a companion discussion area for blog.codinghorror.com

A Blog Without Comments Is Not a Blog


It seems a little silly not having a comments area on a blog unless the only reason you put it up is to deliver information in a different format.

For me a blog allows me to interact with not only my customers but also learn through them and also embark on a discussion of all thing related to my business… I guess I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.

For some business owners though I guess their time is limited or they just don’t want to make the time to build relationships. Of course the many blogs that are up just to collect adsense revenue would fall into this category.

Well I’ve just upgraded and combined my blogs so I can get some discussion up and running… wish me luck.

Regards, Chris


totally agreed with “Blog Without Comments Is Not a Blog” the same can be and Every blog must have RSS


One of the problems plaguing the blogosphere is the metaphor problem, which is like the simile problem.

A blog is “like a church pulpit” Or it’s like a newspaper editorial. Others have suggested that it’s a village or a conversation around a really big table or similar to inviting someone into your house.

But it’s not really ANY of those things. It’s a blog. It’s something new that never existed before in human experience. If I never saw a cat before I might think it’s a kind of small horse because it has fur and 4 legs and is somewhat domesticated. It certainly resembles a horse more than a fish or bird or seal. But just try feeding it alfalfa or putting a saddle on it. We need to respect the limits of metaphors and not confuse hard reasoning with poetic comparisons.

I’m in the middle of starting new blog (peterography.com) and since it’s MY blog (why else would I use my real name?) I want visitors to it to have a certain experience reflecting my tastes and style. Rude, poorly-written, or off-topic comments detract from the visitors’ experience. I intend to initially allow people to submit comments pending approval with the understanding that they may not be accepted, but if I find that I’m spending too much time throwing throwing comments in the trash I may rethink even that level of comments.


“A blog without comments is simply a blog without comments.”

Yeah, yeah, in the same way like coffee without caffeine is simply coffee without caffeine… NOT!!!

Coffee without caffeine is not a coffee. Essence has been removed.

Same goes for the blog without comments.

Blog is simply your web log (diary) – an open alternative to the real diary which you usually keep locked in your desk drawer.

You keep real diary locked because you don’t want people to read it and be able to disagree with you in public over its content.

Once you go public, it makes no sense to try and prevent people from disagreeing with you because in doing so, it instantly becomes obvious that you are an arrogant preaching bastard. In other words, you believe that there is nothing left for you to learn, and only a fool can believe something like that.


I really do but your blog is a reflection of who you are, and is an expression of your views alone. Many people in the online community are a little more totalitarian.Preachers are almost always available in the narthex right after the sermon. People with an opinion or question in response to this one, cites that he doesn’t like spam, especally if his email travels through a corporate anti-spam engine, like a barracuda. Or maybe he just wants a more personal level of interaction, or a higher bar of entry.


Sorry, but I can’t agree. Some of the best blogs I read have no comments whatsoever. I go to the blog to read the author’s experience, advice, and knowledge… probably in that order. It is informal writing.

Newspapers may publish Letters to the Editor, but they don’t publish them all, don’t publish them on the front page, and don’t allow those writers to get into wars with each other. Yet, newspapers are considered an important form of journalism.

The response is not simply “a blog is a not a newspaper,” because that does not leave the false choice of “it must have comments, then!”

A blog is a web-based column of articles written by a person or organization, typically without a formal publishing schedule and often without a formal topic. It’s content is solely left to the author, and if that author (for whatever reason) decides to not have commenters, it is still that author’s column.


“Coffee without caffeine is not a coffee. Essence has been removed.”

This comment perfectly illustrates the problem with your position.

MILLIONs of people drink decaffeinated coffee. So for them the “essence” is not caffeine - maybe it’s the taste or smell or something else.

The people who insist that a blog must, perforce, have comments never explain or justify their assertions. Their reasoning seems to boil down to “because I say so”. Or it’s social convention: the way some self-apointed village elders look askance at anything that violates the customs and traditions of their little tribe.

The inability to produce a more compelling argument is especially striking because bloggers are (supposed to be) writers! They are supposed to be possessed of the skill to communicate, and to organize their thoughts into a structured and compelling argument or story.

So why do so many bloggers become positively apoplectic about blogs which don’t accept comments, or which moderate them down to a tiny few? Why can’t they put into words any reasons for this belief that don’t reduce to a Fiddler-on-the-Roofish “Tradition”? Because, boys and girls of Anatevka, maybe comments on a blog are about as necessary as a fiddler on the roof.


Controversy sells. That is fact. I just never imagined a simple opinion about comments vs. no comments on a blog would spark such controversy. You all seem to have quite a different opinion from our author here, yet you all read this post, and some seem to even revile it as if he was making personal attacks. Controversy; I need to get some of that


"The people who insist that a blog must, perforce, have comments never explain or justify their assertions. Their reasoning seems to boil down to “because I say so”. Or it’s social convention: the way some self-apointed village elders look askance at anything that violates the customs and traditions of their little tribe."
Well, in that case, what’s the difference between a blog, and any other kind of updated website? How do you define a blog?

“Which moderate them down to a tiny few.” - Well this just encourages yes-manship. If you cut out 90% of people who respond to you, you will end up with only the people who agree with you.


I think comments keep you honest. You have to think about your readership.
That said, I mostly use Facebook notes as my “blog” because I’m too lazy to create my own.


fully agree, comments allow interaction and another point of view to be expressed


I can agree the position of CGomez, but i think most like Peter Nelson. I think that the comments it`s a big part of blog, this is reaction of our readers and we need his “point de vue”.

Sorry for my english:)


If someone has taken the time to come to my house and hear what I have to say then I can only repay the favor by allowing them to voice their opinion.

If I go to your house, then I expect the same courtesy.

I appreciate how there is a difference of opinions on even these comments here. I think that to be even more important.

Not everyone has to agree with what you’re saying. And hopefully the responses you get can help you figure out if perhaps you’re barking up the wrong tree.

I happen to agree with the message of this blog. Keep barking;)


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: