When I first started blogging daily in the mid 2000s, comments were everything. They were a big indicator of a blog's success and, from my point of view, it was always rewarding to hear from the people who read my articles.
Back then, bloggers dictated the discussion point, but readers utilised the comment area to give their opinion. This created a two way street where the blogger influenced the reader and the reader influenced the blogger. Therefore, their comments actively shaped future articles.
The landscape is very different today. The discussion has moved away from the comment area and I do not believe it will return.
That is why I have made the decision to disable comments on this blog.
A One Way Street
Disabling comments was something that I have discussed in the past. My concern was that my blog would become a one way street. The general feeling at the time from myself and other bloggers was that disabling comments could give the impression that readers' comments were not valued.
The reality is that bloggers didn't leave readers, readers left bloggers.
There is an overwhelming volume of content online today so all content creators are fighting for a smaller piece of the pie. However, the biggest affect on blogs has been social media.
In many respects, social media has been great for blogs. If done right, social media can help great blog posts find a larger audience.
Of course, social media is heavily manipulated and has given too much power to large corporate blogs. I've seen content farms such as Mashable publish a blog post that contained nothing more than an embedded YouTube video with a comment saying “Check this Out”. Yet these short rushed articles are getting millions of shares and high search engine rankings because of their social media presence.
Social media changed the way people used the internet.
From a blogger's point of view, what social media did was take the conversation away from our blogs and put it on services such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and more.
Over time, reader's started leaving short comments on social media rather than leaving in-depth comments on the article itself. I can't even complain about people doing this as I am guilty of this myself.
Despite all this, I still kept comments enabled on this blog until now. In hindsight, I kept comments activated on this blog way too long.
Why I Am Removing Comments
Over the last year or so my attention has been focused more on my YouTube channels, but I still enjoy updating this blog when I have time.
I will continue to keep this blog and use it as a platform to post tutorials and my journey online; however a quick look at the comments my blog has received over the last couple of years confirms why I disabling comments is the right thing to do.
The overall volume of comments that this blog has received dropped dramatically over the years; regardless of whether I was publishing articles every day or not.
Only a small percentage of the comments that were received were high quality.
I'd hazard a guess that over 95% of the comments received over the last few years have been posted by spam bots and a few more percent were aspiring website owners who just wanted to publish a nonsense comment in order to link to their website.
Whereas I used to get several great comments every day in the past, I now receive one valid comment every few months.
The conversation has moved away from blogs. It's disappointing, a little frustrating, but ultimately, true.
I hope you all continue to enjoy reading my blog and I hope you understand why I made this decision.
Thanks for reading.