You've heard the debate about comments on blogs, right?
The conversation comes up a lot about comments on blogs. I used to tell people that I really appreciate comments on blogs. But that was back in 2013. And things aren't exactly the same today. Today I no longer allow comments on my blog.
My friend Matt raised the question the other day.
When my friend Mika suggested I write about it, I decided I would explain myself.
Why I no longer allow comments
There are three reasons why I no longer allow comments on my blog.
The first is that they've changed. Back in 2012, 2013, and even 2014, many of the comments were questions that people wrote. And other people would come and answer those questions. There was “community” happening.
But in the last few years, comments haven't often been questions. In fact, before I killed the comments, I analyzed the tens of thousands of comments to discover that less than 10% were questions.
Most of the comments were complaints. And many of the complaints weren't even directed at me. They were complaints about the products I was writing about. They were complaints about the pricing of the products. They were support complaints (about a product that wasn't mine).
And then there were ones that were way worse.
The second reason I no longer allow comments on my blog is because the content on my site was hurting other people. It wasn't my blog post, but it was on my site. So when someone would write mean and hateful stuff – often in a reply to someone else's innocent question or opinion – it became my job to moderate the comments. And if I didn't do it fast enough, others would get hurt.
I have no interest in policing people.
It sucks that people can't manage themselves, but their poor choices was costing me a lot of energy and effort. Effort that was multiple times the work of writing a post.
I didn't have an interest in doing that much work, just so people could read my posts in peace.
The third reason is because the community went other places. As social media grew in dominance, and blogs started taking a smaller role in online conversations and community, I noticed that more discussions were happening on Twitter (at least for me) than on my own blog.
“Go where the conversation is happening,” has always been my advice. So I decided to take it for myself.
Should you allow comments on your blog?
I think the answer is completely up to you. I don't think there's one and only one answer. In the end, I did what I thought was best for me. You may find that you don't have issues with comment moderation, or that your site is still creating a community. In that case, you should do what's right for you and your site.
For me, it was pretty clear that my life, and yours, would be better without comments on my site. But you can always hit me up on Twitter.