A note about comments on the blog

The issue of whether comments should be on blogs in order for them to be considered blogs has been debated ad nauseum. I am firmly in the camp of not having comments and any reasoning I could muster has already been better explained by Alex Payne 1:

For most sites, though, comments are worse than useless. The anonymity of the Internet inspires hit-and-run attacks, unintelligible ramblings, and truckloads of spam. I believe that comments are evil by default, and the sites above that seem to have healthy communities are blessed flukes.

For me, the spam and hacking that come with allowing comments are really the main reason why I won’t allow them. I enjoy hearing other people’s opinions and have had luck with them in the past. But that was a long time ago. This site (and blog) is customized to be as low maintenance as I can make it without writing an entire framework myself, and the last thing I want to do here is intentionally leave myself open to security problems. So, off with the comments. I can understand (and can hear) the argument that this makes the blog an echo chamber, but I do not agree with that assessment because the quality of comments is usually really crappy and not worth their time to respond. Again, Alex Payne…

I think people do their best writing when they’re forced to defend their ideas on their own turf. It’s one thing to leave a comment on someone else’s blog, but quite another to put your argument in front of your own readers.

This is ultimately simple: My turf, my rules; their turf, their rules; optionally calling and responding across domains. Don’t like the rules, don’t play the game. I don’t like how commenting generally runs on websites, so I won’t allow them since I can avoid them. Done and done.

1 Please also see Daring Fireball who also links to Alex Payne.