There are 3 distinct ways to interact on EzineArticles.com beyond the normal author membership & article submission process:
1) This blog where you can post comments or reply to a thread but can’t begin a thread. You can subscribe to this blog’s RSS feed. The commentors are mostly loyal to the blogger (I hope ;-).
2) The Forums where you can post comments, post new topics, and be emailed whenever a reply to your comment or new post is commented on. You can subscribe to the forums RSS feed. The commentors are loyal to both the site admin and each other.
3) The articles registered commentor system where you can post comments to any article. There are RSS feeds for every article category but there are no RSS feeds for our article comments and no plans to add them. The commentors are largely loyal to themselves and their private agenda whether it be wanting a link back in exchange for their comments or their need to be expressive.
Some observations: The group that comments on Blog posts are very different than the forums group…even though there is about 15% that cross over to do both.
The blog commentors are clearly more of the early adopter type than the regular forum members… and there is a definite difference in the loyalty factor — which has surprised me. Usually I figured it would be the forum member who would be more loyal to the community because of how membership is required to participate whereas in the blog, there is no membership requirement to add value via a comment — yet there is a strong level of interaction without a membership system. Neat, eh?