Blog Comments from Hell – Are They Worth It?

There was a discussion going on recently over at the Third Tribe about whether or not to leave commenting open on a blog.

My feeling is that a blog is for communicating and building a community, so I don’t see any real reason to turn comments off. That said, Leo Babauta did it. Seth Godin did it. It’s working for them. Naomi Dunford did it for a while, then turned comments back on.

Often when a writer does this there is an uproar of sorts – people get upset. They feel left out – like the site owner turned their back on them.

Really, people, it’s rarely personal.

Why do writers turn off comments on their blog?

Some people turn off blog comments because there’s so many that the author doesn’t have enough time to respond. Others turn them off because sometimes there is negative stuff that comes up in the discussion and it makes things difficult. Let’s face it, it’s hard to deal with negativity – especially when it’s being thrown directly at you or members of your Tribe. Others shut off blog comments…well…because they can.

And that’s ok. It’s your blog. Do what you want. Just realize that you might be shutting out the people who adore you and need you the most.

I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer here. It’s really just a matter of preference. But I do think you should listen to your readers. But seriously, if you leave comments open and someone wants to talk to you, please, for the love of God, answer them!

Something else to think about: Seth Godin doesn’t allow comments on his blog, but he does spend time thoughtfully leaving his own comments on blog posts and responding to emails. I think that’s awesome. I don’t know about you, but getting a visit from Mr. Godin on my blog would totally make my day.

What’s your take? How do you feel about turning off blog comments? Share your thoughts below…in the comments. 😉

Photo credit: Hiking Artist