Check out this article and the many references to bloggers who think that comments should be disabled on blogs. Read through those posts and consider whether or not you think it’s better to build community through comments or through conversations occurring across blogs–or maybe a combination of both. What, to your mind, is the purpose of comments on blogs and are we better served by encouraging people to respond to ideas on our blogs or over on their own blogs? Then write a post on your reflections.
I can’t remember where I read it (and I suspect that Googling it would result in more than one credited source), but I have read that a blog without comments is just a webpage. I believe that blogging should be about conversations, rather than soapboxes. Conversations across blogs can be effective, but I find them harder to follow than a comment thread, especially when each blog has its own set of comments to read. Having to follow a conversation all over the blogosphere is tiring and creates a barrier to participation. Additionally, I suspect that many, if not most, people read blogs on a wider range of topics than they personally blog about. People will participate in conversations on other blogs that they would be reluctant to start on their own. As Connie Crosby stated in response to “Rethinking the blog comment policy” on the blog Eloquation, “Comments I would have wanted to make did not necessarily fit in with the focus of my own blog, so I would not be likely to post a response there.” When a blogger disables comments on his blog he limits the conversation in the community. Even though I am in favor of commenting on blogs, I believe that individual bloggers have the right to make up their own mind when it comes to allowing comments on their own blogs.