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We love our commenters: permanent choices, horse tails, and odes to spreadsheets

What time is it? Whose pants am I wearing? Where am I? This week has been all about trying to get my bearings as I come down off the high of my 10-day tour of all East Coast Lovesick shows. I've had a couple days this week where I was at my computer from 5am until 8pm… not even because I had so much work to do (although sure, that too) but mostly just because I'm like Yesssss, sweet internet. I have missed you. Sweet data, come closer to me. Pucker up. Yessss. I really loved getting out into the world for a bit, but let's be honest: at my core, I'm a shut-in nerd most comfortable in yesterday's stretch pants.

Anyway! Part of slipping back into my publisher mode has been non-stop motor-boating of the Offbeat Empire's comments, and there were some good ones this week.

Is social media sharing the new commenting?

As a publisher, I've always prioritized toward comments because it's content that I "own." Yeah, someone else wrote it, but I own the pageviews (and the related ad sales)… and in exchange, I bear the responsibility of keeping those conversations in-line with my brand. Hence, our stringent commenting policies because I believe VERY strongly that if your website's full of assholes, it's your fault.

That said, it's started to sink in that readers aren't coming back to blog comments… and really, social media shares are more valuable for me anyway. Here's why…