One point that was raised on the last entry was that posting the Stats Wizard often results in an entry chock-full of comments, often frivolous, by people seeking to boost their position to something more 'respectable'. While this is obviously true (throw a chart at someone and you instantly have a competion, and no-one wants to look like a bad or lazy friend), I would argue that as time goes on, the regular commenters will continue their consistent replies and by the next appearance of the Stats Wizard, the gains of the non-regulars have been negated by the consistency of the regulars. So this got me thinking about the nature of LJ comments, and more specifically, the people who try to predict how and why they're made - such as the theories for and against lj-cuts that I decided to unscientifically trial back in May. I frankly think such predictions can't be accurate; if there's one thing that was clear from my lj-cut trial, it's that there are so many variables that you simply can't predict what's going to happen. So often I've posted or known people to post entries that they think are amazing - and almost no-one's commented. On the other hand, I have these entries that I think are total garbage and certainly not commentworthy but they've gathered hundreds of comments.
I've long since given up trying to figure out what makes people comment beyond a simple statement of "right entry in the right place at the right time for the right individual". I would admit that in a sense, I write in the hope people will reply and have a conversation with me. However, that's purely the nature of the writer in me - I don't often write for myself, as I consider my writing to be a dialogue rather than just some monologue. I like to write for a purpose, but if I'm writing for myself, I just shove the writing away where no-one can read it, and that doesn't feel like a purpose. While the outpouring of ideas and emotions is great, I find it even greater when it stimulates an exchange between two or more individuals.