Presented without comment #9

The Different Types of Comments People Leave‘ by Leigh Alexander at Thought Catalog.

The internet is widely perceived to be a ‘content democracy.’ whereby an equal-opportunity platform places all contributors on the same footing. Most are under the impression there is no longer much perceptible difference between an ‘online publication’ and a ‘blog,’ which is something anyone can start and which an increasing number of individuals operate or have considered beginning to operate. Most are under the impression that any opinion is a qualified opinion and that, moreover, one should express one’s opinion, qualified or otherwise, at any possible juncture as they have a platform by which to do so that is equal or near-equal in relevance and credibility to the platform once dominated by ‘the traditional media.’

Commented Out’ by Khoi Vinh at Subtraction

I’m not blind to the fact that the world is changing. First, blogging in the style that I cherish — the Blogger/MovableType/ style, you might say, where each blog is a kind of an independent publication — now feels somewhat like a niche activity practiced by relatively few, where it once seemed like a revolutionary democratization of publishing. What seems more lively, more immediate and more relevant right now is what I might call ‘network blogging’ — content publishing that’s truly integrated into a host network like Tumblr or Twitter, that’s not just on the network, it’s of the network too. It’s simpler, faster, more democratic than what came before. It’s not my preferred style of blogging, but it’s hard to acknowledge that it’s not incredibly exciting in very different ways. Commented out‘ by Marco Arment (founder of Instapaper).

Comments have always been a dysfunctional medium. They solve a real problem: authors’ need for validation, criticism, and feedback. But they solve it in a way that discourages civility and following up, and encourages hatred and spam.

To address the same problem that comments solve, I post links to my articles on Twitter, read my responses there, and react if necessary. This has most of the value of ideal comments, but with very few of the drawbacks.