Before I get into such a deep and heady topic — whether or not bloggers should allow comments — can I just say WHOA:
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We had some serious severe weather in my ‘hood last night, which meant the doggies hunkered down with me and tried to hide under the pillows with every boom of thunder. They’re 90-pound wussies.
So, on to the topic at hand — and to get us started, you should know that I hovered over this little menu item for a solid 10 minutes this week.
I almost unchecked the box that allows new comments…but decided not to make a change. Here’s why (and why I didn’t).
Why I Thought About Closing Comments
- I started comparing my blog posts to others, and measuring solely in comments left. I was wondering whether the response (or seeming lack thereof) was worth all of the time and effort I put into my posts.
- I tend to write about tools and philosophies that people actually use as to-do items — I’m not a lifecaster (although I love those of you who are!). I’d prefer people take my posts and act on them on their own blogs and networks than spend that time leaving me a thank you.
- If people want to contact me, I give them lots of options, including links to all of my social networks AND my email address. Closing comments wouldn’t mean closing the communication resources.
- I feel guilty when I don’t respond to each and every person, even if he or she hasn’t asked a question.
Why I Didn’t
- I realized that while I don’t always get a ton of comments, when I do, they are good ones and may be the easiest way for some readers to give me feedback.
- While I don’t have a huge membership in terms of comments, my blog is more “popular” than ever — the pageviews are up, the number of people subscribing to updates through RSS and email boggles my mind, and every post that goes to Twitter and Facebook gets a nice bump. I realized that I need to expand the way that I measure so-called success.
- I’ve spent too much time trying to convince others that comments are crucial (unmoderated ones, at that) and I just couldn’t pull the trigger.
- I blog because I love it. If 10 people read it or 10,000, I’ll never stop. And for all of you who stop by and give me a few moments of your life, thank you. You give me feedback in support in more ways than I can count. Comments are just one way you show it.
- I don’t care how or where the conversation happens — just that it happens. So the more places I keep open (Facebook, Twitter, comments), the more opportunities there are.
This post might seem whiny — “whyyyyyy aren’t people commenting? love me! feed me! never leave me!” — but I wanted to share a little bit of the thought process that I went through when it came to personal analytics for the blog. The main reason I considered shutting down comments was to take the pressure off me — to allow me the freedom to post whatever I want without wondering whether people or not would respond to it.
Ironically, I’m now going to ask you to comment — how often do you leave comments on blogs, and how often do you read comments left by others?