reasons not to allow comments
Torill explains why she doesn’t have comments in her blog. It’s in Norwegian, but the main arguments are:
- Comments require more maintenence, you might get trolls, and you probably have a legal, editorial responsibility for what’s in the comments so you really do have to check them.
- Her blog is more for working out her own thinking than for dialogue.
- Trackbacks aren’t democratic. In fact, they make only one network visible, because they only display links from other MoveableType blogs (like this one). MoveableType is one of the most difficult blogging applications to install and requires not only the money to pay for a server but also a lot of technical skills. So Trackbacks only make visible a particular elitist conversation.
- Anyone who wants to comment on something in Torill’s blog can start a free, simple blogger.com weblog and write away. Torill will find it.
It’s good to have reasons like these made so explicit, and Torill’s not alone here: Anders agrees with her (July 5) (incidentally SMSes announced the birth of Ander’s son on Friday so the “the baby’s not here yet sign on his blog is outdated. Congratulations!) Finally, whether to have comments or not is just a choice that depends on what you want your weblog to be and what you want it to do for you. I love comments, and love the slightly scary feeling of opening up my writing and thinking like this. I also love being able to comment at other people’s sites. That doesn’t mean everyone needs weblogs.
The troll issue: it’s true, I did have a troll. Once I actually talked with him instead of just fighting him, as other people he plagued did, we became friends, and now he’s one of my favourite commentators. He even sends me supportive emails at times 🙂
And then there’s the legal responsibility question – I’ve just spend half an hour searching for a report I’m sure I saw a link to the other day about a court case that somehow creates a precedence for bloggers not being responsible for comments made by visitors to their sites. Does anyone know what I’m talking about?