My Opinions on Closing Comments in Blogs

It seems as if closing the comments on blogs has become a certain trend lately. While I can certainly see the point, you close comments so that you find yourself writing only for yourself and not for anyone else’s response, I feel like that defeats the purpose of a blog.
Sure, all blogs have different purpose. Maybe there is no real point to leaving comments open to blog readers. While I can’t currently think of a type of blog whose comments aren’t generally neccessary, I’m sure they exist.
Now, when I say “neccessary” I do not mean that comments are neccessary to the existance of a blog. I do feel that they have a very important purpose. They create a sense of community that otherwise a blog would not have. Even if there are no comments on a post, the fact that they post will allow comments leaves it open for the reader. Closing comments shuts your readers out, it takes away their voice.
If I was regularly reading a blog, especially one that suggestions reader participation, and all of a sudden this blog does not allow for comments anymore I would feel unwelcome. It doesn’t matter how often or not I’ve left comments, it just matters that now I can’t.
I tend to be a little bit of a wallflower in the blogging world. I read more than I post or comment, but I’m always striving for participation and I’m always trying to find ways to be more active. I think taking away comments in a blog I used to love does nothing but make any reader feel as if his or her opinions aren’t good enough and their participation isn’t welcome.
What are your thoughts? Would you close comments in your blog?

10 thoughts on “My Opinions on Closing Comments in Blogs

  1. Irony: When I tried to respond, my computer blocked me.

    I think in a blog that prompts responses, closing comments makes the questions a tease, and thus, I am annoyed.

  2. I completely agree with the points you’ve raised. I’ve been trying to sort out my own feelings on the matter, both as a blogger and as someone who has been academically trained to understand that all writing has an audience and that all audiences have responses.

    I know which specific incident inspired this post, and to that particular point, I have to say that it is insulting to readers/commenters to create a community – to encourage participation, to respond to the participants – and foster it for a number of years, and then say, “Okay, we’re done here.” It’s like we’re being spoken at, instead of having things shared with us as readers.

    In away, it takes away all the incentive to even read that blog in the first place – said blogger admits to not being good at keeping up with email, so there goes that opportunity for discussion; plus email is completely private, so the community aspect is lost in that sense as well.

    I respect her admission that a flood of comments can become a vicious cycle, the more you get them, the more you want them, but jeeze, if having an audience makes you second-guess yourself as a writer…I don’t even know what to say to that.

    • After a discussion with a friend of mine, we’ve actually both stopped reading this blog. I feel like the content has been lacking depth lately anyway and I’m getting tired of reading posts that consist of photoshoots. I kept reading mostly for the thursday and friday posts, and I’m saddened I won’t be able to read responses about thursdays. I don’t think a thread on a facebook discussion page is going to make up for it. I do personally feel insulted after having been reading a blog for the past three years, sticking with it even though I liked less and less of the post and now, I just feel like we as an audience have been shut out completely. It is like we’re being spoken to and that’s not something that I like or agree with especially if it has to do with writing, creating and sharing thoughts and opinions. Regardless, I’ve found many other blogs lately that I love and ones that I get excited to read, so it’s okay that I have that one less to read. But it still makes me sort of sad. Like it’s the end of something I used to think was great.

      • I had been thinking about the recent impersonality as well. It’s starting to feel like we’re constantly being advertised to. It’s less a sharing experience and more of a magazine. And that’s fine, but judging from the Facebook comments, it’s not what a lot of readers signed on for.

        I’m incredibly disappointed with how materialistic the site has gotten this year. If I ever needed an excuse to stop reading, this is definitely it.

        The Thursday and Friday posts were definitely the best, and they will be sorely missed. But hey, we’re both in a position to carry on the tradition on our own blogs.

      • It’s nice to connect with other readers who agree with me. I think all of this just gives us more motivation to make our own blogs amazing. I agree about the magazine feel. And that is fine. But hey, that isn’t what I want to read, and that isn’t what made me like the blog to begin with.

  3. The only reason I would close comments would be if the comments were… less than wholesome. If I was subject to trolls, for instance, and not much else, I would consider closing comments.

    I do agree that it takes away the reader’s voice. I was a little disappointed the other day when I read a blog post I wanted to comment on, only to find the comments were closed. I think in that case it was because the post was a couple months old, but it did disappoint me nonetheless. I had missed my chance!

    • I agree about the trolls. But I’d like to think that most blogs wouldn’t be subject to that. That’s too bad you missed your chance for that post that had closed comments! I don’t see why, just because it’s an old post, the comments are closed. It’s not likely that the post has become irrelevant.

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