Nick Heer, while noting that Jason Kottke is adding comments with all the benefits and travails that entails, also notes that since the fall of Twitter there’s been an uptick in email from his readers.
I think I prefer that, even though I am terrible at replying. I delight in a little one-on-one discussion with someone challenging something I wrote, adding to it with a personal experience, or merely correcting a typo. If you have ever emailed me, please know that I have read what you wrote. The same is true of mentions on any other platform, too, but email feels especially personal. For commenting on a personal website, that seems right to me.
As I mentioned to Nick in an email, I’ve been pleasantly surprised that so many bloggers in fact have been going so far as to add “reply by email” links on posts, including in some cases not just on the web but in their RSS feeds.
While I don’t see many people use it, really, that’s how I’ve got it set up here and it’s definitely my preference short of people responding on their own blogs. I’ve got webmention set up solely to be notified of such.
What we need now is a return to some sort of blog search engine where you can set an alert for any blog posts that link to your blog, to pick up what pings and webmentions don’t.
Most blogs don’t need comments, I wouldn’t think. That’d especially be true if we can normalize webmention (something developers of blogging software would need to be the first to prioritize) and responding on one’s own blog.
(Which reminds me: please upgrade whatever you use to blog to send webmention instead of trackbacks or pingbacks. I’ll shortly, finally, be able to disable the latter two while keeping the former.)
Arguably it makes some sense for an A-Lister—this is and was a real thing—to have comments, since absent the social media watercooler, his community of readers could use somewhere to congregate.
I’ve had comments in past incarnations, and certainly they were a must-have for something like Portland Communique, but I can’t imagine ever again subjecting myself to the multiple hassles.