Wednesday, January 03, 2007

To Enable Comment or Not?

I was reading about blogs on the net and saw these two articles whether blogs are blogs only if they let others comment.

Here is part of the article from

Google owns Blogger, one of the leading blog creation services. But the fact that Google hasn't allowed comments left some observers questioning whether it really was meeting the definition of what a blog is.

"Without having comments open, the Google blog to me is no more than a press release using half of blog technology, and only exposing part of the heart of the real humans behind it," said Jeremiah Owyang in a posting at his Web Strategy blog, headlined "Google Misses The Boat on Blog Marketing."

Owyang notes that other Google staff have personal blogs that include comments and specifically pointed to one by Matt Cutts, the head of Google's Webspam team, as one that's "embraced the community."

Google's Silicon Valley neighbor Sun Microsystems is very pro-blog. Sun hosts numerous employee-run blogs with the option of allowing comments, which many do, including CEO Jonathan Schwartz.

Tim Bray, co-author of the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) (define) and Director of Web Technologies at Sun, has run his own blog for over three years. Up until recently he didn't allow comments but a few months ago decided to allow them.

"I kept receiving encouragement to add comments, but I was dubious about having to deal with problem posts," Bray told "My feeling is that when you have a piece of the Internet, you're responsible for it."

So far, so good, he reports. "I'm super pleased with the way it's going," said Bray. He mentioned a post on PHP security and several other technology-related posts that generated a lot of "erudite, useful comments."

The other article, from Webpronews has the following take:
I very much like this emotional description. But what about commenting?

Well, I'd look at it this way - comments are to conversations as blogs are to individual and unfiltered expression.

In other words, to have a conversation, you must have either comments on your blog itself or a related device that connects people's expressions, those unfiltered/unedited voices. Trackbacks, for instance, which link and connect content on the web.

But to be a blog, a website doesn't require on-site comments, just the unedited voice of the blogger.

I'd accept that view.


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