Blog Comments And Their Purpose

Blog Comments And Their Purpose

When I first started blogging, assisting others in creating blogs and discussing them I was certain that adding a comment platform was an important feature. After posting a number of blog articles and observing a number of blog posts created by others I realised that likes, shares and comments were a way we validated that what we wrote was meaningful. I considered this, looked around online when it came to me that comments, likes and share counts on your blog post itself aren't in fact all that important in determining a successful blog post, they take away from the purpose of why you write. I'm sure at this point that a number of people are asking well how do you measure your success if not for numbers and comments?

I was previously using the Facebook comment plugin and upon playing with the comment mirroring function, which didn't really work well, the occasional issues associated with the plugin loading and actually having the comment count refreshing I figured I should investigate. Investigating these issues left me a bit shocked with the Facebook comment mirroring being depreciated in February 2018 which meant management of comments was going to become nightmarish if I continued to use this platform. I then looked to the likes of Disqus, Livefyre, Google+ and Isso. Looking at other comment providers meant either paying, getting hit with advertising, self-hosting or impacting visitor privacy by tracking them. Understandably the privacy issue exists with Facebook but at least there were other benefits with using this comment tool that are now crippled. So, at this point I am determining which option can provide me with the ability to accept comments with the least amount of evil. I was left wondering when looking at posts I had done, comments made on other people's posts what was the least evil method and I realised that either comments weren't made or if they were they didn't really improve the post itself and hence didn't validate success.

So, looking at my blog as it stood, I asked myself what do I need in order to allow people to give valid feedback easily given that I put links on my social media accounts to direct traffic to my blog. Comments make feedback easy so I need to establish how this will be achieved if I remove this functionality. A couple of options spring to mind immediately, firstly I could add links on my blog to my various social media accounts with counts shares, likes etc. I could also provide @ and # tag references to allow shares, related posts and discussions to be linked allowing a more wider social engagement. I could encourage people to write blog posts that discuss similar issues or even the same issue and create links to my blog allowing a more in-depth discussion on the issues we raise. Lastly, I could consider increasing social engagement avenues and look to add raw feeds to my blog such as with Twitter. After considering all these options I arrived at something that is somewhat controversial. I decided that validation or measurement of social media traffic with reference to a post is actually not important and simply providing a function to link to social media to "like" or "share" would allow greater flexibility without creating a greater privacy burden, would reduce website overhead and simplify my posts greatly. Of the other suggestions I found that providing @ or # tags and encouraging discussion would create a better outcome than pursuing a comment system in that it creates a more diverse audience and more constructive feedback.

See now we're talking, a discussion which isn't limited by my comment system but rather by the distribution channels available to discuss a topic. Ultimately, I determined that success should be measured by traffic and not by comments, shares or likes as traffic was in fact the end result which can be measured through analytics. I'd like to think that this has got you thinking and if you'd like to have us be part of it simply use @ActsIntuitively on your chosen social media platform/s. It would be great if you feel the need to share or like our articles and if you choose, you can follow us via one of our social media platforms to be kept informed. If you would like to discuss the way you manage your online presence, feedback and avenues for engagement then please feel free to visit our main website or contact us. Thank you for your time, for reading our blog post and feel free to leave a comment...I mean correspond with us :)

Brent Webster
Technical Services Manager

Bunbury, Western Australia

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