On Comments

Matt Gemmell wrote a great post this week about why he’s disabling comments on his blog.

I disabled comments on this blog quite a while ago, and since there is a lot of discussion about comments today, I thought it would be a good time to take a moment to explain why.

I noticed a couple of years ago that I was spending less and less time reading comments on websites I visited. It seemed that more and more users were commenting, and the comments were getting less and less valuable.

It has been said ‘Nobody should read the bottom half of the internet,’ and that’s exactly what I was experiencing.

I must say that I never experienced any of that on this blog. All of my readers have always left only the highest quality comments. It just seemed that, as the general quality of comments on the internet was decreasing, it was less important to have comments enabled on my own blog.

Another thing has also changed since I started this blog: many other people have started blogs too.

When I was really getting started on this blog, most people I knew did not have a blog of their own, certainly not outside of Xanga or MySpace.
Today, I have a long list of friends’ blogs that I check regularly. I don’t think I’m alone, either.

Today, it is very easy to publish one’s thoughts online. If you want to respond to something that I’ve said, you don’t need my help to do it. Develop your thoughts into a post that you can be proud to put your name on (or, put your pseudonym on, as the case may be) and publish it on your own blog.

Or you may not want to respond to me quite so publicly. I understand that. This is, after all, a very personal blog. In that case, it might be better to just email me.
Or call me.
Or @reply me.

There are a number of ways to get in touch with me, and the truth is I just didn’t feel like blog comments were a very effective tool.

I think John Gruber said it best, “You write on your site; I write on mine. That’s a response.”