Experimenting Again With Comments

Fellow blogger Judah Himango had some things to say about blogs and comments today. Please don’t make fun of his eyes. He can’t help it. :-)

But seriously, Judah said:

I love writing of the things I’m passionate about. This blog has given me the soapbox to stand on, and I think things have worked out well.

But even more, I love the discussion that follows in the blog comments . . .

. . . Like prolific tech blogger Jeff Atwood, I feel that a blog without comments isn’t a blog. If it doesn’t have comments, you’re not getting feedback, you’re not getting discussion; the end result is a not a blog, it’s a dissertation, an essay, or newsletter. It’s not a blog.

Jeff likens a blog without comments to a preacher at a church:

“It’s more like a church pulpit. You preach the word, and the audience passively receives your evangelical message. Straight from God’s lips to their ears. When the sermon is over, the audience shuffles out of the church, inspired for another week. And there’s definitely no question and answer period afterward.”

I heartily agree. I follow about 60 blogs (mostly tech-related) using the free RSS Bandit reader, and of these, perhaps only 2 or 3 of these blogs disable comments. I’m routinely frustrated by these few that disable comments; so many times I have wanted to discuss one of Derek Leman’s excellent posts on the Jewish gospel of Jesus, for example, only to be disappointed when I remember he doesn’t allow comments.

Discussion is my favorite part of blogging.

Okay, enough already. I will experiment with turning comments on again for new posts, starting with this one. I stopped taking comments for several reasons: (1) I was spending too many hours reading and answering comments, (2) the arguing got bothersome, (3) I had a few nasty commenters, including one serious personal attack.

So, I’ll try it again and here are questions for you: how important are comments on a blog like this one? Do you think Judah is right that blogs without comments are preachy?

Derek

About Derek Leman

IT guy working in the associations industry. Formerly a congregational rabbi. Dad of 8. Nerd.
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7 Responses to Experimenting Again With Comments

  1. judahgabriel says:

    Hey you, don’t make fun of my eyes!

    Heheh just kiddin’. That was a goofy family picture where we were all half-laughing while trying to stay still for the camera. :-)

    Anyways.

    Well hey, I hope the comments thing works out this time around. I do enjoy good discussions when there are folks that can do it without getting into attack mode.

    If it doesn’t work out, well, no prob, you have a life to run. There are more important things to do than moderate comments.

    Shalom.

  2. judahgabriel says:

    Hey Derek,

    On the topic of comments, you might get a kick out of this little XKCD comic from the other day:

    http://xkcd.com/438/

    As someone who’s moderated comments, I’m sure you appreciate the meaning: one of the difficulties of having discussions online is that folks feel empowered by the anonymity of the web, so they say things online they’d never say in person.

  3. jonboze says:

    I’m not sure that I would say blogs without comments are preachy. However, comments help add something that you can’t truly get without being face to face with someone. Things have a more powerful effect when the listener is able to take part in the proceedings.

    That added personal touch is also why comments can be hurtful. We often forget that language is a tool so powerful that Genesis describes creation as Hashem speaking just a few words. We shouldn’t randomly fire guns into a crowd, and it’s our responsibility to be equally careful with our words.

    I live out in a very small town and comments help me feel connected so I hope they stay enabled. If they disappear again though I’m sure there’ll be a good reason, and I completely support your right to not only control the content of your site, but protect yourself and your family from unneeded anguish as well.

  4. dorla says:

    Yes, I agree that blogs without comments are preachy.

    But most of all I appreciate both of your blogs because I have learned so much from them and instead of just reading in silence I would like to thank you for enlightening me!

    And don’t you feel like your talking to yourself if there are no comments?
    Dorla

  5. PB and J says:

    derek

    i totally agree with Judah. i have often thought that the sermons are devoid of any real working of the Spirit because there is no interaction. there is no question and answer. people dont truly feel that the Word applies to them in their circumstances. even when the expositor is capable and methodically and a good speaker, it rarely turns into life action.

    instead, what if we spent that same time sharing His Word through a discussion? more likely to impact lives? i think so. better yet, why not go one step further, why not walk along side of that person and they with you. why not speak God’s Word through our actions and in truth?

    anyway, at least let us dialogue.

    so on to the application to the point, should blogging have comments? yes, i think that the comments are what make a blog unique in this world. it makes it less of a theological dissertation and more of a interaction between two (or more) people. there is give and take. there are actual compromises and changes of opinions.

    is it hard sometimes? sure. we can be attacked when we put ourselves out there. Yeshua surely knows of this. He received criticism from some of those who should have supported Him. He was the fulfillment of all that they had longed for, yet instead, some criticized. yet, the reward comes when people like sha’ul or others come to follow our Rabbi. without our being open to criticism, we cannot be open to friendship or learning.

    sorry if i rambled. i havent blogged in quite a while and am very inadequately pouring forth months of pent up bloghood.

    in Messiah,
    peter

  6. peacechild4 says:

    Hi there.. I love comments on journals too.. I have learnt lots just from reading them and replying sometimes as I personally would not have done if I thought about it too much!!

    You must be diserning and see what is through satan an attack to rile you.. or a genuine heartfelt question or comment.. Not everyone is going to be where you are.. we need patience with all and must be sanctified in the LORD GOD and ready always to give an answer to any man who asks us the hope that lies within us.. we answer with meekness and fear..

    We must first settle our hearts and have compassion.. even go away for a bit pray and then answer.. Then the fingers fly across the keys and well it is enjoyable and maybe you might never hear from that person again.. but I believe something happened in the spiritual realm because of the way it was handled..

    Good on you for leaving comments when you have had slack here!! Satan IS going to attack you if you are doing good.. so we must use every opportunity to do good while we are given the grace to do so!!

    God bless.. I am a mother of 5 who loves children also.. actually no.. I have six children (one in heaven) and I love the LORD very much!!

  7. peacechild4 says:

    Oh YES of course.. I am married to a wonderful husband too!! Sorry for omitting that!! :) from Sharon

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