Comments: less is more

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Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution ran a little experiment as to whether comments should be open or closed on his blog. His conclusions:

1. Visitor stats rise considerably.  But this happens so quickly, I believe it is people hitting "reload" to read additional comments, rather than more readers.

2. The more that comments are regularly available, the more rapidly the quality of comments falls.  The quality of comments stays high when it is periodic, not automatic, and when we request comments specifically.

3. The quality of comments is highest when the matter under consideration involves particular facts and decentralized knowledge.  Posts which mention evolution, free will, or Paul Krugman do not generate the highest quality of comments.

Nice to have my suspicions confirmed. We will also have comments occasionally open. But if you can't wait to sound off about Doing Business, there's a discussion running.

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