Posted on October 24, 2013 by mls888
I’m Michael Son and I work with companies that use Disqus to build and participate in great online communities.
There are many stereotypes about people who comment online. In our own experience across the 3 million sites that use Disqus, we see more good than bad. Here’s one example: across Disqus, people can vote on comments to quickly show how they feel — 85% of comment votes are positive upvotes. But we wanted to seek out some independent validation and learn more about how and why you use Disqus everyday.
So we recently commissioned an independent research study (conducted by NetPop Research) to better understand you and how you use Disqus. Our thanks go to the 1,000 of you who took the time to share your thoughts. What we learned will help us make Disqus even better, for everyone.
What follows are some excerpts from the research whitepaper that we thought you may find interesting yourself. Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Geeks Searching for Stuff Worth Talking About
What we found is that people who are active on Disqus are more like “geeks” — in the best sense of the word. They have niche interests and passions. And a lot of times, mainstream content sources don’t fill their needs. So they consume more content on independent websites, the types of sites that use Disqus to make the community a part of the experience.
More specifically, Disqus users are visiting twice as many websites a month compared to the average person. They share and contribute 3 times more often. They tweet twice as much. And, as experts and geeks, they tend to have larger influence with more social followers than average.
Their personal motivations also run counter to stereotypes. It’s not about building a personal reputation or even to be entertained. They’re motivated to learn from others, contribute something that was missed and share an expertise.
Devoted and On the Hunt for More
Each of us knows a little too much about something that we’re passionate about (and may care to admit.) Maybe it’s comic books, celebrity gossip, fantasy football, modern art, or whatever else floats your boat.
Our study showed that people on Disqus are devoted to their passions and hobbies, exploring them online more than the average Internet user. They spend more of their time on smaller, organic sites that offer them the space to properly “geek out.” Each month, they are visiting 15 sites related to a specific passion on average, which is over 50% higher than seen with the typical user.
Consumption Habits: More Sites, More Sharing
Our research confirmed Disqus users simply spend more time online, seeking more news, information and social content across all areas of the Web. The data makes it clear: people who use Disqus visit nearly twice as many websites per month (23 total) than the average Internet user (13 total.)
Disqus users consume more. Here is why we know:
- They share comments and opinions 3x more often than the average Internet user.
- They consume more. They’re 2x as active on Twitter.
Participation and Influence Go Hand-in-Hand
The Disqus audience doesn’t just want to read the story, they want to be part of the story.
An especially compelling finding was around why people comment. It’s not about building their reputation of benefiting personally. They are motivated to share their expertise, influence opinions and contribute something that was missed or overlooked.
In addition, as experts and geeks, they tend to have larger influence, with over 100 more social followers compared to the average Internet user.
Natural Brand Advocates
A key challenge that brands face today is finding those who want to actively engage. Connecting with the people who use Disqus is becoming a core part of the modern brand playbook whether it’s by adding our discussion service to their content sites, participating in Disqus discussions or bringing scale to content-advertising with our ad product Promoted Discovery.
Our study revealed that the Disqus audience is talking about brands in more ways online than regular Internet users. They are more likely to take specific brand-related actions including commenting, writing reviews, providing endorsements, or sharing and posting links to content about brands and products.
That wraps it up at a high level. We invite you to request access to the full research report on our Advertising page.
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