Seth Godin tells the world why he doesn't allow comments on his blog:
1) I feel compelled to clarify or to answer every objection or to point out every flaw in reasoning
2) It takes way too much of my time to even think about them, never mind curate them
3) It permanently changes the way I write. Instead of writing for everyone, I find myself writing in anticipation of the commenters
So no conversations there then. But maybe inbound links and trackbacks. Which are better for rankings anyway.
His alternative is not to blog, he says.
Let's say I considered this approach somewhat arrogant.
But then, just a couple of days before, Mark Chillingworth over at Information World Review (IWR) had blogged some slighting remarks about Apple users. Had he thought about the possible commenters, he might have adopted Godin's point 3).
Aimed at the typical IWR reader, an information professional, Chillingworth thought they would understand where he was coming from. What he didn't count on was for the hordes of people with "Apple" on their Technorati watchlists (or whatever). He was well and truly flamed. Mostly by people who'd never heard of IWR until this blog post.
Taking these two posts together, I can understand why people like Seth Godin and, arguably, the world's first blogger, Dave Winer, have elected for the 'no comment' approach. It does make me feel uncomfortable though. It's a foghorn approach to blogging. A kind of 'I'm OK, You're Not OK' pre-judgement of their readers. (See footnote.)
Better, maybe, to scan the comments and respond occasionally, and in summary. Maybe through a second posting, as Chillingworth did.
Footnote: If my memory serves me correctly, "I'm Okay, You're Not Okay" is the criminal's position in Transactional Analysis.
Disclosure: I write for IWR.