Random thoughts about blog comments and discovering new blogs

Since I started my blog I have always enabled comments. The value, community, interaction and fun are tremendous.

And i appreciate other blogs that enable comments. It gives me the feeling (sometimes accurately and sometimes not) that I have a connection to the writer.

For the blogs I frequent, the comments are 99.9% respectful, entertaining, informative and rewarding. Occasionally there is a bad apple …but that’s just life. Same is true on my site.

Some folks choose to not include comments. And some of those blogs include some of my favorites including those by David, Marco and John Gruber’s Daring Fireball.

I already know David and Marco so I don’t necessarily need comments to interact with them. Although I would like to interact with others that read their blogs. 

I don’t know John (although I’d love to meet him someday). He is pretty direct about why he doesn’t include comments on Daring Fireball:

Used to be, back in the early days of DF, that those complaining about the lack of comments simply were under the impression that a site without comments was not truly a “weblog”. (My stock answer at the time: “OK, then it’s not a weblog.”) Typically these weren’t even complaints, per se, but rather simply queries: Why not?

Now that DF has achieved a modicum of popularity, however, what I tend to get instead aren’t queries or complaints about the lack of comments, but rather demands that I add them — demands from entitled people who see that I’ve built something very nice that draws much attention, and who believe they have a right to share in it.

They don’t.

That’s pretty clear and a rationale point of view. Obviously I don’t share it since I have comments enabled here. But then again my site and his are like night in day in terms of traffic

I would love it if every person had a blog that commented on this site and others. I would encourage you start your own if you haven’t done so already and treat your site with care, kindness and respect. And feed it daily. It’s you and represents you. So take care of it. 

As John Gruber points out:

 It’s my firm belief that all websites eventually attract the attention and respect that they deserve. The hard work is in the “eventually” part.

I think what’s missing though is a way to easily discover blogs that link to anothers so you can discover and participate in the conversation. Without comments, discovering new blogs can be challenging. 

I remember several years ago, I would visit technorati and enter the url for my blog and see any incoming links from other sites. Unfortunately in recent years Technorati doesn’t work properly and misses many (most?) incoming links which is a bummer. 

It would be great if there was another way to discover these incoming links.

It could look like a distributed version of Techmeme across the web that clusters posts by subject matter. Enter in a blog post url and see related posts and all incoming links from social media sites as well. Right now Techmeme is the go to start page for the major news of the day with particular attention to Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter.

But clearly we all have a lot more to share on our blogs. The question remains: how do we discover them. I think it’s still a challenge and worth figuring out.