UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

Let Blog Readers Respond

Posted by Brian Kelly on 11 Nov 2008

In my post on Openness in HE but not Elsewhere I suggested that requiring users to agree to complex terms and conditions in order to respond to (and, even worse, view) discussions on government policies was counter-productive. A post entitled It’s not a blog if…… on the JISC Access Management Team blog is in agreement with these sentiments.

Mark Williams describes another barrier to the use of blogs for effective dialogue. In his post he complains about his “wasted effort on writing replies on a couple of blogs this week only to find that after a suitable period for much needed moderation (after all IT forums are hardly the place to endorse male vitality products) the sites are clearly not putting any replies / comments up“.  Marks feels that “If a an opinion piece doesn’t have scope for comments then that’s what it is – a magazine style opinion piece not a blog“.

I would agree with that.  Yes, there may be a cost in deleting inappropriate comments, but this need not be onerous, and I think it is worth spending some effort in allowing users to give their thoughts and comments.

One Response to “Let Blog Readers Respond”

  1. shaidorsai said

    It’s an interesting view. I allow both comments and trackbacks on my blog, and am always delighted on the rare occasions I get engagement – and more so when I get a trackback.

    Seth Godin doesn’t permit comments because he says

    … 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.

    He does allow trackbacks, however.

    At least those interested can see where else discussion might be going on with a trackback. [Can you see if you’re being discussed on friendfeed if you’re not a member?]

    When I find a blog that allows no comments or trackbacksthen I know I haven’t found a blog, but a CMS for a website.

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