Sunday, June 18, 2006

Seth Godin on blog comments

Why I don't have comments

by Seth Godin


Judging from the response to my last post, some of my readers are itching to find a comment field on my posts from now on. I can't do that for you, alas, and I thought I'd tell you why.

I think comments are terrific, and they are the key attraction for some blogs and some bloggers. Not for me, though.

First, I feel compelled to clarify or to answer every objection or to point out every flaw in reasoning.

Second, it takes way too much of my time to even think about them, never mind curate them.

And finally, and most important for you, it permanently changes the way I write. Instead of writing for everyone, I find myself writing in anticipation of the commenters. I'm already itching to rewrite my traffic post below.

So, given a choice between a blog with comments or no blog at all, I think I'd have to choose the latter.

So, bloggers who like comments, blog on. Commenters, feel free. But not here. Sorry.


I still don't get it.

Why would any blogger think they have to "answer every objection" or "point out every flaw in reasoning" that they get in comments?

I never write "in anticipation of the commenters".

While I like Seth, and consider him to be a smart marketing writer, I just don't get his avoidance of candid conversations with his readers.

But many good bloggers do not allow comments: Doc Searls, Evan Williams, Chris Locke, etc.

What do you think? Do blogs absolutely need to allow comments? Are the objections to comments valid?

I think it's mandatory to have comments enabled, but then again, I can see how a blogger might want to just post his thoughts, like footnotes to a book, which is how I think of Seth's Blog.


Mohamed Taher said...

I have cited your blog in my most recent post: Visualizing Comments on Blogs

Would appreciate if you leave your visual signature (I mean your comments) at my blog.

Best, Mohamed

Mohamed Taher said...

Hi Steve
I am back. I have learnt two lessons from you.

One is despite the negative side of welcoming bloggers (as you mentioned at my blog), I see a positive side of the issue.

Second lesson i learnt from you is to put off the comments pop up window. My response to your words of wisdom are already in air.

Thanks for the help and blessing my home with good Karma.

Best, Mohamed

Mohamed Taher said...

Hi Steve
What comes round goes round.
Thanks for the positive outlook.
Your comments are gems. And, I will follow these words of wisdom -- a.k.a. best practices.

carrie said...

a few of the blogs on my blogroll have comments disabled. they are still good blogs. it gives a different feel to the blog, that's for sure.

maybe removinng comments is one way to cut down on time spent online?