Comments are Bonus Points

Last week my friend Greg Ng and I were having a discussion on Twitter about whether bloggers need to allow comments on their blog. Greg was frustrated because he wanted to comment on a piece by Seth Godin, and there was no immediate way to react to Godin’s piece. Greg thought there needs to be some method of getting in touch with the original author or an article, as that’s part of how modern marketing works.

I’m not Seth Godin. I don’t have a crazy fan base of linchpins. I’d probably die under the traffic his blog gets in one day. But still, I can understand why he runs his blog the way he does.

Comments are not a necessary part of a blog. Comments are bonus points. They’re nice, and most audiences are great and will add to a discussion.

Still, some commentators will take away from the conversation. We call them trolls. They want their own internet fame and glory.  They are willing to build their own reputation by tearing you down. And if you’re a popular blogger who gets a good number of comments, then they will appear in droves.

Really, do you want your extra credit to be so bad it takes away from the actual work?

Bonus points only work if the audience lets them work well. Great articles and blog content will last beyond the content of the comments. Having comments just for the sake of being modern and interactive does not make your blog have any better conversation.

I don’t have time to deal with haters.  I doubt Seth Godin does either.  I also don’t have time to react to 1,000 comments.  Comment moderation and fan interaction take time, which is your most valuable resource online.

Are your bonus points worth that time?

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