June 10, 2006

Is a blog a blog if there are no comments?

This post was last updated on June 22nd, 2006 at 11:52 pm

I read an interesting article today on Marc Prensky’s blog. He was presenting an idea about an experiment he’d like to pursue. I had an immediate reaction and went to post a comment only to find he doesn’t allow for comments. He did offer his email address within the post and so I emailed him. To his credit he responded quickly and even included his reasons for not having comments…spam.

Seth Godin posted about why he doesn’t have comments,

I think comments are terrific, and they are the key attraction for some blogs and some bloggers. Not for me, though. First, I feel compelled to clarify or to answer every objection or to point out every flaw in reasoning. Second, it takes way too much of my time to even think about them, never mind curate them. And finally, and most important for you, it permanently changes the way I write. Instead of writing for everyone, I find myself writing in anticipation of the commenters. I’m already itching to rewrite my traffic post below. So, given a choice between a blog with comments or no blog at all, I think I’d have to choose the latter.

“it takes way too much of my time”….I just read Mark Cuban’s blog. He gets up to 200+ comments. I’m sure he doesn’t read them all, if any, but he’s willing to allow a conversation to happen. He also seems to have figured out how to handle spam.

At least Godin turns trackbacks on which, if you’ll look, has generated quite a bit of discussion and I suppose is part of the conversation. It just comes across as arrogant. (a term that comes up quite a bit in these trackbacks)

“it changes the way I write”…. that’s the point. Writing for yourself is important but I believe blogs are about conversations and not simply individuals writing their experiences and ideas. I don’t write for everyone and hope I’m confident enough to write about what matters to me but also consider what matters to others. It’s like going to a dinner party and only talking about things you like and not allowing others to share their thoughts. A blog without comments is more like a diary and that’s just what we as educators are trying to dismiss.

For someone who is supposed to be cutting edge he’s pretty old school.