When blogs first started, the buzz words were all about community and discussion through comments and trackbacks from other blogs.  Then it was all about getting subscribers (remember the million little RSS icons?).  Next up came all the little icons for sharing the post on different sites and getting Dugg.  Now it’s all about getting people to re-tweet the post and spread their story virally.

In my last post I wondered about the tweet-to-comment ratio (I’m still digesting your fantastic comments – thank you!) and I’m still wondering if the viral-focus has meant more traffic but less real engagement and community on many blogs.  That’s not to say they can’t be found on blogs, it’s just that many of the big blogs are now morphing into something quite different than, say, a niche blog with a focused readership.

If I go to Mashable, I’m not really ever interested in the comments to be honest.  It’s all about the news for me.  Their design reflects this, with such a tiny emphasis on the number of comments, or the ability to add a comment:

Tweetmeme’s retweet button and Facebook’s share button are now the new standard.

However, for blogs which do want to keep an equal emphasis on commenting as well as sharing virally, perhaps there should be a “new” design for comment buttons which is something like this:

Or something like what we did on a recent blog design (this requires using Tweetmeme’s API, not their standard buttons):

What do you think? When you look at your blog’s design, does it reflect the priority you want to give to commenting vs re-tweeting and sharing or have the big buttons muscled in and taken over?

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