Monday, July 23, 2007

Blogging and Comments

Joel has some interesting comments on comments:

The important thing to notice here is that Dave does not see blog comments as productive to the free exchange of ideas. They are a part of the problem, not the solution. You don't have a right to post your thoughts at the bottom of someone else's thoughts. That's not freedom of expression, that's an infringement on their freedom of expression. Get your own space, write compelling things, and if your ideas are smart, they'll be linked to, and Google will notice, and you'll move up in PageRank, and you'll have influence and your ideas will have power.

Joel's point seems like a sane one - if you agree or disagree with a post the right thing to do is to express your own thoughts in your own space. Seeing as starting a blog is so easy, it shouldn't take much to do this.

Personally, I like comments on my blog. They give me an opportunity to easily poll my readers and to make my posts somewhat interactive. Oh, and they show that at least someone is reading what I'm writing.

Still, I'd take this suggestion as yet another reason to start a blog. So go, get cracking.


  1. I'll be the first to post a comment on this one. :)

    I often have trouble deciding whether to post comments on someone else's blog, or post an entry on my own blog, that references theirs.

    I've got a toblog.txt file, where I jot little notes about topics I'd like to write about eventually. I've actually got some things that have been in there for years, now. Usually that's because it's something that I feel strongly about or have a lot to say about, and I want to make sure that I do it right.

    On several occasions, I've run across other people's blog entries about some of those topics, which makes me really torn about whether to comment on theirs, or post on mine. Either way, it motivates me to finally take the time to address some of these subjects that have been brewing for so long, so it's kind of nice.

    Usually, it depends on whether there's an active discussion going on in the comments on the other blog, and whether my own thoughts would actually fit well in that discussion, or if they would just got buried in a massive list of comments.

    Other times, I end up writing several paragraphs in a comment box on someone else's blog, and decide it's too long for a comment, so I post it on my own blog instead. I'm very close to doing that right now, with this comment, so I'll stop now!

  2. Excellent points Dave!

    I've run into the same quandary - to comment or to post.

    What might be cool is some standard way of leaving a reference to a post as a comment.

    I suppose there are systems that do this automagically with TrackBacks (see this example). Though what if I want to be explicit about it? Or what if you are using blogger and they don't (appear to) support TrackBacks?

    When I get around to writing my own blogging platform, I can add that as a feature ;-).