To comment or not comment that is the question

James Farmer has begun to formulate some thoughts on the comments question posed by Mark Bernstein at Blogtalk Downunder,
what a debate this will be!

Having spent a fair bit of time discussing this with James during the conference it will be interesting to see where this goes and what the rest of blogosphere thinks (if they care at all).

I think there needs to be a balanced view here, while comments are good they are also bad, everything in moderation I say. From where I sit James’s argument number 2 is probably the biggest reason not to have comments. While the destruction of spam is a good reason, keeping a complete narrative of your thoughts in one place is the best reason to remove comments. But on the flip side, I commented today on The Podcast Network about getting them listed in iTunes, and this short comment would not have worked as a post on my blog.

At one point we reached a consensus at BlogTalk that comments existed in some part because of the limitations in the current tools on offer. If a comment was most of a “send an email” to the owner feature then we would be getting there. Essentially there are two types of comments, first the short feedback type such as mine to Cam earlier today. The second a more complete well thought out response (like this but better ๐Ÿ™‚ ). The short feedback items are directed to the writer of the blog specifically and typically has no further use to other readers. The longer post has use to the blog owner, blog readers and comment maker, therefore needs to be handled differently. Trackbacks do a good job at this and if all blogging tools automatically tracked back (except where a nofollow tag was used) then everyone would see what was going on. WordPress does a really good job with trackbacks, even when you forget to include them.

Looking forward to James’s next installment, oh and thanks James for summarising the discussions and taking things forward, this is FUSE in action.

3 thoughts on “To comment or not comment that is the question

  1. Yes the stuff bit allows random ideas and thoughts to be blogged about, ๐Ÿ™‚

    James does not have a cynical view (I think he personally likes comments), the post is a follow up to a keynote at BlogTalk Downunder conference a couple of weeks ago. Where is was suggested that all comments should be removed. We then spent a lot of time reviewing the pros and cons of this statement.

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