I was thinking this morning about blog commenting. Lots of people are sharing lots of opinions on it lately:

  • Commenting is in decline -- everybody's sharing via social media instead.
  • Commenting isn't as valuable as it used to be -- all the links are no-followed, and nobody reads the comments anyway.
  • You may as well turn comments off on your blog because most of them are spam, so you'll just waste your time moderating for nothing.
  • You're better off posting your comments to your blog and linking to the original, because that way, you're creating content for yourself, and you can have keywords in the trackback link you get without looking like a spammer.

There's some truth in each of those statements. In fact, the last one is my own...though, as I've said before, it doesn't mean that commenting isn't good too (see "Completing the Connection"). There's another side to each of the other issues too.

  • If less people are commenting, the blogger is going to appreciate your comment more.
  • Value is value, even if it's less than it used to be (and as I just mentioned, in some ways, the value is now greater).
  • If you've got decent spam protection, you'll block a lot of the spam. And if you hold comments from first-timers for moderation, all you'll need to do with most of the spam that does get through is ignore it.

On an increasingly social internet, it's odd that many blogs are becoming less social.

A blog without comments is like a megaphone. It's all about the blogger and what they want to tell you. No audience participation is allowed.

A blog with comments, and a blogger who responds to them is like a telephone. "Hi, this is Antone. Let's talk about internet marketing."

Which one feels more like the future of the internet to you?