All the experts agree: comments are key. It’s about engaging your audience (i.e., increasing page views) and building your brand (i.e., increasing your page views) and having a conversation (i.e., seeming like you give a shit while increasing page views). I’m not doing it anymore.
For one thing, I hate being told what to do. And I hate the hoops I see other bloggers jump through to get comments. I hate seeing posts that end with, “But what do you think about [whatever the post is about]??? Leave a comment below! Please! I need validation!”
I’m all for conversation, and certain sites are great at fostering conversation, and that’s all great. But on most websites, comments are just noise. And I don’t need it.
I haven’t had any problems with comments (mostly because I don’t have very many readers in the first place, and the readers I do have are all nice), but I also haven’t had any particularly encouraging experiences either. The net effect is, it’s just one more reason to be insecure and, thus, to not write. I don’t need the added burden of the knowledge that anyone can write something underneath whatever I write, and—gee whiz, what types of things might they say, and how will they react (or not react) to this idea or that idea—all before I’ve even written a word.1 I don’t need it.
Because, the fact is, I’m not writing for a response. I’m writing for an experience. While I hope you do have some kind of reaction to what I write, I don’t really need you to tell me about it (or conspicuously not tell me about it) in a little box at the bottom of the page.
If you want to respond to something I’ve written, I’m always available by email (conlan at thisisconlan.com) or on social networks. Or you can write your own blog post about it. But I’m rejecting the implied obligation, false legitimacy, and annoying added pressure of blog comments.
I just don’t need it.
Plus, it weirds me out when my mom leaves comments.