Readers appreciation is getting more and more attention from bloggers of all shapes and sizes. Contests and debates are popping up every day, readers are invited to more and more interactions, on some blog posts, there are more words in comments than in the post itself.
After the hot debate whether or not paid comments are a disservice to readers, a new controversial move triggers lots of reactions: Kumiko Suzuki decided to switch off comments on Cash Quests, explaining in details how her blog benefits from this move.
I’m not going to argue with Kumiko’s decision, as time and Kumiko will probably tell us if it was a wise step. Nevertheless, I’d like to bring into your attention two of her points regarding switching off comments implications:
1. The sense of community will decrease:
This one made the decision quite hard! Without comments, there is definitely a decrease in the community feeling of the site. However, I believe that a blog isnâ€™t a community in the first place. If Cash Quests were a community everybody would have an equal chance of having their voices heard and there wouldnâ€™t be just one person writing 90% of the content for the site – and taking 100% of the revenue! A blog is part of a community of bloggers but it isnâ€™t a community itself.
2. Better relationships will be built:
Without having to spend time reading, moderating and replying to comments I predicted that I would have more time to spend e-mailing and building relationships with other bloggers. This has definitely occurred with some fantastic relationships being built that have resulted in some very high PR links being both given and received.
Reactions from the blogging world were not so positive: people like Kevin from Blogging Tips, Julie Ann Bonner, I Thought Therefore I Blog, 45n5 or John Chow expressed their opinion and their reasons for welcoming comments to their blogs.
Back in October 2005, Steve Pavlina explained the benefits of switching off comments on his blog, being confident that it was a good decision. However, one year later, Steve associates a forum to his blog, allowing the community to interact even more. It seems that he missed the comments, after all.
What do you think?
Is your blog a community in the first place? Do you believe that not spending time moderating comments will allow you to build better relationships?