I’m starting to see more blogs that don’t have any kind of commenting enabled, which I find frustrating. I hit two or three of them just today.
Is it that bugaboo of the late twentieth century, low self esteem? “Nobody will even read my blog, much less want to comment.”
Or is it paranoia? “If I let people comment, they might insult me, or try to sell me viagra.”
Or hubris? “This blog is for my self expression, not yours, lowly reader.”
Hey, Fazia, Jody!
Faz, I had actually complete forgotten that you didn’t have comments when I wrote that, and realize that I have to refine my sense of frustration. I’m not frustrated by your lack of comments because I have a previous relationship with you and know how to contact you. As I surf blogs that are new to me, and don’t have any way to contact the author, that avenue for making a connection is diminished or lost.
So maybe a better way to put it would be to say that it’s frustrating when the author provides no mechanism for feedback, whether it’s public comments or email. I like your idea of a form for private response.
Also right after I posted (post first, think later), the technical challenge of managing comment spam occurred to me. I think there are tools for dealing with it, but I’m sure there are people who don’t want the hassle of taking care of it.
There are several very _specific_ reasons why I don’t have a comments system on my blog/journal. I don’t know if they are same reasons as other folks, but here goes:
1) When I post to my blog/journal it is far more “public” than sending email to a few specific people – And once I’ve posted I’ve pretty much said all I’m going to say in that public sphere. I’d rather continue further conversations in a more private environment. There’s a LOT of things I don’t care to publish to the world at large and I often don’t reply to other people’s blogs/journals because it is such a public act.
2) I’m using my blog/journal more as an exercise in writing everyday. I like getting feedback, but don’t really want to publish that feedback along with what I’ve written. I.e. I’m using this tool to try to improve my writing and I’m not interested in the community aspect of blogs/journals.
3) I’m not interested in the community aspect of blogs/journals because I’m tired of nearly a decade of maintaining listservs. I don’t want to clean up comments from spam, moderate to keep out the loonies, trolls and stalkers, and I’d hate to feel like I ought to respond to every comment. It’s internet community participation burnout essentially – long before I even joined the blogging thing!
There’s a few more vaugeish reasons why I don’t have comments, but these are the most clearly thought out ones. I’m considering adding a form to the bottom of my posts that will allow people to respond – but in email. Nothing will be posted to the site.
I know of one or two blogs that disabled commenting because of the sheer volume of comments (on one post alone there were over 500 comments). And on another blog she admitted disabling comments so she wouldn’t have to worry when nobody left any.
Well, I can understand why people aren’t into comments. I debated on it myself, and I’m still kind of pondering shutting off comments on my site because TypePad still doesn’t quite have the spam protection working well enough yet, and there’s so many spam comments that it’s not worth taking the time to delete them when fifty more will come in. Should I leave the ability for a few people to comment (I have maybe two regular commenters and a few strays that wander in occasionally) or say screw it, the spam is worse?
I’ve noticed it more on very popular weblogs. Many of them complain about having to moderate hundreds of comments, which could mean spending more time moderating than writing. Also, people can always comment on their own weblogs, of course I usually do both.
Oh, it’s pro’ly hubris.
Well nothing like a good shaming to get comments enabled on my site so done – though I did provide an e-mail address on both blogs. ;-) I do share your frustration of seeing a Blog/Site I like and there is no way to contact them.
Bloggers Suffer Burnout is certainly relevant to some of the other comments.
Pingback: Erik's Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Blog
Very good points, Patricia. I stand (sit, whatever) chastised.
Might be a good idea to add more possible reasons to your list. I find “low self esteem”, “or paranoia”, “or hubris” to be quite negative in tone.
How about “lack of technical expertise” as a #1 possibility?
Often those of us who are more computer-knowledgeable forget that there are LOTS of folks on the internet who really don’t know beans about it. I’m sure there are bloggers out there who don’t even know that enabling “comments” is an option.
Yeah, but you use trackback prominently as a substitute.
I’ll cop to paranoia. :)