Monday, May 12, 2008

31 Day Comment Challenge - Day 9

The activity for Day 9 of the Comment Challenge is to consider whether we should be building conversations through comments or blog posts.

Mixed feelings
Sameer Vasta does not allow comments on his blog because he would rather communicate via blogs ie he writes a post and I reply via my post and so on. But I know I have regular readers and commenters who do not have blogs and have no intention of doing so. Restricting comments would prevent them from commenting and contributing to conversation.

As for me, I couldn't possibly write a post every time I feel the urge to comment. I usually find that if I do not comment in response to a post there and then, I never come back to the conversation in my own blog.

On the other hand
Recently someone made a comment on a post I wrote and I started to write a long reply but decided to make it a blog post instead. But I felt weird doing it - it was like I was 'picking' on the commenter. I still feel a tad uncomfortable about that.

In the meantime, I have also recently had people comment on my blog and leading the conversation off in a direction I did not want to follow at all. So if that continues, I will choose to prevent further comments on that particular post.

Long and short
So whilst I understand the view of bloggers like Sameer, it is not the way I wish to operate as blogger or commenter, so choose to continue keeping comments open on my blog.


Vasta said...


Just a heads up as to the factual accuracy of your post: first of all, I'm a he, not a she.

Secondly, I do, in fact, allow comments on my blog. I didn't for a while, but have been rethinking my comment policy for a while, which you would have noticed if you read my post that you linked to.

After blogging for over nine years, sometimes you need to re-evaluate things. Part of the reason I stopped allowing comments is because I was around when Trackbacks and Pingbacks were still nascent technologies and were promising big changes in web conversation. They didn't really end up doing everything we all had hoped them to do, but it was worth trying it out at the time.

Thanks for the link, by the way.

Sarah Stewart said...

I do apologize, Vasta, for calling you a girl and for mis-reading your article about comments. It was a great article and I really enjoyed the way you brought all the arguments together. Please don't get me wrong, I wasn't criticizing your stance, whatever that is. I am relatively new to blogging so am at the stage of trying things out. And I appreciate reading about the views and experiences of 'older' bloggers like yourself. cheers Sarah

Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Vasta, just to clarify, I have tried to leave a comment on your blog but have been unable to. That is why I wrote that you do not accept comments. I expect I was doing something wrong. Don't know much about trackbacks so that is something I obviously need to investigate. Thanks again, Sarah

Vasta said...

No need to apologize Sarah. The reason you were probably unable to add a comment is because the post was relatively old and I close comments on posts after a few weeks. This is not because I want to stifle conversation, but because after a few weeks, most of the comments on a post end up being spam, so I use that as an avoidance measure. You still can leave comments on my more recent blog posts.

And once again, no need to apologize. Blogs are here for discussion, and I'm really happy that my post incited some of that conversation. Looking forward to reading what you have to say on all sorts of other topics as well. Keep it up!

Sue Waters said...

"In the meantime, I have also recently had people comment on my blog and leading the conversation off in a direction I did not want to follow at all." I think when this happens and you are concerned by the direction the comments are taking its best just to stay out of that conversation rather than close the comments. Obviously that is dependent on what they are saying. If they are totally inappropriate then it definitely needs to be addressed.

Hi Sameer - I can understand why Sarah made the mistake because your gender isn't obvious in your about information (but is in the information for blogger). And also I would have assumed that you don't allow comments because the post I checked was "Creating Content: May 11" which at the time was your latest post doesn't allow comments. Perhaps its worth adding to your About that there are some posts that you don't allow comments.

Vasta said...

Completely understand Sue. Sometimes I forget that not everyone is familiar with Arabic names. While Sameer is a very very common male Arabic name, it isn't the most common name in general. I totally understand when people make the mistake.

Ah, and as for indicating that some posts do not allow comments, that's not really something I'm thinking of adding right now, especially since the re-introduction of comments on the blog is very nascent. I'm going to see how it goes before I make changes to my template. It's a good idea though!

Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Sameer, have changed my blog from 'she' to 'he'. I have also noted that your very latest post accepts comments. Thanks.