Comments on Comments

Nice little article by Mic Wright about the worst part of the web:

"At their worst, comments are like toxic waste buried under the foundations of an article and irradiating all rational debate with ignorance and aggression. And, like radiation, the effect of the internet commenting culture is spreading. The degradation of discourse online is mirrored in real-world dialogue. Adults who would balk at bullying in school playgrounds are happy to fling snide and often extremely aggressive comments around."

I disagree with the idea that internet comment culture is infusing our own culture or making us meaner. I think we're mean for a host of reasons that has nearly nothing to do with one very small aspect of culture. Wright himself points out that "less than one per cent of the readership of any given article will comment." And yet I'm supposed to believe a troglodytic fraction of a fraction of internet denizens is somehow influencing culture at a massive scale? However, that doesn't change the fact that comments are the worst.

Two Key Reasons

Comments are garbage tacked onto the end of nearly every webpage. I block comments across the web with an aptly named browser extension, "Shut Up." I don't want to see comments on other websites and I don't want to see them on my own. I certainly don't want to take the time to moderate them.

The other reason you won't see comments on this site is the same reason you won't see any pictures within blog posts, a big no-no in the "how to blog" community. I want to own every pixel you see when you visit. I do take one trade-off in that Posterous floats a little button in the upper right hand corner advertising their hosting. I'm okay with that because it's rather unobtrusive and keeps my hosting free. If you do ever see a picture on this site it will be a screen capture of my own phone or desktop, or it will be a photo I have taken myself. What you will never see is a bunch of stupid comments at the bottom of the page.

If you want to tell me how much you hate something I wrote or whatever you can email me or holler at me on Twitter.