a companion discussion area for blog.codinghorror.com

A Blog Without Comments Is Not a Blog


It seems like you haven’t been to church in a while, at least not the Protestant type you picture/describe. Preachers are almost always available in the narthex (lobby) right after the sermon. People with an opinion or question will often chat with him (or her) within minutes of their “initial post”. :slight_smile:

Those with no questions or opinions just rush out to Old Country Buffet for some reason.


I agree.

James Bach’s thinking is very odd… His latest post, in response to this one, cites that he doesn’t like spam, yet proceeds to give out his, his wife’s, and his Mobile number, among other information. Very odd indeed…


I do not particulalrly agree with your comment.

I use Bloglines.com for my blog. Currently Bloglines does not offer comments. But I do have my email address displayed prominently and have received comments by email, which I can decide to post or respond to publicly in the blog.

Spam issues aside, not every blog has to be accepting/publishing comments. I see it more as optional. YMMV


I think you might be overstepping a bit. Since “blog” is really ill-defined, we can all vote on its meaning.

But I think the generally accepted meaning allows for blogs to not have comments.

However, I think we can all agree that all the KEWL KIDS have comments enabled. A blog without comments is still a blog, but it’s like a person without a heart. It’s still a person, but closer to a cadaver.


"Jeff A:

I was curious what Scott was referencing here, so I looked it up: "

See, this is the kind of invaluable content you miss out on when you don’t enable comments on your blog James.


I read your blog on a daily basis, Jeff, and I find your observations clear, entertaining and almost always insightfull. I’d say about 85 - 90 percent of the time I completely agree with you. Not on this one.

“a blog without comments enabled is not a blog. I’m not sure what it it, exactly, but it definitely isn’t a blog.”

Well, of course, that’s according to you. That’s fine. That is what you believe and I respect that. However, your opinion of how a blog should be defined – how it should function – is not the hard, fast rule for all bloggers.

If a book has the front or back cover torn off is it still a book? If a magazine you buy at the store refuses to accept reader mail does that mean it can be classified as something other than a magazine? If I choose not to show my email/homepage when I comment here does that mean my comments aren’t valid.

Definitions can be great. They can also be a way to suppress. Let’s keep the definition of a blog loose for now. Many people blog because they find comfort in the loose and open format of it. Initiating “rules” and “definitions” would take away from that. I’m more than happy to “allow” people to post blogs where all they do is throw their opinions out into the universe.

I love the fact that you, Jeff, want your readers to comment. But not everyone wants or needs to allow for that.



I’m going to concur with the idea that a blog that disables both trackback and comments is simply a website with a timestamp. Sure, there are other ways to communicate with the blogger (his site now lists his phone, e-mail, wife’s email and a half dozen other ways) but at the end of the day none of them support the community aspect of blogging vs hosting a vanilla website.

It is that communication, the back and forth, that has made blogging distinct from the old AngleFire personal webs. Not that website’s are not useful: they just are not blogs.


This conversation would make Humpty Dumpty want to fall off the wall.


Great post!

(why am I always the one that has to pull out the obvious contextual joke? Other commenters, please lift your game.)


A Blog is a Blog, is a Blog – and a Blog with comments is a Forum.

It’s unreasonable to expect people that disagree with the tenants of your religion to build a church and start their own religion

And that is exactly what a small group of us did in the late '60s. We formed a small Unitarian Fellowship so that we could meet closer to our homes, in a form more conducive to our needs. Not having a paid Minister, we had a different speaker every Sunday, followed by a discussion period, followed by coffee and donuts.

Because of that experience, and others, I favor the forum format as opposed to the Blog; however, I am very unhappy with all of the forums that I have seen so far, as I am most experienced with Ziff-Davis type, which were designed for advertisers and suffer all kinds of shortcomings.

To remedy this situation, I am writing the kind of software that I believe necessary to build a national network of discussion forums. You can get a preliminary view by downloading my existing software at http://pdmsb.com. OTOH, you can check http://nationalcomputerassociation.com periodically to catch my release notification when ready (next week or two).

Doug Skoglund


Analytical mind goes crazy.


Do the guys at bethelministries.org know you are leeching one of their images? Just curious, I think you’ve complained about people doing that in the past :wink:


Was not blog merely the contraction of ‘web log’, which to me seems to imply a website (the web part) that has continuing entries (the log part).

No part of that suggests the ability to attach feedback directly to each log.

“Captains Log, stardate rand(), we are visiting the system of Triskellion, I sure hope I’m not kidnapped. – Kirk”

“Comment 1 - by Spock: Douche!”


“[Rule] 10. Don’t take any questions. The content and quality of your presentation speaks for itself”

Remember, the title of this post was how NOT to give a presentation. So I am in favor of QA periods after a presentation, just like I’m in favor of a QA comments area after a blog post.


Hey, Scott…

Isn’t it INCREDIBLE that someone might have the same name as someone famous? Mind you, James also has the same last name as a famous musical person; did you not notice that, or did you just not feel obliged to point it out? :slight_smile:


Michael Bolton


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.

There are many ways to communicate, boys and girls. Has anyone considered that the only comments visible in this thread debating the merits of comments on blogs are by people who are willing to post icomments on blogs/i? Talk about your sampling bias! You might as well conduct an opinion poll asking people if they are willing to answer questions in an opinion poll-- I bet the answer comes back as 94% with a 6% margin of error.

– James Bach


Talk about your sampling bias!

Now consider the sampling bias of people willing to write their own blogs… it’s a heck of a way to get public dialog.


I find this post a little strange coming from the man who said in his post “How not to give a presentation” (http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000504.html): “[Rule] 10. Don’t take any questions. The content and quality of your presentation speaks for itself”

But the content and quality of your blog doesn’t? I have to say - I think not taking questions (comments) after a presentation would be exactly like a church pulpit and a real turn off for me.



One thing that seems worth pointing out, though, is that comments often are NOT intended solely to communicate with the blog author – and thus, private email isn’t a substitute. They are intended to communicate with other readers of the blog.


I agree with Brooks Moses on that, very good point.