minimalists blog seagulsNo Comments, No Cry

Why are blogs removing their comment section, and is it right for you?

I recently read an article on a favourite blog of mine, The Minimalists, about why they have joined the likes of Seth Godin, and Leo Babauata of Zen Habits, and removed the comment section from all of their respective blogs. All three of those blogs are in my reading rotation, along with a few million other people. So why are they shutting us off from commenting?

When we work with clients, we've preached enabling commenting. Blogs are an anchor in social media and by allowing comments you are making it inherently more social. We always hope that our articles incite enough of a reaction that people want to share it or comment, so it seems counter-intuitive to remove a reader's option to comment.

The reason these three extremely successful social media brands have removed commenting is simple. They found themselves playing too much to the crowd. Their readers' comments were altering the course of their content. All three felt obligated to respond and react to those comments. They felt it didn't allow them to produce their best content.

So should your business remove the commenting section? I'm not on board with that idea just yet. Most comments are positive and/or add to the conversation. There are few "seagulls," which The Minimalists describe as a person "who flies by your site, [expletive] on it, and flies away," but those are few and far between.

Those blogs had reached a critical mass of sorts. They were receiving so much interaction that they felt it was detrimental to their success. Trust me, this is a great problem to have! If you reach this stage, you're doing a lot right.

So, unless you're getting bombarded with comments and having to moderate spam and seagulls regularly, I'd say keep the comment box open. Plus, I want it to be really easy for you to let me know how great (or not) my "No Comments, No Cry" title is. :)

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