How to Shut People Out By Shutting Down

I’m noticing a disturbing situation in the blogosphere, and I think it’s time to have a rant.

I know some of you might think, “Aw, look! How cute! He’s being angry.” Even James gave me a virtual pat on the head when I asked him, “Do you think this post is too much?”

Make no mistake. I’m bothered.

I don’t comment very much on people’s blogs, but I do read and I do observe what happens around me in the blogosphere. Some people I once looked up to are making foolhardy decisions. I still like these people, but I don’t agree with their actions or words – or the effects they might have on other people and their lives.

No Comment

A popular marketing blogger has shut down her comment section. The reasons she gave were harshly worded, an insult to dedicated readers and a slap in the face to bloggers who welcome comments.

Apparently, her comment section wasn’t contributing enough to discussions and wasn’t making people feel welcome. She also didn’t feel that what others had to say was important. She outright called her audience lame.

Gee, thanks. I appreciate that.

I agree that comment sections are work to maintain. It also takes work to create a comment section that is welcoming and friendly. We know. That takes time away from the core business, sure.

But without people, your business is nothing. And when you blog and sell services using your blog to market yourself, your business is all about people.

Comment sections are also about mutual respect. Your readers respected you enough to take the time to read your post; the least you can do is acknowledge that and respond in some way. A simple, “Thanks everyone!” can be enough in some cases.

Let’s say you’re a blogger and a commentator leaves what you feel is a harmful comment. Well, get your ass in gear and do something. Don’t just let the comment sit there while you bitch about it. Tell the person why you disagree – and hold up your arguments with solid points.

You’re supposed to be the authority on the subject, so act like one.

Wallflowers Make Pretty Scenery

Another point of contention brought up was that comment sections can intimidate people from speaking up or adding their views.

This is no blog owner’s problem. There will always be people who haven’t overcome their fears and learned to say what they feel. There will always be those who do nothing but sit on the sidelines wishing they could jump in to have fun too.

The truth is that they can.

No one stops people from commenting but the people themselves. All bloggers can do is be a gracious host and make everyone feel welcome. The rest is up to the individual – so why exclude others who aren’t afraid to speak up?

See No Evil, Hear No Evil

Not long ago, someone told us to be careful about the advice we give. We’re in the big leagues now, and many people believe our advice is gospel.

We believe our readers are intelligent, and we know people can think for themselves. We present our experiences and thoughts. We allow readers the respect of deciding whether they agree or not, and we’re open to discussion.

We’re even mature enough to know that there are many ways to accomplish similar goals; our way isn’t the only one.

Shutting down comments on a blog to avoid facing criticism, justifying opinions or debating advice just conveys, “My advice is the only advice that matters. And I don’t want to hear your opinion.”

Let’s face it: A blog without a comment section is nothing more than a personal soapbox.

Post by Agent X

Agent X is the name many mysterious and intriguing people take on when they guest post at our site. Their mission is to slip in like a thief in the night, leave you with entertaining, valuable and useful content, and slip away again - without getting caught.