I've been on Infobarrel log enough to notice the severe lack on comments on nearly all the articles. A piece of writing with over 500 views can have zero comments, or ratings for that matter. Is the Infobarrel community too lazy to comment on other's work? Or are we just too darn selfish?
Of course, I don't actually believe that you guys are such things. All users are very friendly, and I had a great first impression of the people here. I believe it is the site with the most potential throughout all the other sites you can write for (*cough cough eHow...); however, being one of the newer sites on the Internet, the community is not as large, and comments/ratings to mean a lot for the author. How can we encourage more users to comment and rate?
On the internet, the sites that receive the most comments are sites centered around a single topic. Because I'm interested with news in the gaming industry, I visit a gaming news site frequently (N4G), and you can see posts receiving hundreds of comments within minutes of them being posted. Admittedly, they're not usually written by the users, but similar principles should apply here. I believe grouping up people who have similar interests is bound to result in more interaction between them. Putting an emphasis on the eight different article categories just might do the trick, along with displaying articles from certain categories on the homepages of each user through what he/she writes for or reads the most.
When I visit the category pages, I'm somewhat turned off by how cluttered it feels. I those pages should receive an overhaul, not by adding more, but by simplifying. Few people care about reading the definition at the top of each of those pages, and it also blocks out space that can be used to show article headlines. The sub-category section can also be compressed into a much smaller box on the side.
I'm not expecting these changes to be made to Infobarrel anytime soon. I don't know moderators' plans for this site... this article was mostly written out of my disappointment from the lack of comments on my articles, not allowing me to see if people are liking or detesting my work. But in the foreseeable future, I can see Infobarrel growing into a much larger site, attracting many new users to write and comment. Untill then...