Allowing Comments in your Blog?

It’s a classic question: allow comments, trackbacks, pingbacks, or not? There really is no right answer; it really depends on your motivation for blogging. Let’s look at some common justifications for answers one way or another, and then I’ll provide my thoughts.

And on the flip side:

My thoughts on the topic:

  • If your motivation behind blogging is to build a community, then allowing people to have their say-so (within reason) is imperative.
  • If you’re a WordPress user, run Akismet. It greatly reduces the amount of comment spam you will have to manage. (Aside: if you value your time, and Akismet saves you time, please consider supporting Akismet financially.)
  • Steve Pavlina argues he gets enough feedback by email. Fair enough – but if you’re not Steve Pavlina (or someone equally well known), you probably shouldn’t rely on this.

Why most blogs don’t last

Nate Whitehill has an interesting post on why so many blogs are here today and gone tomorrow. Chief reason: it’s hard! Sure, there are lots of crappy blogs (“craplogs?” “crogs?”) out there pumping out spam, paid advertisements, cloned postings and so forth, but if you really want to generate high quality original content on an ongoing basis, you’d better be prepared to spend a lot of time and energy on it – and most people don’t like this plan. Again, from Nate:

Just like going to the gym, blogging takes months of hard work to see any noticeable benefits. In my four months of blogging, only recently am I starting to see these benefits – including financial return, people linking to my posts, and a decent number of subscribers, readers, etc.

I remember when I was a kid in Cub Scouts reading Lord Baden Powell’s remark, “Fitness can be neither bought nor bestowed; like honor, it must be earned.” I guess success in blogging is the same. :)