Frequently Asked Questions :: Why Don’t You Allow Blog Comments?


{Gemtastic, graphite and gouache on paper, 2010}

Today’s FAQ: People can’t leave comments on your blog. How come?

My answer: Let me say first that I think comments are great. I think blogging is an extremely valuable forum for discussion about all kinds of issues–about politics, child-rearing, art, design, life, etc. etc. So if you have comments on your own blog and value them, I get why you do. If you enjoy commenting on blogs, I get that too.

Here’s a bit of my personal story: In 2005 I started my first blog which I kept for a number of years (it no longer exists on the internet). That blog allowed comments, and I found that I got way too wrapped up in:

a) Whether people were commenting at all. For example, if a post had no or few comments, did that mean it sucked? Or was boring? Did it mean that piece of art I posted was horrible? I put much more weight on comments than I should have.

b) Whether I was obligated to respond to all comments and questions. I just didn’t have time, and yet I felt a responsibility as a show of appreciation to my readers. If I went to bed without responding to my commenters, I felt horrible. I didn’t like feeling that way.

c) Occasional negative comments. I didn’t have many, but they would appear every now and again, some from trolls, some from earnest but cantankerous readers. I felt like I gave those comments way more attention in my own mind than the hundreds of positive comments I would receive in a month. I didn’t like that either.

So, in the end, all of this caused me to close down my blog. Instead of being enjoyable, blogging felt stressful.

So when I decided to start blogging again, I asked myself what would keep it enjoyable and sustainable for me. The answer? No comments. And you know what? I’ve kept this blog for almost a year and it hasn’t felt stressful once. Not having comments helps me avoid get too wrapped up in what other people think about my work or my life decisions.

What I love is that if folks want to tell me how a post made them feel or if they have questions, they usually email me. After this past Tuesday’s post, I got six lovely emails the same day from readers. I also get a lot of feedback on Twitter and Facebook.

The lesson here? Make your own rules for your life, and let what feels right for you be your guide.