From a Blog To a Community

fredwilsonThe thing I love the most about blogging is the conversation in the comments. The comments in a blog turn it from a broadcast medium to a community. I think community is where it’s at. Unfortunately, turning a blog into a community is the hardest part of blogging.

One of the best blogging communities on the web today is Fred Wilson’s AVC Blog. Fred gets 100’s of comments a day. They are killer comments from some cool folks. The comments are so good, it’s not uncommon for them to produce a secondary conversation. I’ve had some great conversations with folks in his comment stream. It is truly a community.

I want to build a community like that here. I love the conversation.

With this in mind, I was curious; how long does it take? Assuming the obvious, good content, consistency of posts, links from other blogs, etc, how long does it take to go from being a blog to being a community?

I looked at Fred’s posts starting from day. Like most new bloggers, he had few comments. He averaged less then 10 a day in his first year. In some respect you could say he was doing a little better than most new bloggers, as they avg less than 2 a day. But, after a year his blog was far from a community. He was posting some great stuff. His take on search during Google’s IPO is killer, considering it was over 5 years ago. I looked at year two, a modest increase in the comments and participation, but still no community. His third year, similar results. Then around March of 2008, something changes. AVC becomes a community. It wasn’t like a switch went on, but it was that month when comments on Fred’s blog started to act like a community. It was at that point his comment averaged 20 per post, with some posts having 100’s of comments.

I say Fred’s blog became a community in March of 2008. I don’t know the reason, if there were some event, like Twitter, or something else. What I do know is it took 4 1/2 years. That’s a long time, but worth it.

Fred has a destination blog. It’s a great community, with great readers, who are smart, engaging and not afraid to say what they think.

I want that here and if it takes 4 years so be it. At least now I know.