The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Is Anybody Out There?

August 21, 2012

One of the questions heard around the mid-tier blogsphere “why doesn’t anybody comment anymore?” Answers usually invoke ‘big think’ claims about the changing ecology and norms of blogging, the topics addressed at particular blogs, and so on. 
Here at the Duck, I tend not to worry about this kind of thing. After all, I know we have a decent number of regulars. Certain posts generate good discussions. Disqus is kind of a pain. Some months, such as August, are slow.
But occasionally one of our bloggers sends me an email noting that we have posts that generate significant numbers when it comes to”hits” but no commentary. And as I give my canned answers I think to myself: “isn’t the main point of the Duck to create a community of discourse? If we pride ourselves on our reach within the greater IR community, shouldn’t we be doing more to encourage engagement?”
So consider this an open thread. Are there things we can do to make the Duck a more hospitable and inviting place for engaged discussion? What suggestions or constructive criticisms do you have? Are there things you’d like to see us do more of?
PS: failure to comment constitutes, in this context, a kind of comment.
PPS: it may not seem like it, but we even appreciate requests to vary the videos, as we recently received. 
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Daniel H. Nexon is a Professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. His academic work focuses on international-relations theory, power politics, empires and hegemony, and international order. He has also written on the relationship between popular culture and world politics.