Few days ago I stumbled upon a strange enough post on ProBlogger that I had to read. Why do I say strange? Well, judge for yourself… the title was “Disable Comments for a Better Blog“. By the way, you can go read that later, but I am paraphrasing what it’s all about right here!
What? Really? Disable comments for a better blog? How can that be when all we strive for is more comments on our blogs, even joining groups and tribes for it. Why would anyone want disable their comments? Well, this guy certainly did, and I thought I would try to dissect his post here and see if it all makes sense or not.
Why did this Blogger Disabled his Comments?
This ProBlogger guest was saying that he posts regularly twice a week a 1000-word post and also participates in a carnival. He said that whatever he did he would usually receive comments thanking him for the link that he would generate through carnivals, and that besides a few variations of “thank you for the link”, that was about the only type of comments he was getting.
He went on to say that these types of comments did nothing to propel the dialogue and exchange of ideas which would bring value to the post. He also mentioned that he thanks people every day, but that’s a private thing, not something he feels like he should broadcast. I think that he has a point here.
Thanking the blog’s owner for something using comments is perfectly OK, not that you shouldn’t say thank you at all. No. But if it’s all that your comments are about, there might be a problem here.
Then, he goes on to say that the “thank-you” comments were closely followed by the “I agree” comments which really didn’t bring any value to his blog either. Over all he says that 98.2 % of the bloggers leaving comments on his blog did so with an agenda which was getting links to their blog. In the end he says that he was “tired of seeing the same people saying the same things, which they did mostly out of obligation“.
Now, whether you like it or not, I am sure that gives you food for thoughts, doesn’t it? Doesn’t this want to make you analyze the type of comments that you are leaving on blogs you visit? I know it did me, even though I really try my best to leave what I call an intelligent comment as much as possible.
Because he was tired of what he calls a “morass” of comments he decided to disable comments on his blog, because comments are for engagement and thank-you and I agree comments are not engaging.
Another interesting argument that he makes is that the way he engages with his readers it’s by providing content. His readers are using such content, therefore, this is engagement on its own.
So, What do you Think about that? Do you Agree with him?
I am sure you will leave your feedbacks in my comment area (don’t worry, I won’t disable it) but before let me know what I think about all that.
Well, no one likes to see short useless, thoughtless comments that says something along the lines of “thanks, I agree” and nothing else. When I see such comments I want to ask for more, and I’m sure you do too. But no matter what we want, we get such comments once in while.
However, would that be enough to convince me to disable my comments? No way on earth! There is always a way to get rid of such comments if you feel that they are just trashing your blog by clicking the delete tab or not even approving them in the first place.
My two other blogs have a mind of their own and no matter what I do, comments go automatically on “moderation”, so if I see a comment that I don’t want, well, I just don’t approve it.
Would you Feel that you Can Really Engage With your Readers Without Comments?
I don’t know about you, but as for me, I’d really feel that I wouldn’t be able to communicate with anyone if I didn’t leave the dialogue open. What about if my readers have a question, do they have to fill out the contact form every time? Some times an open question which leads to an open answer can help other readers who have the same question.
Sometimes the sum of just a few comments on my post are as valuable as the post itself. This adds credibility and value to the post and the blog as a whole. Such value is even noticed by Google as I understand it. To me disabling comments all together for a few low quality feedbacks is a too big of a price to pay.
What’s very interesting is that at the end of his post this blogger goes on to say… “I’m aware of the irony that you can leave comments on this post. ProBlogger is different, obviously. Let’s just say that the recommendation to disable comments doesn’t hold for globally influential blogs whose very purpose is to engage bloggers and have them exchange idea.”
What? Am I reading what I’m reading here? Well, sir, my blog has exactly the same purpose that ProBlogger has, and who are you to tell me that my blog can’t be a global influence that will inspire the best bloggers leaving the best feedbacks to my good quality post? I beg to differ.
You see, this doesn’t make any sense in my book. We all blog for the same purpose big blogs such as ProBlogger do. We strive for good to great quality content to help the reader while encouraging the dialogue and getting even more rewards by leaving such dialogue open.
In other words, if ProBlogger can appreciate and benefit from comments, so can I, and so can you.
So, what do you think of that? Do you agree with this blogger or not? Please, leave your valuable feedbacks down below. I would love to hear it!
54 thoughts on “Disable Comments – Now What?”
I think that blogger made some very good points. Comments that say nothing but “thanks” and “I agree” and not really comments, they’re just people looking for some attention (which doesn’t work, by the way, because I ignore those people every time!)
However, I think that comments are really the crux of blogging. It’s great to share content but you also want to build relationships with people, interact with them, build a community – and you can’t really do that one-on-one. I’m sure that you can still talk with people via email and social media but it isn’t the same as having a group of people who can read and respond to each other if they choose. Sometimes people don’t comment but they still like the read the conversations.
I think his blog would have been better off with the title “two good reasons to disable comments” instead of saying that it will make your blog BETTER. That implies that if you get those junk comments that your blog is WORSE. We all get those, but it doesn’t make our blogs WORSE. It’s just one of those things you can ignore, or if you want to then just delete them.
I wouldn’t advise anyone to disable comments, especially for a reason as inconsequential as “they aren’t good comments”. They’re not offensive or anything, so who cares? If you use spam protection, you’ll avoid the really bad comments and either delete or ignore any you don’t like. But I wouldn’t stop the conversation completely because of a few lazy eggs.
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Well, Carol, as always, your comment is nothing like those useless ones that blogger mentioned. Your comments are always excellent and give such value to my blog(s) and that is why I would NEVER, ever disable comments. And what can I say, I love comments 🙂
Thanks you for your feedbacks on that, Carol.
Hi thanks for this blog ,
I used to follow your writing skills which is really awesome and every time appreciate for it
I had issue with keeping comments box open , I use to delete at least 99% of all comments . They were only promoting there site which were irrelevant to me. Many making blog web spider for sake of ranking.
This cracks me up Slyviane. The fact of the matter is, if we would like our readers to leave more engaging comments and they are leaving things such as “thank you, I agree” we have the option to reply and as for more. We can literally train our readers to engage more on our blogs, simply by engaging more with them.
I think to disable you comments defeats the whole purpose of creating an open and interesting discussion. Sometimes I read a blog just for the reactions that are given to the content. Because and let me be frank here, if I wanted just one person opinion well I am full of those myself on most subjects. All laughing aside though you I believe the blogger who wrote that piece has missed the point of blogging entirely. And to turn off his comments has cut of his nose to spite his face.
Thank you for sharing this post and what you found. I find it interesting that some people would discount the comments of their readers for the few less than expressive comments they were receiving.
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I love your the point you’re making by educating our readers to share more valuable feedbacks. I know I’ve done that recently, as a matter of fact.
I’d noticed a guy posting very short useless comments just to get links, so I told him, frankly, to stop doing that and try to improve on his comments. He did a bit and than he just went away on his own 🙂 no need to disable everyone for this this 🙂
I immediately thought that anyone who would disable comments is because they aren’t receiving quality comments and sure enough, this bloggers wasn’t.
If all I got were spammy comments or people were only coming to my place for link juice I would have to think of something different. Perhaps he needs to take a lesson from our book about how to build relationships and then he wouldn’t have this issue.
Problogger didn’t get to where he is by spammy comments, he had to build that connection with his readers and then once again, give them something to talk about.
Anyone who leaves those types of comments today should just get banned. Interesting though and thanks for sharing. Sure makes for great conversation doesn’t it!
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Yes, Adrienne, one thing for sure, I though that this would make for great conversation over at my blog. I already had a few interesting feedbacks.
Cutting all comments off just for the sake of low quality comments is a bit drastic and there are other ways to deal with this, as you mentioned.
Thanks for leaving your own feedbacks, Adrienne.
I also happened to come upon the specific post through FB. He has an interesting take and I agree with him. He mentions that majority of the people comment with an agenda – of course, that’s right.
Majority does (who doesn’t comment with an agenda? I am sure that all bloggers have some kind of benefit in their mind).We, as bloggers also have our own agenda. He, himself as an agenda for his comments (we can clearly extrapolate that he only wanted comments that added value – isn’t he having an agenda, then? A selfish one, maybe?).
There is nothing we can do about it. The world is like that, we need incentives like comment luv to make us comment – sure, we may comment on a few posts without any comment luv, just because we have something to say. But, that’s not the case for all the posts we comment on.
I don’t agree with him on closing the comments entirely. What I would do (and what I am doing) is keeping a strict comment policy and watching over it – I don’t usually approve one liner comments – except when it really adds value or if I know the blogger.
Anyways, thank you for the related discussions,
Jeevan Jacob John
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So like your comment 🙂 Truly!
Of course we all have an agenda. That’s the darn reason why we are online in the first place, isn’t it? As much as I LOVE to write and help naturally, that won’t feed me, will it? I need to make money too, and yes, I want traffic and sales. I have an agenda.
Thanks for bringing that out, Jeevan 🙂
You know you touched on something I have been thinking lately. The quality posts on Problogger now. It just seems like guest posters have taken over and I see less of Darren. I get where the blog direction is, but the types of post submitted tend to surprise me. I seriously doubt copyblogger would allow a post like that.
I got a guest post submission from a friend the other day and I was surprised how weak it really was once I really sat back and read it thoroughly. The bad part is that this person is an exceptional writer and their post lacked luster. Needless to say I didn’t post it because at the end of the day it added no value.
Same goes for comments and to not enable them on your blog is asking for it. People want to leave something if they choose to and not having an option is like saying, “while you’re at it, don’t read my blog post too”. I don’t get that logic. Good post Sylviane.
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Well, for having tried to post a few times on Problogger and Copyblogger I know what their are looking for, and I am so not impressed by them anymore and I don’t care if I do or if I don’t post on those blogs anymore.
Do you know what they are looking for first and foremost? Originality. That’s it. They not looking so much for how well it’s written or if it helps much the reader or not, they are looking for something that has not been talked about at all or not much.
See, that post, disable comments for better blog was original and not much talked about to be sure, so Problogger embarrassed that. That’s it.
I must say about this unusual step taken by problogger that disabling the comments totally is not a good idea at all.Because bloggers are here to make relationships and share insights with others and if you block/disable commenting from your site then how can you share your thoughts……??
This decision is totally crazy but taking this step requires a huge heart.Comments like “thanks” , “totally agree” are common to all bloggers but this doesn’t mean disabling them is a good idea.
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I totally agree with what you are saying. Disabling comments for a few useless ones is a bad idea. In life if we got rid a whole things every times a few things went wrong we would be in big trouble, right?
Thanks for your comment, dear 🙂
Absolutely,there are things which cannot be stopped whatever the problem is.Market is a place where lots of people will come and let you down many times so that they can be at the top.But its your decision how to tackle with them without affecting your status and remain in the flow.
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That’s really interesting. Though everyone is entitled to their own opinion in these things, it is definite that this blogger took the wrong step by closing the comments entirely. It’s really painful that the comments he was getting were not worth it but he should have find other ways to ‘train’ the commenters on what he wanted. A commenting policy can do this.
I also want to add that this is one of the problems of some of these blog carnivals where members are expected to visit and comment on other blogs either for points or some other things like that. Most of these people only visit not reading the post but posting a quick comment so they can move on to the next blog.
I’ll advise this blogger to open the comments again and start visiting ‘real’ bloggers who are building a community around their blogs and start connecting with them. A blog is a blog because of its interactive nature. It is not static a site. It’s actually a social media platform.
Thanks for sharing.
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I simply totally love your comment Chadrack,
First off you’re right, the nature of such carnivals bring in people who are no more interested in your blog than in their first pair of shoes and thus the stupid short comments.
Second, your are so right again. A blog is a blog for it’s interactive nature. I like that 🙂 so well said. That’s the difference between a blog and a simple website.
Again you are right when you are saying that he should relate to real bloggers who really want to make true relationships. That’s the kind of bloggers who come to my blogs, anyway 🙂
Thanks for your feedbacks, Chadrack 🙂
It’s really a pleasure to be a part of the conversation. And thanks for your reply. It’s good to know that you agree with my line of thought! 🙂
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I have just found your blog in an article on Donna Merril’s blog, and this article is really about an interesting topic. Once, I agree with the blogger, he/she simply doesn’t want to spend his time with reading spam comments. The other thing is that he could loose some relevant comments with this technique.
Welcome to my blog and thanks for coming. Is your blog in German? Not sure, but looks like it.
I think that the post on Donna’s blog should have linked to my personal development blog, but that’s OK, you found me any way. Hope to see you again soon 🙂
I agree, but I don’t agree too 🙂 I know some people know what is a quality comment is, but still there are people who doesn’t know what it is. Our watchful eyes can find what kind of person he/she is. I mean a newbie or experienced one. How the heck he determine what’s on commentators mind?
One year ago, I was the same person who just thank for the post ’cause I thought rather than leaving the page with nothing, it will matters to author. But now as I grow with experience, my attitude and perception has changed. I’m grateful for people who have approved my comments that time. ‘Cause I had no intention of leaving low quality comments. Now if I see a loyal reader lacks quality of comments he/she made, I do personally contact and tell how I feel about it. It works sometimes. Still commenting is a right of readers and approving is our job. A careful job 🙂
It’s exactly like something I read recently. A guy explained that thanking for RTs is pointless. Seems psychologists are everywhere writing articles 😉 What if he had no comment? He gonna shut down his blog? Useless is useless. But not everything and our audience may not contain experienced people always. I get it, he may wanna write for professors. Good luck with it 😉
I think I can engage with users without comments too. I do get queries via my social profiles and through contact form, support section. But commenting is very easy for readers as I guess 🙂 Else blogs doesn’t contain comment form, no? 🙂
Nice topic dear 🙂 I still love experts who always give first and don’t expect in return. They are humble ones. Writing for quality comments, sorry, I can’t agree. Disabling comment form? Well, he find answers by not facing it at all and he lacks confidence.
Anyway, I respect freedom of speech… LOL… 😉 I hope he learnt from comments beneath his guest post.
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You’re right, a new person might just say “thank you” but it’s not for the wrong reason, maybe they just don’t know any better yet. However, in his case he was talking about bloggers who should know better.
I know your comments are far from being just thank you and I appreciate them, always 🙂
Very, very interesting post! I saw it on Blokube and your headline was so intriguing that I had to drop everything and come over and read it. (In other words, great job on the headline!)
I would never even think about disabling my comments because that’s how I engage with my readers. Comments add to the blog post itself and keep the conversation going. They are also a great way to build that all-important relationship with our readers. So no way, I would turn them off. If I get a spammy or two word comment, I have the option to delete it if I want to.
Thanks for another great post!
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Ah, the first person who tells me that my headline worked. I thought that such theme was calling for an intriguing headline so I did. I tried a couple of others and when for that one.
I am exactly like you, I would never ever disable my comments for the exact same reasons you mention here. My comments are the blood of my blogs 🙂
Your headline definitely works, I am visiting your blog for the first time and your headline caught my eyes. By the way I am a living proof that blog commenting does work, I was reading everything and enjoying every moment. I didn’t visit his blog but did he consider checking his own writing before blaming everybody else. Maybe his writing is not as engaging as he thinks and attracts only spammers.
I’m glad you found my blog. I found your comment in what I call the lala land of moderation, and I see you’ve posted only yesterday, so I didn’t find you too late 🙂
You are making a very good point, here. Did he even questioned his content? That is one of the first thing we need to do if we are not attracting the right people to our blog. I must do OK, then, I get great long comments, sometimes little posts of their own 🙂
Thank you for coming and hope to see you again, soon.
I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.
I wouldn’t agree with closing comments. I like posting about topics that make for good discussion and yes, some might be just thank you, nice post comments; the maximum are as I would like to put it “my networking efforts”. I have interacted with some really good people who are kind enough to come back and share their thoughts on my post; so I wouldn’t like closing comment for them.
It doesn’t make sense I feel. Okay, maybe if the comments got personal and might be an attack directly on the blogger or some personal aspects that is dis respective, then the comment / commentator can be marked spam and done away it. But blocking comments as such really isn’t something I would agree with.
Yes, Hajra! So agree with you.
In other words you don’t want to disable all comments just for a few bad ones. Who cares, the delete button is right there for this.
Plus for those who are using comment love there is a minimum of words you need to put in, so “thank you” or “I agree” would be rejected automatically, anyway. Gosh, I forgot to tell him that 🙂
Thanks for coming to my blog. I also ignore people who are just here for the link without giving any feedbacks of value.
I totally see your point. This is like another blogger that I prefer not to name. She did a big interview on a blog about her success and she was saying that blog commenting helped her a lot and got her some good traffic. A few days later I read on her blog that she disabled comments. While she may have her reasons, it just seems really ironic.
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Wow, yes, indeed! How ironic this is?
You know what this makes me think of? A spoiled ungrateful kid that was given a lot and who can’t remember why he got where he is now. If this type of people do prosper, then I want to know their secrets 🙂
Thanks for this input, Marielle!
I recently read a thought on CopyBlogger that I totally agree with. It made the point that a blog is one of the most important Social Media tools that one can use. Yes, a blog is meant to be social. I believe that a big factor to being social involves dialogue, communication, a sharing of thoughts and opinions. Comments made by readers are the lifeblood of a blog.
I mean, I guess I can see the point to disable your comments if all you’re getting is spammy ones. I think that’s one of the main reasons I don’t participate in Blog Carnivals…they tend to be spammy to begin with. I don’t understand why he would get upset if a commenter had an agenda for leaving a comment. Doesn’t he have an agenda for being in a blog carnival?
I don’t know. I agree that little comments like “I agree” or “thanks for sharing” are a bunch of crap. I don’t like publishing comments like that on my blog. I typically just trash those. But, that doesn’t mean that I would completely disable my comments.
BTW…”Thanks for sharing.” 🙂
When I first saw your comment here I didn’t recognized you, now I do 🙂
Your are completely right, Carnivals do tend to bring about those type of spammy comments and if you don’t want them, then don’t participate in them. Logic right?
Like you said the same agenda you have others are gonna have as well. Very good point you are making here.
I have never considered closing comments on my blog although I see the issues this blogger talks about. I used to be part of commenting tribes but it became a cul-de-sac because everybody felt obligated. So stopped any forced commenting. I leave comments on posts when I want it and not when I have to even though I might not resonate with the article. Of course, I don’t have necessarily have to agree…
Thanks for touching this subject !
When there are so many comments, as on this post, it is hard to add something new and useful. So for a change I am not going to read what has been said above until I have finished this.
I allow comments but moderate them to filter out the quick thank you and well done type comments, as well as any spam. It is sometimes difficult to tell them apart anyway. I make an exception for regular visitors who would normally leave valid messages. I do understand that this filtering may not be practical for bloggers who have a huge amount of comments and for those whose blogs are a sideline to other things they do online – far too time consuming. I have written blog posts that became really popular and carried on getting comments for over 6 months. I just closed off comments on those particular posts.
Blog comments are not quite so vital as they used to be for developing an online network, because of mass use of social networking sites, but I still prefer having personal contact and direct feedback through my blogs.
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Hi Sue, and nice seeing you here.
Don’t worry about other comments, there can never be too many in my book and what are the odds that you would say the exact same thing that’s been said before?
It’s true we can always moderate comments and just throw away the ones that are useless, but again it’s one on one choice to make.
By the way, if you go to gravatar.com you can download your pic/avatar that will be linked to the email you are using when leaving comments. Some blogs reject commentors with no avatar. Just wanted to give you the head up on that 🙂
Thanks for coming, Sue 🙂
I agree that getting thank you and nice post comments are annoying for bloggers, but doing away with the comment section is no remedy. One can go for moderation of each and every comments and live only those comments that are worthwhile or add something to the discussion. Comments are what initiate good conversation and we can get some good points on a particular subject.
That’s right I think that getting away with comments all together is a bit of a harsh remedy. I’d rather stick to moderation.
Thanks for your inputs and for coming here 🙂
Hey Sylviane Nuccio, i think disabling comments section in our blog will cause some reduction in traffic as most of the bloggers arrive at our blog for comments for backlinks.
Yes, I agree with that!
I am going to be very honest and say that i leave comments only for back links. There are times when i find a post that does not add any value to my knowledge. I still leave a positive comment, and know that i am just thanking the blogger without actually meaning to.
So-yes, i do agree with this blogger-he has raised a very good point. I would also like to thank you for your post-(and i wholeheartedly mean it this time:-) and that is especially for giving all of us something to think about!
Well, thanks for your honesty. Even though I may leave comments on blogs that may not necessarily add to my knowledge bank, I do not do it solely for the backlink, but to build relationships with other bloggers. For my it’s actually more important than the backlink.
Thank you for your honest input 🙂
A very interesting debate has begun here. That blogger has taken a very drastic and major step by disabling comments. I know, bloggers do get irritated with comments on the same genre, but completely disabling the comments section is not a solution. Comments are the only way to interact with your readers. Moderation is the tool which has been invented for this very purpose. If a blogger feels exhausted with some comments it’s better not to approve it, but disabling is incorrect. A genuine thanks to you for bringing up this issue.
You are so right, Aayna, that’s what comment moderation is for and that’s way better than disable comment all together.
To some extent, disabling comments completely will make a blog less interactive and soon enough less interesting. I completely understand though that there are certain limitations that we all need to be aware of, let us make it a habit to be true to ourselves, if we are only after the potential views we will be generating can we at least try to look up topics that we can relate with?
Yes, comments on blog it’s what makes all the interactions between the owner of the blog and the readers. Let’s remember that, right?
Thank you for coming by 🙂
It’s an admirable gesture to extend your appreciation to blog owners who take their time to write and research about various subjects that they want to share with us readers but I think that he has a point for disabling comments on his blog, I personally enjoy leaving comments on blogs and topics that I am genuinely interested in this way I know I will be leaving insightful comments instead of the usual thanks.
Thank you for coming here, and I’m glad that you enjoy leaving comments. I do enjoy it too. I do blog commenting about and hour or so a day. It takes time, but the rewards are huge.
Blog commenting has definitely paved the way for more websites to gain recognition and I attest that it can be difficult for anyone to feel that they are being taken advantage of when they see nothing more than thank yous and I agrees. I fervently hope that we can all make a conscious effort to read, understand and leave insightful comments that other readers will learn from as well.
I don’t think its a better solution to disable comments because how can anyone write perfectly without getting reader response better way for spammed attack to used GASP or other spammed free WordPress plugin that will help you to overcome on spammed and robot generated comments.
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You are right without readers feedback one doesn’t even know what type of topics our reader like more or less. Feedback is very important.
Thanks for your input here 🙂
Hey I don’t agree. We should not disable the comments. for better interaction comments must be enabled. yes if someone just write “thank you” or “I agree” or something which is very common then just delete those comments.
Its better to have a comment policy on the blogs. If you find anyone not following the policy then just delete their comments.
If you disable the comments then good commenters also can’t comment.
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Yes, that’s why comment regulation and moderation is for. I don’t think that cutting of comments all together is the solution. Thanks for your comment here 🙂
He definitely has a point for disabling comments but this decision may be misconstrued as a form of arrogance. As a blogger, I make it a point to extend my appreciation to those who leave their comments on my posts. This is a great way to build engagement and rapport while gaining new insights along the way. Thanks Sylviane 🙂
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