What do you think about comments on blogs?
Zeroing in on 10,000 visits to this blog, and getting close to 10,000 visits to my second blog, milestones I promised myself to mark with a reconsideration. Soldier on? Twist my arm. Time to pay for my own website? Can’t decide. Time to consolidate the two blogs? Probably. How about: Time to turn off comments?
Before getting into widgetry though, here’s a hug for writers and readers out there composing, researching, editing, and putting stuff into the ether. It’s hard. It’s brave. The big lesson from blogging is that it’s not a one-way street. For every post I write, there are dozens of writers who provide inspiration, help me think about, re-imagine and negotiate this tech-heavy, exponentially changing information age. I count on your thoughtful essays, how-to lists, your take on politics and reminders to lighten up. Thanks especially to those of you who take the time to write comments.
So, why turn off the comments widget? The idea isn’t mine. Some of the most successful bloggers advise against comments. Put your stuff out there and let it dangle. To me it’s like giving up a security blanket. Comments on my blogs are infrequent, but they feel so good. Time to let go?
If you’re a blogger with a niche, say, you write about cooking or travel, I can see how comments are key. Suggestions, corrections or reports about how a recipe turned out; or feedback on routes or restaurant closings would be very helpful. What about for generalists like me? My posts are all over the place. Not specializing is supposed to be blog suicide, I know, but there you have it. Maybe I will zero in on one thing eventually. Maybe not.
Anyway, this means that many visitors stop in randomly depending on my passion of the week, or whether I’ve recently visited them, and commenters generally express support or disapproval, a simple thumbs up or down. Sometimes discussions happen with people who get in touch off-blog, which is great, but what about those comments on the page? They are a nice pat on the back, but wouldn’t “follow” and “like” buttons do the trick?
Do you have your comment button turned on or off? Why or why not?
P.S. My comment button is on, and yours are welcome