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Devil’s Advocate: Why Blogs Should Ditch Comments

Although I’m personally a fan of comment section (regardless of whether you power it with Facebook, Disqus or choose native comments instead), there are a number of prominent blogs who have disabled the comment section completely.

Sites like Daring Fireball and Instapundit (not to mention millions of Tumblr blogs) refuse to open up their posts for readers to comment upon, choosing instead to allow readers to email responses to the writer.

For those of you who are undecided about the value of blog comments, here are a few reasons why you should consider disabling them upon your sites.

No More Spam And Trolls

With the exception of Facebook comments, most platforms and third party commenting services have failed to stem the rising tide of human comment spam.

Worse, there seems to be a significant population online (i.e. trolls) who find enjoyment in harassing authors upon popular blogs, as well as other commentors.

Instead of dealing with the rift raft and product pushers, it might be easier to simply shut off the feed back arena and instead focus most of your energy on creating content instead of moderating conversations.

Off Site Conversations

Due to the popularity of social sharing buttons like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, a large portion (if not most) of the conversation is happening off site.

Instead of focusing your energy in trying to build your vocal community, you could simply direct your readers to discuss about your site elsewhere which theoretically can help send more traffic back to your site.

Also with more blog platforms embracing reblogging, those extra links from external sites (not to mention social networks like Twitter) can help improve your blog’s SEO, giving your site some extra Google juice.

Control The Discussion

Last but not least you would not be distracted by your readers public opinions (whether good or bad), forcing them to contact you directly via email or phone.

This can help you filter out the best responses via updates to your posts, encouraging quality feedback from your fans (whether its constructive criticism, praise from readers or simple questions).

Should You Ditch Blog Comments?

For those of you who enjoy blogging, what are your thoughts regarding blog comments?

Also would you consider ditching blog comments or do you believe that having them enhances your blog?

Image Credit: The Matrix (Joel Silver, Warner Bros., Andy and Larry Wachowski)

Categories: Blogging Tips
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Comments

  1. Kinect News Guy ) says: 6/10/2011

    To be honest, I have a comments sections on my site, and I find that its next to impossible to get people to interact. If you ask for opinion and 1000 people read the page, you might get one or two comments. Out of 60 stories posted this week on my site – its been a VERY busy week – I’ve had comments on ONE of them, and traffic hasn’t been scarce.

    I think I could feasibly ditch the comments section of my blog, direct everyone to Twitter and not only have a cleaner page, but grab the social marketing benefts, too.

    Reply

  2. Kevin Kimes ) says: 6/10/2011

    Being able to comment on a post is a big part of why I read some blogs. I’ve run into some sites which were at least blog-like, but had no comments. I don’t tend to read those nearly as much as those which do allow comments.

    Spam can be a challenge, but there are ways to deal with it efficiently.

    Reply

  3. Michael Hyatt ) says: 6/10/2011

    I get several hundred comments a day. I have almost zero problem with spam, thanks to the Askimet plugin for WordPress. I also have very few issues with trolls. I have a written comments policy, and if someone gets too far out of line, I delete their comment. I think the benefits of the community far outweigh the hassle. The comments section makes people feel part of the community.

    Reply

  4. David Santistevan ) says: 6/10/2011

    I agree with Michael’s assessment. I also think it is better for traffic and engagement to have a lot of comments. When I visit a blog with zero (or only a few) comments, I’m less inclined to stay. If posts have a lot of comments, I’ll not only stay on the site much longer, I’ll actually meet and engage with new people. Very good for building connections.

    Reply

    • lph ) says: 6/11/2011

      I agree with David. If comments are present then I’m more likely to also respond.

      Reply

  5. pet lizards says: 6/11/2011

    Personally I find a great deal of value in comments on my sites. Sometimes. It really depends on the site itself as to what kind of comments it attracts. I get very few people trying to sell stuff on my animal related sites, but on some of my other sites I get hammered with spam. I’ve shut down commenting on a few of them for that very reason.

    So I guess my answer is, “It depends”. I think shutting down comments should be taken on a case by case basis.

    Reply

  6. leon Hitchens ) says: 6/11/2011

    I allow comments on my blog because I like to see what my readers think about an article. The tech blogging world had allowed comments, but put staff to just moderate comments. Some sites that did that were Engadget and now This is my next.

    Reply

  7. [email protected] ) says: 6/12/2011

    Mehh.. I’m thinking that the comments allow your readers to interact with you and other readers. I like the rb on tumblr, but I also like the comments I get on the self hosted blogs too. I did allow comments on my tumblr but no one seems eager to do it, instead as tumblrs, just to rb or <3 is enough with their sentiments attached as a note. I actually like that and wish that I could find a blogging platform that would allow that feature. where is your tumblr ?

    Reply

  8. canlı tv says: 6/14/2011

    I don’t tend to read those nearly

    Reply

  9. Tony Payne ) says: 6/17/2011

    I love comments, because comments are feedback, and if you can manage to get visitors to subscribe to posts and to interact, then you have gained valuable repeat traffic.

    It is a pain dealing with trolls and spam though, although I find that Akismet does 95% of the work for me. It’s up to me to “un-spam” comments if they were sent there in error, or to manually approve others, but I believe for my blogs at least that comments to bring value, especially when your post has been written with the aim of soliciting comments from others.

    Reply

  10. Ralph Thelemaque ) says: 6/18/2011

    I love commenting on blog and at the same time when people comment on my blog too, but i hated when people during it as a spam..so I def understanding where you coming with from with that post.

    Reply

  11. John says: 6/22/2011

    Comments are good thing. People want to know what other people think! Yes spam is a problem but the webmaster can always delete the spam posts!

    Reply

    • JmooreTheKID ) says: 7/5/2011

      Exactly! I am glad to know what you think! =)

      Reply

  12. Justin | Spiritual Development ) says: 7/3/2011

    Hey Darnell,
    I wouldn’t consider ditching comments at the moment. I don’t like it when I go to a blog and their comments are disabled.

    Comments are also an extra source of content. Some people can find your blog through search engines because of the words that are in a comment and not the content.

    Reply

  13. JmooreTheKID ) says: 7/5/2011

    Comments allow people to interact, they give people a reason to come back to your blog.

    Comments also allow people to share their opinions, they give more value to the original post.

    Just reading some of the comments on this post one could decide if it would be good or not so good to remove commenting on their blog.

    Just think if comments were not allowed on this post we might still be sitting around wondering weather or not we should have comments on our blogs =)

    In other words, No I do not think you should ditch comments on your blog.

    Comments add LIFE to your blog!

    JmooreTheKID

    Reply

  14. Dan Brown ) says: 7/11/2011

    Personally, if I come across a blog with no comments I am unlikely to return. To me it gives the impression that the author thinks that they are always right and doesn’t want to hear any criticism, or that a few minutes of their time to delete spam is more important than their audience. If your blog is so big you can’t keep up with it either ask for moderators or put a system in place to allow readers to flag spam for your attention. It comes across as far less arrogant.

    Reply

  15. Alan ) says: 7/17/2011

    I think I have to agree with what seems to be the common consensus in the replies I have read and that would be to keep comments enabled. It allows people to have a voice and allows a level of feedback that I think we all need to have. I enjoy reading people’s responses to sometimes controversial posts and also allows me to have my ten pennies worth.

    I have in the past had a major problem with comment spam, but I think it was more so from a point of view of me not censoring the comments correctly which allowed rubbish to get through. As soon as I sorted out the settings and simply deleted all the rubbish, I have reduced the spam dramatically.

    Keep the comments on your site enabled, so that people like me can keep on commenting on great posts like this in the future. I have to agree with Jmoore above that comments add life to your blog!

    God bless

    Alan

    Reply

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    Reply

  17. gem franco says: 8/30/2011

    I agree with Michael’s assessment. I also think it is better for traffic
    and engagement to have a lot of comments. When I visit a blog with zero
    (or only a few) comments, I’m less inclined to stay. If posts have a
    lot of comments, I’ll not only stay on the site much longer, I’ll
    actually meet and engage with new people. Very good for building
    connections.

    Reply

  18. gem franco says: 8/30/2011

    I agree with Michael’s assessment. I also think it is better for traffic
    and engagement to have a lot of comments. When I visit a blog with zero
    (or only a few) comments, I’m less inclined to stay. If posts have a
    lot of comments, I’ll not only stay on the site much longer, I’ll
    actually meet and engage with new people. Very good for building
    connections.

    Gem Franco
    Webmaster of inversion table reviews

    Reply

  19. Gangai Victor ) says: 7/10/2012

    Commenting helps to understand what readers think, it’s a great engagement tool. The pros outnumber the cons any day.

    Reply