The Bloggess Confession: The Most Commented Blog Post Ever?
Two weeks ago, The Bloggess - one of the most popular bloggers in existence - posted a confession of "self-harm" that has caught absolute wildfire in cyberspace. As of this writing, the post has 2480 direct comments, 4963 tweets, and 4630 Facebook "shares". These numbers do not even include indirect comments on external social media sites like Reddit or Digg.
The crux of her post...
I self-harm. I don’t do it all the time and it’s not enough to put me into an institution or threaten my well-being, but it’s enough to make it frightening to live in my body sometimes. I’m far from suicidal. I do it to self-sooth, because the physical pain distracts me from the mental pain. It’s one of those things that’s impossible to explain to people who don’t understand impulse control disorder. Honestly, I find it hard to understand it to myself and I’m working my ass off to fix it now before my daughter is old enough to see the things I don’t want her to see. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done.
The response was immediate and remains ongoing. Readers posted thousands of comments, almost completely positive and supportive, sharing their own stories of self-destructive behavior. On Twitter, a new hashtag was created, #travelingreddress, where people could show support for a project that The Bloggess created last year seeking to empower women.
All of this is a feel-good social media story, but I'm particularly curious about that astronomical number of comments directly on her site - 2480 for a single post. As any blogger can tell you, that is so ridiculously above the norm of even the most highly successful posts that I spent the better part of this morning trying to determine if it may, indeed, be the single most commented-on blog post ever.
What did I uncover? Only how frustrating it is to get that kind of information. Why does no one keep meaningful statistics about social media? To support this point, The Nerfherder once did a blog post almost three years ago on the top-earning blogs in cyberspace, and it remains one of the most-visited posts to this day, despite being outdated.
Here's a challenge to any amateur researchers out there... how could one go about collecting such statistics? There are some inherent difficulties, but it's pretty clear that there has to be a market for this information for which a simple Google search doesn't provide an answer. Any ideas?