Finally, a Definition of Programming I Can Actually Understand

I believe very strongly that a blog without comments is not a blog. For me, the whole point of this blogging exercise is the many-way communication of the comments -- between me and the commenters, and among the commenters themselves.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at:

Your example of bizarre comment reminds me of way back when “The Glorious Meept!” (sometimes also known as “MEEPT!!”) would post on slashdot. Not to say that Meept’s postings were always unintelligible drivel. Quite the contrary - I may have selective memory, but my recollection is that Meept’s postings were often quite artistic (and glorious).

I don’t think I want to read your posts anymore.
somehow I since you have started this full time you have lost what I was attracted to in the first place. 1 out of 5 posts are anything to do with Coding Horror and does not help me develop as a programmer /developer. This is the reason i started to regularly look at your website in order to better my skills as something I may have been doing in my job which I have overlooked to me would be wrong. These days your posts are mixed up stuff which are off topic or maybe commenting on another persons blog post.
I found this website when i stumbled across worse then failure where code is posted which is really bad. I searched for something similar and i found this website. It was cool at first, as you introduced me to very cool books and development techniques. But now most of the posts are junk and I feel i am wasting too much time reading useless material. I am sorry but i will be deleting you feed from my firefox toolbar.
Thank you Jeff, I have learned a lot from you.

“You’d break your scroll wheel, man!”

and type away until he realized thread not a big
problem, well, a bit above the community a way to be
approaching critical mass of bizarre comment in a comments are commodities; I can
come up with the homepage? Orange sponge donkey across
the topic or I can be amuse, because I’ve given you
there Jeff. I am stuck on having some
countries, some funny thing that style in the
comments mean your point about programming. It sort
of the blog is really.

I’m all for comment rating!
There are sooo many comments on your average post, some of them are as long as the blog post. It takes me ages to go through all of them. In terms of Added Value, few are really good, most are average, some are even negative. Would be nice if readers can rate a comment, and the comments can be displayed in the order of popularity. This way I can just read the best 3 or so in a hurry, which will maximize learning / minute ratio. And when I post a comment, I will be motivated to add significant value to make sure my comment does not sink to the bottom.

I’m sorry, you lost this reader on this entry when you mentioned Amazon’s comments and their value :wink: They are entertaining to read when bored, but they don’t aid in making an informed choice. They have has much credibility as financial firms’ analysts’ reports. If it is books, it is Amazon’s book search, or Google’s, that provides definitive information on the content and presentation, and whether to purchase.

The quality of comments, imho, is a measurement of the success of a blogger — to stay true to their subject.

A public-opinion poll is no substitute for thought.
Warren Buffett

Nice comment Markov, we all know who you are, no need to hide behind names.

I do not believe that comment was generated through Markov chains – what possible input could produce such deleriously weird output? Nothing that I’ve read ever sounded anything remotely like that.

There are sooo many comments on your average post, some of them are as long as the blog post

That’s the irony – for posts that get 50-100 comments, only a teeny tiny fraction of people will read them all. Every comment is guaranteed an audience of one, though: me.

Isn’t it time to somehow let the readers rate each comment in a way that the best ones show up in the top of the comments section?

This is what stackoverflow will be about; it is in many ways coding horror 2.0, driven by you, the reader.

1 out of 5 posts are anything to do with Coding Horror and does not help me develop as a programmer / developer

I don’t know what to tell you; this blog has always been about a variety of topics, including programming community. The post you’re commenting on is about the value of your comment, for example.

I think you blog is cool, as well as an interesting read. Somewhat tongue-in-cheek at times, and that, to me anyway, makes the content more meaningful! Unlike Mr. Too Serious “programmer/developer”, I will keep on reading. Jeff, you rock!

Not so sure I agree. I think a blog can easily exist without comments (read-only type of online journal).

While I would whole heartedly agree that comments are definitely useful for most blogs (your definitely), I think your that comments are not a requirement for a blog.

Keep up the blogging…

If a blog is not a blog unless it has comments, why can’t I see comments on the homepage?

You’d break your scroll wheel, man!

Gotta agree with you there Jeff. Enjoy yours posts, love the comments. I often find a discussion with concepts far over my (3rd yr student) head, which inevitably results in me chasing down some of the buzz words and learning something new. keep up the good work!

Joel is (as is not uncommon) completely wrong. A blog without comments amounts to little more than an arrogant ass standing on a soap box. If all you want to do is stand on a box and shout at people passing by then you probably ought to find something better to do with your time. I do have to laugh at his example post he linked to. I wonder how long he searched before he found that example. I’d guess quite a while.

Besides the many interesting comments that come up, there are also those that point out additional ideas or correct those in the blog post itself. If it’s a topic you’re very interested in, all the extra content in the comments is a great way to find more information or get another viewpoint on the issue.

Look at a site like Slashdot which is essentially a blog. If they were to disable comments on that site tomorrow it would die, and die fast. I have learned and laughed more from the comments on Slashdot than any of the “original” content posted to it.

In any case Jeff, I’m very disappointed. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a comment on your blog telling another poster to “go kill yourself”. Obviously you’re not in the big leagues yet.

very nice. could be Rory Blyth… but probably just some funny dude who doesn’t have a blog of his/her own.

wait a moment… are you posting on weekends now?

i hope that your new-found independence hasn’t done serious damage to your work-life balance. it can certainly have that effect. go play some guitar hero or something.

The funny thing is that I went through 90% of the post thinking you would somehow compare blog comments to code comments or something like that, but then after that I thought you just used the wrong title, because I didn’t see anything about programming. It was only on the final 2 paragraphs that it made sense. It was actually quite nice, because you kept me curious and interested all the way through. =)

Oh come on, that comment was obviously generated by some sort of bot. Randomness sometimes generates interesting poetry, but I don’t think this qualifies as that interesting.

That said, “Orange Sponge Donkey” might be a good name for a blog. I can imagine cutting a donkey shape out of an orange sponge and using it as the blog mascot.

A blog without comments is like Amazon without user reviews. Is it really even worth using at that point? The products themselves are commodities; I could buy them anywhere.

For me, Amazon’s great without the reviews. I could buy the products anywhere, but:

  1. I want to buy them online; leaving the house is so 20th century.
  2. I want to buy them from a site that will ship the products to me in good time, for a reasonable price, and make things right if they go wrong.
  3. I don’t want my credit card details or my address stolen.

With Amazon, I know from past experience that I’ve got all these. I can’t be bothered taking the risk that a new online store won’t meet 2 or 3. That, for me, is Amazon’s huge advantage. They’ve got my trust.

I believe that some of the most useful blogs that I read have no comments. My favorite blogs are purely informational, not editorial. I’ll rank editorial with comment (which is where I place this blog) as my second favorite category. Pure opinion with no comment is of course quite useless.

Holy crap, I’m pretty sure I know that guy…