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Why should I comment on other people's posts?

Teng Li's picture

Each post in iMechanica is followed by a section called "Post your comments". This is a place where the readers of a post can raise a question, make an argument, or just share individual thoughts on the subject of this post. This is also a place where the author of a post can respond to the readers' comments by answering questions, or elaborating the original post. This way, mechanicians can interact with each other. More often, any thought-provoking comments may stir up a second round (or even more rounds) of discussion. This is exactly how popular web news forums, such as , form their dynamic community. For example, a hot topic there can easily receive hundreds comments in a short period of time, from which the subject can be many times elaborated than the original post.

Making a comment in iMechanica is just like making a post. Edit your comment in the text editing box, and then submit. You can give a title to your comment, or just leave it blank. You can also make an organic comments by hyperlinking to your previous posts or others'. Your name and your personal picture (if you have one in your profile) will appear with your comment, which can lead any reader of interest to your profile and to your blog.

So, readers of iMechanica, post your comment if you want say something about a post. Writers in iMechanica, respond to your reader's comment. This way, mechanicians can communicate through iMechanica, and form an active community.

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Zhigang Suo's picture

Teng has already said how your thoughtful comment on a post may benefit the writer of the original post and other readers. In fact, iMech is set up so that posting a thoughtful comment also benefits you, the author of the comment.

In iMech, each individual comment has a unique URL, so that you and others can make a hyperlink to your particular comment. The URL of a comment is displayed in the navigation bar of your browser when you click the title of the comment. If you have a useful item in a comment, you've just made another atom, ready to react with other posts and comments. For example, here is a link to a comment I made. When you click the link, this comment appears on the top in your browser. By scrolling up and down, you can see the context of the comment.

If you make a helpful comment, you and your own work become more visible. Your name and your photo is attached with each comment. Other readers would like to find out who you are if you post a thoughtful comment. Once they click your name or yuor photo, they reach your personal profile. They will find about your recent work provided that you have posted in your account.

You can place a hyperlink in your comment, pointing towards your own work. Of course, you would do it with good taste, trying to be relevant to the original post and helpful to the original writer and other readers. If the original post become popular, with many inbound hyperlinks, your comment will be read by many, and so perhaps your other posts.

Of course, commenting is another means to weave iMechanica into a web of mechanics and mechanicians. That is what iMech is about.

You can also track comments.  For any post you select, you can be alerted whenever a new comment is added.  

Zhigang Suo's picture

Point the cursor to the title of the comment, right click the mouse, and select "Send Link". Your email window should pop up, with the URL of the comment already in the body of the email.

Zhigang Suo's picture

When you write a comment, you can fill up a one-line text box called "Subject".  Although this box is optional, it serves as the title of your comment, and appears on the right side of iMechanica.  Other iMechanicians will see the title and decide if they want to click to read your comment.  As such, you may want to fill this one-line box with a descriptive title to your comment. 

I often fill up this one-line box after I finish writing the comment.  By then I know exactly what I want to say, and can write a brief, descriptive title.

If you leave the one-line box open, the software will automatically use part of the first sentence of your comment as the subject.

Of course we'd like to think that there is already enough incentive to post or comment on iMechanica, but I think it might be useful to consider others.
Depending on the amount of interest iMechanica generates, I think some ideas may be relatively easy to realize.

Several journals now provide reviewers with book points when they complete a review. In my opinion, this is quite generous of them, and it's a nice reward that builds up with multiple reviews. I just used my Springer book points accumulated over just one year to purchase a text valued at $130.

Now, could something similar be done with iMechanica? Perhaps if Springer or another publisher were allowed to advertise here, they could provide even quite small, fractional book points based on #posts, etc.

There could of course be other incentives of this nature that aren't necessarily book points. If the site generates revenue based on advertising, perhaps an award could be given each year to the best post (as voted by all users)?

Xi Chen's picture

John, I think this is a great idea. In fact the long-term development of many similar websites depends on advertisements. Besides publishers, maybe some companies (e.g. MTS) may want to put their ad here. Of course we need to be careful not to overload the site with ads. Besides awards, some of the revenue could be used for upgrading the hardware -- right now I think all costs are borne by Harvard?

Having ads from certain companies also helps the users of this website. For example, if I wish to purchase a nanoindenter or upgrade lab equipment for my course, this could be a useful resource to look at.

It would be great if we could first come up with a few names of such companies. We could either find long-term partners who give us a certain amount of financial support to display their ads on iMechanica, or short-term partners who pay per click of their link. These are just my immature thoughts based on my knowledge of how similar BBS are operating.

Teng Li's picture

John, thank you for pointing out the book points mechanism.  Your comment brought up a crucial issue for the "sustainable development" of iMechanica.  I believe the incentive mechanism and external sponsorships for iMechanica should come up on our agenda sooner or later.  Various incentive mechanisms have been widely used in web forums to stimulate user participation.  We should definitely explore some mechanism suitable for our targeting users and feasible for our current platform. The book points mechanism sounds very interesting.

I share with Xi's view on the possible advertisement in iMechanica.  Most successful community/forum-type websites maintain long-term relationship with their sponsors.  When a website blooms with increasing users and pageloads, system (both hardware and software) upgrade becomes necessary to maintain quality of service for the community.  This is where financial issue kicks in for many blooming websites.  If iMechanica keeps growing at current pace, we probably will face such happy problems within a year or two, depending how generous Harvard DEAS is on hardware and maintainance support.  Besides commercial sponsorship, we can also pursue financial supports from organizations and agencies, such as ASME and NSF.  The bottom line is, we're forming a dynamic and ever growing community of mechanicians.

Back to my original post, at its infancy stage, iMechanica needs enthusiastic practitioners just like everyone of us, contributing gem posts and adding thought-provoking comments.  iMechanica belongs to its every user.

Zhigang Suo's picture

"What does an abundance of information create? A scarcity of attention." This quote was used by Fred Wilson, a venture capitalist, in a recent keynote at an Information Technology Summit. His talks about the changing business model when information does become free. You can view the pdf and video of his talk. Watching his talk reminded me of this thread of discussion. I think we ought to broaden this discussion.

The mission of iMechanica is decidedly not commercial. However, it does not prevent us from learning from people who are in the business of monetizing free information.

The essential question for us is, I think, how can we make mechanics and mechanicians even more valuable in the world of abundant and (inevitably) free information? The quote at the beginning of the comment points out the general direction. It is up to us to create detailed mechanisms to make us and our subject valuable in our time.

Zhigang Suo's picture

Jon Udell's recent post talks about the dynamics of comments in blogsphere. Tools like CoComment will help us when we track a lot of comments. We will enable comment tracking on iMechanica when the need arises.

We have tested CoComment on iMechLab.  You can give it a try, too. 

I agree with it. It is true.

you know what, posting comments on others blogs will be better for you in two ways if you are in blogging, first you will get a back link and second you will read a many posts and then you will implement in your blogs. LIke <a href="">hair loss product</a> blogs will tell you much more things about hair looss reasons and treatment, you werenot knowing all these things before.

Posting comments is an interactive feature and perhaps that's why people love it so much. Man being social loves to interact, be it face to face or via the online medium. Apart from voicing your opinions via comments, you can also get to hear what the views of others are. Sometimes controversial posts or comments give rise to a lot of discussion and counter discussion. Some analytical comments, on the other hand, may help us to view the same issue from a different or fresh perspective. In other words, posting comments, reading others' views etc  is an enriching experience.

I'm glad that the are a lot of such specialized site as iMechinica where most important and recent scopes are dicussed. And of course, the main idea of every discussion is a dialogue, or comments in our case. I remember, first I used to seek some dissertation help in the web and that worked. From that time I often use researching online centers. This is too useful, when you while resolving your scientific deals can interact and have conversations with colleagues all over tht world, especially colleagues that working on the same questions. Just this is world progress engine))

There’s a very amusing thread about this over at’s flames forum - best quote "But
it is kind of flattering for them to think that the demoscene coders
now have found a way to pack 1 whole tv series episode into a ~30KB
file :)

I've found some of the best music on that site, and from what I've seen
done with compressed visuals (PTCT (73KB), eqx (64KB)), I almost
wouldn't put it past them.  Perhaps of interest to iMechanica is the deforming mesh pattern in ms2000in (46KB).

Thank you for your great article. It's a very helpful to me

:) This is the first time I have seen a ponst on how to post comments. On any web designer tutorial site or webmaster site. Had never recognised the importance of this.

 There is huge crowd turning towards internet and blogging day by day so we cant expect every one to know.

 Great efforts by the op. And BTW comments do play an important role in the SEO and indexing ect of the website cos every comment adds up to the content of the site.



Its really a fact that when we share our thoughts we get a bigger and clearer view of the subject we are talking / discussing about. These helpful thoughts can help anyone who is seeking them. I liked this article very much. I have registered an account here and now I am too a part of U...

Bye seen u soon.

Posting comments on other posts make the blogger feel confident of what he is sharing with the world, seeing a response from the community is a good motivation for the person to proceed with his or her writing career.



Cullen's picture

I often visit you site and read useful information. You touches upon different processes in science. I have explored a lot of interesting data there. By the way I'm interested in this field of study. A lot of my classmates use  information from this site for university essay writing jobs  . It helps make good research in different field of mechanic, honestly. Respect!!!!

Cullen, the student 

First of all, it should be said that the introduction could provide a more profound insight in the overview since it seems as if setting the goals is not sufficient to fully introduce the problem and the ways of its solution. That is a clever one observation made by a prominent person. Some materials of my colleagues were also of that kind as well as , i guess.

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