Using Blog Search Engines Instead of Comments

Posted on December 13, 2005

Dave Winer at Scripting News has added a green Technorati icon that points to Technorati's list of inbound links to his blog. Winer is using the icon instead of including comments on his blog. People can comment on their own blog and then link to Winer's blog to continue the conversation. Shel Holtz explained more in a WebProNews article about blogs and comments.
While I love comments-and would never consider turning them off on this blog-I don't quite grasp the notion that the conversation is somehow inhibited without comments. Blogging godfather Dave Winer hasn't offered comments on his blog for a long time, and has publicly dismissed the notion that a blog without comments isn't a blog. In a 15-month-old article in the Online Journalism Review that dealt with blog spam, Winer suggested it's painfully easy to comment on blogs that don't support comments: Commenters should simply run their own blog if they want to comment.

To that end, Winer recently introduced a subtle new feature to his blog. The little green Technorati icon appears above the fold in the right-hand column. Click it; it takes you to the Technorati page showing all items that link to Winer's blog. In other words, it's just like reading the comments left on a comment-enabled blog. Today, Winer notes that the tag has been successful (aside from some "snarky" feedback).
Winer is not the only blogger to use Technorati in this manner. Boing Boing does not have comments and was one of the first blogs to point to Technorati at the bottom of each post for inbound links. Weblogs Inc. has a link called "linking blogs" that points to Technorati inbound links at the end of each post on their weblogs. You can seem them on Engadget, Cinematical, and other Weblogs, Inc. blogs.

This blog currently has links to inbound links from Technorati, BlogPulse, IceRocket and Bloglines at the bottom of this post. It is a good way to point to blogs that are blogging about your blog. It is probably not as big a traffic draw as comments are but it is easier to implement and maintain.