There’s a massive trend of bloggers to switch off comments and ask people to comment on their articles via twitter, Google+ or Facebook. Their argument is “discussions happen there mainly anyway”.
This is an utterly user-unfriendly move just in order to stroke your ego for more hits on your site. It disturbs me even more to see usability/UX bloggers do this. You are so not eating your own dogfood!
Let’s just recap the situation as it used to be:
There’s a blog. People who’d like to give their own opinion about an article can do so right at the place where the article has been published. Other people can now read the article and follow a lively discussion at the same place. This is what we had. Sounds like a good solution.
Now let’s look at what we’re getting:
There’s blog. People who would like to give their own opinion about an article can do so somewhere else (at least three different sites with considerably different user interfaces) without knowing whether their comment will ever be read by anybody else visiting said blog entry.
If they happen to be using Twitter, they even have to keep their comment within 140 characters. Follow-up comments or discussions between more than two people are almost impossible to follow.
I also wonder what deep discussion beyond “yay” or “meh” are really possible within 140 letters. Also are we now supposed to scratch together other people’s opinions about an article, from all possible SNS ourselves? What does anybody gain by this? What arrogant and user-ignoring stance is that?
To me this sounds like taking a fairly useful and working system and replacing it with something hip-sounding yet completely inadequate, inconsistent and broken.
Yes, for the blogger it makes sense, because by detaching comments from his blog (single location) and having people throw random blurbs about his site onto several SNS sites he’s tapping into the potential snowball or network effect of those sites. So yes for him it’s a great solution, but it leaves his users in the dust.
Essentially the blog becomes simply a publishing platform, and stops being a real blog without comments. As an end user who enjoys reading the discussion as much as the actual article I am effectively told to fuck off and search for comments all around the web myself.
Maybe you can help me here, but I fail to see what anybody except the blogger gains by doing this. Anyone?
I’m not against SNS sites at all
As you can see from my own links to twitter, Faceborg and others, I do appreciate those services. I think it’s a nice way to share articles you’ve found on the web with your friends and followers, but I really believe it makes more sense to discuss the articles in depth at the source, where the author can read other people’s opinions himself, answer questions directly and where people can find most of the discussion going on about the article in one consistent place.
Yes if you just want to say “meh”, I think twitter is the place to post that, because I don’t want to see 500 comments saying just that on any blog either, but if you want to take part in any substantial discussion about an article, I think there’s no place like home ;-)