When blogging hit its heyday, it was all about “the conversation.” Everyone was supposed to start blogs in order to start conversations with people. In fact, it was often debated if a blog was really a blog if someone turned off their comments.
When Seth Godin eliminated comments from his blog back in 2006, one of the reasons he cited was “it takes way too much of my time to even think about them, never mind curate them.” Hugh MacLeod said in a random notes on blogging post on his Gapingvoid blog that “If a blog doesn’t allow comments, then yes, it’s still a blog. People who say otherwise are just getting in touch with their ‘Inner Idealistic Wanker.'”
I’ve always been of the mind that a blog must allow comments, although I moderate them on mine – which is something else that many people frown upon. I do it not because I’m afraid of negative comments (I’d welcome them actually, since it would mean I’d elicted some sort of response), but rather because I’m simply trying to keep all the pharma spam off the site believing that if one gets through, 100 will follow quickly behind it.
With the birth of Twitter, many began to wonder Is Twitter Killing Blog Comments? The conversations certainly seem to be shifting away from one focused location on a blog. When I share a link to one of my blog posts on Facebook, almost all of the comments on it remain in Facebook. And, I recently posted something that I thought a particular friend on Twitter might have a comment regarding, so I DM’d them to see what they thought. The answer came back as a direct message, too.
I didn’t specify that I wanted the response in the form of a blog comment (seemed too forward for my style), but as a blogger themselves I thought they might lean that direction. But, no, we are all inclined to take the easiest path to responding, which is generally right where we read something – no extra clicks required.
So with all this worry about The Death of the Blog Comment, it was nice recently to see a post from HubSpot talking about not only the benefits of commenting on blogs, but also giving tips on how to do it constructively. Perhaps there is still a life for blog comments and the news of their death is being greatly exaggerated.
I know I’m going to try to make myself take a little more time and follow the HubSpot tips for adding a “helpful presence in the blogosphere” by commenting on other’s blog posts.