Rebecca writes that it's nice to receive comments directly on her blog,

"... but then, comments haven't exactly disappeared. They are well and alive on Facebook and Instagram, but why does it just feel different?"

As J said recently, "we got away from visiting the sites themselves." By living in various social and other feeds we have distanced ourselves from the original source, disconnected the conversations. The convenience offered allows us to subscribe to more and more, in many cases we don't even need to visit the original site to get an RSS feed, for example - the tools will do that for us.

The more we fill our feeds the harder it becomes to revert to source, browsing so many pages is no longer an option.

With webmentions we can pipe remote comments to our own site using the power of the #indieweb (let's face it, micro.blog is essentially a commenting system for me) but even then it feels special for someone to come directly to your site.

It's not just about control and ownership of the conversation, it's a recognition of the time they have invested in you as "it takes effort for people to find their way to personal websites / blogs".

Minimum viable social actions may give an initial, instant dopamine hit but are ultimately worthless. The extra effort is so worth it.

  1. Brian G Fay says: #
    I've been thinking about this as some of my favorite writers online don't allow comments any more. I get why. Totally. But I also wish that there was some way to respond, to let them know that they have done something for me. In some cases, I can buy their book, but that's a very different feel. I don't miss social media commenting. I especially don't miss Likes. There seems to be a small underground swell of people going back to a more social way of doing things. And by social, I mean truly social and not the thing social media companies brand as social. As for ownership of the conversation, I think it's about wanting to have less mediated conversation. If the conversation has to pass through a social media system, then I'm tainted by that and become the social media version of myself. I feel much more my real self when I'm talking to someone beyond all that mediation.
  2. I really appreciate comments too. I value them a lot more than Likes. Although Likes offer some encouragement. One thing I like about WordPress.com is the built-in network and the ability to comment on other people's blogs without having to visit them. I think that encourages commenting a bit more. Having said that, I'll always visit a person's site and leave a comment if they've said something I appreciate or want to respond to.

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