Language Log recently opened up comments on a post about the origins of a girl's name. One of the commenters wrote:

Comments are great. I also vote that you get Captcha/reCaptcha, because without comments a blog is...nothing.

How wrong can you be? On a blog with a smallish readership, I agree, comments make the conversation. But with thousands of readers, Sturgeon’s Revelation or another of those all-purpose rules takes over. Easy access certainly killed the comments on the Freakonomics blog stone dead. I’m not being elitist here. I’ll happily read the posts. But I’ll also forego the comments, unless they are closely moderated. I quite like the approach one of the photo blogs takes, to have a featured comment or two. It is a lot of work, but worth it.

Two ways to respond: webmentions and comments


Webmentions allow conversations across the web, based on a web standard. They are a powerful building block for the decentralized social web.

“Ordinary” comments

These are not webmentions, but ordinary old-fashioned comments left by using the form below.

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