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Only external comments (on HN) allowed? (wrongsideofmemphis.com)
11 points by jaimebuelta on Apr 3, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 24 comments



In my opinion, that's because Hacker News --- besides self-inflating egos as noted by @petercooper --- has the right tools and already mature community which are more suited to host civilized and fruitful conversations than on a blog.

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.


Sort of. I think HN is where you come to talk to other smart people about a topic. A blog's comment section is where you communicate directly with the author and a much broader, more random group of people. The latter is hit or miss with regards to quality but sometimes people surprise you.


But unless the blogger uses very specific software (read: excluding static generators), there is no way to know someone has just posted a comment to a post you wrote two years ago. I'd much rather them send me an email so I can answer in due time rather than let the comment rot, and look like an ass for not responding.

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.


Not sure if I understand the argument. Most of the blog comment systems (WP, Discuss, etc) will send an email when a new comment is posted. Even two years later...


why are there some blogs that, instead of having their own comment system, they are linking Hacker News as a way to encourage discussion?

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.


I removed comments from my blog for two reasons:

1. I went static, and didn't like third-party javascript solutions

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.


Wanting attention for your submission is not always a bad thing. An enlightened individual seeks the feedback of people they believe will provide valuable insight. Although, even amongst these people, I wouldn't find it surprising to discover an undercurrent of expectation that their posting will result in a chorus of agreement.

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.


It doesn't seems like a very good strategy, though. It seems ok to drive visits from the blog to Hacker News, but not really the other way around (which I guess is what people wanted)


But those people are then likely to vote up the post on HN (I vote up most posts I comment on, otherwise there's no point in commenting if the post might die). If you have even just 1000 loyal subscribers to your blog, you could perhaps get a handful of votes early on in your post's life which is enough to get it to front page within the first couple of hours.


Mmmm, good point, I didn't though on that. Anyway, if you have 1000 subscribers on your blog, it seems there's already an audience... For some "corporate announcement" it makes sense to have as much exposure as possible, but for a personal blog I'm still not sure is a good strategy...


Some blogs might be run on static blog engines like Jekyll. The only sane way of adding comments to these static blogs would be to use Disqus or some other 3rd party commenting system.

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.


If a blog post gets shared to HN and it's worth commenting on, it will get commented on at HN. Similarly with Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, etc. So why shouldn't the post link to those conversations?

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?


I agree with what you wrote, but:

> curating blog comments.

Do you mean "moderating" them?


I partly mean “moderating” --- deleting spam, disemvowelling incivility, that sort of thing. But also highlighting the better comments (the best comments, if worthy enough, should be highlighted by referring to them in a subsequent post, but the remaining better than average comments should be highlighted somehow), editing comments to correct typos/spelling/grammar/formatting, grouping similar comments together.

Basically, anything that makes it more worth my while as a reader to actually read the comments.


As I tried commenting on the original post (but am waiting in moderation for the comment to appear) -

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.


I don't think 2) and 3) are really valid reasons, as services like Disqus solve exactly these problems.

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. :)


This is wider than HN-related only. Some non-tech bloggers do this as well (disallow comments). My understanding is that they try to move discussion from private space - which is their own website - to public space, which are all the social networks you can imagine.

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?


Well, I think of own comment website also as public space... Sure that promotion can help to increase the audience, but I've also seen a lot of interesting blogs that develops their own audience, with a group of people commenting several posts, something that can be very difficult on HN or Reddit (unless you're Paul Graham or similar)


I would like to host blog comments, but that involves a whole lot of work to keep them free of spam and civil that I just don't want to expend on something that I do in a few hours/week for fun. This is something that could be solved by a good hosted comments package (though even then, I host mine on github pages so it would need to work with Jekyll)


One major problem with using any aggregator site for commenting is the very-short-term nature of the discussion. With many blogs, you see comments months after the original article was penned. AFAICT, there's no way for HN to notify you that you received another comment months later


Totally agree...


I don't get why HN isn't open source so that everyone could improve it.


Spammers? Gaming the karma system? If those parts were open, it would be easier for spammers to take advantage


I'm under the impression that an old version is an example app included with Arc.




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