On Comments

Back when I started this online journal, I touched upon the idea of having one without giving readers the ability to comment on posts. I still think that is perfectly fine. It is your blog/journal/website. You should be allowed to decide whether you want comments or not.

Lately, I've been trying to look at ways to replace social media with this online journal of mine. Like instead of posting on Instagram, I would post photos here. I've come to realize that my friends would probably like a way to comment, like they do on Instagram. The problem is, I don't want it to be too easy to comment. I'm open to comments, as long as maintaining them doesn't become a full time job. I'm more interested in having conversations as opposed to comments, something that Matt alluded to in his Commentary and Communication piece.

So while I wait for Remark.as to be ready, this is my compromise. I am electing to go with the “Letters to the editor” approach through email, partly inspired by CJ Eller's own comments page. On posts where I'm open to comments, I'll start adding a section at the bottom, directing readers to get in touch with me if they want to comment. If somebody does send a useful comment, with their consent, I'll manually update my post and add their comments at the bottom.

I think asking readers to send an email to make a comment, adds enough friction to the process so as to weed out trolls or spammers. You must really, really want to make a comment, that you will go through the process of sending an email. At least that's the idea. I also believe that sending an email is closer to how humans communicate with each other, as opposed to just leaving passing comments on a page. It also allows for a private conversation, if that's what you intend. And also stops trolls from making comments with the intention of triggering other commenters.

Whether or not this works out, I don't know. But, if for some reason this becomes a chore in the future, I will have no qualms about shutting it down. Just saying.

Tags: #Comments #Blogging