The latest ‘in-thing’ for Bloggers seems to be disabling comments on their blogs. Joe Spolsky, of Joel on Software, first aired the idea and various other bloggers have jumped on the bandwagon. The argument is that having comments open allows people to make silly anonymous comments, whereas really they should be held accountable by posting on their own blogs.
I’m not about to go down this route. I don’t get many comments nowadays, mainly because I don’t blog much – I managed a mere 11 posts last month down from a high of 93 for the same peiod 4 years ago. But many of those that I do get are by people who do not have blogs of their own, and probably wouldn’t go through the trouble of creating one just to post the occasional comment. I know that I for one would not want to make a new blog entry everytime I wanted to post a reply to someone else’s entry, and I imagine it would become tedious for any regular readers who would just get a series of replies to other people’s posts. Though I may not have much new content on here, I’m proud to say that much of it is relatively original, and not lots of ‘me too’ entries.
There’s also the issue of tracking the conversation, and I don’t believe the tools we have for this are anywhere near perfect. I disabled trackback on here because 99.8% of all trackbacks received were spam, and most of the rest were people mentioning my entries without really adding to the conversation (such as link blogs) so I really didn’t see the value in keeping it. Apparently Pingback is more resiliant to spam but Movable Type doesn’t support it so I can’t enable it on here, and I’m not about to switch to WordPress over what I would call a trivial feature. Technorati and the like are all well and good but integrating it with this site, to allow people to track the conversation, is easier said than done. I’ve tried it before and given up.
If anything, making commenters accountable to what they say is precisely why we need OpenID. OpenID makes it hard (though not impossible) to be anonymous when posting comments, and it raises the bar so that not anyone off the street can comment. As time goes on more people will have access to OpenID and so this could be one good way of allowing comments while keeping out those anonymous cowards who only wish to flame and bait.
Ironically, this is a reply to
Please feel free to comment on this entry, either here or on your own blog – I really don’t mind.
Update:. Ultimately I suppose the decision to close comments on your blog should be up to you as each blog is different.