On Blog Comments
When a blog allows comments right below the writer’s post, what you get is a bunch of interesting ideas, carefully constructed, followed by a long spew of noise, filth, and anonymous rubbish that nobody … nobody … would say out loud if they had to take ownership of their words. #
That is true, in so far as bloggers are incapable of handling their readers. The fallacy being that if you’re friendly with everyone, they’ll be friendly with you. Or that your comment section is some sort of digital speaker’s corner.
I ran this policy for a while, especially when Kubrick was at its height, and my traffic was through the roof. It resulted in many comments, for sure, but the overall quality was considerably lower than it is now. The key seems to be raising ones grouch’o‘meter to ‘low tolerance for morons’. Traffic goes down, quality goes up and in the long run quality of life stabilizes on a comfortable level.
Gone are the rather obnoxious ‘oh, ye, the mighty creator of teh Kurbirk theme, haha, u are so right and funny’ comments, of which there were quite a few, none of which help with anything but mild stroking of ego, and entertaining as that is for a while, it’s just not very fulfilling. For that reason I had comments closed on entries for a while.
The status quo is a returning core of (mostly ;) sensitive, intelligent readers who say what they have to say, if they have anything to say, and otherwise go about their business. From that, genuine valuable conversation can grow.
There is of course also the difference between expectations, in that Binary Bonsai is largely a social blog, whereas for instance Daring Fireball is Gruber broadcasting his analysis onto the world, no reply needed.
I would still write BB without comments and readership interaction, but it would be a quite different affair, no doubt.
So, the secret to the Binary Bonsai Success Sauce? You can’t be friends with everyone, so don’t be afraid to squash any wannabe-trolls early on. The social environment around your blog will be better for it in the long run.