I won’t read blogs with disabled commenting

From now on, I won’t read blogs that have commenting disabled. There will be only one exception to this rule — Andrew Sullivan’s The Daily Dish gets a pass.

I decided this after reacting to a post about Amtrak on plope. The author, Chris McDonough, felt that Amtrak’s cost was too high, and its predictability too low, relative to using his car for the same trip. Tracking automobile expenses is a minor hobby of mine, and so I wanted to comment on the blog post. (Amtrak’s Seattle – Portland run is a major win over driving.)

Well, I couldn’t register to post a comment. Registrations were disabled, as were anonymous comments. So I e-mailed Chris directly. We had a nice exchange, and I asked him to post one of my e-mails as a comment on the blog, which he did. But others were able to comment directly, because they had registered some time before Chris disabled new user registration.

I then mulled over whether more commentary was worth my energy. On one hand, I had more to say. OTOH, I have to switch to my e-mail client, compose something to Chris, ask him to add it as a comment, and have to check back to the blog to verify that he did it and nothing got accidentally garbled in the process. None of this would give me a heart attack, but it is a small PITA.

Much has already been written about blogs without comments. I’ve never cared enough about the topic, until now, when this plope interaction awakened something in my reptile-sized brain. Of course, plope is the worst possible combination: I can’t comment, but others can.

I’ve decided if a blogger won’t allow others to easily respond to what’s written, then I won’t read the blog. I’m not saying that everyone should do the same thing; I’ve decided this for myself. When I come upon a blog without commenting, I’m going to take my business elsewhere, metaphorically speaking, because the price for my reading the blog’s words is having the ability to comment on them.

This is my New Year’s Resolution. (Except for The Daily Dish. Andrew, you can sleep soundly tonight.)

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