A comment section is an expected feature of a modern web site and it is hard to find a page which does not contain a form to post a comment. I, however, will not include a commenting form into my blog and my reasoning, in a defensive fashion, as well as solutions are stated in this entry.
This blog is static
Blog being static implies that blogger cannot just pull a switch to make a text field magically appear on the page. Disregarding that, a static web site has its own perks and I deem dynamism to be not necessary for a casual blog.
But there is so much commenting platforms out there! Why don’t you use this, that or whatnot? – most readers would ask now. Countering this question demands a yet another post, but it mostly can be summed to following points:
- Data does not belong to me;
- I have never had a pleasant experience posting a comment with any commenting platform;
Spam prevention is too hard
Ways to prevent spam appearing on web pages include moderating every comment or moderating only those a service like Akismet marks as a spam. Some combinations of such services are possible as well… For example in my previous blog I managed my comments with a combination of Akismet and reCaptcha. If Akismet deemed comment wrong, system presented a captcha to solve – solution worked pretty well overall. Either way making sure no spam gets into your web pages involves some manual work, which I would like to avoid as much as possible.
Sure, commenting platforms might take care of that, but their methods still have some limits and spam is bound to make its way through into the database.
Blogs aren’t suited for discussion
In my RSS feed I found one of my reasons expressed so well, I am going to even cite it:
There is a reason why blog posts and comments don’t create the discourse we are used from forums: In forums the initial post is just a spark and all subsequent posts are presented as equals. After a while there is little that sets the initial post apart from following posts.
It’s very different with blog posts. The blog post itself almost always dominates the whole discussion, comments are visually set apart and often set in smaller font sizes. Following up on previous comments is awkward, so most comments are focused on the initial blog post, which means the discussion doesn’t go anywhere.
In a rare case an insightful comment generates some discussion and a commentator actually gets involved in it… I would consider myself lucky, but I am yet to get one of those insightful ones.