My aversion for blog comments stems from how little we can trust content there: can I use "pg" as a username on your blog and impersonate Paul Graham? Where do the avatars come from? etc. Lots of little questions of whether or not I can trust what's being written in the comments.
Other than that, there is also the issue of quality: is there a system (e.g. karma, up/downvotes) that prunes the bad comments? the spam?
What about the ever-so-different way the comments are presented on blogs? Are comments threaded or linear?
To me, HN is the perfect framework for good conversations.
Honestly, I understand your argument and I respect it. But if it's a two-way communication, email is better albeit private; if it's between more than two people, then I feel like HN or alike is a better place.
I'm going to be more cynical than the author and suggest most (but not all) people do this because they want their posts submitted to and getting more attention on HN.
2. People were using comments to contact me or ask questions that were better suited to email
Maybe those are bad reasons, but I've been happy to have one less communication channel.
For example, my blog doesn't have a community of people nearly as strong as Hacker News, so while pushing the discussion to HN is almost always a self-serving act, I don't believe it is always about ego. Often it's about learning.
These 3rd party systems might include ads or be killed off sometime in the future (and then where do I port my comments to?). It does make sense when someone wants to let HN or the public space like Twitter handle the discussion.
I don't have a commenting system on my blog for the same reason.
The problems I have with “Comment on this post on HN” are
(1) it assumes the post is on-topic for HN (if the text and link automatically appear on every post, then perhaps not)
(2) it privileges the discussion of the post on HN over any discussions that may occur on other sites (granted some discussions on e.g. Facebook and some fora deliberately hide themselves away from a broader audience)
Curating links to these conversations is work... but so is curating blog comments. Why not swap one for the other?
> curating blog comments.
Do you mean "moderating" them?
Basically, anything that makes it more worth my while as a reader to actually read the comments.
A few reasons I can think of why people do this.
1) Higher quality – while we complain about comment quality all the time on HN, comments from the average blog visitor tend to be even lower quality than posts here or on Proggit. This is due in part to the fact that stupid comments that don't add anything to the discussion, like “First!”, "Nice!", or “That’s so dumb” get downvoted to oblivion on these sites
2) Builtin Spam filtering – feeds on the point above but HN etc have had to deal with spam for some time where joe blogging solution might not have a great solution in place to deal with it.
3) No Trolls - trolls get downvoted or hellbanned on 3rd party sites, but you have to roll your own solution to deal with them in the comment section of your own website.
If a blog's target audience is in fact overlapping with the HN audience, then I'd say it kinda makes sense if the blog author wants to encourage the HN dicussion spirit. :)
The difference is that only people who already visit your site can see the private discussion, but when it starts on HN, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc, it can catch attention of additional people. These bloggers are willing to trade clarity and ability to enhance their content for chance of additional exposure.
I have no idea how well it works for them and I would really love to see some case studies (especially from non-tech bloggers, who targets wide audience with their lifestyle blogs, etc).
I believe people are much, much less likely to comment if they can't do it on the site, but they need to post it to some social network instead to say what they have to say. Is that additional share on Twitter or Facebook worth all those comments which were not written only because there is no comment form on the website?