On Blogging: Why I Will Never Shut Down My Comments

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July 03, 2015

Over the last couple months, there's been an....odd trend in the blog world: turning off comments. When I first heard of this, that people were intentionally taking away the comments sections of their blogs, I was totally baffled. For me, comments are the most important indicator of my blog's success.

But after reading a ton of articles that bloggers have written on the topic, I think I'm starting to understand what thoughts are swirling around in those bloggers' brains. But I still don't agree.

From what I can tell, the reasons for shutting down comments sections are that they're an unnecessary use of a blogger's time (to read, moderate and respond), that the quality of comments these days makes them less than worthwhile, and it directs people to respond on social media. Here's why I feel differently:

1. Reading, replying and moderating comments is a waste of a blogger's time. 

For me, it just comes down to what your goal in blogging is. For me, it's a way to express myself and my thoughts and connect with people interested in similar things. It's a very weird, odd sort of community. Yes, I understand that commenting and replying to comments takes a ton of time (like half as much time as actually blogging!), but I think it's very worthwhile. For me, the comments sections are where I meet people and build relationships and connections with people reading my blog. 

2. The quality of comments nowadays makes them undeserving of the time it takes to respond and read.

Sometimes this is true. I see it even more on bigger blogs--you know, those comments where someone just types, 'Love this! Check out my blog at blog.com!! xoxo'. Those comments are a waste of time. But I truly believe that when you take the time to read and thoughtfully respond to comments or when you invite real opinions on your blog posts, you'll get comments that actually further the community on your blog. I treasure people who write those paragraph-long comments--those are so worth my time. And by responding thoughtfully, I invite more of those types of comments in the future.

3. It's more important that people communicate via social media.

I get that this is an attempt to get people to follow you in more places and so I can respect that if having x thousand twitter followers is your goal...but it's not mine. I might be a little bit anti-social media on occasion, but I'd rather the conversation stick right here, where it started. It makes way more sense to me to have the comments about a post sitting right under that post, not on a totally different website. Because then if someone reads a post of mine and wants to talk about it...they really have no easy way of finding the other people who have something to say about it. It wouldn't be a real dialogue.

And this is just what I think. Different kinds of blogs do things different ways and I'm sure that for some blogs, shutting down the comments just makes sense. But to me, I'd rather build the friendships and conversations right here. 

This post was inspired my Allyssa Barnes' look at the comment section debate. Read more on her blog and then chime in below!
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