I recently found my way to d.news a news blog from the Institute of Design at Stanford. I like the content on the blog. I found my way via Diego Rodriguez's metacool. I like the content on his blog as well. Here's what I don't understand. What is the downside to having comments enabled on either of these blogs? There's good content in both places and I would like to engage in a discussion, but can't.
Don't take this the wrong way. I am not imposing a view that all blogs should have comments. Yes, it's my own bias that comments are a great thing because it supports my personal philosophy of transforming passive behavior to active participation. But for some reason—people are still choosing to pass up what I personally see as an opportunity.
Are these decisions wrong? Are they right? Are they convenient? I have no idea. All I know is that every once in a while I come across a good blog, and I can't do much more than simply read the content.
So I ask this. Why? What is the downside to activating comments? I'm being genuine in my intent here—I really want to understand this better.
As I looked through the description of the d.news blog, I came across this:
"We believe the d.school is more than a place. It's a community of people and a state of mind. We believe there's something special about this design thinking thing.
...The d.news broadcasts what's happening in the world of design thinking--at the d.school or well beyond. We bring you to ideas, events and people that are pushing the borders of this revolutionary way of doing and being."
Two thoughts stood out for me here. The first is that the community they reference is being limited in scope by not using the blog to facilitate discussion. Also, it becomes an inwardly focused community. The other is the use of the word broadcast. Ironically, the blog is a more like a broadcast model in that it pushes content for us to digest. And for a School focused on innovation, the Broadcast model isn't.
I'll say it again. It's your blog, so you decide how you want to engage—but what's the downside to conversation via comments? Take a good look at the photo above. It's a group of students engaged in some type of activity. I'd love to feel like I could be a part of this virtually—but without comments it's as if I'm a stranger peering through a window into their world, a world I might like to know more about from the students themselves.