I recently rediscovered this quote from John Gruber about why his site doesn’t allow comments:
I wanted to write a site for someone it’s meant for. That reader I write for is a second version of me. I’m writing for him. He’s interested in the exact same things I’m interested in; he reads the exact same websites I read. I want him to like this website so much that he reads it from the top to the bottom, and he reads everything. Every single word. The copyright statement, what software I use, he’s read it all.
If I turn comments on, that goes away. It’s not that I don’t like sites with comments on, but when you read a site with comments it automatically puts you, the reader, in a defensive mode where you’re saying, “what’s good in this comment thread? What can I skim?”
It’s totally egotistical. I want Daring Fireball to be a site that you can’t skim if you’re in the target audience for it. You say, “Oh, a new article from John. I need to read it,” and your deadlines go whizzing by because you have to read what I wrote.
If I turn comments on I feel like it’s two different directions. You get to the end of my article and you’re like, “let’s see if there’s anything interesting. Let’s see if there’s any names I know.” That’s really it. Sometimes a design decision is what you don’t put in, as opposed to what you put in.
I love this for so many reasons. First of all, this sums up perfectly how I approach writing for this blog. I write for myself and hope their are other people out there who like the same things I like, obsess over the same things I obsess over, and read the same things I read. I want every single thing I post here to be relevant to this hypothetical person. Posting has slowed recently as I’m becoming much more particular about offering only the highest of quality content here.
Just last month, I officially turned comments off which made this quote all the more relevant. The general state of the internet has truly hit a new low and I don’t want that carrying over to this space. I think this site is better off for it.