Comments on I’ve turned off on the comment section

Be civil and read the entire article first. This is not a support forum. Comments from new contributors are moderated. English only.

Plain-text only. Begin lines with a > character to quote.

I like the new comment section being separate from the main article (even on a separate domain!). I'm curious what happened with other reasons to disable comments back in 2017 (esp regarding moderation).

What worked for when humans were reading my blog, was to encourage people to write me y email and manually incorporate their comments into the article (together with my answer).

Requirement to send an email instead of submitting a form was indeed a big obstacle for bad comments. And volume of good comments was so low that it wasn't an issue to process them manually (anyway I wanted to answer them).

> I like the new comment section being separate from the main article (even on a separate domain!)

The main website is static, so comments had to go somewhere else. I thought about including some AJAXy thing, but the bottom of pages are already too crowded.

> I'm curious what happened with other reasons to disable comments back in 2017 (esp regarding moderation).

The overhead of having 50+ identical email threads for each article became unsustainable. I needed to either make the email comment system a public email list (no one would understand how this worked nor expect their email address to be published), or build a more traditional comment system that could integrate with a static website.

Moderation is partially automated (based on factors like link count and previous comment history.)

> What worked for when humans were reading my blog, was to encourage people to write me y email and manually incorporate their comments into the article (together with my answer).

That’s just so much work. It would also bias the moderation decisions towards rejecting comments due to the overhead involved in publishing them. I also want to keep user-submitted content (USG) and my content on separate pages. I feel that reduces the risk of USG negatively damaging the reputation of the main pages, and lets it create a second resource to link-to/support the main content.

Regulartory-wize, I can also block the comment section by blocking access to a subdomain in countries where that might become necessary in the future.

> Requirement to send an email instead of submitting a form was indeed a big obstacle for bad comments. And volume of good comments was so low that it wasn't an issue to process them manually (anyway I wanted to answer them).

That’s what I thought too, but I get so much junk to the public email addresses. Another advantage of having a comment system is that I better process and filter bots. (Most bots use HTTP/1.0. No humans/browsers still do this.)

I want to include opt-in email notifications of new replies, though. But mass-emailing is tricky. I need to first verify the subscribers’s email address (the so-called “double opt-in”), handle bounce messages and the like, set up a thread-based and site-wide unsubscription system, and somehow handle a per-subscriber digest-sending (to avoid flooding recipients with messages from a popular thread). That’s like sixty times the complexity of the web-and-feed only approach I’ve already implemented.

Get notified of new replies by feed or email.