To comment or not to comment that is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler in mind to bathe in one’s own ego trip or share the platform with the masses (forgive me Shakespeare). But this is a question that has been coming up a lot – at least on the Mashable site.
The crux of the question revolves around whether a blogger should share his or her platform in order to allow feedback. Those in favor say, of course – that’s what social media is all about. Those opposed point out that comments can be used for self-adulation and link-dropping (adding your link to another site just to get it out there, regardless of content relevance), and sometimes they can be just plain mean. People have a tendency to write remarks under a cloak of darkness (or in this case, anonymity) that they wouldn’t say face-to-face.
If everyone followed the do unto others rule, this debate would be over. We could all open up comments and bask in our shared knowledge exchange and sing songs around a campfire, but that is not likely to happen. So what do you do? Enable comments? Disable comments? In a private online member community (like those that YourMembership.com offers) you need not be held hostage by bad behavior. If someone adds an offensive comment, you can strip it out, locate the offending member and make him or her aware that that sort of “abuse” will not be tolerated.
So open up comments and enjoy them for what they are – a two-way dialogue. After all, a performance is nothing without an audience and having comments disabled is like going on stage, brightest stage lights focused on you so that you can’t tell whether you’re performing in front of a packed house or an empty one and if you restrict people’s ability to give you applause, you’ll never know.
I would ask you what you think but I’ve turned comments off. Does that make you want to write something knowing you can’t? Go ahead, I was just kidding.