A new guest post by David Hartstein over on ProBlogger says you shouldn’t comment on blogs:
“First of all, you shouldn’t even begin to think about commenting unless you have something really profound to say,” David says. “Plus, there’s a good chance you don’t have the authority to be commenting on a post.”
I don’t comment on blogs all that often. Not because of this advice; mostly because I’ll often read stuff and then just feel like, “OK, that was interesting,” which itself doesn’t make for a very interesting comment.
I also don’t read comment threads all that often because they’re usually either too long (how do I wade into a thread that’s 100+ comments long?) or, frankly, just not that interesting.
Seth Godin famously (or infamously) doesn’t allow comments on his blog because, essentially, he says it affects how he writes and he doesn’t like that.
Comments from other people on my blog helped me out a lot in the early going. They taught me a few things: that the internet can be cruel; that some of the things I thought about journalism were wrong; that there’s a lot to learn from running your mouth and being corrected. Same goes for the threads I got involved in on other people’s posts.
These days, though — maybe because I’ve taken a less opinionated tack with my web presence — I find myself reluctant to share my two cents. I’m beyond the point of arguing with people who love paywalls, or playing devil’s advocate on any given issue. I don’t really see the point in my “what about this?” posts. The last time I remember jumping into a comment thread was when I was calling bullshit on a photo that had been skimmed from my employer.
At the same time, I’d never consider disallowing comments on my own site, because I feel like the comment thread legitimizes one’s blog (which, by the way, is nothing against Seth, who I think has done other things to legitimize himself). What good is my opinion if it sits insulated from criticism?
But, in terms of going out into the world and pasting my thoughts on other people’s pages, I actually see a lot of value in what David wrote. If I really feel inclined to comment somewhere, I’ll review that. My days of thinking, “Oh, I need to post a comment today,” though, are probably over.