I have been pondering for several years, now, the notion of moving all of my LiveJournal posting over to here.1 The thing that has held me back for the whole time has been the comment system. I have been planning to implement my own threaded comment system akin to theirs, but have been thus far hampered by a few things:
- I am profoundly lazy, and I find other projects to do that are a better use of my time than re-implementing something I already have (admittedly, my method is thoroughly kludged together).
- I don't relish the notion of setting up an account system for my site because, in the long-term, it means more work no matter how it is put together.
- If I did set one up that was literally zero extra work, there would still be the issue of making everyone create a whole new account simply to interact with one another on my playground.
- If I use one of the existing account methods (OAth via Twitter, Facebook, GMail, etc), I will be necessarily excluding someone…and more importantly I will be tying myself yet again to a platform (or platform) that isn't mine.
So, rather than manage the situation, I've been ignoring it for a quite a while, content to use my ham-handed workaround instead of a real solution. Lately, though, I've been considering whether or not I'm even solving the right problem; am I asking the right question? Do I even want or need comments on my posts?
Certainly, when I first started writing my blog, I did. It was a community thing and every post was an attempt at a conversation. As time has passed, I have had less and less time for such conversations and, truth be told, it has become something of a deterrent to posting: knowing that I'm going to have to deal with trolls, spammers, and folks that want to start fights about tangential topics and boundary cases means that sometimes I just decide not to post. I just don't always have the time to put into making sure I formulate my thoughts such that there are no easy footholds for the aforementioned nuisances, nor the time to monitor the thread afterward to ensure things are on topic and not egregiously trolly.2
Recently, I have watched with keen interest as author Tobias Buckell made the transition on his blog to commentlessness and thought, wistfully, “Wouldn't it be nice?” Since then, it's been weighing on me. Is it “chicken” to cut off responses? Is it going to alienate my readers? My traffic has been steadily increasing (until the last 8 months when I all but stopped posting), so will this ruin that? Do I even care?3
So, have decided to do away with comments, and in doing so, migrate everything over to my primary blog at IBloviate.org (soon, actually, to become bloviate.org now that it's un-squatted…you heard it here first). There will still be a copy of any older stuff on my LJ…and everything that currently links to comment threads on LJ (to include this final commentary-bearing missive) will retain its links, but every single post I've made will be landing in a new category on here called 'Blournals' which will be search-able right from here. In the end, I think it's going to be the best decision for me, and I certainly hope that it translates to a better experience for you in terms of more entries.
Finally, what do you do if you still want to tell me I'm wrong, or that my head is up my ass, or that I'm stunningly good looking? Well, most people have been choosing to interact with me via Twitter, Google+, or Facebook when I announce an update, so there's an option. Or you can email. Or you can mock me from your own blog. All of these are options.
1I know, I know, abandoning the community, blah blah. The fact is, it's not mine, it disappears sometimes, and the value it provided me I'm slowly finding I don't actually want or need. Sorry if you're an LJ enthusiast, but I'm just not finding it useful anymore for my purposes.
2Well, at least not more trolly than I make it…which I think we can all agree leaves quite a bit of room to move.
3Of course I do…hello, egotist over here, DUH!