I’ve decided to start the blog with comments off, it might seem a crazy decision but after having another blog with comments on for 3 years I understood that it’s not worth, simply for the time you spend to moderate them. If I had to manually moderate every comment on myprevious blog (with its 500 visits a day) I’d have ended up spending half of my day - every day - clicking approve or cancel. So boring.
But that’s just one of the problems.
As Matt Gemmel says:
If your blog allows comments, you’re inviting people into your house - but sadly, some of them don’t conduct themselves appropriately.
Sadly that’s exactly what happens. The majority of users take the comments as a battlefield if they don’t agree with the opinion of another user they feel free to insult each other until an admin comes and they found themselves banned.
I do understand that comments from honest people are usually better and worth reading, but comments from assholes are overwhelming.
As Matt Gemmel says in its post there are many another way to interact:
- Write a response on your own blog. Considered, long-form follow-ups by an identifiable, accountable person are the ultimate form of feedback and discussion. I’d love to read what you have to say. Let me know about it via email or a tweet.
- Reply on Twitter. If your thoughts are brief, send a public tweet to my Twitter account (@mattgemmell). This is what most people do already anyway, and it tends to automatically invite others into the conversation too. There’s a little blue ‘Tweet’ button at the bottom of every article on this blog.
- Email. I discourage this (I get a lot of email, and I think that the vast majority of replies to published articles should themselves be public), but it’s available as an option; my contact info is on my About page.
As Shawn Blanc pointed out from an article by MG Sieger:
If you’re saying something that you think is great, why would you want to do it as a comment on another site anyway?
Write your own article instead. It’s better for everyone. It’s better for you, your blog and the whole ecosystem.
Techcrunch suggested few tips to avoid thermonuclear options like mine on comments:
1. AUTHENTICATED IDENTITY SIGN-IN WITH MINIMUM FRIEND/FOLLOWER COUNT
When people have to tie their comments to their identity, they become a lot more civil. The issue with Facebook is that it’s easy to create a throwaway or dedicated commenting account to troll from. An ideal commenting system would allow the host to set a minimum friend count for commenting. A 20 friend count minimum would make it much harder to create a troll account, make bans more long-lasting, and ensure at least someone wants to hear what a commenter has to say.
Update: This is meant to authenticate a commenter’s identity, not to discriminate against loners. Those who don’t meet the requirement can always tweet to the author. An alternative I like, suggested by GigaOm’s Mathew Ingram and ReadWriteWeb’s Jon Mitchell, is a trust pyramid where veteran commenters approve newbies. This is similar to the system The New York Times is testing.
2. ABILITY TO LOCK COMMENTS AFTER A CERTAIN PERIOD OF TIME
Long-standing authors have more historic content than they can possibly moderate. Comments on old posts are often irrelevant due to newer information that has emerged. I want the ability to lock down and prevent further comments on a post after a designated period of time. I could then commit to moderating and responding to comments on posts younger than a week, a month, or 6 months, and direct all those wishing to comment on old posts to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or elsewhere.
3. DEDICATED COMMENTS PAGE FOR EACH POST
Comment shouldn’t be given even close to the same prominence as the post they refer to. Forcing readers to comment on social networks or their own blogs is too much work, and inefficient for an author to keep up with. A compromise would be the ability to host comments on a separate page linked to at the bottom of a post. It would also make the original post load faster, give sites more control over presentation, and create a dedicated discussion area.
Here are my opinions:
- They say it’s not a discrimination against new commenters, but it is. It’s just like the Wikipedia problem. It doesn’t matter what the user has to say (or in case of Wikipedia the truth) the only thing that matters is verifiability. And that is terribly wrong, you create an elite vs all the others.
- That’s a good solution against old comments, I’ve been using it for few years on my previous blog.
- Comments done this way are wasted. If you think that comments are worth allow them to stay behind your post, hiding them this way is unfair. You have to take a position, there are two choices: keep them or deleted them. Period.