Tag: commenters

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Where are the Comments?

Websites without comments feel barren, like there are no visitors or no one is home. Reader reaction makes a site feel lively, and it generates energy—desire to participate. More importantly, comments can extend the storytelling. But as you survey my site, most posts stand solitary, creating, perhaps, impression that no one reads them. So why should you?

For numerous reasons—among them my putting priority on social networks during 2011-14—interaction is so seemingly limited. Engagement takes place, but mostly on social networks like Google+ where I have audience and where links to posts from here also appear. Readers engage where they share community, so the majority of interaction is elsewhere. I could flush out more commenting here by using Disqus, which spreads community across many thousands of sites. The choice to stick with WordPress’ system is quite deliberate. 

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Who’s the Troll Here — This Dude or Me?

Honestly, I sometimes try too hard to engage commenters, when I really should know better. So I adopt a new rule today: Respond to those people who are identified — meaning I know or can know who they are. That’s one reason most of my comment engagement takes place at Google+. But recently, after abandoning BetaNews story comments for years, I changed tacts. Problem: Trolls, or people who sure seem like them to me.

The critics largely write alike, for example accusing of linkbaiting or demeaning me while rarely responding to the story’s substance. Those people defending Apple are the most alike and their tone is similar to that I wrote about earlier this month: “Apple Apologists are Dinosaurs” and “Apple Apologists Sometimes Mean Well, But…” 

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The Case for Curating Comments

Five days ago, I quietly turned on commenting two months after turning it off. Comments are temporarily back at my personal website. Perhaps this second stage of experimentation will lead to my making comments a permanent fixture or instead giving John Gruber the apology I promised should the commenting feature be permanently removed. I’m still wondering if John’s approach might be right.

Before my mid-June post “Be a Man, John Gruber,” his blog had no commenting system, while mine offered Disqus. I insisted that “his no-comments approach is out of place in an era when so many Websites or services provide discussion tools and encourage readers/viewers to use them.” There was much more to the reasoning. Read the post to get it all.