Should blog owners turn off comments?

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More and more bloggers are turning off comments on their blog.

Their logic is sound, comment spam is rising at an alarming rate while social media is becoming more and more accepted.

But turning off blog post comments comes with a price.

Not all readers like social media, or will use it. Not all readers want their comments shared socially … they want their comments to remain on the blog post only.

I found this article on the subject and thought you might enjoy some of what it has to say.

Little valuable data exists showing the value of open reader commenting with its effect on efforts to grow reader revenue through paywalls, or illuminates the subscription habits of those who comment most frequently

The issue of website comments is not going to go away, no matter how much those who insist that open comments are an unbreakable rule of the Internet. It is not going away because the issue will affect efforts to erect paywalls and to build digital advertising.

The Verge is only the latest website to say “enough’s enough’ and off turn off comments (see TNM story here). But they have been clear that the decision only applies to the next few summer months and that they may well turn them right back on again in the fall – they’re calling it a chill summer.

What we’ve found lately is that the tone of our comments (and some of our commenters) is getting a little too aggressive and negative — a change that feels like it started with GamerGate and has steadily gotten worse ever since,” Nilay Patel wrote earlier this month.

It’s hard for us to do our best work in that environment, and it’s even harder for our staff to hang out with our audience and build the relationships that led to us having a great community in the first place.

Comments are traffic, and strong comment threads are simply excellent traffic builders. But wanting to increase traffic is pretty much about increasing advertising.

Yet newspapers, in particular, are moving towards paywall strategies, so the question they should be asking themselves is whether commenters are also really readers?

Read more here …

Are commenters really loyal ‘readers’ and does it matter? – Talking New Media

What is your take?

Should blogs turn off comments and use social media instead or do you find blog comments useful?

More importantly, do you comment on blog posts you like?

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