During the recent site cleanup I decided to disable comments and remove (most) previous comments from the site. This post explains my reasoning.
I looked at what type of comments were left on the old site, which can be summarised as:
- Comments saying “thanks” or similar.
- Questions about technical content, often with little context or effort.
- Various poor attempts at humour 😎.
- Spam. Although Akismet did a great job there was still some which got through and needed moderation.
I was motivated to remove comments for multiple reasons. Firstly they require active content, even if hosted using a third party site. They also introduce some administrative overhead, whether removing spam or trying to answer questions. Lastly comments encourage readers to direct questions to the wrong place. The internet is full of people far more knowledgable than me, those people aren’t answering the comments on this site.
I made one important exception for an older article. I edited some comments into the bottom of this page as they were relevant and provided corrections to what I had written.
Now that comments have been disabled I encourage people to:
- Say thanks on a site like Twitter. Social media buttons are available on every page.
- Ask technical questions on a site like Stack Overflow where they can be answered by a wider selection of people.
- Use my email address for anything else, especially corrections or clarifications. I’ll update pages with credit for any fixes.