Closed comments sign

The reason most people like blogs is because they are interactive.

Comments on blogs is what keeps many bloggers motivated to continue their journey, and it’s often in the comment section where the post topic really “takes off”*.

Like minded people raise their hand, say “Me, too.”, and/or those who disagree have now found a place where they can voice their opinion.

Bloggers are feeling validated and their readers have a safe haven.

All is well in the world of blogging.

Or is it?

Today’s Lesson

Many bloggers are finding that which gave them the greatest joy (comments), now feels like a burden.

Comments and/or commenting has become so time consuming it begins to interfere with a bloggers real life.

Bloggers are spending so much time with comments, little time is left for writing.

With time being one of the greatest issues for bloggers, many start looking for an alternative.

To deal with his readers responses, Steve Pavlina moved the conversations to a forum.

Many bloggers are now closing comments on select posts, whereas others, uncertain what do do, hang a “Closed” sign, leaving their readers confused, disappointed or relieved.

But, what happens to those readers whose comments we once cherished?

How do they feel when the conversation stops?

Today’s Assignment

When you read a blog post and find the comment section closed, what’s your first response?

If you see the comments are closed, do you read the post, or just leave?

Do you ever close comments on your blog? If so, why?

Would you continue to read a blog if the comments were permanently closed?

signature for blog post.

*For great examples of how a comment section can “take off”, check out:

Blogger Dad’s post titled,To Spank Or Not To Spank.
Hunter Nuttall’s post, 10 Reasons Japan Is Better Than America which he followed up with 10 Reasons America Is Better Than Japan
Or, Ask Liz Strauss – How do You Inspire Your Readers To Join Your Community

Related Posts with Thumbnails
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Look Who's Talking
  1. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. Good questions.

    When you read a blog post and find the comment section closed, what’s your first response? Sometimes I’m disappointed, but more often, with time constraints I don’t worry about it.

    If you see the comments are closed, do you read the post, or just leave? If it is a post that has caught my intention, I will read. If I’m casually reading and again… in a hurry, I’ll just leave.

    Do you ever close comments on your blog? If so, why? I closed comments on a few posts during a series I ran in May. The series consisted of a quote to start the week and then a follow-up post later in the week. The post with just the quote in it had the comments closed.

    Would you continue to read a blog if the comments were permanently closed? It depends on the blog, but in most cases I would eventually stop reading. If the blog offered up good information or entertainment I would probably keep reading.
    .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: There’s Life Coaching & Then There’s Just Life =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Davina,

      That’s true. Blogs that have good information or keep us entertained are worth reading whether comments are closed or not.

  2. I will skim a blog with closed comments (or a blog that gets 100+ comments per post) but I won’t read it in detail because blogging is a part of my business and I need some ROI on the blog reading experience, which is commenting and (hopefully) drawing a few people back to my on blog.

    That sounds slightly callous but given the lack of time most small business people have, I needed to draw a line somewhere and this is where I decided to draw it.
    .-= Check out Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome´s awesome post: Stop Talking and Take Off the Rose-Colored Glass Already! Lab Rats Week 3 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Alex,

      Thank you for your honesty. With it being a known fact we attract others to our blogs and/or businesses via comments, blogs which close the comment section wouldn’t give us a return on our investment unless the post is of great value.

  3. Hi Barbara,

    What an interesting topic to ponder over….. As i am new to the blogging scene, i truly understand the time consuming part of blogging. But, i also enjoy interacting with like minded people so that keeps me going.

    As for your questions…here are the answers of what i think…

    1}When you read a blog post and find the comment section closed, what’s your first response?..Sometimes if i am itching to add something to the topic being discussed i feel left out, but other times when i just want to thank the blogger for a nice article..i don’t mind it.

    2}If you see the comments are closed, do you read the post, or just leave?…If the writer is someone i have been reading for a while and i am addicted to 🙂 i will read irrespective…

    3}Do you ever close comments on your blog? If so, why?….Since i am new to this…i haven’t ever closed my comments. I feel its important to know what the readers are thinking…and it helps me in my future posts.

    4}Would you continue to read a blog if the comments were permanently closed?..i think it all depends on who the blogger is..and how well we have connected prior to the comments being closed. But, i also feel ..that if the comments were completely would remove the personal touch the blogs have. Then they would end up becoming like just any other website.
    .-= Check out Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s awesome post: Inspirational Quote Of The Week.{31/7/09} =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Zeenat,

      You’ve raised two great points. One – sometimes we want to thank a blogger for that which they’ve provided. Other than leaving a comment, our only other alternative would be to contact them via their contact page, but sometimes that may seem like too much trouble.

      Two – Our readers do provide us with tons of insight. I find it’s often the readers of my blog who inspire me to move into a new direction or to write posts about specific topics.

  4. elmotNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara!

    When I can see that a blog closes commenting on a post or even more closes commenting all throughout the blog, expect for me not to read the post and not to return to the blog.

    On my personal blogging attitude, I reply to comments each and every one of them as much as possible coz blogging is basically not a one way street. It is not about expressing your thought, but the venue for dialogue and conversation. Without conversation, a blogger only tries to leave the impression that he/she only wants to listen to her/himself and not with other’s thoughts and ideas.

    And that is bad for blogging.
    .-= Check out elmot´s awesome post: Winning Against Blogging’s “Dark Side”; Morsels of Wisdom From the Jedi Bloggers =-.

  5. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    Oh, this is an interesting topic!

    When I read and see that comments are closed – it can be a mix of relieved with feeling like I’m missing out on adding something. And sometimes that depends to the blog, and sometimes on the person behind the blog.

    Will I read a post where comments are closed? It depends on the writer.

    Do I ever close comments? I have once when I was on vacation, and several times when I’ve redirected others to a guest post I’ve done elsewhere (where comments are open).

    Would I read a blog with comments permanently closed? It would have to be very good for me to do that. Most likely I would stop reading.

    You have really touched upon something – how time-consuming comments can be. It sometimes feels like a double-edged sword. I love comments, and yet they take a lot of time if I’m going to respond to each one (which I do, unless I have someone else guest posting and they do it). That’s important to me – for me to show how much I appreciate what someone else has taken the time to share. But that takes time, though. And sometimes, lots of time.

    Time for more coffee?? Probably so!!
    .-= Check out Lance´s awesome post: Less Stuff, More Meaning =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lance,

      That’s very true. When we respond to every comment on a post it is very time consuming, but like you said, it’s also our way of showing those who comment we appreciate them taking the time to do so. With your blog getting so many comments, I can see how it can not only throw you into a time crunch, but also prevent you from visiting all of the blogs you would like to.

      More coffee may be the answer. 🙂

  6. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Baraba – I get very disappointed when I get to the end of a post and it says comments are closed – either my main aim in reading the post is to leave a comment, or I am very interested and want to say something (often I am already writing the comment in my head as I am reading the post).

    If I ever do a “comments closed” post, I will say so at the start, so people whose main aim is to leave a comment won’t have wasted their time.
    .-= Check out Robin´s awesome post: Counterclockwise, by Ellen Langer =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Robin,

      What a good idea. By letting the reader know ahead of time the comments are closed would alleviate them being disappointed at the end and give them the option to read the post, or not.

  7. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    hmmm, i was thinking of this and still think of it. i do like it when the comments are open, but if people need to close comments for a particular post, because it doesn’t require comments or they won’t be able to answer them because of their schedule, it’s okay. would i still read? if it’s really good and i get something from it, yes. i do like for there to be some way that i can communicate with the blogger and leaving a comment is one way to do that. otherwise, it’s like visiting someone’s home, you can see them through the window, but they won’t open the door. it can be frustrating if that happens repeatedly. i would rather a blogger leave the comments open and say i can’t respond or i won’t be responding rather than to shut me out from the door.
    .-= Check out Natural´s awesome post: Why I Miss The Rotary Phone =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Natural,

      That would be a great way to let the readers share their viewpoint – leave the comments open but let they know we’re busy, preoccupied, or whatever. That way the readers could leave their thoughts, interact with each other and everyone would be happy.

      Problogger does that. I’ve learned Darren will most likely not show up in the comment section, but sometimes I’m compelled to have my say and with open comments I can.

  8. Honestly – I really don’t read blogs for the comments. I do still like interacting with my own audience through comments. And I love that they often add very valuable information and opinions to the story. It doesn’t really take up that much time in my case either. I think it’s only when a blog gets to be as successful as Steve Pavlina’s is, that it gets to be too much.

    BUT – one of the reasons I keep up on blogs, personally, is because in some cases (like this one) I do like to comment – and I like that this gives my own online work a bit of exposure. I’d say the potential for exposure is a major motivation for me to read blogs. But I doubt this is true for most people. It may be true for many other bloggers as well, but it depends on the audience of your blog whether it makes sense to cater to this crowd.
    .-= Check out Katinka – All Considering´s awesome post: Did Buddhism win the best Religion of the world award? =-.

    • FriarNo Gravatar says:

      I can understand a blogger closing comments after a certain number. If their blog is popular, for instance, I certainly don’t expect them to answer each and every of their thousands of readers.

      And I have have no problem with a blogger who’s honest and says: “Look, I don’t have time to deal with all your comments on this post. I won’t be answering…but I’m leaving the comments still open…feel free to discuss among yourselves”. At least there’s some kind of forum going on.

      But then you get bloggers who post something, and leave the comments “OFF” right from the beginning. And there’s no opportunity for any discussion, period.

      And that’s when I leave.

      Because at that point, it stops becoming a blog, it becomes a soap-box. The author is telling me they don’t want to hear my opinion. They’re not interested in a dialogue, just shut up and listen to them.

      And if that’s the case, I might as well go read a National Geographic or something. There are thousands of Op-Ed columns and articles I can find out there, written by paid professional journalists.

      Who are often better writers, I might add.
      .-= Check out Friar´s awesome post: Music That Gives Me Goosebumps of Pleasure =-.

      • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

        Hi Friar,

        That’s very true. Bloggers who never have their comment sections open appear to be standing on a soap box – preaching their views to others. Like you said, there are tons of other sites to gain information from where we know the information is accurate well written, thus the blogger loses out.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Katinka,

      Hmmmm. I like that. “…whether it makes sense to cater to this crowd.” Who our readers are can determine if and how often we close comments. With some blogs occasionally closing comments, their “crowd” will probably understand, whereas on other blogs, there may not be a crowd of regular readers, thus the ability to comment may not matter.

  9. Yes I’m somewhat disappointed when comments are closed because blogs have the expectation of conversation. I feel kind of like you invited me to a party but instead it was a lecture and I had to hold my tongue. Sometimes I feel like it’s bait and switch. No I would not read a blog with perpetually closed comments because it would not be a blog to me.

    Yep the time issue is a real bummer. I don’t read as many blogs as I used to or get around to reading every post on favorites like I used to. But even in my scaled back schedule I make it a point to eventually visit and comment on the blogs where the author took the time to do so for me.
    .-= Check out Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s awesome post: Fear Cripples Authenticity =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tom,

      I never thought of it as bait and switch, but it could be viewed that way. When we know we’re reading a blog and have the opportunity to share our viewpoint, it does become a big disappointment when at the end we see that “closed” sign.

      I hear you about the time it takes to visit other blogs, as well. Like you, I may not make the rounds as often as I’d like, but I eventually will. It’s a great way to show our appreciation and return the favor.

  10. Brad ShorrNo Gravatar says:

    Interesting topic. If there’s something I can learn from a particular post, I’ll read it, without regard for commenting. However, I’m far more likely to be a regular reader of blogs with lively discussion. When bloggers close comments or don’t allow comments, I assume they have good reason. I have enough to worry about figuring out how to manage my own blog without armchair quarterbacking somebody else. But for me, eliminating comments would be a last ditch maneuver. Comments and conversation truly distinguish blogs from most other forms of sales and marketing communication, and therein lies the power of blogging. If you’re not looking for conversation, you might just as easily churn out press releases, white papers, e-books, and articles.
    .-= Check out Brad Shorr´s awesome post: 10 People to Follow on Twitter =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Brad,

      That’s right. Blogs are distinguished by the fact we can interact with our readers. I agree. Those who don’t want to deal with the comments would be better suited to find an alternative where they can just write. The examples you provided are superb.

  11. jan geronimoNo Gravatar says:

    When you read a blog post and find the comment section closed, what’s your first response?
    – Surprise. And I’d likely think, “This guy had better be a great read. Someone as good as Seth Godin. Or better.”

    If you see the comments are closed, do you read the post, or just leave?
    – I’d scan the post I’ve taken the time to get there. Might as well make full use of the time and opportunity. If something strikes me as brilliant? I’d read on – this time more carefully.

    Do you ever close comments on your blog? If so, why?
    – Not yet. But when I’ve written something brilliant and this gets accepted as guest post on another blog, I’ll make a small announcement on my blog directing my readers to where I’ve appeared as guest writer. And I’d close commenting on that particular post. It’s just an announcement anyway. “,)

    Would you continue to read a blog if the comments were permanently closed?
    – I continue to read Seth Godin up to now. Of course, it’s in the safety of my Google Reader. Why should I hop on over to his blog? What for? As for other blogs? I don’t care if commenting on your blog is permanently closed. But there’s a catch: you had better be brilliant. Your content must be so compelling that I’d feel shortchanged if I don’t read you. I have to thank Google Reader for those kind of writers.
    .-= Check out jan geronimo´s awesome post: Do, Or Do Not, There Is No Try! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jan,

      Well put. “…you had better be brilliant. Your content must be so compelling that I’d feel shortchanged if I don’t read you.” They do have to keep us wanting to come back for more, which is tough to do.

  12. Sometimes I’ll be reading a post, thinking about what comment I’m going to leave, then get to the bottom and find that comments have been turned off for that particular post (or the whole blog). Yes, it can be annoying when you have something you want to say, but I also support the blogger’s right to turn them off.

    I once saw someone leave a comment on Tim Ferriss’ blog, saying something like “I guess Tim doesn’t care enough to respond to comments.” But there were 400 comments on that post! How could he respond to all of them?

    The vast majority of visitors don’t leave comments, and I’m not sure many people even read them. Turning off comments on a high-traffic blog can be a great way for the blogger to save time while only bothering a small percentage of their readers. But for those of us who like to read and write comments, it has a significant downside too.

    Thanks for the link. BTW, Blogger Dad’s link has an extra http.
    .-= Check out Hunter Nuttall´s awesome post: Upsell 101: Happy Customers, More Money =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Hunter,

      I’ve seen those types of comments on Problogger too – why doesn’t Darren show up and acknowledge the comments, etc. With all of the great information the probloggers share for free, I think it’s a lot to expect to also have them reply to the comments (and like you said, when there are hundreds, it would almost be impossible).

      P.S. Thanks for the heads up on the link. I fixed it.

  13. I’m really glad Lance responded to this, because honestly when I think about time-consuming comment responses on the blogs I frequent, I think of him. He puts so much care and love into every word he types. From the first day I read a response of his – or even his comments on other people’s blogs – I was deeply moved. It’s like he’s taking each person by the hand, looking them in the eye, and responding from the heart. Wow! (Lance, I salute you!)

    I just (today) read a blog with a closed comment section. Initially it shocked me, but since it’s not usually like that, I figured it was for time-management purposes and thought, “Good for her!” I would still read, though, simply because of my intentions in going there to begin with: to learn, and to support fellow writers. Even if I can’t leave my footprint behind, it’s okay. After all, I’d want people to continue reading my posts even if I closed the comments.

    It’s tricky, like you said. Thanks for shining a light on this today!
    .-= Check out Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s awesome post: What’s In An Opinion? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome, Megan,

      Yes, Lance does take an immense amount of time in his responses as well as his comments, and I agree, he needs a blog salute. 🙂

      Like you, I understand why bloggers will from time to time close comments. Life happens, they want to update their blogs and don’t see another alternative. That’s where compassion for our fellow bloggers comes in as we realize what they’re going through.

  14. RibbonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara
    I like this post and it would be very frustrating not to be able to comment.
    Commenting is a big part of the blogging experience, in my opinion.
    When comments are closed on a regular basis it gives me the impression of arrogance.
    I don’t return to blogs where the comments are closed regularly.

    best wishes

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Ribbon,

      I agree. Commenting is a BIG part of blogging. It’s now just about sharing our opinion, but it’s how we get our blogs found, how we meet others and how community is formed on our blogs. Without them, blogs wouldn’t be the same.

  15. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    When you read a blog post and find the comment section closed, what’s your first response?

    If I have something I want to say, I’m a little peeved when I find the comment closed or that I have to be registered to comment.

    If you see the comments are closed, do you read the post, or just leave?

    It depends on the topic, but, most of the time, I don’t see that comments are closed until I get to the end, so it usually is a moot point.

    Do you ever close comments on your blog? If so, why?

    Not initially. However, comments on posts over 3 weeks old are closed by default.

    Would you continue to read a blog if the comments were permanently closed?

    It would have to be a really special blog for me to keep reading without being able to comment. I can think of one off the bat that I read whose comments are closed, a blog by a climate scientist.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mike,

      Closing comments by default, after a certain amount of time, is something I’m seeing more and more of. You’ve given me food for thought.

      How true. A blog would have to be REAL special for me to keep reading if comments were closed, too.

  16. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    I’m usually at a blog for the post first and foremost, and the comment sections are totally the author’s decision. It’s a decision I respect since I don’t “own” anyone’s blog but my own. I like that social media is often a conversation, but who wants a forced conversation? I don’t like the idea that bloggers must blog a certain way and fit into a box. I think Vered has a good balance between open and closed comments.
    .-= Check out Lori Hoeck´s awesome post: Five traits of a narcissistic ‘crazymaker’ =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lori,

      Good point. Vered does have a good balance between open and closed comments. And for anyone who has been reading her blog for any length of time knows she always answers each comment – even if the number is high.

  17. Whether commenting is open or closed, I read the post. I may also read the comments that got in on time. I’m only disappointed if I had something to add to the conversation but was too late. My ability to make comments does not influence whether or not I will return to that blog. Good content, good information is valuable to me no matter how it is presented.
    .-= Check out Elaine Garrett´s awesome post: 7 Triggers to Yes =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Elaine,

      Good content and information can be very influential as to whether we read a blog or not. Like you, I like to read the comments, as well.

  18. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    I have to agree with much of what you said on comments being time consuming. Although I don’t get a lot of comments, I still find it hard to keep up with responding. I enjoy getting comments and try to interact so therefore continue to respond when I can. Although sometimes it’s hard to resond when the comment is something like “cute picture.” There’s really nothing to say but “thanks”. I am not going to close my comments, and I try to find satisfaction in numbers. So, when a post seems to flounder in the comment department, I go to my stats and hope that it is at least being read.

    Although I really don’t read any of the blogs where comments are closed, it would not turn me away. For instance, if you ever decided to close comments, I’d still visit because, I read your blog more for your content than for your comment section. I don’t normally have time to read all your readers have to say and usually just skim it if I read them at all. I think forums are a great place to go to if you are looking for conversation and interaction. I recently started reading a blog that is very popular. Comments are in the 200s. I don’t comment and I don’t read the comments most of the time, but I like the blog. I’d continue to visit even if comments closed. I do think that closing comments can harm you, though. It can give an air of “I don’t really care if you read me or what you think.” So, I’ll keep my comments open; always. I do care and I love hearing what others have to say, even if I’m slow in responding or fail to at times. Maybe that hurts me worse, but I’m only human.
    .-= Check out Debbie Yost´s awesome post: Down Syndrome Clinic =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Debbie,

      I know what you’re saying. When life happens it can be difficult for us to respond to the comments, but I don’t think we need to feel we’re under a time crunch. And, I think our readers understand that, too.

      Although forums are a great place for interaction, I think the reason a lot of people like blogs is they can leave a comment and move on, often not even returning to see if the author responded.

  19. Hi there,
    This is an interesting topic. I am a little shocked when I find the comments section closed. It’s like going to a party and not being able to thank the host properly. I would still read a blog if the comments were closed, though maybe less often. Thanks for this article, Barbara! It has been interesting to read the comments here!
    .-= Check out Jodi at Joy Discovered´s awesome post: Live the Dream Now =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Jodi,

      The first time we find comments closed on a blog, it can be shocking, however, it seems to be happening more and more.

      Re: the comments on this post. As mentioned in the post, the comment section is often where the “meat” is. Aren’t they great responses?

  20. Hi Barbara – I agree, if you think you have something relevant to say finding the comments closed can feel like a brush-off. I just hope people understand when I can’t get to their comments right away – stuff has a way of intervening. So far I’ve not closed them. Vered startled me by closing comments at first, so I got her back and highjacked one of her Facebook entries by challenging another person. It turned into kind of a brouhaha! I’ll just quote someone else on that whole deal: I’m an old lady and I don’t care! 😀
    .-= Check out Betsy Wuebker´s awesome post: TRIIIBES IS ONE =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Betsy,

      I think readers understand when we don’t respond to comments quickly. We all have a life outside of our blog and I’m sure it happens to them, too.

      So, you hijacked one of Vered’s Facebook entries…you rascal 🙂

  21. Hi Barbara,

    When I first started blogging, my blog was only for my family and friends so I closed comments because I knew I would hear them direclty from them all. When I took my blog public back in late February, I opened up the comments and it has been an absolute joy.

    I personally do not care if the person opens or closes comments. I remember the first time I saw a popular blog close comments, I was shocked and felt cheated. I understood the rationale behind it but it felt kind of like a shock. However, I kept on reading.

    So it truly depends on the blog and the person. 🙂
    .-= Check out Nadia – Happy Lotus´s awesome post: Miracles =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Nadia,

      That’s very true. It can depend on the blogger and the blog – especially if they’ve become a favorite author of ours.

  22. Can I just use Davina’s response? I like hers hehe.

    I would probably only continue to read a blog even if the comments are closed only if the author continually provided content I really craved for. If it were just casual blogging / reading, I’d probably not really visit much.

    If I developed a relationship with the blogger before the comments were closed, I’d probably keep them in my reader and scan their headlines. If one caught my attention, I might read it.

    I think over the last so many years blogging has taken on a form of community, rather than just an online journal. The essential part of that community, as far as “blogging” goes, is the comment section.

    Can you still build a community without a comment section? Sure. But not in the same way as a traditional blog does.

  23. I close comments whenever life gets too busy. I don’t mind others closing comments, and I do read what they have to say, if I find it interesting.
    .-= Check out Vered – Blogger for Hire´s awesome post: Links for July =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      I know you probably didn’t have time to read the above comments, but your name did come up on how you have found a good balance between open and closed comments. I commend you for that.

  24. So far I’ve not yet closed comments and probably won’t for a long long while, depending on the growth of my blog.

    I’ve gotten so I do understand and respect my friends’ decisions to close comments, such as Vered when she posts a photo or Lance for the same. But on new bloggers’ blogs I Stumble Upon where I’ve read an interesting article, one that I need a bit of clarificaton on, and find that commnets are closed, it does bug me bit.
    .-= Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: Lazy River Sunday (Formerly Titled “Frisky Jim at the Water Park”) =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jannie,

      Good point. For established blogs, we have more compassion, but if a blog is new, it’s tough to understand the reasoning. I don’t know if that’s right or wrong, but we do seem to give a bigger break to bloggers who have been around for awhile.

  25. There are certain posts where there’s “no need” for further discussion. Some bloggers seem to have a great understanding for when it’s appropriate to close comments on certain posts. In those cases – when I get to the end of the post and see that comments are closed, I think “ah.. yes. That was the right thing to do.”

    Then there are the blog posts that I read and I really don’t HAVE anything to add – so I don’t.

    However, there are other times when it’s disappointing to get to the end of a post – in a blog where you feel you’ve always had a “voice” in the conversation – where the post is a bit “provocative” and BAM – the comments are closed. That’s a bummer. If you’re going to say provocative things – don’t close your comments because you don’t want to deal with the “heat”.

    I guess this boils down to a strategy issue on both sides of the fence.

    As a blogger – are you lecturing or heading up a discuession?

    As a reader – are you reading blog posts just to comment or are you reading to learn and connect?

    I think if it’s the former – that it’s going to SHOW in the “quality” of comment you leave… in which case, the blogger who has closed comments and loses readers has really lost very little. I’d say those readers weren’t reading the post anyhow – they were just interested in hijacking the comments section for their own message.
    .-= Check out Kathy | Virtual Impax´s awesome post: It’s Your Reputation at Stake =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kathy,

      Now that’s an interesting concept. Might bloggers close their comment sections do they don’t have to “deal with the heat”? In some cases, probably so.

      I also agree. Some blog posts are either so well written or they give complete information there’s no need for further discussion. In those cases most of the comments would probably be a “thank you” or “great post”.

  26. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I’m a fan of leaving things open for feedback and comments — it’s the Web 2.0 way.

    I don’t think people always need to respond to comments, unless they’re questions to the author. I think that’s why some people burn out or chew up all their time. I batch, focus, and timebox, for comments, but I also enjoy answering the tougher questions. I don’t always stick all the secrets I’ve learned in my post (or they would be never ending), so it’s great to explore the topic more in depth through the conversations.

    One pattern I’ve noticed on the Web is, people like to go where there are signs of life. The most beautiful ghost town feels weird when there’s nobody around. People go where the party is.
    .-= Check out J.D. Meier´s awesome post: Why Strengths =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi J.D.,

      Well put, “People go where the party is.”, “…where there are signs of life.”

      I know what you mean about not putting all of the “secrets” in the post. By not doing so, it helps to continue the conversation to the comment section, which is why the comment sections on blogs is often where the action is.

      RE: Replying to comments. We’ll discuss that further in another lesson.

  27. I’m disapointed when the comments are closed. I do read others comments and I always look for Jannies eye to see what she has to say cuz it’s so stinkin funny. I agree with Megan and how she describes Lance. He’s like the sweetheart of the blogosphere.

    I can’t expect readers to comment if I don’t have time to respond. I thought we were supppose to be building community.

    Now that I’m a little more into Twitter I think maybe that’s where everyone is connecting instead of comments. I don’t have any answers. I haven’t even had my first birthday yet!
    .-= Check out Tess The Bold Life´s awesome post: Out-of-The-Box Blogging Bold =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tess,

      Yes, it can be disappointing when the comments are closed, especially if it’s a topic we feel strongly about.

      You’re right. Many bloggers are connecting on Twitter (and Facebook), however, it still appears comment sections are where communities are formed.

  28. Bunnygot blogNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I think it is a bummer when comments are closed. I feel it necessary to leave comments opened even if there is a lot already.
    I have yet to join a forum where I get direct feedback and I don’t really have the time to interact during the day on a forum.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Bunny,

      Forums can be a good way to move a conversation off of a blog, but like you said, it takes time to follow those and interact, too. With comments, it seems easier to fit them into our schedule.

  29. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Comments are so important. Otherwise, I’m just stumbling around and reading stuff on the web – where’s the fun in that?

    If comments are closed, or if you have to register to leave one, I mosey on down the road and don’t read the article for fear of finding a nugget that really gets my goat. Not being able to comment would drive me a bit.

    As well, I used to comment on a big boy blog that specializes in drive by web site reviews. Recently they have stopped responding to folks who leave comments there. Kind of makes me feel a bit unappreciated so I rarely drop by and visit that site these days. Kind of sad, really.

    Commenting and responding to comments is a lot of work, but in the end it is worth it in terms of appreciating the community.


    .-= Check out Tumblemoose´s awesome post: A recession is good for a library =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi George,

      That’s true. Comments (both those left and the replies) do lead to the building of a community on a blog. Although our posts may get read, it’s not quite the same without them.

  30. PeacefulWmn9No Gravatar says:

    A blog I read and enjoy faithfully recently had a “comments closed” message, which really surprised me. I know that some get so many comments they couldn’t possibly have time to respond to them all, but leaving them open does allow others to interact and learn from one another or discover new and valuable blogs.

    For me, “closed comments” turns a blog into another online magazine. It depersonalizes it. Would I still read it? That depends on how stunning the content is.
    .-= Check out PeacefulWmn9´s awesome post: Being vs Doing =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Karen,

      Yes. Leaving comments open even if the author doesn’t participate is a great way to keep the conversation going and can lead to interaction amongst the readers. Although the conversation may still need to be moderated, it might save the author a little bit of time (depending on how many comments are there).

  31. janiceNo Gravatar says:

    My biggest double edged sword in blogging is that I love reading, replying to and writing comments but they can often take more time out of my week than writing articles and posts. (My own fault, because I’ve never mastered the art of the short comment.) I’ve just read all of those here because your site has interesting ones – it doesn’t attract any trite self promotional spam.

    I love when Vered closes her comments – I find it inspiring that someone has enough integrity and self assurance to write a great post then gift readers with those extra minutes to enjoy exploring links, for example.
    .-= Check out janice´s awesome post: The Meaning of Mistakes: A Guest Post by My Teenage Daughter =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Janice,

      I hear you. Reading and commenting on other blogs can be very time consuming. Like you said, more so than writing our posts.

      And yes, when we occasionally find comments closed on our favorite blogs, it does give us a chance to explore links or spend more time on other blogs.

  32. I do enjoy reading blog comment–but when there are dozens and dozens of comments for one post, I tend to not read them at all.

    I love *leaving* my feedback but, like Janice, I haven’t mastered the art of short comments–so it can be time-consuming and take away from my own writing time.

    A friend of mine does not allow comments on her blog. I’m disappointed that I can’t interact with her readers, but that doesn’t mean I won’t visit.

    One thing I don’t think I could incorporate into my life (if I had a blog with huge traffic) is to reply to every single comment. I’m assuming that’s one of the main things that can take the joy out of it for high-traffic bloggers.

    I do appreciate when blog owners acknowledge me, but I would still visit even without that. I can only imagine what a chore it must become, especially when some comments don’t really add anything to the discussion.

    Thank you again for a great post!
    .-= Check out milliverstravels´s awesome post: Picking Blueberries in Charleston, Tennessee =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Milli,

      That’s a good point. Replying to each and every comment can become time consuming for the author. Although it’s not necessary to do so, I actually find it quite rewarding. For those blogs that get hundreds of comments, I’m guessing at some point the author has to make a decision to reply, to let them publish (and not respond) or to close the comments altogether.

  33. This was a perfect post for me to read after just having posted a “comments closed” post for the first time. I wasn’t sure if it was the right thing to do but I was going to be away for a few days so I knew it would be best to come back to a comments-free post. Generally I really like comments and I find it fun to reply to them, but I understand how time consuming it is so I don’t mind when others don’t leave comments open all the time (or ever).
    .-= Check out Positively Present´s awesome post: happiness and the city =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dani,

      Yes, Answering comments can be time consuming. Hopefully closing your comments gave you a chance to enjoy your time off without worrying about having to come back to dozens of comments to respond to.

  34. I have mixed feelings. It depends on the blog and the post. Yes, I can see why Darren Rowse closes blog posts after 90 (?) days. Whenever I read a post where I’m interested in expressing my opinion, it will still do so regardless if there are three or thirty comments before me. I may even end up reading most of them before, during or after I post. A lot of the times, the blog has the threaded comment plugin so half of the comments are form the author.

    There are times when I have not bothered to read a post when the comments are closed. It really depends on the subject matter.
    .-= Check out carla | green and chic´s awesome post: Giveaway: Win SIX Clean+Green Eco-Friendly Pet Cleaning Products =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Carla,

      Good point. The “comment number” can be deceiving. If an author uses threaded comments or answers each comment individually, half of the number can be responses.

      I just noticed that Darren/Problogger closed comments after 90 days. In many ways that’s a good idea as with the amount of comments he gets, that would drastically reduce the amount that needs to be moderated.

  35. I tend not to revisit blogs with closed comments – although I can imagine that if I really found a blog that was informative or entertaining enough, maybe I’d still read

    But you’re right about the problems with comments.

    Also, at least until you’ve built up a really big readership, seems like if you don’t spend a lot of time leaving comments on others’ blogs you get few to none on yours. My current post is a case in point! I had other things I had to do today…

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Paul,

      That’s true. If we don’t frequent other blogs and leave comments, we’re not apt to have too many on our blog. I’m guessing there are some exceptions, but in general, that seems to be how it works.