Seth Godin on Blog Comments

Posted on June 4, 2006

Seth Godin is in the spotlight this weekend. First he provided 56 blogging tips and now he has a post about why he doesn't allow comments on his blog.
I think comments are terrific, and they are the key attraction for some blogs and some bloggers. Not for me, though. First, I feel compelled to clarify or to answer every objection or to point out every flaw in reasoning. Second, it takes way too much of my time to even think about them, never mind curate them. And finally, and most important for you, it permanently changes the way I write. Instead of writing for everyone, I find myself writing in anticipation of the commenters. I'm already itching to rewrite my traffic post below. So, given a choice between a blog with comments or no blog at all, I think I'd have to choose the latter.

So, bloggers who like comments, blog on. Commenters, feel free. But not here. Sorry.
Matthew Ingram has a persuasive entry about why blogs should have comments.
Seth says that it takes too much of his time to think about or weed out comments on his blog, and that he finds himself changing the way he writes because of what people say. This, apparently, is a bad thing. And yet, in a previous post - one which did have comments, for some unknown reason - Seth talks about how to have a successful blog, and number 27 is "Include comments so your blog becomes a virtual water cooler that feeds itself." Good advice. But not for Seth Godin, it seems.
As we noted yesterday Seth also posted as tip #34 in his contradictory tip collection: "Don't include comments, people will cross post their responses." We don't currently allow comments but it is clear that many bloggers like them and that they can be a traffic draw. They can also be useful sometimes. The Dilbert creator even used an idea from blog comments for a comic strip and blogger Steve Rubel thinks comments are so valuable they should be datamined.