Don’t Close Comment Threads on Old Blog Posts

A blog without comments section is not a blog – it is a vanity page. To me blogging implies a conversation between the reader and the writer. Often comments may be better than the blog entries themselves. Especially when blogger poses a question, and the readers supply a solution. Most people (sans professional bloggers who have their heads firmly jammed up in their ass) get this, allow comments and engage readers in conversations.

I see a widespread and disturbing tendency lock old threads down after certain amount of time has elapsed. This means that if you find a very insightful blog post by following a link, or via Google you may not be able to add your input to the conversation. And it’s not that the issue is resolved or locked due to Godwin’s Law. It’s just that it’s been a month since the post was published and the author felt that no insightful input may ever be added to a post that is more than a month old.

People who do that claim it helps to cut down on spam, but I do not believe that. What helps to cut down on spam is the right combination of plugins. With WPSpamFree and Akismet I have yet to see a single spam comment to slip past the filters. The former filters out the bots based on behavioral patterns, and the later draws on a huge centralized database fueled by thousands of users to flag spam. Whatever slips through the first one gets caught by the second one. All my old threads remain open to comments and I never had an issue with them being spammed.

I believe that leaving the comments open indefinitely is beneficial for everyone. New readers who stumble over over from somewhere and see a post they agree or disagree with can add their input and I get to hear their opinions. Many issues that I brought up were left unsolved for months, and then suddenly someone would stop by and post a solution or an insightful advice. Comments are added value. Always. Be it entertainment, solutions, insightful discussions or simply jokes. A blog with comments is always better than one without.

When you close the comments on old posts, you are not preventing spam. Instead you not only alienate potential readers, but you also cheapen the value of your blog. So if you are one of these people, just enable comments on your old blog posts today. You will be pleasantly surprise to see that this will bring little new spam, but a lot of insightful and entertaining comments from new and regular readers alike.

This entry was posted in meta and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.



4 Responses to Don’t Close Comment Threads on Old Blog Posts

  1. ez UNITED STATES Google Chrome Windows says:

    Before I discovered Akismet, turning off comments was my approach. I haven’t turned off comments in over a year now. Akismet has blocked 11,000 comments.

    Reply  |  Quote
  2. Tanja NETHERLANDS OmniWeb Mac OS says:

    Akismet does a great job. I used to turn of comments (not that I get that many hehe) because of spam, and then installed some form of Captcha, but I tossed that all out of the window with Akismet.
    I believe someone should not have to jump through hoops to leave a comment, and that a Captcha can stop people from commenting.
    To accomplish this I have to check the spam caught by Akismet, not a big deal.

    Reply  |  Quote
  3. Adam Kahtava CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Great point. I leave my comments opened for a year, but I think I’ll extend that a couple more years. :)

    Reply  |  Quote
  4. Hey, here I am now leaving a comment months later!

    Last year I left a comment on a blog I found via Google (http://usedbooksblog.com/blog/textbook-torrents/), and as a result I get an e-mail every time a new comment is posted. Due to my e-mail reminders, I have noticed that this post, which is nearing its first birthday, still regularly gets comments from web wanderers.

    If the author had closed the comment thread, all these people would have missed out.

    Reply  |  Quote

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>