A Blog Without Comments Is Not a Blog

See what lively debate regarding comments has been facilitated by the ability to comment on this blog!

I haven’t read all these comments (wink) so maybe someone else has already mentioned this, but perhaps a good middle-ground technical solution to this is to create a standard (if none yet exists, and which frankly seems unlikely, given the foment of this comunity) that allows owners of blogs to respond on their own blogs yet have their responses appear in the comment thread of the blog post they have commented on. Conversely, readers without their own blogs might be offered the option comment using the facilities of the host blog (or not, depending on the sentiments of the blog’s owner).

Furthermore, perhaps comment thread tools ought to let later readers thumb-up or thumb-down individual comments (and threads) in the pile of comments for a given post, and let those later readers indicate what degree of popularity a comment (or thread) needs to have to be of interest to themselves (think Amazon’s “Was this review helpful?” and Slashdot’s “7 additional entries below your comment threshhold” here).

I think that comments define a blog. But I don’t think that all web site should have comments. The problem is “What is a blog?”. The format of a blog can be anything from a bunch of text written usually in spoken form, to a tutorial. Sometimes they are by date. Other times organised by category. Some are even so highly organised they are like a Wiki. People publish information all the time and lots of that does not need or want comments.

Some web sites (e.g. Freshmeat or CPAN) should have comments for modules software - but they are not a blog.

So I think it is fair to day that a blog is a publication which allows comments.

Another comparison is a forum. The first or Topic post is the main post and then people can reply - this is another common form of what we think of as blog.

Now the hard part - if I want to put up my site and allow people to read my opinions, tutorials or other ‘stuff’, then for people to understand it I would need to call it my Blog.

Blog has become the word for “your opinions home page”. Should all of those sites have comments - nope.

So tricky…

Call me a low-tech loser, but I’m pretty new to blogs in general. As best I can tell, though, since the word “blog” is short for “web log” I would guess blogs started out as just that: a daily (weekly or whatever) log of what an individual is doing or thinking. Just a personal diary of sorts. No need for comments from the rest of the world. Last time I checked, a diary didn’t allow for reader comments… but then again, a diary wouldn’t be published for all the world to see, either.

Maybe I’m contradicting myself the more I type… after all, I did use the comments feature to post this. Darn.

Ooops-- I apologize, I accidentally deleted a comment that I didn’t mean to! I cannot remember who it was from, but it referenced this example of a site where the author felt forced to disable comments:


I think you’re overlooking the possibility of sending an email to the author of the blog - isn’t this more or less equivalent to a letter of the editor, where it may or may not be selected for publication?

The primary purpose of comments on a blog is to silence the complaints from people who think it should have comments. :slight_smile:

It seems like a great deal of your issue can be solved simply by having blog’s comments be threaded (hierarchically, etc).

I never quite understood why the default format for most blogs on earth is a simple string of comments without any indication as to who is replying to whom.

I tried a couple wordpress plugins to do just that, but never found one satisfactory, and I generally hate touching wordpress anyway.

My 2 cents.


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Hear, hear!

I especially hate when author is either posting some controversial post, or a post is essentially asking for advice… and have comments disable. The latter (post looks like question to readers, but no easily visible way to add comments) is very frustrating.

I fully appreciate comments in blogs. I would just like to know how Jeff Atwood or anyone else who has hundreds (or thousands?) of blog posts to their name is physically able to read every single comment (forever and ever) and still have time to sleep more than about 2 hours a day. Isn’t that like hundreds and hundreds of comments every day that Jeff has to trudge through? That sounds kinda like a full time job in itself.

What’s your secret, Jeff? Have you cloned yourself? Have you coded artificially intelligent blog comment answering agents? Thanks in advance for reading this comment and responding to it, because Lord knows that I will most likely forget to come back later to check for a response. :slight_smile:


To the person who wondered why I would decry spam and then give out my contact info: because I make my living being easy to contact. Spam that comes to me via email is nicely filtered by other agents. Spam that comes to me via blog is not filtered except by me.

Thank you…

“Are you really comfortable saying, in effect, unless you have a blog I am not interested in what you have to say? Because I’m not” Actually, I am. Very much so. I do not care about what wandom people have to say about my opinions. I just like forming and expressing them.

Hey, my comment is here!!

Sorry kid, but BY DEFINITION, it is a blog even if there are no comments. Sorry that doesn’t suit your defensive and argumentative nature, but you don’t get the change the definition of words to pressure people into appeasing your desires. Your entire argument is invalid. Get a dictionary, child.

Also, no one expects you to create a new blog just to disagree with theirs. Normal, healthy people shrug and move on with their lives when they see someone having the audacity to think differently than them; so THAT’S what I expect.

LMAO, a BLOG is a BLOG ofcourse, but is it really ? Just a bunch of stuff you wrote/made up without opinions or ability for someone to intervene so yes, comments would make a COMPLETE blog. Not that a Blog without Comments in no blog.

You are repeating the same point I just refuted. A blog without comments is a blog. Yes, really. Look up “blog” if you need some help, kid. The quality or value of such a blog is a matter of personal opinion.

“Not a complete blog”? Fair enough…if I get to decide that a blog lacking /any/ feature my ideal blog would have is “incomplete”. You don’t get to decide where that line is drawn.

A blog is a blog. If you have certain opinions about certain blogs or certain things bloggers do, fine, but stop convoluting objective definitions.

Also, this obsession with “intervening” and generally being argumentative is quite disturbing. Different blogs have different purposes; debate is a specific purpose that simply not all blogs serve. Same way not all blogs have music on them. And frankly, you should be able to read something you disagree with without /needing/ to refute it. However, conversing with multiple people a day when you’re balancing an actual life is unnecessarily time-consuming. If the purpose of your blog is to share your thoughts, and discussion isn’t something you /particularly desire/, then disabling comments avoids unnecessary clutter. And you’re not forcing your opinions on anyone (as a narcissist like you seems obsessed with doing); people can freely decide whether or not your blog is worth their attention.

The internet is not as serious as you think it is, and there is a time and place for debate. Not everyone’s blog is that time or place. No, not even if you want it to be, Your Highness.

I’m wondering what comment system is being used on codinghorror, but it’s awsome.
I saw this same system on several websites lately (OVH, Korben…) and I’d like to give it a try myself. I tried to google it but still can’t figured it out.

Leo Babauta guideline is not to allow comments, which give a very minimalistic result.
I understand him, but I like commenting very much, I think it adds value, and make website more lively.

it’s https://discourse.org


Discourse, that’s exactly it !
I was googling like crazy for hours “comment blog timeline continue discussion”.

I am speachless.
I get the answer from the creator of this crazy-good digital product.
I didn’t even know it was related with coding horror…
I came here by any chance from that article on dev.to

I can’t believe Jeff Atwood created StackOverflow, StackExchange, CodingHorror, Discourse: that is so cool, so polished, so useful.
You’re a world changer: My upper respect to you, if it means anything.

I am honored.
Thank you very much, have a great great great day.
I’m enlightened.

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is a book without reviews still a book?

how about a vlog without video responses, is it still a vlog?

what to say for a river without rain…

when really needed, a new name will catch on.

meanwhile we can keep on trying to come up with one.

i like “lidae” as a mix of “living idea”, which need cycles to survive through the life and death of many bodies in the middle.

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