Comments oh! comments!

I’ve missed blogging in the last 2 days so with this post I hope catch up on the editorial calendar. Day 4‘s assignment topic was: Are there sections online that I refuse to read? Day 5’s assignment topic was: Would you read a personal blog without a comment section? How do you feel when a comment section is closed? This post combines the two.

Matt Groening, famous for co-creating The Simpsons, said about comments: “If I have one technology tip of the day, it’s this: No matter how good the video on YouTube is, don’t read the comments, just don’t, because it will make you hate all humans.”

I generally skim through comments on blogs and sites, mostly on articles that I like or am interested in. I like to see what other people thought of the post and if they’re in agreement with me. If I don’t like the article I don’t go to the comments section.

I admit to sometimes feeling like Matt Groening. Some of the comments are unbelievable.

When I started blogging I didn’t think about comments. All I was focused on was getting content published regularly and visitors to my blog. As I got more experienced I thought that comments would be nice, especially after reading that site rankings go up the more comments there are.

This didn’t stop me from getting the Akismet spam filter because I was getting a lot of spam. And before deciding to hold them in moderation some spam made it through, which I deleted.

Akismet has stopped 9,898 spam from getting though, and I have received a total of 37 real comments over the course of 2 years and 5 months.

Spam is a scourge of the internet. Just like I protect my home from those ill-intentioned people with high walls, an alarm system and 24-hour private security armed response, I so protect my blog from spam, and in the process I could be coming across as unwelcoming.

After speaking with a more experienced blogger at work some time ago I decided to close comments off after 30 days. This drastically decreased the amount of spam. I especially got a lot of spam mail on a blog post entitled “Hooter Tooter” about the usage of the hooter by drivers in India – I wonder why…? But it also means that visitors to my site who like what they read can’t comment if they want to on articles that are older than 30 days.

Still, it is a conscious decision I made, and no matter how much I dislike spam, I’m not blaming anyone.

She also said that initially she wanted to get comments and visitors but that now she blogs for herself and if no one reads her blog then it’s ok.

American rapper, Lupe Fiasco, once said: “I do this for the sake of myself. It’s a selfish process. I don’t really have any expectations from anyone for your comments or your reviews or your previews.”

It’s great to be in that space – but I’m not and I still want comments because of the vision I hold for my blog and future as a writer.

I’ve visited some blogs where the comment section was closed and I must admit to feeling a twinge of disappointment because I really wanted to comment and couldn’t. It wouldn’t stop me from visiting them but they would rank lower in my “blogs to visit list”.

So this begs the question of the person reading this post at the moment – How do you feel when a comments section is closed, and should I leave comments open indefinitely?


12 thoughts on “Comments oh! comments!”

  1. I rarely read somebody else’s comments. Only if the subject is very complex and I want to know the variety of opinions. Usually I read a post, give a Like if I like it and leave a comment if I have something to say. If the post is closed to comments I won’t cry. If I really want to say something on the subject I will say it on my blog 😉 I was once dissapointed though not to find the Like button.

    1. I like the Like button too. Just yesterday I did a post on Blogher that mentioned the Like button ( – in case you are interested in reading it) – for me the Like button is letting the writer to know that I’ve been there, I acknowledge them, their post, their opinion, and even though I don’t have much more to add I show my appreciation. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment 😉

  2. I enjoy reading comments and leaving comments, but cannot stand spam. I close my personal blog comments after 10 days because in my experience keeping them open any longer results in constant spam. But now that I read your piece I wonder if I should re-think this procedure and leave them open a bit longer. Hmmm?

    [I found you via NaBloPoMo 2014, btw.]

    1. Oh yes, spam is not fun! The 30 day rule has drastically decreased the spam. Perhaps try for a bit and see how it goes :-). Thank you for coming by and leaving a comment.

  3. I also think that comments are a blessing and a curse. They are the locus of flame-fights on more controversial blogs (many of which I don’t think are controversial at all, but apparently I’m alone in that). Yet, they are also the place where the democracy of the internet speaks. And, I have to admit, some good points even get made in those flame-attacks.
    The only thing that does spoil it are the spam. most of what I get are ridiculous, poorly worded, shamefully misspelled and devoid of any purpose that I can find.

    So, how do I feel? I feel let down after reading an article, wanting to respond to it or complement the author and find that comments have been turned off.
    Luckily, I got to this one quickly enough to share my two bits – it’s a good topic, thanks for bringing it up, Regina.

    1. Thanks Jack. I like it that the internet and social media have surfaced conflicts and human rights abuses which pre-www would not have been uncovered.

  4. I think your choice to close comments after 30 days is a good decision. Otherwise, I think it’s a good idea to allow comments.

  5. I don’t mind closed comments on older posts, but if there’s no way to comment on anything current, I feel suspicious that the author has a soapbox and isn’t willing to enter into discussion or entertain other ideas, let alone receive encouragement. I’m not likely to keep reading a person like that.

    1. I agree. I will take a blog seriously when there’s a willingness for the blogger to make themselves vulnerable.

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