One reader took issue with disabled comments at my blog. I came across the idea recently and it resonated with me. I’m trying it out.
There are plenty of free blogging services and places for people to respond to what others think. People are free to comment by blogging themselves and linking to the original post. Many blogging engines like WordPress automatically send a URL (trackback) to the comments of the originating entry. This has the potential to raise the level of the conversation by blogging about the topic instead of leaving a comment. If you really value what someone has said and want to respond in a visible way, linking to their post from your blog provides much wider exposure and continues the conversation in a more global (and hopefully) meaningful way. It takes a little more effort, but if we really value or disagree with what someone else has said I think it is a better way to deliver the message.
I highly recommend Merlin Mann’s presentation called How to Blog … skip to 5 minutes in where the presentation starts. It is insightful, profound, and really funny in places. He talks about finding your voice and talking about what you are passionate about. He also explains his reasoning for turning comments off. As he puts it, “I’m interested in what somebody has to say in their own living room where they don’t poop on the couch.” The presentation is well worth sixty minutes of your time.
I am torn on disabling comments because I appreciate the comments many people have left. Most comments have been helpful and constructive and I’ve learned good things from them. Others have felt like unresolved fedora mailing list discussions where sometimes people seem more focused on trading opinions rather than truly listening and seeking to find value in another person’s point of view.
For now I don’t see my blog as a forum or discussion board. I see it as place to share my thoughts and be my own voice.
Here were some other thoughts on blog comments I thought were meaningful: