Perhaps it is the responsible thing to do, or perhaps in my case it is a bit presumptuous given I average just a little over two comments per post, but I’ve written up a comment policy for my blog.
As I’ve mentioned before, one of the reasons I blog is to chat to distant friends and family about topics that currently interest me. So, I really do want people to write comments.
However, since I embraced Facebook, I now tend to have those sorts of chats there, and automatically copy my blog posts into my Facebook notes in order to let people chat, debate, disagree or laugh at me in that space. It’s more private, provides a simple notification of new posts / comments, and is a neutral space.
However, Facebook comment streams are a pretty awful way of conducting a conversation. The lack of a decent text editor, the difficulty in pulling more people into the discussion, and the inability to reply to a specific comment (only the the entire stream) make it less than ideal. And the whole thing is then “owned” by Facebook, which I don’t necessarily have a high degree of trust in. So, despite it being where most of my online conversations occur these days, I still resist making it the primarily place where I put my posts.
Which means that many people I know have a choice of two places where they might respond to one of my posts: the blog or Facebook. A choice, importantly, that doesn’t extend to places where they might respond to others’ responses. If someone has commented in Facebook, the response can be lodged on my blog. This isn’t neat, but I can’t see a good solution that doesn’t also give up some of the benefits of Facebook.
But for those that do wish to comment on the blog, please do. I aim to exercise only light-touch moderation, and ask only that you respect other writers and the topic at hand.