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:

  1. Data does not be­long to me;
  2. I have never had a pleas­ant ex­per­i­ence post­ing a com­ment with any com­ment­ing plat­form;
  3. Their text areas do too much and JavaS­cript is way too fat.

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.

Com­ments are wel­come by mail

There­fore, after eval­u­at­ing all the al­tern­at­ives, I will not put a com­ment box into my blog and of­fer you to com­ment on my posts by writ­ing an e-­mail in­stead. I re­spond to e-­mails any­way and prob­ab­il­ity my an­swers will be read is much high­er. Also I will not have to man­age spam as well as get to not use a com­ment­ing plat­form I dis­like so much.

P.S. Com­ments are also ac­cep­ted in so­cial net­works I fre­quent.