Steven links to Thirteen Blogging Cliches. It’s an interesting list. I’m pretty guilty of #10 – blogging about blogging – although I think this isn’t that much of a sin. I write about what interests me, and one of the things that interests me is the dynamics of blogging and the culture that has risen up around blogs.
I agree with Steven that you don’t need open comments to have a blog. I don’t read comments on other blogs, unless it’s at a place like Chizumatic where I’ll likely be familiar with most of the people leaving comments. I never read comments on political blogs, because even when it’s polite it’s tiresome. Even when everyone agrees, it’s still tiresome. (The difference there is that usually political posts are informational or philosophical, which the comments tend to be nothing more than opinion.)
I see comments as the place for “small feedback”. Substantive, lengthy feedback is optimally placed on another blog, where it can be linked to, quoted, excerpted, highlighted, and annotated. It sucks trying to do that sort of thing in a comment box. In this case, I had a lot to say about Steven’s post, so I wrote here and linked him there. If I had a smaller comment like, “I relly like point #9”, or perhaps a correction like, “I never actually said I’d be doing another screencap comic” then usually I’d put it over there. Another way I think of it is if I want to address readers in general then I post here, and if I want to address Steven himself then I comment there. I know lots of people view this very differently, but that’s how I run things.
Blogs can run just fine without small feedback. (Although a smart author will give some way for readers to let him or her know about factual errors and spelling blunders.)
Number 3 on the list is “No Information on the Author”. This is a pet peeve of mine: Many times I’ve avoided linking to somebody that had something interesting to say because I didn’t know what to call them. No name. No gender. It sucks trying to refer to someone without proper nouns or gender-specific pronouns. I tend to gravitate towards writers who use their real names and have a picture of some sort available. I like to know who I’m talking to. Barring that, I like for them to have a handle and a gender. Barring that, at least a name would be nice. If a blog lacks both then I usually don’t bother reading it. What? Is this a young girl? An old man? A couple? A group blog? Oh forget it.
LATER: I also enjoy it when I get to link to other posts joining in the discussion. For example.