First Time I Disagree With Marc
Regular readers know that I am in love with Marc Andreessen's blog. I read it daily and he has not let me down yet. He has a post up on the 11 things he's learned from blogging in the past "fucking five weeks" (that's a inside reference).
I agree with all of them but one. You can't turn off the comments and have a truly interactive blog with a community. Comments are where it's at in blogging. If I turned off comments, I'd quit blogging.
It's all of you, the people who take the time to read this blog and let me have it in the comments, who keep me doing it. Trackbacks and other forms of social media interaction are fine, but comments are the first line of interaction, discussion, and debate in the blog world.
I know there are plenty of high profile bloggers who don't have comments, including my inspiration for blogging, Seth Godin. But when you turn off comments, the blog stops being a blog in my mind and becomes a publication. Seth and Marc will say that if you have a high profile blog, you get too many nasty, mean, ugly comments and spam to boot. True. I've had the same problems, maybe not of the same magnitude. I don't care. You have to deal with it.
A blog without comments is a one way medium. And that's not as good as a conversation.