Copyblogger announced that they’re removing comments from their site. I’ve long been a proponent of using comments to build a community on your blog, but they make a great point here:
If you’ve been running your own blog for awhile [sic], you probably noticed that comments started to become less frequent when Facebook and Twitter really started to come into their own. (And that’s only picked up speed with the incredible growth of the other social platforms like Google+ and LinkedIn.)
Why? Because the conversation moved to a wider public platform.
Has conversation moved to social media?
I think not getting enough comments is an oft cited complaint among bloggers. We see comments as a reward for all the hard work we’ve put into our blogs. We love comments.
But book bloggers post a lot of content. Maybe even too much given how many people we try to follow. Let’s say I have 50 blogs in my feed reader. If they have 5 posts a week, that means 250 new posts appear in my reader every week. I won’t read every single post—I skip a lot of posts, actually, which is perhaps another topic for another day—but it takes time to sift through everything and choose which posts I’m going to comment on.
And that’s all the time I spend on top of reading and maintaining my blog. Plus, you know, living the rest of my life.
Many bloggers have moved their conversations to Twitter where it’s easier and faster to connect with more readers. We follow bloggers on Twitter when we don’t read their blogs and don’t even feel like we’re missing anything. Twitter is often where the fun happens, where you truly get to know other readers and bloggers.
Maybe it’s time to change how we think about comments and blogging
I don’t think getting rid of comments is something that book bloggers should do, but I do think that we need to heed the idea behind Copyblogger’s decision: social media is changing the way we blog. And if you’ve been blogging for more than a couple years, you know that book blogging when you started is a lot different than what it is now.
We can either cling to the practices of the past or embrace the trends. I won’t ever get rid of comments for On a Book Bender—they’re too vital to building my community of readers—but I could do a lot better at connecting with people on social media and through events like Bout of Books and Bloggiesta.
And I think the future of commenting isn’t in the comment section of my blog—or yours. It’s in fostering interactions on social media. It’s in bonding over reading and blogging. The most successful bloggers are the ones who are building relationships with other readers.
What are your thoughts on comments?