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As of today, I’m turning comments off for this blog.
I’ve considered turning comments off on my blog for a while now, for two reasons:

  1. I don’t have many people commenting, and I feel many comments are more or less ‘approvals’ of the post which could be simply replaced with a ‘like’ button (not that I’d place a like button as a regular action item on my posts). Basically, they’re friends and family saying ‘I agree with what you wrote’. This is not a bad thing — I read all comments and appreciate positive reinforcement of my ideas/opinions/writing (who doesn’t?) — but I think these comments could be made more beneficial to the commenter and myself (more on that in a bit).

    Occasionally I’ll get a great comment with an insightful opinion, but for the most part the comment won’t begin a meaningful conversation, or if there is one, won’t push it further.

  2. I’ve come to dislike the extra text snippets under the main article. Visually I find it a bit too disjointed. (Yes, I designed it and only have myself to blame. but it was done more that two years ago and my tastes, as well as my knowledge and understanding of UI and UX, have changed).

About a month ago I read this post by Matt Gemell about turning comments off. It has some strong arguments which I agree with. Point 5 on that post — about the burden of moderation — doesn’t really apply to me because I don’t have a large number of comments coming through (654 comments over 450 posts to date) and the Akismet plugin for WordPress has done an exceptional job in automatically filtering spam. I’m sure Matt gets a flipload more comments (and spam) than I do.

A few days ago I read the follow up to the above-mentioned post. If you don’t have a minute to read it, here’s the gist:

In a nutshell, it was definitely the right move.

I especially love the idea of responding or commenting via your own blog or website. This will not only spread the original idea/opinion/argument further along the interwebs, but it should force a considered response rather than a quick one or two sentences or an “I agree!” comment. You’ll write a response you want your audience to read and appreciate. This is a major benefit over inline blog comments.

Another great benefit is the inadvertent sharing of the original post. If I respond to another writer’s blog post on my blog, my readers will be enticed to read the original post, and get exposure to someone else’s opinions. With inline blog comments, my readers will never know about or see the original post.

This makes complete sense to me, so I’m turning comments off.

I still encourage responses if people have opinions they’d like to share, or thanks they’d like to give for freebies I have on my site (by far the most comments I had were appreciation for my free Billings templates). If you would like to reply/respond to my posts from now on, you can grab the permalink from the footer of each post — denoted by an infinity symbol ‘‘ — and link to it on your own blog. Alternatively you can tweet an (admittedly short) response by including @bkpr and I’ll be sure to see it. Finally, if you want to respond only to me you can easily contact me directly to continue the conversation.

Thanks

I want to thank everyone who took the time to leave a comment on my site since I started writing almost two years ago. I don’t want to leave the impression that I’m ungrateful for your comments, because I know the decision to switch comments off can be taken negatively.

Possible Probable glitches

I’m not a developer, but I’ve edited the php WordPress templates myself to switch comments off and to get pages looking how I want them — there are bound to be glitches. If you find something out of whack, please let me know and I’ll try to fix it. Cheers.

Update

Thanks to Fox for letting me know about the comment links in my RSS feed.
Thanks to Chris for letting me know about the comment links in the mobile site.
Thanks to Kirk for letting me know about the comment links on the Archives page.

It pays to have friends who care.