I turned off comments in the last redesign of powazek.com because I needed a place online that was just for me. With comments on, when I sat down to write, I’d preemptively hear the comments I’d inevitably get. It made writing a chore, and eventually I stopped writing altogether. Turning comments off was like taking a weight off my shoulders. It freed me to write again.
His entire post is worth reading. For me, I have gone another route. I don’t interact a lot in the comments, not because I don’t enjoy doing it but I don’t have time to do so. jordoncooper.com has never made any cash which means I need to work for a living elsewhere as well as spend time with the boys and enriching my own life doing things I enjoy. While I appreciate comments, I do ban personal attacks or comments that fall below my threshold of stupidity. WordPress may not have the best commenting tools but they do a good job of letting you ban or refuse abusive commenters.
Derek’s post is in response by this post on Daring Fireball.
Is my soapbox bigger than Joe Wilcox’s? Yes it is. But that’s fair, because I built this soapbox myself. 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.
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.
Exactly, I made this site and I have the right to decide to the level of interaction that is here. If you want YouTube type commenting, go build your own site but if you are happy with the way things are here, feel free to stick around.