“Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation.” -Oscar Wilde
I try to comment on other blogs. I do a decent job making the rounds of my fellow HNTers, I drop by Shakesville and say hello and sometimes stick my nose into debates on the other sites I read. I tend, however, to be much more responsive on Facebook and Twitter. It’s not that the things posted on Facebook or Twitter are more interesting than the things posted on the sites I read, it’s that it’s much, much easier to respond on those sites.
Being forced to register with a website in order to comment is on par with ending a show with a cliffhanger. Look, TV companies, just complete the fucking storyline so I’m not left wondering if the character died or was pregnant with the alien baby or whatever. I read the whole post and have something pithy, witty or otherwise wonderful to say. I type my comment. And bam, you can’t submit it unless you’ve registered with MyCrappyWebsiteCommentingSystem.com or you have to use your Livejournal account (people still have those?)
There is no reason for this. If you’re trying to avoid spam, there are approximately 1,496,399 free spam blockers for whatever system you use. If you’re trying to avoid trolling, you aren’t helping yourself. Anyone who has spent more than 37 seconds on the internet has a junk email address they use exclusively for registering for moronic websites that shouldn’t require a registration. People who enjoy trolling or who have been really annoyed by your post are going to find a way to anonymously express their opinion. If you really, really don’t want feedback, then pull an Andrew Sullivan and just don’t allow commenting at all.
I use Disqus for comment moderation but with the “guest” option enabled. All you have to do is plug in a name (it can be fake!) and email address (which can also be fake) and you can comment. You’re also allowed the option of putting in the URL to your website. This takes ten seconds and I have no qualms about supplying this information when commenting. You don’t have to have a Google/Yahoo/MySpace/LinkedIn/LiveJournal/TypePad/Friendster/FacePlace account to comment.
So let’s all drop the weird registration requirements and have more conversations. Or at least let me tell people how wrong they are.