April 23, 2009

Kill Blog Comments?

Blog comments have an innate communication problem: You can’t discuss and moderate the discussion at the same time.

Moderating blog comments I often feel like being pushed in the role of the understanding father that needs to calm down his rebellious teenage son. Blogs comments are useful to evaluate how popular an article is and to get a general idea what others might think. Intellectually they’re often really dubious. If the Internet were a Japanese game hall blog comments are the adult game section.

Okay, enough with the dissing. Here is what I plan to do:

  1. Direct the discussion about iA blog posts to Twitter
  2. Select the substantial response
  3. Publish them below the article instead of the comments

It’s not odd to chose what you publish on your site. It’s odd to be forced into self-moderation when you’re looking for action. It’s odd to be forced to deal with people that don’t read the post and insult your intelligence. It’s odd to have to read novels about the fantastic intellectual penis of some random dude.

The benefit of having Tweets instead of comments are:

  1. Short thumbs up thumbs down reactions like “Great post” or “This is shit” don’t clutter up the thread
  2. The guy that reads the title then writes his own treatise without reading to post has no chance
  3. Anonymity is possible but not likely; commentators take responsibility for what they say

Now, of course technology as such has not solved any real human problem. Keep in mind that if the Internet were a Japanese game hall, Twitter is Patchinko.

Discuss this article on Twitter.

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First Reactions

coldheat: Outsourcing valuable content (even crappy comments) is a bad choice and reading decentralized comments is a horrible experience so far.

stephenallred: I agree with your stance on blog comments, and I tend to ignore them on blogs I read as a result.

designworkplan I dont agree to loose the comments on a blog post and move it to twitter, because of several reasons, 1: 140 characters is just not enough 2: I cannot keep track of all twitter comments related to the blog post, although the way WLT handles the comments is not a bad opt 3: only the visitors within the twitter network will be able to respond to the blog post, making it limited.

gridinoc: It would be simpler if Twitter would use trackback every time you link to a blog post. with http://adromag.net/twittercomments/ you lose the identity of the commenters (being outside twitter).

david_bauer: Agree with your shot at comments. Two additions: 1. Allow trackbacks for people have more to respond than just 140 characters. 2. Allow a way to repond for people who have something to say, but neither use Twitter nor have their own blog.

gridinoc wouldn’t that require a hashtag per blog post?

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