Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The 96 percent

If you've ever been on the New Zealand art review site EyeContact (the place everyone says they never visit to but go there anyway), you will know that its editor John Hurrell rules with an iron hand. One of his bugbears is people who want to comment on reviews but prefer to remain anonymous or use internet sigs. Given the size of the New Zealand art scene you can get their point but JH has been firm: sign in or stay out. Still, he might like to consider new research courtesy of Disqus that shows that maybe the option of anonymity encourages participation and that people who use pseudonyms or social media IDs make the best comments. Disqus is a global comments system used by the likes of CNN, Time, Blogger and tumblr and their findings about how their system is used surprised us. Apparently 61 percent of commenters use pseudonyms, 35 percent choose to be anonymous and 4 percent use their real identity. They also found “those with pseudonyms post the best comments” and that commenters using pseudonyms are most likely to post 'positive' quality comments that get likes and replies”. As to the likelihood of John Hurrell changing his policy? No comment.