Jason Calacanis: Turning comments off
Inspired by Dave Winer I think I'm going to try the no comments route for a while. I've always felt you can't call yourself a blog without having comments, but I've found that the level of comments has gone down over the last couple of months. It's to the point at which all I do is delete vile comments that are, well, dumb...It feels like the comments are a place for the same five wacky folks to use sockpuppets to debate themselves and spew bile while linking back to their adsense honeypot...I wish someone would make a new platform to end all platforms. One that could be invite only comments and one that helped me express myself better. Feels like the blog format is lost and adrift.
Calacanis is a big cheese in the blogworld - founder and CEO of, GM of Netscape and now a web entrepreneur at Sequoia Capital. Dave Winer is no small potatoes either and his take on comments (he doesn't allow them) is explained by Joel Spolsky:

" the extent that comments interfere with the natural expression of the unedited voice of an individual, comments may act to make something not a blog.... The cool thing about blogs is that while they may be quiet, and it may be hard to find what you're looking for, at least you can say what you think without being shouted down. This makes it possible for unpopular ideas to be expressed. And if you know history, the most important ideas often are the unpopular ones.... That's what's important about blogs, not that people can comment on your ideas. As long as they can start their own blog, there will be no shortage of places to comment." - Dave Winer

The important thing to notice here is that Dave does not see blog comments as productive to the free exchange of ideas. They are a part of the problem, not the solution. You don't have a right to post your thoughts at the bottom of someone else's thoughts. That's not freedom of expression, that's an infringement on their freedom of expression. Get your own space, write compelling things, and if your ideas are smart, they'll be linked to, and Google will notice, and you'll move up in PageRank, and you'll have influence and your ideas will have power.

When a blog allows comments right below the writer's post, what you get is a bunch of interesting ideas, carefully constructed, followed by a long spew of noise, filth, and anonymous rubbish that nobody ... nobody ... would say out loud if they had to take ownership of their words.

That's been my view since I started this lark. Interesting to see the slow demise of commenting over the years. I've often pointed out to those bloggers who insist that a blog isn't 'genuine' if it doesn't allow comments (or a 'right of reply' as some prefer to call it) that some of the most well established and respected bloggers in the world have never allowed comments on their sites and if it's good enough for them (and now Jason Calacanis) it's good enough for little old me.