Why I Will Never Disable My Blog Comments
Some A-List bloggers do it. Every now and again, I see some smaller blogs do it, too. But it is something you will never see me do:
Disable my blog comments.
Sometimes, bloggers do it in an effort to free themselves from the pressure of measuring their blog-worthiness by the number of comments in a post. I get that. It’s disheartening to pour your heart into writing a post, only to see one comment. And the one comment is spam. Written in broken English. Linking to a Viagra website.
“The ideas you share are refreshing. I see how the structure going forward would challenge.”
I’m sure with the larger blogs, it’s more of a time issue. The authors simply don’t have time to read through and respond to 200 comments a day, so they don’t want to deal with comments at all. I’d like to say I get that. But I’ve never had so many comments that I was all, “Oh my. I simply can’t keep up with all this feedback from my thousands of fans.” It’s probably a bit like excess wealth. People say it’s a bad thing, but most of us would love the opportunity to find out for ourselves just how bad life would be with millions of dollars, a mansion and a personal chef.
Perhaps with others, it just a simplification thing. Less clutter = more space for important things. I guess I get that. Except that I don’t. Because I think my readers rank among the “important things” in my life.
So, since you asked, here’s what I think about blog comments: The ability to interact with readers is what sets blogging apart from a static website or book publishing or traditional magazine publishing. For me, it’s what makes writing worthwhile and immediately gratifying.
Before blogging, I used to submit articles to magazines—real paper magazines. Remember those? Traditional magazine publishing was (and still is) a laborious process:
I would submit an article, usually about six months before it showed up in print. When it did finally publish, the magazine allegedly would be in the hands of thousands of readers. I knew only because my complimentary copy would show up in my mailbox. And that was it. That was the last I would hear about my article.
I never heard how anyone responded to the article, good or bad. If it provoked the readers to action, or changed their minds about something. Did it make them angry? Draw them closer to God or to their kids or to their husbands? I have no clue. I never knew what impact, if any, I made because of my writing. It was impersonal and distant. And not very fulfilling.
When I discovered blogging in 2008, the writing experience drastically changed for me. I was thrilled to see comments on my very first post. It was immediate and fulfilling. It made me want to write a second post. And then a third. And continue writing the next month. The next year.
For me, every time I read anything—a book, an article, a blog post, whatever—I have an internal response. Sometimes my response is not worth sharing, but sometimes it is. Sometimes I want to say, “Hey, I’ve been thinking all day about what you wrote. It really had an impact on me.” Or “I’m not so sure I agree with that, here’s what I think.” Or “Wow, I’ve never thought of it that way. Thanks for articulating this idea so well.” Or “We think so much alike” or “This made me cry” or “this made me laugh” or “this made me mad.” Sometimes, I just want to say “thanks—that was great!”
I love having the ability to respond AND have my response heard by the author.
If I remove the ability to comment from my blog, I remove my reader’s ability to respond—or at least the ability to communicate that response to me. And that’s unfortunate.
I feel like it says, “Here’s my opinion. I don’t care to hear yours.”
It’s very one-sided. And dare I say, a little selfish?
If you are one of the bloggers who has disabled his/her comments, I’m not hating on you. I’m just telling you how I feel when I read your blog. Which I would totally tell you in YOUR comment section. Except that I can’t.
When I took my summer blog break, one of the things I missed the most was reading feedback from you (my readers) after publishing fresh material. As a wife and stay-at-home-mom, I don’t get much feedback from what I do. Well, let me rephrase that. I don’t get much POSITIVE feedback from what I do.
Mostly, I’m just plugging away, pouring my heart and soul into relationships, hoping and praying that someday I will see the payoff. My hospital executive-husband gets recognized for his efforts—by way of an annual review, a weekly paycheck, numerous promotions and professional accolades.
My children get rewarded for their efforts through allowances, verbal encouragement, grades at school, trophies for sporting events, and stickers on a behavior chart.
But me? I get a whole lotta “This isn’t FAIR! You are ruining my LIFE!”
There are no Mom Trophies. No Good Wife Sticker Charts. No Who’s Who of Laundry-Doers designations.
I’m not whining. I’m just saying that, every once in a while, when someone takes the time to say, “Thanks for this post…it was great,” it may not seem like a big deal to you, but it is to me. That short comment keeps me going. It lets me know someone’s reading. It lets me know something I do during the day matters.
That maybe something I wrote impacted someone else for eternity. And that maybe I don’t have wait until eternity to find out about it.
So, if you have taken the time to read any of my posts (ever) and let me know how it affected you, I thank you, sincerely. It encourages me when the comments flow into my inbox, and it fuels me to write the next post. It’s never a burden to me.
And that is why I will never disable my blog comments.
How do you feel after you’ve read a compelling blog post and the author has disabled the comments? Have you ever disabled your comments? Why?
100% agreed, my friend. I LOVE the interaction that is a part of blogging.
I love interaction too. It is hard at times to comment on a persons blog and never get any feed back from them. But,I've learned to not hold it against a person and if I feel led to leave a message I do.
I agree, as a mom who doesn't get alot of feedback it's nice to get some at times.
Being a non-blogger, I don't really notice if comments are disabled. Unless, of course, someone says they are disabling comments due to inappropriate responses. I guess I figure that bloggers probably don't really care what I have to say, anyhow, so it doesn't matter one bit whether I comment or not. But I am a faithful God Speaks reader. Except on Fridays, when I don't want to know how unhealthy my lifestyle is…even though Fitness Friday Girl is pretty funny.
Marlece: I agree. Sometimes I don't comment simply because I never get a response. Ever. Or if I see 250 comments, I know the author cannot read all of those, so I think, "What's the use?"
Sharon: I can't speak for all bloggers, but I promise that THIS blogger cares very much what my readers think. Feedback is very, very valuable.
I'll tell FFG you think she's funny. She will love you for that.
I haven't encountered not being able to comment unless it is a technical difficulty, usually on my part!
I love getting comments. It makes me feel like I'm not alone. Sometimes, I'm shocked by how many of my readers say that they've felt the same way as me. IDK why I think I'm the only one thinking or feeling a certian way.
What I especially love about comments is when someone reads something that I didn't think I was saying. (Make sense?) I've had readers make comments that have an insight that is stunning. Those are the best.
Now…about the good mom chart. Make one. Put stickers on it every time you do the laundry or make a meal. When you get a certain number that ony you know, go get a pedicure, or buy a new scarf. Whatever you want.
That's the whole entire point of blogging. To share and network with each other. Some of my closest friends I've made through the exchange of ideas, encouragement, and constructive feedback. The blogs that allow comments I tend to stick with and those that don't…well…I don't usually go back and visit. What's the point? I have on rare occasions removed the ability to leave a comment on certain posts for personal reasons but for the most part I love the comment section. I really do. And I check my blogs regularly and can not wait to learn more about who is reading them. I think it's just a lot of fun. I've learned a lot from what others think about what I have to say too. Great post!
Well I've been disappointed when i couldn't share a thought on someone's blog but haven't thought much beyond that.
I do tend to revisit blogs where I can read others comments and respond as well.
I started my blog simply as a tool of journaling with the intent to print for my family. Intent has not changed but I will say I am like a child at Christmas when I get a comment…even if it is for Viagra =)
I totally agree, and I'm totally with you in the "I've never had so many comments I just can't get to them all" camp. You are just so funny and fun to read. Love you!!
I agree. There have been a few times when I have wanted to comment and then I realize they've disabled commenting. It's a bummer, but I just figure they're too cool for my comment. Just kidding (kind of).
Divapalooza: I agree that it's the entire point of blogging. The interaction. That's what makes it awesome.
Liz: I doubt the bloggers who disable comments think they are "too cool" but I think it's important that they know this is how they come across. Too bad we can't tell them. You know…without the comments enabled.
Sandy, I am actually a new blogger, and completely enjoy it. I love to write, and enjoy reading from different people each day. I have written many posts with just a handful of comments and yes, sometimes, I do feel like I am writing to the wall. Most of my comments come from facebook or live…just waiting on all those comments one day. ha! 🙂 I do want you to know that I read your blog often. You are a talented writer and encourage me to be a better writer. I also used to be a nurse that taught about heart healthy living, so really enjoy fitness fridays. Thanks for encouraging us daily. 🙂 and I'm with ya on the mom part…I have 4 kids and talking to adults is nice.
Hi Sandy! Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog today. Sarah's post spoke to me and I just had to comment. Its funny how after I read her blog I went for a run and those words of wisdom came to me. I get my best and deepest insights when I run.
I just started my 2 blogs last week but have been following a few for the past year. I love leaving comments and getting comments as well and If I find a blog that speaks to me, I will read through it, so I am glad that you keep old posts as somedays we write profound posts and other days we just ramble 🙂 Its nice to find those posts that speak to you and I am a true believer in the law of attraction and if we stumble on a post that speaks to us, we were meant to be reading that particular post.
Its great to hear feedback on a recipe or on a post, but I also know that there are tons of readers out there that may never comment but visit daily and get what they need. If we can bring a laugh or smile or insight to someone then that is pretty great in itself!