Barriers to Commenting

One of my big online bugbears is the comment section of blog or article posts. Or, increasingly now, the lack of a comment section.

Yes, there are many reasons why a comment section might not be available. But with the exception of disabling comments due to harassment, most of them are not good reasons.

Telling people to comment on your post on Twitter or Facebook is a sure-fire indicator that you’re not that interested in hearing people’s thoughts or acknowledging that they might have differing opinions.

Embedding a comment widget from Disqus or one of the other comments-as-a-service companies does at least show people’s comments, when the service you’ve used is working or hasn’t failed to load on your page. But you’ve outsourced any value from those comments, because they’re not on your website.

Requiring me to log into another website before I can comment on your post is also a big disincentive to me. Doubly so if those options are all social media accounts. Yes, the comments may be in your website, but do you actually know who has commented? Only that other website or service knows for sure, and they may not wish to divulge that info to you.

Look, just let me enter my name, email address and website along with my comment. By all means moderate it if you wish, I totally understand you not wanting spam. Heck, even a link that lets me compose an email response to you would be fine. Or a WebMention or pingback (remember those?)

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that I don’t often comment on other blogs or websites — now you know why.