"Disabled Comments" - Talking to a Brick Wall

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams West Sound Realty

One of the new features here on ActiveRain is 'Disabled Comments,' the ability of the blog author to 'disable' any commenting on their post.

 "Comments have been disabled by the author"

I've encountered a couple of these 'disabled' articles recently. In both instances, the writing was excellent! It accomplished all that good, quality blog content should. It was thought-provoking and stimulating. The words engaged my mind, challenged my thinking, questioned my convictions/views.

It evoked within me a need to respond, to contribute in some small way; to complete the circle of conversational blogging....

And then,....the train wreck!....

"Comments have been disabled by the author"

Excuse me??? This is the US of A we're talking about here! Freedom of Speech, Apple Pie, and Wrigley Field!

Wasn't the whole purpose of blogging to create a dialogue? To attract your reader in such a way as to illicit their involvement through comments? Establishing meaningful, relevant connections?

Unfortunately, I can't respond. I've been silenced. My voice isn't wanted, needed, valued.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Update:  I just encountered yet another post this evening that had nearly 30 comments and some very lively discussion, and the author simply decided to 'Shut it Down!' Please know that while I don't necessarily agree with this feature, I respect people's right to employ it.

Posted by

Follow KitsapAgent on TwitterFriend Rich Jacobson on FacebookJoin Rich Jacobson's LinkedIn NetworkSubcribe to Rich Jacobson's YouTube ChannelListen to My Sweet Tunes on Last.fm

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Tags:
disabled comments

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
175,298
Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant
Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision - Lake Geneva, WI

The whole post disabling feature is pretty interesting.  Seth Godin's blog doesn't allow for comments, but you can do a trackback, which would allow you to mention his post on your blog, thus providing a link to his blog and potentially more readership.

Smart marketing move?  Who am I to question this.  I guess I am a smaller fish in the big sea of blogging.  I know his way might be more lucrative.  For me, I like to read and respond to my readers on my posts. If they were to take it a step further and mention what I am writing about on their posts, wow, that's just the cherry on a sundae.

Feb 04, 2008 11:32 PM #36
Ambassador
529,166
Rich Jacobson
Keller Williams West Sound Realty - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker

Rebecca = can you imagine how many people would comment on Seth's blog???...YIKES! I think he can make an exception in this case. You're right though, .....we are much smaller fish in the big blog sea, and should encourage interaction with our readers...

Feb 05, 2008 12:11 AM #37
Ambassador
529,166
Rich Jacobson
Keller Williams West Sound Realty - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker

Gail - that's not a bad idea. Do you think it would limit readers? Would people NOT want to read it if it were noted at the top?

Feb 05, 2008 12:15 AM #38
Rainmaker
971,249
Georgie Hunter
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Now that I've thought about it, I can see many reasons why it would make sense to disable comments.  I suppose another option would be a disclaimer stating - go ahead and comment, but I'm not going to respond.  Maybe we should all try it for ourselves and see what it's like! 

Feb 05, 2008 03:26 AM #39
Rainmaker
189,079
Herb Hamilton
RE/MAX Preferred Inc. Realtors - Portland, OR
Real Estate Broker ,CDPE, Downtown Portland

Rich,

I don't get it. Is it because it is just so much trouble to delete the comments sent to your Browser? Are people really that shallow? Or is it because they know it all and don't think any envolvement is neccessary. After all those comments they recieve would probably be all incorrect anyway unless they agreed with the author.

Disable comments. Blah! Move on then. Go somewhere that you wont be bothered. Leave the rest of us to be social.

 

Feb 06, 2008 09:36 AM #40
Rainmaker
363,035
Colleen Kulikowski
The Griffin Team @ Keller Williams Realty - Buffalo, NY
Creative Real Estate Solutions...

Rich,

I will stop disabling comments when the system allows me to moderate before publishing.   Too many instances of people putting links (comment spam) to themselves, leaving stupid or disrespectful comments have lead me to disable comments on my posts.  Miss the intereaction, but I don't have time to hawk my blog to see if someone did one of the above...

Feb 06, 2008 10:53 AM #41
Ambassador
529,166
Rich Jacobson
Keller Williams West Sound Realty - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker
Colleen - I guess this will just be one of those rarest of instances when we agree to disagree. Personally, I think it's counterproductive to the process, and negates the whole intention behind conversational blogging. While I can appreciate your concerns over stupid and disrespectful comments, I think the downside to disabling comments can have a much more negative impact on your blog than having to take a few minutes to police/hawk your posts. When legitimate commenters can't respond to what you've written, your readership will naturally dwindle. That's simply my own take on things. You obviously must decide what is the best and most prudent use of your time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's nice to see your name pop-up!
Feb 06, 2008 11:13 AM #42
Rainmaker
363,035
Colleen Kulikowski
The Griffin Team @ Keller Williams Realty - Buffalo, NY
Creative Real Estate Solutions...

Rich -- it would be so much more beneficial if AR enabled comment moderation, allowing us the ability to moderate comments before they are published...  

Feb 06, 2008 02:50 PM #43
Ambassador
529,166
Rich Jacobson
Keller Williams West Sound Realty - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker
Colleen - you're the first person who has raised this issue with me, and I've not seen it discussed elsewhere. I'll mention it to Matt and see if it's something they've explored...
Feb 06, 2008 05:03 PM #44
Rainmaker
198,350
Jackie - computer-training-atlanta.com
770.498.7333 - Atlanta, GA
Rich - I have used the disabling comments feature once...at the end of a fair innocous post where I offered a link to a website where people could take a short survey to find out which candidate most closely matches their values. My reason for disabling posts was simple - I was not interested in entering into any political discussion drama.  I've noticed they can get quite heated on AR, and my time and peace of mind are too precious. . . I find your post extremely valuable, because it helps me see how my decision could be interpreted.
Feb 06, 2008 05:38 PM #45
Ambassador
529,166
Rich Jacobson
Keller Williams West Sound Realty - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker
Jackie - I'm not saying that there might not be times when 'disabling' comments is warranted or permissible, I just don't believe that it's a good practice to employ on all your posts....
Feb 06, 2008 05:44 PM #46
Rainmaker
813,482
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

Rich - Yes, I think it might cut down on the number of readers, but I would still read a blog where the comments had been disabled if it looked like it had valuable information.  I just wouldn't have that feeling like I hit a brick wall after reading the post and all the comments only to find that I couldn't add my voice.  It is truly the strangest feeling on a blog to find that you have been blocked from commenting.  There's a frustration and emotional component that was so strong that it surprised me. 

I now avoid the blogs of people who disable comments to avoid that experience because it is so unpleasant. 

Feb 07, 2008 12:30 AM #47
Ambassador
529,166
Rich Jacobson
Keller Williams West Sound Realty - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker

Gail - I didn't find it unpleasant, but it was a bit annoying. Good writing usually evokes a response. And it's somewhat deflating not to have the forum to share your feelings/views...

Feb 07, 2008 12:37 AM #48
Rainmaker
813,482
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT
Rich - When you live in a democracy you come to expect the opportunity to speak out.  What I am reacting to is that a right that I take for granted has been denied me and that there was no forewarning when I started reading the posts and the comments that I was entering a dictatorship where my voice could not be heard. 
Feb 07, 2008 10:07 AM #49
Ambassador
529,166
Rich Jacobson
Keller Williams West Sound Realty - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker
Gail - yeah, that pretty much sums it up!  :)
Feb 07, 2008 11:55 AM #50
Ambassador
438,997
Deb "Alayne" Brooks
Alayne Brooks, Re/Max Elite Group, Wichita Falls Texas - Wichita Falls, TX
940-500-4010 Wichita Falls Real Estate
Rich, this makes me think and feel that possibly the author felt as if his words were "final". Period. An invitation to share, agree, disagree, or argue a difference of opinion has been stricken from the records! Would you have even read it if you knew you couldn't comment? I don't think I would. It does take away the freedom and creativity of thought. Deb
Feb 09, 2008 08:50 PM #51
Ambassador
529,166
Rich Jacobson
Keller Williams West Sound Realty - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker
Debra - I suppose for some, it has its place. But for me, it's not something I would do...
Feb 10, 2008 12:28 AM #52
Ambassador
508,265
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life
Rich - Wow, I'm really late to this one.  I have used it once, just for the heck of it.  Overall, I will have to agree with you Rich.  To me, what differentiates blogging from a lot of other forms of media is the thread and following interaction.  I don't get why individuals would want to essentially silence any feedback...good, bad, or indifferent.  That's just me though.  For those that utilize the function and do so more times than not, I probably won't be following their posts nearly as often.
Feb 14, 2008 01:20 PM #53
Rainmaker
206,773
M. Suzi Woods (Gravenstuk)
NOW Sharing the life and spice of the GC one day at a time - Grand Canyon, AZ
Suzi Woods, Prior Independent REBroker in MS

I Recently wrote simple blog about my pet peeve.  Nothing, I thought that would provoke anyone. The Lady in Red made a teasing comment. Low and behold an outsider picked up on the blog and was very unkind to Teri. I emailed Teri to ask her if she would like me to delete the blog, or disable comments. She voted to keep on. Teri and I managed to carry it off, then the outsider apologized to Teri. Teri wrote a featured blog stemming from this ordeal. My point--By not disabling comments, or deleting anything we rose above the problem and solved it together. Disabling to avoid conflict may stunt our character growth.

 

Feb 16, 2008 06:07 PM #54
Rainmaker
305,574
Brian Brady
San Diego VA Home Loans/858-777-9751 - San Diego, CA
VA Home Loans/San Diego

Rich,

You know that I disagree with you.  Managing a blog effectively requires active participation in the comments section.  Sometimes, success in weblogging spikes your business, which limits your ability to effectively manage the comments.  For me, it's a choice of excellence; if I can't effectively engage in a conversation, I won't do it.

Ms Kennedy and Mr. Roberts,

Most consumers won't comment on my weblog because of the "clubby" industry atmosphere the comments thread is- it intimidates consumers.  While I welcome your participation, I can't afford to have it eclipse the message to consumers.

I apologize that many of you feel your "rights" have been "taken away" but my Active Rain blog helps to feed my family, pay my daughter's tuition, and satisfy the litany of creditors who line up monthly.  When faced with those choices, I , regrettably, side with my customers (and subsequently my family) over the membership.

Feb 16, 2008 06:13 PM #55
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Ambassador
529,166

Rich Jacobson

Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker
Ask me a question
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information