also, I completely agree with this post.


C. Larity

Well of course. That's how Arianna Huffington's blog got so popular- she's the world's most prolific commenter on the blogs of others.

Science Minded

Dear priya; Don't you think that people love TLC i.e., attention or someone who listens.

I completely agree: Reciprocity reigns in the blogging world, at least in the food blogging world. About 20 percent of my visitors leave comments...and not only to I reciprocate, I spend a lot of time leaving comments on other blogs I visit.


Have there been any studies about use of full feeds vs partial feeds?

Also, not cool to put ads in partial feeds. You should either show me the full post and maybe put ads in, or show me the first few words and not fill the rest of the page with an ad.


You want to know the secret? - FULL RSS.


And I thought it was just because my blog was a bit rubbish...



Take a closer look at that paper and you'll see that the authors analyzed a dataset from LiveJournal. As far as I know, there aren't many respectable bloggers hanging out at LiveJournal anymore...

trader n

In academia citations (which is a metric of the value of the research) work the same way.

Scott Supak

Livejournal? Wow. I have an abandoned blog there too! I wonder if it was used in the calculations?

There's an element of SEO going on here too, involving link-bait techniques, three-way linking, etc. I occasionally mention these things in my blog on internet marketing:


Yeah, reciprocity does work!! :D


Makes sense to me. I don't have a lot of readers, but the few regular commenters are sharp tacks, which definitely helps keep the conversations going. And I make a point to read their blogs and comment when I can, too.

Full feeds are important. I miss the Go Fug Yourself, but I'm a lazy clicker.



I wrote something alot like this on my blog. Check the post called Masturbatory Exhibtionism Less Rewarding than Mutually Masturbatory Exhibitionism.