Since several years already ‘elite bloggers’ have moved to delete comments from their site. The reasons for this are often multiple and include, not limited to, more focus on the content, less (off topic) debate, the difficulty to highlight better commentary and many more.
This week saw another example of a respected blogger justifying his decision to not having comments on his site.
In a lengthy entry arguing his decision with an example, Marco highlights a long rant by a The Verge reader. The comment is basically geared against the so-called ‘iCult’ and hits out at Mac developers not knowing how to program. Marco replies via his entry and goes an extra-ordinarily lengths to justify his CS background, and knowledge of programming. In his post he even quotes the full comment, because his site doesn’t have any comments.
The first reaction, as a comment-allowing site owner, is of course to say ‘If you can’t take the heat or don’t want to take the heat, use the delete button’.
But of course deleting comments is usually an even more sensible issue. When a negative comment is deleted, often the poster will run to social media platforms and buzz the fact that their comment has been deleted.
It’s a lose-lose situation
Sadly by not allowing comments, often a smart conversation goes lost as well, and if people make the effort to get in touch with the author(1) often the readers are exempt of the awesome discussion.
Facebook has tried to solve the comment issue by highlighting the most liked comments, but in all honesty Facebook comments do suck. While the added bonus of Facebook comments might be the authenticity, rather than anonymous comments, there is much negative to be said about Facebook comments on sites. Just try to find something back in a popular Facebook comment comment thread some weeks or months later.
Timing is also an issue with FB comments. Most likes will initially be given to early comments, and then after a while to the comments which are always at the top of the thread, and thus the most liked ones.
Of course the advantage with this approach is that the typical internet commenters bug is not shown to most readers. One needs to follow only popular soccer blogs writing about another popular team to know how useless comments often can be. Complete with the compulsory ‘First’ comments, often at he third slot.
Some years ago College Humor parodied internet comments in this funny video, ‘Internet Commenter Business Meeting’
With a vaste range of useless ‘How to get readers to post comments’ tutorials available all over the internet, plugins aggregating the discussion which takes places on social networks, the comment issue has not been solved and probably never will.
To comment or not to allow comments is and stays the question.
Photo Credit: Photo by Duncan C on Flickr.
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