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Colin Doyle
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"The whole banking system rests on confidence, and most of the time it is there. It's like oxygen: when it's there you don't even notice it; when it disappears it's the only thing you notice. In a sense, there are two kinds of truths: "Truth 1" is something that is true whether... More
  • Do Seeking Alpha Members Have More Passion For Politics Than We Do For Investing?  5 comments
    May 11, 2012 7:47 PM

    This article has nearly 390 comments so far, presumably because it features a controversial statement about Paul Krugman in the title:

    seekingalpha.com/article/556041-why-new-...

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  • Rookie IRA Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2537) | Send Message
     
    Not really. Had you been privy to a recent discussion on the SA authors' discussion board, you would have seen opinions regarding how less than 1% of page viewers ever comment even on the most commented articles, and how the majority of comments are fueled more by emotional concerns than by investment concerns.

     

    For example take a look at the Apple articles, which get far more page views than any other, and you will see that a large number of the commenters are diehard Apple fans who will insult any author who writes anything bearish about their pet stock.

     

    In the political discussions, you will find they are dominated by scared old men who are terrified of the little that they have being taken away from them and given to someone else. This underlying point of view tends to inform everything that they write.,

     

    Seeking Alpha has several audiences. The management wants writers to target the highly educated and sophisticated investors, but the writers are paid by the number of page clicks they get, and there seems to be quite a disparity, so that the articles that are most clicked on are by no means the most profound in terms of discussion of investment opportunities.

     

    The article you mention has hundreds of comments, but I doubt whether it is as high in the number of total page views as it might appear.
    12 May 2012, 05:10 PM Reply Like
  • Colin Doyle
    , contributor
    Comments (708) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » "In the political discussions, you will find they are dominated by scared old men who are terrified of the little that they have being taken away from them and given to someone else."

     

    Thank you so much for writing this; because I've suspected a similar motivation. I've tried to discuss this with people but you are the first person I have met that has thought about this very issue and arrived at a conclusion much the same as mine.

     

    I also agree with this:

     

    "The management wants writers to target the highly educated and sophisticated investors, but the writers are paid by the number of page clicks they get, and there seems to be quite a disparity, so that the articles that are most clicked on are by no means the most profound in terms of discussion of investment opportunities."

     

    That being said, I do think we disagree somewhat on the correlation between comments and page views. My suspicion is that there is likely a decent correlation between the page views and comments; and thus a greater number of comments probably hints at a greater number of page views. I wonder if the Seeking Alpha team has graphed out the data.
    12 May 2012, 05:56 PM Reply Like
  • Rookie IRA Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2537) | Send Message
     
    I don't think that data is available, or at least not to me. No, based on my own articles there is no correlation between the number of comments and the number of page views. (I am probably giving away trade information here, but not many people will see this.)

     

    An article that has APPL as the lead ticker will get thousands of page views within the first couple of hours, but with very few comments. For example an article of mine was published at 11:00 p.m. and by 6 a.m. it had 7,500 page views, but only 2 comments.

     

    When articles get a lot of comments it is often because the article is disliked by the readership. For example any bearish article on AAPL or SIRI will get lots of comments. If there are errors in the articles, they will also get a lot of comments. On the other hand you don't see a lot of comments saying "thanks, that was a really interesting article" or adding useful information that expands on the content of the article.

     

    One writer (I won't name him, since this is information from the authors' discussion board) recounts writing 2 or three articles that got 20,000 page views, one of which got zero comments, and another only 3.

     

    Some authors will respond personally to any constructive comments, while others completely ignore the comments. The authors who respond, are likely, I think to pick up more followers who read all their articles, but even so the number of page views on popular articles bears very little relation to the number of followers. Some writers have as many as 50,000 followers, which is part of a heritage situation in which new members were once automatically assigned to certain writers in their area of interest, however they do not report higher average page views any higher than mine.
    12 May 2012, 10:53 PM Reply Like
  • Andrew Borenzweig
    , contributor
    Comments (117) | Send Message
     
    I have first hand knowledge on this topic, and completely agree. I wrote an article about General Motors, and commented on another and there were a minimal amount of comments considering GM as an investment. Rather, they were all about bailout sentiment, government control, etc. Many SA readers seem to lose track of the purpose of the articles/website and prefer to discuss politics as opposed to investment. Dependent on topic/stock of course.
    15 Aug 2012, 01:41 PM Reply Like
  • Colin Doyle
    , contributor
    Comments (708) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Yes, it's especially painful when someone writes something thoughtful and articulate, only to have it de-railed by someone responding with something about Obama. Sometimes people do it to themselves, even. They write something great and then try to relate it to Obama in the last sentence, ruining any hopes for a thoughtful discussion. It's like a new national obsession--people trying to relate everything to Obama.

     

    "Isn't it a nice day out, honey?"
    "Not if OBAMA has his way!
    "Okay dear.... don't forget to take your blood pressure pills...."
    3 Oct 2012, 05:28 PM Reply Like
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