The Whole Thing Is Decentralized
Robert Scoble: “Personally, I really rather people get their own weblogs and point to me. I'll point back and continue the conversation. That way the whole thing is decentralized”.
Another vote for not having comments on a weblog. Scoble actually seems to like the discussions he has on his site (and I don't blame him, there have been some pretty good conversations in his comments), but he points back when people disagree with him or of he disagrees on the interpretation people have of what he says. I've been pointing back to people lately (1, 2, 3), but I suspect that's unusual. And it's not consistent—there are people who point to me but whom I feel no need to point back to—but consistency is overrated anyway. I will say that the best way to get me to read your site, though, is to link to me. That may be why referrer spam is sometimes effective. I'll see a site in my referer log and wonder "what's this site all about?" only to find it's for something I don't need, don't want, or can't afford anyway. But I still bothered to check it out.
Jon Buscall: “It's interesting to see what people comment on and what they don't.” It would also be interesting to see how people react when I quote something controversial—especially something I don't particularly agree with, but withhold comment—because I suspect that people believe just by linking to it and quoting it that I implicitly agree with it. A commenter to Buscall's post says this: “If I read a post on someone's blog it does not make sense for me to write my response in my own blog ONLY. This is a very isolationist view of the world and of human intercourse.” The problem with that is if you comment about something written on a weblog post on your own weblog, and you link to it (a good practice, so that your readers can judge for themselves), then aren't you doing that person a favour? If you agree or disagree with what they say, you increase their hits by linking to them, and isn't blogging partly about getting more attention? Some people do it because they love it, sure, but it's naïve to think that the number of people who do it for the attention is few.