Why Comment?

A subject that has created a bit of discussion recently has been to do with comments. With Tim Van Damme removing them completely with the latest design of maxvoltar.com and Sam Brown blogging about the subject just last week I thought I’d reply to a question I was asked last week.

Leaving comments to me just shows my appreciation to the writer. It’s not for linking reasons, or to get my name out there, but I feel it’s a way of thanking the writer or expressing an opinion I have on the subject. Most of us write blog posts in our spare time, and I know personally that I enjoy it when someone leaves a comment. It shows that it interested them, or provoked a response; good or bad. I find that the narrative of comments almost always positively extends the actual article, and if it doesn’t then it usually leads to a healthy debate.

We all read blog posts, possibly hundreds in a week, but how many do you actually comment on? Next time take a minute to leave a comment.

6 thoughts on “Why Comment?

  1. Kirsty Burgoine

    I’d have to agree with you about comments.

    I’m always really chuffed when people comment on my blog, I can tell that people read it from analytics but I like to hear peoples own views. Commenting allows you to do that. Its always interesting to hear somebody elses perspective and to know they care enough about the subject to go to the effort of commenting, to me, makes the effort of writing the post worth it.

  2. Graham Lord

    I think a lot of people may read an article and think “This is a good post, I like what this has to say,” but don’t actually have anything to say about it themselves- or if they do, they don’t bother commenting, because they can’t be assed to return to see everyone else’s comments / replies. That’s usually the stance I take… What would be good is to add a Facebook-style ‘Like’ button, so people can at least give you a thumbs up. It works well on FB.

  3. Paul Post author

    Thanks for leaving a comment.

    The ‘like’ idea is an interesting one, I might have to implement something like that on this site.

  4. Ollie Parsley

    Comments can also help steer the direction your future blog posts take. So if your talking about server-side code and get 1 comment, but talk about CSS in another and get 5 comments, which direction will you go?

    If there are a small number of comments, being able to subscribe by e-mail (there’s a wordpress plugins for it) that can help keep track of a conversation and keeping bringing you back to the site.

    Those are my first couple of thoughts anyway


  5. Martin Bean

    Ah, yes. The now-infamous Brendan Dawes article. The funny thing is, after that article the traffic to my website spiked nearly seven times the average!

    I think comments are healthy too. As mentioned above, I can look at metrics in my favorite analytics program, but that doesn’t mean anything. They’re just numbers. But to have another human being take the time to write something in response to something you yourself has written, that can be far more satisfying that 1,000 extra page views.

  6. Alex McGibbon

    I agree with you that comments continue the narrative of the article, and people’s responses can ultimately reshape the context of the original article.

    Take for example this article on the daily mail website. The original post is written in the context of a warm hearted human interest story, but the comments reveal that the actions taken by the author were stupid and dangerous. Readers who take the time to read the comments of this post get both sides of the story, so to speak.

    In this scenario, allowing comments on the post has allowed the author to be further educated about the topic they have written, we see examples of this all the time in tutorial posts, where the author presents one way of solving a problem and the audience can then chip in with their own (and sometimes better) solutions.

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