Want comments from readers? Write about wind farms
Posted by David Brooks | Monday, May 6, 2013
Ever since The Telegraph switched to Facebook comments for its articles, the number of reader responses on most stories has plummeted. I'm not certain why: perhaps people don't want their real names attached to their comments, or fewer Telegraph readers are on Facebook than we thought, or it adds one extra layer of hassle that makes the whole process not worth the time.
The same thing happened in this blog, where comments virtually disappeared once we instituted the Facebook requirement. In this case, I suspect an added cause: Engineering types who read GraniteGeek are less prone to be on Facebook, or more worried about Facebook privacy issues, than the general public.
But there are certain subjects which hit enough buttons to overcame this drawback. Consider a story I had in Sunday's paper on the state of wind farms in New Hampshire: It has more comments tha anything I've published in many months, mostly of people yelling at each other.
My favorite part of that story is that it gave me a chance to remind people that NH had the world's first wind farm: A semi-experimental effort on Crotched Mountain in Francestown, built by UMass-Amherst in the early 1980s, when that school was a global wind-power pioneer. Here's a discussion of their history, if you'd like to learn more.