A long time ago, in a wildly inappropriate comedy I’ve not watched in more than 10 years, I heard the Internet described as being a place for people to come together and complain about movies and share inappropriate photos with one another.1 This was the pre-Facebook, Twitter and Instagram days. Before Cyberbullying was a thing. Before blogging actually had a proper name. Even then, people knew that comments sections seemed to bring about the worst in people.
They just called them message boards back then.
Now, I’m exaggerating, obviously (maybe). Comments have long been a staple of blogs. Hearing from readers—the dialogue between the writer and the reader—is a key part of the blogging experience. But in recent years, many have been saying “when” to them. Christianity Today shut their comments off on most articles about a year ago. Tim Challies turned his off in the last six months. For The Church said nuts to them from the get-go. The Gospel Coalition still has them, but they’re hidden behind a secondary page.
My wife hates them, and yet can’t look away, because as soon as she reads something even remotely incendiary, part of her wants to watch what happens when the excrement meets the fan. (They’re actually the primary reason she doesn’t blog.)
For a long time now, I’ve been wondering about what to do about comments on the blog. My commenters have almost universally been of the helpful variety, whether offering affirmation, encouragement or challenge to what they read. It is rare when a keyboard warrior/troll is able to go on a rampage, as I tend to act pretty quickly when the vitriol starts. But even so, this takes a fair amount of work (at least when there’s a lot of commenting going on). So today, I’ve decided to go ahead and say goodbye (at least for now) to the comments section of the blog.
I do, however, value your feedback on what I’m writing. That’s why you’ll see at the end of every post a note encouraging you to share your feedback on Facebook or Twitter, or by sending it to me using this form. I’m considering a way of sharing the feedback I’m receiving from you as well, whether it’s a periodic “letters to the editor” type column (not unlike what Tim Challies has started to do), or highlighting my favorites as I go about my day on social media.
I hope you find this change adds to your reading enjoyment. Please let me know what you think on social media or via email. Thanks!
- That would be Kevin Smith’s Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Also, the actual quote contains significantly more swearing than this. And didn’t use the term “inappropriate photos”. ↵