What Is The Value of A Comment?

I have a love/hate relationship with comments. Many bloggers use them as a sort of currency or social proof of the success of their blogs, but I don’t.

That is because I find that to be too simplistic. You can look at a post with a 100 comments and find that that majority of them were made by just a couple of people and that very few of them advanced the conversation.

Is that really a sign of success. Do people really want 29 different versions of “great post” added to the 33 different ways that others said “thank you for writing this.”

I don’t see that as being indicative of anything of import which is why I finished those sentences with a period and not a question mark. For good measure it is worth noting that I wonder about blogs where the comments are filled with nothing but praise for the blogger. That bothers me too.

My preference is to see a comment section that shows that the community is composed of people who think and are thoughtful. I like to see commenters challenge the writer and other commenters.

That doesn’t mean that I am looking for flame wars or insults. Nor does it mean that every post has to have Pulitzer Prize winning comments either.

Why I Changed

Long time readers will tell you that I blog first for me and then for you. I write because I love writing. This is a passion and it fills a purpose. I would write if no one commented but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want or like comments.

That is because I have learned from commenters. I have made friends. I have had my mind opened. I love that.

It is part of why I have never been afraid to change commenting systems. I am always looking for one that will help foster community and build a commenting section that is filled with people I can learn from.

I changed back to Livefyre because I think that it will help facilitate that and I grew tired of having to work so hard to moderate the crappy comments that I had been getting innundated with.

I am not referring to people who wrote “great post” because I don’t think that it is fair or reasonable to say that it is always wrong or inappropriate to say that. Sometimes that works. Sometimes you want to let the writer know that you enjoyed the post and that works.

The comments I refer to are from individuals who use multiple email addresses and populate recent posts and the archives with a bunch of comments that say nothing and are there strictly for link juice.

That doesn’t fly with me. It is “spam lite.”

Technical Issues

But I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that I am mildly frustrated because Livefyre hasn’t imported all of my old comments yet. There are posts that have 50 comments on them but you can’t see them right now because of technical issues.

Their support is working on it but they are also prepping for a big roll out so I haven’t seen much action. Granted it is a free service so I cannot expect them to just drop everything for me, but I hope that it is fixed soon because the blog looks a little bit naked.

What do you think about comments? What do you think about Livefyre? I would love to hear your thoughts.

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